15. The oldest texts of Mark do not contain verses which appear in the King James Version of the Bible
In the King James Version’s Gospel of Mark, the resurrected Jesus appears to several people, including his closest followers, known as the disciples. In the oldest extant texts of Mark’s gospel, the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples is not present. The chapters of Mark following the Crucifixion were added sometime in the second or third century, what became in the King James Version Mark 16:9-20. These verses of Mark stand as proof of the Bible’s being changed over the years, even some editions of the King James Version note that the verses are of questionable provenance. Some ancient sources which do include the additional verses contain notes questioning their authenticity.
Another ancient manuscript in Greek, known as Codex W, contains the longer version of Mark, with additional verses in the text which were evidently removed in later versions of the gospel. The version contained in Codex W has never been found in any other versions of Mark. Thus one book of the Bible, The Gospel of Mark, exists in at least three versions in the ancient Greek manuscripts, two of which are revisions which took place long before it was ever translated into English. The Gospel of Mark is the oldest of the canonical gospels, and was influential in the writing of those of both Luke and Matthew. Some scholars postulate that the additions to Mark which led to the longer version were made during the second century to make its ending more in line with Luke and Matthew.
16. Many changes to the Bible were made before it was the Bible
Whether one believes that CERN is supernaturally changing the text of the Bible is immaterial when considering the changes made to the ancient source documents. Studies of the Greek documents from the first millennia demonstrate that numerous changes were made over the centuries. When documents were copied laboriously by hand changes of punctuation and errors of omission were all but inevitable. But changes of addition – the insertion of entirely new verses – were not. They were instead placed in the existing text as editorial or creative additions by unknown authors, forever changing the content of the Bible, many of them centuries before the first editions in the English language. An example of one such addition is present in the Gospel of John.
Copies of the Gospel of John, in Greek, reveal that for its first three centuries in existence there was no mention of the tale of Jesus confronting a crowd about to exact justice upon an adulteress by stoning her. In the story Jesus challenges the crowd, telling them for the one among them, if any, initiating the punishment by casting the first stone. When the crowd disperses Jesus too tells the woman that he will not condemn her. The story is among the most famous verses of the Bible. But it wasn’t in the earliest copies of John’s gospel, appearing more than three hundred years afterward, an insertion by a later copyist. In subsequent ancient texts in Greek, the story appears in a variety of places other than that where it can be currently found, John 7:53 – 8:11.
17. Descriptions of the Crucifixion have also been changed
In the Gospel of Luke, as Jesus was dying upon the cross, he addressed the two criminals being crucified alongside of him, though the version currently appearing in the Bible is at odds with the earliest extant copies of the gospels. Another change in Luke, which does not appear in the early copies of the Gospel attributed to him, is that Jesus asked forgiveness of his executioners, because they did not know what they were doing. The oldest known copies of Luke’s gospel do not recount the forgiveness bequeathed from the cross, the story was added in the fifth century in the Greek documents. As with many additions, it was likely added to reflect the Christian teaching which had evolved by that time.
As has been noted, the translators of preceding Bibles who created the King James Version were under specific instructions from their sovereign to create a work which reflected and supported the dogma of the Church of England. When they referred to existing works, the Geneva Bible for example, they were using versions which had too been written with a particular set of beliefs in mind, Calvinism for example. The same method of translation had already been in place for centuries, with stories moved about, amplified upon, or newly created wholesale by copyists, to reflect the evolution of the Christian beliefs at the time, and to explain why they had evolved as they had. The Bible has not only recently been changed, it has always been subject to change.
18. The consequences of changing the Bible are clear to some
At the end of the Book of Revelation, two verses before the close of the Christian Bible, a warning appears – which is supported by others throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is a warning against altering the words of the Bible. Those who regard the Bible as the literal and immutable word of the Creator ignore a simple literal and immutable fact. The Bible was not written in English. Its characters did not speak English. A polyglot of languages were used to pass down its stories in oral traditions long before they were committed to the page in writing, and when they were it was in several different ancient languages, by several different writers, in different eras of history.
Even when it was first translated into English, it was in the English of Chaucer, itself vastly different from the English of today. The modern English alphabet had yet to be standardized when the King James Version first appeared. Four hundred years later English continues to change, and the knowledge of the ancient languages from which the Bible was created has led to a better understanding of the many words which were long found in the Bible. The King James Version of the Bible includes nine mentions of the mythical animal the unicorn as if it were real. The reason the animal appears in that version of the Bible is simply because of mistranslation based on misunderstanding of the Hebrew word re’em, translated into Greek as monokeros (one-horned), then to Latin as unicornis (one-horned) and finally into English by the translators under King James as unicorn.
Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources: