Our Adulterated and Compromised Bible: Section 1/4
Updated: Mar 4
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
~ Revelation 22:18-19
“You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord you God that I command you.”
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar”.
The threats above did not protect the Bible from scribes and theologians changing it. More importantly it appears that religious scholars often do not have the honesty or motivation to correct their own scriptures. The Bible has all the hallmarks of man-made literature and mythology. It is not divinely produced or influenced. Below are just some of the scriptural changes I have learned that contaminates the Bible. Apologists have had 2,000 years to explain them away and I urge you to read their rationalizations as that alone can give one insight into what motivated reasoning looks like. Below are some of the major contaminations in the Bible that added to my conclusion that the Bible could not be the work of God, unless He was incompetent, but rather only the product of men.
1. Mark 16: 9 - 20.
Even the fundamentalist ESV Study Bible mentions that this is probably a forgery. A scribe or theologian in the past did not like the way Mark ended. Mark is the oldest Gospel and Mathew and Luke copied many of his writings when writing their own. This is called the Synoptic Problem. I will have more to say about how the gospels were named, as they are really anonymous; another problem for me about Christian scholarship is honesty. Having the two women at the tomb fleeing in fear was not a good way to end the gospel, so someone changed it. Many bibles have brackets of warning around the ending of these verses. “Although a few older manuscripts have these verses, they are not found in older and reliable Greek manuscripts such as Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, along with early Latin, Syriac, Armenian, and Georgian manuscripts. Early church fathers (Origen and Clement of Alexandria) did not appear to know of these verses. Eusebius and Jerome state this section is missing in most manuscripts available at the time. And some manuscripts that contain them indicate that older manuscripts lack the section…As for the verses themselves, they contain various Greek words and expressions uncommon to Mark, and there are stylistic differences as well.” (ESV Study Bible, pg. 1933). Please note that the snake handling of verse 18 is one of the Bible verses some fundamentalist Christians use to justify handling, and sometimes dying, from snake handling. To die for your faith is one thing. But for a forgery in your scriptures?
See: Mark 16:9 -20 as Forgery or Fabrication by R. Carrier. http://www.errancywiki.com/index.php?title=Legends2
Also: The strange ending of Mark and why it’s important by James Tabor https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/the-strange-ending-of-the-gospel-of-mark-and-why-it-makes-all-the-difference/
2. John 7:53 - 8:12.
The story of the woman caught in adultery, saved by Jesus, and the scribes and Pharisees brought to humiliation by Jesus is not in the original manuscripts. The story is not found in the oldest manuscripts, its writing style is different, if it is removed that section flows better, and it includes a large number of words and phrases not present in the rest of the gospel. According to the Law of Moses, both were to be stoned. Where is the man? In addition, various scribes inserted it after John 21:25 and still others after Luke 21:38 (Ehrman). Why leave it in since scholars know it's a later insertion - a forgery to the original? Here is the ESV study bible’s excuse: “There is considerable doubt that this story is part of John’s original Gospel, for it is absent from all of the oldest manuscripts. But there is nothing in it unworthy of sound doctrine. It seems to view the story as something that probably happened during Jesus’s ministry but was not originally part of what John wrote in his Gospel”. For Christian religious scholars that want us to believe the Bible is God’s word, why would you leave in a forgery? If you were a builder and using a blueprint that was a product of the Great Architect and you knew the blueprint had been corrupted would you still build that part of it? How is this not just rationalizing?
3a. Ecclesiastes 1:1 and 12:9-14.
The beginning and ending of Ecclesiastes are forgeries, added later. “Because if you were paying attention, then you noticed a major shift in person and voice at verse 9. Suddenly it is clear that someone other than Qoheleth is speaking. Indeed, the Teacher is referred to in the third person. So it looks like the Teacher’s last word on this book came in verse 8, where in both the original Hebrew and in the English translation the very last word is “Phhhht!”. In literature this is called an “inclusio” because it ends the book the same way it began. If you compare Ecclesiastes 1:2 with 12:8, then you will see that those two verses are nearly word-for-word identical. Hence, the Teacher’s final statement is that Hebrew word we looked at in the first sermon of this series; that throat-clearing word level, which I’ve been loosely translating as “Phhhht” throughout this series.
But that’s hardly a hopeful way to end a book! So at some point some scribe or some editor or some monk who was copying this book in a monastery somewhere, tacked on verses 9 - 14. Since “Phhhht” did not seem like a proper way to end a Biblical book, this unknown person decided to round things out with the more pious sounding sentiment of “Behave, or else!” We end on a note of law, a note of “trust and obey for there’s no other way.” We end with a reminder of judgement as a goad to spur people to lead moral lives.
But that is not the way Qoheleth himself wanted this book to end.”
Hoezee, Scott. Ecclesiastes 12 “Days of Youth”. Calvin - Christian Reformed Church.
Shades of Mark 16: 9-20 and leaving in a known contamination and forgery. This is biblical scholarship?
3b. Other Old Testament forgeries
> The Book of Daniel https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/18242
> The core of the book of Deuteronomy: the “discovery” of the long-lost book of the Law of Moses as detailed in 2Kings 22 is most likely a forgery
4. Known New Testament omitted verses.
Many of these are interpolations (just duplicates in this case from other NT verses and do not challenge core NT theology.) They do however, indicate scribes and theologians were changing the original manuscripts, and often. For example “… show "that verse 14 is an interpolation derived from the parallel in Mark 12:40 or Luke 20:47 is clear”.
Mark 9:44 and 9:46
John 5: 3,4
1 John 5:7,8
Some translations don’t include these:
Romans 14 and 16
2 Corinthians 13:14
3 John 15
It does not matter if these omitted verses are minor or don’t impact the main message of the NT. This is just another example of scribal or theologian changes that point towards a conclusion that Christian scriptures are simply a product of men and not God influenced, like all the other religions also.
5. Ehrman’s top 10 NT added verses
1 John 5:7
(Ehrman; Misquoting Jesus, pg 265 - 266).
Again, the NT has been changed and adulterated often throughout its history. The hand of men is all over it, not the fingers of God.
6. There are actually different Christian Bibles
Some bibles have different canons (books in the Bible) and not just different translations. In other words, Christians can’t even agree what books should be in the Bible. Considering God is supposed to have His hand on these decisions, He seems to have been absent when the committees were meeting and voting. If they can’t even get this most basic starting point correct, why would we accept anything else claimed? All Christian bibles do agree on the 27 books in the NT.
The Protestant Bible contains 66 books.
The Catholic Bible contains 73 books. The Apocrypha contains fourteen additional books that Protestants reject as being non-canonical. These are books that are claimed to be sacred but not by all Christian religions and thus not included in some Bibles. The Roman Catholic Church includes most of the Apocrypha except for three books.
The Anglican Bible has the Protestant NT and the 14 Apocryphal books plus 1 and 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh.
The Eastern-Greek Orthodox Bible includes 6 books canonical only for them in addition to the deuterocanonical books of the Catholic Church.
The Ethiopian Bible has 81 books but even different Ethiopian Bibles may have different books contained in their canons. It contains the Apocrypha and uses Enoch, Jubilees, 1- 3 Meqabyan, Greek Ezra, the Apocalypse of Ezra, and Psalm 151.
The Syriac Bible. Their NT originally excluded disputed books (2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation). Their Bible version contains the Apocrypha and Psalms 151 - 155, the Apocalypse of Baruch and the Letter of Baruch.
The Hebrew Bible canon excludes the deuterocanonical books (“second canon”) that the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church of the East consider to be canonical. The early Christian church used the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint which did include them which is one reason some Christian sects include them as canonical. The Hebrew Bible has the order of the books different from Protestant Bibles.
The 27 books of the NT have been universally accepted by Christians but they are not mentioned as canonical until the 4th century bishop of Alexandria listed them in 367 AD. The NT canon was formally determined by councils voting in AD 393 and 397. The canon of the OT was also addressed during these councils. The Council of Rome in 382 listed the 27 NT books as canonical which included the deuterocanonical books. The Protestants however since the 16th century have not accepted the Apocrypha.
