What’s Missing from Codex Sinaiticus, the Oldest New Testament?

Compare differences between the King James Version and Codex Sinaiticus

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in 2015.—Ed.


 
codex-sinaiticus

A salvaged page of the Codex Sinaiticus from St. Catherine’s Monastery recovered in 1975. Photo: Courtesy of St. Catherine’s Monastery.

Two hundred years after Constantine Tischendorf’s birth, questions remain as to the conditions of his removal of Codex Sinaiticus from St. Catherine’s Monastery. Dating to the mid-fourth century C.E., Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest complete manuscript of the New Testament. In his article “Hero or Thief? Constantine Tischendorf Turns Two Hundred” in the September/October 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Stanley E. Porter contends that Tischendorf should be considered a hero, not a thief.

The text of Codex Sinaiticus differs in numerous instances from that of the authorized version of the Bible in use during Tischendorf’s time. For example, the resurrection narrative at the end of Mark (16:9–20) is absent from the Codex Sinaiticus. So is the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). The woman caught in adultery from John 8 is omitted in Codex Sinaiticus. According to James Bentley, Tischendorf was not troubled by the omission of the resurrection in Mark because he believed that Matthew was written first and that Mark’s gospel was an abridged version of Matthew’s gospel. If this were true, the absence of resurrection in Mark would not be a problem because it appears in the older Matthean gospel. Modern scholarship generally holds that Mark is in fact the oldest of the Synoptic Gospels, which could cause theological concerns over the omitted resurrection.

One other omission in Codex Sinaiticus with theological implications is the reference to Jesus’ ascension in Luke 24:51. Additionally, Mark 1:1 in the original hand omits reference to Jesus as the Son of God.

Below, see a visual comparison of these and other differences between the King James Version and Codex Sinaiticus.
 


 
The religion section of most bookstores includes an amazing array of Bibles. In our free eBook The Holy Bible: A Buyer’s Guide, prominent Biblical scholars Leonard Greenspoon and Harvey Minkoff expertly guide you through 21 different Bible translations (or versions) and address their content, text, style and religious orientation.
 

 
The Markan Resurrection (Mark 16: 1–14)

King James Version

1 “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Codex Sinaiticus

1 “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

 


 
Constantine Tischendorf’s chance finding of Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest New Testament manuscript, at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai—and his later removal of the manuscript—made him both famous and infamous. Learn more by reading “Tischendorf on Trial for Removing Codex Sinaiticus, the Oldest New Testament.”
 

 

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13)

King James Version

9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Codex Sinaiticus

Father,
Hallowed be thy name,

Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread

And forgive us our sins, as we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

And bring us not into temptation.

 


 

The woman caught in adultery (John 8: 3–11)

King James Version

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Codex Sinaiticus

Completely absent.

 


 

Significant omitted verses

King James Version

Luke 24:51: “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”

Mark 1:1: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;”

Luke 9:55–56: “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

Codex Sinaiticus

Omits “carried up into heaven.” Leaving no ascension in the Gospels.


Omits “the Son of God.”


Not present.

 


 
Alterations perhaps due to later theological beliefs

King James Version

Mark 1:41: “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.”

Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Codex Sinaiticus

“Jesus, angry, stretched out his hand and touched him…”



“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.”

 


 
This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on August 12, 2015.
 

 

Posted in Bible Versions and Translations, New Testament.

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  1. Jeff says

    Several corrections are needed to this post.

    Neither the original hand nor any corrector afterward in Codex Sinaiticus has the wording that Jesus was angry in Mark 1:41. The only Greek manuscript with that reading is the bilingual Codex Bezae (D/05) from the V century. That reading is also found in a few Old Latin mss of the Gospels. Codex Sinaiticus says that Jesus was moved with compassion in Mark 1:41. This is a famous variant in the mss, but Codex Sinaiticus attests compassion, not anger.

    Also, Luke 9:55-56 are not completely absent in Codex Sinaiticus. The manuscript has what is now considered the beginning of v. 55 and ending of v. 56 (rem: versification was added in 1551): “But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.” Most textual critics think Jesus’ words (in between) found in medieval Byzantine mss was a late addition to the text.

