Chapter 4: The Sinaiticus and The Vaticanus

Westcott and Hort created a master text of the Bible using mainly the Vaticanus, labeled “B,” and Sinaiticus labeled ? or “Aleph.” These two Bibles were once labeled as part of the Alexandrian text family. On the subject of text types, the Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible says:

Without exception, the papyrus NT MSS which are extant today were found in Egypt and undoubtedly were written there. Many of them are too small to be of much value textually. Their cumulative evidence, however, is of value. They prove conclusively that in Egypt, particularly in the second, third, and fourth centuries, no one type of NT text was dominant. In those early centuries many types of text flourished side by side. (Parvis, M. M. “The Testament Text,” in TIDB, ed. George Arthur Buttrick. New York: Abingdon Press, 1962)

Even Kurt Aland said there are no real text-types:

The simple fact that all these papyri, with their various distinctive characteristics, did exist side by side, in the same ecclesiastical province, that is, in Egypt, where they were found, is the best argument against the existence of any text types, including the Alexandrian and the Antiochian. We still live in the world of Westcott and Hort with our conception of different recensions and text-types, although this conception has lost its raison de’etre, or, it needs at least to be newly and convincingly demonstrated. For the increase of the documentary evidence and the entirely new areas of research which were opened to us on the discovery of the papyri, mean the end of Westcott and Hort’s conception. (Aland, The Significance of the Papyri, pp. 334-337)

Yet many textual critics still refer to text-types, but there is really only one type, the Byzantine and everything else. The reason is because the Byzantine texts are all very similar to each other, while the other texts are very different from each other. The Byzantine texts were the texts used by Erasmus when he compiled a Greek text for Bible translation, including the King James Version.

B is missing several N.T. books: Hebrews 9:15 to the end, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation. It is written in all capital letters with no spaces between the words; each line looks like one long word. Therefore, these texts are called uncials. Later texts written in lower case letters are called minuscules.

Though text critics believe B was probably created in Egypt in the early to mid-4th century, it has no certain heritage but was found in the Vatican library in 1475. It was known to Erasmus but he chose not to use any of its readings.

Aleph was first discovered in 1844 at St. Catharine’s Monastery in Egypt by Constantine von Tischendorf. He claimed to have retrieved 45 sheets from a wastebasket filled with other old manuscripts that were going to be burned. It has the complete NT, but is horribly corrupted.

The majority of the Bibles that were doctored by heretics in the early Church were lost to history. But Satan knew where some of those doctored manuscripts still existed and made sure that they came to light at the right time. Satan knows what is going on in the world, and he and his demons are able to put thoughts into people’s minds. So Satan knew that WH needed copies of the Bible that they could use to support their liberal/ heretical beliefs (given in later chapters) and that a corrupted Bible existed in an Egyptian monastery. So Satan put the thought into the mind of a man to go looking for just such a manuscript, and so he found it. What a surprise!

Now WH had an excuse; they had “proof,” they thought, that the Orthodox Bibles were false. Dr. Burgon said in his, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels, Vindicated and Established:

It is pretended that what is found in either B or in [Aleph] or in D, although unsupported by any other manuscript, may reasonably be claimed to exhibit the truth of scripture, in defiance of the combined evidence of all other documents to the contrary. (1896, p. 68)

Dr. Burgon traveled to Rome and personally inspected Vaticanus (B):

The term “various readings” conveys an entirely incorrect impression of the grave discrepancies discoverable between a little handful of documents–of which Codexes B [& Aleph] of the fourth century, D of the sixth, L of the eighth, are the most conspicuous samples . . . One has but to inspect Scrivener’s full and exact collation of about twenty Greek manuscripts of the Gospels (1853) to be convinced of the fact. But when we study the New Testament by the light of such Codexes as B[Aleph]DL, we find ourselves in an entirely new region of experience; confronted by phenomena not only unique but even portentous. The text has undergone apparently an habitual, if not systematic, depravation; has been manipulated throughout in a wild way. Influences have been demonstrably at work which altogether perplex the judgement. The result is simply calamitous.

