Friday, October 3, 2014

The Henry Bradshaw Society & the Sinaiticus Controversy

Note: This is just a short post to keep things moving along: more coming shortly.  Join us shortly on this site and Judah's Glory for "In a KJV Minute": 60 second 'facts of the day' on the KJV Controversy, &the preservation of the Masoretic text for Hebrew translation and the TR for Greek.

When Count von Tischendorf brought back 43 leaves of the Codex Sinaiticus, most who are already familiar with the modern translation controversy, are aware that after purchase by Frederick, the manuscripts found their way to the Westminister Library in the UK.   Many are also aware that the leaves, still archived at Westminister, both then and now came under controversy, as the Count claimed he was given the leaves for a fee with a promise to return for more, and the abbey posited some questions about the transaction.  Tischendorf himself though describes his initial 'discovery' of the texts while visiting St. Catherines at Sinai:

In visiting the library of the monastery, in the month of May, 1844, I perceived in the middle of the great hall a large and wide basket full of old parchments; and the librarian, who was a man of information, told me that two heaps of papers like these, mouldered by time, had been already committed to the flames. What was my surprise to find amid this heap of papers a considerable number of sheets of a copy of the Old Testament in Greek, which seemed to me to be one of the most ancient that I had ever seen. The authorities of the convent allowed me to possess myself of a third of these parchments, or about forty-three sheets, all the more readily as they were destined for the fire. But I could not get them to yield up possession of the remainder. The too lively satisfaction which I had displayed had aroused their suspicions as to the value of this manuscript. I transcribed a page of the text of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and enjoined on the monks to take religious care of all such remains which might fall in their way.1

What was the text which Tischendorf saw, that we refer to as the Sinaiticus?  Simply, by the admission of the steward of the Abbey, it was not a previously undiscovered text of the standard bible,  but it was called by the steward of the Abbey, the SEPTUAGINT.

"And I, too, have read a Septuagint"--i.e. a copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy. And so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume, wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. I unrolled the cover, and discovered, to my great surprise, not only those very fragments which, fifteen years before, I had taken out of the basket, but also other parts of the Old Testament, the New Testament complete, and, in addition, the Epistle of Barnabas and a part of the Pastor of Hermas.

 The 'Septuagint'  was a Greek Bible, Old and New Testament (the new as always in Greek or Aramaic),  and by many was considered the 'find of the century' because many scholars posited that the Septuagint was the Tenach used by Jesus in quoting scripture,  though the evidence for this is faulty and flimsy since Jesus would never have used a Greek copy of the Scriptures, and since at the time of Jesus and ever since, the implied 'Septuagint' was a fabled work supposedly composed all at once by 70 rabbinical scholars in a miracle reported by 'Aristeas' a shadowy character referred to in ancient literature at various times over several hundred years. (2)   The Septuagint modern scholars referred to was the greek translation of the Old Testament or Tenach in the fifth colum of the Hexepla, a work by Origin which could best be described as an ancient 'Amplified bible'.   Origin's work though was not an original Greek text, but the hebrew translated into Greek AFTER the time of Jesus.   Most likely, the great 'find' of Tischendorf was one of the known copies, or the emulated copy which was referred to by Constantine Simonides.

Tischendorf and his 'Codex Fred' (amusingly referred to by scholars) was less of a discovery, and may have been far more of a useful tool in administering a plan to undercut the traditional texts, both hebrew and Greek of the Bible in order to bring about a furthering of the 'Enlightenment', removing the voracious loyalty of believers to the scriptures, for motives which are many and still not all exposed.  That Tischendorf was of the group of scholars wishing to overthrow the Erasmus Greek and the Masoretic Hebrew, the 'Received Texts' of history, is made clear in the following passage---it is no secret that his dismissal of most of the manuscript evidence up to his time was due to his and others clear intent to overthrow what was then over 4800 years of preserved Bible text transmission:

Learned men have again and again attempted to clear the sacred text from these extraneous elements. But we have at last hit upon a better plan even than this, which is to set aside this altogether, and to construct a fresh text, derived immediately from the most ancient and authoritative sources. This is undoubtedly the right course to take, for in this way only can we secure a text approximating as closely as possible to that which came from the Apostles.1
 Henry Bradshaw, Count Tischendorf, Hort & Westcott and the New Bible