    Also, in Matthew 6:9, Codex Sinaiticus *does* have the phrase “who is in heaven” (which is omitted as presented above). In Mt 6:12, Codex Sinaiticus reads “forgive us our *debts*” (not “sins”). Also, in Matthew 6:13, Codex Sinaiticus ends the Lord’s Prayer with the phrase “but deliver us from [the] evil [one]” (which is omitted above), but the doxology (“for thine is the kingdom…”) is absent.

    Also, like most early mss, Codex Sinaiticus omits John 7:53-8:11, not just 8:3-11.

    Hope this is helpful to prevent some misunderstandings. It is a very important manuscript.

  2. James says

    As Jeff said, you guys are confused about Mark 1:41. Codex Bezae is the lone Greek manuscript that reads “orgistheis” (“angry” or “indignant”) there, probably because the Greek text of Codex D at this point is a retro-translation of a flawed Latin attempt to render the Greek word for “moved-in-the-guts.”

    Does this brief article represent the quality of work that is typical of the BAR staff?

    (If you’d like to learn something about the ending of Mark in Codex Sinaiticus, by the way, I have some research about that I would gladly share. It should be noted, for starters, that the four pages containing Mark 15:54b-Luke 1:56a were not produced by the same copyist who wrote the text on the surrounding pages.

  3. James says

    After a cursory review, I count eight mistakes in this little article. Did James Tabor help write it?

  4. James says

    Back in 2008, a BBC report by Roger Bolton spread the erroneous claim that Codex Sinaiticus read “angry” in Mark 1:41 — and Bolton also described the verse as part of an encounter between Jesus and a blind man, instead of a leper. So I suppose by repeating only one of Bolton’s amateurish mistakes, BAR is making progress. Keep studying, kids!

  5. Dave says

    Yawn…

  6. Bill says

    Whatever happened to the mummy mask discovered in Egypt with the book of Mark used for making the mask? What does it say? Also there are several copies of the book of Matthew written in Hebrew. How does it compare to the MSS?

  7. Wayne says

    Better read Revelation 22:18
    Interpretation is of God also.

  8. M_Raghavan says

    I was fascinated by the contrast to Mark’s telling of the resurrection. It’s as if phrases were added with reckless abandon. There is nothing when and how Mary Magdalena saw the Risen Christ, indicating, of course, it never happened.

  9. Jonathan says

    BAS seems to use the Codex when it suits the notion that Yeshua was not the Son of God.

    First, Codex Sinaiticus is not the oldest manuscript – it’s the oldest complete codex and from the 3rd-4th centuries. There are hundreds of papyri (pages and fragments) much older, but incomplete.

    Second, they use the Codex to show that several key parts of the New Testament showing the deity of Messiah are absent, and the Codex is more original. Then at the last, they show one instance when the Codex referred to the “Son of God” and said it is an addition, not original. They play both sides – sometimes it is original and sometimes not.

    How about logic? Both the Codex and the KJV Greek manuscripts show the diety of Yeshua in different ways!

  10. dr howard says

    See the works of Dr.Ivan Panin on internet concerning this and other issues..

  11. Barbara says

    Well, well, here we go again.

    Anything that gets into the public arena gets trashed, but in a way it makes me happy to read all

    the responses, because it tells me that there are still passionate people out there who are looking

    for the resurrected Jesus to appear.

  12. Luke says

    BAR, you are supposed to be a scholarly magazine. When you allow biased comments like this:
    “Modern scholarship generally holds that Mark is in fact the oldest of the Synoptic Gospels, which could cause theological concerns over the omitted resurrection. One other omission in Codex Sinaiticus with theological implications is the reference to Jesus’ ascension in Luke 24:51. Additionally, Mark 1:1 in the original hand omits reference to Jesus as the Son of God.”

    I want to cringe. You know perfectly well that the omission of these texts in no way theologically threatens any Biblical doctrine. Mentioning of Jesus’ resurrection and his identity as the “Son of God” and even as the “I am” are found in numerous other passages in the “Codex Sinaiticus.” Why have you chosen to have an article about “What’s missing….” with 2 passages (John 8 and Mark 1) we already knew were out of several manuscripts? This is old news for many.

    Why not do an article as well featuring “What’s included in Codex Sinaiticus” which includes Jesus’ exalted position in Revelation, being referenced as the Son of God in many other parts of the gospels, the fact that Mark leaves with someone announcing Jesus’ resurrection, the fact that all 4 gospels and Paul’s letters are there (all of which clearly spell out Jesus’ deity and identity as Risen Lord)…and all of this from the 4th century…and when compared to other manuscripts and documents from early church fathers, the Codex Sinaiticus only further confirms that early Christians viewed Jesus as God?

