Authors of the New Testament
The Book of Hebrews
Another look at Discrepancies
When is a book an "inspired" book?
Note: Many of the following quotations were obtained from the writings of Ahmed Deedat although many other sources were used as well. Since there are over 40 different VERSIONS of the Bible, you will found contradictions in one Bible but you may not find the same contradictions in another version of the Bible. This happened to me at the Library. Man, the Scholars are working hard.
"Then woe to those who write the book with their own hands and then say: 'This is from Allah', to traffic with it for a miserable price. Woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make thereby" Qur'an Al-Bakarah(2:79 )
"And when there came to them a messenger from Allah, Confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the book threw away the book of Allah behind their backs as if (it had been something) they did not know" Qur'an Al-Bakarah(2:101 )
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I (God) command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2
Let us start from the beginning. No Biblical scholar on this earth will claim that the Bible was written by Jesus himself. They all agree that the Bible was written after the departure of Jesus peace be upon him by is followers.
Dr. W Graham Scroggie of the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, a prestigious Christian evangelical mission, says:
"..Yes, the Bible is human, although some out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, have denied this. Those books have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men and bear in their style the characteristics of men...." in "It is Human, Yet Divine" by W Graham Scroggie, p. 17
Another Christian scholar, Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, says:
"...Not so the New testament...There is condensation and editing; there is choice reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the church behind the authors. They represent experience and history..." in "The Call of the Minaret," Kenneth Cragg, p 277
"It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors" Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 633
"Yet, as a matter of fact, every book of the New Testament with the exception of the four great Epistles of St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy, and interpolations are asserted even in these." Encyclopedia Brittanica, 12th Ed. Vol. 3, p. 643
Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that:
"[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written" Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, p. 117
After listing many examples of contradictory statements in the Bible, Dr. Frederic Kenyon says:
"Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference" in Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3
Throughout this page you will find countless other similar quotations from some of Christendom's leading scholars. Let us suffice with these for now.
Christians are, in general, good and decent people, and the stronger their convictions the more decent they are. This is attested to in the noble Qur'an: "...and nearest among them (men) in love to the believers will you find those who say 'we are Christians': because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the messenger (Muhammad), you will see their eyes overflowing with tears for they recognize the truth: They pray: 'Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses'." The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):82-83.
All biblical "versions" of the Bible prior to the revised version of 1881 were dependent upon the "Ancient Copies" (those dating between five to six hundred years after Jesus). The revisers of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1952 were the first biblical scholars to have access to the "MOST ancient copies" which date fully three to four hundred years after Christ. It is only logical for us to concur that the closer a document is to the source the more authentic it is.
Let us see what is the opinion of Christendom with regard to the most revised version of the Bible (revised in 1952 and then again in 1971):
"The finest version which has been produced in the present century" - (Church of England newspaper)
"A completely fresh translation by scholars of the highest eminence" - (Times literary supplement)
"The well loved characteristics of the authorized version combined with a new accuracy of translation" - (Life and Work)
"The most accurate and close rendering of the original" - (The Times)
The publishers themselves (Collins) mention on page 10 of their notes: "This Bible (RSV) is the product of thirty two scholars assisted by an advisory committee representing fifty cooperating denominations"
Let us see what these 32 Christian scholars of the highest eminence backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations have to say about the Authorized Version (AV), or as it is better known, the King James Version (KJV). In the preface of the RSV 1971 we find the following: "...Yet the King James Version has GRAVE DEFECTS.." They go on to caution us that: "...That these defects are SO MANY AND SO SERIOUS as to call for revision"
The Jehovah's Witnesses in their "AWAKE" Magazine dated 8th September 1957 published the following headline: "50,000 Errors in the Bible" wherein they say "..there are probably 50,000 errors in the Bible...errors which have crept into the Bible text...50,000 such serious errors..."
After all of this, however, they go on to say: "...as a whole the Bible is accurate."
Let us have a look at only a very few of these errors.
In John 3:16 - AV (KJV) we read: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.."
But as seen in section 188.8.131.52, this fabrication "begotten" has now been unceremoniously excised by these most eminent of Bible revisers. However, humanity did not have to wait 2000 years for this revelation.
In Maryam (19):88-98 of the noble Qur'an we read: "And they say 'Allah Most Compassionate has begotten a son!'. Indeed you have put forth a thing most monstrous! The skies are ready to burst (at such a claim), and the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. That they should ascribe a son to the Most Compassionate. But it is not befitting [the majesty of] the Most Compassionate that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to the Most Compassionate as a servant. He has taken account of all of them and has numbered them all exactly. And every one of them will come to him singly on the day of judgment. On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will Allah most gracious bestow love. Verily, We have made this [Qur'an] easy in your tongue [O Muhammad] that you might deliver glad tidings to those who seek refuge [in Allah] and warn with it a people who are contentious. And how many a generation before them have we destroyed! Can you find a single one of them or hear from them so much as a whisper?"
In 1st Epistle of John 5:7 (King James Version) we find: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."
As we have already seen in section 184.108.40.206, this verse is the closest approximation to what the Church calls the holy Trinity. However, as seen in that section, this cornerstone of the Christian faith has also been scrapped from the RSV by the same thirty two Christian scholars of the highest eminence backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations, once again all according to the "most ancient manuscripts."
And once again, we find that the noble Qur'an revealed this truth over fourteen hundred years ago:
"O people of the book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and his Word, which he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit preceding from him so believe in Allah and his messengers. Say not "Three" desist It will be better for you for Allah is one God Glory be to him Far exalted is he above having a son. To him belong all things in the heavens and the earth. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs." The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):171
Prior to 1952 all versions of the Bible made mention of one of the most miraculous events associated with the prophet Jesus peace be upon him, that of his ascension into heaven: "So then the lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" Mark 16:19 and once again in Luke: "While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." Luke 24:51-52
In the 1952 RSV Mark 16 ends at verse 8 and the rest is relegated in small print to a footnote (more on this later). Similarly, in the commentary on the verses of Luke 24, we are told in the footnotes of the NRSV Bible "Other ancient authorities lack "and was carried up into heaven'" and "Other ancient authorities lack 'and worshipped him'".
Thus, we see that the verse of Luke in it's original form only said: "While he blessed them, he parted from them. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy." It took centuries of "inspired correction" to give us Luke 24:51-52 in their current form.
