Citations

 

Chapter 5 - Ancient Manuscripts, Modern Bibles, and The Da Vinci Code

 

[885] 1 Kings 4:26 (King James Version)

 

[886] 2 Chronicles 9:25 (King James Version)

 

[887] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875.

 

Page 21 states that "perhaps" 19 out of 20 ancient copying errors are "purely of a verbal kind" and are only worthy of note to "philologists and grammarians."

 

Pages 23-24: "No parts of ancient books have suffered so much from errors of inadvertency as those that relate to numbers; for as one numeral letter was easily mistaken for another, and as neither the sense of the passage, not the rules of orthography, not of syntax, suggested the genuine reading, when once an error had arisen, it would most often be perpetuated, without remedy."

 

[888] Life Application Study Bible: New King James Version. General editor: Bruce B. Barton. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. First published in 1988.

 

1 Kings 4:26 cites the figure of "fortyh thousand," and note "h" states: "Following the Masoretic Text and most other authorities; some manuscripts of the Septuagint read four (compare 2 Chronicles 9:25)."

 

NOTE: The Terms "Masoretic Text" and "Septuagint" will be explained later.

 

[889] Ancient Work: Antiquities of the Jews. By Flavius Josephus. Translated by Louis H. Feldman. Loeb Classical Library: Josephus, Volume 9. Harvard University Press, 1965. Book 20, Section 267.

 

[890] Web Page: "The Imperial Index: The Rulers of the Roman Empire." An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors, Updated July 21, 2002. http://www.roman-emperors.org/impindex.htm

 

[891] Article: "Paleography." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

Help in dating is offered by changes in styles of handwriting and variations from area to area. Abbreviations in texts likewise help in dating and localization. … Moreover, few books were dated, the dated title page being nonexistent in medieval works, though sometimes a final paragraph, the colophon, supplies a date with the scribe's name and place of work. … In the absence of dates, inferences are drawn from handwriting, use of abbreviations, and internal evidence.

 

[892] Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004. The section entitled "Texts and versions" states:

 

Paleography, a science of dating manuscripts by typological analysis of their scripts, is the most precise and objective means known for determining the age of a manuscript. Script groups belong typologically to their generation; and changes can be noted with great accuracy over relatively short periods of time. Dating of manuscript material by a radioactive-carbon test requires that a small part of the material be destroyed in the process; it is less accurate than dating from paleography.

 

[893] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875. Page 183:

 

For the purpose of establishing the antiquity, genuineness and integrity of the scriptures, no other proof need be adduced than that which is afforded by the ancient versions now extant. When accordant translations of the same writings, in several unconnected languages, and in languages which have long ceased to be vernacular, are in existence, every other kind of evidence may be regarded as superfluous.

 

[894] Entry: "Bible." Smith's Bible Dictionary. By William Smith. A.J. Holman & Co., 1884.

 

"The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, a Shemitic language, except that parts of the books of Ezra (Ezra 5:8; 6:12; 7:12-26) and of Daniel (Daniel 2:4-7,28) and one verse in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 10:11) were written in the Chaldee language [Aramaic]."

 

[895] Article: "Old Testament." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"Except for a few passages in Aramaic, the Old Testament was written originally in Hebrew during the period from 1200 to 100 BC."

 

[896] Life Application Study Bible: New King James Version. General editor: Bruce B. Barton. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. First published in 1988.

 

The "Vital Statistics" section for each book of the Bible provides dates when written. The earliest books of the Old Testament are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which are dated between 1450 and 1406 B.C. The dating of the Book of Job is unknown, but may be the oldest book of the Old Testament. The most recent books are Malachi and First/Second Chronicles, which are dated to 430 B.C.

 

[897] Book: The Dead Sea Scrolls. By Millar Burrows. Viking Press, 1955.

 

Page 302: "Old, worn-out manuscripts were discarded…. The result is that no Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament older than the ninth century A.D. have been preserved…."

 

[898] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 23: "More than six thousand manuscripts belonging to the group of [the Masoretic text] are known."

 

NOTE: The term "Masoretic text" is explained in the citation below.

 

[899] Article: "Masoretic Text." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

This article notes that the word "Masoretic" stems from the Hebrew word meaning "tradition." It defines the Masoretic text as the "traditional Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible" and states, "The Masoretic work enjoyed an absolute monopoly for 600 years, and experts have been astonished at the fidelity of the earliest printed version (late 15th century) to the earliest surviving codices (late 9th century)."

 

[900] Article: "Dead Sea Scrolls." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"Though the documents themselves date from the mid-3rd century BC to AD 68, the majority were composed during the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. The oldest manuscripts are biblical."

 

[901] Book: The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. By Geza Vermes. Penguin Press, 1997.

 

Pages 10-11 state that "all of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures are extant save Esther, the absence of which may be purely accidental."

 

[902] Book: Essential Guide to Bible Versions. By Philip Comfort. Tyndale House Publishers, 2000.

 

Page 30: "Due to natural decay, most of the surviving ancient manuscripts are fragmentary and difficult to read."

 

[903] Book: The Dead Sea Scrolls. By Millar Burrows. Viking Press, 1955.

 

Page 303: "The St. Marks manuscript of Isaiah is the only one of the scrolls that contains a whole book of the Bible…." 

 

[904] Book: Essential Guide to Bible Versions. By Philip Comfort. Tyndale House Publishers, 2000.

 

Page 26. "It is dated to [about] 100 B.C."

 

NOTE: The callout for this Scroll is 1QIsaa.

 

[905] Book: The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. By Geza Vermes. Penguin Press, 1997. Seventh edition. First published in 1962.

 

Page 15: "Before 1947, the oldest Hebrew text of the whole of Isaiah was the Ben Asher codex from Cairo dated to 895 C.E., as against the complete Isaiah Scroll from Cave 1, which is about a millennium older."

 

[906] Article: "Samaritans." Smith's Bible Dictionary (electronic edition). By William Smith. Revised and edited by F.N. and M.A. Peloubet. Thomas Nelson, 1997.

 

"The law (i.e., the five books of Moses) [these are first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers Deuteronomy, also known as the Torah or Pentateuch] was their sole code; for they rejected every other book in the Jewish canon."

 

[907] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 82 states that the texts of the Samaritan Bible "were written in the 'early' Hebrew script…." {The pages that follow explain the difficulty of dating these texts.}

 

Page 83: "The earliest known manuscripts of [the Samaritan text] were written in the Middle Ages."

 

[908] Article: "Septuagint." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

Analysis of the language has established that the Torah, or Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), was translated near the middle of the 3rd century BC and that the rest of the Old Testament was translated in the 2nd century BC. The name Septuagint (from the Latin septuaginta, "70") was derived later from the legend that there were 72 translators, 6 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, who worked in separate cells, translating the whole, and in the end all their versions were identical.

 

[909] Book: The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church. By Roger Beckwith. Eerdmans Publishing, 1985. Pages 20- 21:

 

[The Septuagint] is the earliest extant translation of the Old Testament. Aristobulus [wrote] that the standard Greek translation of the Pentateuch was made in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus at the suggestion of Demetrius of Phalerum.18 The same story appears in a much more elaborate, and certainly unhistorical form, in the letter of Aristeas, which, it now seems is later than the time of Aristobulus. Aristobulus's brief statement is thus independent of Aristeas, and though it is not wholly without historical difficulties, it shows what was believed about 160 BC (and believed so firmly that it could be asserted in a work addressed to the Ptolemy of the day), namely, that the Septuagint Pentateuch had been translated about 100 years before…. [It] is consequently the oldest datable Jewish work in Greek … and it originated in Alexandria. … Greek translations of many of the other books of the Old Testament probably followed the Pentateuch quite quickly, and by late second century BC the translator of Ecclesiasticus, in his prologue, can refer to Greek versions of all three sections of the Hebrew Bible. …

 

18 The extract containing this statement is found in Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel 13.12.

 

[910] Article: "Septuagint." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

The text of the Septuagint is contained in a few early, but not necessarily reliable, manuscripts. The best known of these are the Codex Vaticanus (B) and the Codex Sinaiticus (S), both dating from the 4th century AD, and the Codex Alexandrinus (A) from the 5th century. There are also numerous earlier papyrus fragments and many later manuscripts.

 

[911] Book: Essential Guide to Bible Versions. By Philip Comfort. Tyndale House Publishers, 2000.

 

Page 75: "Codex Sinaiticus contains the entire Old Testament, and the entire New Testament…. Most scholars date it ca. [to about] 350–375."

 

[912] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875. Pages 183-184:

 

Thus it is that, independently of the original text, the Old Testament exists in the Chaldee [Aramaic] paraphrases or Targums; in the Septuagint, or Greek version; in the translation of Aquila, of Symmachus, and of Theodosian; in the Syriac and the Latin, or Vulgate versions; in the Arabic and the Ethiopic; not to mention others of later date.