    Why don’t you do another article comparing all the similarities of the CS with other early manuscripts? Are you afraid readers will get a conclusion contrary to your publishing bias? Perhaps one that shows there is far more unity and consistency in early Christian theology than disunity and change, as this article suggests?

  13. Kurt says

    The Sinaitic Syriac is considered one of the most important Biblical manuscripts discovered, right along with such Greek manuscripts as the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus. It is now generally believed that both the Curetonian and Sinaitic manuscripts are extant copies of the old Syriac Gospels dating from the late second or early third century.
    “THE WORD OF OUR GOD ENDURES FOREVER”
    Can these manuscripts be useful to Bible students today? Undoubtedly! Take as an example the so-called long conclusion of the Gospel of Mark, which in some Bibles follows Mark 16:8. It appears in the Greek Codex Alexandrinus of the fifth century, the Latin Vulgate, and elsewhere. However, the two authoritative fourth-century Greek manuscripts—Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus—both end with Mark 16:8. The Sinaitic Syriac does not have this long conclusion either, adding further evidence that the long conclusion is a later addition and was not originally part of Mark’s Gospel.

    Consider another example. In the 19th century, almost all Bible translations had a spurious Trinitarian addition at 1 John 5:7. However, this addition does not appear in the oldest Greek manuscripts. Neither does it appear in the Peshitta, thus proving that the addition at 1 John 5:7 is indeed a corruption of the Bible text.

    Clearly, as promised, Jehovah God has preserved his Holy Word. In it we are given this assurance: “The green grass dries up, the blossom withers, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25) The version known as the Peshitta plays a humble but important role in the accurate transmission of the Bible’s message to all of humanity
    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200270815

  14. Judy says

    Raghaven…..Yes then it must be true because you read it here. Set it in stone rag. I just love it when people cannot think outside of their TV dinner box and read ONE thing and run with it, yet they never believe what the Bible says. Ever think possibly he had more than ONE resource ???

  15. craig says

    The above article barely scratches the surface of the difference between the King James Version Bible (based on Textus Receptus) and Codex Sinaiticus. Textes Receptus has over 5000 manuscripts in numerous languages which all agree with each other in terms of content and detail. Other versions like the Codex Sinaiticus have but one or two manuscripts, so despite the age and missing content versus the KJV Bible, one needs to only weigh the odds of which versions seems likely to be more correct. And why would God hide the ‘truth’ from his people for almost 2000 years before giving them the ‘correct’ script of His Holy Word in the form of Codex Sinaiticus?

    One needs to study the various Codices and again ask why have certain critical aspects like (1) Jesus Christ being part of the Godhead, or (2) that we are saved only through Jesus Christ and his blood atoning sacrifice for our sins, have been changed or completely left out? For those who wish to expand their knowledge of Bible versions and what is missing, and more importantly why, I suggest you watch the attached Walter Veith videos on youtube as a starting point.

    “Battle of the Bibles” on link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNv-zzpIwBs ; and “Changing the Word”on link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqBEuxGY7DI

  16. JAMES says

    Loved reading and learning from your article. Thanks.

  17. Kent says

    Actually Mark and other gospels is written after the death of Peter and Paul. Most of the epistles are written before the gospels. From the epistles we find the basic Christian beliefs: Christ is the Son of God and His resurrection etc.

  18. Sean says

    What about the recognized theory that John is the first gospel written? From what I read, that gospel goes straight to the point that Jesus was the living Word of God, the only begotten son, and the light to the world. Whether Mark’s gospel is more definitive or not would be a moot issue if it was written as a subsequent addition to John’s.

  19. Andree says

    Craig, thanks for the link to battle of the bible. Excellent information.

  20. Olinad says

    The Apocripha/Deuterocanonicals is present in Sinaiticus. Being the “oldest and best” makes Rome correct in their belief. Hooray for the proponents of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. Woe to the Textus Receptus supporters. And how about the epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas? Both are included in the Sinaiticus. So why do these proponents never complained that these are not included in evangelical churches’ bible? Makes me cringe if it really is the “best” and the “oldest”

  21. GREG says

    Why don’t you ask GOD for the understanding. ……He’s giving me understanding of things I’ve ask him…
    Besides, that’s what he tells us to do, ask.

  22. Steven says

    Actually, the Christian apologist who says that BAR is wrong to point out the theological significance of omitting the ascension and the resurrection appearances in the corrupt Critical Text is himself naive. They are significant.

    However, Sinaiticus itself is not relevant, since the evidence is very strong that it was produced in the 1800s, which is why it is in such incredible flexible, supple condition, and the Leipzig pages are white parchment, contra the chemistry of parchment aging..

    For more information:

    Codex Sinaiticus Authenticity Research
    http://www.sinaiticus.net/

    Sinaiticus – authentic antiquity or modern?
    http://purebibleforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=65

  23. Andrew says

    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Nowhere does the OT say; “He was with God in the beginning”. -Thus proving anything Godly about Christianity is bogus.

  24. Benth says

    – “Nowhere does the OT say; “He was with God in the beginning”. -Thus proving anything Godly about Christianity is bogus.”

    -> Proverbs 8:22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. (..) 27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth (..) 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

    Have a nice day :)

  25. RJ says

    I find it amazing that you all believe in this nonsense.

  26. NO!!! says

    The person who wrote this is obviously undereducated read Mark 16:6!!!

    Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

  27. Ian says

    (re Luke. .September 25 .2015)…
    The devil you can see is not so much a problem as the devil which you can’t see, but yet is very active. That is the nature of deception.
    Subversion is often of a greater danger than frontal attack. The old proverbial Trojan Horse trick worked very well back in the old days. And no less so today.

    Just like the serpent was doing the devils’ dirty work in the Garden of Eden where God walked and talked with our first parents, (and conquered – for a time), so too the devil has had his agents working to subvert and pervert Scripture……little by little, line by line, here a little there a little over many centuries.

    Rome couldn’t get rid of all the Bibles which were being mass produced by the “protestors” – the “heretics” as Rome branded them, so after a time they got busy by subversion and decided it would suit their purpose better if they worked to alter the Text of the Bible from within.

    And presto, what do we have today? Hundreds of english Bible versions, and most of them are ONLY making small changes ..INSIGNIFICANT changes which over time become gradually accepted. All ready for the next generation of innocent and naive seekers for truth.
    People will accept critical change if it appears in small and harmless doses. That is how the system works. Last time I looked poison is stil poison no matter what kind it is.
    Westcott and Hort highly valued the Romish texts -Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, as well as the doctrines of Rome above Protestant doctrine though they were publicly involved in the Protestant church. One said to the other of the Textus Receptus – “Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones.”
    …this same author states “The practical effect of the W-H theory was a complete rejection of the “Syrian” text and an almost exclusive preference for the “Neutral” text (equals B and Aleph). Subsequent scholarship has generally rejected the notion of a “Neutral” text but (still has – Ed) sustained the rejection of the “Syrian” text.” -( source http://www.revisedstandard.net/text/WNP/id_3.html) (Ed is my remark to clarify)

    Just like in the 1800’s , Europe saw an infiltration into the Seminaries and Colleges by Rome’s agents to weaken Protestant influence for the ensuing generations and swing them back to Rome (still going on today folks), so too the work of W&H in the late 1800’s brought a major shift in the thinking about how scholars should or could go about their work of translation of Scripture.

    The devil is in the detail AGAIN. Details are important.

    It must be stated that most modern versions/translations still have statements in their pages that will support the divinity of Jesus Christ and His work on earth and on the cross, and all or most of His message etc. The greater danger is not so much whether a version states such things AT ALL, but how many times the total testimony is weakened.

    If I have 999, 999 dollar coins, one may conclude that I am a millionaire, even I might. But the fact remains I do not have a million dollars. A million is a million, not one less than a million.
    If somebody takes one of those dollar coins, it still looks like a lot money and I almost have a million dollars. almost a millionaire…And so if my little stash is diminshed little by little who will care? Near enough is good enough. Is it? Not in God’s economy.

    If I misquote the Prime minister of my country just by a little bit, publicly, and insist that my quote is what he said, even when it is pointed out that I got it wrong, will I be excused by the Chief Prosecutor for the Government? Hardly.
    But it seems quite okay and acceptable if we put our own spin on God’s word. And our excuse….? …no one can be certain about what God said in the first place.

    God has stated in Deuteronomy, in Proverbs and in Revelation that anyone who adds to or subtracts from God’s word will be held accountable.
    Let us fear God and love Him and treat His word with more respect.
    Ignorance is one thing and may be forgiven, but a careless approach or deliberate twisting is another.

