Sunday, September 15, 2013

Regarding Bible Manuscripts Purported to be the "Oldest and Best"

It is to be regretted that this matter was never cleared up at the time the claim was made.  It cannot be said to have been settled by the mere opinions of Tregelles or Bradshaw, or by the more critical and palaeographical objections urged by Mr. Scrivener…. On the side of Simonides is his unlimited skill in calligraphy; the very audacity of such a claim if entirely baseless; the remarkable presence in the Codex of a portion of the Shepherd of Hermas, which Simonides was the first scholar ever to have seen in Greek; the very natural allusions to the work in the lithographed letters (sent by a friend of Simonides years before the controversy); the fact that no visitor to the monastery at Mount Sinai before 1844 had ever seen or heard of such a work as belonging to the monks; and the very extraordinary story told by Tischendorf of his discovery and acquisition of the Codex.  The question therefore, pending the acquisition of further evidence, must remain among the interesting but unsolved mysteries of literature.”  (Literary Forgeries, by James A. Farrer, 1907, pp. 64-65, emphasis added)
Notice that Farrer refers to the issue as one of the “unsolved mysteries of literature” nearly fifty years after these events happened.   This is something they don’t teach at Bible colleges, but that is the whole purpose of the work we do.  Our desire is to alert the Church to important issues, not for the purpose of stirring up controversy, but for edification, so that the faith of the Gospel might be better defended.  It is important to remember that the Codex Sinaiticus is used by higher critics to undermine and discredit the Bible.  Not just the King James Bible, but any Bible.  As such, we believe that having a true and accurate history of the codex is very important for the Church.
To learn more about the men mentioned above (Tregelles, Bradshaw, Scrivener), we recommend viewing the film, "Tares Among the Wheat" where the role of these historic figures is explained.  
Also, to understand what we mean about how Sinaiticus is used to discredit the Bible, we recommend viewing this seven minute clip from the BBC documentary, The Beauty of Books: Ancient Bibles, the Codex Sinaiticus.

No comments:

Post a Comment