The Creation Science Movement hosted "A day of lectures by Dr Bill Cooper" on May 13, 2017. The The 'English Churchman' was in the audience and kindly wrote some reviews on the two topics covered. First discussion was the "Forging of the Codex Sinaiticus" and secondly "New Testament Fragments amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls."
ON SATURDAY 13TH MAY DR BILL COOPER GAVE TWO OUTSTANDING ADDRESSES IN PORTSMOUTH CONCERNING THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE TEXT OF THE BIBLE.
№.7976 English Churchman: Fridays, 26th May & 2nd June 2017
Dr Cooper gave a simple and clear summary of the detailed study carried out by scholars of ancient Bible manuscripts. In the morning he demonstrated that the liberal scholars’ favourite manuscript known as Sinaiticus is no less than a forgery! In the afternoon he showed that the Textus Receptus, TR, that underlies the Authorised King James Version is proved to be authentic by fragments from before AD68 from the Qumran caves by the Dead Sea.
The Forging of Sinaiticus
Sinaiticus was not written in the 4th Century but was written by Constantine Simonides, an expert in palaeography, in the 19th Century. The monastery wanted to give a Bible to the Tsar of Russia so Simonides wrote it. That itself was not the forgery. What evidence is there? Above all, the vellum, also called parchment, which is from animal skin, is not oxidised. By contrast, the 800 year old copies of Magna Carta are so fragile, yet it is claimed that Sinaiticus is nearly twice as old as Magna Carta. The collagen in skin, ie vellum, decays and falls apart yet Sinaiticus is fresh and supple! The British Museum itself wrote that the wear was due to mechanical damage rather than deterioration. In this way the British Museum are virtually admitting what they cannot say outright, that Sinaiticus can’t be so old!
The second proof that Sinaiticus was written in the Nineteenth Century is that it includes other writings besides the Bible. One of these is called the Shepherd of Hermas which is an apocryphal work but only preserved in Latin fragments. Simonides helped publish it in Greek. Tischendorf, who obtained Sinaiticus, saw immediately that this Hermas was a modern production because it included many phrases unknown in New Testament times. Tischendorf said this when he first saw a separate copy of Hermas but he then found an identical copy of Hermas within the pages of Sinaiticus! Tischendorf then denied the truth. The second writing included within Sinaiticus is the Epistle of Barnabas which was published in 1843 by Simonides. This has the same modern Greek as Hermas and actually follows in Sinaiticus immediately after the end of the Book of Revelation, proving that the whole manuscript is modern.
Therefore Sinaiticus is proven to be a Nineteenth Century production. The claim that Sinaiticus is 4th Century is false. Simonides always said he wrote it. It was never intended to be otherwise, only written for the Tsar. But Dr Cooper did not stop here. His next piece of evidence was not so much regarding the dating of Sinaiticus but the forging work that took place after Simonides had finished.
№.7977 English Churchman Fridays, 9th&16th June 2017
This is the second of three parts of our report on the lectures given by Dr Bill Cooper on May 13th in Portsmouth.
Footnotes in modern Bibles such as the NIV and the ESV and even in the so called New King James Version, tell us that Mark 16:9-20 is not in the earliest and best manuscripts. By this the publishers mean that this passage is not in the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts. Yet this end of Mark is an account of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course the resurrection is still in the other three Gospels but, the critics say, Mark was the earliest Gospel so if the resurrection is not there but was added later, then the resurrection was a deception!
Yet the resurrection is vital to the Christian faith! Despite the fact that this type of criticism of the Bible has destroyed millions of souls, it is followed by the United Bible Societies and, largely unwittingly, by millions of evangelicals including many pastors and Bible college lecturers. Is it any wonder that the West is rejecting Christianity to adopt the easy going atheism that plays into the hands of our sinful nature?
However, Dr Cooper explained that the evidence for Mark is as plain as day. The resurrection section of Mark was not added to the Bible but rather a forger removed it from both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. The evidence, he said, is so obvious that a child could see it. The same forger meddled with both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus and left behind the same evidence of his crime. Criminals always leave some tracks but this one was not even careful. This was explained as follows: Two leaves folded and stitched together makes a quire of 8 pages. To substitute a page you need to replace a whole quire. In both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus a whole quire that includes the end of Mark’s Gospel is in a different handwriting to the rest of the manuscripts. There is a gap exactly the right size which would have been filled with Mark 16:9-20 and, most shocking of all, both replacement quotes are written by the same hand! Therefore both Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, though written by two different people, both have Mark 16:9-20 removed by the same criminal. The two manuscripts are both fake witnesses! Simonides said what pages his signature was on but it had been obliterated on each page. Perhaps Tischendorf himself did this. One such erasure was done with India ink which is of 19th Century manufacture. On other pages are square holes, works in progress by a forger, and not done by any worm. Real wormholes would match between pages in a book but they don’t match in Sinaiticus. On another page the writing is smaller in a place to avoid an existing wormhole and on another the writing stops and starts either side of a hole, proving that the writing was added later.