    …further reading… AN INTRODUCTION TO TEXTUAL CRITICISM VOL 1. UNHOLY HANDS ON THE BIBLE, BURGON, GREEN, SOVEREIGN GRAC PUB.

    Wilbur N. Pickering, Th.M Ph.D is qioted as saying
    “It has commonly been argued, for at least 200 years (John Bengel, d. 1752, was the first), that no matter what Greek text one may use it will not affect any doctrine. In my own experience, for over thirty years, when I have raised the question of what is the correct Greek text of the New Testament, regardless of audience, the usual response has been: “What difference does it make?” The purpose of this article is to answer that question, at least in part.” (APPENDIX II, A COMPARISON BETWEEN SIX MAJOR BIBLE VERSIONS, VOLUME II, UNHOLY HANDS ON THE BIBLE. GREEN, SOVEREIGN GRACE TRUST FUND.

    W N Pickering points out that one of the major thrusts of modern versions is to undermine the authority of Scripture, by the use of enclosing “parts of the text in brackets and have” (ing) “numerous footnotes of a sort that raise doubt about the integrity of the Text. The consequences of all this are serious and are far reachiing for the future of the Church.”

    Little doubts often repeated become entrenched in the mind and eventually produce either a serious warning, or a platform for lies.

  28. Ian says

    Andrew says on – 27 May 2016.
    “Nowhere does the OT say; “He was with God in the beginning”. -Thus proving anything Godly about Christianity is bogus”

    Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea at the time of Jesus Christ’s death. Jesus was hauled before Pilate for the Jewish religious Elite wanted Him dead, because they charged Jesus with blaspemy.
    Pilate was used to trouble makers in Judea and he saw and heard a lot of phony messiahs, and many of those were armed to the teeth to try and get rid of Rome’s power base in Judea. One of Jesus’ disciples had been such a zealot.
    Pilate flatly told the Jewish leaders that he found NO FAULT in this man.
    This is history.
    A Roman Governor finds no fault with someone charged with insurrection and turning the world upside down??
    But the very reason why the Jewish religious left (or right) charged Jesus with blaasphemy and wanted Hm dead was because thy understood perfectly that Jesus was stating that He was equal with God – the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc.
    They knew this. It was not something that they had to work out..DID HE or DIDN”T HE?
    He had claimed to be God – equal with God, and they had tried on a number of occasions to stone HIm, just as Moses had said they should for a charge of blasphemy…as long as two or three witnesses could testify. But they as a group had heard Jesus Himself. They were first hand witnesses.
    This is history.

    These two facts should be enough to get your mind thinking whether you have made a right judgement in your comment – “…proving anything Godly about Christianity is bogus”
    Those Jewish leaders I dare say would have been far more familiar with the OT than you or I have ever been. They knew exactly what Jesus was saying…
    Jesus also told them that I and My Father are one – John 10:30 (read the rest of the narrative). You can’t get any plalner than that.

    Have a look at Proverbs 30:4
    “Who has gone up to Heaven, and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in His garments? Who has made all the ends of the earth to rise? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name? Surely you know.”
    WHAT IS HIS NAME? WHAT IS HIS SON’S NAME?
    That is the question you must ask and answer for yourself honestly and carefully.

  29. Roger says

    Those wanting to use the Greek manuscripts needs to consult the fact that these were Yisraelis writing, not Greek and the language would have been written in Hebrew. Any Greek representation of the New Testament is not factual as to the true text.

  30. Chuck says

    I prefer to accept the word of God by faith, the same way we attain salvation. Jesus was in the OT, in Genesis 1:26 God said let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness,… this would be funny language for God alone and by himself to be using. If Satan can place doubt about the word of God in man’s head, he has the war half won… It is by faith and faith alone we can be saved… I have personally been transformed from a drunkard, dope head, and whoremonger, into a son of God by faith and our so called flawed KJV.
    Be Blessed, Chuck

  31. john says

    Regards Codex Siniaticius. I recommend “The forging of Codex Siniaticus” by Bill Cooper. The title says it all, and the constant attack on God’s Holy word to us by many.

    God Bless you all with light to Truth. In Jesus Name.

  32. Clear says

    “And We sent Noah and Abraham, and established in their descendants prophecy and the Book: and some of them are rightly guided, but many are rebellious.