 

[913] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937 (Edited by Paul Harvey).

 

NOTE: The chronological table on page 607 dates the earliest classical literature to about 700 B.C.

 

[914] Book: The Cambridge History of Classical Literature. Volume 1. Edited by P.E. Easterling and B.M. W. Knox. Cambridge University Press, 1985.

 

Page 714: "[L]ittle of what was written in Greek after the middle of the third century A.D. can be considered 'classical' in any sense of that elastic term, and most of it hardly qualifies as 'literature' at all."

 

[915] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875.

 

Page 183: "In this respect a comparison between the classic authors and the Scriptures can barely be instituted; for scarcely anything that deserves to be called a translation of those writers—executed at a very early period after their first publication, is extant."

 

[916] Book: The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M.C. Howatson. Oxford University Press, 1989. First published in 1937 (Edited by Paul Harvey)

 

Page 559: "The manuscripts in which the works of Greek and Latin literature are preserved for the most part date from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries AD…. [T]hey are thus at many removes from the author's autographs."

 

[917] Ancient Work: History of the Peloponnesian War. By Thucydidies. Translated by Charles Forster Smith. Heinemann, 1928. First published in 1919. Volume 1.

 

Page ix states that Thucydidies was born "somewhere around 472 B.C."

 

Page xi: "It seems reasonable to assume that he was not alive in 396 B.C."

 

Page xxi lists 7 manuscripts, the oldest of which date to the 11th century.

 

[918] Ancient Work: The Gallic War. By Julius Caesar. Translated by H.J. Edwards. Harvard University Press, 1958. First published in 1917.

 

Page ix states Caesar was assassinated in the year 44 B.C. {Ergo, this is the latest this work could have been written.}

 

Page xv: "It is held by some scholars that the first seven books were composed in the winter of 52-51 B.C., and published in early 51."

 

Page xvii lists 6 manuscripts, the oldest of which date to the 9th century.

 

[919] Ancient Work: The Histories. By Polybius. Translated by W.R. Patton. Heinemann, 1922. Volume 1.

 

Page vii states that Polybius was born in about 208 B.C.

 

Page x states that he passed on at the age of 82.

 

Page xv lists 3 manuscripts, the oldest of which dates to the 10th century.

 

[920] Ancient Work: The Lives of the Twelve Caesars. By C. Tranquillus Suetonius. Translation, introduction, and commentary by George W. Mooney. Hodges, Figgis, and Company, 1930.

 

Page 12: "[T]he completed work was published, most probably in 121 A.D."

 

Page 46:"The codex Memmianus, written towards the end of the 9th century … [is] the oldest and most trustworthy source of our MSS [manuscripts]."

 

NOTE: Pages 46-49 provide a short synopsis of the 150+ manuscripts that were copied in the 9th through 14th centuries. In addition to these, it is stated there are "numerous" manuscripts from the 15th century. These later manuscripts contain some unique readings, and there is disagreement over whether these are of value or are just "clever conjectures" inserted by copyists. 

 

[921] Article: "Masoretic Text." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

When the final codification of each section was complete, the Masoretes not only counted and noted down the total number of verses, words, and letters in the text but further indicated which verse, which word, and which letter marked the centre of the text. In this way any future emendation could be detected. The rigorous care given the Masoretic text in its preparation is credited for the remarkable consistency found in Old Testament Hebrew texts since that time. The Masoretic work enjoyed an absolute monopoly for 600 years, and experts have been astonished at the fidelity of the earliest printed version (late 15th century) to the earliest surviving codices (late 9th century).

 

[922] Book: The Dead Sea Scrolls. By Millar Burrows. Viking Press, 1955.

 

Page 302: "For a thousand years or more, it was the regular practice of the Jews to copy the text with meticulous accuracy and correct it very carefully according to the official or Masoretic text. … The result is that … all the surviving manuscripts agree almost exactly, except in very minute details."

 

[923] Article: "Masoretic Text." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

[924] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 23 states that "all printed editions of the Hebrew Bible are based on [the Masoretic text]."

 

[925] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 19: "Because of its place in Judaism as the central text of the Hebrew Bible, [the Masoretic Text] became the determinative text for the Hebrew Bible of Christianity and of the scholarly world. All printed editions of the Bible contain [the Masoretic text]."

 

[926] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992. Page 39.

 

[927] Paper: "New Light on Early Recensions of the Hebrew Bible." By W. F. Albright. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, December 1955.

 

Page 28: "The greatest textual surprise of the Qumran finds [i.e., the Dead Sea Scrolls] has probably been the fact that most of the scrolls and fragments present a consonantal* text which is virtually indistinguishable from the text of the corresponding passages in our Masoretic Bible."

 

NOTE:

* "The ancient Hebrew had only the consonants printed, and the vowels were vocalized in pronunciation, but were not written." [Article: "Old Testament." Smith's Bible Dictionary. By William Smith. A.J. Holman & Co., 1884.]

 

[928] Book: Essential Guide to Bible Versions. By Philip Comfort. Tyndale House Publishers, 2000. Accessed at newlivingtranslation.com. Page 18:

 

Even though the Dead Sea Scrolls are nearly a thousand years older than the Masoretic manuscripts, there are not as many significant differences between the two groups of manuscripts as one might expect. Normally, a thousand years of copying would have generated thousands of differences in wording. But this is not the case when one compares most of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the Masoretic manuscripts. This shows that Jewish scribes for over a millennium copied one form of the text with extreme fidelity.

 

Page 16 states the Leningrad Codex was "used as the textual base for the popular Hebrew texts of today…."

 

[929] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992. Pages 30:

 

When the early Qumran texts of the [Masoretic] group are compared with … [the Leningrad Codex, a Masoretic manuscript dating from 1009 A.D.], one realizes how close they are to medieval sources. … The combined evidence shows that the consonantal framework of [the Masoretic text] changed very little, if at all, in the course of more than one thousand years. Even more striking is that the texts from the other sites in the Judean Desert are virtually identical with the medieval texts, probably because they derived from similar circles.

 

Page 115 states that 35% of the Qumran scrolls match the Masoretic Text.

 

[930] Article: "Dead Sea Scrolls." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

This articles notes there is a copy of Leviticus dating from the 3rd century B.C.

 

[931] Book: The Dead Sea Scrolls. By Millar Burrows. Viking Press, 1955.

 

Pages 319: "The fragments of Leviticus in the old Hebrew script which were found in the first cave in 1949 gave us … our oldest witness to the text of any part of the Bible. It is therefore significant that they agree almost entirely with the Masoretic text of Leviticus."

 

[932] Book: The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. By Geza Vermes. Penguin Press, 1997. Seventh edition. First published in 1962. Page 16:

 

By contrast, the Qumran scriptural scrolls, and especially the fragments, are characterized by extreme fluidity; they often differ not just from the customary wording but also, when the same book is attested by several manuscripts, among themselves. In fact, some of the fragments echo what later became the Masoretic text; others resemble the Hebrew underlying the Greek Septuagint; yet others recall the Samaritan Torah or Pentateuch [first five books of the Bible], the only part of the Bible which the Jews of Samaria accepted as Scripture. Some Qumran fragments represent a mixture of these, or something altogether different. It should be noted, however, that none of these variations affects the scriptural message itself.

 

[933] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992. Page 99:

 

Even though the pre-Samaritan texts [i.e., some of the Dead Sea Scrolls] and [Samaritan text] share distinctive typological traits and agree with each other in many details, they also diverge from time to time. The number of harmonizations differs somewhat in the various sources. [The Dead Sea Scroll] 4QpaleoExodm has less than [the Samaritan text], while [the Dead Sea Scroll] 4QNumb has more. In addition, individual texts of this group also display unique readings.

 

Page 115 states that the pre-Samaritan texts comprise "no more than 5 percent of the Qumran biblical texts of the Torah [first 5 books of the Old Testament]…."

 

[934] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 115: "Although no text has been found in Qumran that is identical or almost identical with the presumed Hebrew source of [the Septuagint/Greek text], a few texts are very close to [the Septuagint/Greek text]…."

 

Page 116: "The texts which are close to [the Septuagint/Greek text] comprise some 5 percent of the Qumran biblical texts."

 

[935] Article: "Bible." Smith's Bible Dictionary. By William Smith. A.J. Holman & Co., 1884.

 

"There are no ancient Hebrew manuscripts older than the tenth century, but we know that these are in the main correct, because we have a translation of the Hebrew into Greek, called the Septuagint, made nearly three hundred years before Christ."

 

NOTE: The quote above predates the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We now have many Hebrew manuscripts older than the tenth century.

 

[936] Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004. The section entitled "Texts and manuscripts" states:

 

The … [Samaritan Bible, which is limited in content to the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible] constitutes an independent Hebrew witness to the text…. It contains about 6,000 variants from the Masoretic text, of which nearly a third agree with the Septuagint [Greek text]. Only a minority, however, are genuine variants, most being dogmatic, exegetical, grammatical, or merely orthographic in character.