Henry Bradshaw Society,  founded in 1890, was founded by Bradshaw's instruction following his death (1831-1886).  Victoria was queen of England at the time and the esteemed Cambridge librarian had a few notable distinctions:
1. He was at the hub of many persons in both Bible Transmission circles, and in Eugenics, or Racial Science, as well as other disciplines
2. His work and societies were notably associated with the Crown
3. His work and activities coincided with the introduction of the Aryan Renaissance spearheaded by the Grimms,
4. His work and activities coincided with the introduction in Europe of Blavatsky's Theosophy and an attempt to re-invent the Bible via translation
The last in the list is remarkable since the 'brand new Sinaiticus' included the two books which most occupied Blavatsky's attention: The Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle of Barnabas, along with Mme. Helena's sharp criticism of traditional bible texts.   A few dates are helpful in keeping this perspective:
1844-  Tischendorf's first find of the Sinaiticus: includes Shepherd of Hermas & Epistle of Barnabas
1840s-50s -Grimms & German 'Volk' Renaissance
1849,94-Novum Graece by Count von Tischendorf (Nestle will continue) 
1853-5 Gobineau writes "An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races" inspiring Racial Science
1852 Nietzsche writes Fate & History attempting to discredit Christianity

1859-Tischendorf's second trip to claim the Sinaiticus
1859-Darwin's Origin of the Species
1862-Haeckel begins at U of Jena: will found Racial Science
1863-Constantine Simonides vs. Tischendorf controversy over forgery of Sinaiticus in the Guardian:
          Bradshaw dismisses Simonides, supports Tischendorf.
1866-7 -Haeckel meets with Darwin, Huxley
1869-70 First Vatican Council: Papal Infallibility declared
1875  Founding of the Theosophical Society by Blavatsky
1881  Westcott and Hort's 'Revised' New Testament
1882- Society for Psychical Research forms (Ghostly Guild, orig.) Westcott and Hort attend.
1885  Westcott and Hort's 'Revised' Old Testament
1885  Nietzsche writes Thus Sprach Zarathustra
1888,95  "            "        The Anti-Christ: theory of 'Herreman' (the Superman)
1886- Henry Bradshaw dies, designating membership/leadership in forthcoming society
1890   Founding of the Henry Bradshaw Society: members include F.A. Hort & Bishop Westcott, and other members of Translation committee of RV:
1898  Eberhard Nestle publishes Graece Novum based on Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, and
          Weymouth.  Continues to now. 

1901 Rudolf Kittel's first edition of Biblia Hebraic: Masoretic text greatly 'adjusted', Samaritan Torah added (Kittel writes on the Jews of today not being the 'Children of Israeland racial superiority. Kittel and son described by Buber as 'theologians making anti-Semitism theologically acceptable.'
1911  Schweitzer, Tubingen writes In Quest of the Historical Jesus : discounts Jesus as a real Messiah

What many do not realize is that Bradshaw as a 'hub' person not only was at a juxtaposition among fields of scholarship,  but was able to foster 'politically correct' attitudes of his day:  the move away from traditional religion and belief in the Gospel was already afoot,  and the deliberate attempt to 'adjust' the Scriptures to accept a lower place of authority in the life of Europe and the world can be seen even by the layperson.   Much of the attempt was characterized in outspoken debate leaving little to the imagination.

Beyond this, though,  when examining the rough and brief 'timeline' of about 50 years, we see the intertwining of  the formation of Racial Science, the move toward a 'New Bible' and even toward new religions (though most were reintroductions of pantheism, a common theme of the literature of the day), the interest of Royalty in the purchase of antiquities, and with the introduction of the new Hebrew text by an avowed anti-Semite, the dawning of two world wars on the horizon.

One may easily posit, that what became the Henry Bradshaw Society,  before its foundation already was comprised of the key people who would form the RV committee, though technically, the translation was being done before the founding of the committee, which essentially already existed.

The total committee should not exceed fifteen members
and the proposed members (among them personal friends of Bradshaw) were Rev.
W. C. Bishop, Rev. F. E. Brightman, Mr Duff, Rev. Dr F. J. A. Hort, W. H. St John
Hope, Francis Jenkinson, J. Madan, J. T. Micklethwaite, Rev. H. A. Wilson, Rev.
Christopher Wordsworth, and Wickham Legg as Secretary and Treasurer. 
from       pg 5

The move to dismiss the traditional texts of Erasmus' Greek and the Ben Chayim or Masoretic text, was well under way by the mid 1800s.  Further,  the 'new Greek' of today, continuing in the tradition of the Tischendorf Greek,  further credits the 1571 Roman Catholic Greek text,
  the Complutensian Polyglot Bible by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, printed in 1514, but not published until 1520. 2

The conclusions are not for now addressing direct vs. indirect associations,  but the trend of the second half of the 1800s was clearly towards unbelief:  a reformulation of the Word of God, the triumph of man's scholarship over the received text and hundreds of years of believing scholarship, and the simultaneous introduction of Racial Science, Genocide, and the attempt in the years following to eradicate the Jews on the verge of their return to Palestine to reclaim Israel.  One might suggest that the Jews, described in Romans as the 'Oracles of God' might have been the ones to most argue against the modernistic retranslations,  and that when a society seeks a divorce from the Word of God, they must necessarily seek one from the Jews, the constant reminder in this world that God and his Word are real, and true.

