Semitic New Testament
by Editor: Blessed Quietness Journal--
Is the study of the Bible affected by which Bible we use?
article is very volatile. It deals with the question of whether KJV defenders
of the Bible have been duped into accepting the Antioch texts without discriminating
as to the authority of some of them. If the authors are correct, then indeed there
is a basis of deception to come.
don't agree with the authors that the zealous defenders of the KJV and the Textus
Receptus are party to a deception or plot. They have everything to lose if they
were to try that.
do have to wonder if the authors are onto something in predicting the last great
deception will be a Third Way Bible Text in Hebrew. We have a letter from a reader
quoting the Stern Bible, and it has a number of what seem to be friendly Hebrew
translations of New Testament texts which weak Fundamentalists might jump at.
is not the magic moment, but another work, done with committee scholarship, could
be the final deception-- a Hebrew New Testament.
let us not be too eager to cast defenders of the KJV and the TR as fools. However;
let us be very wary of a new "authorized Hebrew New Testament," or something along
SEMITIC NEW TESTAMENT
Fundamental Christians have been led to believe that throughout Church history
there have been two competing streams of Bible manuscripts: the Byzantine, which
underlies the Textus Receptus and thus the King James Version, and the Alexandrian
which originated from Egypt and form the basis for most modern versions. However,
there are not two but three families of manuscripts vying for recognition as being
derived from the original text. Having contended earnestly for their respective
Greek Received and Alexandrian Texts, in true dialectical fashion, Christians
will soon be offered the synthesis -- the Semitic New Testament based on various
Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts such as the Syriac Peshitta.
Modern versions have already broadened the way for multitudes to accept counterfeit
scriptures. The Fundamentalists are the last stronghold, persistently holding
to the KJV based on the Received Text. However, now that there is evidence that
the Fundamentalist churches are coming under the baleful influence of the Hebrew
Roots Movement, the debate may be resolved via compromise.
The Judaising movement, which has infiltrated culture and religion across the
board, promotes an Aramaic/Hebrew text over the Greek.
The Hebrew Roots Movement is based upon the false premise that the original Gospels
were written in Hebrew, or possibly Aramaic, and that the Greek New Testament
is a mere translation of Hebrew or Aramaic originals. The Jerusalem School of
Synoptic Research, which has influenced the Messianic ministries on a broad scale,
is a major source of this error. The theory of Hebrew originals of the Gospel
accounts was propounded in a book published by the JSSR, The Difficult Words of
Jesus by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard:
are the words of Jesus that we find in the Synoptic Gospels so difficult to understand?
The answer is that the original gospel that formed the basis for the Synoptic
Gospels was first communicated, not in Greek, but in the Hebrew language. In spite
of this, today's modern translations are all based upon a Greek text, derived
from a still earlier Greek text, which is itself a translation of an original
Hebrew Life of Jesus. This means that we are reading an English translation of
a text which is in itself a translation. Since the Synoptic Gospels are derived
from an original Hebrew text, we are constantly bumping into Hebrew expressions
or idioms which are often meaningless in Greek, or in translations from the Greek.
reasons for writing this book are not only to show that the original gospel was
communicated in the Hebrew language; but to show that the entire New Testament
can only be understood from a Hebrew perspective." 2.
The JSSR is a non-Christian, Jesus-Seminar type of institution which has connections
with and sponsors seminars for various Messianic and Hebrew Roots ministries such
as Moriel Ministries and Messengers of Messiah. It is not surprising, therefore,
that Peter Michas of Messengers of Messiah takes the position of the JSSR with
respect to the lack of originality of the Greek gospels, as he expressed in the
Preface of his book, The Rod of An Almond Tree in God's Master Plan:
"I realized that there were
errors in the English translations of the Bible...Like most Christians, I had
been taught that the New Testament was originally written in Greek.. I wondered
if the gospels were originally written in Judea (or possibly in Antioch, the largest
Christian community of the earliest Church), by Jews, about a Jew in Jewish culture,
could it be that the Greek was, in fact, attempting to express the Hebrew language
and Jewish culture? This required further investigation... I ended up going into
a place called Chabbad House which was run by the Lubovich, the ultra-orthodox
rabbis. This was the beginning of my education in the Hebraic roots of the Bible."
Chabbad Lubavich is a Kabbalist movement, the term "Chabad" being an acronym for
two of the Sefirot, Chokmah and Binah, in conjunction (Da'at): "The name 'Chabad'
is a Hebrew acronym for the expression 'Chokmah,' 'Binah" and 'Da'at' -- Wisdom,
Intelligence and Knowledge. These Kabbalistic terms are central to the distinctive
intellectual theology of the movement..." 4.
The distillation of Peter Michas' education under the kabbalist sages of the Chabad
Lubavitch is indicated by his rejection of the Greek New Testament and reliance
upon the first five books of the Old Testament (Torah) and Rabbinic commentaries
to determine Christian doctrine:
Is The New Testament Hebrew/Aramaic or Greek?
summation, since existing New Testament manuscripts are Greek, written to express
Hebraic concepts, why be limited to the Greek or English translations when we
have Hebrew, now a living language not very different than it was 2000 years ago.
The New Testament is in the pattern of the Jewish traditional work of Torah, Mishnah,
Haggadah, Halakah, Talmud and Midrash, but inspired by God Himself for the common
people. These Hebraic works as well as the Inspired Scriptures were quoted from
by Jesus and all the writers of the New Testament. But even now, to have full
comprehension, we must read the scriptures in the proper Hebraic context."
NEW TESTAMENT PROJECTS
Trimm of The Society of Nazarene Judaism is a member of the of the Messianic Friends
Network to which Messengers of Messiah belongs. 5. Mr. Trimm is in the process
of translating a Semitic New Testament based on Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts
which he believes to be source documents. These would be Semitic versions of New
Testament books which are thought to have been translated from an original Semitic
text. James Trimm's new website for the Hebrew/Aramaic New Testament Research
Institute and the Semitic New Testament Project is found at: http://www.nazarene.net/hantri/
website deals with the Hebrew and/or Aramaic Origin of the New Testament.' "The
work on the Semitic New Testament Project continues. This week I would like to
answer those of you who have sent e-mail asking about what Hebrew and Aramaic
source documents for the New Testament have survived.
"Several Semitic versions
of New Testament books have come down to us which may have some claim to being
descendants of the original Semitic text. These include the Shem Tob and Du Tillet
Hebrew versions of Matthew; the Old Syriac Aramaic version of the four Gospels;
The Peshitta Aramaic New Testament and the Crawford Aramaic version of Revelation..."
The Messianic Friends Network interconnects a large number of Messianic, Hebrew
Roots and Nazarene organizations, such as Messengers of Messiah, which can be
assumed to have some measure of agreement on doctrinal issues. We may therefore
expect that, upon completion of Mr. Trimm's Semitic New Testament, there will
be considerable interest on the part of these ministries, which will promote it
as a preferable alternative to the Greek-based New Testament traditionally used
A number of Aramaic Bible organizations also link to James Trimm's Society for
the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism. One of these which interconnects is the Ancient
Aramaic New Testament website of Victor Alexander, who is also engaged in a project
to translate the Aramaic New Testament into English. Mr. Alexander defends the
Aramaic New Testament as the original:
http://www.v-a.com/bible/confession.html "...the Catholic Latin version was a
translation of the Greek, which is itself, by definition, a translation of the
words of Jesus Christ spoken in ancient Aramaic. In contrast the Church of the
East at least had the original ancient Aramaic Scriptures, hand copied without
any changes from the original tongue.
by the thousands of idioms that only make complete sense in the Aramaic, there
is no doubt as to the origin of the ancient Aramaic New Testament. The Church
of the East ancient Aramaic New Testament is the original Gospel of Jesus Christ.
All others are translations."
One rationale behind the Aramaic New Testament project is also a theme expressed
by the Hebrew Roots ministries: i.e., the presumed anti-Semitism on the part of
the Gentile Church, in whose care has been entrusted the translation of the Scriptures:
project's relationship to larger themes or issues in the humanities is the renewed
historical perspective this translation offers, an airing of the prejudicial considerations
of the so-called 'Gentile' converts and the resulting jealousy and prejudice directed
at the original Jewish Christians and their customs. Subsequently much of the
alienation of the Jews in Europe owes to the continued emphasis on and the tangential
interpretation of the Scriptures as God's gift to the "Gentiles," a totally erroneous
concept if there ever was one. One need not go into all the ramifications of the
constant repression against the Jews throughout history, based on strictly non-Scriptural
misinterpretations of the European establishment, in order to see the humanitarian
need for a non-prejudicial and therefore, by definition, authentic translation
of the holy Scriptures."