As another example, in Luke 24:1-7 we read: "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
Once again, in reference to verse 5, the footnotes say: "Other ancient authorities lack 'He is not here but has risen'" Also, please read entries 16 and 17 in the table in section 2.2.
The examples are far too numerous to list here, however, you are encouraged to obtain a copy of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible for yourself and scan through the four gospels. You shall be hard pressed to find even two consecutive pages that do not contain the words "Other ancient authorities lack..." or "Other ancient authorities add..." etc. in the footnotes..
Authors of the New Testament
Let us now talk about the alleged authors of the New Testament. We will note that every Gospel begins with the introduction "According to....." such as "The Gospel according to Saint Matthew," "The Gospel according to Saint Luke," "The Gospel according to Saint Mark," "The Gospel according to Saint John."
The obvious conclusion for the average man on the street is that these people are known to be the authors of the books attributed to them. This, however is not the case. Why? Because not one of the vaunted four thousand copies existent carries its author's signature. It has just been assumed that they were the authors. Recent discoveries, however, refute this belief.
Even the internal evidence proves that, for instance, Matthew did not write the Gospel attributed to him: "...And as Jesus passed forth thence, HE (Jesus) saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and HE (Jesus) saith unto HIM (Matthew), follow ME (Jesus) and HE (Matthew) arose, and followed HIM (Jesus)." Matthew 9:9
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that neither Jesus nor Matthew wrote this verse of "Matthew." Such evidence can be found in many places throughout the New Testament. Although many people have hypothesized that it is possible that an author sometimes may write in the third person, still, in light of the rest of the evidence that we shall see throughout this book, there is simply too much evidence against this hypothesis.
This observation is by no means limited to the New Testament. There is even proof that at least parts of Deuteronomy were neither written by God nor by Moses. This can be seen in Deuteronomy 34:5-10 where we read "So Moses....DIED... and he (God Almighty) BURIED HIM (Moses)... He was 120 years old WHEN HE DIED... and there arose not a prophet SINCE in Israel like unto Moses...."
Did Moses write his own obituary? Joshua also speaks in detail about his own death in Joshua 24:29-33. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the current recognition that most of the books of the Bible were not written by their supposed authors.
The authors of the RSV by Collins say that the author of "Kings" is "Unknown." If they knew it to be the word of God they would have undoubtedly attributed it to him. Rather, they have chosen to honestly say "Author....Unknown." But if the author is unknown then why attribute it to God? How can it then be claimed to have been "inspired"? Continuing, we read that the book of Isaiah is "Mainly credited to Isaiah. Parts may have been written by others." Ecclesiastics: "Author. Doubtful, but commonly assigned to Solomon." Ruth: "Author. Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel." and on and on.
The Book of Hebrews
Let us have a slightly more detailed look at only one book of the New Testament: "The author of the Book of Hebrews is unknown. Martin Luther suggested that Apollos was the author...Tertullian said that Hebrews was a letter of Barnabas...Adolf Harnack and J. Rendel Harris speculated that it was written by Priscilla (or Prisca). William Ramsey suggested that it was done by Philip. However, the traditional position is that the Apostle Paul wrote Hebrews...Eusebius believed that Paul wrote it, but Origen was not positive of Pauline authorship."
From the introduction to the King James Bible, New revised and updated sixth edition, (why must the revise a Bible? Contradictions were found) the Hebrew/Greek Key Study, Red Letter Edition.
Is this how we define "inspired by God"?
As seen in chapter one, St. Paul and his church after him, were responsible of making wholesale changes to the religion of Jesus (pbuh) after his departure and were further responsible for mounting a massive campaign of death and torture of all Christians who refused to renounce the teachings of the apostles in favor of the Pauline doctrines. All but the Gospels acceptable to the Pauline faith were then systematically destroyed or re-written. Rev. Charles Anderson Scott has the following to say:
"It is highly probable that not one of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was in
existence in the form which we have it, prior to the death of Paul. And were the documents to be
taken in strict order of chronology, the Pauline Epistles would come before the synoptic Gospels." in History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, Rev. Charles Anderson Scott, p.338
This statement is further confirmed by Prof. Brandon: "The earliest Christian writings that have been preserved for us are the letters of the apostle Paul" in "Religions in Ancient History," S.G.F. Brandon, p. 228.
In the latter part of the second century, Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth says: "As the brethren desired me to write epistles (letters), I did so, and these the apostles of the devil have filled with tares (undesirable elements), exchanging some things and adding others, for whom there is a woe reserved. It is not therefore, a matter of wonder if some have also attempted to adulterate the sacred writings of the Lord, since they have attempted the same in other works that are not to be compared with these."
The Qur'an confirms this with the words: "Then woe to those who write the book (of Allah/God) with their own hands and then say: 'This is from Allah', to traffic with it for a miserable price. Woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make thereby" The noble Qur'an Al-Bakarah(2):79
Victor Tununensis, a sixth century African Bishop related in his Chronicle (566 AD) that when Messala was consul at Constantinople (506 AD), he "censored and corrected" the Gentile Gospels written by persons considered illiterate by the Emperor Anastasius. The implication was that they were altered to conform to sixth century Christianity which differed from the Christianity of previous centuries (The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament, by M. A. Yusseff, p. 81)
(When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found (in about the 50's) the church took over 40 years to publish the book for the public. Why did it take them 40 years. If this was extracts from the Bible many hundreds of years old than this could be a proff that the modern day Bible is authentic. BUT, the Christian scholars must have found many conflicting verses from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the modern Bible therefore it took than over 40 years to Correct, Edit, Add, Delete and Manipulate many verse's in the Dead Sea Scrolls so that it would agree with the modern day Bibles.)
These "corrections" were by no means confined to the first centuries after Christ. Sir Higgins says: "It is impossible to deny that the Bendictine Monks of St. Maur, as far as Latin and Greek language went, were very learned and talented, as well as numerous body of men. In Cleland's 'Life of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury', is the following passage: 'Lanfranc, a Benedictine Monk, Archbishop of Canterbury, having found the Scriptures much corrupted by copyists, applied himself to correct them, as also the writings of the fathers, agreeably to the orthodox faith, secundum fidem orthodoxam." in "History of Christianity in the light of Modern knowledge", Higgins p.318
In other words, the Christian scriptures were re-written in order to conform to the doctrines of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and even the writings of the early church fathers were "corrected" so that the hanges would not be discovered. Sir Higgins goes on to say: "The same Protestant divine has this remarkable passage: 'Impartiality exacts from me the confession, that the orthodox have in some places altered the Gospels."