In the 1950s the Jesuits were still at work as Vaticanus was coming under attack. So Papyrus 75 appeared, but some were suspicious of its Jesuit provenance. Produced by Louis Doutreleau (1909-2005), a French Jesuit priest, the supplier of the Bodmer and Chester Beatty libraries, it was sold in 1952 to Martin Bodmer. The papyrus contained the Vaticanus text of the end of Luke and beginning of John and was said to date from 175 AD. But it couldn’t be opened. Doutreleau nevertheless knew what was on it! Doutreleau said he bought it in Cairo. Because it agrees entirely with Vaticanus, it resides today in the Vatican Library and is called the Mother text (Mater verbi)! But it is no more than a clumsy forgery.
In recent years the “Gospel of Jesus wife” surfaced from the Vatican! Yet it has no margin, appalling handwriting and it copies errors from an interlinear Gospel of Thomas. It was said to have come from a German who wanted to remain anonymous. If its intent were not so poisonous, it would be laughable. Other known Vatican forgeries are legion and date from the infamous Donation of Constantine, which gave all powers of the Roman empire to the Popes. Valla exposed this. Other forgeries include “The Letter of St Peter” and “The Decretals of Isidore”. The Vatican just smiles at these forgeries yet, by them, the Popes oppressed the world for centuries. Today Sinaiticus, along with Vaticanus, which nevertheless disagrees with Sinaiticus in thousands of places, form the basis of all new Bibles. Both were forged to sow doubt and confusion about the true Bible. Sinaiticus was written out in the 19th Century. Vaticanus is written out in a 15th Century hand.
The true text is the Received Text! In 1453 all the Greek manuscripts of the Received Text were sent here after the fall of Constantinople to escape destruction by the Turks. Erasmus noticed immediately how different they were from the Latin Vulgate corruption. From its earliest days (4th century) no one was permitted to read any other version than the Vulgate on pain of death, and it is no coincidence that shortly after the arrival of the Received Text in the west, Codex Vaticanus was forged to counter it. Why should the Vatican be so vehemently opposed to the Bible that they should do these things? The answer is simple. The Vatican is all about power, not religion. It has nothing to do with Bible-based Christianity. It is why for centuries – up until the 20th Century in fact – they would burn alive whenever they could any who would live as godly Bible-believing Christians. But let us be clear. Our attack is not against Catholic people. They too are amongst the Vatican’s victims. Every Catholic’s faith has been betrayed recently by the present Pope who now says that all will go to heaven whether Catholic or not – even atheists!
Yet even while Rome tries to destroy the Bible, people are still saved by it in their millions. So the Vatican, along with its hordes of Bible critics, has wasted its time. You can burn Bibles, and you can burn the people who read them. But you cannot rob the Word of God of its power to save. They will realise that one Day.
№.7978 English Churchman Fridays, 23rd&30th June 2017
This third article concludes our report on the superb lectures given on 13th May in Portsmouth by Dr Bill Cooper.
Having been amazed by what we had heard in the morning regarding the forgery of the Codex Sinaiticus manuscript of the New Testament so much loved by liberal scholars, how could such a session be followed? After all, hasn’t everything that needs to be said about the Dead Sea Scrolls already been said? Little did those assembled know what a treat was in store. In the afternoon Dr Cooper gave an address that truly captivated the audience. What made it all the more wonderful was how Dr Cooper was able to explain a complicated subject in a way which everyone could easily understand.
Dr Cooper began by noting that the many books written on the Dead Sea Scrolls don’t say much about the findings from Qumran Cave Seven. Though discovered in 1955 it was not until 1972 that several small papyrus fragments were first identified as being from the New Testament. Furthermore they resembled most closely the Textus Receptus, not Sinaiticus. It was Jose O’Callaghan, an internationally esteemed papyrologist, who was intrigued by these Greek fragments, held in the Rockefeller museum, Jerusalem. He first thought the fragments were from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, but by a painstaking search he discovered that they did not match but were from the New Testament. Dr Cooper noted that it was a very strange thing to count O’Callaghan, being a Jesuit, as one of his heroes but O’Callaghan was no ordinary Jesuit. Because of his discoveries, O’Callaghan took a tremendous amount of flak from both scholars and from his superiors. Then Dr Carsten Peter Thiede laid his own career and reputation on the line and defended O’Callaghan’s work. Thiede was a world class papyrologist, head and shoulders above his peers who savaged him.
