The so called “science” of textual criticism is about as scientific as the Ouija Board. In this study we will take a closer look at the utter confusion found among the modern bible versions in just one short chapter - Mark chapter 10.
Mark 10:24 "...But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it FOR THEM THAT TRUST IN RICHES to enter into the kingdom of God!"
The whole meaning of the verse is changed by omitting these words. Based on Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omitting them, versions like the NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001, NIV 1977 - 2011, NET and Holman Standard of 2003 read: "Children, HOW HARD IT IS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD!" No, it is quite easy to enter the kingdom of God; Repent and believe the gospel.
All these words - "for them that trust in riches" - are found in the majority of all texts, including the Old Latin a, aur, b, d, f, ff2, l, q, A, C, D, plus at least 21 other uncial copies, the Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Coptic Boharic, Gothic, Armenian, Georgian and Ethiopian ancient versions. This is the ONLY time this phrase if found in this context in the entire Bible. Jesus either said it or He didn't, and He told us that heaven and earth would pass away but His words would not pass away. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do we have ALL of Jesus's inspired words and what God wants in His Book or only some of them?
The previous Revised Version of 1881 and the American Standard Version of 1901 (both of which were Westcott-Hort based) included these words!! The RV and ASV read: “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!”
Agreeing with the King James Bible reading of “how hard it is FOR THEM THAT TRUST IN RICHES to enter the kingdom of God.” are: Wycliffe 1395 - “And Jhesus eftsoone answeride, and seide `to hem, Ye litle children, hou hard it is for men that tristen in ritchessis to entre in to the kyngdom of God.”, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Mace N.T. 1729, Wesley’s translation 1755, the RV 1885, ASV 1901, Darby, Young’s, Weymouth’s translation 1902 (another WH critical text version), the Bible in Basic English 1960, New Life Bible 1969, Hebrew Names Version, World English Bible, the Amplified bible, the NKJV 1982, the Third Millenium Bible 1998 and the ISV of 2008.
Among the Catholic versions we see the usual continual changes in the text. The older Douay-Rheims Bible of 1582 as well as the Douay 1950 included the words saying: “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God?”, BUT then then 1968 the Jerusalem bible, in 1970 the St. Joseph New American Bible and in 1985 the New Jerusalem bible all changed the verse to read: “Children, HOW HARD IT IS TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” Oh, but wait! Now the latest 2009 Catholic Public Domain version has come out and they have once again put all these words back into their text! This latest Catholic version now says: “Little sons, how difficult it is for those who trust in money to enter into the kingdom of God!"
What is of interest here is that there are two new versions that have recently come out on the market - the Holman Christian Standard of 2003, put out by the Southern Baptists, and the ISV of 2008 (International Standard Version). Well, the Holman version still omits "for them that trust in riches", but guess what? The ISV puts them back in!! So the RV, ASV, and ISV include "for them that trust in riches", but the RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, and Holman omit them, and yet all these versions (the RV, ASV, ISV and the latest Catholic Public Domain Version) are put out by scholars who generally reject the Traditional Texts as found in the King James Bible. Modern scholarship is nothing if not consistently inconsistent. They have NO settled and fixed text and NOBODY seriously believes that any of them are the complete, inspired and 100% true words of God. And they are right; they aren't!
Among foreign language Bibles that contain the phrase “them that trust in riches” are the Latin Vulgate 405 B.C. - “Iesus rursus respondens ait illis filioli quam difficile est confidentes in pecuniis regnum Dei introire”, Luther’s German Bible 1545 and the 2000 Schlaxchter Bible - "Da begann Jesus wiederum und sprach zu ihnen: Kinder, wie schwer ist es für die, welche ihr Vertrauen auf Reichtum setzen, in das Reich Gottes hineinzukommen!", the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910, 2007, and French Ostervald 1996 - “Mes enfants, qu'il est difficile à ceux qui se confient dans les richesses d'entrer dans le royaume de Dieu!”, the Italian Diodati 1649, the Nuovo Diodati 1991 and the Nuova Riveduta 2006, - “Figli, quanto è difficile, per coloro che confidano nelle ricchezze entrare nel regno di Dio.”, the Norwegian Det Norsk, Dutch Staten Vertaling, the Romanian Cornilescu, the Africaans Bible 1953, the Chinese Traditional Bible, the Modern Greek N.T., the Russian Synodal Bible and Russian Zhuromsky N.T., the Portuguese Almeida Corrijida e Fiel, and the Portuguese A Bíblia Sagrada - “Filhos, quão difícil é para os que confiam nas riquezas entrar no reino de Deus!, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, and the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995, -”¡Hijos, cuán dificil es entrar en el reino de Dios, los que confían en las riquezas!”
Bible commentator John Gill includes the words in his text and comments: "How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" This he said partly to confirm what he had before said, at which his disciples were astonished; and partly to explain it, as that he was to be understood of such that trusted in their riches, set their hearts upon them, and placed their hope and happiness in them: and the great difficulty, or rather impossibility of such, at least continuing so, entering into the kingdom of God." Both John Calvin and John Wesley likewise include the words in their translations and expound upon them in like manner.
The Coffman Commentary of the New Testament also includes the words and he says: "Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God." - "In this elaboration of what he meant, Jesus distinguished between them that "have riches" and them that "trust in riches," the latter being the great deterrent to entering God's kingdom. The same distinction was honored by the New Testament writers, Paul, for example, making "the love of money" and not merely "money," to be the "root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10)."
Matthew Henry also includes the words and says: "How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the kingdom of God! Mark 10:23. They have many temptations to grapple with, and many difficulties to get over, which lie not in the way of poor people. But he explains himself, Mark 10:24, where he calls the disciples children, because as such they should be taught by him, and portioned by him with better things than this young man left Christ to cleave to; and whereas he had said, How hardly will those who have riches get to heaven; here he tells them, that the danger arose not so much from their having riches as from their trusting to them, and placing their confidence in them, expecting protection, provision, and a portion from them."
We will now consider a few more examples taken from this same chapter of Mark 10 to illustrate the completely fickle, irrational and inconsistent ways the witches' brew called "the science of textual criticism" REALLY works.
In Mark 10:6 we read: "But from the beginning of the creation GOD made them male and female."
The word GOD is found in the Majority of all texts, including A and D and it is the reading found in the Old Latin a, aur, b, d, f, ff2, k, r1, l, q, the Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta, Palestinian, Harkelian, the Armenian, Georgian, Gothic and Ethiopic ancient versions. However BOTH Sinaiticus and Vaticanus omit this word and so do the UBS, Nestle -Aland Greek critical texts, produced and published with the full backing and active participation of the Vatican. The Revised Version and the American Standard Version also omit this word as does Dan Wallace's NET version; they all say "he made them male and female". I know that both God and "he" refer to the same God, but this is a textual matter. God inspired one text. Do we have the text God inspired or not? That is the question.
Though omitted from the previous RV, ASV, yet the word GOD is now included in the NASB (italics), and also now back in the texts of the NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, the Common English Bible 2011 and the ISV of 2008. So why do these modern versions omit literally hundreds of words including many whole verses from many places in the New Testament primarily on the testimony of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and yet NOT follow them in others? And they call this "science"!!! The truth of the matter is that these so called "oldest and best manuscripts" are actually among the most corrupt and contradictory that not only often differ radically from the majority of Greek manuscripts but also from each other. For proof of this see my study on these two manuscripts and see what they really say -
"The oldest and best manuscripts?" -
Among the Catholic bible versions the word GOD is retained in the 1582 Douay-Rheims, the 1950 Douay, the 1968 Jerusalem bible and the 1970 St. Joseph NAB. However the 1985 New Jerusalem now omits the word "God" and merely says "he made them male and female", thus following the UBS, Nestle-Aland text, while all the others (NIV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, Common English Bible, ISV) do not follow either their so called "oldest and best" (Sinaiticus/Vaticanus) nor even their own UBS critical texts!
Mark 10:7 "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, AND CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE."
The words "and cleave to his wife" are missing from BOTH Sinaiticus and Vaticanus and the NASB and Dan Wallace's NET version. The previous Nestle's text also omitted these words. The new Holman Christian Standard puts these words in brackets. However all these words are found in the Majority of all texts including A, C, D, the Old Latin a, aur, c, f, r1, b, d, ff1, l, q the Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Coptic Boharic, Sahidic, Armenian, Ethiopian and Georgian ancient versions. and are now back in the Nestle text [but in brackets] and they are included in the RV 1885, ASV 1901, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, and the ISV (International Standard Version 2008) and the Common English Bible of 2011!!
So once again we see the utter inconsistency and completely fickle nature of modern scholarship. Do you see how the "scholars" can't agree with each other and their own Greek texts keep changing? They have no settled words of God, and what one group of scholars gives, another group takes away.
