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Biblical Manipulation - Papacy/Others

Discussion in 'World History' started by elfangor801, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. elfangor801

    elfangor801 So cold....

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    Howdy,

    I'm doing a research paper for my English class, and I'm looking for credible info/sources on this topic:

    The intentional changing of the Christian Bible by the Catholic Church (Or maybe others, not sure yet) over the past 2000 years.

    That includes them excluding certain things from the original or changing them or later on changing them.

    ---

    So far, I've been able to find some good stuff, and one book which has been helpful, "Misquoting Jesus". I also have access to Infotrac and Proquest and the usual info gathering suspects.

    Any help is welcome!
     
  2. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Sounds rather contentious to me - are you claiming that the Catholic Church has deliberately altered the text of the Bible? Because you're going to have a hard time demonstrating that, I think, given the existence of manuscripts of the Bible from the fourth century or even earlier.

    Now, if you were arguing that the Catholic Church has misinterpreted the Bible, you might be on slightly firmer ground - but of course this would still be hard, as you would have to establish what the "correct" interpretation of the disputed text is, and that's notoriously difficult for a whole host of reasons.
     
  3. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Plotinus, you coy fellow you. ;)
     
  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Can you post your links or name your sources for the misquotes?
     
  5. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Yeah, that's me!

    I haven't read Ehrman's book, but a quick glance at what I can see on the Net indicates that it's about textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament. Well, it's worth pointing out that such variants are fairly minor, and, perhaps more importantly given the title of this thread, hardly represent some kind of official policy by the Catholic Church. It's just a typical instance of different scribes writing slightly different things in different places, so you get divergent traditions; and in fact the New Testament suffers from this considerably less than most other texts of comparable age.
     
  6. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Maybe he should switch sides for his paper and do it on how the church has not changed the bible over the past 2000 years. That would be much easier.
     
  7. Taliesin

    Taliesin Puttin' on the Ritz

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    Ah, Birdjaguar, that's just like you. Changing one's opinion the moment the facts justify it-- honestly. :rolleyes: Talk about fickle.
     
  8. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Yes, I'm a flip flopper! ARe you keeping up with Plotinus' "manuscripts" in the adjacent thread? You would enjoy his books. EDIT: Apparently you do read them too.
     
  9. Heretic_Cata

    Heretic_Cata We're gonna live forever

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    I read a book on how the Bible was ..." put toghether " . I don't think any church (catholic/orthodox/protestant) altered it's contents BUT ... you know the Bible was made by putting some manuscrispts togetgher right ? ... SO we should ask ourselves if they "deliberatley" forgot to add a certain manuscript ...
    For example the Orthodox Bible has a few stuff more than the catholic one. And remember how controversial (is this a word?) was the adding of the Revelation (by John) into the final manuscript because it shared a lot of visions with the gnostic beleifs at that time - and the church was doing anything to fight the heresies back then (arianism, nestorianism etc)... i am surprised they even added it ...
     
  10. JoeM

    JoeM Imperator

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    @elfangor801

    It seems to me you have things topsy-turvy. Surely you should investigate the subject, then come up with your conclusion rather than the other way around.
     
  11. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    [Heretic Cata] Revelation was a bit controversial because not everyone agreed that it was by John the apostle - it didn't really have anything to do with Gnosticism. You're right that Arianism was the big issue during the time that the canon was established, but Nestorianism wouldn't be invented for several decades.
     
  12. Heretic_Cata

    Heretic_Cata We're gonna live forever

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    Yup Nestorianism was a bit later but i was just giving random examples :)
    But i mentioned the gnostics 'caues that is what the book said (NEVER DISAGREE WITH THE BOOK :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ) - i'm kidding, i just wanted to elaborate more on what the book said . The fact that the Revelation gives detailed (=cool) descriptions of demons and the EVIL in the world ... and that was a little too diffrent form all the other manuscripts (maybe except for the Pseudo-Isaia but that is another story... -the name might be diffrent in english:) ) and that had in common a little too much with the gnostic dualism ... the evil side ...

    Edit: I'm not saying that the gnostic stuff was the only thing the Revelation was controversial for ... they had more than one reason to argue about it :)

    But i think we are getting a little off topic :)

    BTW i might be asking you (since i see you know a lot of stuff in the matter) some stuff about the heresies a little later on (PM's)...
     
  13. elfangor801

    elfangor801 So cold....

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    Well I already chose the topic a week or so ago for the fun of it and so far I've found a bit of information.

    I think there will probably be enough stuff actually, I need to do like 120-150 notecards totaling around 8 or 9 pages, it's not really college term paper stuff.

    I realize that the real good stuff is in what they left out at the beginning to start with but from what I can gather (Haven't looked that far into it yet) they did do some basic flippy floppy stuff.

    @Birdjaguar - I don't have links, I went out and bought the book because it looked good anyway and the library waiting list was like 4 or 5 months. Also, I wouldn't switch the topic around because I'm not lying to myself/my English teacher :p. I have looked into Opposing Viewpoints and the main argument for that is: "The Bible is the truth because *quotes Bible verse* says it's the truth." Which is a bit unhelpful....

    P.S. Since the topic isn't totally concrete, I'm also looking into what they did in the making of the King James' Bible. I have a book on that too, "God's Secretaries". Also seems good.
     