The author then goes on to demonstrate how a massive effort was undertaken in Constantinople, Rome, Canterbury, and the Christian world in general in order to "correct" the Gospels and destroy all manuscripts before this period.
Theodore Zahan, illustrated the bitter conflicts within the established churches in Articles of the Apostolic Creed. He points out that the Roman Catholics accuse the Greek Orthodox Church of remodeling the text of the holy scriptures by additions and omissions with both good as well as evil intentions. The Greek Orthodox, on the other hand, accuse the Roman Catholics of straying in many places very far away from the original text. In spite of their differences, they both join forces to condemn the non-conformist Christians of deviating from "the true way" and condemn them as heretics. The heretics in turn condemn the Catholics for having "recoined the truth like forgers." The author concludes "Do not facts support these accusations?"
"And from those who said: "We are Christians," We took their Covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message which was sent to them. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will inform them of what they used to do. O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad) come to you, explaining to you much of that which you used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Indeed, there has come to you a light from Allah and a plain Scripture. Wherewith Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness by His will into light, and guides them to a straight path. They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then has the least power against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say; Why then does He punish you for your sins? No, you are but mortals of His creating. He forgives whom He will, and punishes whom He will. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the return (of all). O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad) come unto you to make things plain after a break in (the series of) the messengers, lest you should say: There came not unto us a messenger of cheer nor any Warner. Now has a messenger of cheer and a Warner come unto you. And Allah is Able to do all things." The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):14-19
St. Augustine himself, a man acknowledged and looked up to by both Protestants and Catholics alike, professed that there were secret doctrines in the Christian religion and that "there were many things true in the Christian religion which it was not convenient for the vulgar to know, and that some things were false, but convenient for the vulgar to believe in them."
Sir Higgins admits: "It is not unfair to suppose that in these withheld truths we have part of the modern Christian mysteries, and I think it will hardly be denied that the church, whose highest authorities held such doctrines, would not scruple to retouch the sacred writings" (The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament, M. A. Yusseff, p.83)
Even the epistles attributed to Paul were not written by him. After years of research, Catholics and Protestants alike agree that of the thirteen epistles attributed to Paul only seven are genuinely his. They are: Romans, 1, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philipians, Philemon, and 1 Thessalonians.
Christian sect are not even agreed on the definition of what exactly is an "inspired" book of God. The Protestants are taught that there are 66 truly "inspired" books in the Bible, while the Catholics have been taught that there are 73 truly "inspired" books, not to mention the many other sects and their "newer" books, such as the Mormons, etc. As we shall see shortly, the very first Christians, for many generations, did not follow either the 66 books of the Protestants, nor the 73 books of the Catholics. Quite the opposite, they believed in books that were, many generations later, "recognized" to be fabrications and apocrypha by a more enlightened age than that of the apostles.
Well, where do all of these Bibles come from and why the difficulty in defining what is a truly "inspired" word of God? They come from the "ancient manuscripts" (also known as MSS). The Christian world today boasts of an excess of 24,000 "ancient manuscripts" of the Bible dating all the way back to the fourth century after Christ (But not back to Christ or the apostles themselves). In other words, we have with us gospels which date back to the century when the Trinitarians took over the Christian Church. All manuscripts from before this period have strangely perished. All Bibles in existence today are compiled from these "ancient manuscripts." Any scholar of the Bible will tell us that no two ancient manuscripts are exactly identical.
People today generally believe that there is only ONE Bible, and ONE version of any given verse of the Bible. This is far from true. All Bibles in our possession today (Such as the KJV, the NRSV, the NAB, NIV,...etc.) are the result of extensive cutting and pasting from these various manuscripts with no single one being the definitive reference. There are countless cases where a paragraph shows up in one "ancient manuscript" but is totally missing from many others. For instance, Mark 16:8-20 (twelve whole verses) is completely missing from the most ancient manuscripts available today (such as the Sinaitic Manuscript, the Vatican #1209 and the Armenian version) but shows up in more recent "ancient manuscripts."
There are also many documented cases where even geographical locations are completely different from one ancient manuscript to the next. For instance, in the "Samaritan Pentateuch manuscript," Deuteronomy 27:4 speaks of "mount Gerizim," while in the "Hebrew manuscript" the exact same verse speaks of "mount Ebal." From Deuteronomy 27:12-13 we can see that these are two distinctly different locations. Similarly, Luke 4:44 in some "ancient manuscripts" mentions "Synagogues of Judea," others mention "Synagogues of Galilee."
This is only a sampling, a comprehensive listing would require a book of it's own.
There are countless examples in the Bible where verses of a questionable nature are included in the text without any disclaimer telling the reader that many scholars and translators have serious reservations as to their authenticity. The King James Version of the Bible (Also known as the "Authorized Version"), the one in the hands of the majority of Christendom today, is one of the most notorious in this regard. It gives the reader absolutely no clue as to the questionable nature of such verses. However, more recent translations of the Bible are now beginning to be a little more honest and forthcoming in this regard.
For example, the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, by Oxford Press, has adopted an extremely subtle system of bracketing the most glaring examples of such questionable verses with double square brackets ([[ ]]). It is highly unlikely that the casual reader will realize the true function these brackets serve. They are there to tell the informed reader that the enclosed verses are of a highly questionable nature. Examples of this are the story of the "woman taken in adultery" in John 8:1-11, as well as Mark 16:9-20 (Jesus' resurrection and return), and Luke 23:34 (which, interestingly enough, is there to confirm the prophesy of Isaiah 53:12).....and so forth.
For example, with regard to John 8:1-11, the commentators of this Bible say in very small print at the bottom of the page: "The most ancient authorities lack 7.53-8.11; other authorities add the passage here or after 7.36 or after 21.25 or after Luke 21.38 with variations of text; some mark the text as doubtful." (emphasis added).