My point is this is a mess - and most Christians don’t know how many different “Bibles” there are which indicates in my opinion to any objective observer that God had nothing to do with the founding of Christianity. How do you know you are reading the “correct” Bible, the one God really supposedly inspired? Wikipedia is a good place to start if you’d like to become familiar with this topic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuterocanonical_books
7. Pseudoepigraphical books.
These are books whose authorship is wrongly attributed. An author of a book may claim for various reasons it was written by someone famous for example. Because it’s possible that the author did not have intentional deception, they may or may not be considered forgeries by many religious scholars. Today, in most instances we would certainly call this a type of forgery. Standards in ANE writings were much different than the scholarship we expect today. Scholars can tell these are not attributed correctly by noting differences in word choice, phrases, even what words are used out of the claimed time period, errors in history, etc. A. Hebrew Bible Pseudoepigraphical Books - most lists are much longer.
Assumption of Moses
Book of Enoch (1 Enoch; Ethiopic)
Book of Enoch (2 Enoch: Slavonic)
Book of Enoch (3 Enoch; Hebrew)
Book of Jubilees
Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (2 Baruch)
Letter of Aristeas
Life of Adam and Eve
Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah
Psalms of Solomon
Greek Apocalypse of Baruch (3 Baruch)
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
B. New Testament Pseudoepigraphical Books
Especially during the first several centuries after Jesus’ death there were many books and Gospels written that Christians consider, for good reason, false doctrine or forged. Apologists will further claim that none of the current 27 NT books are pseudoepigraphical. But is that true? Below are some of the major accepted ones: The Epistle of the Apostles
The Gospel According to the Hebrews
The Gospel of the Ebionites
The Gospel of the Egyptians
The Gospel of Mary
The Gospel of the Nazarenes
The Gospel of Nicodemus
The Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Marcion
The Gospel of Judas
The Gospel of Barnabas
How common were they? It appears to be an epidemic of false writings in mostly the first two centuries. A more complete list of false writings is included in JK Elliott’s Contents listing in his 1993 book:
"I. Apocryphal Gospels. Lost Gospels. 1. Jewish-Christian Gospels: Introduction. a. The Gospel according to the Hebrews. b. The Gospel of the Nazaraeans. c. The Gospel of the Ebionites. 2. The Gospel of the Egyptians. 3. The Traditions of Matthias. 4. The Preaching of Peter (Kerygma Petrou). 5. Other Lost Gospels. Agrapha. Fragments of Gospels on Papyrus. 1. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 840. 2. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1081. 3. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1224. 4. Papyrus Cairensis 10735. 5. Papyrus Egerton 2. 6. The Strasbourg Fragment. 7. Papyrus Berolinensis 11710. 8. The Fayyum Fragment. 9. Papyrus Merton 51 -- Birth and Infancy Gospels. The Protevangelium of James. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. The Arabic Infancy Gospel. Arundel 404 (Liber de Infantia Salvatoris). The History of Joseph the Carpenter. Other Infancy Narratives -- Gospels of the Ministry and Passion. The Gospel of Thomas (including Coptic Thomas and P. Oxy. 1, 654, 655). The 'Secret' Gospel of Mark. The Gospel of Peter. The Gospel of Gamaliel. Coptic Narratives of the Ministry and Passion -- The Pilate Cycle. The Gospel of Nicodemus. The Acts of Pilate. Christ's Descent into Hell. Other Pilate Texts. The Letter of Pilate to Claudius. The Letter of Pilate to Tiberius. Paradosis Pilati. Anaphora Pilati. Vindicta Salvatoris. Mors Pilati. The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathaea. The Letters of Pilate and Herod. The Letter of Tiberius to Pilate -- II. Apocryphal Acts. The Acts of Andrew. The Acts of John. Secondary Acts of John. The Acts of Paul. Secondary Acts of Paul. The Acts of Peter. Secondary Acts of Peter. The Pseudo-Clementine Literature. The Acts of Thomas. Other Apocryphal Acts -- III. Apocryphal Epistles. Shorter Epistles. The Letters of Christ and Abgar. The Letter of Lentulus. The Epistle to the Laodiceans. The Correspondence of Paul and Seneca. The Epistle to the Alexandrians. The Epistle of the Apostles (Epistula Apostolorum) -- IV. Apocryphal Apocalypses. The Apocalypse of Peter -- Appendix: The Sibylline Oracles. The Apocalypse of Paul (Visio Pauli). The Apocalypse of Thomas. The Questions of Bartholomew and the Book of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Bartholomew the Apostle. The Letter of James. Other Apocryphal Apocalypses -- Appendix: The Assumption of the Virgin."