There are evidences of persistent mutilation, not only of words and clauses, but of entire sentences. The substitution of one expression for another, and the arbitrary transposition of words, are phenomena of such perpetual occurrence, that it becomes evident at last that what lies before us is not so much an ancient copy, as an ancient recension of the Sacred Text. And yet not by any means a recension in the usual sense of the word as an authoritative revision: but only as the name may be applied to the product of individual inaccuracy or caprice, or tasteless assiduity on the part of one or many, at a particular time or in a long series of years. There are reasons for inferring, that we have alighted on five specimens of what the misguided piety of a primitive age is known to have been fruitful in producing. . . . these Codexes abound with so much licentiousness or carelessness as to suggest the inference, that they are in fact indebted for their preservation to their hopeless character. (Burgon, The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels, 1896, p. 32-33)

Burgon and others, such as Jay P. Green, said that Aleph was so poorly executed that seven different editors went through it trying to fix its errors, or make it worse. Here is a statement from Green’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament:

What then is the evidence these Bible-alterers offer to persuade you to give up the precious words they have removed from their versions? Mainly they cite two manuscripts, admittedly old, from the fourth century A.D., but also admittedly carelessly executed. One, the Sinaiticus, was so poorly executed that seven different hands of ‘textual critics’ can be discerned as they tried to impose their views on this already corrupted manuscript. They twisted it like a nose of wax to meet their purposes at the time. It is no wonder that it was discarded . . . (page vii)

In another book, Burgon said of Aleph:

Dr. Scrivener comments in his Full Collation [of Sinaiticus] and elsewhere that the Codex in question abounds with “errors of the eye and pen . . .” On many occasions 10, 20, 30, 40, words are dropped. “Letters and words even whole sentences, are frequently written twice over, or begun and immediately canceled . . . while that gross blunder . . . whereby a clause is omitted because it happens to end in the same word as the clause preceding, occurs no less than 115 times in the New Testament.” (The Last Twelve Verses of Mark, in Unholy Hands, Vol. 1, p. C-42)

Jay P. Green says:

[T]here can scarcely be found three verses in a row which are the same in Aleph and B, that in fact there are more than 3,000 differences between them in the Gospels of the New Testament alone. (Green, Unholy Hands on the Bible, V. 2, p. 320-321)

Yet the text critics have the nerve to declare that B & Aleph are MSS of the highest quality. Even today, the TCs call the Byzantine text “corrupt” and “debased” while calling B & Aleph “oldest and best.” But there have been many MSS found in the last 150 years, have they changed the game at all? Green said:

But now the manuscript portions from the second century are being unearthed, and lo and behold, many of the readings of the Received Text which had been tagged scornfully as ‘late readings’ by nearly unanimous consent of the ‘textual scientists’ are now showing up in these earliest manuscripts. Readings which were before being called late and spurious have been found in these early-date manuscripts. . . . Yet strangely, in textual criticism classes, such discoveries are swept under the rug, not being reported to the students. (Green, Interlinear NT, p. x)

In other words, the professors are lying to the students who are taking classes about the Bible text. In another book Green said:

One would have expected that the acquisition of the substantial papyrus portions of the late second century text (pre-dating Codices Aleph and B by about 150 years) would have changed the textual position from a perspective just over 100 years from the original autographs. But these papyrus recoveries from the sands of Egypt have actually made confusion worse confounded. Not only do the papyri often contradict one another, but the papyri are observed on many occasions to contradict Codices Aleph, B or D, and instead are found supporting the Byzantine Text in readings dating well back into the second century. How do twentieth century scholars adapt to this highly complex situation? The twentieth century response has been to extend the pick and choose method of nineteenth century editors, now generally known as the Eclectic Method. (Green, Unholy Hands, Vol. 2, page 7)

In other words, they pick and choose which rules they want to follow, and which reading to use, based on personal opinions. So the TCs do not always follow their own rules, but only when they want to. Even WH did that.

Hort said readings from Vaticanus have “the ring of genuineness” (Hort, Introduction to the New Testament) and are to be preferred over any other text. Even so, “Professor E. J. Goodspeed shows that Westcott and Hort departed from the Vaticanus manuscript seven hundred times in the Gospels alone” (Andrews, TTOTNT, p. 315). So it appears that B & Aleph are so corrupt that even WH could not bring themselves to follow B & Aleph in every case. Jay P. Green in Unholy Hands on the Bible, said:

And another fact is that they only hold up these principles [of textual criticism] as criteria when it suits their purpose. A good example is Luke 6:1 where they eject from the text the word deuteroproto (the second chief sabbath), even though it meets two of their principles: (1) it is the shortest reading, and (2) it is the most difficult reading. So what? Codex B does not have it, so out it goes. (Green, Unholy Hands, Vol. 2, page 322)