Mr. Alexander intends to make a social statement through his Aramaic New Testament,
which will mitigate the injustice suffered by Jewish people due to the alleged
prejudices inherent in the Greek New Testament. Apparently he plans to document
within his translation the "clear and systematic mistranslating" which has prejudiced
Christians against Jews "from the very beginning."
"There is clear and systematic
mistranslating that can be footnoted or presented in the final compilation of
translator notes that will demonstrate the deliberate attempt committed by translators,
that ended up destroying a significant bond that would have existed between the
Jews and Christians from the very beginning, even if there was no meeting of the
minds on theological matters to the very end."
Is it true that Christian Bibles have mistranslated the Scriptures so as to misrepresent
the Jews? Peter Michas protests that the Christian Bible translations have erred
by stating that the Jews demanded the death of Jesus Christ, when the real culprits
were the Edomites. He quotes Malcolm Lowe's Understanding John's Gospel:
"At this point it is essential
to clarify the meaning of the Greek words, hoi Ioudiaoi, translated 'the Jews.'
According to Malcolm Lowe, a Christian writer, editor and lecturer residing in
hoi Ioudaioi means the Judean population in general, sometimes specifically their
leaders... "'Moreover, John's Gospel says that the people of Judea stopped opposing
Jesus. After he raised Lazarus from the dead, most of the people changed to admiring
him. When John 19 is read carefully, one finds that the people had no role in
the death of Jesus. Even those who call for the freeing of Barabbas are not a
crowd of people, but just the chief priests and their officers...'" 6.
These statements are hard to defend, for John 19, in conjunction with the record
of Jesus' trial in Matthew 27, characterize the chief priests and the multitude
as those whose Law included the uniquely Jewish Passover and prohibition of blasphemy:
John 19:7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God...
19:12 And from thenceforth Pilate
sought to release him: but the Jews cried out saying, If houlet this man go, thou
art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
19:14 And it was preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he
saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
19:15 But they cried out, Away with
him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your
King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask
Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
27:21 And the governor answered and said unto
them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said Barabbas.
27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called
Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
27:23 And the governor
said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him
27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that
rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multi-tude,
saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Peter Michas pushes the envelope even further by proposing that the priesthood
of Israel was composed of Edomites, not Jews: "But who was the real power in the
leadership at the time of Yeshua?
"The Herodian dynasty was founded by Herod
the Great, whose father was an Edomite (Idumean) and whose mother was a Nabatean
Arab. Recall that the Hasomonean dynasty which annexed Idumea compelled the Edomites
to adopt Judaism. For this reason, Herod considered himself to be a Jew. However,
the Pharisees, the spiritual leaders of the people, and the Jewish people never
accepted Herod and his descendants as legitimate rulers. In fact, Herod required
assistance from Rome to become installed as King of the Jews.
"No only were the Edomites
the actual political power at that time, but the religious leadership was totally
under their control... The Herodian Edomites totally controlled the office [of
High Priest] and filled it with illegitimate priests based solely on political
Passover, the people could choose to release one man condemned to die. Pilate
offered Yeshua as that man but the corrupt religious leaders and their associates
chose Barabbas. The people were not present and so no represented. Scripture clearly
indicates that the Jewish people as a whole accepted Yeshua as a prophet from
God, and that it was the chief priests (the religious leadership and the rulers
(the Edomite leadership) who were responsible for condemning and crucifying Him..."
There is no evidence found in Scripture to warrant the statement that the high
priest, Caiphas, was an Edomite or that the Levitical priesthood had been supplanted
by descendants of Esau. Are the Christian translations of the Greek anti-Semitic
or do they state the facts accurately so as to bring the Jews to repentance? While
it is certain that the Jews were responsible for rejecting and crucifying their
Messiah, every Christian well understands that the ultimate cause of Christ's
death was the sinful condition of lost men, Jews and Gentiles alike. It is likely
there were Jews in the multitude who later repented and believed on the Lord Jesus
Christ. Having been born again as new creatures in Christ, they would thereby
escape the wrath to come. Those who did not would suffer judgment: "His blood
be on us, and on our children."
We know from prophecy that God has not cast off the Jews forever, and will yet
fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant with the remnant of Israel. However, the proper
attitude of the Christian Church toward the Jews during the present dispensation
is given in Scripture, as expounded in William R. Newell's Commentary on Romans
Acts 28, Paul officially shuts the door to national Israel. 'Well spake the Holy
Spirit through Isaiah the prophet unto your fathers,'-- quoting this Isaiah Six
and declaring: "Be it known therefore unto you, that this salvation of God is
sent unto the Gentiles: they also will hear."
"Since this awful use of
Isaiah 6, the gospel has no Jewish bounds or bonds whatever! And it is presumption
and danger, now, to give the Jews any other place than that of common sinners!
'No distinction between Jew and Greek,' says God. Those that preach thus, have
God's blessing. Those that would give any special place whatever to Jews, since
that day, do so contrary to the gospel; and we fear, for private advantage. Tell
Jews the truth! Their Messiah was offered to their nation, and rejected. And God
is not offering a Messiah to Israel now, but has Himself rejected them: all except
a 'remnant,' who leave Jewish earthly hopes, break down into sinners only, and
receive a sinner's Savior, not a 'Jewish' one! Then they become 'partakers of
a heavenly calling.'
dare not believe in any of the modern reports of national Jewish 'turning to the
Lord.' They will go into yet greater darkness (after the Rapture of the Church).
There will be the former evil spirit of idolatry "taking with itself seven other
spirits more wicked than itself," entering in and dwelling this present evil generation
of Israel (Matt. 12.45). Do not be deceived. At our Lord's coming, and not until
that beleaguered nation sees 'the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven' (Matt. 24.30),--which
will be that 'looking upon Him whom they pierced' of Zechariah 12, will they have
fall was made the occasion of salvation to the Gentiles; and this again is to
provoke them to jealousy'---that they may be saved. God's manifest blessing to
Gentiles causes the careless, self-satisfied Jew to awake,--first to ridicule
Gentile testimony; then,--seeing the reality of Divine visitation to the despised
Gentile, to arouse to a deep jealousy.
amazingly different Paul's method of 'provoking the Jews to jealousy,' from that
pursued by many Jewish mission workers today. The Jew must have a 'special' place
as a Jew. In some quarters they are even organizing 'Jewish assemblies,' and in
other quarters advocating 'the literary method of approaching Israel.' All this,
we cannot but feel, is abominable kow-towing to Jewish flesh, and hinders their
salvation. Jews now are common sinners, who have for the present been set aside
nationally, and must come to rely, as individual sinners, hopelessly guilty and
helpless, upon the shed blood of Christ, an upon Him risen from the dead. It is
an awful thing to make present day 'Jewish' claims when God says Jews are, for
the present, no different from Gentiles, before God: but are just--sinners!" 8.
The Christians of the early church were not anti-Semites, however, like Paul,
they carefully guarded the New Covenant in Christ's blood. Those Jews who intruded
upon the newly planted churches in order to deprive believers of their liberty
in Christ were justly rebuffed. Today, the Church finds itself in precisely the
same predicament with a movement of unconverted or partially-converted Jews, having
infiltrated with the intent to redefine and thereby destroy the purity of the
Christian faith. Those Christians who reject the Judaizing movement do not hate
the Jews, but rather they refuse to surrender the precious faith of Jesus Christ
for a religious system which only prefigured Christ. Converted Jews must renounce
their former religious traditions, as all sinners must come out of their respective
religious systems. Every true convert will do so with joy upon conversion to the
Jesus said unto them...No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment,
for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is
made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break,
and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new
bottles, and both are preserved." (Mt. 9:16,17)
This is not to deny that there have been attempts to mistranslate the Scriptures
by certain scribes who have a racialist agenda. In the 19th century, there was
evidence of an elite racism on the part of two Angican scholars, who presumed
to revise the Greek New Testament and the English Bible. The Westcott and Hort
Greek Text of 1881 was used 50 years later in Germany, when Adolf Hitler commissioned
Gerhard Kittel to create a Theological Dictionary of the New Testament for the
inculcation of Aryan doctrine in ministers and seminary students. Kittel began
his massive project using the Textus Receptus, but soon departed to the Westcott-Hort
Greek Text. Currently, an apology for the NIV entitled The NIV, The Making of
a Contemporary Translation, cites Kittel's encyclopedia as "the" reference source
consulted by NIV translators. 9.