8. What about the 27 books in the NT?
Are any of them pseudoepigraphical? Apologists will say no in my experience, but non-conservative religious scholars at major universities around the world without an agenda know this is not true. In addition it appears five of the NT book titles are misnamed.
A). There are 13 bible letters allegedly written by Paul. Religious scholars without a faith commitment strongly allege that 6 of these 13 Pauline Epistles are pseudoepigraphical - forgeries. Apologists may disagree but hopefully will relent that at least three are by consensus: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. So why even leave those three in? An excuse is often put forward why writing style, etc. doesn’t match typical Pauline writing: scribes or a secretary were used to write for Paul and that’s the reason they don’t match Pauline known writings. This pattern of coming up with any possible reason, no matter if improbable or irrational, is a method that is frequently employed to avoid the probable. In another section I will give two examples of special apologist pleading that I have encountered. Paul traveled with women and mentions women as missionaries many times. Women will be relieved to know that 1 Timothy is indeed a forgery and it is false to use it to admonish women today to keep silent in churches and not to teach men. Paul did not write the book of Hebrews although it was included in the canon of the NT by church fathers who thought it was. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-bible-telling-lies-to_b_840301
B). The Gospels are really anonymous. We don’t know who wrote them. How they got the names we see now is not only interesting, but again reveals another example of how the early Christians were desperate for respectability (and still are - many of the early Christian creationists in the 1960s and 1970s often got their “PhDs” from diploma mills) and how they justified attributing the Gospels to various authors. I posit that the attributions are unjustified. All or nearly all of the following is directly from Ehrman, Chapter 7 in “Forged”, 2011. Since so much of what I’ve written below is his own words, I have not placed quotations around each sentence grouping or phrases for simplicity. It’s important to note that this is not just Ehrman’s conclusion but the consensus of religious scholars at major universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Duke, UNC, etc. I just find his writing style easy to follow and a very effective way to know the consensus of religious scholars outside of conservative seminaries, who I believe are often intellectually compromised due to faith commitments which they must sign to keep their faculty positions.
> They are written anonymously. Nowhere, unlike in many other bible books, does anyone claim who wrote them
> They are told in the third person. This is important. If you or I were writing an eyewitness account, it would be written as “we went to the store” not “they went to the store”.
> The titles are “The Gospel According to…”. This phrasing tells us that the named authors were not the actual authors. This is someone telling us who is responsible for the gospel. An author might write “According to me or my witness…” > These titles were added in the second century, decades after the Gospels were written.
> The anonymity of the Gospels were respected for decades. For example, in the early second century when the NT Gospels are quoted by authors or referenced, they are never entitled. Justin Martyr writing around 150-160 AD quotes Gospel verses but does not indicate authorship. He just called them “Memoirs of the Apostles”. The first time they have titles is in the writings of Irenaeus around 180 - 185 CE.
> Irenaeus argued that there should be four Gospels, no more or less because the gospel of Christ had been spread by the four winds of heaven over the four corners of the earth (Bible flat earth problems, but that’s another topic). Others at that time were using some but not all of the Gospels
> Whoever wrote the Gospels were highly educated, literate, Greek speaking Christians of the second generation. Jesus’ own followers were not. They were peasants from Galilee, fishermen, etc. who did not have the resources to attend school, let alone the ability to write books in Greek when their native tongue was Aramaic. It is highly unlikely that they were fluent in two, three, our even four languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin). See Acts 4:13 where the scriptures note that they are “uneducated, common men”.