 

[937] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 299: "It is indeed a fact that the readings of [the Masoretic Text] are, on the whole, preferable to those found in other texts, but this statistical information should not influence decisions in individual instances, because the exceptions to this situation are not predictable."

 

[938] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992. Pages 236-237.

 

[939] "Preface to the New International Version Bible." By the Committee on Bible Translation of the International Bible Society. June 1978, Revised August 1983. http://www.biblica.com/niv/background.php

 

For the Old Testament the standard Hebrew text, the Masoretic Text as published in the latest editions of Biblia Hebraica, was used throughout. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain material bearing on an earlier stage of Hebrew text. They were consulted, as were the Samaritan Pentateuch and the ancient scribal traditions relating to textual changes. Sometimes a variant Hebrew reading in the margin of the Masoretic Text was followed The translators also consulted the more important early versions - the Septuagint; Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion; the Vulgate; the Syriac Peshitta; the Targums; and for the Psalms the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome. Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed doubtful and where accepted principles of textual criticism showed that one or more of these textual witnesses appeared to provide the correct reading. Such instances are footnoted.

 

[940] Bible: New International Version. International Bible Society, 1984. Genesis 4:8:

 

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field."[a] And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. …

 

[a] Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; Masoretic Text does not have "Let's go out to the field."

 

[941] Bible: New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1982. Genesis 4:8:

 

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother;[a] and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. ...

 

[a] "Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate add "Let us go out to the field."

 

[942] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 299: "It is indeed a fact that the readings of [the Masoretic Text] are, on the whole, preferable to those found in other texts, but this statistical information should not influence decisions in individual instances, because the exceptions to this situation are not predictable."

 

[943] Same as above. Page 310.

 

[944] Same as above. Page 262.

 

[945] Same as above. Page 308.

 

[946] Same as above. Page 356.

 

[947] Same as above. Page 356.

 

[948] Same as above. Page 141: "The great problems surrounding the transmission of the text of [the Septuagint] make the reconstruction of its presumed original text difficult."

 

Page 140: "The Göttingen Septuagint series … comprises the most precise and thorough critical editions of [the Septuagint/Greek text]. Each volume contains a detailed critical apparatus in which the witnesses are divided into groups and subgroups, so that readers can find their way through the maze of manifold variants…."

 

[949] Book: The Septuagint as Christian Scripture. By Martin Hengel. T&T Clark, 2002.

 

Page 47: "The transmission of [the Septuagint/Greek text] was thoroughly confused under the influence of the Jewish revisions and Christian testimonia collections…."

 

[950] Article: "Septuagint." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"In the 3rd century AD Origen attempted to clear up copyists' errors that had crept into the text of the Septuagint, which by then varied widely from copy to copy."

 

NOTE: The work in which Origen did this is called the Hexpla.

 

[951] Book: The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research. By R. Timothy McLay. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003.

 

Page 6: "[M]ost specialists now reserve the term Old Greek (OG) to designate a text that in the judgment of the scholar represents the original translation of a book [in the Septuagint/Greek text]."

 

Pages 131-132: "In summary, the plethora of texts and revisions of the OG [Old Greek] that cropped up during the first centuries of the common eras complicate our field of inquiry even further.

 

Page 135:

 

The multiple text forms and textual fluidity that are the bane of the textual critic's existence are complicated even further by the production of recensions to the OG [Old Greek]. The works of kaige-Theodotion, Aquila, Symmachus, and others contribute still more variant readings that are only partially preserved, and not with any consistency. … Origen, through his creation of the Hexpla, is primarily responsible for the preservation of many readings in the … [Septuagint/Greek text] tradition, but his labor has made the present-day task of reconstructing the OG more difficult. The lack of precision in the attributions, questions about the nature and content of Origen's Hexpla, and the inevitable corruption of the texts during the process of their copying supply the contemporary textual critic with a jigsaw puzzle that is more than few pieces short.

 

[952] Book: Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. By Emanuel Tov. Fortress Press, 2001. Second edition. First published in 1992.

 

Page 85: "What characterizes the scribes of [the Samaritan text] and the pre-Samaritan texts [i.e., some of the Dead Sea Scrolls] is the great freedom with which they approached the Biblical text; contrast the tradition of meticulous copying which characterized other texts."

 

[953] Article: "Sargon II." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

This article states that Sargon II reigned from 721 to 705 B.C.

 

[954] Article: "In Praise of Ancient Scribes." By Alan R. Millard. Biblical Archeologist, Summer 1982. Pages 143-153. Pages 150-151:

 

Within the Old Testament are numerous foreign names, many of them alien to the Western Semite. (Foreign names pose problems in all languages and scripts; the various spellings of East European or Oriental names in our newspapers illustrate that.) Where ancient writings of the names are available, detailed study shows the Hebrew writings represent the contemporary forms very closely. Thus the names of the Assyrian kings Tiglath-pileser and Sargon, as handed down through the Old Testament, turn out to be accurate reflections of the Assyrian dialect forms of these names. Tiglath-pileser is found in an almost identical spelling on the Aramaic Bar-Rakkab stele from Zinjirli, carved during his reign, or very shortly after. Sargon, occurring in Isa 20:1 … is spelled in Aramaic letters on two documents. In the Aramaic letter written on a potsherd sent to Ashur, the old Assyrian capital city, from southern Babylonia, Sargon appears as sh, r, k, n, shar-ken, while on the Aramaic seals of one of his officers, known from an impression found at Khorsabad, Sargon's new city in Assyria, it is s, r, g, n, sar-gon. It is exactly that spelling that has been preserved in the traditional Hebrew text of the Old Testament…. A comparable precision can be argued for other foreign names throughout the Old Testament, as continuing study and discoveries indicate.

 

Page 152:

 

[I]n each case mentioned, the Septuagint [Greek text] differs considerably from the Hebrew. Sargon in Isa 20:1 became Arna; Parshandatha was distorted through Pharsannestain to become two names, Pharsan and Nestain, in Codex Vaticanus. These cases, not confined to one book, should at least warn against reliance on the Septuagint for emendation of proper names in the Old Testament, unless the evidence against the Hebrew text is very strong indeed. …

 

In this light the way the Old Testament text is viewed by scholarship seems to need some modification. The Dead Sea Scrolls make explicit what had been previously supposed by many, that the Masoretic text preserves an earlier text-type current in the century or so prior to the Fall of Jerusalem. Between the completion of some books of the Old Testament and the Scrolls there is a relatively short period of time. (How short will depend upon opinions about the age of each book.) Only in that period can the great majority of the errors textual critics and commentators claim to find in the Hebrew text have arisen. Is it conceivable that those who copied Jeremiah's prophesy for over four centuries made so many mistakes as to require on average four to six lines of textual apparatus to every page in the current critical edition of the text, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia? Jeremiah may be peculiar in respect to its Septuagint version, but the problems involved are such that to emend the Hebrew on the basis of the Greek would seem a very risky business indeed.

 

Page 153: "The present argument is that we too freely underrate the ability and the accuracy of those copyists to whom we owe the Old Testament. There are no grounds for supposing they were less attentive to their task than those whose products have been recovered in modern times."

 

[955] Article: "Bible." Smith's Bible Dictionary. By William Smith. A.J. Holman & Co., 1884.

 

"The New Testament is written wholly in Greek."

 

[956] Book: The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. InterVarsity Press, 1988.

 

Page 285: "One might expect that writers in Greek would use an accessible Greek version of the ancient scriptures, that is to say, the Septuagint. The New Testament writers did this to a very considerable extent. Luke and the writer to the Hebrews in their biblical citations and allusions adhere quite closely to the Septuagint wording."

 

[957] Book: Essential Guide to Bible Versions. By Philip Comfort. Tyndale House Publishers, 2000.

 

Page 42: "The field of textual criticism is complex, requiring the gathering and skillful use of a wide variety of information. Because it deals with the authoritative source of revelation for all Christians, textual argumentation has often been accompanied by emotion."

 

[958] Matthew 23:23-24: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."

 

[959] Matthew 22:36-40

 

[960] Matthew 5:17-18

 

[961] Entry: "Jot - or Iota." Easton's Bible Dictionary. Thomas Nelson, 1897. Third edition.

 

"[T]he smallest letter of the Greek alphabet, used metaphorically or proverbially for the smallest thing (Matt. 5:18); or it may be = yod, which is the smallest of the Hebrew letters."

 

[962] Entry: "Tittle." Easton's Bible Dictionary. Thomas Nelson, 1897. Third edition.

 

"[A] point, (Matt. 5:18; Luke 16:17), the minute point or stroke added to some letters of the Hebrew alphabet to distinguish them from others which they resemble; hence, the very least point."

 

[963] Matthew 4:4 (KJV): "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

 

Deuteronomy 8:3:  "[M]an doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."

