The changing word of God…

THE BBC reports that the different parts of the world’s oldest surviving Bible are to be reunited online, allowing anyone with internet access to view the Codex Sinaiticus. This seems to me to be in good historical keeping with the kind of democratisation that came about with the widespread dissemination of the Bible in previous centuries. The desire of ordinary people to read the Bible went hand in hand with the spread of printing, put reading and education in the hands of the masses, and removed power and authority from some elites – ideas and principles which are still quite important to Protestantism in particular, and are reflected to a degree in the world wide web. There’s just one problem – the unadulterated word of God which will soon be online appears to be markedly different from the King James version in your hand. Maybe that can be explained away, but if God’s the writer, he’s had bunch of lousy earthly editors over the past couple of millennia. How fundamentalists can take their comparatively modern texts so literally when it’s clear how much men have changed them is a mystery as great as the resurrection – something crucial to Christian belief, but key sections of which are curiously missing from the Codex.

  • The Popes own breakdancer

    The only problem with your inference being that several thousand Christian sects existed throughout A.D. history, from the Paulinites to the Gnostics through to the sects of the Goths all the way over to the Armenians, all interpretations were subject to the hand of policy, and as such, the oldest surviving volume has no greater claim to authenticity than a modern version.

    The Great Divines from Worms to Dort were aware of the history of Christendom, its factions, their policies and scholarship, and the collection and revision arrived at (which made a distinction between God Inspired and devil derived, i think, on the continuity of the prophesy and the integrity of Christ the Sacrifice portrayed therein) in the Vulgate and the Authorised Version have thusly a better claim to authenticity than say, An ancient Arian tome…I would say, anyway ;>

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    Which in English means?…

  • Ulsters my homeland

    I have it in my records that the Codex Sinaiticus was written in the 4th century.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    Ah, had Constantine opted for the forgotton Mithra instead…..

  • Sam Graham

    Belfast Gonzo,

    After saying”Maybe that can be explained away” you then go on to try to refute this! Please take a course on basic logic.

    The answer is much simpler. You need to research all the facts. There are 5000 copies of Biblical manuscripts dating back to the 2nd Century. That is hundreds of times more than copies of any book of the first 1000 years AD. More than 90% of them agree in the wording underlying the KJV.

    The fact that heretical groups added and subtracted to some of these manuscripts such as the Sinnaticus does not displace the accuracy and the providential preservation of the other 90%. In fact the Sinnaticus is regarded by all critics as being one of teh most corrupted manuscripts extant. Although, in reality your argument would be a puerile one if only 1 of the 5,000 was accurate!

    You are bringing up a non-point in order to prove a non-point

  • tpob


    I am going to break this to you as gently as possible. The message, like your response, was in the English language. As for its clarity, please read “collection and revision” as “collections and revisions”, this slight error does not, to my mind, render the message of the post unintelligible

  • 6countyprod

    The folks at this blog have a cogent rebuttal of Bolton’s assertions.

  • ggn

    There was a debate about Irish on talkback yesterday, held in the usuall manner.

    I thought that the question ‘what’s the Irish for Carrickfergus’ asked in all seriousness was a bit stange and then … a text …

    “If English was good enough for Jesus … ”

    Now clearly if this man was the almighty then he would be able to speak every language in existenctance or which ever did or ever would exist but!

    Tell me that this was a troll and not a widely held belief.

    I know that some protestant demoninations believe that the King James bible is devinely inspired and thus superior to all other versions (which will be interesting in 150 years when English speakers cant understand it anymore!) but the belief that the people of the Holy Land spoke English surely must seem crazy to us all?

    Jesus as an historical figure would have spoken Amaraic as a venacular, probably had a knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and many have know Greek.

    Despite what Mel Gibson said, he would not have had Latin.

  • Big Maggie

    Belfast Gonzo

    the unadulterated word of God

    Anybody ever tell you that you’re a sarky old s.o.b? :^)