> The authors never claim to be personally connected with any of the narrated events. For example, “One day Jesus and I went to the…”.
How and Why Matthew and Luke destroy Mark (11 minutes). James Tabor, PhD
James Daniel Tabor ( is a Biblical scholar and Professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since 1989 and served as Chair from 2004–14. He previously held positions at Ambassador College (1968–70 while a student at Pepperdine University), the University of Notre Dame (1979–85), and the College of William and Mary (1985–89). Tabor is the founder and director of the Original Bible Project, a non-profit organization aimed to produce a re-ordered new translation of the Bible in English. He retired in 2022. [Wikipedia]
So, how DID the Gospels obtain their attributions?
Again, from Ehrman: Lots of different gospels were in circulation early on (see earlier section 7 above). For the early orthodox Christians what was needed were gospels that carried the weight of authenticity and credibility, and to them that could only mean gospels that had apostolic authority behind them. For some decades there were rumors circulating that two important figures of the early church had written accounts of Jesus’ ministry. Nearly a half century before Irenaeus these claims are found in the writings of the church father Papias (120 - 30 CE). He claimed on “good authority” that Matthew had written down sayings of Jesus in Hebrew and that others had translated them into Greek. He also wrote that Peter’s companion Mark had rearranged the preaching of Peter about Jesus and created a book from them.
But the two books that Papias is referring to were probably not Matthew and Mark. Matthew is not a collection of Jesus’s sayings, not written in Hebrew but in Greek, and is not written independently of Mark as Papias supposed. Mark derives from oral traditions about Jesus that had been in circulation for decades; there’s nothing in Mark that suggests it was Peter’s version of the story. However, the pressure to have gospels with the authority of the original apostles became great due to all the other “false” gospels being used by “heretics”. Since it was thought through Papias that Matthew had written a gospel, he was assigned the one that was most Jewish in its orientation. The fourth gospel was thought to belong to “the Beloved Discipline” as mentioned in its book and who would have been one of Jesus’ closest followers. The three closest to Jesus in the early traditions were Peter, James and John. Peter was already named in the fourth gospel, so he could not be the Beloved Disciple. James was well known to have been matured early on and could not be the author. That left John, so he was assigned authorship. It was known that the author of Acts was Luke. Because Acts stresses that Christianity succeeded primarily among the Gentiles, the author himself of the third gospel was thought to have been a Gentile. Since there was thought to be a Gentile named Luke among Paul’s companions, he was assigned the Third Gospel. So, two Gospels were allegedly written by eyewitnesses to the events they narrate (Matthew and John), and the other two were written from the perspective of the two greatest apostles, Peter (Mark) and Paul (Luke).
As Ehrman points out, these attributions are unlikely. The books themselves do not claim authorship and in early years were not assumed to be written by these people. But later Christians were very much motivated to assign them to famous people who did not write them. These then are not forgeries but false attributions. In addition I’ve had several pastors and apologists claim that the gospels are independent support for the divinity of Jesus. I have no idea if they are ignorant of the Synoptic issue showing so much copying between the three or if they are in denial.
This is how motivated reasoning can blind normally very intelligent people. Please note the above is directly from Ehrman and his pen.
C). The book of James is misnamed. It is actually translated from the Greek as “Jacob”. Incredibly, religious scholars know this but leave the error in. Mark Wilson discusses four reasons why this is a problem and should be corrected and how it happened. https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-versions-and-translations/james-or-jacob-in-the-bible/
All of these issues are known by well respected religious scholars and yet nothing is changed. Is the Bible divinely created or not? If so, why leave in parts that are known not to be in the originals?
9. Ehrman notes ancient scholars complained of sloppy or intentional Christian copying errors.
Recall that Jewish scribes rarely made errors at this rate or wontedly changed verses and words. But Christian false writings and forgeries early on were rampant.
> Third century church father Origen: “The difference among the manuscripts have become great either through the negligence of some copyists or through the perverse audacity of others; they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking they make additions or deletions as they please.”