The 1950 Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament was the successor to the Westcott-Hort
New Greek Text and has been the underlying text for all modern translations, except
the NKJV which does use it on occasion. 10. For the Old Testament, the NKJV and
all new versions follow the corrupt Ben Asher Biblia Hebraica, translated by Gerhard
Kittel's brother, Rudolph, rather than the traditional Hebrew Ben Chayyim Masoretic
As a result, some modern Bible versions (notably the NASB) translate words like
seed, brethren and generation as "race," although neither the KJV nor any Greek
manuscript contains the word for "race" in that context. Some versions even translate
I Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen race." Gail Riplinger, who has collated word-for-word
the modern Bible versions, Greek editions and manuscripts of the entire New Testament,
mentioned some of the distortions:
Aleph and B (Alexandrian minority manuscripts)... have numerous instances of anti-Semitism.
New versions, based on Aleph and B in I Thessalonians 2:15 say the Jews killed
'the prophets' rather than just 'their own prophets,' as cited in the KJV and
Majority text... [N]ew versions change Acts 26:17 from 'Delivering thee from the
people' to 'from the Jewish people.' No Greek support exists for adding the word
'Jewish.' Again, in Acts 23:12, the NIV and NASB have all of 'the Jews' conspiring
'under a curse' to kill Paul, whereas the verse really says 'certain of the Jews'...
Jesus forgive the Jews? Not according to the new versions. The NASB, NAB and Living
Bible add 'the guilt of' to Matt. 23:35, words which appear in no Greek manuscript.
In addition, the verse, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do'
(Luke 23:34) is 'probably not in the original writings,' according to the New
American Bible, the NASB Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Nestle's Greek
and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation. The NIV casts doubt on its inclusion
with a marginal note. The verse is found in the vast majority of manuscripts..."
of the presumed source documents for use in the Semitic New Testaments, the Syriac
Peshitta, will be of particular interest for our report. James Trimm notes the
original composition of this "source document" and its derivation from the Old
Syriac, rather than the Greek text: "The Peshitta New Testament is the Aramaic
version of the New Testament which has been preserved by the Church of the East...
It includes all of the books except 2Peter; 2John; 3John; Jude and Revelation.
These books were not canonized by the Church of the East until 508 C. E. The Peshitta
is not merely a translation from the Greek text, but rather a revision of the
Old Syriac, as Arthur Voobus writes: "... the Peshitta is not a translation, but
a revision of an Old Syriac version." (Studies in the History of the Gospel Text
in Syriac; 1951; p. 46 see also pp. 54-55)." 13.
The Hypertext Webster's Dictionary defines the Syriac language as "more correctly
rendered 'Aramaic,' including the Syriac and the Chaldee languages." Easton's
1897 Bible Dictionary describes the Syriac Peshitta as a departure from the Greek
New Testament in that Apocryphal books were included and books of the later canon
Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the canonical books, along
with some apocryphal books (called the Peshitto, i.e., simple translation, and
not a paraphrase), was made early in the second century, and is therefore the
first Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly from the
original, and not from the LXX Version. The New Testament was also translated
from Greek into Syriac about the same time. It is noticeable that this version
does not contain the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2 Peter, Jude and the
Apocalypse. These were, however, translated subsequently and placed in the version."
The Biblical Literature website also indicates the growing importance placed on
the Peshitta by the fact that a critical edition is now underway:
"There are many manuscripts
of the Peshitta, of which the oldest bears the date 442. Only four complete codices
are extant from between the 5th and 12th centuries. No critical edition yet exists,
but one is being prepared by the Peshitta Commission of the International Organization
for the Study of the Old Testament."
the Semitic and Aramaic New Testament Projects will draw upon other Semitic versions,
the Syriac Peshitta has the distinction of being recognized by Fundamental Bible
scholars as a legitimate translation. Inexplicably, there is a unanimity of Fundamentalist
opinion that the Peshitta follows the Textus Receptus, based on the assertion
of arch-rival, Dr. Fenton John Anthony Hort!
David Otis Fuller: "It is generally admitted that the Bible was translated from
the original languages into Syrian about 150 A.D. This version is known as the
Peshitto (the correct or simple). This Bible even today generally follows the
Received Text [quoting F.J.A. Hort, Introduction, p. 143]. 14.
Dean John Burgon: "It is well known that the Peshitto is mainly in agreement with
the traditional text. What therefore proves one, virtually proves the order. If,
as Dr. Hort admits, the traditional text prevailed at Antioch from the middle
of the fourth century, is it not more probable that it should have been made without
a record of history, and that in a part of the world which has been always alien
to change." 15.
D.A. Waite: "The Peshitta Syriac version, (150 A.D., the second century)... was
based on the Received Text." 16.
Jack Moorman: "...the Peshitta...manuscripts (now numbering over 259) are in line
with the Received Text." 17.
Edward F. Hills: "The Peshitta Syriac version and the Gothic version also belong
to the Traditional family of New Testament documents. And the New Testament quotations
of Chrysostom and the other Fathers of Antioch in Asia Minor seem generally to
agree with the Traditional Text." 18.
William P. Grady: "True to the meaning of its name (straight or rule), the Peshitta
set the standard because of its early composition [A.D. 145] and strong agreement
with the Greek Text underlying the King James Bible..." 19.
Gail Riplinger: "...the Peshitta Syriac (now dated much earlier than the fifth
century) agrees with the KJV." 20.
Peter Ruckman: "The orthodox view of Bible-believing scholars for 1700 years was
that the Peshitta was written early in the second century. Since it agrees over
and over again with the King James' readings..." 21.
Add to these superlative recommendations of the Syriac Peshitta the repudiation
of Greek New Testament by leading textual scholar, Gordon Fee, whose book, How
To Read the Bible for All It's Worth, is required reading in some Christian colleges:
primary tongue was Aramaic; his teachings come to us only in a Greek translation...to
some this reality can be threatening..." 22.
A 1995 article in Christianity Today also cites 'leading text-critical scholar'
Gordon Fee as doubtful of the reference in I Timothy 3:16 that "God was manifest
in the flesh."
the nature of the debate of the deity of Jesus Christ that took place during the
third and fourth centuries, would that the early manuscripts had read "God"! The
debate about Christ's deity would have been resolved like a gavel to the bench.
As [leading text-critical scholar Gordon D.] Fee suggests, 'The argument from
silence in this case is an extremely telling one.'" 23.
And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in
the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world, received up into glory. (II Tim. 3:16 KJV)
Gordon Fee's reference to the Greek New Testament as a translation points to an
original in Aramaic. The early mss. which omit the word "God" in II Timothy 3:16
seem to be logical references to the Syriac Peshitta and the Old Syriac. The Peshitta
reads "He who" rather than "'God' was manifest in the flesh."
Having laid this foundation of trust in the Peshitta, and doubt upon the Greek
New Testament, can it be only a matter of time before Fundamentalist Bible scholars
are prevailed upon by the Hebraisers to admit that perhaps the Old Syriac, of
which the Peshitta was a revision, was the ORIGINAL text upon which the Greek
texts were based?
Considering the agreement among Fundamentalist scholars regarding the pedigree
of the Peshitta and the incongruity of its acceptance by two groups of scholars
which are fundamentally opposed to one another on essential doctrines such as
the Trinity and divine inspiration of Scripture, we thought the Aramaic Text in
question warranted a close inspection. Our investigation commenced with the following
questions in mind:
What religious groups currently use the Syriac Peshitta?
What is the origin and history of the Peshitta?
What religious groups have historically used the Peshitta?
Are there textual variations between the Syriac Peshitta and the Textus Receptus?
If there are significant variations, do they affect essential doctrine?
David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, The Difficult Words of Jesus, 1984, reprinted 1994
and 1995, pp. 19,20 (pp. 2,3 in 1994 edition).
* Ibid. p 19-20 (pages 2 and
3 in 1994 edition).
* Peter A. Michas & Robert Vander Maten, The Rod
of An Almond Tree in God's Master Plan, WinePress Pub., 1997, p. 19.
* Messianic Friends Network, http://www.ezl.com/~peterm/Links.html http://www.messianic.com/friends.htm
* The Rod of an Almond Tree, p. 179.
* Ibid., p. 180-81.
R. Newell, Romans, Kregel Classics, Grand Rapids, MI, 1994, p. 415.
Barker, The NIV: The Making of a Contemporary Translation (Zondervan Corp., 1986),
pp. 166, 110.; New Age Bible Versions, p. 594.
* D.A. Waite, Defending the
King James Bible, Bible for Today Press, 1992, p. 39;
* G.A. Riplinger, New
Age Bible Versions, A.V. Publications, 1993, p. 594.
* New Age Bible Versions,
pp. 605, 606.
* Email: From: James Trimm email@example.com, To: firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com, Subject: [losttribes] SNTP update (sources), Date: Monday,
February 22, 1999 7:00 PM.
* David Otis Fuller, Which Bible?, Grand Rapids
Int. Pub., 1970, pp. 197-98.