There are nineteen fragments. The first three are from the Old Testament so we begin at the fourth, named 7Q4, being the fourth fragment from the seventh Qumran cave. O’Callaghan discovered that this was from First Timothy 3:16-4:3. It is important to understand how this is worked out as the fragmentis only a few letters at the end of a few lines! The scholars count the letters which have no spaces except for paragraphs. This line and letter counting is called stichometry. Some scholars tried and failed to prove these fragments were from Enoch.
All these fragments proved to be TR, not critical text. All these fragments are from 68AD at the latest when the caves were sealed against Roman soldiers who were scouring the Qumran area for Jewish rebels. It is thought that in some caves the soldiers smashed some of the pots and threw out most of the manuscripts. The fragments remaining are the very earliest New Testament manuscript evidence.
7Q5 is, by computer analysis, Mark 6:52,53. This was even checked by Israeli forensics. One mathematician (Albert Dou) calculated that the chances of it belonging to some document other than Mark’s Gospel are more than 900,000,000,000 to 1 against!
7Q6 is from Mark 4:28 written in Herculanaeum script, indicating that it predates the Vesuvius eruption of AD79 and also that it was from a different copy than 7Q5. Kurt Aland said it exceeds all possible bounds of fantasy but he was a leading higher critic favouring Sinaiticus. Yet this fits TR perfectly. (Ed: to know more about Aland, there is an amazing booklet available from Trinitarian Bible Society which is enough to put anybody off going anywhere near the UBS Nestle Aland text.)
We know that letters were commanded to be copied to other churches and it looks like many copies were made. “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” Colossians 4:16. 7Q6.2 letters fit into Acts 27:38. While 64 million words of Greek are preserved, the word ekouphizon translated “lightened” is only found in Acts 27:38, proving the early date of Acts which scholars simply refuse to accept!
7Q7 contains Mark 12:17. Dr Cooper apologised that in his book at this point there is an eta for epsilon, ie an incorrect vowel. Dr Cooper has shown in his book that O’Callaghan used an Alexandrian text which did not fit as accurately as the Received Text.
7Q8 is James 1:23-24. In his book, Cooper argues for a very early date and gives several reasons for the James, the brother of John, martyred in AD42, as the author. 7Q9 Romans 5-11-12
7Q10 2 Peter 1:15. This is a very important fragment as critics say that 2 Peter was written over a hundred years later, but here it is before 68AD. This is another fragment that proves the TR rather than the critical text. (Ed: Aland even wanted Peter and the Pastoral Epistles out of the Bible!)
7Q11to 14 were all by different hands but they were too small to identify. 7Q15 is Mark 6:48
7Q16-18 are too small to identify
7Q19 is a sliver of mud into which the papyrus fell so the imprint is backward. But these caves are bone dry, so this was possibly made by a soldier urinating in a cave! There are good reasons why 7Q19 appears to be a commentary on Romans. How? In Romans 1:2 Paul adds the word ‘Holy’ when describing Scripture, but he does not use the word the Jews always used, and that word is also absent in this commentary. Second Peter 3:16 says that Paul writes of things in scripture hard to understand. It appears that someone at Qumran was trying to supply this need.
A very strange matter is that cave seven no longer exists. Plans were made to excavate it but it has gone. Israeli authorities say it eroded but how can it have done as nothing remains. Dr Cooper believed that when O’Callaghan published his findings it angered the critics so much. Nobody will own up. It is well guarded by the antiquities authority. Now the fragments are in the Rockefeller museum in Jerusalem. It now receives more publicity through his book. It supports the TR and predates anything the Gnostics and Alexandrians came up with afterwards. Dr Carsten Peter Thiede studied Magdalen Papyrus P64 and found it to contain parts of the Gospel of Matthew and to be by the same scribe as 7Q5.
This address really solidified the evidence given in the morning concerning the forging of Sinaiticus.
Our prayer is that Evangelicals will repent of the use of Bibles based on the eclectic text and that the Bible Societies would do likewise. It is well and truly time that the long-suffering Trinitarian Bible Society was vindicated in its adherence to the Received Text.