> Pagan critic Celsus: “Some believers, as though from a drinking bout, go so far as to oppose themselves and alter the original text of the gospel three or four or several times over and they change its character to enable them to deny differences in the face of criticism.”
> Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, complains that some Christians are changing his writings as they have more sacred texts: “When my fellow Christians invited me to write letters to them I did so. These the devil’s apostles have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others. For them the woe is reserved. Small wonder then if some have dared to tamper even with the word of the Lord himself, when they have conspired to mutilate my own humble efforts.”
10. Hebrews 1:3.
Most ancient manuscripts open the book of Hebrews with the phrase “Christ bears all things by the word of his power”. In Codex Vaticanus, one of the finest old manuscripts we have, dating from the fourth century, the original scribe changed the word “bears” to “manifests”. The Greek words are close. Several centuries later a second scribe changed to work back to “bears”. Several centuries later a third medieval scribe noticed the alteration and the changed the word again back to “manifests”. He then added a scribal note in the margin directed against the second scribe that translates, “Fool and knave! Leave the old reading; don’t change it” (Ehrman). In his book, Ehrman includes a photo of this page (on page 44). According to Ehrman, saying Christ reveals all things by his power is different from saying that he keeps the universe together by his word.
Although Jewish scribes were very careful with copying, Christian scribes were notoriously sloppy. Only about 15% of the ANE peoples were literate and sometimes that just meant being able to sign your name. Often scribes would make an error, but since they could only copy and not read, further scribes would not catch the error.
11. Romans 16:7. All of quotes from:
“Greet Andronicus and Junia, my [kinsmen, relatives, compatriots, fellow countrymen, cousins] and my fellow prisoners. They are prominent [well known] among the apostles and they were in Christ before I was”.
“Junia is a woman’s name and it just wouldn’t do to have people reading about a woman who was an apostle - let alone one who was ‘prominent among the apostles’. For patriarchal Christians who insisted on a male only hierarchy, Junia was intolerable. So they got rid of her. They translated her into an imaginary man with an imaginary name. Politics - specifically, the political desire to control women - shaped the translation of that text. The translators changed the words of the Bible to make it seem like it supported their political agenda. They changed the words of the Bible so that others reading it would not be able to see that the actual words challenged and contradicted their political agenda… Junias was invented and inserted into the Bible a long time ago…” (Erhman).
The ESV Study Bible indicates that some translators do indeed argue that Junia appears to be a man, which would be problematic in Greek and Latin due to the feminine gender ending. So this fundamentalist commentary interprets instead the apostle term to mean “well known among” instead of being a “prominent apostle”. It argues that they were “possibly” husband and wife missionaries and not apostles, thus preserving that no apostles could be women (ESV Study Bible, pg. 2184). I argue that it’s another example of how verses can be interpreted to show just about any agenda in Christianity.
Bible translations of this verse (61): https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Romans%2016:7
12. Exodus 21: 12-27
“The New American Standard Bible is a popular English translation, a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901. It was completed in 1971 and then revised and updated in 1995… a case in which the 1995 update alters - and is intended to reverse- the text of the 1971 NASB.”
‘Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death’, verse 12 says… what if you strike a person and they’re injured but not killed? Verses 18 - 19 addresses that: ‘When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed, but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for full recovery.’
“Basically, they say that if an owner kills a slave, “the owner shall be punished.” If the slave survives, but loses an eye or a tooth, then the slave goes free. The punishments for violence against slaves were different from the punishments for violence against free persons because slaves were regarded as a separate category. There was one set of rules regarding violence against “a person” and another set of rules regarding violence against a slave…Here is how Exodus 21:22-25 read in the New American Standard Bible’s 1977 revision of its 1971 original translation:”
‘And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is not further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.’
Here is the change in the 1995 NASB translation: “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury,…That’s new. That’s not at all how this passage was translated for centuries. Consider, for example,
If men chide, and a man smiteth a woman with child, and soothly he maketh the child dead-born, but the woman liveth over that smiting, he shall be subject to the harm (he shall be subject to a fine), as much as the woman’s husband asketh (for), and as the judges deem (appropriate).