With regard to Mark 16:9-20, we are, strangely enough, given a choice of how we would like the Gospel of Mark to end. The commentators have supplied both a "short ending" and a "long ending." Thus, we are given a choice of what we would prefer to be the "inspired word of God".
Once again, at the end of this Gospel in very small text, the commentators say: "Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with verses 9-20. In most authorities, verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful."
Peake's Commentary on the Bible records;
"It is now generally agreed that 9-20 are not an original part of Mk. They are not found in the oldest MSS, and indeed were apparently not in the copies used by Mt. and Lk. A 10th-cent. Armenian MS ascribes the passage to Aristion, the presbyter mentioned by Papias (ap.Eus.HE III, xxxix, 15)."
"Indeed an Armenian translation of St. Mark has quite recently been discovered, in which the last twelve verses of St. Mark are ascribed to Ariston, who is otherwise known as one of the earliest of the Christian Fathers; and it is quite possible that this tradition is correct" Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, F. Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, pp. 7-8
Even at that, these verses are noted as having been narrated differently in different "authorities." For example, verse 14 is claimed by the commentators to have the following words added on to them in some "ancient authorities": "and they excused themselves saying 'This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits. Therefore, reveal your righteousness now' - thus they spoke to Christ and Christ replied to them 'The term of years of Satan's power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, that they may inherit the spiritual and imperishable glory of the righteousness that is in heaven'.".
Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf was one of the most eminent conservative biblical scholars of the nineteenth century. He was also one of the staunchest most adamant defenders of the "Trinity" history has known. One of his greatest lifelong achievements was the discovery of the oldest known Biblical manuscript know to mankind, the "Codex Sinaiticus," from Saint Catherine's Monasteryin Mount Sinai.
One of the most devastating discoveries made from the study of this fourth century manuscript was that the gospel of Mark originally ended at verses 16:8 and not at verse 16:20 as it does today. In other words, the last 12 verses (Mark 16:9 through Mark 16:20) were "injected" by the church into the Bible sometime after the 4th century. Clement of Alexandria and Origen never quoted these verses.
Later on, it was also discovered that the said 12 verses, wherein lies the account of "the resurrection of Jesus," do not appear in codices Syriacus, Vaticanus and Bobiensis. Originally, the "Gospel of Mark" contained no mention of the "resurrection of Jesus" (Mark 16:9-20). At least four hundred years (if not more) after the departure of Jesus, the Church received divine "inspiration" to add the story of the resurrection to the end of this Gospel.
The author of "Codex Sinaiticus" had no doubt that the Gospel of Mark came to an end at Mark 16:8, to emphasize this point we find that immediately following this verse he brings the text to a close with a fine artistic squiggle and the words "The Gospel according to Mark."
Tischendorf was a staunch conservative Christian and as such he managed to casually brush this discrepancy aside since in his estimation the fact that Mark was not an apostle nor an eye witness to the ministry of Jesus made his account secondary to those of the apostles such as Matthew and John. However, as seen elsewhere in this book, the majority of Christian scholars today recognize the writings of Paul to be the oldest of the writings of the Bible. These are closely followed by the "Gospel of Mark" and the "Gospels of Matthew and Luke" are almost universally recognized to have been based upon the "Gospel of Mark." This discovery was the result of centuries of detailed and painstaking studies by these Christian scholars and the details can not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that most reputable Christian scholars today recognize this as a basic indisputable fact.
Today, the translators and publishers of our modern Bibles are beginning to be a little more forthright and honest with their readers. Although they may not simply openly admit that these twelve verses were forgeries of the Church and not the word of God, still, at least they are beginning to draw the reader's attention to the fact that there are two "versions" of the "Gospel of Mark" and then leave the reader to decide what to make of these two "versions."
Now the question becomes "if the Church has tampered with the Gospel of Mark, then did they stop there or is there more to this story?"
As it happens, Tischendorf also discovered that the "Gospel of John" has been heavily reworked by the Church over the ages. For example,
1. It was found that the verses starting from John 7:53 to 8:11 (the story of the woman taken in adultery) are not to be found in the most ancient copies of the Bible available to Christianity today, specifically, codices Sinaiticus or Vaticanus.
2. It was also found that John 21:25 was a later insertion, and that a verse from the gospel of Luke (24:12) that speaks of Peter discovering an empty tomb of Jesus is not to be found in the ancient manuscripts.
(For more on this topic please read 'Secrets of Mount Sinai' by James Bentley, Doubleday, NY, 1985).
Much of the discoveries of Dr. Tischendorf regarding the continuous and unrelenting tampering with the text of the Bible over the ages has been verified by twentieth century science. For example, a study of the Codex Sinaiticus under ultraviolet light has revealed that the "Gospel of John" originally ended at verse 21:24 and was followed by a small tail piece and then the words "The Gospel according to John." However, some time later, a completely different "inspired" individual took pen in hand, erased the text following verse 24, and then added in the "inspired" text of John 21:25 which we find in our Bibles today.
The evidence of tampering goes on and on. For example, in the Codex Sinaiticus the "lord's prayer" of Luke 11:2-4 differs substantially from the version which has reached us through the agency of centuries of "inspired" correction. Luke 11:2-4 in this most ancient of all Christian manuscripts reads:
"Father, Hallowed by 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 everyone that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation."
Further, the "Codex Vaticanus," is another ancient manuscript held by the scholars of Christianity in the same reverent standing as the Codex Sinaiticus. These two fourth century codices are together considered the most ancient copies of the Bible available today. In the codex Vaticanus we can find a version of Luke 11:2-4 even shorter than that of Codex Sinaiticus. In this version even the words "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth." are not to be found.
Well, what has been the official Church position regarding these "discrepancies"? How did the Church decide to handle this situation? Did they call upon all of the foremost scholars of Christian literature to come together in a mass conference in order to jointly study the most ancient Christian manuscripts available to the Church and come to a common agreement as to what was the true original word of God? No!
Well then, did they immediately expend every effort to make mass copies of the original manuscripts and send them out to the Christian world so that they could make their own decisions as to what truly was the original unchanged word of God? Once again, No!
So what did they do? Let us ask Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson.
In his book "Where did we get our Bible?" he writes: "Of the MSS. of Holy Scripture in Greek still existing there are said to be several thousand of varying worth ... Three or four in particular of these old, faded out, and unattractive documents constitute the most ancient and the most precious treasures of the Christian Church, and are therefore of special interest."
First in Rev. Richardson's list is the "Codex Vaticanus" of which he says: "This is probably the most ancient of all Greek MSS. now known to exist. It is designated as Codex 'B.' In 1448, Pope Nicholas V brought it to Rome where it has lain practically ever since, being guarded assiduously by papal officials in the Vatican Library. It's history is brief: Erasmus in 1533 knew of its existence, but neither he nor any of his successors were permitted to study it... becoming quite inaccessible to scholars, till Tischendorfin 1843, after months of delay, was finally allowed to see it for six hours.
"Another specialist, named de Muralt in 1844 was likewise given an aggravating glimpse of it for nine hours. The story of how Dr. Tregelles in 1845 was allowed by the authorities (all unconscious to themselves) to secure it page by page through memorizing the text, is a fascinating one. Dr. Tregelles did it. He was permitted to study the MS. continuously for a long time, but not to touch it or to take notes.
"Indeed, every day as he entered the room where the precious document was guarded, his pockets were searched and pen, paper and ink were taken from him, if he carried such accessories with him. The permission to enter, however, was repeated, until he finally had carried away with him and annotated in his room most of the principle variant readings of this most ancient text. Often, however, in the process, if the papal authorities observed he was becoming too much absorbed in any one section, they would snatch the MS. away from him and direct his attention to another leaf. Eventually they discovered that Tregelles had practically stolen the text, and that the Biblical world knew the secrets of their historic MS.
"Accordingly, Pope Pius IX ordered that it should be photographed and published; and it was, in five volumes which appeared in 1857. But the work was very unsatisfactorily done. About that time Tischendorf made a third attempt to gain access to and examine it. He succeeded, and later issued the text of the first twenty pages.
"Finally in 1889-90, with papal permission, the entire text was photographed and issued in facsimile, and published so that a copy of the expensive quartos was obtainable by, and is now in the possession of all the principle libraries in the biblical world." in "Where did we get our Bible?", Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. Harper and Brothers Publishers, pp.110-112
What were all of the Popes afraid of? What was the Vatican as a whole afraid of? Why was the concept of releasing the text of their most ancient copy of the Bible to the general public so terrifying to them? Why did they feel it necessary to bury the most ancient copies of the inspired word of God in a dark corner of the Vatican never to be seen by outside eyes? Why? What about all of the thousands upon thousands of other manuscripts which to this day remain buried in the darkest depths of the Vatican vaults never to be seen or studied by the general masses of Christendom?
"[And remember] When God took a Covenant from those who were given the Scripture: You shall make it known and clear to mankind, and you shall not to hide it; but they flung it behind their backs, and purchased with it a miserable gain! How evil was that which they purchased!" The noble Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):187
"Say: 'O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds [of what is proper], trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, who misled many, and strayed [themselves] from the straight path.'" The noble Qur'an, Al-Maida(5):77
Another look at Discrepancies
Returning to our study of some of the "discrepancies" to be found between our modern Bibles and between the most ancient copies of the Bible available to the chosen few, we find that the verse of Luke 24:51 contains Luke's alleged account of the final parting of Jesus (pbuh) and how he was "raised up into heaven." However, as seen in previous pages, in the Codex Sinaiticus and other ancient manuscripts the words "and was carried up into heaven" are completely missing. The verse only says: "And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them."
C.S.C. Williams observed, if this omission were correct, "there is no reference at all to the Ascension in the original text of the Gospel."
Some other "inspired" modification of the Church to Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles: Matthew 17:21 is missing in Codex Sinaiticus.
In our modern Bibles, Mark 1:1 reads "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;" however, in this most ancient of all Christian manuscripts, this verse only reads "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ"
Strangely, the very words which are most grating to the Muslim's Qur'an, "the Son of God," are completely missing. Isn't that interesting?
The words of Jesus in Luke 9:55-56 are missing.
The original text of Matthew 8:2 as found in Codex Sinaiticus tells us that a leper asked Jesus to heal him and Jesus "angrily put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean." In our modern Bibles, the word "angrily" is strangely absent.
Luke 22:44 in Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles claim that an angel appeared before Jesus, strengthening him. In Codex Vaticanus, this angel is strangely absent. If Jesus was the "Son of God" then obviously it would be highly inappropriate for him to need an angel to strengthen him. This verse, then, must have been a scribal mistake. Right?
The alleged words of Jesus on the cross "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34) were originally present in the Codex Sinaiticus but was later erased from the text by another editor. Bearing in mind how the Church regarded and treated the Jews in the middle ages, can we think of any reason why this verse might have stood in the way of official Church policy and their "inquisitions"?
John 5:4 is missing from Codex Sinaiticus.
In Mark chapter 9, the words "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." are again missing.
In Matt. 5:22, the words "without cause" are missing in both the codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
Matt. 21:7 in our modern Bibles reads "And [the disciples] brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set [Jesus] thereon." In the original manuscripts, this verse read "and they set [Jesus] upon them," However, the picture of Jesus being placed upon two animals at the same time and being asked to ride them at once was objectionable to some, so this verse was changed to "and they set [Jesus] upon him" (which "him"?). Soon after, the English translation completely avoided this problem by translating it as "thereon."
In Mark 6:11, our modern Bibles contain the words "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." However, these words are not to be found in either of these two most ancient of Christian Biblical manuscripts, having been introduced into the text centuries later.
The words of Matthew 6:13 "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." are not to be found in these two most ancient manuscripts as well as many others. The parallel passages in Luke are also defective.
Matthew 27:35 in our modern Bibles contains the words "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." This passage, once again, is not found according to Rev. Merrill in any Biblical uncial manuscript dating before the ninth century.
1 Timothy 3:16 originally read "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: which was manifest in the flesh.." This was then later (as seen previously), ever so subtly changed to "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…." Thus, the doctrine of the "incarnation" was born.
When is a book an "inspired" book?
