We have, then, the situation that, arguably, the most powerful Bible verse showing Jesus Christ
was God in person is lost in the modern Bibles.
We should understand that old Bibles
like the KJB are translated from the “Traditional Text” which is a family of handwritten manuscripts (MSS), in
Greek, handed down through church people, I believe from the original “autographs”.
Whereas, modern Bibles are translated from what is commonly called the “Critical Text,” which is
a family of several significantly older Greek manuscripts.
Although somewhat older, these
texts are FAR more divergent and disagreed between themselves than
the manuscripts of the Traditional Text which underlie the older bibles, like the King James and Geneva.
Thus, the Traditional Text is a tight knit family, the Critical Text, a loose knit family.
The backbone of this family is the Vaticanus MSS, supposedly found long-lost in the Vatican library and the Sinaiticus
MSS, supposedly found at the monastery on Mt Sinai, in the Sinai desert.
difference, then between old Bibles like the KJB, and modern bibles, is not only translation, but, as in
the case of 1Timothy 3:16, a difference in the underlying TEXTS FROM WHICH it is translated.
Speaking of older Bibles -- Thank heaven, for the The Geneva Bible (1599) that was very popular with the American Pilgrims and with many Europeans too, of course.
It comes from the same texts as the King James Bible.
It effectively serves as
a check, preceding the KJB by 11 years, or as an additional witness, alongside the King James Bible.
The Geneva Bible says in 1Timothy 3:16:
And without controversy, great is
the mystery of godliness, God is manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world, received up in glory.
Many of us call the Bible, “God’s
So to be careless in the underlying text used, is sin. We have
to be diligent to determine the correct text.
argue that there is a clear philosophical difference involved.
Fans of the Traditional Text are, in effect, saying that God has providentially brought the text down to us through
For the fans of this view, other manuscripts being somewhat older, isn’t
a problem because of God’s providential superintending in textual transmission.
the Critical text seem to see the Bible like any other old book.
The very oldest
manuscripts are deemed closest to the original “autographs,” as they are called, and viewed as most accurate.
So it’s lucky Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were found -- We might have lost the real bible
A strong argument for the Traditional text is that it is a close knit family;
differences between individual manuscripts in this family are minor. Whereas, the differences between Sinaiticus and
Vaticanus are quite major. This negates any possible age advantage.
Sometimes in these
investigations the passage context helps us decide. Such is the case here.
must have antecedents. But, search the passage.
The pronoun “who” has
NONE. “God” will have NO antecedent, being a noun. Traditional Text reading matches this context.
Wilbur N. Pickering wrote an excellent book, The Identity of the New Testament Text, Thomas Nelson, 1980. Regarding
1Tim 3:16 Pickering says, “Over 300 Greek MSS read “God” while only eleven read something else.
Of those eleven two have private readings; two have a third reading, and seven agree in reading “who.”
So we have to judge between 97% and 2%, “God” versus “who.”
is hard to imagine any possible set of circumstances in the transmissional history sufficient to produce the cataclysmic overthrow
in statistical probability required by the claim that “who” is the original reading.” (My emphasis)
Pickering is saying that the overwhelming weight of 300 manuscripts (97%) makes it a statistical
certainty that “God” is the true, correct, original, text reading.
realize that many people including textual scholars have an enormous dislike for the idea that God has providentially brought
the Bible down through history. As I said before, many folks hate the truth that “God was manifest in flesh.”
Thus, they have adopted the humanistic view that the Bible is just like any other old book and
they have chosen to trust a few older manuscripts, which disagree markedly among themselves, over the overwhelming numerical
superiority of the Traditional Text.
In fact the Traditional Text is often referred to
as the “Majority text.”
As Pickering says, “It is hard to imagine any
possible set of circumstances in the transmissional history sufficient to produce the cataclysmic overthrow in statistical
probability required by the claim that “who” is the original “reading.”
Only the truth that the Traditional text correctly represents the original “autographs” can explain this
statistical superiority. The Traditional text got out of the starting blocks first and thus no later, competing texts could
catch it in the race.
I immediately take full advantage of God’s great promise in 1 John
5:14-15 any time I have a ANY question:
And this is the confidence
that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever
we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
are several things that must be said here. First, the “we” means Christians; the promise is only to believers.
Second, the objective prayed for must be according to his will. Thirdly, one must accept God’s answer, IN ADVANCE, to
be according to his will.
One cannot say, “God, show me the answer and then
I will decide if I want to accept it or not. One must accept God’s answer in advance for God to make good on his
promise. This disqualifies many paid religious teachers and ministers because they are locked into doctrinal boundaries
by their employments.
I have used this great promise dozens of times. God has faithfully
given me THE answers. I’m so glad I was able to take a Logic course in college in place of philosophy. God’s
promise is, logically, a basic, “if-then-statement.” Its right working depends ONLY, on my doing the “if”
part, and God doing the “then” part. It does not depend on my own intelligence, understanding or special
I am not constrained. I work a secular job. I can embrace God’s
answer and still get my paycheck. I do not have to please anyone. We still have freedom of religion, speech, and
the press, so far, here in America. But, time is short!
God faithfully answered my
question about 1Tim 3:16, and also the general question about the New Testament text. He brought to me the knowledge
I have already mentioned. But, God clinched the answer, for me, in favor of the Traditional Text, by bringing to my
attention, Jesus’ great “High Priestly Prayer” in the Gospel of John chapter 17.
John 17 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is
come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have
finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now,
O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and
thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came
out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep
through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept,
and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled
14 I have given them thy word; and the world
hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not
of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so
have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes
I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in
us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that
thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast
given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved
me may be in them, and I in them.
Our Lord Jesus Christ prays for the Father to sanctify ALL BELIEVERS, down through history with the truth of his
Word. This shows that God providentially protects transmission of the Bible text down through Earth history. Only the
Traditional Text matches this scenario.
The Vaticanus was lost in the Vatican library for
perhaps 1000 years. The Sinaiticus was found, supposedly, in a waste basket at St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt.
Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula.
Only the Traditional Bible Text comes down through history
vitally connected with the true Church, the body of Jesus Christ made up of all true believers.
This is what is demanded by Christ’s prayer in John 17. God’s true Word would be found hand in
hand with his true people, not long lost in some obscure library or monastery.
Traditional text IS THE TRADITIONAL text, because that IS WHAT IT IS!
It is the Received
THE TRADITIONAL TEXT IS GOD'S PROVIDENTIALLY TRANSMITTED TEXT TO US!!!