    “Then We sent after them our apostles and We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy; and monasticism, they invented it. We did not command it…yet We bestowed on those among them who believed, their due reward, but many of them are rebellious.”

  33. Lol says

    Everyones complaining yet the letter, sent from Juda to his apostles, in jerusalem warning of people corrupting the words of jesus clearly names jesus as a “servant of god” rather than the “son of god” if they were “gods” first companions why didnt they state so i mean jesus should have told them at from the beginning quite EXPLICITLY!

  34. Amanda says

    Constantine Tischendorf was a false teacher, like one of the ones Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, warned about.

  35. Bradley says

    The earliest manuscripts are consistent. The textus receptus is based of all older manuscripts that are fairly consistent. The problem here is would you rather have translations from the 10th centurey or the 4th century (as they became available) which are more removed from Catholic theological bias. Its simple as that folks.

  36. CB says

    Am I the only person who often finds more help, information, and encouragement in the comments than I do in the article provided? It’s the reason I continue to receive the articles!

  37. Robin says

    Interesting article….and interesting comments. Before Mark and Matthew and Luke, there was supposedly Q, M, L — all those other documents? That is, assuming they existed….. There also was the first letter to the Corinthian church which described resurrection appearances and so on…..And there are numerous modern scholars (agnostic, Christian, not Christian—apparently also Jewish) who assert that belief in the physical resurrection rose up within the church immediately. As for the resurrection in Mark or not in Mark versus Sinaiticus…..I think there are endless debates over the Long Ending and the Short Ending of Mark, with scholars evenly divided in their views. Thanks, BAR, for discussing it as it relates to Sinaiticus onlyl

  38. JOHN says

    CB I had to laugh as I was thinking nearly the same thing when I read you post. I mostly appreciate the articles but always find the comments helpful and sometimes entertaining.

  39. paul says

    I think the most useful comparisons would be for several of the oldest manuscripts be compared side-by-side to one another, this I think would provide a better understanding of how the KJV has different content compared to the Sinaiticus. I’ve known for a long time these differences existed, I just have never been able to figure out how these differences came to be.

    If somebody knows the existence of side-by-side comparisons I’d like to know about them. Thanks in advance.

  40. WILLIAM says

    May a non-Christian, non–Jewish reader of no particular faith point out that you would seem a much greater tribute to your respective Catholic and Protestant faiths were you to behave with more charity to each other and, with good will, attempt to dissipate all odium theologicum, replacing it with a more expansive spirit of brotherly/sisterly love and respect? Of course I don’t want to seem to imply that such inability to feel empathy is limited to Christians, Far from it. And why do we humans who take such pride in our organizational and community identities save in one kind of organization or community seem to save their harshest rebukes for each other for that matter, in this case Protestants against Catholics and vice versa? It dismays me, sincerely. As Rodney King said, “Can’t we all just get along?” Actually at least to me it does seem to be more important to be able to get along than to be right, however right is defined.

  41. Mary T. says

    William posts “As Rodney King said, ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ Actually at least to me it does seem to be more important to be able to get along than to be right, however right is defined.” That is called relativism, a scourge which has infected our culture. Christians believe “absolute truth” does exist. All religions are based on truth claims. There can be only one truth among multiple truth claims. They can’t all be simultaneously true so it is important to seek out the truth. You are right about charity. At least to me this discussion thread is very interesting but I always skip the comments that bash another religion or denomination especially when they lack charity and sound scholarship.

  42. Peter says

    When it comes to a consideration of the authenticity of Siniaticus and Vaticanus, few academics seem to ask some very basic non-academic but practical questions such as:
    How is it that these ancient manuscripts lay forgotten (Siniaticus) or ignored (Vaticanus) for 1500 years or more?
    How come these two were preserved when many thousands of others were not?
    There’s also another question which IS academic but also glossed over:
    If these two represent an older and more original text, how come they differ from each other so much?

    I can answer the first question here in part from my own experience. I had/have a New World translation in my home with all the incorporated mistranslations driven by theological ideology. I didn’t want to put it with other translations on my bookshelves lest someone read it unawares and was led astray, but I did not feel comfortable destroying it – so I hid it. I’ve now forgotten where and cannot find it. Jews and Muslims to this day consider the destruction of their “holy book” to be a terrible sin, so Christian monks realising that they had a very misleading copy of the Bible on their hands would most likely act for the same reasons as I and in just the same way that I did.That very easily and practically explains Siniaticus and the explanation for Vaticanus is similar. It was given to the Vatican from the East and was pretty well hidden away although not totally forgotten, Erasmus in compiling Textus Receptus was told of it but warned of its unreliability and so he ignored it.

