PART Five What the faith industry doesn't want you to know.
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8 December 2007
Part Five. "What the faith industry doesn't want you to know."
Part 5 continues from part 4.Written in Greek on donkey skins, it carried both the Old and New Testaments, and later in time archaeologists dated its composition to around the year 380. It was discovered by Dr Constantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874), a brilliant and pious German biblical scholar, and he called it the Sinaiticus, the Sinai Bible. Tischendorf was a professor of theology who devoted his entire life to the study of New Testament origins, and his desire to read all the ancient Christian texts led him on the long, camel-mounted journey to St Catherine's Monastery. During his lifetime, Tischendorf had access to other ancient Bibles unavailable to the public, such as the Alexandrian (or Alexandrinus) Bible, believed to be the second oldest Bible in the world. It was so named because in 1627 it was taken from Alexandria to Britain and gifted to King Charles I (1600-49). Today it is displayed alongside the world's oldest known Bible, the Sinaiticus, in the British Library in London. During his research, Tischendorf had access to the Vaticanus, the Vatican Bible, believed to be the third oldest in the world and dated to the mid-sixth century (The Various Versions of the Bible, Dr Constantin von Tischendorf, 1874, available in the British Library). It was locked away in the Vatican's inner library. Tischendorf asked if he could extract handwritten notes, but his request was declined. However, when his guard took refreshment breaks, Tischendorf wrote comparative narratives on the palm of his hand and sometimes on his fingernails ("Are Our Gospels Genuine or Not?", Dr Constantin von Tischendorf, lecture, 1869, available in the British Library). Today, there are several other Bibles written in various languages during the fifth and sixth centuries, examples being the Syriacus, the Cantabrigiensis (Bezae), the Sarravianus and the Marchalianus. A shudder of apprehension echoed through Christendom in the last quarter of the 19th century when English-language versions of the Sinai Bible were published. Recorded within these pages is information that disputes Christianity's claim of historicity. Christians were provided with irrefutable evidence of wilful falsifications in all modern New Testaments. So different was the Sinai Bible's New Testament from versions then being published that the Church angrily tried to annul the dramatic new evidence that challenged its very existence. In a series of articles published in the London Quarterly Review in 1883, John W. Burgon, Dean of Chichester, used every rhetorical device at his disposal to attack the Sinaiticus' earlier and opposing story of Jesus Christ, saying that "...without a particle of hesitation, the Sinaiticus is scandalously corrupt ... exhibiting the most shamefully mutilated texts which are anywhere to be met with; they have become, by whatever process, the depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings, ancient blunders and intentional perversions of the truth which are discoverable in any known copies of the word of God". Dean Burgon's concerns mirror opposing aspects of Gospel stories then current, having by now evolved to a new stage through centuries of tampering with the fabric of an already unhistorical document. The revelations of ultraviolet light testing In 1933, the British Museum in London purchased the Sinai Bible from the Soviet government for £100,000, of which £65,000 was gifted by public subscription. Prior to the acquisition, this Bible was displayed in the Imperial Library in St Petersburg, Russia, and "few scholars had set eyes on it" (The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post, 11 January 1938, p. 3). When it went on display in 1933 as "the oldest Bible in the world" (ibid.), it became the centre of a pilgrimage unequalled in the history of the British Museum. Before I summarise its conflictions, it should be noted that this old codex is by no means a reliable guide to New Testament study as it contains superabundant errors and serious re-editing. These anomalies were exposed as a result of the months of ultraviolet-light tests carried out at the British Museum in the mid-1930s. The findings revealed replacements of numerous passages by at least nine different editors. Photographs taken during testing revealed that ink pigments had been retained deep in the pores of the skin. The original words were readable under ultraviolet light. Anybody wishing to read the results of the tests should refer to the book written by the researchers who did the analysis: the Keepers of the Department of Manuscripts at the British Museum (Scribes and Correctors of the Codex Sinaiticus, H. J. M. Milne and T. C. Skeat, British Museum, London, 1938). Forgery in the Gospels When the New Testament in the Sinai Bible is compared with a modern-day New Testament, a staggering 14,800 editorial alterations can be identified. These amendments can be recognised by a simple comparative exercise that anybody can and should do. Serious study of Christian origins must emanate from the Sinai Bible's version of the New Testament, not modern editions. Of importance is the fact that the Sinaiticus carries three Gospels since rejected: the Shepherd of Hermas (written by two resurrected ghosts, Charinus and Lenthius), the Missive of Barnabas and the Odes of Solomon. Space excludes elaboration on these bizarre writings and also discussion on dilemmas associated with translation variations. Modern Bibles are five removes in translation from early editions, and disputes rage between translators over variant interpretations of more than 5,000 ancient words. However, it is what is not written in that old Bible that embarrasses the Church, and this article discusses only a few of those omissions. One glaring example is subtly revealed in the Encyclopaedia Biblica (Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899, vol. iii, p. 3344), where the Church divulges its knowledge about exclusions in old Bibles, saying: "The remark has long ago and often been made that, like Paul, even the earliest Gospels knew nothing of the miraculous birth of our Saviour". That is because there never was a virgin birth. It is apparent that when Eusebius assembled scribes to write the New Testimonies, he first produced a single document that provided an exemplar or master version. Today it is called the Gospel of Mark, and the Church admits that it was "the first Gospel written" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 657), even though it appears second in the New Testament today. The scribes of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were dependent upon the Mark writing as the source and framework for the compilation of their works. The Gospel of John is independent of those writings, and the late-15th-century theory that it was written later to support the earlier writings is the truth (The Crucifixion of Truth, Tony Bushby, Joshua Books, 2004, pp. 33-40). Thus, the Gospel of Mark in the Sinai Bible carries the "first" story of Jesus Christ in history, one completely different to what is in modern Bibles. It starts with Jesus "at about the age of thirty" (Mark 1:9), and doesn't know of Mary, a virgin birth or mass murders of baby boys by Herod. Words describing Jesus Christ as "the son of God" do not appear in the opening narrative as they do in today's editions (Mark 1:1), and the modern-day family tree tracing a "messianic bloodline" back to King David is non-existent in all ancient Bibles, as are the now-called "messianic prophecies" (51 in total). The Sinai Bible carries a conflicting version of events surrounding the "raising of Lazarus", and reveals an extraordinary omission that later became the central doctrine of the Christian faith.Part Six will be published by Wed Dec 19. 07