* Which Bible?, p. 130.
* D.A. Waite, Defending
the King James Bible, p. 45.
* Jack Moorman, Modern Bibles - The Dark Secret,
Foundation Magazine, Sept-Oct. 1992, p. 30.
* Edward F. Hills, The King James
Bible Defended, Des Moines, IA, Christian Research Press, 1993, 1956, p. 121.
* William P. Grady, Final Authority: A Christian's Guide to the King James
Version, Shererville, IN, Grady Publications, 1993, p. 34.
* G.A. Riplinger,
New Age Bible Versions, p. 488.
* Peter Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook
of Biblical Scholarship, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 94.
* "When Manuscripts
Collide," Wendy Murray Zoba, Christianity Today, Oct. 23, 1995, p. 30-1.
* Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth, Zondervan
Publishing House, 1981, 1993, p. 114.
SEMITIC NEW TESTAMENT
CHURCH OF ANTIOCH
December, the Religious News Service reported the growing number of Maronite and
other Catholic denominations, whose liturgies are written in Aramaic and whose
New Testament is the Syriac Peshitta. Those who are familiar with the Hebrew Roots
rationale for turning to the Semitic languages will note the parallels, emphasized
in bold letters:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - To many, it may seem as dead as Latin, but Aramaic - the language
Jesus spoke - is alive every weekend at St. Elias Maronite Church here and in
communities across the nation from San Diego, Calif., to Yonkers, N.Y.
"It's as close as we can
get to the words Jesus spoke," said the Rev. Richard Saad, pastor of St. Elias,
a Lebanese Christian congregation. "It's a holy language, it's a liturgical language,
it's the language Jesus spoke." And because Jesus taught and told his often-puzzling
parables in Aramaic, the language also holds the key to interpreting passages
that have long been misunderstood by Westerners, said Aramaic scholar Roco Erricco,
author of "Treasures From the Language of Jesus."
"In biblical scholarship
and translation, its becoming more important," said Erricco, president of the
Noohra Foundation in Santa Fe, N.M. "It helps clarify passages that are obscure.
Especially since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1940's, the importance
of Aramaic - a general term that includes a group of closely related Semitic dialects
- has grown in offering clues to biblical scholars. When they run into difficulty,
they turn to Aramaic," Erricco said.
key biblical languages
three languages that are crucial for biblical scholarship are Hebrew, Greek and
Aramaic," he added. "When the New Testament went west, it was in Greek. When it
went eastward, it was in Aramaic."
The current interest in Aramaic crosses denominational boundaries and puts Aramaic
speakers and translators like Erricco in great demand. I can hardly keep up with
it," he said, "People are really interested in it. What I'm doing is showing the
Bible through the eyes of the Middle East, the Semitic languages of Aramaic and
Hebrew, the ancient culture, psychology, idioms and symbolism of the ancient Near
At the same time, Aramaic is not just a "dead," scholarly language, like Latin.
Many people from the Middle East who have migrated to other parts of the world
have kept Aramaic as their primary language, Errico said. Indeed, there are communities
of Aramaic speakers as large as 3,000 in San Diego, Calif., Chicago, and Yonkers,
N.Y. Other Middle Eastern Christians who migrated to Australia and Russia also
speak it, he said...
At the 3,000-member St. Peter Chaldean Catholic Church in El Cajon, Calif., "they
still speak Aramaic in their community" and continue to use it in the liturgy,
Erricco said. "The people preserved it and kept it. Today the Aramaic language
is still alive. The liturgy is still alive in the services, In Iraq and Kurdistan,
thousands still speak Aramaic."
At St. Elias, a church of Lebanese immigrants, "it's definitely part of our spiritual
culture," Saad said. Throughout the Mass, prayers and Scripture are recited in
Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic. When Saad holds up a communion wafer during the
consecration of the Eucharist, he recites a Gospel account of the Last Supper
in Syriac. In the church library, there is a Syriac manuscript of Holy Week services
handwritten by monks and copies of the Peshitta, a Syriac translation of the Bible.
Above the front door, the name of the Church is written in Syriac.
The liturgy dates back to a time before Muslims conquered most of the Middle East,
beginning in the seventh century, when Arabic became the dominant language of
the region. "It put Aramaic on the back shelf," Saad said. Aramaic is a Semitic
language, closely related to both Hebrew and Arabic. It is written right to left
and uses the same alphabet, syntax and grammar.
The earliest existing copies of the Gospels were written in Greek but maintained
46 words of Aramaic, which some scholars feel point back to an Aramaic original
before Greek, Erricco said... 24.
Maronites were a gnostic sect that was excommunicated in the 7th century for holding
to the doctrine of Monotheletism, the heretical belief that Christ had one will
(Divine), as opposed to orthodox doctrine which maintained that Christ has both
Divine and human wills. The heresy of Monotheletism eventuated in a great schism
in Christianity from about 640-681, at which time the Council of Constantinople
[680-681] condemned Monotheletism.
[Previously, the Council of Chalcedon in 452 had condemned Monophysitism, an advanced
type of Alexandrian theology, maintained that the human and divine in Jesus Christ
constituted but one composite nature. This ensued in the fatal defection of Syria
and Egypt. Nearly the entire Eastern Church had apostacized from Roman orthodoxy
with the signing of the Monophysite Henotican in 482 by the Eastern bishops.]
The Columbia Encyclopedia entry for "Maronites" identifies the headquarters of
the Maronite community as Antioch:
Maronites, a Christian community of Arabs in communion with the Pope. By emigration
they have spread to Cyprus, Palestine, Egypt, South America and the United States
and now number about 1 million. Their liturgy (said mainly in liturgical Syriac)
is of the Antiochian type, with innovations taken from the Latin rite. Their ecclesiastical
head, under the Pope, is called Patriarch of Antioch; he lives in Lebanon... The
Maronites have been a distinct community since the 7th cent., when they separated
in the doctrinal dispute over Monotheletism; they returned to communion with the
Pope in the 12th cent. In the 19th cent., massacres of Maronites by the Druses
brought French intervention; this gave France its modern hold in Lebanon and Syria.
Besides the Maronites, there are two other groups in Syria in communion with the
Pope-the Melkites and the Syrian Catholics.25.
The newspaper article arrested our attention, as we recalled that Peter Michas'
Preface to The Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan advanced the possibility
that "the Gospels were originally written... in Antioch (the largest Christian
community of the earliest Church)..." Located in Syria, Antioch is also identified
in Acts 11:26 as the location where the disciples were first called Christians.
In Which Bible? David Otis Fuller again quotes Dr. F.J.A. Hort on the importance
of the Church at Antioch and translation of the Greek New Testament into the Syrian
language (not vice versa):
It was at Antioch, capital of Syria, that the believers were first called Christians.
And as time rolled on, the Syrian-speaking Christians could be numbered by the
thousands. It is generally admitted that the Bible was translated from the original
languages into Syrian about 150 A.D. This version is known as the Peshitto (the
correct or simple). 26.
The Interpreter's Bible Dictionary confirms that the Syriac Peshitta was missing
important New Testament books for a prolonged period of time.
"The canon of the Peshitta
does not included II Peter, II and III John, Jude, and the Apocalypse, and so
represents the ancient canon used in the Patriarchate of Antioch in the fourth
The Britannica Online states that these books were not considered canonical by
the Syrian Church:
the vernacular versions of the Bible, the Old Testament Peshitta is second only
to the Greek Septuagint in antiquity, dating from probably the 1st and 2nd centuries
AD. The earliest parts in Old Syriac are thought to have been translated from
Hebrew or Aramaic texts by Jewish Christians at Edessa, although the Old Testament
Peshitta was later revised according to Greek textual principles. The earliest
extant versions of the New Testament Peshitta date to the 5th century AD and exclude
The Second Letter of Peter, The Second Letter of John, the Third Letter of John,
The Letter of Jude, and The Revelation to John, which were not canonical in the
Syrian church." 28.
Other sources such as the Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics confirm
that the Syriac Peshitta was the bible of the School of Antioch, and did not include
the complete canon:
their canon of Scripture [the Antiochan School] followed the tradition of the
Antiochian and Syrian Churches (which is also represented in the Peshitta or Vulgate
Syriac version), and did not included in the N.T. Canon the Apocalypse, II Peter,
II and III John, or Jude. Theodore, on subjective grounds, also rejected the epistle
of St. James." 29.
The Biblical Literature website indicates that non-believers were predominantly
involved in its translation, noting the Jewish influences found in the Peshitta:
Bible of the Syriac Churches is known as the Peshitta ("simple" translation).