 

[964] Matthew 4:7 (KJV): "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

 

Deuteronomy 6:16: "Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God…."

 

[965] Book: The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research. By R. Timothy McLay. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003.

 

Page 117: "Other times, however, quotations … [from the New Testament] do not correspond directly with our existing Old Greek [i.e. Septuagint] or Masoretic Text."

 

[966] Article: "Old Testament." Smith's Bible Dictionary. By William Smith. A.J. Holman & Co., 1884.

 

"In the quotations of all kinds from the Old Testament in the New, we find a continual variation from the letter of the older Scriptures."

 

[967] Article: "Canon of the Old Testament." By George J. Reid. Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Robert Appleton Company, 1908. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03267a.htm

 

The most striking difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles is the presence in the former of a number of writings which are wanting in the latter and also in the Hebrew Bible, which became the Old Testament of Protestantism. … The ancient Greek Old Testament known as the Septuagint was the vehicle which conveyed these additional Scriptures into the Catholic Church.

 

[968] Bible: New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by Michael D. Coogan. Oxford University Press, 2001. In the section entitled "Introduction to the Apocrypha," pages 3-4 state:

 

[T]he Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical books are those works that were included in the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible with additions … but are not included in the Hebrew text that forms both the canon for Judaism and the Protestant Old Testament. …

 

"Apocrypha" means "hidden things," but it is not clear why the term was chosen to describe these books. …

 

… Roman Catholics accept as fully canonical those books and parts of books that Protestants call the Apocrypha (except the Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, 3 and 4 Maccabees, and 1 and 2 Esdras, which both groups regard as apocryphal). …

 

Esther is given in its longer (Greek) form rather than in the version based solely on the Hebrew text; the Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Jews appear as verses 24-90 of chapter 3 of Daniel, and the stories of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon as chapters 13 and 14 of Daniel. …

 

The Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize several other books as authoritative. Editions of the Old Testament approved by the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church contain, besides the Roman Catholic Deuterocanonical books, 1 Esdras, Psalm 151, the Prayer of Manasseh, and 3 Maccabees, while 4 Maccabees appears in the Appendix. Slavonic Bibles approved by the Russian Orthodox Church contain besides the Deuterocanonical books, 1 and 2 Esdras (called 2 and 3 Esdras), Psalm 151, and 3 Maccabees.

 

[969] Entry: "Purgatory." Webster's College Dictionary. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

"[A] place or state following death in which penitent souls are purified of venial sins or undergo the temporal punishment still remaining for forgiven mortal sins and thereby are made ready for heaven."

 

[970] Bible: New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by Michael D. Coogan. Oxford University Press, 2001.

 

In the section entitled "Introduction to the Apocrypha," page 5 states: "For instance, disputes over the doctrine of Purgatory and of the usefulness of prayers and Masses for the dead involved the authority of 2 Maccabees, which contains what was held to be scriptural warrant for them (12.43-45)."

 

[971] Article: "Canon of the Old Testament." By George J. Reid. Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Robert Appleton Company, 1908.

 

The word canon as applied to the Scriptures has long had a special and consecrated meaning. In its fullest comprehension it signifies the authoritative list or closed number of the writings composed under Divine inspiration, and destined for the well-being of the Church….

 

The most explicit definition of the Catholic Canon is that given by the Council of Trent, Session IV, 1546….

 

… The Council of Trent did not enter into an examination of the fluctuations in the history of the Canon. Neither did it trouble itself about questions of authorship or character of contents. True to the practical genius of the Latin Church, it based its decision on immemorial tradition as manifested in the decrees of previous councils and popes, and liturgical reading, relying on traditional teaching and usage to determine a question of tradition.

 

[972] Book: The Septuagint as Christian Scripture. By Martin Hengel. T&T Clark, 2002. Pages 112-113:

 

On the basis of New Testament use of Scripture, it seems likely that the scope of the Christian Old Testament would have been smaller than the Hebrew Bible. Indeed, the church could have disregarded Qoheleth [Ecclesiastes], Canticles [Song of Songs], 2 Ezra [Nehemiah] or Esther without difficulty. Here the model of the Hebrew canon is evident; the 'canon lists' of a Melito [a second-century Greek bishop] and later of Origen [a Christian who lived from about 185-254 A.D.] demonstrate that Christians wished to posses those Scriptures in their entirety.

 

[973] Book: The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research. By R. Timothy McLay. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003. Page 103:

 

It was the great biblical scholar Jerome (lived from about 348-420 A.D.) who defended the authority of the Jewish Scriptures in their original Hebrew language and whose views were echoed by reformers like Martin Luther, who prepared the way for the later dominance of the Hebrew canon for the Protestant Church.

 

[974] Book: The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church. By Roger Beckwith. Eerdmans Publishing, 1985.

 

Page 387: "[T]he New Testament, by contrast with the early Fathers, and by contrast with its own practice in relation to the books of the Hebrew Bible, never actually quotes from, or ascribes authority to, any of the Apocrypha. All one can say is that there is an occasional correspondence of thought which suggests a knowledge of some of them."

 

[975] Book: The Septuagint as Christian Scripture. By Martin Hengel. T&T Clark, 2002.

 

Pages 106-107 supply a list of 239 "literal citations" from the Old Testament found in the New Testament "introduced with a formula" that makes it clear Scripture is being quoted. An example of such a formula appears in Mark 15:28, which states: "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors."

 

Page 107: "By contrast, the historical books … [of the Old Testament] recede noticeably in the New Testament—Chronicles, Ezra, Esther, as well as Canticles [Song of Songs], Lamentations and Qoheleth [Ecclesiastes] are entirely absent. The same is true of the extra books in the Christian [Septuagint – i.e., Apocrypha]."

 

Page 111 states that the books of Luke, Matthew, James, and the letters of Paul indicate a familiarity with the Apocrypha.

 

Pages 111-112: "But we have no indication that these (and other 'pseudegraphical') books were read essentially as 'Holy Scripture'. In any case, they were not cited as such. Jude 14, where Enoch [a pseudegraphical, not apocryphal book] is introduced as a 'prophet', constitutes an exception."

 

[976] Bible: New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by Michael D. Coogan. Oxford University Press, 2001. In the section entitled "Introduction to the Apocrypha," page 9 states:

 

When a writer imitates prophetic style, as in the book of Baruch, he repeats with slight modifications the language of the older prophets. But the introductory phrase, "Thus says the LORD," which occurs so frequently in the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible, is absent from the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books.

 

[977] Article: "Canon of the New Testament." By George J. Reid. Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Robert Appleton Company, 1908. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm

 

The Catholic New Testament, as defined by the Council of Trent, does not differ, as regards the books contained, from that of all Christian bodies at present. {The following minor exceptions are noted:} In Syria the Nestorians possess a Canon almost identical with the final one of the ancient East Syrians; they exclude the four smaller Catholic Epistles and Apocalypse. The Monophysites receive all the books. The Armenians have one apocryphal letter to the Corinthians and two from the same. The Coptic-Arabic Church include with the canonical Scriptures the Apostolic Constitutions and the Clementine Epistles. The Ethiopic New Testament also contains the so-called "Apostolic Constitutions."

 

[978] Article: "Bible." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

"The New Testament consists of 27 documents written between AD 50 and 150…."

 

[979] Life Application Study Bible: New King James Version. General editor: Bruce B. Barton. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. First published in 1988.

 

The "Vital Statistics" section for each book of the Bible provides dates when written. The earliest book of the New Testament is James, which is dated to 49 A.D. The most recent book is Revelation, which is dated to 95 A.D.

 

[980] Book: The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content. By Bruce M. Metzger. Abingdon Press, 2003. Third edition. First edition published in 1965.

 

Page 329 states that the total number of Greek New Testament manuscripts is 5,519.

 

[981] Book: The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts. Edited by Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett. Baker Books, 1999. Pages 17-18:

 

The earliest known New Testament manuscript is P52, a fragment of John's Gospel. This papyrus fragment was dated by various paleographers to the first half of the second century—even to the first quarter…. In the end, C. H. Roberts dated it to "the first half of the second century." This conservative dating allows for a larger time gap between the autograph [original] and copy, but there is nothing unreasonable about assigning a date of A.D. 100-125 for P52.

 

Page 17:

 

When any paleographer attempts to redate a New Testament manuscript to the late first century or early second century, there is immediate opposition because it is believed that the time lapse between the autograph and the copy is too short. However, it is not impossible for there to be extant manuscripts dated within twenty-five to thirty years of the autographs. For example … {the author goes on to provide 3 such instances}.

 

Page 357:

 

P52 can safely be dated to A.D. 100-125. However, its comparability to manuscripts of an even earlier period (especially P. Berol. 6845) [dated to around 100 A.D.], pushes the date closer to A.D. 100, plus or minus a few years. This is extremely remarkable, especially if we accept the consensus dating for the composition of the Fourth Gospel; A.D. 80-85. This would mean that P52 is only twenty years removed from the original.

