I do not believe this is going anywhere. Marc has still not dealt with several questions, and he has not addressed the essential point underlying several others. For the benefit of the silent reader, I would like to remind everyone of the unanswered questions, after re-answering Marc's questions:
To answer Marc's latest questions:
Marc wrote:Mark 16:9-20 does not corrupt the Bible's accuracy because it does not belong in the Bible. The words of the Bible have always been in the mind of God. Since this portion never belonged in the mind of God to begin with it was never part of Scripture. ... I never said that Scriptres are defined as what "alone" exist in the mind of God. I'm sure there is much more to Him and He has other thoughts that go beyond (although not contradicting) the Scriptures. So ot does not constitute "a serious abuse of the text"
You have missed the point. The question never was about what existed in God's mind and its veracity. The question revolved around the accuracy and faithfulness of what we have! Jesus said the Scriptures could not be broken. Does that apply to what we have? Or, does it only apply to what exists in God's mind, as you have claimed. You already surrendered that our copy was broken, so the only remaining solace was to redefine the Scriptures as what exists in the mind of God. Unfortunately, God's revealed will does not support this definition, because it is internally characterized as having these properties: written, readable, searchable, illuminating, foundation for refutation, providing comfort and patience, able to make us wise unto salvation, profitable for doctrine, profitable for reproof, profitable for correction, profitable for instruction in righteousness, and able to be twisted to one's own destruction (Matthew 21:42; John 5:39; Acts 17:2-3; Acts 17:11; Acts 18:27-28; Romans 15:4; II Timothy 3:14-17; II Peter 3:15-16
). None of these properties can be applied to what exists in the mind of God, simply because we cannot read His mind (I Corinthians 2:11
). Only the Bible can do all
of these things, which makes it "the Scriptures", which Jesus said is unbreakable.
If man can essentially corrupt the transmitted Word of God, and if the promise of "unbreakability" and "incorruptibility" applies only to what exists in God's mind, then what is the point of the promise? We cannot access God's mind, except through the revealed, inspired Scriptures (I Corinthians 2:12-16; II Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:3-5
). What was the point of Jesus' asserting that the Scriptures were unbreakable and quoting from the Old Law, if the transmitted Old Law was not Scriptures and could be broken? Since we cannot access what lies in the mind of God, assuming you are correct, what is the point of the promise?
Back to John 10:35
, we see that Jesus referred to the Scriptures as what was delivered, available for reading, and open to understanding. We cannot read God's mind (I Corinthians 2:11
). Only the Bible fulfills the properties of "Scripture" as outlined in John 10:35
: revealed ("came to them"
), written ("is it not written"
), preserved to be read ("in your law", and quoted by Jesus), and intended to be understood (pointless to quote Old Law as authoritative, if it cannot be understood or if it is untrustworthy). Therefore, your argument is false, because the Scriptures cannot be broken. If your interpretation of Mark 16:9-20 is correct, then the insertion of the passage would constitute a 2000 year reign of corrupted Scriptures, as internally defined. Consequently, you are faced with a dilemma: Either your interpretation of Mark 16:9-20 is false or Mark 16:9-20 is canon.
Marc wrote:I have given several examples that this text is not in the earliest manuscripts when it was translated into diferent languages. I have also supplied the fact that the first known commtary on Mark did not have it either.
You only gave two examples. Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, which JSM17 conceded in his first thread. This was answered by noting that:
- These two documents contradict each other greatly (questioning their credibility)
- They are missing other verses which have not been challenged (questioning consistency)
- The earlier church fathers quoted from the "missing" text
- The vast majority of texts contain the passage (JSM17's original chart)
- The "older" manuscripts, which contain Mark 16:9-20, are not much older than the "earliest". In fact, they are closer to the "earliest" than the "earliest" are to the original autographs (compare 4th and 5th century versus 1st century).
- Regarding the first known commentary, please remember that absence of something in some places does not necessitate absence in all. Two references (Justin Martyr and Irenaeus) were provided showing that the text existed and was quoted well before the first commentary's conception.
Marc wrote: The fact that W does have this "added" gives us further eveidence that all long endings do not belong whether they be the shorter ending as here or the longer ending as in 16:9-20.
This was answered last time. Yes, not all texts should be considered cannon, just because they show up in some document somewhere. Passages must be supported by a significant number of aged, trusted sources. The Freer Ligon version of Mark 16:9-20
is found in a small number of older documents that are generally regarded as untrustworthy. Plus, to add it would presume that the Scriptures were broken for almost 2000 years, since they were missing this text. This possibility is rejected based on the first argument.
Marc wrote:Of course Aleph and B disagree with one another. The are very few manuscripts that are "exactly" the same. In fact, I don't know any that are.
That's my point! You have to put multiple texts together. Each one has holes. Canon is partly defined by the sum of documents, not just two; otherwise, our Bible would be a direct translation of the Sinaiticus. Now, if you accept the "sum" principle for other passages, why not this one?
Marc wrote:In terms of the specific dates of the manuscripts I have cited I do not have them. I did provide evidence from Metzger that these are in fact the earliest manuscripts of these languages. I am SURE if he was in error thos that defend this spurious text would demonstrate he is in error - but they don't. Provide one scholar so I can check out what he/she said that refutes Metxger. You mentioned Burgeon. Does he ever state that there are earlier manuscripts that do contain this text form the languages I cited or for that matter does anyone else?
Dean Burgon accumulated extensive work on this point. Scrivner and Lenski are translators and commentators who also researched and favored its conclusion. Although they may not disregard Metzger himself, they do ultimately dismiss the evidence he used.
Again, this gets us nowhere, because you have not provided Metzger's evidence to examine.
Marc wrote:Whereas we have Aleph and B we do not have the manuscript from which Irenaeus cited. There is no way to verify what else it contained.
Neither do we have the manuscripts that Tertullian and Victor of Antioch used. See, you are not being consistent.
Furthermore, we must weigh all the evidence, and not focus only on the evidence that supports our case. Irenaeus and Justin Martyr are just as good as Eusebius, Tertullian, and Jerome - except Irenaeus and Justin Martyr predate the others.
Marc wrote:It is not "wrong". There is strong evidence that it is not inspired. Jerome, Victor, earliest manuscripts, etc.
If Jerome thought Mark 16:9-20
was not canon, why did he include it in his Latin Vulgate? He must have not had too much doubt; otherwise, he would have rejected it.
At best, you have a stale-mate on the textual evidence. Consequently, I think the most power arguments are the doctrinal and theological, and I would focus on them. Therefore, I believe the decision we make is ultimately a reflection on how we view God and His Word. However, the textual evidence is just as strong, if not stronger, for the inclusion of Mark 16:9-20
in the Bible.
Marc wrote: - John 1:13: Denying that Christ was born of a virgin bolsters the Gnostic claim that He was not necessarily sinless. A sinful Savior could not save anyone.
Again, you failed to answer the question. The question was not, "What were the false doctrines held by the people trying to change John 1:13
?". The question was, "What false doctrine could be produced from either reading of John 1:13
? What false doctrine is taught by changing "were" to "was", or vice-versa? None! The reading is inconsequential to the revealed message.
Marc wrote: - In terms mof the heionous doctrine being introduced, God permits things to happen. As to the specific reason why He only knows.
Except God is not a unfair God. He has deliberately gone to great lengths to demonstrate His fairness and justice (Romans 3:25-26
); therefore, any doctrine that charges God with ultimate, catastrophic, eternal injustice must be rejected as profound heresy!
Marc wrote: - If we do happen to find an earlier manuscript than the ones we have now I'd like to see if it contradicts what the Bible teaches as Mark 16:16 does.
So, how can you guarantee that it will not happen? You have already denied the protection and promise that John 10:35
and II Peter 1:18-22
Marc wrote: - Irenaues and Martyr we do not have the text to verify what else it said. Some manuscxripts at that time may have had them but as Jerome stated, "almost all of the Greek codices lack the longer ending".
Repetition of above... Neither do we have the documents Tertullian and Victor of Antioch used - so what? If you trust these two, why not Irenaeus and Justin Martyr? Plus, Jerome included Mark 16:9-20
in his Latin Vulgate. If he was such a respected expert and was ultimately uncomfortable removing it from the canon, why are you so bold?
Marc wrote: In terms of the text I cited from the Restoration Quarterly showing that a Syriac text does indeed pre-date the Peshitto you can contact Western Baptist College in Salem Oregon. They have it.
I do not have immediate access to that. Please provide the date, rather than expecting us to simply take your word for the paper's conclusions. If we trusted your interpretation of evidence, we would not be having this discussion.
Regarding Acts 10:44-48
, I agree with sldedford's reasoning, that basing rejection of any text on contradiction with another is assuming the thing to be proven, circular reasoning. Therefore, I reject the dismissal of Mark 16:9-20
, because it contradicts anyone's interpretation of Acts 10:44-48
Old Questions Marc has still failed to address:
- How is uncovering new archaeological facts yields new understanding comparable to uncovering a corruption regarding the plan of salvation?
- What recent discoveries regarding the Greek language are comparable to discovering a heinous insertion regarding the plan of salvation?
- How is it that man could add to Scriptures and not change it, rendering it corrupted and broken?
- How a change in plurality of "was"/"were" in John 1:13 introduces false doctrine on par with Mark 16:9-20?
- What are we saying about God by accepting that He permitted heinous false doctrine to be injected into Scripture, which was undiscovered for almost 2000 years?
- How can he assure us that anything in the Bible is from God, because he cannot promise we will not find an new, earlier manuscript missing any given section?
- Why has he rejected the quotation of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus from Mark 16:9-20, who are dated earlier than all his references, including all of the "earliest Latin, Armenian, Coptic, and Georgian manuscripts"?
- What standard does he use for placing confidence in any passage in the Bible?
- Why he limits "unbroken Scripture" to what exists in God's mind, especially in view of the internal definition?
- Why he dismisses the other variants in Aleph and B, but firmly holds on to their minority exclusion of Mark 16:9-20?
- Why he clings to the early minority on documents, but clings to the late majority on quotations? Standard of convenience?
- Why he accepts Metzger as final authority on Mark 16:9-20, but he does not accept him on other things? Standard of convenience?
- Has not addressed any arguments found in the originally linked article.
Since I have repeated myself twice now, I am done on this thread.
Thank you for your patience and thoughtful consideration.