The Vatican did not easily allow people to read the Vaticanus, but it was finally brought forth in the 19th century just in time for use by Westcott and Hort. Jay P. Green says:

This Vaticanus manuscript has errors so absurd that the books purporting to teach ‘textual science’ carefully avoid mentioning these gross errors in their favorite manuscript. They take these two corrupt, carelessly executed manuscripts, and add a handful of later manuscripts from the Alexandrian textbase –all of them loose and disrespectful in their handling of the Scriptures, and from these they give you their never-ending theories, hypotheses, glosses, and doubts. (Ibid, p. vii)

The manuscripts that Erasmus used for the Textus Receptus, are in the category called the Majority Text because they reflect the text found in the majority of existing manuscripts. In centuries past, the Church chose not to use B & Aleph because they are so corrupt and were put on a shelf, then centuries later they are “discovered” and labeled “oldest and best” by unbelieving, yet professing Christian scholars.

In The Gnostics, The New Versions, and The Deity of Christ, Green said:

But Aleph and B are constantly at odds with each other, seldom having the same words in a verse. Besides, they are honeycombed by blunders, impossible geographic and astronomical statements, flat contradictions within themselves, and between themselves, as well as thousands of omissions, transpositions, etc. How can such obviously doctored manuscripts be called ‘best, most reliable,’ etc.? . . . It is far better to trust the vast body of mss. . . . (page 47)

Lest you believe that the objectors are exaggerating, the BBC produced a documentary on very old books called The Beauty of Books, and one episode was on the Sinaiticus, called Ancient Bibles. Here is what some British experts said about Aleph:

On closer inspection, the text of the Codex Sinaiticus is littered with revisions which have intrigued scholars for centuries. It is history’s most adulterated Biblical manuscript. And within those changes lie its real theological secrets. Codex Sinaiticus has approximately 23,000 corrections, in all that survives, which is an extraordinary rate of corrections. It means on average there are about 30 corrections on each page. . . . Given the quality of the calligraphy, scholars were  surprised to find so many changes. Many scribes wrote for money, they wrote quickly, which means they sometimes made errors, but 23,000 corrections cannot be explained in this way; there have to be theological reasons too. (BBC, 2011)

Those 23,000 corrections are not only in the New Testament but throughout the entire MS. This means that many of the words and verses left out of the NT were not left out because they were not in the exemplar, the copy the scribe was reading from, but because of the negligence of the scribe. So this means the Old Testament books are also adulterated in the same way as the NT, but you don’t see WH or modern critics trying to follow the Sinaiticus Old Testament, because they would not be able to get away with it because we have other complete editions of the O.T. Oh, but we also have complete editions of the NT as well, of the Byzantine text-type.

Why would a scribe with the talent to produce high-quality calligraphy produce a text with so many mistakes and outright corruptions? The Roman Empire had just recently outlawed paganism, so perhaps the scribe was a “former” pagan who resented having his favorite temple converted into a church, and resented having to produce Christian Bibles instead of pagan books. Perhaps that is why he took every opportunity to corrupt the text. This is just one of many reasons why someone would intentionally produce a corrupted Bible.

The real question is, what kind of lunatic would take these messed up Egyptian texts and call them “highest quality” and use them to create a master text to produce translations into many different languages? Only those being led by Satan himself. As we have seen, Satan has been trying to destroy God’s truth from the very start of Christianity, and he is still at it to this very day.

Contrary to what liberal Christians believe, Satan is real, demons are real, and they are in a battle against God and all of his true followers. They will attack Christians who are proclaiming the truth, and they will aid lukewarm, compromised preachers and help them to become lukewarm TV preachers or textual critics teaching in seminary.

WH made changes to the Bible with the claim that they were correcting a corrupted Byzantine text. Where have I heard that before? Oh, in a previous chapter an Early Church Father said of heretics, “they have no fear to lay hands on the divine Scriptures under pretense of correcting them.”