Though neither the reason for the title nor the origins of the versions are known,
the earliest translations most likely served the needs of the Jewish communities
in the region of Adiabene (in Mesopotamia), which are known to have existed as
early as the 1st century CE. This probably explains the archaic stratum unquestionably
present in the Pentateuch, Prophets, and Psalms of the Peshitta, as well as the
undoubtedly Jewish influences generally, though Jewish-Christians also may have
been involved in the rendering."
The Encyclopedia Britannica Online states that the Syriac Peshitta became the
accepted bible of all the Syrian Churches from the late third century onward:
"simple," or "common"), Syriac version of the Bible, the accepted Bible of Syrian
Christian churches from the end of the 3rd century AD. The name Peshitta was first
employed by Moses bar Kepha in the 9th century to suggest (as does the name of
the Latin Vulgate) that the text was in common use. The name also may have been
employed in contradistinction to the more complex Syro-Hexaplar version.
The apostle Paul indicated that corruption of the New Testament began during the
apostolic period: "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God."
Textual scholars give support to this interpretation of II Corinthians 2:17a.
In the 19th century, Dr. Frederick H. A. Scrivener served on the Committee for
the English Revised Version where he opposed the Westcott-Hort agenda to replace
the Textus Receptus with a New Greek Text. His contemporary, Dean John Burgon,
vigorously defended the Textus Receptus and refuted the Westcott-Hort Greek Text.
Their statements on early corruption are noted by D.A. Waite and David Otis Fuller:
Scrivener and Dean Burgon both agree, that during the first 100 years after the
New Testament was written, the greatest corruptions took place to the Received
Text by the early church." 30.
Scrivener, another great scholar, is quoted by Burgon as follows: 'It is no less
true to fact than paradoxical in sound that the worst corruptions to which the
New Testament has ever been subjected originated within one hundred years after
it was composed -- that Irenaeus and the African fathers and the whole western
with a portion of the Syriac church used far inferior manuscripts to those employed
by Stunica or Erasmus or Stevens thirteen centuries later when molding the Textus
Receptus.' 'Therefore, [Burgon] antiquity alone affords no security that the manuscript
in our hands is not infected with the corruption which sprang up largely in the
first and second centuries.'" 31.
HERESIES IN ANTIOCH
seems to have been the source of much heresy of the early church period. The Secret
Book of the Egyptian Gnostics informs us that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,
which was addressed in the book of Revelation, originated from Antioch:
"Nicolas had been one of
the first deacons ordained by the Apostles. He came originally from Antioch. It
is against his doctrine that the Johanine Apocalypse (II:6 and 15,16) warns the
churches of Ephesus and Pergamos." 32.
The Church at Antioch is documented in Acts 15 as a target of the Judaizers, who
would make salvation conditional on keeping the Law of Moses.
15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said,
Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation
with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them,
should go up to, Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question...
15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and
of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with
15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying,
That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of
15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter...
Acts 15:19-21 records the decision of the Council of Jerusalem not to impose upon
the Gentile churches any bondage to the Law, other than a few reasonable requirements.
Luke recorded the joyful reaction of the Church at Antioch when a company of brethren
returned with Paul and Barnabas carrying letters expressing the Council's decision:
15:30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered
the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
15:31 Which when they read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets, also themselves, exhorted the brethren
with many words, and confirmed them.
It is believed that Paul's second missionary journey was motivated by his desire
to take a copy of this ruling to all the Christian communities which he founded.
The decision at the Council of Jerusalem (A.D. 49) did not put an end to the controversy,
however. Proponents of the view that one must keep Jewish customs in order to
follow Christ attended Paul wherever he went, determined to create opposition
against him. This band, referred to the book of Galatians as the Judaizers, eventually
become known as the Ebionites, an heretical sect which continued to exist for
another two centuries.
Like Paul, Ignatius the bishop of Antioch subsequent to the Jerusalem Council,
had to deal with the Judaizing heresy during the late first century until his
martyrdom in Rome c. 110 A.D. The Encyclopedia Britannica entry states that "Ignatius
apparently fought two groups of heretics: (1) Judaizers, who did not accept the
authority of the New Testament and clung to such Jewish practices as observing
the Sabbath, and (2) the Docetists..."
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
THEOPHOROS (Greek: "God Bearer") (d. c. 110, Rome), bishop of Antioch, Syria,
known mainly from seven highly regarded letters that he wrote during a trip to
Rome, as a prisoner condemned to be executed for his beliefs. He was apparently
eager to counteract the teachings of two groups--the Judaizers, who did not accept
the authority of the New Testament, and the Docetists, who held that Christ's
sufferings and death were apparent but not real. The letters have often been cited
as a source of knowledge of the Christian church at the beginning of the 2nd century.
Ignatius represented the Christian religion in transition from its Jewish origins
to its assimilation in the Greco-Roman world."
The trademark of Judaizers, who have come into prominence at various times in
church history, is their devaluation or total rejection of the Greek New Testament.
The Watch Unto Prayer series of reports on The Hebrew Roots Movement examines
the premise, propositions and resources used by the current Judaizing movement
to supplant the Greek New Testament. The profile of Ignatius explained the other
heresy infecting the Church of Antioch during his bishopric:
"The Docetists believed
that the spiritual Christ entered the human Jesus at His baptism, and left before
the crucifixion. For Scriptural support, Docetists appealed to St. Paul's reference
to a "spiritual" body in 1 Corinthians 15. 42-50. This view denied that the suffering
of Jesus was attributed to a divine person, and thus the redemption would be finite.
The incarnation also would be an illusion. In a letter prior to his pending martyrdom,
Ignatius of Antioch wrote of their error:
if, as some atheists, that is unbelievers, claim, His suffering was only a make-
believe, when really they themselves are make-believes: why am I in chains? Why
do I even want to fight with the beasts? Then I die in vain. My testimony is only
a lie about the Lord." 33.
LATER HERESIES OF ANTIOCH
Cor. 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached,
or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel,
which ye have not received, or another, ye might well bear with him.
II Cor. 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of
sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Following Ignatius' controversy with the Judaizers and subsequent martyrdom at
Rome, Antioch would become notorious for heresy, succumbing successively to Docetism,
Modalism, Arianism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism. After 451, it became increasingly
Monophysite. It fell to the Persians in 538 and to the Arab Moslems in 637. Only
after a millenium, many bishops of Antioch and a third of the people submitted
to Rome in 1724. These were known as the Melkites.
[Of interest, Paul Weyrich, a major figure in the CNP/Religious Right is a deacon
in the Melkite Church. See profile on Weyrich: http://watch.pair.com/heritage.html
By the 4th century, as the Holy Roman Empire was forming, the Church fathers were
becoming painfully aware that the churches in the East had become the epicenter
of false doctrine. A series of ecumenical councils commenced to address these
issues, and these may be credited with preserving the fundamental doctrines of
the Christian faith against the onslaught of gnostic teachings which issued from
the Alexandrian School of Egypt and the School of Antioch in Syria. Certain men
who promoted doctrines that were declared heretical are pertinent to our discussion
1. ARIUS (c. 250-336)
was a famous presbyter at Alexandria, Egypt when he introduced his belief that
the Son or Logos, was not of the same substance as the Father, but was created
for the purpose of creating the world. Arius was greatly influenced by Lucian
of Antioch, who had laid great stress on the Judaic monotheistic origins of Christianity.
The following entry on the Arian controversy from the Encycopedia of Religion
reveals the enormous impact of this heresy on Eastern Christendom:
"Three distinct streams
of influence merged in the sea of doctrinal upheaval of Christianity in the fourth
century: (1) the theological system developed by Arius himself, which was his
private and pastoral accomplishment; (2) the moderate and conservative Origenism
of the majority of Eastern bishops who found themselves in consonance with Arius's
own Origenian background; and (3) the political initiatives of these bishops against
Alexander of Alexandria. The complex state of church affairs arising from the
confluence of these three streams has become known as the Arian controversy."
Like the Kabbalists, Arian stressed the absolute unity of God, who was also incommunicable:
Arius's thought, certain trends of Alexandrian theology, formulated by Origen
a few generations earlier, reached their ultimate consequences. Arius's concept
of the Christian godhead was monarchic, that is, it held that the first and unique
absolute principle of divinity is the Father. Consequently, any other divine reality
was considered by him as secondary to the Father. He applied this view of all
to the Logos, the Word of God, the Son who becomes the instrument of the divine
plan of creation and salvation. The Son, being bound to the decision of the Father
in the very process of his how generation as the Son, is not eternal in the same
sense as the Father is eternal; more important, he is not eternal because only
the Faterh is ungenerated. On the other hand, being the instrument of the fulfillment
of the Father's will, the Son is by nature linked with the divine creation. He
is, so to speak, the first transcendent creature, the principle of all things."