 

[982] Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004. The section entitled "The fourth Gospel: The Gospel According to John" states:

 

Because both external and internal evidence are doubtful, a working hypothesis is that John and the Johannine letters were written and edited somewhere in the East (perhaps Ephesus) as the product of a "school," or Johannine circle, at the end of the 1st century. The addressees were Gentile Christians, but there is accurate knowledge and much reference to Palestine, which might be a reflection of early Gospel tradition. The Jews are equated with the opponents of Jesus, and the separation of church and synagogue is complete, also pointing to a late-1st-century dating.

 

[983] Book: The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts. Edited by Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett. Baker Books, 1999. Page 13:

 

This book provides transcriptions of sixty of the earliest New Testament manuscripts, dated from the early second century to the beginning of the fourth (A.D. 100-300). … These early manuscripts, containing about two-thirds of the New Testament text, were discovered (most in the twentieth century), disbursed to various museums throughout the world, and subsequently published….

 

[984] Book: The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. By Bruce M. Metzger. Oxford University Press, 1992. Third edition. First edition published in 1964. Page 86:

 

Besides textual evidence derived from New Testament Greek manuscripts and from early versions, the textual critic has available the numerous scriptural quotations included in the commentaries, sermons, and other treatises written by early Church Fathers. Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament.

 

Page 88: "The following is a list of several of the more important Church Fathers whose writings contain numerous quotations from the New Testament."

 

NOTE: Pages 88-89 list 30 people, the earliest being Justin Martyr (died around 165 A.D.), Marcion (flourished around 150-160 A.D.), and Tatian, (flourished around 170 A.D.).]

 

[985] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875. Pages 182-183:

 

These writings [the Scriptures] were not simply succeeded by a literature of a similar cast; but they actually created a vast body of literature, altogether devoted to their elucidation; and this elucidation took every imaginable form of occasional comment on a single passage—of argument upon certain topics, requiring numerous scattered quotations, and of complete annotation, in which nearly the whole of the original author is repeated. From the Rabbinical paraphrases, and from the works of the Christian writers of the first seven centuries (to come later is unnecessary) the whole text of the Scriptures might have been recovered if the original had since perished.

 

If any one is so uninformed as to suppose that this kind of evidence is open to uncertainty, or that it admits of refutation, let him … open the volumes of writers of all classes since the days of Elizabeth, and see how many allusions to Shakespeare … he can find; and then ask himself if there remains the possibility of doubting that these dramas … were in existence at the accession of James I.

 

[986] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875.

 

Page 184: "The New Testament has been conveyed to modern times, in whole or in part, in the Peshito or Syriac translation, in the Coptic, in several Arabic versions, in the Ethiopic, the Armenian, the Persian, the Gothic, and the old Latin versions."

 

[987] Book: The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content. By Bruce M. Metzger. Abingdon Press, 2003. Third edition. First edition published in 1965.

 

Page 331: "By A.D. 600, the Gospels, as well as several other books of the Bible, had been rendered into Latin, Syriac, Coptic (several dialects), Gothic, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Nubian, and Sogdian."

 

[988] Life Application Study Bible: New King James Version. General editor: Bruce B. Barton. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. First published in 1988.

 

The Preface states: "Over 5,000 Greek, eight thousand Latin, and many more manuscripts in other languages attest to the integrity of the New Testament."

 

[989] Book: History of the Transmission of Ancient Books to Modern Times together with the Process of Historical Proof. By Isaac Taylor. Haskell House, 1971. First published in 1875. Page 172:

 

If in the case of a classic author, twenty manuscripts, or even five, are deemed amply sufficient (and sometimes one, as we have seen, is relied upon), it is evident that many hundreds [of New Testament manuscripts] are redundant for the purposes of argument. The importance of so great a number of copies consists in the amplitude of the means which are thereby afforded of restoring the text to its pristine purity; for the various readings collected from so many sources, if they do not always place the true reading beyond doubt, afford an absolute security against extensive corruptions.

 

[990] Book: The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content. By Bruce M. Metzger. Abingdon Press, 2003. Third edition. First edition published in 1965. Page 327:

 

It should be mentioned that, though there are thousands of divergences of wording among the manuscripts of the Bible (more in the New Testament than in the Old), the overwhelming majority of such variant readings involve inconsequential details, such as alternative spellings, order of words, and interchange of synonyms. In these cases, as well as in the relatively few instances involving the substance of the record, scholars apply the techniques of textual criticism in order to determine with more or less probability what the original wording was. In any event, no doctrine of the Christian faith depends solely upon a passage that is textually uncertain.

 

[991] Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004. The section entitled "The physical aspects of New Testament texts" states:

 

Compared with other ancient manuscripts, the text of the New Testament is dependable and consistent, but on an absolute scale there are far more variant readings as compared with those of, for example, classical Greek authors. This is the result, on the one hand, of a great number of surviving manuscripts and extant manuscript fragments and, on the other, of the fact that the time gap between an oral phase of transmission and the written stage was far shorter than that of many other ancient Greek manuscripts.

 

[992] Life Application Study Bible: New King James Version. General editor: Bruce B. Barton. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. First published in 1988. The Preface states:

 

There is more manuscript support for the New Testament than for any other body of ancient literature. … There is only one basic New Testament used by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and [Greek] Orthodox. Minor variations in hand copying have appeared through the centuries, before mechanical printing began about A.D. 1450.

 

Some variations exist in the spelling of the Greek words, in word order, and in similar details. These ordinarily do not show up in translation and do not affect the sense of the text in any way.

 

Other manuscript differences, regarding the omission or inclusion of a word or a clause, as well as two paragraphs in the Gospels, should not overshadow the overwhelming degree of agreement which exists among the ancient records. Bible readers may be assured that that the most important differences in English New Testaments of today, are due not to manuscript divergence, but to the way in which translators view the task of translation.

 

[993] Book: The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. InterVarsity Press, 1988.

 

Pages 288-289 list citations that are questionable from a textual evidence standpoint: 1 John 5:7, Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53-8:11. This book states that some of these passages are spurious. I don't think the manuscript evidence allows one to make such a determination.

 

[994] Book: The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. InterVarsity Press, 1988.

 

Pages 117-251 examine in detail all of the early Christian writings that contain lists of Scriptures.

 

Pages 208-209:

 

As we have seen, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, devoted most of his thirty-ninth festal letter, announcing the date of Easter in 367, to a statement about the canon of scripture and its limits. … Athanasius is the first writer known to us who listed exactly the twenty-seven books which traditionally make up the New Testament in catholic and orthodox Christianity, without making any distinction of status among them.

 

Pages 230-231:

 

Augustine, like Jerome, inherited the canon of scripture as something 'given'. It was a part of the Christian faith which he embraced at his conversion in 386…. While he received the twenty-seven books as they had been delivered to him, Augustine, like other Christian thinkers, considered the question: Why these, and no others? He prefaces his list of canonical [Biblical] books with these observations:

 

Among the canonical scriptures he (the interpreter of the sacred writings) will judge according to the following standard: to prefer those that are received by all the catholic churches to those which some do not receive. Again, among those which are not received by all, he will prefer such as are sanctioned by the greater number of churches and by those of greater authority to such as held by the smaller number and by those of less authority. If, however, he finds that some books are held by the greater number of churches, and others by the churches of greater authority (although this is not a very likely thing to happen), I think that in such a case the authority on the two sides is to be considered as equal.

 

It is plain from this that, when Augustine wrote, no ecclesiastical council had made a pronouncement on the canon which could be recognized as the voice of the church.

 

Page 250: "That the New Testament consists of the twenty-seven books which have been recognized as belonging to it since the fourth century is not a value judgment; it is a statement of fact."

 

[995] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003.

 

Page 222: "Recent scholarship inclines to the older view that the collection of the four gospels with canonical status existed by the mid-second century at the latest."

 

[996] Book: The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. InterVarsity Press, 1988. Pages 255-269 provide a good overview of criteria proposed for inclusion. Pages 256-257:

 

Similarly, the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews no doubt were well acquainted with its author (in that sense they would not have regarded it as an anonymous communication), but since it does not bear his name, his identity was forgotten after a generation or two, and has never been certainly recovered.

 

[997] Book: The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. InterVarsity Press, 1988.

 

This book provides a well-researched account of how the books of the Bible came to be assembled. Near the end of the book, page 282 states:

 

Certainly, as one looks back on the process of canonization in the early Christian centuries, and remembers some of the ideas of which certain church writers of that period were capable, it is easy to conclude that in reaching a conclusion on the limits of the canon they were directed by a wisdom higher than their own."

 

Page 283: "By an act of faith the Christian reader today may identify the New Testament, as it has been received, with the entire 'tradition of Christ'. But confidence in such an act of faith will be strengthened if the same faith proves to have been exercised by Christians in other places and at other times—if it is in line with the traditional 'criteria of canonicity'." 

