~ ITEM: List of Verses Omitted from other Bible Versions (NIV, ASV, NASB et al.)
~ ITEM: On Bible Criticism and Its Counterarguments; and The Documentary Theory of the Authorship of the Pentateuch: Collection of Critical Articles
~ THE MORE THAT the Bible is translated, said C.S. Lewis, the less it is read. There are now so many boutique and niche-versions of the Christian Bible, it’s a veritable forest. We might also say that the more experts have their way with God’s Word, the more it seems to vanish into thin air, by their critical acids, pretending to be ‘objective scholarship’ of Biblical Criticism.
These ideas are partly why so many preachers say such weird and irrelevant stuff from the pulpit– they have the special inside knowledge, you see. The sheep in the pews are there to be patronized, talked down to, and baffled with this kind of BS.
It Gets Worse
But the nasty thing about a lot of modern Bibles? They simply leave some verses out, or in the footnotes, because experts. And they won’t always tell you what they’ve been up to.
Thing is, saith Binks, such edits depend on a teeteringly tall stack of assumptions about the Bible, and Julius Wellhausen-style ‘onwards and upwards progression’ arguments. I am no expert, and am instinctively suspicious of experts, and expertism in general. Partly because of problems like this:
“Wellhausen’s method is clear and straightforward. Every passage that fits his theory is authentic; all others are forgeries.”
Julius Had A Theory
What-now? Yes, you read that correctly.
Wellhausen’s method & theory itself depends on a taken-for granted 19th century theory of improvement & progress, that acorns come before oak trees, and (to make it very simplistic) we now are the smartest & bestest people ever, because we are alive now, and we know so much more than the naive dolts who went before us. Especially the pre-scientific & pre-critical nitwits who lived & lied-up the Bible. It would have been better, really, if they’d all been superior Germanic Biblical professors a lot like Wellhausen.
This is classical ‘Jumping Off Your Own Shadow’ cleverness, where your master-theory assumes what it has to prove, and does not include a proper examination of the hidden assumptions, presumptions, and biases implicit in, say, being a late 19th century German academic. This is a classical form of Ivory Tower Blind-Spot. It reminds me of a retired Episcopal Seminary professor who said, in my hearing, that given the way that saint, evangelist, apostle and eyewitness of Our Lord St. Matthew mis-handled the Old Testament, that he “would have flunked my intro to the New Testament course.”
Then, all the like-minded modern experts gather together, echo each other, and assume anybody not as clever as them & Wellhausen are rather pitiable unserious persons, and to be treated as such, or simply lied to in general.
Looking At The Bible
We simply don’t know why some families of NT documents have omissions, differences, or variations. Nor do Biblical Scholars, especially the darned German ones, who have utterly buggerized & theoretized the faith & Bible as much as they have helped it.
As Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out in his two books on Jesus of Nazareth, even after we have criticized and analysed and crumbled the Bible, we still must unbreak it and re-read and know it as God’s Word. Deconstruction must lead to deeper understanding, or it is merely a con leading to destruction. Unwisdom.
Or, as a recently rediscovered speech & poem by J.R.R. Tolkien puts it,
Twenty years have flowed away
down the long river
And never in my life will return
for me from the sea.
Ah, years in which looking far away
I saw ages long past
When still trees bloomed
free in a wide country.
And thus now all begins to wither
With the breath of cold-hearted wizards
To know things they break them*
And their stern lordship they establish
Through fear of death.
* My emphasis.
A Few Speculations
For instance– even if we agree (‘cuz it’s shorter & simpler = Wellhausen) that the Gospel of Mark is early, might not the early Church very early on (in late apostolic immediate sub-apostolic time) have been guided by the Holy Spirit to edit the Gospel to add, fix, and clarify Mark, in accord with the faith, the creed, and the three other Gospels? So the runty-Gospel doesn’t look strange and incomplete, compared to the other three, the Letters of Paul, and the preaching, creed, and worship in the Churches?
Or, what if the scribes of Peter wrote more in an ‘updated edition’, as remembered from his preaching, with the last chapter?
Or, what if there was an early set of incomplete manuscripts, and a later completed one?
Or, what if the earliest (fuller) texts were destroyed or lost in various persecutions or invasions, and other texts (the incomplete, or uncorrected or partial texts) survived, because they were not in as much use?
That’s a very few “what ifs”, on one possibility, for one Gospel. So easy, a web-elf can do it. Oh, and, of course, everything that fits my theory is authentic; all others are forgeries.
Leaving dozens of verses out of modern Bible translations as modern scholars have done in too many Bible mistranslations is hubristic, arrogant, and assumes too much that we simply cannot know, but must take on faith. And no, I’m not a KJV-worshipper– nor am I an unreflective Westcott & Hort, or Wellhausen fanboy.
Let’s be clear here: as against the witness of a good part of the surviving New Testament documents, experts have made their version of the Bible fit Liberal German theories of simpler=earlier. Anything that does not fit with the theory does not belong.
However, I do believe that the Spirit-guided evangelists of the Spirit-guided Church were indeed receivers of the promised Holy Ghost, who would bring all things into remembrance, whatsoever Jesus had taught the apostles, and to write it in the Spirit-sealed Word of God, all by the power and inspiration of the Risen Logos, the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
Somehow, the Church prospered and grew and preached for over 1830 years (give or take) without the bizarre and too often destructive and high-handed ‘expertise’ of unrestricted theories and guesses about the Bible, which has led us to the ideological nightmare of “politically correct” feminist ‘Bibles‘, pro-Gay ‘Bibles‘, and the popular modern ‘with the suspicious bits left out’ versions.
Don’t trust the experts. Binks may be wrong, too. The truth may be larger, more interesting, simpler or more complicated than some German guy said. The experts do not have, or should not have, the final word. ~