Historical sources agree that the influence of Lucian at the School of Antioch
led Arius and other prominent leaders into controversy with the Bishop of Alexandria
and departure from sound doctrine.
Prolegomena. The Life & Writings of Eusebius of C'sarea
"About the year 318, while
Alexander was bishop of Alexandria, the Arian controversy broke out in that city,
and the whole Eastern Church was soon involved in the strife. We cannot enter
here into a discussion of Arius' views; but in order to understand the rapidity
with which the Arian party grew, and the strong hold which it possessed from the
very start in Syria and Asia Minor, we must remember that Arius was not himself
the author of that system which we know as Arianism, but that he learned the essentials
of it from his instructor Lucian. The latter was one of the most learned men of
his age in the Oriental Church, and rounded an exegetico-theological school in
Antioch, which for a number of years stood outside of the communion of the orthodox
Church in that city, but shortly before the martyrdom of Lucian himself (which
took place in 311 or 312) made its peace with the Church, and was recognized by
it. He was held in the highest reverence by his disciples, and exerted a great
influence over them even after his death. Among them were such men as Arius, Eusebius
of Nicomedia, Asterius, and others who were afterward known as staunch Arianists.
A Chronology of the Arian Controversy demonstrates the spiritual principle that
a little leaven eventually leavens the whole church:
318 or 319 CE: Egypt - In an informal discussion on the Trinity between Bishop
Alexander and his presbyters, Arius accuses Alexander of Sabellianism. He goes
on to frame his adoptionist views following the theology of Lucian of Antioch.
Afterwards, Alexander of Alexandria convenes a council that condemns and exiles
Arius. Arius then writes his Letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia in which he complains
of being unjustly persecuted. The letter mentions that Eusebius of Caesarea and
many other Eastern bishops have also been condemned. Arius then travels to Nicomedia
at the invitation of Eusebius, after which Eusebius advances a letter writing
campaign to the bishops of Asia Minor in support of Arius. Due to his rigorous
support of Arius, Eusebius "transform[s] what might have remained an Egyptian
dispute into an ecumenical controversy" (Quasten III, 191).
The Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., in which Athanasius was prominent in the debate,
decreed the divinity of Christ as set forth in the Nicene Creed. The tenacity
of this heresy was astounding, however, and it endured for centuries. "But the
eastern Bishops at a Council in Antioch... did not disapprove of Arius, and was
noncommittal about the nature of the unity of the Son with the Father."
DIODORUS (c. 330-390)
from various sources describes the sequence of heresies which followed Arianism
and were unique to the School of Antioch. Apollinarism had valiantly debated with
Athanasius against Arianism, but denied that Christ had a human rational soul.
From this heresy there arose another:
his anxiety to vindicate the significance of the human element in the person of
Christ and in the Scriptures... in controversy with Apollinaris, Diodorus had
put forth a theory of the relation of the two natures of Christ which seemed to
dissolve the one divine-human Person into two. According to the fragments still
preserved of the work called into question ("Against the Synusiasts" and "On the
Holy Spirit"), he apparently distinguished between the Logos and the Son of David,
one the Son of God by nature, the other by grace." 36.
JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (347-407)
Diodorus' students at the School of Antioch were John Chrysostom and Theodore
of Mopsuestia. The various encyclopedias agree that Chrysostom's view of sin was
conception of the Divine image in man, which he regards as consisting in his dominion
over creation recalls Diodorus and Theodore. He regards the Fall as resulting
in a privation of gifts which were not a part of man's natural constitution. He
does not teach a complete loss of the Divine image. He agrees with Theodore in
insisting on free will and denying original sin... He denies that mortality is
the cause of sin." 37.
expressly controverts the view...that sin is an integral part of our nature."
The Chrysostom Society is a group of neo-gnostics founded and led by Richard Foster.
Members include Madeline L'Engle of the New Age St. John the Divine Cathedral
in New York, Karen Mains, Eugene Peterson, author of The Message and similar pseudo-Christians
who have sought to mainstream the esoteric as Christianity. Foster noted the similarity
of Chrysostom's theology to that of the famous gnostic of the School of Alexandria:
his later life, Chrysostom was much maligned for his agreement with much of Origen's
seems to have inculcated in his students other views at variance with Scripture:
election according to grace:
Theodore and Chrysostom...reject the idea of an absolute predestination in favor
of a conditional predestination. God's purpose, says Theodore, is dependent on
man's free will." 40.
Ephesians 1:10, Theodore drew the conclusion that all men and all rational creatures
will finally look to Christ and attain perfect harmony. The eschatological teaching
of Diodorus and Theodore is one of the few points of agreement between them and
Origen... The hope that, though the wicked will suffer just punishment for their
sins, this punishment will not be everlasting." 41.
views upon human nature and sin led him to find the central significance of Christ's
work not so much in his death as in His Resurrection. The purpose of the Incarnation
was the perfection rather than the restitution of humanity. Christ is the new
creation, who exhibits God's plan in its final completeness. In Him, there is
set forth that image of God which man was meant to attain, but which he failed
to attain...The deliverance which He has won for men is already potentially theirs,
though it is only in the future that it fully takes effect. The omissions are
significant. The conceptions of guilt and responsibility, and the idea of Christ's
death as an atonement are absent. Death is but a necessary stage, through which
Christ passes to the Resurrection and inaugurates the higher and final stage of
man's development. The necessity of the Incarnation is not based on the Fall,
but on the general conception of the Divine purpose for man, which required that
he should be delivered from his present state of mortality." 42.
A Christian Israel Identity web site, Stone Kingdom Ministries, asserts that the
school of Antioch taught Universal Salvation:
Later, because some Christians disagreed with the methods of interpretation used
by the Alexandrian and Caesarian schools, the school of Antioch was founded. Although
the teachings of the Antiochian school were somewhat at variance with the teachings
of the two earlier schools, they too taught Universal Reconciliation.
Seeking to prove the concept of Universal Salvation, proponents must resort to
citing the gnostics as Church Fathers, i.e., Clement, Origen, Eusebius, Chrysostom:
The Prevailing Doctrine Of The Christian Church During Its First Five Hundred
It is shown in this volume [Lecky's Rationalism in Europe, I] that not only were
Diodore, Theodore, and others of the Antiochan school Universalists but that for
centuries four theological schools taught the doctrine.
Neander says: "... The Antiochan school were led to this doctrine, not by Origen
but by their own thinkings and examinations of the Scripture. They regarded the
two-fold division of the development of the creature as a general law of the universe.
This led to the final result of universal participation in the unchangeable divine
Dr. Beecher pays this remarkable testimony: "I do not know an unworthy, low, or
mean character in any prominent, open, and avowed Restorationist of that age of
freedom of inquiry which was inaugurated by the Alexandrine school, and defended
by Origen. But besides this it is true that these ancient believers in final restoration
lived and toiled and suffered, in an atmosphere of joy and hope, and were not
loaded with a painful and crushing burden of sorrow in view of the endless misery
of innumerable multitudes. It may not be true that these results were owing mainly
to the doctrine of universal restoration. It may be that their views of Christ
and the Gospel, which were decidedly Orthodox, exerted the main power to produce
these results. But one thing is true: the doctrine of universal restoration did
not hinder them. If not, then the inquiry will arise, Why should it now?"
It seems not without reason that the Antioch School refused to canonize the books
of II Peter, II and III John, Jude and Revelation. The doctrine of the Universal
Salvation might be easily refuted by the five books which contained so many verses
on eternal judgment as to render them irrepressible:
II Peter 2:4-9 - For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down
to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkenss, to be reserved unto judgment;
and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of
righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning
the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashed condemned them with an overthrow,
making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly...The Lord knoweth
how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the
day of judgment to be punished:..."
II Peter 3:7 - But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word
are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition
of ungodly men.
Jude 5-7 - I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this,
how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward
destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate,
but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness
unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities
about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after
strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal
Revelation 20:11-15 - And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place
for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books
were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead
were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to
their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell
delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according
to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the
second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
into the lake of fire.
Peter Michas flirts with the concept of Universal Salvation in numerous (18) references
to the "salvation of humankind" or similar phrases in his book, The Rod of an
Almond Tree. On page 129 he openly states:
have been fascinated by the search for the Ark of the Covenant. Even more fascinating
is to trace the rod of God and search out its essential role in the universal
redemption of mankind."