 

[998] Transcript: "Today Show" (with Matt Lauer). NBC News, July 9, 2003.

 

LAUER: "Let me be more specific, OK? It's not only number one on the New York Times best seller list, it is number one on every best seller list in the country right now."

 

Mr. BROWN: "That is true."

 

[999] Book review: "A tale of religious secrets and revelations." By Dick Adler. Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2003.

 

A thundering, tantalizing, extremely smart fun ride. Brown doesn't slow down his tremendously powerful narrative engine despite transmitting several doctorates' worth of fascinating history and learned speculation. "The Da Vinci Code" is brain candy of the highest quality -- which is a reviewer's code meaning, ''Put this on top of your pile.''

 

[1000] Article: "Constantine I." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"Constantine was born probably in the later AD 280s. … [H]e died in 337."

 

[1001] Ancient Work: The First Apology. By Justin Martyr. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885.

 

NOTE: This work can be dated by the fact that it begins with the following words: "To the Emperor Titus Aelius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Caesar…." This individual reigned from 138 to 161 A.D. [Article: Antoninus Pius. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.]

 

[1002] Ancient Work: The First Apology. By Justin Martyr. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885. Chapter 67:

 

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen….

 

[1003] Article: "Sunday." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"The practice of Christians gathering together for worship on Sunday dates back to apostolic times, but details of the actual development of the custom are not clear."

 

[1004] Book: The Da Vinci Hoax. By Carl E. Olson & Sandra Miesel. Ignatius Press, 2004. Pages 159-161.

 

[1005] Article: "Sunday." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

The emperor Constantine (died 337), a convert to Christianity, introduced the first civil legislation concerning Sunday in 321, when he decreed that all work should cease on Sunday, except that farmers could work if necessary. This law, aimed at providing time for worship, was followed later in the same century and in subsequent centuries by further restrictions on Sunday activities.

 

[1006] Ancient Work: The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine. By Eusebius Pamphili. Published about 338 A.D. Translated by Ernest Cushing Richardson in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2, Volume 1. Book 4, Chapter 18, Section 1. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iv.vi.iv.xviii.html

 

The same observance was recommended by this blessed prince [Constantine] to all classes of his subjects: his earnest desire being gradually to lead all mankind to the worship of God. Accordingly he enjoined on all the subjects of the Roman empire to observe the Lord's day, as a day of rest, and also to honor the day which precedes the Sabbath [Friday]; in memory, I suppose, of what the Savior of mankind is recorded to have achieved on that day. And since his desire was to teach his whole army zealously to honor the Savior's day (which derives its name from light, and from the sun), he freely granted to those among them who were partakers of the divine faith, leisure for attendance on the services of the Church of God, in order that they might be able, without impediment, to perform their religious worship.

 

[1007] Article: "Nicaea, Council of." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

[1008] Ancient Work: The First Apology. By Justin Martyr. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885.

 

NOTE: This work can be dated by the fact that it begins with the following words: "To the Emperor Titus Aelius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Caesar…." This person reigned from 138 to 161 A.D. [Article: Antoninus Pius. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.]

 

[1009] Ancient Work: The First Apology. By Justin Martyr. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885. Chapter 31.

 

[1010] Ancient Work: Letters and Panegyricus. By Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus. Translated by Betty Radice. Harvard University Press, 1969.

 

In Volume I, page xii states that Pliny "was chosen by Trajan to go out as the emperor's special representative … to the province of Bithynia-Pontus."

 

Page xiv states that Pliny arrived in Bithynia "in time for Trajan's birthday celebrations on 18 September in a year which could be 109, 100, or 111, and as there is no mention of similar celebrations for the start of his third year we assume that he died before then…."

 

In Volume II, pages 285 to 291 contain the letter from Pliny to Trajan on the subject of Christianity. It is identified by the callout, Book 10, Letter 96. Page 289:

 

Others, whose names were given to me by an informer, first admitted the charge and then denied it; they said that they had ceased to be Christians two or more years previously…. They also declared that the sum total of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately among themselves in honour of Christ as if to a god, and also to bind themselves by oath, not for any criminal purposes, but to abstain from theft, robbery and adultery….

 

NOTE: The description of Christianity as a "cult" is on page 291.

 

[1011] Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to Mark" states: "Mark may thus be dated somewhere after 64 and before 70, when the Jewish war ended."

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to Matthew" states: "The fall of Jerusalem (AD 70) had occurred, and this dates Matthew later than Mark, c. 70–80."

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to Luke" states: "Luke can be dated c. 80."

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to John" states that "a working hypothesis is that John and the Johannine letters were written and edited somewhere in the East … at the end of the 1st century. … The Jews are equated with the opponents of Jesus, and the separation of church and synagogue is complete, also pointing to a late-1st-century dating."

 

[1012] This range of dates is based upon a spectrum of academic publications I have read. Given the date of the earliest manuscript of John (100-125 A.D.) [see citation 981], some scholars truly stretch the limits of plausibility in dating this book to the early second century.

 

[1013] Book: The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts. Edited by Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett. Baker Books, 1999.

 

Below are some of the 60 manuscripts examined in this book.

 

Callout  Dating  Contents

 Page

P4, P64, P67 (all are probably from the same manuscript) 125-150 Luke 1:58-59, 1:62-2:1, 2:6-7, 3:8-4:2, 4:29-32, 4:34-35, 5:3-8, 5:30-6:16

Matthew: 26:7-8, 26:10, 26:14-15, 26: 22-23, 26:31-33

Mark 3:9, 5:20-22, 5:25-28

 33
P45 175-225 Many portions of Matthew, Mark, John, Luke, and Acts (37 pages of text in total)  145
P46 125-150 Many portions of Romans, Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians (125 pages of text in total)  193
P52 100-125 John 18:31-33, 37-38  355
P66 150 John 1:1-6:11, 6:35-14:26, 14:29-30, 15:2-26, 16:2-4, 16:6-7, 16:10-20:20, 16:22-23, 20:25-21:9, 20:12, 20:17  366
P104 100-150 Matthew 21:34-37, 21:43, 21:45(?)  627


NOTE: Although none of these manuscripts contain the entire text of each Gospel, many passages that pertain to Jesus' divinity are present in them.

 

[1014] Article: "Nero." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"The great fire that ravaged Rome in 64 illustrates how low Nero's reputation had sunk by this time. … According to the Annals of the Roman historian Tacitus and to the Nero of the Roman biographer Suetonius, Nero in response tried to shift responsibility for the fire on the Christians…."

 

[1015] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 15.44. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?...

 

[1016] Same as above:

 

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.

 

[1017] Article: "Origen." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

This article states that Origen was "the most important theologian and biblical scholar of the early Greek church."

 

[1018] Ancient Work: Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. By Origen Adamantius. Published about 250 A.D. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. The opening paragraph of this work states:

 

Concerning the four Gospels which alone are uncontroverted in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the Gospel according to Matthew, who was at one time a publican and afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first; and that he composed it in the Hebrew tongue and published it for the converts from Judaism. The second written was that according to Mark, who wrote it according to the instruction of Peter, who, in his General Epistle, acknowledged him as a son, saying, "The church that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son." And third, was that according to Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, which he composed for the converts from the Gentiles. Last of all, that according to John.

 

[1019] Book: The Canon of Scripture. By F.F. Bruce. InterVarsity Press, 1988.

 

Pages 117-251 examine in detail all of the early Christian writings that contain lists of Scriptures.

 

[1020] Article: "Dead Sea Scrolls." New Millennium Encyclopedia. Simon & Schuster, 1999.

 

The many links between the thought and idiom of the scrolls and of the New Testament are of special interest. Both emphasize the imminence of the kingdom of God, the need for immediate repentance, and the expected discomfiture of Belial, the Evil One. Similar references occur in both to baptism in the Holy Spirit, and similar characterizations are found of the faithful as "the elect" and the "children of light"; for biblical references, see, for example, Titus 1:1, 1 Pet. 1:2, Eph. 5:8. These parallels are the more arresting because the Qumran brotherhood lived at the same time and in the same area as John the Baptist, who was himself a harbinger of subsequent Christian ideas. Although they contain several ideas that are suggestive of Christian theology, however, the Dead Sea Scrolls offer no parallels to such distinctive Christian doctrines as incarnate godhead, vicarious atonement, and redemption through the cross.

 

[1021] Book: The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. By Geza Vermes. Penguin Press, 1997. Seventh edition. First published in 1962. Pages 21-22:

 

Since Qumran and Christianity partly overlap, it is not surprising that from the very beginning of the Dead Sea Scrolls research some scholars endeavoured to identify the two. … In my opinion all these theories fail the basic credibility test: they do not spring from, but are foisted on, the texts. These – to say the least – improbable speculations - as well as the no less fantastic claim that Qumran Cave 7 yielded remains of the Gospel of Mark and other New Testament writings in Greek need not detain us any longer.