    The simple reason for the disappearance of most manuscripts – and why there are so many small fragments containing excerpts around is that they simply wore out! That is why the copying of Bible manuscripts was such a big business. Many of the larger monasteries had a scriptorium in which the production of new manuscripts was constant. Such a production line was slow and laborious and costly. Those manuscripts used as “originals” in this business wore out very quickly, those used in worship or sold on for private devotions lasted longer, but not for centuries – unless unused. The hurricane of Islamic conquest across the Middle East from the 7th century on was, of course, another major factor in destruction. So our second question is really: why were these two “unorthodox* manuscripts unused? Clearly that must have been because they were recognised from a very early date to be unreliable to the point of theological fraud. How else could it be that no copies of these manuscripts, not even on small fragments, have been discovered?

    As for the differences between the two rogue manuscripts, they are seldom mentioned by their main supporters because they really destroy the underlying support for authenticity. The argument made is that because they are believed to be physically the oldest, they must represent the fewest changes from the originals. But if that were so, how could they be so different? in fact some say that the differences between the two are greater than their individual differences with Textus Receptus. If they were deliberately mis-copied by different groups in different locations to support certain theological doctrines, then one could expect differences between the two results, but it is simply not possible to explain how two “faithful” copies of an original text could end up so incompatible.

  43. Nicole says

    Recently found my way back to God, after researching for many, many years other types of religions/beleifs. I followed mostly Buddhism and Hinduism among other philosophies, because I found them to be helpful and peaceful. God has become a stigma in our society today, the lack of morality I think is a reflection of that stigma. Where can we find proof of the existence of God? In doctrines? Ancient manuscripts? Versions of the bible that are forever under scrutiny?. Disinformation is a great tool for controlling our minds! We simply don’t know what to believe anymore!. So I have only recently come across the codex sinaiticus, which has led me here, and Its been enlightening to read all of these comments and opinions, from all of you quite educated and well versed people. Thank you also for the many useful links provided.

  44. Rick says

    How do the >English< translations of Mark 16.1-14 match word for word in KJV and א, yet don't in Matt 6.9-13? The question is not so much that the English translations should vary — I get that — but how the Mark translations match.

  45. Alistair says

    re 17. Kent says:
    He claims that the gospels were written after the deaths of Peter and Paul. This is just not possible, for there is no mention of the catastrophe in Rome when these apostles and most of the other Christians were cruelly massacred late in Nero’s reign. Instead.the Gospels end with a message of hope, (The Epilogue at the end of John was probably added later by a follower of Peter.)
    The massacres are implied in Revelation, so this was written by John shortly afterwards, before Jerusalem fell to the Roman army..
    .

  46. GENE says

    Some linguists have examined modern Bible translations—including the New World Translation—for examples of inaccuracy and bias. One such scholar is Jason David BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University in the United States. In 2003 he published a 200-page study of nine of “the Bibles most widely in use in the English-speaking world.”* His study examined several passages of Scripture that are controversial, for that is where “bias is most likely to interfere with translation.” For each passage, he compared the Greek text with the renderings of each English translation, and he looked for biased attempts to change the meaning. What is his assessment?

    BeDuhn points out that the general public and many Bible scholars assume that the differences in the New World Translation (NW) are due to religious bias on the part of its translators. However, he states: “Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation.” While BeDuhn disagrees with certain renderings of the New World Translation, he says that this version “emerges as the most accurate of the translations compared.” He calls it a “remarkably good” translation. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102007409#h=22:2-23:524https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102007409#h=22:2-23:524

  47. Pastor says

    The discipline of Biblical manuscript analysis is mature, rich, and sophisticated. This article doesn’t reflect that at all. The King James and Tischendorf? Who is the envisioned recipient of this article?

  48. GENE says

    A footnote on #46 above: Besides the New World Translation, the others were The Amplified New Testament, The Living Bible, The New American Bible With Revised New Testament, New American Standard Bible, The Holy Bible—New International Version, The New Revised Standard Version, The Bible in Today’s English Version, and King James Version


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