WH, and their like, have accused Greek Orthodox Christians of adding many words and whole verses to the Bible, but it is never acknowledged that heretics corrupted many Bible texts. If they discover a new manuscript of the Bible they merely classify it as Western or Alexandrian, etc. They have no classification for “corrupted by heretics” as though heretics did not remove any verses, as though heretics did not change any words; this possibility is not taken into consideration. Hort even said as much when he said:

[It is] our belief that even among the numerous unquestionably spurious readings of the New Testament there are no signs of deliberate falsification of the text for dogmatic purposes. (The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction, p. 282. 1896)

Such a statement makes you wonder how smart WH actually were. Just because they were able to teach theology at Cambridge does not mean they had any good sense. Green said:

However, in quite a few of the corruptions which are carried forward into Codices B and Aleph, Origen witnessed against them. The most famous of these is Luke 23:45 where B and Aleph have the sun being eclipsed at a time when the Moon was 180 degrees apart from the sun — Origen plainly identifies this as a corruption inserted by heretics in order to make the Scriptures contain a ridiculous statement. Sadly, modern day textual critics are neither as keen nor as honest as Origen regarding this verse, for they follow B, and the translators of the six major translations under review in this volume follow B also, re-inserting into the Scriptures a patient heresy, one which makes those versions ridiculous in the eyes of unbelievers. (Green, Unholy Hands, Vol. 2, page 316-317)

Calling corrupted manuscripts “oldest and best,” is clearly a bold-faced lie from the pit of hell. Only a minority of text experts understand this fact.

According to text critics, to be of the highest quality merely means that they appear to have been copied correctly. That is, there are not many obvious mistakes such as missing words, misspelled words, transposed words, skipped lines, etc. But how do they know they were copied correctly? They have NO WAY to know what the original looked like, whether it was created by a Gnostic or some other heretic. Just because there are no obvious copy errors, does not mean that the exemplar was uncorrupted. But that does not describe B or Aleph, as we have learned.

An honest appraisal of the Egyptian MSS shows that some of them were made by copyists who did not even know Greek. From the time of Constantine onward, the demand for Greek copies of the Bible was so great that copyists were employed who were ignorant of Greek. About the Vaticanus, historian G. W. Samson said:

Among the minor corrections, inserted at later periods by Greek scholars, are these: the writing of large initials where Greek taste required; punctuation-marks afterward introduced, but only seldom; Greek accents sometimes, but not always, added; besides numerous other indications, detailed by Hug, which prove that the manuscript was originally “written by an Egyptian calligraphist,” whose work required correction. Hug had the personal privilege of a thorough study of this manuscript. . . . That it was regarded by its Greek possessors imperfect is indicated by Hug’s citation of insertions made in a different hand at two successive eras. (Samson, The English Revisers’ Greek Text: Shown to be Unauthorized, Except by Egyptian Copies, 1882, page 25)

The above-quoted book later has more to say:

Thus ends Hug’s list of stichometric uncials. All the important ones are traceable to mere mechanical Egyptian copyists at the seat of the first cosmopolitan Christian school at Alexandria; all were regarded by Greeks as unconformed to their own “koine ekdosis” and hence were repeatedly corrected; all were esteemed of no value except as relics; and as such, mere relics, their Greek owners parted with them as fit collections only for a museum. As these most ancient of the list, called “stichometric” because [they] conformed to Hebrew ideas in their line-measured columns, are all of the character thus indicated, the later manuscripts of the class, some fragments of which, since Hug wrote, Tischendorff has discovered and added to the collection, need not be farther considered. (Ibid, page 37)

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. said:

I have a number of interesting old Bibles in my library. One is a huge two-volume King James Bible that was printed by John Baskett in 1716-1717. There are only 24 copies of this particular Bible known to exist. It is more than 280 years older than the King James Bible I preach from every Sunday. If you follow the line of thinking of the modern textual critics, I should probably go back to the Basket Bible to confirm the text of the Cambridge Bible I use. However, this would be a grave mistake because this old Bible has two nicknames; the first is the Vinegar Bible, because it titles Luke 20 as “The Parable of the Vinegar” instead of “The Parable of the Vineyard.” The second name given to this Bible is “The Basket Full of Errors,” because there are so many typographical errors in this Bible. This certainly is a good illustration that the oldest is not necessarily the best! (Codex Sinaiticus: It Is Old But Is It The Best? http:// dean burgon society.org /Critical Texts/ sinaiticus.htm)

Origen produced a Bible, the Hexapla, that was later edited by Pamphilus (240-309) and Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340). Emperor Constantine commissioned Eusebius to produce 50 copies of the Eusebius Bible. Many scholars believe that B & Aleph were two of those 50, which likely included the man who discovered the Sinaiticus, Tischendorf, who said: “the Sinaitic Bible, the transcription of which is to be referred to the first half of the fourth century, and about the time of the first Christian emperor” (When Were Our Gospels Written, Tischendorf).

