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.1Henry 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 disciplinesThe 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:
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
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 henrybradshawsociety.org/first-decade.pdf 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