Time magazine reports that the "new" old Bible they found shows that the Bible was subjected to at least 27,000 human corrections. So much for the infallible word of God.
Erasures, additions, corrections, substitutions — Sinaiticus reveals a Bible-in-process. Between the 4th and 12th centuries, various scribes changed earlier colleagues' bad spelling. Of more theological significance, the Gospel of Mark ends early. Sinaiticus even contains two books that didn't make the later canon cut, the Epistle of Apostle Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. The changes are significant, according to British Library curator Scot McKendrick, because "the recognition is that Scripture, as it comes down to us, is transmitted by human hand."
The three manuscript powerhouses behind the modern Bible are Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus. Like Sinaiticus, the Vaticanus codex dates to the 4th century, with Alexandrinus transcribed 100 years later. Vaticanus was preserved and overwritten in the 15th century. Alexandrinus may be the best preserved. But only Sinaiticus has the prized complete New Testament. The books' different ordering, contents and appearances again testify to the Bible's evolutionary history.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
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As long as they left in the stuff about "gay is bad" and "Jesus prefers low taxes", all is good.
There's actually a lot of scary stuff in the Bible -- as soon as the Israelites got to run their own operation, their first national policy was genocide and ethnic cleansing.
In particular, men turned for the satisfaction of personal desires to the mystery group of religions, which were indeed very ancient cults but had hitherto been comparatively insignificant. Most of them came to the Graeco-Roman world from the Orient, with the authority of a venerable past, with an air of deep mystery, and with rites that were most impressive. But the chief reason for their popularity at this time was the satisfactory way in which they ministered to the needs of the individual man. Completely denationalized and liberated from racial prejudices, they welcomed men of all races to their membership. They were genuinely democratic brotherhoods in which rich and poor, slave and master, Greek and barbarian met on a parity. Moreover, they touched the common life of men intimately and in a variety of ways. It is impressive when one reads the references to these cults in secular literature to note the complete faith that ordinary folk had in their mystery gods and how they sought for their divine help and guidance in matters of health and love and business and in all the other multifarious concerns of everyday life.
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