Theodorus was finally condemned at the second general Council at Constantinople
in 381 for teaching that Jesus been a sinful man who, nevertheless, became perfect:
second general Council, at Constantinople in 381, condemned impious Theodore of
Mopsuestia who said that the Logos of God is one, Christ was another, suffering
molestations from passions of soul and desires of the flesh, and gradually leaving
the worse things, becoming better with advance in [good] works and becoming immaculate
by living, was baptized as a mere man in the name of the Father and Son and Holy
Spirit, and by Baptism received the grace of the Holy Spirit and merited to become
a son." (DS 434). We notice: "1) The clear implication of two persons, one who
was morally inferior, gradually became better, was baptized in the name of the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit - implying that the Son [the Logos] was one person,
and Christ was another person, as the opening line had said. 'mere man.' [psilon
anthropon] and merited to become a son. 2) He said Jesus was subject to disorderly
passions - like the infamous movie, 'The Last Temptation.'" 43.
NESTORIUS (c 381-451)
an evil tree cannot produce good fruit was tragically demonstrated as the School
of Antioch turned out more and greater heresy. Nestorius studied under Theodore
at the School of Antioch and would end up teaching that Christ was actually two
Columbia Encyclopedia: "...Nestorius directly derived his views, considered heretical
from Theodore." 44.
Encyclopedia Britannica: "[Nestorius] received his education at Antioch, probably
under Theodore of Mopsuestia. As a monk in the neighboring monastery of Euprepius,
and afterwards as presbyter, he became celebrated in the diocese for his asceticism,
his orthodoxy and his eloquence." 45.
David Otis Fuller: "Nestorius denied the union of the two natures of God and man
in the one person of Christ. He was accused of teaching that there were two distinct
persons, the Person of God the Son and the Person of the man Christ Jesus. This
teaching was condemned by the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431 at which Cyril of
Alexandria presided." 46.
Condemnation of this heresy at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. would signal
the demise of the School of Antioch, which had left a grievous legacy for the
churches of the East:
Encyclopedia Britannica: "The [Nestorian] church traced its doctrines to Theodore
of Mopsuestia rather than to Nestorius, whose name they first repudiated not regarding
themselves as having been proselytized to any new teaching." 47.
Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics: "The condemnation of Nestorianism
by the Church in AD 431, was fatal to the development to the school of Antioch
and to the reputation of its great representatives. Marius Mercator about 431
maintained that Theodore was the real author of Pelagianism, and later on called
attention to the Nestorian tendency of his teaching." 48.
The Hastings Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics provides further evidence of
the apostasy of the Church of Antioch:
Antiochenes...regarded the purpose of the Incarnation as the accomplishment of
man's destiny rather than the deliverance of him from the consequence of sin."
Antiochenes held LXX [Septuagint] in the highest reverence..." 50.
Respected nineteenth century textual scholar, Dean Burgon, identified in his volume
on the Traditional Text those heretical sects that still use the Peshitta:
"One authority tells us
this -- 'The Peshitto in our days is found in use amongst the Nestorians, who
have always kept it, by the Monophysites on the plains of Syria, the Christians
of St. Thomas in Malabar, and by the Maronites, on the mountain terraces of Lebanon."
Fundamentalists seriously misrepresent the Antioch Church as a center of orthodoxy,
which instead was the source of the major heresies. Furthering the misconception,
Jack Moorman presents a misleading image of the Church of Antioch as the source
of the Textus Receptus:
view of the origin of the Old Latin is that it was translated in Antioch, Syria,
by missionaries of the West. Support for this view is demonstrated by the strong
Syrian and Aramaic tendencies in the existing manuscripts. If this is the case
then the Old Latin is associated with that city which was not only the missionary
center in the book of Acts, but also the place that history accords as the fountainhead
of the Received Text." 52.
The truth seems more available in secular histories, which catalog the famous
heretics indigenous to Syria, as well as Egypt. The Secret Book Of The Egyptian
Gnostics by Jean Doresse declares Syria, with special mention of Antioch, to be
the origin of Gnosticism, whence the leadership of this pernicious heresy removed
appeared originally in Syria. It is in Samaria and the Valley of the Lycos that
we trace it for the first time. Simon [the sorcerer] is a man of Gitta and Samaria;
Menander is originally of Capparetia - again in Samaria; Satornel is of Antioch;
Cerdon is a Syrian; Cerinthus comes from Asia Minor;...In the time of Hadrian
(A.D. 110-38), Gnosticism passes over from Syria into Egypt: it is in Alexandria
that the greatest doctors of the heresy are flourishing - Bacilides, Carpocrates,
and Valentinus. Then it reaches Rome; and this is the moment when the Christian
doctors realize the importance of heresies which, in the East, had been incubating
for a considerable time... Marcion was in Rome from 140, and thence expelled by
the Church in 144, being by excommunicated by his own father, the Bishop of Sinope."
The Lord's condemnation in Revelation 2:15 of Nicolas of Antioch, whose doctrine
distinguished between the perfect and the non-perfect, seems indicative of the
gnostic leavening therein and thus the Holy Spirit's departure from this center
of gnosticism. By 95 A.D., God had moved on to other churches -- those whom the
Lord Jesus Christ specifically addressed in Revelation 2 and 3.
Revelation 1:4 - John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you,
and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the
seven Spirits which are before his throne.
Revelation 1:10,11 - I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me
a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the
last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches
which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto
Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
As pastor of the Church of Ephesus, Timothy had been entrusted with the "parchments"
of Paul, the true Word of God (II Timothy 4:13).
"The second epistle unto
Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written
from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time." 54.
The Book of the Revelation was committed to the seven Churches of Asia Minor,
not Antioch. Upon the latter it seems that God had declared ICHABOD - 'the glory
has departed'. Biblical Literature online notes the schism in the 5th century
which separated the Syrian Church into the Nestorian and Jacobite traditions.
The Syriac Peshitta was identified with both traditions, which were major heretical
the split in the Syriac Church in the 5th century into Nestorian (East Syrian)
and Jacobite (West Syrian) traditions, the textual history of the Peshitta became
bifurcated. Because the Nestorian Church was relatively isolated, its manuscripts
are considered to be superior..."
Spake Jesus Christ," Greg Garrison, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dec. 12, 1998,
Religious News Service.
* Columbia Encyclopedia, "Maronites," p. 1700.
* Which Bible?, p. 197-8.
* Interpreter's Bible Dictionary, Supplementary Volume, Abingdon Press, Nashville,
1993, p. 853.
* Britannica Online, "Syriac Peshitta," http://www.eb.com/
* Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics, "Antiochene Theology,"
* D.A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, Bible for Today Press,
1992, p. 45.
* David Otis Fuller, Which Bible?, Grand Rapids International
Publications, 1970, p. 125.
* Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics, Jean
Doresse, p. 13.
* "Outline of Christology," William G. Most, http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/CHRI602.TXT
* Arius-The Trinity Controversy in the Church, Fazal Ahmad - UK The Review
of Religions, September 1996 http://www.flash.net/~royal/controversy.html
* Mircea Eliade, Encyclopedia of Religion, "Arianism", Vol. 1, p. 405.
New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, "Diodorus," Samuel Macauley
Jackson, ed., Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House, 1964, p. 435.
Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics, James Hastings, NY: Charles Scribner Sons,
1951, "Antiochene Theology", p. 587.
* New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of
Religious Knowledge, "Chrysostom," p. 75.
* Devotional Classics, Richard
Foster, p. 326.
* New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge,
James Hastings, NY: Charles Scribner Sons, 1951, "Antiochene Theology", p. 591.
* Ibid., p. 592.
* Ibid., p. 590.
* "Outline of Christology," William
G. Most, http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/CHRI602.TXT
* Columbia Encyclopedia,
"Theodore of Mopsuestia", p. 2728.
* Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910, "Nestorius,"
* True or False?, David Otis Fuller, Grand Rapids International Publications,
1973, 1983, Terrence H. Brown, "God - Was Manifest in the Flesh...(I Timothy 3:16)",
* Encyclopedia Britannica, "Nestorius," p. 407.
Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics, James Hastings, NY: Charles Scribner Sons,
1951, "Antiochene Theology", p. 592.
* Ibid., p. 593.
* Ibid., p. 585.
* Which Bible?, p. 198, citing Dean John Burgon and Miller, The Traditional
Text, p. 128.
* Jack Moorman, Modern Bibles: The Dark Secret, p. 29.
* Jean Doresse, Secret Book Of The Egyptian Gnostics," p. 12.
* The Holy
Bible, Authorized King James Version, Footnote: II Timothy. World Bible Publishers.
SEMITIC NEW TESTAMENT
Church of Antioch, origin of the Syriac Peshitta, would continue in two traditions,
the East Syrian or Nestorian Church and the West Syrian or Jacobite Church. These
two branches, whose Patriarchates still reside in Antioch, would also comprise
the Celtic Church which occupied the British Isles, according to The International
Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders.
"The Celtic Church - closer
in doctrine and in its rituals and ceremonies to Syria than to Rome, still exists.