till the next
1,  von Tischendorf, Constantine  When Were Our Gospels Written . Leipzig

Friday, July 18, 2014

Prince of Peace
(Messianic Terms)
A Comparison of Verse Counts in Pre- vs. Post Shoah Bible Translations

"Prince of Peace" is a title given to the Lord and Savior in only one passage:  Isaiah 9:6, though 'the Prince' is mentioned in other prominent passages:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

[Eze 46:2 KJV] 2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of [that] gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening.

[Dan 8:25 KJV] 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify [himself] in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

 The term is particularly important because it herald a special title of the incarnate Messiah: God made man, somehow both Counsellor and Mighty God, and correcting false doctrine for centuries, 'El Gibbor' is also the "Prince of Peace".  This critical mention carries in part through Ezekiel and Daniel, as the Prince enters 'by the way of the port of [that] gate without..' , the eastern gate, the 'gate shall not be shut until the evening.'   The messiahship of the Prince is again underscored.  Additionally in Daniel 8:25,  the 'Prince of Princes' is the one which the false prince, the 'vile one' the 'abomination of desolation' stands up against: the Prince of Peace dismantles his authority 'without hand':  no weapons, but the Word, most likely.

While the pre- vs. post shoah difference does not test out as significant, this is one of those cases where statistical significance is actually meaningless, so the raw change can be taken as actual.  Probability levels on sampling from a whole population have to do with how good a sample we took out of the population of whatever data we are looking at, and how representative our findings are of the whole population. For example if we in a sample at the Mall of 800 people find that 798 own a refrigerator, and we find that to be different from a Mall sample in another nation, we say 'there is a statistically significant difference in refrigerator ownership between the two nations ' if the numbers turn out.  We are empiricially 'guessing' the goodness of our observation based upon the size of or estimated size of the population.

Here in the term "Prince of Peace" we have only one mention of the term across bibles, except for one, the NIRV.  (last observed 2008).  Since the total population of verses containing the term is one in every bible save one, there is no 'sampling': we have the whole 'population' of terms.  Therefore, when we seen any difference, whether it comes out significant or not, it is a REAL difference, not a spurious finding.  That is generally true throughout this study though because we are always dealing with the complete set, the total population of number of verses containing the term, pre-Shoah and post-Shoah.   This is problematic more for Statistics, which should render a significant difference where there is one at all, but because of corrections, differing variances etc,  some real differences do not show as significant.  I would have stayed with just the raw count comparisons, but our friends the scientists like data to always look empirical and statistical, so we continue to humor them in the good grace of God.

Today, July 18, 2014,  according to Bible Gateway search engine,  NIRV still does not include "Prince of Peace" but uses the substitute "Prince who will bring Peace".  Well, to many modern theologians that sounds like one of those "dynamic equivalents", but consider for a moment that the 'Vile one', the anti-Christ or anti-'Messiah' will also bring a season of peace, but will hardly be a "Prince of Peace".  Words matter.

Below is a result of the t-test for 'Prince of Peace' but remember with only one count, and only one bible differing, the data yields a real difference, but the statistical test is not powerful enough to detect the only one omission since all other post-Shoah bibles include it.  Do note though in the bar graph below that there is no variance in pre-Shoah variance, obviously because it is one repeated term, but the small s=.03 shows the variance.  Nonetheless if one omitted the NIRV as an 'outlier', there would be no difference,  but the trend to an incorrect translation of this term is worth noting, though not serious presently as most do not change the term and hopefully will keep this title of the Messiah of God intact.  The Hebrew term is "Sar Shalom",  with 'Sar' being the ancient hebrew for Prince, and of course 'Shalom' peace.  This is also worth noting as the 'shalom' portion of his name forms the basis also for the place of his throne, Jerus-shalom  or City of Peace: Jerusalem.


Unpaired t test results  :P value and statistical significance: 
   The two-tailed P value equals 0.5661
   By conventional criteria, this difference is considered to be not statistically significant.