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 4:2
Adi ibn Hatim al-Tai'i was a Christian who embraced Islam during the time of Muhammad (pbuh). One day, verse of the Qur'an, Al-Tawba(9):30-31 was recited before him: "And the Jews said: Ezra is the son Allah, and the Christians said: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their own] mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah's curse be upon them. How deluded are they! They took their rabbis and their monks as lords besides Allah, and the Messiah son of Mary, but they were not commanded but to worship One God. There is no God but Him. Be He Glorified from all that they associate with Him!" When Adi heard this verse, he commented: "O messenger of Allah, we did not worship them." The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) replied: "Did they not make matters lawful and unlawful for you?" (He was referring to the power the monks and Rabbis gave themselves because of their claimed divine inspiration to change laws and regulations). Adi replied "Yes, they did!". Muhammad (pbuh) said: "That, then, is the worshipping of them in association with Allah."
If we were to ask a Christian layman: "Where did the Bible in your hands come from?," they would more than likely tell us "from God!"
If you were now to ask him: "How do you know it is from God?
He will reply, "He inspired it to many people who then wrote it down and preserved it for us."
If we now ask: "Are all of these inspired people prophets?"
He will answer: "No, they include both prophets and other faultless 'saints', etc.."
"So these prophets and 'saints' signed their names to these documents?" we would ask.
They would respond No. But the Church knows who wrote them, and when they were written, and has irrefutable proof regarding this matter."
If we were to now ask: "would it be possible for any unscrupulous person who had access to the Bible in the past to modify it's books?"
They would reply: "Of course not! The church has told us that even the much older Old Testament was preserved with such diligent guardianship that they even counted and recorded every single word and every single letter in it. Thus, the church has justly reassured us that these words never have, and never could be, changed by mankind, even by scribal error or by accident."
"Let us now ask a different question" we would continue. "Are the 'New and Old Testaments' in your hands today the same "New and Old Testaments" available to the apostles of Jesus (pbuh) till the present day?" They would answer "Of course! There has always been only one Bible!"
This is the general gist of any such conversation that is held between a Muslim and a Christian layman regarding their Bible, its composition and preservation. However, if we were to ask their SCHOLARS the same set of questions we would be amazed to find a tremendous chasm in the responses supplied by the Christian laypeople as compared to their own Christian scholars.
If we were to go to a Western library and look up the history of the Bible as recorded by their own eminent Christian scholars throughout the ages, we would find that they tell us that the books of the "New Testament" in our possession today were not officially approved into the New Testament "canon" of "inspired" books until many centuries after the departure of Jesus. Tens of generations of Christians literally lived and died after the departure of Jesus (pbuh) never
having known nor seen such a "New Testament" or "Bible" as the one in our possession today.
After the departure of Jesus (pbuh), the apostles and many other people began to write "gospels." Each one of these authors would travel to other lands and be followed by a number of people who would adopt this man's gospel as his "Bible." Now, even the unscrupulous began to write "gospels" and to claim they were from a given apostle or that they themselves were receiving divine inspiration. Many new and innovative teachings began now to be introduced into the religion of Jesus (pbuh). Enmity, hatred and war began to break out between these groups. Each person claimed that they alone held the "true" Gospel of Jesus (pbuh) and no one else. Their beliefs now ran the gamut, from those who believed Jesus (pbuh) to be a mortal messenger of God and nothing more, to those who claimed partial divinity for Jesus (pbuh), to those who claimed Jesus (pbuh) to be a true god, but independent of God himself, to those who called for a "Trinity," to those who claimed that Mary (pbuh) too was a god, to those who believed in two gods, one good and the other evil. This is when the war of the gospels began.
Everyone now cursed and damned everyone else. Christian sects butchered one-another right and left. There were more great debates and councils than you could shake a stick at. However, none of these groups had sufficient might to totally dominate and silence the others for good. They needed an undefeatable ally, so they began to look to the Roman empire for support. The Roman empire was a pagan empire, however, it was the dominant "superpower" of the time. Anyone who could enlist it's aid would have an unconquerable ally at their side and would themselves be undefeatable. On the Roman side, Emperor Constantine was greatly troubled by the swelling ranks of his Christian subjects and the great division among their ranks which did not bode well for the continued stability of his empire.
Most of these fringe sects now began to fade into insignificance and the matter was now left between those who believed in the Unity of God and those who believed in a "Trinity." The Roman empire's support fluctuated between these two groups for a long time until the Trinitarian's finally gained the upper hand and all but wiped the Unitarians off the face of the earth. They selected and collected the "truly inspired" gospels into one volume which later became the "New Testament." They burned all other gospels. Many sweeping campaigns if "Inquisition" were launched. Everyone found possessing any of these "false" Gospels was put to death and his Gospel burned.
This state of affairs continued for many centuries and many people were convicted of heresy and burned to death at the stake for a great variety of reasons. Yet others had their land and property confiscated and were imprisoned. Physical torture was casually used in order to extract a confession of guilt which would then be used to justify a verdict of death by burning. Some of the methods used to extract a confession of guilt were the stretching of limbs on the rack, burning with live coals, and the strappado (a vertical rack).
Denial of the charges without counterproof or refusal to confess resulted in the most severe punishments such as life imprisonment or execution and total confiscation of property. The number of those who fell victim to these inquisitions are far to numerous to list here. Examples of these people include the philosopher Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Joan of Arc, and the religious order of knights called the Templars among countless hundreds of thousands of others.
If the Trinitarians did not have the power to burn these people at the stake during their lifetime, then they would exhume their bodies after their death and burn them after their death (e.g. John Wycliffe).
In the end, over twelve million people were put to death by the Church inquisitions (Apology for Muhammad and the Qur'an, John Davenport).
The inquisitions reached their height around the middle of the fifteenth century in a massive and vicious persecution campaign the major targets of which were the Marranos (converts from Judaism) and Moriscos (converts from Islam), many of whom were suspected of secretly adhering to their original faiths. When things began to quiet down a little, the victor's historians and philosophers wrote their history books explaining how they managed to overcome the wicked, to defeat the blasphemers, and to burn the devils, sorcerers, and witches at the stake. These are the books which have had the greatest influence on the Western history books we have in our hands today.
Whenever a scholar of Christianity would stumble upon the truth and begin to write about it his works would invariably be destroyed (e.g. Sir Isaac Newton, the 16th century Spaniard Michael Servetus, etc.). In all cases, it was recognized that there was no need to disprove the author's evidence or refute it, rather, it was sufficient to muzzle the opposition, burn their books, extract a confession from them under duress, and expel them from society or kill them.
Even the Popes themselves would sometimes recognize the falsehood of the "Trinity" and the fact that it was a later fabrication of mankind. One of these popes, Honorius, was officially cursed forty eight years after his death by the Synod which was held in Istanbul in 680 C.E.
Sometimes it is an individual's own silence which proves to be the most deafening proclamation. As we saw in the previous chapters, for the period of a century and more the only "Scriptures" used by the first Jewish followers of Jesus were the Greek Septuagint translations (commonly designated LXX) of the Hebrew Old Testament, "the Law and the Prophets", supplemented by various Jewish apocrypha and the Sibylline Oracles (150 BC to AD 180); these were the only "authorities" appealed to by the early "Church Fathers" when preaching their new faith. Nowhere do they quote the books which we know today as the "New Testament."
Naturally, if the "history" of the Trinitarian Church regarding their chosen Gospels and what are claimed to be the inspired writings of Jesus' first Apostles were true, and these writings had indeed been accepted as authoritative at that time, then they would have been the most precious and potent documents of preaching for their doctrine. Undoubtedly, they would have spoken of nothing else, but would have quoted them and appealed to their authority at every turn as they have been doing through the centuries since. But, for some 150 years, little or nothing besides the Old Testament and these Oracles were known or quoted. As said by the great critic, Solomon Reinach, "With the exception of Papias, who speaks of a narrative by Mark, and a collection of sayings of
Jesus, no Christian writer of the first half of the second century (i.e., up to 150 C.E.) quotes the
Gospels or their reputed authors." Orpheus, Reinach, p. 218
But let us back up a little and study how and when the "inspired" books of the Bible were incorporated into the Christian "canon" of the Bible. We have already given a brief introduction in section 1.2.5 onwards of how the current Gospels of the Bible were introduced as "authentic." Let us now have a very brief look at some of the details. The following was obtained from the book "Izhar ul Haqq" among other references:
In the city of Nicea (modern: Iznik, Turkey), in the year 325 AD, a great conference of Christian theologians and religious scholars was convened under the order of the Emperor Constantine to examine and define the status of these countless Christian Gospels. After a thorough investigation it was decided that the Epistle of Jude was genuine and believable. The rest of our current books of the Bible were declared doubtful. This was explicitly mentioned by Saint Jerome in the introduction to his book. St. Jerome, of course, was a Christian scholar and a great philosopher. He was born in 340 AD He translated the Bible into Latin. He was a famous bibliographer and wrote many books on the Bible.
Before the year 325 C.E., it is known that the Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as canonical in the churches of Alexandria. It is known to have been circulated in the first two centuries after Christ (pbuh) from the writings of Irenaeus (130-200AD). After this council, four Gospels were selected out of a minimum of three hundred available and the rest, including the Gospel of Barnabas, were ordered utterly destroyed. All Gospels written in Hebrew were also ordered destroyed.
In the year 364 AD, another council was held in Laodicea for the same purpose. This conference of Christian scholars and theologians not only confirmed the decision of the council of Nicea regarding the authenticity of the Epistle of Jude but also declared that the following six books must also be added to the list of genuine and believable books: The Book of Esther, The Epistle Of James, The Second Epistle of Peter, The Second and Third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews. This conference pronounced their decision to the public. The book of Revelations, however, remained out of the list of the acknowledged books in both the councils.
In 397 another great conference was held called the Council of Carthage. Augustine, the celebrated Christian scholar, was among the one hundred and twenty six learned participants. The members of this council confirmed the decisions of the two previous Councils and also added the following books to the list of the divine books: The Book of the Songs of Solomon, The Book of Tobit, The Book of Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, and The First and Second Books of Maccabees.
At the same time the members of this council decided that the book of Baruch was a part of the book of Jeremiah because Baruch was the deputy of Jeremiah. Therefore they did not include the name of this book separately in the list.
Three more conferences were held after this in Trullo, Florence and Trent (1545-63). The members of these meetings confirmed the decision of the Council of Carthage. The last two councils, however, wrote the name of the book of Baruch separately.
After these councils nearly all the books which had previously been doubtful among Christians were now included in the list of acknowledged books.
The status of these books remained unchanged until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The Protestants repudiated the decisions of the councils and declared that there are only 66 truly "inspired" books of God, and not 73 as claimed by the Catholics.
The following books were to be rejected: The Book of Baruch, The Book of Tobit, The Letter of Jude, The Songs of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, and The First and Second Books of Maccabees. They excluded these books from the list of acknowledged books.
The Protestants also rejected the decision of their forbears regarding some chapters of the book of Esther. This book consists of 16 chapters. They decided that the first nine chapters and three verses from chapter ten were to be rejected.
They based their decision on the following six reasons:
1. These works were considered to be false even in the original Hebrew and Chaldaean languages which were no longer available.
2. The Jews did not acknowledge them as revealed books.
3. All the Christians have not acknowledged them as believable.
4. Jerome said that these books were not reliable and were insufficient to prove and support the doctrines of the faith.
5. Klaus has openly said that these books were recited but not in every place.
6. Eusebius specifically said in section 22 of his fourth book that these books have been tampered with, and changed. In particular the Second Book of Maccabees.
It now becomes apparent that books which had been lost in the original and which only existed in translation were erroneously acknowledged by thousands of theologians as divine revelation. This state of affairs leads a non-Christian reader to distrust the unanimous decisions of Christian scholars of both the Catholic and the Protestant persuasions. The followers of Catholic faith still believe in these books in blind pursuance of their forebears.
It is a prerequisite of believing in a certain book as divinely revealed that it is proved through infallible arguments that the book in question was revealed through a prophet and that it has been conveyed to us precisely in the same order without any change through an uninterrupted chain of narrators. It is not at all sufficient to attribute a book to a certain prophet on the basis of suppositions and conjectures. Unsupported assertions made by one or a few sects of people should not be, and cannot be, accepted in this connection.
We have already seen how Catholic and Protestant scholars differ on the question of the authenticity of some of these books.