  14. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Plotinus was being very polite in his posts. In case you don't know, he is a published biblical scholar (3 books at least) and knows what he is talking about. If your topic is as noted below:
    then Plotinus could tell you in great detail why you are completely wrong and that the church did not intentionally change or rewrite the bible text to suit their purposes. He did leave the door open to the fact that they, might have reinterpreted the text on occasion.

    Now as far as what they "left out". If you click over to the "Did Jesus go to India" thread (in history) and read his posts there, you will get a glimpse of why the notion that they left a lot of stuff out is also wrong. From a scholarly perspective your arguments built on sand if not quicksand. Hence my suggestion that you switch your topic around.

    If you want some specific feed back, post one or two pieces of your evidence and lets have a look at it. Post what you consider to be the strongest and best.

    Then you are looking in the wrong places. :)
     
  15. elfangor801

    elfangor801 So cold....

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    All of your points were well-taken and I've changed my thesis to this:

    Over the past two thousand years, the Bible has undergone many accidental and occasionally intentional changes impacting the course of history and religion in Christian nations and organizations.

    (Can anyone think of a better word for organizations??)

    If I sounded rude or anything, sorry, I didn't mean it that way, and no, I didn't know that :( . He might be able to help a friend of mine though, he's doing why the Da Vinci Code is full of it.....

    ---

    I realize the argument could go both ways, but not to sound overly 10th grade, this one sort of sounds cooler and makes a much more interesting point so I think I'm going to go with errors instead of the other way around. The one main source so far that I'm probably going to end up taking 30 notecards from (The max from any one source) is the above mentioned book, "Misquoting Jesus". It's made a very, very interesting read so far. This obviously isn't quite my field of expertise so I didn't have any opposing arguments to start off with and it made a pretty good impression to start off with.
     
  16. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    [elfangor801] It seems to me that you're confusing two very different issues here. The first is the reliability of the transmission of the text of the New Testmant. The second is the actual truth of the content of that text in the first place.

    As for the first issue, the fact is that the text has been fairly reliably transmitted. There are far more ancient manuscripts for the New Testament than there are for most of the Greek and Latin classics, and they are typically earlier in date. I've seen the Codex Sinaiticus in the British Library, which contains the whole of the New Testament and dates from the fourth century. Now, Ehrman is right to point out that there are some dubious bits (the variant endings of Mark's Gospel, for example) but really these are only a headache to those who think that the entire Bible has to be directly inspired by God, and who therefore need to have a clear line between the Bible and other texts.

    As to the second issue, that's completely different. As we've been discussing in the "Did Jesus go to India?" thread, the New Testament books are based upon earlier traditions that are more or less imperfectly preserved - so, for example, most scholars think that John's Gospel is of dubious value in reconstructing the historical Jesus. But that's a separate issue from the question whether the text of John's Gospel that we have is what the original author wrote. (Of course, the Gospel went through a number of editions and versions in the early years anyway, so the notion of "one original text" is a bit dodgy anyway, but still.)

    So you need to define more clearly what your view is and what the opposing view is. If you think that the only argument against your view is some Biblical verse supporting Biblical infallibility (not that any such verses exist) then that suggests that you're dealing with the second issue, the truth of the content of the text. But your initial post indicates that you're dealing with the first issue, the reliability of the transmission of the text. You can't mix these up. It could be that the original text was all fictional but has been very reliably transmitted, or that the original text was the honest truth but has been very badly transmitted, or any combination and variation of these.

    By the way, I'm no Biblical scholar, more a historical theologian, but thank you BJ!
     
  17. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    EDIT: Damn, he showed up first.

    I can assure you that he took no offense. For the stuffy academic [historical theologian] that Plotinus is in RL. :mischief: he is wonderfully friendly and open. He is a great resource and helpful to boot.

    I am not familiar with the book, but would love to see an example of what it says.
     
  18. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Oh, no offence taken. I'm too stuffy to notice such things! :)
     
  19. elfangor801

    elfangor801 So cold....

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    I was gonna do the first one. I might be going out on a limb but they probably had most of the stuff right to begin with :p.

    Oh. Damn. Really? Once again, I'm sure you know more about the subject then me but just from paging through the book the guy sort of pokes holes in a lot of stuff. Not like big stuff like "Yeah so it turns out Jesus was a dog" but more along the lines of "Maybe he wasn't quite as divine, or maybe he was even more divine, etc" I have to finish some stuff up tonight but if you want I can type some of it word for word tomorrow afternoon or in the library tomorrow in school seeing as I did the work slated for then like an hour ago.

    And oddly enough, I've noticed a lot of people really do take the Bible as the exact word of God :sad: .

    Lol I was paraphrasing a little bit
     
  20. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Administrator

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    Yes, a lot of people are very strange...

    You'll know, of course, that the New Testament as we have it doesn't even say that Jesus was God at all (there are a couple of verses that can be interpreted as saying that he was, but it is not clear that that is the correct interpretation). But this, of course, is a matter of understanding what the text says, that is, its content, not of the transmission of the text. Content and meaning isn't relevant to transmission.

    But it'd be good to see what some of the claims are...
     

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