Confidence interval:
   The mean of Pre-Shoah minus Post-Shoah equals 0.09
   95% confidence interval of this difference: From -0.24 to 0.42

Intermediate values used in calculations:
   t = 0.5888
   df = 13
   standard error of difference = 0.154

Group  Pre-Shoah    Post-Shoah

Mean 1.00 0.91
SD          0.00 0.30
SEM         0.00 0.09
N              4     11

till the next time ekbest

P.S. It is a horror to me that some of these posts are missing and have been truncated and occasionally some whom we are aware of have tried to rewrite the posts.  Only myself, Dr. Best collected and analysed the data over several years.  I know that many in the Christian community are not research oriented but there are some serious ethical issues to be aware of: 1. It can be up to a felony to tamper with data, 2. One NEVER impinges on another's study or research: people lose their careers over that offense, and 3. only the person who has proposed the idea originally and handled the data can field the difficult technical questions about the data.  If anyone attempts to represent this study as having participated in it, they have not, I was the sole principle investigator, and author.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Who are the Jews? Part I and II: Responding to the theories of Rudolf Kittel (1899)

 Mystery of the Jews

A Bible Study Offering of Judah's Glory
                                        Who are the Jews? Part 2

Who are the Jews? Part I: Introduction

Who are the Jews?  No one can offer a satisfactory definition, yet everyone knows who they are.   While there are no two Jews who are alike, and while some may appear as the opposite our stereotypes,  still,  no one can define the Jews, yet everyone identifies the Jews as a people.   The problem of definition of Jewish identity is not exclusive to the non-Jewish community but extends even to Israeli Jews and Jews from other nations,  who debate the qualifications for Israeli citizenship,  for burial in sacred ground, or even for marriage or other rites of passage.    For the believer though,  the definition of who a Jew is, or even ‘what’ a Jew is , is tied up in doctrine and eschatology.
In the years  spent in a fundamental church,  I attended church with many persons of a very different backgrounsd from mine,  and many bore an intrinsic prejudice against the Jews, even while claiming to be Bible -believing Christians, and staying in the Word of God often.  This is a paradox since so much of the Word centers on the Jews and their relation to the God of Israel, and causes one to wonder how such a dichotomy can exist:  the truth is that even many ‘born again’ Christians do not resolve in their minds and hearts, that the Jews of today are the same generation, the same ‘chosen people’  described in the Scriptures.

Forms of Anti-Semitism in the Church

There are several types or forms of anti-Semitism that prevail in the church and that are somewhat shared in the public, and somewhat peculiar to the church.  I have categorized them as follows:
1. Raw Anti-Semitism-a full fledged, hateful stance toward the Jews involving violent thought and action towards the Jews which is primarily racially motivated
2. Political Anti-Semitism- a form which may or may not involve hatred, but a stance which holds the Jews responsible for most of the world’s ills: this may include the belief in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy,  a desire for Jewish world domination, or a belief that the Jews act in a way contrary to the good of nations.  #1 and 2 are not always mutually exclusive.
3. Doctrinal Anti-Semitism:  this stance includes doctrinal positions in which the Jew is less than those of other national or racial inclusions, or in which the Jew has to try twice as hard to ‘earn’ Salvation as others, while others gain salvation by grace,  or in which the Jews of today are declared a different race of people than those who are in the Bible.  The other form of doctrinal anti-Semitism I have seen includes blaming or retribution against the Jews for everything from the Fall of Man to the death of Christ,  or even their own holocaust.  Doctrinal anti-semitism is any form of anti-Semitism which is either based upon doctrine, or which emanates from doctrine or leads to new formulations of doctrine.
4. Ignorant Anti-Semitism
This form of anti-Semitism in the church has to do more with upbringing and culture, in which persons really bear no animosity towards the Jews, and in some cases may even appear pro-Israel or pro-Semitic, but carry prejudicial information or stereotypes about the Jews: e.g. believing that all Jews look the same and have the same traits, or that they are very good with money, but very tight with it, or that all Jews want to go to Israel, or wear sidelocks etc, etc.  They repeat what their pastors and parents have always told them.  This kind of anti-Semitism responds best to education:  the others are more difficult.
5. Intellectual Anti-Semitism
Intellectual anti-Semitism in some ways can be the most dangerous:  one church I attended before understanding where they stood on a number of issues, amidst tracts and pamphlets had out a magazine edited by two very liberal thinkers, people who normally would not even be known of in fundamental circles.  The two though,  had a decided anti-Israel mindset,  and a sophisticated defense of their position which tried to divorce it from tolerance issues.   It is not unlike a form of pro-Palestinianism which currently is sweeping college campuses,  where Israel is targeted for boycotts and condemnation for the same actions every nation on earth takes in self-defense.  There are always abuses in every nations, but the boycotts, blockades and flotillas seem to come out full force when Israel is involved—when advocates of this position though are unipolar in addressing only Israel’s wrongs,  it becomes dangerous and affects the thinking in the church as many use the ‘intellectual’ arguments to bolster their already anti-Semitic stance.
The ‘kinds’ of anti-Semitism which are fostered in the church though, should be able to be remedied by correct teaching on the Christian doctrine and duty to the Jews:  the Bible makes it very clear who the Jews are before God, and why we are to ‘touch not God’s anointed’  or the ‘apple of his eye’.   The Jews, even suspended in what William Tyndale referred to as ‘disquietness’ or the ‘slumber’ of the KJV,  are still God’s chosen people and have not been cast off, as Paul noted, “God Forbid”.    In this series in Promise of Messiah, we will begin to look at what is referred to as the ‘mystery of the Jews’.   The next post will begin to answer the question of who the Jews are as a people before God.
by Elizabeth Kirkley Best, (more to follow)

Who are the Jews ? Part 2:  Your Mother was a Hittite….(?)

Turning to a Scriptural description of the Jews,  while in many ways the description is very clear,  nonetheless the debate of who the Jews are and where they come from has raged for centuries,  and yet at the same time, even theologians appear to know who they are, and where they are from.   From the outset, the word ‘Jew’ derives from “Judah” and means “Praise”.  The word for Jew or Jews  is (plural determined by use)
and is derived from
The first mention of the exact word is the plural “Jews” referring to ‘Jews from Elath’ in I Kings 16:6,  with the first mention of the singular in Esther  2:5, referring to the ‘certain Jew whose name was Mordecai’.

At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day. I Kings 16:6
Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose namewas Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; Esther 2:5
The Jews either individually or as a nation or people, are mentioned much earlier in the Scriptures than either of these.  The debate among Theologians and Bible Scholars is essentially at which point the Jews as a people are 1) identified as a people or nation and 2) cannot be identified as something else.  Some scholars note the Jewish people as a ‘generation’ all the way back to the Garden of Eden, reasoning that since Adam was the firstborn of mortal men,  and one must assume that he was implicitly chosen and set apart,  that one could reason the generation of the Jews all the way back to Adam,  since it is not at all indefensible to argue that this is where their history with God starts.  Others argue the Semitic line begins with the third child:  Abel, the righteous son of Adam and Eve dies outside of the Garden at the hand of his brother Cain.  Cain is banished, due as much to his fratricide as to his arrogance toward God, and it becomes clear to Eve that when she declares …”I have gotten a man from the LORD.” (Gen 4:1) that Cain, the man she refers to,  is not the promised deliverer of 3:15 who will bruise the serpents head, but instead is the first progeny of the Fall of Man,  a murderer.   Both sons gone,  feeling the sting of departing from God’s presence in the Garden,  Eve bears a third son called ‘Seth’ or ‘Sheth’  (Gen 4:25) meaning ‘compensation’ but literally ‘buttock’ regarding another child coming from the womb,  and some argue that Seth is the beginning of the Semitic line leading to the Jews.
In some ways this cannot be an incorrect argument since at the time,  Eve is the ‘mother of all living’ and it is clear from the genealogy that from this point on, the direct line of Adam continues in Sheth,  and includes such notables s Enoch, Methusaleh and Noah.   Concurrently,  Cain, though banished knows his wife and from him proceeds another line,  and the question of ‘where Cain got his wife’ for the moment is best left to continuing debate.
Since the whole known human race is destroyed in the flood of Noah, save for the eight left alive of Noah’s line,  many other choose to trace the ‘generation of the Jews’ back to one of Noah’s sons:

Gen 6:10  And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth

In Genesis 10:21,  the descendants of Shem begin to be listed:

       Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth  the elder, even to him were children born. 22 
The children of  Elam,Shem;    and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram…(continuing to 10:32).

The reason this is of interest is that some scholars refer to Eber   (עֵבֶר) as the name from which Hebrew derives,  since it is also anglicized as heber.   The name means literally “the land beyond” (Gesenius, BLB) .   The line of Shem  includes also Elam and Asshur (Asshurites, Assyrians), ‘Aram’ whose name will be applied in the northern regions,  and  ’Arphaxad’ , whose name is applied to the region from Assyria to Armenia, the home of the Chadeans.  WebBible Encyclopedia notes that Josephus named Arphaxad as the father of the Chaldeans.
To some this line of Elamites, Asshurites, ‘Chaldeans’ and Aramites might seem to contradict the line of the Jews, or ‘Chosen People’ but this is not the case.  Arphaxad is third from Noah, and only five immediate generations from Abraham.  Further,  though we seldom equate it with genealogy,  Ezekiel 26 notes:

And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan;  thy father was aAmorite, and thy mother aHittite.