There are yet more books of the Bible which have been rejected by Christians. They include the Book of Revelation, the Book of Genesis, the Book of Ascension, the Book of Mysteries, the Book of Testament and the Book of Confession which are all ascribed to the Prophet Moses. Similarly a fourth Book of Ezra is claimed to be from the Prophet Ezra and a book concerning Isaiah's ascension and revelation are ascribed to him.
In addition to the known book of Jeremiah, there is another book attributed to him. There are numerous sayings which are claimed to be from the Prophet Habakkuk. There are many songs which are said to be from the Prophet Solomon. There are more than 70 books, other than the present ones, of the new Testament, which are ascribed to Jesus, Mary, the apostles, and their disciples.
In this day and age, some Christian scholars are even making the case for the authenticity of the Gospel of Thomas as the "fifth" Gospel (see "The Five Gospels," written over six years by 24 Christian scholars from some of the USA and Canada's most prestigious universities)
The Christians of this age have claimed that these books are false and forgeries. The Greek Church, Catholic church and the Protestant Church are unanimous on this point. Similarly the Greek Church claims that the third book of Ezra is a part of the Old Testament and believes it to have been written by the Prophet Ezra while the Protestant and Catholic Churches have declared it false and fabricated.
Groliers encyclopedia says under the heading "New Testament, canon": "The process by which the canon of the New Testament was formed began in the 2d century, probably with a collection of ten letters of Paul. Toward the end of that century, Irenaeus argued for the unique authority of the portion of the Canon called the Gospels. Acceptance of the other books came gradually. The church in Egypt used more than the present 27 books, and the Syriac-speaking churches fewer. The question of an official canon became urgent during the 4th century. It was mainly through the influence of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, and because Jerome included the 27 books in his Latin version of the Bible called the Vulgate, that the present canon came to be accepted.."
Notice how the writings of Paul were the first to be accepted by the Trinitarian church. All other gospels were then either accepted or destroyed based upon their conformance to the teachings of Paul.
As mentioned previously, Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf was one of the most eminent conservative Biblical scholars of the nineteenth century. One of his greatest lifelong achievements was his discovery of one of the oldest known Biblical manuscripts know to mankind, the "Codex Sinaiticus," with the monks of Saint Catherine's Monasteryin Mount Sinai. In this oldest known copy of the Bible known to humanity we find contained two gospels which would later be discarded by a more enlightened generation.
They are "The Epistle of Barnabas" (not to be confused with the Gospel of Barnabas), and "The Shepherd of Hermas." Today, of course, neither of these two books is to be found in our modern Bibles. As also seen in section 1.2, many later "insertions" of the church were exposed through the study of this manuscript. However, following in the tradition of true conservative Christian scholars before him, Tischendorf managed to apply 12,000 "corrections" to this manuscript's 110,000 lines before he was through "transcribing" it (see "Secrets of Mount Sinai", James Bentley, Doubleday, NY, 1986, p. 95)
We have already seen in chapter one how "St. Paul" all but totally obliterated the religion of Jesus (pbuh) based upon the authority of his alleged "visions". We then saw how his teachings were based more upon his personal philosophy and beliefs than any attempt to cite words or actions of Jesus (pbuh) himself (e.g. Galatians 2).
We further saw how his followers slaughtered all Christians who would not forsake the teachings of the apostles for his teachings and how he was later made the "majority author" of the Bible and countless authentic gospels were burned and labeled apocrypha by his followers.
Remember, "St. Paul" is claimed to be the author of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phillippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.
"All the evidence indicates that the words of Jesus were authoritative in the Church from the first, and this makes it the more remarkable that such scanty attention is paid to the words or works of Jesus in the earliest Christian writings, Paul's letters, the later Epistles, Hebrews, Revelation, and even Acts have little to report about them... Papias (ca. AD 130), the first person to actually name a written gospel, illustrates the point. Even though he defends Mark's gospel (Euseb. Hist. III.xxxix.15-16), and had himself appended a collection of Jesus tradition to his 'Interpretation of the Oracles of the Lord' (Euseb. Hist. III.xxxix.2-3), his own clear preference was for the oral tradition concerning Jesus, and the glimpses that Eusebius provides of Papias' Jesus tradition give no hint of his dependence on Mark. Neither do the more frequent citations of Jesus in the APOSTOLIC FATHERS, largely 'synoptic' in character show much dependence on our written gospels" in The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Supplementary Volume, p. 137
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible contains much more revealing information in this regard, far too much to reproduce here. The reader is strongly encouraged to locate a copy in their local library and read the details.
The popularly accepted dates for the authorship of the current books of the Bible are approximately as follows:
Approx. AD Event / Document
30 Crucifixion (Ascension) of Jesus
50 First Epistle of Paul
62 Last Epistle of Paul
65-70 Mark's Gospel
70 Epistle to Hebrews
80 Luke's Gospel
85-90 Matthew's Gospel
90-100 John's Gospel and First Epistle
100 I & II Timothy and Titus
Uncertainty about James I & II, Peter, John and Jude does not allow historians to estimate their origin dates. (See "The Early Church And The New Testament," Irene Allen, 1953).
We begin to see the degree to which our current religion of "Christianity" is based more on the teachings and writings of Paul than anything else. The Gospels which are popularly believed to have been written first were in actuality written long after the writings of Paul. Now Christian scholars are even beginning to uncover extensive evidence that these Gospels were not even written by their claimed authors.
The more Christian scholars study the Bible, the more it becomes painfully apparent that what is popularly referred to today as "Christianity" should more appropriately be named "Paulanity."
Even when a book is claimed to be truly "inspired" we still find that the Church cannot say with 100% assuredness who wrote this "inspired" book. As mentioned there, the authors of the RSV Bible by Collins say that the author of "Kings" is "Unknown," the book of Isaiah is "Mainly credited to Isaiah. Parts may have been written by others."
Ecclesiastics: "Author. Doubtful, but commonly assigned to Solomon."
Ruth: "Author. Not definitely known, perhaps Samuel." and on and on.
Is this how a truly unbiased mind defines "inspired by God"? You be the judge.
"Verily, those who conceal that which Allah has sent down of the Book and purchase a small gain therewith, they eat into their bellies nothing but fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and theirs will be a painful torment. Those are they who purchase error at the price of guidance, and torment at the price of pardon. What boldness (they show) for the Fire!" The noble Qur'an, Al-Baqarah(2):174-175