However, I do not believe Sinaiticus was one of Eusebius’s 50 Bibles, because of a note found written at the end of one of the books says:

“This codex was compared with a very ancient exemplar which had been corrected by the hand of the holy martyr Pamphilus [d. 309]; which exemplar contained at the end of the subscription in his own hand: ‘Taken and corrected according to the Hexapla of Origen: Antonius compared it: I, Pamphilus, corrected it’.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 86).

The above quote appears exactly as it does in the original 1914 printed edition of the Catholic Ency., and it took me a while to figure out what was being said, based on the quote marks. So it appears that the first part of the quote was written by the 7th-century editor. He quotes from a previous editor:

“This codex was compared with a very ancient exemplar which had been corrected by the hand of the holy martyr Pamphilus; …”

So this means that Sinaiticus was corrected by looking at a Bible which had itself been corrected by Pamphilus (d. 309), to make it agree with Origen’s Hexapla. Then he goes on to say that the above mentioned Bible that he looked at to correct the Sinaiticus, had a note written in it by Pamphilus that said, “Taken and corrected according to the Hexapla of Origen: Antonius compared it: I, Pamphilus, corrected it.”

So Pamphilus made an unknown Bible agree with Origen’s Bible, then a 7th-century editor looked at that corrected Bible to make corrections to Sinaiticus. This means that Sinaiticus could not have been one of the 50 that Eusebius produced, because any Bible he produced would not have needed correcting to make it agree with Origen’s Hexapla.

Also, it is impossible to know to what extent Sinaiticus needed to be corrected by Pamphilus because there were so many correctors and corrections. The text scholars agree that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus differ in thousands of places, so they cannot be copies of the same Bible. Therefore, as far as I can tell at the present time, Vaticanus might be one of Eusebius’s Bibles, but Sinaiticus is not.

Metzger reports that Vaticanus may have been a reject from the 50, because of its badly executed text:

T. C. Skeat of the British Museum has suggested to the present writer that codex Vaticanus was a ‘reject’ among the fifty copies, for it is deficient in the Eusebian canon tables, has many corrections by different scribes, and, as mentioned above, lacks the books of Maccabees apparently through oversight. (The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. Quoted in, God’s Word in Our Hands, Williams, page 139)

Both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus have poor quality texts, as do another three MSS often used along with them, C, D, and L. Concerning the verses in Mark’s Gospel that refer to the cock’s crowing, David Cloud said, “of the seven principal MSS, Aleph, A, B, C, D, L, no two have the same text” (www.wayoflife.org) in all the verses. That is some serious jumble, but occurs many more times, as seen below.

Burgon wrote a whole book that exposed the horrible Greek text of WH and the Revised Version that was made from it in 1881. But his book is very technical with a lot of Greek, so it is not an easy read for the average person. But here are a few paragraphs:

Only by singling out some definite portion of the Gospels, and attending closely to the handling it has experienced at the hands of A [Aleph] B C D, to the last four of which it is just now the fashion to bow down as to an oracular voice from which there shall be no appeal, can the student become aware of the hopelessness of any attempt to construct the Text of the N.T. out of the materials which these codices exclusively supply. Let us this time take St. Mark’s account of the healing of ‘the paralytic borne of four’ (ch. ii. 1-12) and confront their exhibition of it with that of the commonly received Text.

In the course of those 12 verses, (not reckoning 4 blunders and certain peculiarities of spelling,) there will be found to be 60 variations of reading, of which 55 are nothing else but depravations of the text, the result of inattention or licentiousness.