The reason the above passage in Ezekiel is interesting is that though it is a rebuke reminding Israel that though she is a favored nation, her beginnings were humble, and Cainan was Arphaxad’s son:  they came from the line of Shem who settled in the region mentioned.  Within short generations of Cainan,  Abraham appears to whom the covenant of the Land and Seed,  Israel and the Jews,  set apart for God’s purposes and blessed with cause and covenant, is made.   While a few anti-Semitic theologians who have made too great a dent in reasonings in the twentieth century, argue that the line of Jews is more Hittite than special origin,  there is little doubt that this is the area to which Abram is called: first to Haran and then to the plains of Moreh,  the land of the Hitittes.   He sends back though to his family when choosing wives for his sons,  though his grandson Esau causes him much pain in choosing wives from local peoples.
While we still have not completely answered the question ‘Who are the Jews?” we begin by examining where they are from by the Scriptures.   They are without question sons of Adam, as the rest of the human race, but they are also set apart.  They are referred to by various names such as Hebrews, Jews, Israelites, Children of Israel, the tribes,  Children of Abraham, and many others.  Where they come from though and from whence they descend is of a critical understanding because the question stands thousands of years later regarding their origins,  and divides Scriptural and lasting accounts of who they are, vs. a wide variety of secular accounts which were manipulated in German theology in WWII,  to divorce the region of Judah and Benjamin from an Aryanized Aram, or northern Israel.  *
We turn next time to and examination of how the Bible defines the Jews.   Elizabeth K. Best
*Rudolf Kittel in 1899 in writing about the Jews and Israel,  begins his treatise by arguing that Aram is the ‘high land’ north in Israel, and that Kenaan or Canaan, is the ‘lowland’.  He argues that the Aramites were of a more noble ‘master’ race, and that the Canaanites which the Jews in his opinion were never able to subject, were of a subjugated race.   This makes too much sense in terms of what the Kittels attempted to do to the Bible and theology in WWII:  The older Kittel included the Samaritan Torah from the Northern kingdom in his remake of the Hebrew Bible, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.   Grundmann, a student and colleague of the younger Kittel who shared the belief,  also argued for an ‘aryanized’ Jesus,  born in the North in the Hazor-Aram area,  and at least partly aryan.   Further,  one can see the beginning in this reasoning of why they provided an anti-Semitic foundation for a ‘new’ theology,  since later they argued that the Jews of yesteryear were not the 20th century Jews, and they later go on to refer to Judaens as an inferior lot compared to the northern, divided kingdom of Jeroboam.  Scripture though teaches that the ten tribes who went north and formed an emulative form of worship suffered greatly because of it, refusing to worship in Jerusalem and reintroducing idolatry and false worship: the Northern Kingdom was the first to fall to the brutal King of Assyria, and Judah,  not much more obedient, but holding to God’s direction in worship and the Temple, lasted awhile longer.   Kittel tries to erase Israel and the Jews as a nation, by ignoring biblical/Torah accounts of history,  and making even Jacob/Israel into just another clan which comes to be identified among clans who sort of ‘fall together’ as a loosely defined nation:
the patriarchal history states further, that israel is a later name for the founder of the tribe, that originally was called jacob.  From this it may be concluded that there was at one time a tribe called jacob which afterwards blended with and took the name of the tribe of israel to which it was related.”  (from kittel, r. A history of the hebrews, 1899, pg. 19)
The reason the kittels managed much influence is that their work was read out of context,  and they make broad statements as fact, e.g. ‘which afterward blended’, to other theologians who did not specialize in israel and the jews, and most of whom were not orthodox believers.   Too little knowledge of biblical history among germans then and believers now, allowed the kittels to form a theological foundation for the removal of jews from german society.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The War Against the Bible: The 1952 Advent of the RSV was not without Controversy

This is just a short note to recommend a book on the market via Amazon and other online book stores, titled:
In Discordance With the Scriptures: American Protestant Battles Over Translating the Bible byPeter Johannes Thuesen - 2002 - 238 pages

The first four chapters of this book are particularly useful in providing the particulars of what occurred in the United States when the post-war, Revised Standard Version was introduced. According to the author,Thuesen, the introduction of the new version caused an overwhelming stir ( not known to alot of us under 70),  and the author details in a very readable fashion the interweaving of the politics of the McCarthy era, and  the ongoing War of the Bible which while fought since the Garden of Eden, heated up in the mid to late 1800s with Tischendorf's 'discoveries', and the advent of Westcott and Hort's RV.

From 1901 when the ASV made its way to America, until 1952 there would be no major translations save for the 1946 NT of the RSV.  The World Wars caused the cessation of bible translations
save for the sinister and seditious efforts of 3rd Reich theologians,  including the 'Hitler' or Fuhrer Bible, and a similar new German translation, neither of which outlived the Third Reich except perhaps in the hands of neo-Nazis as a collector's item. In 1952, just 7 years after the war, the remarkable 'RSV'  debuted among much fanfare.

Thuesen describes the wars of fundamentalists and evangelicals with leaders such as Karl McIntire, defending traditional translation and giving some of the first post-Burgon accounts of changes in translation that affected the doctrines of the virgin birth, deity of Christ, incarnation and blood atonement. This work is particularly valuable not only for the information contained, but in citing excellent 'must-read' resources regarding the politically and doctrinally charged conflict against the traditional texts of KJV and similar translations. One of the more useful pieces of information was the noting of additional claim that many of RSV's translating committee were of the NCC (National Council of Churches) with pronounced doctrinal liberalism leaning toward a 'neo-Christianity' and social Gospel, causing McCarthyites of the time to cry foul, though most high Protestant Churches readily accepted the new text midst a major public relations campaign. [The real problem with RSV came from its base of R. Kittel's Hebrew and Nestle's Greek, both formidable Third Reich Scholars, a move which cemented the foundation for use of the 'adjusted texts' for all modern Bible Translations.] The 'red scare' in the church was quickly put down, with even Wisconsin senator Joe McCarthy rebuked by many pastors nationwide.

Another cogent point brought out by Thuesen, (he is certainly not biased to the KJV), is the original association of the NASV with the NCC before the Lockman foundation produced it. In Discordance with the Scriptures also reveals that the original translation committee of the NASV is not known, with 50 sequestered translators, at a time when several German theologians who had all but done away with the Church in Germany were imprisoned for war crimes (see e.g. Theologians Under Hitler by Ericksen), and the rest were sent over here carrying R. Kittel's Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, and the Nestle (Aland) Graece Novum.

I have not read the entire book yet, but I highly recommend at least the first four chapters which describe the war in the 1950s over the RSV vs. the KJV in which conservative pastors of the time were saying what we are saying regarding serious doctrinal error in the new bibles, and they were saying what Dean Burgon and critics said in response to Westcott and Hort's Revised Version in 1889. Further, Burgon was in league with Simonides critcism of Tischendorf's 'find'. the controversy has not been settled because there has been no resolution and since more and more historical data is coming to light, it is becoming quite easy to defend the position that what Tischendorf started, with backers and other theologians at the time, was a very real 'War against the Word' in which the Word of God would no longer dictate translation and doctrine but the 'sensibilities' of secular-leaning theologians and translators would dictate what the Word said. It is possible to contend that given the time frame, which included the Introduction of Papal Infallibility, the sealing in 1929 of the Lateran treaty givng the Holy See national status, the emergence of a Nordic Renaissance including a reinstatement of Nordic mythology and nature cults, the re-introduction of such modern heresies as Marcionism and Arianism, that one can conjecture a deliberate attempt to overthrow the influence of the Bible in Western culture.

till the next time: ekbest
ps please add us to your prayers as this work has been so seriously hampered by those in opposition to the findings as to make it impossible to carry on the business of this site in a normal way.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Brand New 2011(2012) NIV 's Alchemy: The Children of Israel are now 'Israelites'

The Brand  new "2012 NIV" or New International Version has become even more international than before!!! They've now changed EVERYBODY that lives in Israel: Jews, Americans, Europeans, Arabs, Palestinians, Iranians, Indians, EVERYBODY into 'Israelites'. Well, one may say, that seems quite reasonable, after all many kinds of people live in Israel these days, and even the Mossad and the Israeli government are going after that concept, so shouldn't the NIVers update in a 'politically correct way'? O the horror of it all. Come and Let us reason together about whether Children of Israel should be translated as "Israelites", leaving out the "Children of Israel" altogether. While the rest of my studies have been carefully controlled, since this is only one term, and since inter-rater reliability between the search engines was not perfect, but high, let us agree for expediency sake to use the account from Bible Gateway's "Biblestudytools" search engine. Comparing KJV count vs. the Brand  New 2012 NIV account, the totals read as follows:

King James Bible
Brand  New 2012 NIV
Israelites: 18
Israelites: 678
Children of Israel: 603
Children of Israel: 0

Bar Y'Israel : Sons, Children or Citizens?

Most who study the Bible for any length of time know that 'bar Y'israel is the term in Hebrew which for centuries in KJV and other older Bibles has been translated 'Children of Israel'.  Many modern translators have taken liberty with this term, translating it as 'sons of Israel' and replacing the ancient term "children of Israel" (See post on Children of Israel).  In terms of the 'correctness' of the second translation, bar Y'Israel is rightly translated 'sons' [bar]  and Y'Israel is the word for Israel.  However, there was a reason that traditional translators translated 'bar Yisrael' as 'Children of Israel' instead of sons: all translation is done with an extensive knowledge not just of the language of the Bible but of its history, and status as the Word of God.  All translation is done in context: for example,  some literal renderings of words might be used in some cases but not all, even in exact and perfect translations because of the context in which one meaning of the word would be used one time, and another, another time.

The reason 'children of Y'Israel'  is used for 'bar Yisrael' instead of sons, is because when 'children of Israel ' is used in the Bible it almost always refers to the corporate body of the nation of Israel.  For example,

Genesis 50:25 KJV

And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying , God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.

Most of the passages read like this:  they are referring to the corporate or congregational actions, doctrine, thinking, feeling or faith of the entire body, men, women and children of Israel.   When sin is attributed to the body of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,  it is accounted to the 'children of Israel' though the reading is 'bar Yisrael':

Leviticus 16:21 KJVAnd Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness
Many passages are of this nature:   it was not only the 'sons' of Israel which sinned and needed atonement, but all of Israel, and though far more than now in those days the men of Israel enjoyed special status,  the unique thing about the faith of God displayed in early hebrew faith, was its regard for women, and seeing women even capable of prophecy and national leadership (e.g Huldah and Deborah).  In short, directions to Israel were of the sort which were all inclusive unless otherwise stated, instead of vice versa.  Not to belabor the point, the Messiah of Israel, was sent to all Israel, not just the sons of Israel.

Children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

When 'bar' Yisrael' is used, then it is used toward the congregation, but when 'bar Jonah' or 'bar Jesus' is used,  as in Simon bar Jonah or the sorcerer in Acts, it refers to a single male person and their parentage:  there, because of the context it is accurately relayed 'son of Jonah' or Jonas:

Matthew 16:17 KJV

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou , Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Further, the 'children of Israel'  were literal 'children of Israel' and not just in a metaphorical sense of nationalism:  they were descendents of Jacob, whom God named 'Israel'  which means "Prince of Israel".

Genesis 32:28 KJV

And he said , Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed 

And Jacob as is well known is the son of Isaac, in whose name we are called, and Abraham, the father of faith.   They are children indeed of a faith and calling, and not just people who inhabit a desert and mountainous nation,  therefore, the identity of the the people must be kept in tact to understand God's presence and purpose in his Word:  the eschatology of the Word relies on these 'children of Israel' and what becomes of them, and believers are called to mercy and grace regarding them.


One of the reasons that the term 'Israelite' is by far not correct nor the best translation,  is because in modern times, an Israelite may be Oriental, Iranian, American, Arab, Islamic, Jewish, Catholic or basically of any kind or kindred.   'Israelite' means an inhabitant of Israel,  many of whom are not directly related to the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.   In Israel there is somewhat of a move to get the differing and sometimes warring factions to call themselves 'Israelites' to begin they hope to erase prejudice and encourage the concept of Israeli citizenship over groups of belief or background.   This is a slightly different issue though as it is a political issue though one cannot say it does not relate to biblical concerns.  It is not that it is not a very good effort to create tolerance and unity among those in the land,  but language is a powerful and sometimes dangerous weapon which can not always accomplish its predictions.   That issues, though, is for 'Israelites' to decide not bible translators.

Bible translators though have to be deeply concerned about the direction of translations in the future:  we must never grow to think that the Jews are merely a people among other peoples, which many are striving for today in an effort to erase age old anti-Semitic sentiment and serious issues of 'blood libel' and raw hatred.  They do not see though the nuances between erasing the prejudice against a people and redefining all peoples in the Bible as equal in PURPOSE or destiny.   It is God himself who describes the Jews as the people who are called by His Name,  and yet he blesses them or sends wrath depending on their faith and trust in him, in their walking in His way or the way of the world, just as he does for other people:  like their Messiah, the Jewish people are an ensign to the world, and not merely a differing nationality.  Though one may try to define them otherwise, they will nonetheless surface as the 'chosen people' and the 'everlasting nation' outliving every destruction set against them for 5000 years.  To redefine them is to create a new doctrine regarding them, and to break with thousands of years of careful and exact scholarship.

We need to call upon the translators of the 2012 NIV and other modern bibles to carefully consider this criticism.
Previous data on "Children of Israel" for Original Study (2nd run)
Unpaired t test results
“Children of Israel”
Statistically significant at p=.00 95% CI

 Group  Pre-shoah (COI)    Post-Shoah (COI)     
Mean 575.75 57.73   
SD            42.24 177.98   
SEM    21.12 53.66   
N                   4        11      
 P value and statistical significance: 
  The two-tailed P value is less than 0.0001
  By conventional criteria, this difference is considered to be extremely statistically significant. 

Confidence interval:
  The mean of Pre-shoah (COI) minus Post-Shoah (COI) equals 518.02
  95% confidence interval of this difference: From 319.46 to 716.58 

Intermediate values used in calculations:
  t = 5.6361
  df = 13
  standard error of difference = 91.911