(Wycliffe Bible, 1382)
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. (KJV, 1611)
“The KJV’s “her fruit depart” is a literal, but ambiguous rendition of the original Hebrew. If we ignore the context of the surrounding verses, then we could interpret that as meaning either what the 1977 NASB or what the 1995 NASB says. It could mean “she has a miscarriage” or it might mean “she gives birth prematurely.” Right? Well, not quite. It turns out that English-speaking Christians aren’t the very first people ever to read the book of Exodus. The Jews got there way, way before we did. It seems Jews actually wrote the thing. Plus they’re pretty good at reading Hebrew.” Translations that initially used “and she miscarry” includes RSV (1952), Jerusalem Bible (1966), New Life Version (1969), Living Bible (1971), New English Bible (1971), Amplified Bible (1987), New Revised Standard Version (1989), Common English Bible (2011), etc.
After 1980 evangelicals began to see life beginning at conception due to political polarizing changes (see Abortion discussion under Selected Consequences) and translations of Exodus 21: 22 -25 soon followed this change with “gives birth prematurely”. For anti-abortion evangelicals after 1995 the pervious translation “became unacceptable and suggested that striking and killing a fetus was in a separate category from striking and killing a ‘person’. Strike and kill a free person, you get the death penalty. Strike and kill an unborn fetus, you get a fine”. Translations that changed the verse later included the NIV, NKJV (1982), God’s Word (1995), New International Reader’s Version (1998), New Living Translation (2007), and Holman Christian Standard Bible (2009).”
Evangelicals changed other Bible verses to make verses fit their views. Keith Giles, Minister: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/keithgiles/2021/02/how-evangelicals-changed-the-bible-to-support-their-beliefs/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=FBCP-PATH
13. Judges 18:30.
Moses changed to Manasseh - “Sometimes scribes intentionally changed texts because of things they felt were inappropriate or objectionable… (in Judges 18:30 scribes added the Hebrew letter “nun” above the line so that it read “Manasseh” instead of “Moses” because Jonathan was acting more like a son of wicked Manasseh than of Moses).”
~ ESV commentary, page 2586.
14. Luke 23:33 - 14.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” "This prayer is not found in all manuscripts. In one of the earliest Greek manuscripts (P75, 200 CE), and several other high quality works from the fourth and later centuries it has been removed. Is Jesus talking about the Romans or Jews in this passage? The early church fathers interpreted the prayer as directed towards the Jews. By the second century Christians were convinced that God had not forgiven the Jews but had punished them by destroying Jerusalem for killing Jesus (e.g., Origin). It is thus probable that some scribes would delete the prayer since it appeared that Jesus could be asking for forgiveness towards the Jews. Some scribes were thus actually changing scriptures." (Ehrman).
Note that Luther in Germany, the founder of Protestantism, blamed the Jews and wrote aggressively against them. His writings influenced the Nazis. “Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.” - “First, set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will every again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians.” ~ The Jews & Their Lies. 1543.
I have shown through numerous examples that the Bibles we have today are not just compromised by translation challenges, but more importantly they have been changed by men numerous times throughout history. Many of these changes - adulterations of whatever the original books were but supremely important when one is considering that this collection of writings is asserted to be the mind of God - reveal changes in culture and ideologies and are subject to changing times or individual preferences. In other words, just like other writings of humans they are subject to the culture of the times and to how the winds of ideological forces blow. At least the Muslims believe that there is an exact copy of the Quran in Arabic in heaven with God. But that’s another horrific problem and outcome. I’m just a lay person and these are some of the contaminated examples that helped me come to the conclusion that God, if there is one, had nothing to do with the Bible. There are more, but this was enough for me to see the Bible has historical literature only. For more problems in the Bible, I would like to refer you to: All That's Wrong with the Bible: Contradictions, Absurdities, and More: 2nd edition. 2017. Jonah David Connor, PhD. His book of only 126 pages is an easy and relatively quick read of more examples. As a graduate of the fundamentalist Liberty University and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin, he is well qualified to show numerous major problems in taking the Bible as divinely derived. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1976427096/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1