 

[1022]  Book Review: "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth by John M. Allegro." Reviewed by John J. Collins. Biblical Archaeology Review, July/Aug 1986.

 

John Allegro … is notorious as one of the most irresponsible of the sensationalists who have tried to popularize unfounded, would-be shocking theories about the scrolls. … The scrolls refer in several places to a figure called the "Teacher of Righteousness," who played a formative role in the early history of the community. Allegro wants to claim that this figure was the real historical Jesus. His arguments are of the flimsiest kind.

 

NOTE: The article goes on to detail these arguments and point out the inanity of them.

 

[1023] Book: The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. By Geza Vermes. Penguin Press, 1997.

 

Pages 1-2 state that the original find was made by a "young Bedouin shepherd" somewhere between the winter of 1946 and the summer of 1947.

 

Page 2: "Between 1951 and 1956, ten further caves were discovered…."

 

[1024] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003. Page 105:

 

In December 1945, an Egyptian farm worker in search of fertile humus near Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt discovered a clay jar containing thirteen leather-bound codices with texts in the Coptic language (as the name itself indicates, Coptic is a late form of Egyptian). … The thirteen codices … contain about 50 texts, mostly of a Christian Gnostic character. 

 

[1025] Book: Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7. Edited by Bentley Layton. Volume 1. Brill, 1989. Translation and commentary on the Gospel of Philip by Wesley Isenberg.

 

Page 132: "The [Gospel of Philip] is not a gospel in the usual sense; rather, it is a collection of theological statements concerning sacraments and ethics. Aside from certain sections where some continuity is effected … the line of thought is rambling and disjointed. … [It] contains only fifteen sayings of Jesus…."

 

[1026] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003. Page 106:

 

One general problem posed by the identification of literary genres becomes particularly acute in the case of the Nag Hammadi texts: the name an author gives his text is not identical with others' description of it. In other words, writings in the Nag Hammadi corpus called 'gospels' are not necessarily what we understand as a 'gospel', since we find no narrative elements, and these texts do not treat the public ministry and passion [crucifixion] of Jesus Christ.

 

Page 123: "The contents of [the Gospel of Philip are] … even further from our usual idea of 'a gospel'. Only a few logia [sayings] of Jesus are presented in direct speech … and there are virtually no addressees to the disciples."

 

[1027] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003.

 

Page 105: "The [Nag Hammadi] codices were produced c. [about] 350, as we see from dated receipts and contracts which were torn into strips and used to strengthen the bindings…."

 

Page 124 states that the Gospel of Philip "survives in only one Coptic manuscript."

 

[1028] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003.

 

Page 124: "Some theological statements in [the Gospel of Philip] elaborate elements of the Valentinian gnosis, named after Valentinus (himself no 'Valentinian') who taught in Rome between c. [about] 138 and 158. This means that [the Gospel of Philip] cannot be earlier than the last years of the second century; the date of composition may in fact lie in the third century."

 

[1029] Book: Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7. Edited by Bentley Layton. Volume 1. Brill, 1989. Translation and commentary on the Gospel of Philip by Wesley Isenberg. Page 135:

 

The original work, from which the Coptic was translated, was presumably composed in Greek. However, Syria is the probable place of composition, for various reasons, including interest shown in Syriac words (63:21-23, 56:7-9), affinities to Eastern sacramental practice and catecheses [teachings], and espousal of encratite ethics [abstaining from marriage, wine, or animal food]. A date in the second half of (134) the third century would suit the many parallels to Gnostic and Christian literature.

 

[1030] Book: Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7. Edited by Bentley Layton. Volume 1. Brill, 1989. Translation and commentary on the Gospel of Philip by Wesley Isenberg.

 

Page 132 states the Gospel of Philip "contains only fifteen sayings of Jesus: seven are citations of Jesus' words already found in the canonical [New Testament] gospels…."

 

[1031] Book: Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7. Edited by Bentley Layton. Volume 1. Brill, 1989. Translation and commentary on the Gospel of Philip by Wesley Isenberg. Page 209 (quoting the Gospel of Phillip):

 

That is why the word says, "Already the ax is laid at the root of the trees." {Compare with Matthew 3:10: "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees."}

 

The word said, "If you know the truth, the truth will make you free." {Compare with John 8:32: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."}

 

[1032] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003. Page 134:

 

Its [the Gospel of Philip's] use of the New Testament writings, including the Gospel of John and the letters of Paul, is so obvious that it is impossible to maintain the hypothesis of an independent tradition, and no one attempts to date it even as early as the beginning of the second century. [The Gospel of Philip] is not an independent witness to the tradition about Jesus.

 

[1033] Book: The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Brill, 1977.

 

Pages 471-474 contain a commentary and translation of the Gospel of Mary by George W. McRae and R. McL. Wilson. Page 471 notes that the text we have "opens with a familiar scene in Gnostic literature: the resurrected Christ in dialogue with his disciples." This setting is evidenced by the following passages on page 472:

 

When the blessed one had said this, he greeted them all saying, "Peace be with you. … Go then and preach the Gospel of the kingdom." When he had said this he departed. But they were grieved. They wept greatly, saying, How shall we go to the Gentiles and preach the gospel of the kingdom of the Son of Man? If they did not spare him, how will they spare us?"

 

And Mary began to speak to them these words: "I," she said, "I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him, 'Lord, I saw you today in a vision.' He answered and said to me, 'Blessed are you, that you did not waver at the sight of me.'"

 

[1034] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003. Page 161:

 

Although the first pages of [the Gospel of Mary] are lost, we can reconstruct the scene which must have been set at the beginning: it is clear that the dialogue takes place after Easter. The risen Lord – never called 'Jesus', but always 'Redeemer' or 'Lord', occasionally 'the blessed one' – appears to his male and female disciples and replies to their questions.

 

[1035] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003. Page 160:

 

The Coptic Text of [the Gospel of Mary] is in a fragmentary state: pp. [pages] 1-6 and 11-14 of the codex [book] are missing. What remains is less than half of the original work. Unfortunately, the discovery of two papyri with sections from [the Gospel of Mary] in Greek have not supplied any missing passages, since these papyri, from two different codices, contain only texts already known from the Coptic translation…. The Coptic codex was written in the fifth century, while the two papyri are from the third century, PRyl 463 [one of the papyri] may date from the beginning of the third century. This brings us to a second-century date for the composition of [the Gospel of Mary]. The content points to a date in the second half of the century. An early date between 100 and 150 has been proposed by some scholars, but is not convincing.

 

[1036] Book: The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Brill, 1977. Pages 471-474 contain a commentary and translation of the Gospel of Mary by George W. McRae and R. McL. Wilson.

 

Page 471 states that "the date of composition is unknown." From the notes in the text, it can be seen that the manuscript originally consisted of 19 pages, but pages 1-6 and 11-14 are lost.

 

NOTE: Using size 12 font, the translated text of the manuscript fills 3 pages of a Word document.

 

[1037] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003.

 

Page 129 quotes this passage and adds: "The irony is terribly clear: without realizing what he was doing, Jesus' earthly father himself cultivated the wood and fashioned the cross on which his son hung."

 

[1038] The Book of Acts is a continuation of the Gospel of the Luke and is addressed to the same person. This is evidenced by the content of Luke and Acts – especially their openings:

 

Luke 1:1-4:

 

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

 

Acts 1:1-3:

 

The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,  Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God….

 

[1039] Book: The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Translated by the members of The Coptic Gnostic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. Edited by Marvin W. Meyer. Brill, 1977.

 

The 8 works referred to are: The First Apocalypse of James (page 242), The Second Apocalypse of James (249), The Apocryphon of John (98), The Letter of Peter to Philip (394), The Book of Thomas the Contender (188), The Apocryphon of James (29), The Sophia of Jesus Christ (206), and The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (265).

 

[1040] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003. Page 222-223:

 

We see at once that the apocrypha – both the fragments and the texts transmitted in full – like to take the beginning and the close of the [New Testament] gospel narratives (the childhood of Jesus and his passion and resurrection) as their own starting-points. And it is at these borders of the gospel narratives that the apocrypha find the supporting characters whose biographies they then fill out.

 

Walter Bauer's observations about the motives that led to the creation of such 'amplifying' apocrypha have lost nothing of their validity: 'a pious yearning to know more, a naïve curiosity, delightful in colourful pictures and folktales….' We need only add that such motifs take hold of other life-stories too – those of Mary his mother, of Joseph his father, of John the Baptist and Joseph Arimathaea, of Nicodemus, Bartholomew/Nathanael, Pilate and may others. This curiosity and yearning for more information did not suddenly come to a halt at the end of the patristic period. New apocrypha were composed throughout the entire middle ages….

 

[1041] Book: The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content. By Bruce M. Metzger. Abingdon Press, 2003. Third edition. First edition published in 1965. Page 122:

 

The chief appraisal that the historian can make about these and similar stories is that the apocryphal gospels presuppose the existence of the four [New Testament] Gospels. Such stories tell us more about the interests and mentality of the unknown Christians whose active imagination drew up such texts as they do about Jesus himself. Sometimes apocryphal gospels are referred to as "excluded books of the Bible." Even a casual acquaintance, however, of these gospels and their credentials will convince the reader that no one excluded them from the Bible; they excluded themselves.

 

[1042] Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Translated by Brian McNeil. T & T Clark International, 2003.

 

Page 124: "The [Gospel of Philip], which survives in only one Coptic manuscript, was originally composed in Greek. It is however possible that the work was written in Syria, since a number of passages display a striking interest in etymologies that make sense only in Syriac."

 

Page 129: "And the companion [koinōnos] of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene."

 

Page 105 states that "Coptic is a late form of Egyptian."

 

[1043] Article: "Syriac Language." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

Semitic language belonging to the Northern Central, or Northwestern, group; it was an important Christian literary and liturgical language from the 3rd through the 7th century AD. Syriac was based on the East Aramaic dialect of Edessa, Osroëne (present-day Şanlıurfa, in southeastern Turkey), which became one of the chief centres of Christianity in the Middle East at the end of the 2nd century.

 

[1044] Article: "Aramaic Language." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"Semitic language of the Northern Central, or Northwestern, group that was originally spoken by the ancient Middle Eastern people known as Aramaeans. It was most closely related to Hebrew, Syriac, and Phoenician and was written in a script derived from the Phoenician alphabet."

 

[1045] Book: The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents. By Antti Marjanen. Brill, 1996.

 

Page 151: "Difficulty in interpreting this word is complicated by the fact that the Greek word κοινωνός may assume a wide range of meanings. … a marriage partner … a companion in faith … a co-worker in proclaiming the gospel … or a business associate…."

 

[1046] Book: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. Revised and edited by Frederick William Danker. University of Chicago Press, 2000. Third edition.

 

On page 553, the entry for κοινωνός states: "one who takes part in something with someone, companion, partner, sharer. … partners (in business) … Of a martyr (who shares a bloody death with Christ) … a partner in adultery…."

 

[1047] Book: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. Revised and edited by Frederick William Danker. University of Chicago Press, 2000. Third edition.

 

On page 552, the entry for κοινωνία states: "[C]lose association involving mutual interest and sharing, association, communion, fellowship, close relationship (hence a favorite expression for the marital relationship as the most intimate between human beings…)."

 

[1048] Book: Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7. Edited by Bentley Layton. Volume 1. Brill, 1989. Translation and commentary on the Gospel of Philip by Wesley Isenberg.

 

Page 159: "There were three who always walked with the lord: Mary his mother and her sister and the Magdalene, the one who was called his companion."

 

[1049] Book: The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents. By Antti Marjanen. Brill, 1996.

 

Page 154: "The most decisive argument against the assumption that the primary meaning of koinwnoc as "wife" is the fact that in all the other instances where the Gospel of Philip speaks about someone's wife it uses the usual word Chime (65, 20; 70,19; 76,7; 82,1)."

 

Page 159 states that "although the author [of the Gospel of Philip] regarded Mary Magdalene as the partner of the earthly Jesus, it is very unlikely that their consortium was viewed in terms of a sexual relationship."

 

[1050] Book: Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7. Edited by Bentley Layton. Volume 1. Brill, 1989. Translation and commentary on the Gospel of Philip by Wesley Isenberg. Page 138:

 

The [Gospel of Philip] is known from a single copy, which is for the most part free of errors. Both the beginning and the end of the text are clearly marked and no pages are missing. But every one of the thirty-six pages is damaged to some extent. The top of each page is generally intact, though usually a part of the first line is lost or illegible. The bottom outer corner of most pages, however has been damaged. The extent of the damage varies, the most severely affected passages occurring on pages 67-75, where the bottom nine lines are substantially lost. Conjectural restoration of the original text in such passages is very uncertain.

 

NOTE: The translation in this book uses the same pagination as the manuscript. Thus, we can see where the text is positioned on the pages. The sentence quotes above sits at the top of page 14 in the manuscript, which is page 169 in this book. The footnotes on this page read:

 

kiss or greet. Although kiss may be correct, the Coptic construction found here is not normally used in this sense.

 

on her [. . .]: possibly, on her [mouth]; or, on her [feet]; or, on her [cheek]; or on her [forehead]

 

[1051] Ancient Manuscript: "PSI XIV 1390 fr. C (detail)." This manuscript dates to the second century A.D. and displays text from the Greek poet Euphorion, who was born about 275 B.C. Used with permission of the Istituto Papirologico "G.Vitelli."

 

[1052] Transcript: "Today Show" (with Matt Lauer). NBC News, July 9, 2003.

 

LAUER: How much of this is based on reality in terms of things that

actually occurred? I know you did a lot of research for the book.

 

Mr. BROWN: Absolutely all of it. Obviously, there are--Robert Langdon

is fictional, but all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret

societies, all of that is historical fact.

 

LAUER: So what'd you do? You traveled the world, you know, running into

museums and--and...

 

Mr. BROWN: Essentially, yeah.

 

LAUER: … interviewing a lot of historians.

 

[1053] Book review: "A tale of religious secrets and revelations." By Dick Adler. Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2003.

 

A thundering, tantalizing, extremely smart fun ride. Brown doesn't slow down his tremendously powerful narrative engine despite transmitting several doctorates' worth of fascinating history and learned speculation. "The Da Vinci Code" is brain candy of the highest quality -- which is a reviewer's code meaning, "Put this on top of your pile."

 

[1054] Although average lifespans were much shorter in ancient times due to factors such as high infant mortality rates, the ravages of war, and the absence of modern medical care,* people who had peaceful and healthy lives sometimes survived to great ages. Recounting a census conducted in 74 A.D., the Roman Historian Pliny the Elder noted there were 82 people "in the eighth region of Italy" between the ages of 100 and 140 years old. Given a date for the crucifixion of 33 A.D.‡ and the dates provided in the Encyclopædia Britannica for the four Gospels,§ a person who was 20-years-old at the crucifixion would have been no more than 57 years-old when the Book of Mark was completed, no more than 67 years old when the Books of Matthew and Luke were completed, and no more than 87-years-old when the Book of John was completed.

 

NOTES:

* Book: Roman Social History: A Sourcebook. By Tim G. Parkin and Arthur J. Pomeroy. Routledge, 2007. Page 44:

 

The most striking feature regarding Roman mortality is how high its rate was from an early age….

 

Such high mortality may be attributed to a combination of low levels of hygiene and sanitation (particularly in urbanized areas) and of low standards of medical care, as well as poor nutrition for poorer people. We hear much of the ancient sources of food shortages, epidemics (infectious diseases must have taken a severe toll), and war….

 

† Ancient Work: The Natural History. By Pliny the Elder. The first ten books of this work were published around 77 AD. Translated by John Bostock & H.T. Riley. Taylor and Francis, 1855. Book 7, Chapter 50. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text.jsp?doc=...

 

First of all, however, it must strike us that the variations which have taken place in this science prove its uncertainty; and to this consideration may be added the experience of the very last census, which was made four years ago, under the direction of the Emperors Vespasian, father and son.8 … [I]n the eighth region of Italy, there appeared by the register, to be fifty-four persons of one hundred years of age, fourteen of one hundred and ten, two of one hundred and twenty-five, four of one hundred and thirty, the same number of one hundred and thirty-five to one hundred and thirty-seven, and three of one hundred and forty. …

 

8 This census appears to have taken place A.D. 74, under the fifth consulship of Vespasian, and the third of Titus; according to Censorinus, it was the last of which we have any distinct account.—B.

 

‡ As documented in Chapter 1 of Rational Conclusions.

 

§ Article: "Biblical Literature." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to Mark" states: "Mark may thus be dated somewhere after 64 and before 70, when the Jewish war ended."

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to Matthew" states: "The fall of Jerusalem (AD 70) had occurred, and this dates Matthew later than Mark, c. 70–80."

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to Luke" states: "Luke can be dated c. 80."

 

The section entitled "Gospel According to John" states that "a working hypothesis is that John and the Johannine letters were written and edited somewhere in the East … at the end of the 1st century. … The Jews are equated with the opponents of Jesus, and the separation of church and synagogue is complete, also pointing to a late-1st-century dating."

 

[1055] Article: "Nero." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2004.

 

"The great fire that ravaged Rome in 64 illustrates how low Nero's reputation had sunk by this time. … According to the Annals of the Roman historian Tacitus and to the Nero of the Roman biographer Suetonius, Nero in response tried to shift responsibility for the fire on the Christians…."

 

[1056] Ancient Work: The Annals. By Cornelius Tacitus. Published 115-117 A.D. Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Macmillan, 1891. Section 15.44. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=...

 

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed.