Friend says bible has changed from original

A friend who is Sheikh says the bible has been corrupted and changed over time can some people offer proof it hasn’t I am going to share this link with him


We have manuscripts spread from East to West that match what we have now in the Greek. Also the Early Church Father quotes.

If anything the burden of proof is on your friend who is making the claim.

Can he offer proof that it has been?

I don’t know about corrupted, but aren’t the two versions of Mark evidence that somehow or other it has changed?

Tell your friend he’s going to have to back up his evidence that the Bible has been corrupted because it is simply a fantasy. The Bible is very much considered reliable and is actually 99.5% textually pure, more than any other ancient document. What kind of links are you looking for?

Craig Blomberg is a well respected scholar and wrote his book on the reliability of the gospels:

He rejects any notion that the New Testament is somehow corrupted. Ben Witherington III is another prolific scholar who has been notable in opposing a lot of the theories advanced by Bart Ehrman, who worked with the great Bruce Metzger on New Testament textual criticism. Here is his blog:

Here is a short video which essentially synthesizes evidence on the accuracy of the New Testament:

I know it’s not much but unfortunately the internet does not have much unless you get access to some very good university’s database. Mine doesn’t have much, otherwise I would have given you that, too. I would highly recommend reading Blomberg’s book, though. I have a copy of it and I’ve been reading it little by little. It’s a lot of information to absorb but it’s excellent. I hope this helps strengthen your faith even a little.

There aren’t “two versions” of Mark. Are you referring to “Secret Mark”? Because that doesn’t really exist and there is no copy lying around. The early Church was very meticulous on what books it was going to accept into the canon. Revelation almost didn’t make it because it was felt it may have been written “too late.”

There is this incorrect notion (and please don’t take this as meaning you, I am saying in general) that the Church is hiding some great conspiracy about the books of the New Testament that it canonized but it’s all really nonsense. All those books like Judas, Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, etc all existed openly. They simply did not adhere to the faith that the Church had received long before these books even existed were known to be Gnostic writings.

The traditions that assigned the authorships of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John developed extremely early, and were affirmed by bishops who were either direct disciples of these apostles or disciples of their immediate disciples. Given how strong the oral tradition was in Middle Eastern cultures at this time period, and the extremely early dates in which these texts were compiled, it is a historical nanosecond. The first biography of Alexander the Great of Macedon that we have dates to well over four hundred years after his death. Historians consider it reliable. The New Testament however has thousands of copies and the earliest gospel, Mark dates to approximately forty years after Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s amazing! This is not even considering the Paulian epistles, which are believed to be even older, or the early Christian creeds we see that the apostle Paul peppered in his text, which are dated to 35 AD!

No, no, I’m not into secrets. I was referring to the short and long endings. At least two versions, aren’t there?

It depends on which part of the Bible you’re talking about.

There is a lot of nuance in the Hebrew that is completely lost in any translation (Latin, English, or otherwise), so in that sense, any exit from the Hebrew is going to be some sort of “corruption.”

Furthermore, it is my understanding that the official canon of the Bible wasn’t officially settled until the fifth century (and all the Christian churches still don’t use exactly the same canon). So in that sense, too, the Bible did change over time.

But without knowing what exactly your friend was referring to, it’s very difficult to dispute his claim. The Bible is a big book, one that has received influence and input from a lot of people over the course of many centuries. Just by its nature, it’s something that has been in flux for a long time. But just because it had been in a state of change that doesn’t mean that it’s “wrong” per se. You just need to have an understanding of what you are reading.

Irenaeus quotes the long ending in the year 177 so it’s likely that it was common in some manuscripts. A theologian like him wouldn’t have quoted it if he didn’t know the history behind it.

Mark is very short, it’s likely he wrote his Gospel more than once, or the long ending was torn off a copy which was commonplace.

I spent some time in theology classes in college, but I am by no means an expert.
The bible has been translated a lot. I had a Methodist Minister tell me that Barbabas was added into The Passion later on.

Also another non biased Anthropologist / Computer Scientist/ Engineer, who was a christian scientist by faith. Teaching, had mentioned that it is speculated that Christ was not a Nazarene. Do not forget. These where testimonies, they where not written down as things where taking place.

However with that being said, I can not remember exactly what the Sheiks practice.
I just remember the dagger, bracer, and stance on hair cuts.

Other holy books, such as the Quoran or BOM. was “Translated” or “Written down”
by one person. So; of course there are no changes in those books.

Muhammad testified that, the angle Gabriel, had revealed to him the Qur’an
centuries before Joseph smith, had his holy book.

So, Of course, the bible has different changes over time, but what the opposition will not tell you is that, their “Correct book” was written often times by just one person through revelations. Not, multiple testimonies, as such is the case of the NT.

My opinion anyway, and how I normally stand my ground. I’m not an expert, but I can keep people on their toes, if I need. to.

Since manuscript to manuscript has various readings, even some different passages, we have no scholarly way to prove which manuscript of the various renderings IS what the original author actually wrote.

There are some very distinct variations between manuscript to manuscript…all we really have are copies of copies of copies of copies of copies, we have no “original” manuscripts.

There are more variations between manuscripts than there are words in the NT.

It is a weighty thing for a biblical translator to determine which of the various differing manuscripts truly reflect the original intent of the author.

The truth is the only originals we have are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Everything else has been transcribed, which is prone to much error over time, or translated, and that is more artistic than scientific. And the more translations and paraphrasing, the more removed we are from the originals.

Ah, now I see what you mean.

Yes it is true there does exist a debate among scholars with regards to “long ending” Mark and “short.” I wouldn’t go so far as to claim they are two different versions, but I can understand where you would get that.

The longer version has been traditionally included, and as dronald mentioned, it has been quoted very early so it was certainly floating around. Bruce Metzger in his textual criticism was convinced that Mark ended at 16:8 (“short ending”) where the women flee afraid. But if I recall correctly (and someone please do correct me if I’m wrong), he was open to the possibility that there was a longer ending that was somehow lost over the centuries. The primary reason being is that in the earliest complete manuscripts we have available, Mark ends at 16:8. However, it is also the case that the overwhelming majority of manuscripts include the disputed passage.

I’m not too worried about the omission of that passage either way, because Mark very clearly states that there was a resurrection. Even if 9-20 isn’t specific to Mark, it is a part of an extremely early tradition that recounts what happened after the resurrection. At the very least it is an additional confirmation of the tradition that already existed and confirmed by the other gospels. Paul speaks of this tradition in his writings:

"For what* I received I passed on to you** as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."* (1 Corinthians 15:4-8)

I’ll bet money that the oral tradition Paul is referring to here (“received”) is even older than the gospel of Mark itself. These all point to the same, consistent story. If anything, if Mark 16:9-20 is something separate altogether, it is yet another piece of evidence confirming the New Testament accounts.

Not necessarily.

There was a very strong oral tradition that existed throughout the Middle East, including the Jewish culture. Rabbis were known for committing the entire Old Testament to memory. Today we see Islamic schools in which boys memorize the entire Qur’an. Memorizing little books like Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John would have been fairly easy by comparison.

I also would say that the Dead Sea scrolls do not constitute “original” ones. But that doesn’t matter. The oldest copy of the Illiad is centuries removed from the original story. This is true with a lot of ancient writings. If we relied on having the originals, we’d probably have to dismiss most of ancient history. Historians do not work like that. This is why we rely on the copies, because they attest to the work. There are far more copies of the New Testament available than there are of any other work of antiquity. And since scholars would not reject the Illiad or the works of Tacitus or Caesar’s works on the invasion of Gaul, then they must necessarily embrace the New Testament narrative. It’s wonderful to know how our Christian brothers who came before us so faithfully preserved and copied the Bible so that we might enjoy it today.

I don’t disagree with you. The monks preserved it well at that, including the works of the Roman writers.

Very interesting to hear about how historians investigate the veracity of historical documents. The highlighted part was very educational, at least for me. Thank you.

What about

The Dead Sea scrolls
Codex sinacatus

Don’t both of them offer evidence that it hasn’t changed

Yes, you’re actually correct and this is what a lot of people don’t get. There’s actually a science to it called textual criticism which has been undertaken by Daniel B Wallace. It’s not just the sinacatus and the vaticanus; it’s thousands of fragments and Early Church Father quotes.

There’s no reason to believe the NT has been changed; a more valid objection would be that the NT had some false or exaggerated claims in the first place. Then we must argue for the trustworthiness of the Apostles.

Here’s a link to the complete scanned Codex Sinaiticus. It is a remarkable website!

I have no idea what kind of religion ‘Sheikh’ is; but I’m sure that even in his religion, the burden of proof would lie with the person making the claim, no?

There are two endings to Mark (long and short). My NAB has BOTH endings in the Gospel of Mark. I suppose both are included “just to be sure”; but NOTHING in either ending changes the message contained in the Gospel - doctrinal or otherwise.

It’s pretty funny that we’re discussing the long and short endings of Mark today… Have any of you seen “Bible Hunters” on the Smithsonian Channel? I had that on this morning and they were discussing that. Very fascinating.

I did not know that, dronald. Thank you for sharing that.

I agree 100%.

While the Faith is founded on the Christ’s Teachings and His Redemptive Sacrifice on the Cross; we MUST have trust in the Apostles that and their writings that the Scriptures are accurate and true.

I suppose one could say that Christians need a “Trinity of Faith”, so to speak…

  1. God exists.
  2. His only Son walked among us, taught, died, and was Resurrected.
  3. The words and deeds of Jesus and the Early Church were ACCURATELY recorded and passed on down through the ages…

ANY Christian MUST have faith in all three of these tenets, wouldn’t you say? A lack of belief in any one of these changes EVERYTHING.

In my humble opinion, as with so many things, the Bible is one of the things that requires FAITH on our part.

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