Westcott and Hort adopt 23 of these: (18, in which [Aleph] B conspire to vouch for a reading: 2, where [Aleph] is unsupported by B: 2, where B is unsupported by [Aleph]: 1, where C D are supported by neither Aleph nor B). Now, in the present instance, the “five old uncials” cannot be the depositories of a tradition, whether Western or Eastern, because they render inconsistent testimony in every verse. It must further be admitted, (for this is really not a question of opinion, but a plain matter of fact,) that it is unreasonable to place confidence in such documents. What would be thought in a Court of Law of five witnesses, called up 47 times for examination, who should be observed to bear contradictory testimony every time? (The Revision Revised, 1883, p. 30-31)

How could WH decide which reading to use, considering how those five frequently disagree? They just picked what reading they wanted. In another place Burgon calls Vaticanus and Sinaiticus “two false witnesses” whose testimony would be rejected in a court of law because they disagree with each other so frequently. Dr. Burgon was no wannabe text critic; he spent years examining MSS. Here are more of his comments on them:

It was not until we had laboriously collated these documents (including [Aleph]) for ourselves, that we became aware of their true character. Long before coming to the end of our task (and it occupied us, off and on, for eight years) we had become convinced that the supposed ‘best documents’ and ‘first-rate authorities’ are in reality among the worst: that these copies deserve to be called ‘primary,’ only because in any enumeration of manuscripts, they stand foremost; and that their ‘Evidence,’ whether ‘primitive’ or not, is contradictory throughout. (Ibid, p. 337)

The Rev. W. MacLean said:

It must be emphasised that the argument is not between an ancient text and a recent one, but between two ancient forms of the text, one of which was rejected and the other adopted and preserved by the Church as a whole and remaining in common use for more than fifteen centuries. The assumptions of modern textual criticism are based upon the discordant testimony of a few specimens of the rejected text recently disinterred from the oblivion to which they had been deliberately and wisely consigned in the 4th century. (www. despatch. cth.com. au/Books _V/Greek _text_preserved .htm)

Gordon H. Clark said that the proof that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were rejected by the Church is their lack of offspring (Logical Criticisms of Textual Criticism, www.trinityfoundation.org). As bad as Aleph and B are, D is even worse. Clark said, “D is somewhat like Melchizedek, without ancestors or descendants” (Ibid). Yet, D is not even suspected of being doctored by heretics, it is consulted for our modern Bibles!

Concerning the early corruptions that crept into the text in various parts of the empire, especially in Egypt, Frederick Nolan traced out those corruptions and showed how some of the Early Church Fathers were using corrupted texts and, so naturally they quoted from them:

The works of those early writers lie under the positive imputation of being corrupted. The copies of Clement and Origen were corrupted in their life time; the manuscripts from which Tertullian‘s works have been printed are notoriously faulty; and the copies of Cyprian demonstrate their own corruption, by their disagreement among themselves, and their agreement with different texts and revisals of Scripture. It is likewise indisputable, that these fathers not only followed each other, adopting the arguments and quotations of one another; but that they quoted from the heterodox as well as the orthodox. They were thus likely to transmit from one to another erroneous quotations, originally adopted from sources not more pure than heretical revisals [revisions] of Scripture.

When a few of these readings were recommended by the successive adoption of different fathers, they were easily transferred from their comments to the margins of particular manuscripts, and were thence transplanted into the text from the margin. New revisals of Scripture were thus formed, which were interpolated with the peculiar readings of scholiasts and fathers. Nor did this systematic corruption terminate here; but when new texts were thus formed, they became the standard by which the later copies of the early writers were in succession corrected.

From such progression in error, it is evident that nothing but uncertainty can be the result, when we proceed to determine the antiquity of any reading, or text, by its consent with the present copies of the works of the early writers.

In fine, when this system is pushed to its necessary extent, it ends in establishing such paradoxes, as subvert, by their inconsistency, the principles of the system out of which they arise. On estimating the antiquity of any text, by its coincidence with the readings of particular fathers, whose works have undergone successive corruption; it necessarily happens, that when that text is most systematically corrupted, it possesses the best claims to be accounted ancient. Such is the virtual concession which M. Griesbach is reduced to the necessity of making, in explaining his system. He very freely admits, that neither of those texts on which his system is built, is consistent in itself; as we might well conjecture, from the heterogeneous materials which enter into their composition. Nay more, he is forward to confess, that the manuscripts from which those ancient texts were originally formed, were grievously corrupted. (Nolan, An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, 1815, p. 326-334).

The above is why many TCs believe it is impossible to recover the original text of the New Testament, but only if you discount the text used by the Eastern Church. Most of the early fathers who used corrupted texts were in North Africa, so to make the claim that pre-fourth century fathers did not use the Byzantine text is a faulty claim because most of them lived in Egypt, not the East.

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