Mark 10:21 "...sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor: and come, TAKE UP THE CROSS, and follow me."
The words "take up the cross" are in the majority of all texts including at least 19 uncial copies, and Alexandrinus, the Syriac Peshitta, Sinaitic, Harkelian, some Coptic Boharic and Sahidic copies, the Gothic, Old Latin a, q. Once again, this is the ONLY time Jesus said these words in this context while speaking with the rich young ruler. They are either inspired Scripture or they are not. You cannot have it both ways. He either said this or He didn't. But the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NET, Common English Bible, ISV and Holman, along with ALL Catholic bible versions omit the words "take up the cross" because they are not found in Vaticanus nor Sinaiticus, along with C and D.
If you look at either Dan Wallace's NET version, the ISV or the UBS critical Greek text, they don't even give you a critical footnote that tells you these words ARE found in the Majority of all remaining Greek texts we have today. The words "take up the cross" are included in Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops's Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the NKJV 1982, Mace's N.T. 1729, Wesley's translation 1755, Youngs, Webster's 1833, the NKJV 1982, Green's literal translation 2000, and the Third Millenium Bible 1998.
Among foreign language Bibles that contain the words "take up the cross" are the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, the Spanish Reina Valera's of 1909, 1960, 1995, and the Reina Valera Gómez Bible of 2010 - " y tendrás tesoro en el cielo; y ven, sígueme, tomando tu cruz.", Luther's German bible 1545 and the 2000 Schlachter Bible - "und komm, nimm das Kreuz auf dich und folge mir nach!", the French Martin 1744, the French Ostervald 1996 and the French Louis Segond 2007 - " suis-moi, en te chargeant de la croix.", the Italian Diodati 1649 and the Italian Nuova Riveduta of 2006, - "poi vieni, e tolta la tua croce, seguitami.", the Russian Synodal Version, the Dutch Staten Vertaling, the Africaans Bible 1953, the Romanian Cornilescu - "Apoi vino, ia-ţi crucea, şi urmează-Mă." the Portuguese Almeida Corrigida E Fiel - " e vem, toma a cruz, e segue-me."and the Modern Greek - "ελθε, ακολουθει μοι, σηκωσας τον σταυρον." It is also found in the Greek New Testament used by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world - "τέκνα, πῶς δύσκολόν ἐστι τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ χρήμασιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν·
Mark 10:26 "And they were astonished out of measure, saying AMONG THEMSELVES, Who then can be saved?"
The reading of "saying AMONG THEMSELVES" = λέγοντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς - is found in the majority of all texts, A, D, the Old Latin b, d, f, ff2, l, q, the Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Gothic, Armenian, Ethiopian and Georgian ancient versions. It is also the reading found in the Nestle Aland, UBS Greek texts. However Sinaiticus and Vaticanus read: "saying TO HIM" = λέγοντες πρὸς αὐτόν (that is, to Jesus), instead of "saying among themselves" and so do the RV, ASV, RSV, NASB, and the ESV. However the NIV, NET, the NRSV 1989 and the three new ones that have come out recently, the Holman Standard 2003, the ISV 2008 and the Common English Bible 2011 (All critical text versions) read "saying among themselves" like the King James Bible, NKJV 1982 and Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops' Bible and the Geneva Bible. Notice again that the RSV went with "to him", then the NRSV changed to "among themselves" and then the ESV (the revision of the revision of the revision) went back to "said to him". It should be repeated once again - the modern versions have NO settled text and they willy nilly change from one revision to the next, sometimes following a certain reading and then changing their minds and following another, NOT because of any "new textual evidence" or "scientific principle" but simply out of a whimsical desire for something "new and different" and they are tossed to and fro with every passing wind of change to come along. NOBODY seriously believes that ANY of these modern versions are the complete, inspired and infallible words of the living God. Who do you think wants you not believe in the infallibility of "the Bible"? Can you guess his name? (Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil) He's right there in Genesis chapter 3 with the very first question found in the entire Bible - "Yeah, hath God said...?"
Get yourself a King James Holy Bible, the one God honors and the devil hates, and the only Bible believed by thousands of blood bought saints of God to be the pure, inspired and 100% true and unchangeable words of the living God who promised that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away".
All of grace, believing the Book,
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“If we would destroy the Christian religion, we must first of all destroy man’s belief in the Bible.” Voltaire - ex French philosopher and former atheist.