Although it is not a secret society, it may be regarded as such by many western
Christians because of the infusion of pre-Christian and non-Christian Celtic beliefs.
with many of the secular groups in the present book, the Celtic Church is not
in fact a true survival, but a restoration.
archbishop of Dol and the Celts is of still more recent origin dating from 1952
and related directly to the Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch; the other branch derives
from the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch." 55.
The term "Jacobite" derives from a Merovingian fable that the stone upon which
the Patriarch Jacob slept was an anointed Stone of the Covenant which determined
the legitimate kings of Scotland and England. These kings were believed to be
lineal descendants in the messianic bloodline of Jesus Christ, as explained in
Bloodline of the Holy Grail:
only were the Grail Knights and Templars appointed Guardians of the Stewart Sangreal
[Holy Grail] in Scotland, they also became protectors of the Stone of Destiny
(the Stone of Scone). This most sacred of Scots treasures had been brought to
Scotland from Ireland by Fergus Mor mac Erc, the first King of Dalriada, in the
5th century, having originally been carried to Ireland from Judah in about 586
BC. The venerated holy relic was said to be the Stone of the Covenant, known as
'Jacob's Pillow' (Gen. 28:18-22), on which Jacob laid his head and saw the ladder
reaching up to Heaven at Beth-el. In a dream God promised Jacob that his seed
would generate the line of kingship to follow - the line which in due course became
the Davidic succession.
the Jews were persecuted by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Mattaniah, the son of King
Josiah (and a direct descendant of David), was installed in Judah. Known as King
Zedekiah, he acceded to the throne of Jerusalem in 598 BC. Twelve years later
Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar, whereupon Zedekiah was taken to Babylon and
blinded (Jer. 39:6-7, 52:10-11). His sons were murdered, but his daughter Tamar
was removed to Ireland (via Egypt and Spain) by the prophet Jeremiah. He also
brought the anointed Stone of the Covenant, which became known as Lia Fail (Stone
of Destiny). In Latin it was the Saxum Fatale.
"Princess Tamar (Teamhair)
gave her name to Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, and she married
Ard Ri (High King) Eochaid, ancestor of Ugaine Mar (Ugaine the Great). Subsequently,
over a millenium, Eochaid's successors were crowned in the presence of the sacred
Stone. The Irish heritage then progressed to Scotland, where the relic of Judah
became synonymous with the Kings of Dalriada. King Kenneth (MacAlpin (844-859)
later moved the Stone to Scone Abbey when he united the Scots and the Picts. By
the time of William the Lion (d. 1214), the Stone of Destiny bore witness to nearly
a hundred coronations in sovereign descent from King Zedekiah." 56.
The Messianic Legacy boasts of the various heretics par excellence in the early
Church era, who were considered to be the founding fathers of Celtic Christianity:
Celtic Christianity drew heavily on Egypt, it also drew heavily on the more explicitly
heretical traditions of Syria, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. We have already discussed
how Nestorian thought served as a repository for certain Nazarean traditions.
As early as 430 - the time of Saint Patrick - a book explaining the teachings
of Nestorius was being circulated in the West. Nestorius himself had studied at
the theological school of Antioch, where his mentor was a man known as Theodore
of Mopsuestia. At the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553, Theodore and all his works
were officially anathematised and declared heretical. In consequence, most of
his teachings have long since vanquished. And yet much of what we know of him
today comes from Ireland. One of his major scriptural commentaries survives only
in an old Irish manuscript. Additional material from Theodore turns up in other
Irish manuscripts, dating from the eighth century, the ninth century and, in one
case, from the late tenth century - more than four hundred years after Theodore
was condemned. It has been suggested that Theodore's works were translated and
brought to Ireland by no less a figure than Saint Columba..." 57.
Authors Biagent and Leigh also identify the Celtic Church as the repository of
the Nazarean tradition of Syria:
its organization, then, in its use of certain texts, in many of its outward aspects,
the Celtic Church circumvented the Church of Rome and functioned as a repository
for elements of Nazarean tradition transmitted from Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor."
The Celtic Church used various heretical texts to support their doctrines:
"As we have noted, the Celtic
Church drew upon a broad spectrum of texts beyond Rome's sphere of influence -
Nazarean texts, Nestorian texts, Priscillianist texts, Gnostic and Manichean texts,
books of both Judaic and 'Christian' apocrypha. In one instance, the Book of Cerne,
a prayer is found ultimately deriving from a work in the corpus found at Nag Hammadi."
The Celtic Church has always claimed to represent true Christianity and post-modern
culture has been inundated with popular literature designed to create that image.
For example, The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland, by Prince Michael Stewart always
frames the issue in terms of the Roman Church as the antagonist, which persecutes
the true Christian Celtic Church. The reader will notice in the following excerpt
that the fabled King Arthur and St. Augustine would have been contemporaries in
Britain, albeit on opposing sides of doctrinal issues. This was Augustine of Canterbury,
not to be confused with Augustine of Hippo who opposed the Manicheans two centuries
The "Christian message" in this Stewart claim to orthodoxy was the body of doctrine
preserved by the heretic Nestorius, who denied the union of the two natures of
God and man in the person of Christ:
Columba had brought the original Christian message (preserved by the Syrian bishop
Nestorius) into Ireland and Scotland from the Middle East, so that both the Old
and New Testaments received equal status within the Celtic Church. In deed it
was Columba who, in 574, had crowned and anointed King Aedan mac Garan of Dalraida
(Celtic Pendragon and father of King Arthur) - the first British monarch to be
installed by priestly ordination - and this greatly upset the Church of Rome.
Following Columba's death in 597, the Pope sent St Augustine to dismantle the
Celtic Church in Britain, but although he became England's new Catholic Archbishop
of Canterbury, his mission failed in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, where the Celtic
Church prevailed." 60.
Sounding much like the various and sundry rebbes which have inundated the Church
to teach the Christians their Hebrew Roots, Prince Michael laments the removal
of Jewish traditions by the Big Bad Roman Church:
"Early Celtic Christianity
was the closest of all religious teachings to the original doctrines of Jesus,
and it had emerged within a few years of the Crucifixion as the foremost Church
of the Christian world. Christians of the Celtic Church were recorded in Ireland
in the latter reign of Emperor Tiberius (AD 14-37), long before St Peter went
to Rome. Given that Jesus' own teachings formed the basis of the faith, the Mosaic
structure of the Old Testament was duly incorporated. Judaic marriage laws were
observed, together with the celebrations of the Sabbath and Passover, while Easter
was correctly held as the traditional feast-day of the Spring goddess, Eostre,
long before the Roman Church foisted a new significance on the old Celtic festival
at the Synod of Whitby in 644.
to traditional belief, Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 274-337) did not embrace
Christianity as the religion of Rome; he adapted Christianity into a new form
which was implemented as the religion of Rome. Constantine's reign as Emperor
was actually related to the Syrian Sol Invictus cult of sun worship, but he determined
to create a purpose-built religion to divert Christianity from its Judaic origins.
He redefined Jesus' birthday to comply with the Sun Festival on 25 December, and
substituted the sacred Sabbath (Saturday) with the Sun-day. Indeed by a series
of such manoevres, the high-points of Judaic Christianity were conveniently merged
with the pagan tradition, and the Persian cult of Mithras, which stressed the
concept of final judgement, was also partially enveloped.
"The outcome, from a purely
political base, was the uniquely contrived and controllable State 'hybrid' of
the Roman Church. On being formalized at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople,
the new Roman doctrine proclaimed all alternative faiths heretical, all except
for the Celtic Church, which was too well-established to provoke. Any such attempt
would have been tantamount to a declaration of war, particularly against Ireland;
and at that time Rome did not have the military capability to confront the fierce
troops of the Irish kings." 61.
Laurence Gardiner, author of Bloodline of the Holy Grail, describes Celtic Christianity
as Torah observant, the type of mixture which would have developed out of the
Judaized Syrian Church. Celtic spirituality is frequently characterized by the
term "Nazarene" - a name also given to the Essene Community at Qumran:
"A unique and indigenous
culture thus developed in the form of Celtic Christianity. It derived primarily
from Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, and its precepts were distinctly Nazarene.
The liturgy was largely Alexandrian and, because Jesus's own teachings formed
the basis of the faith, the Mosaic content of the Old Testament was duly retained.
The old Jewish marriage laws were observed, together with the celebration of the
Sabbath and Passover, while the divinity of Jesus and the Roman dogma of the Trinity
played no part in the doctrine. The Celtic Church had no diocesan bishops but
was essentially under the direction of abbots (monastic elders). The whole was
organized on a clan structure, with its activities focused on scholarship and
Authors of The Messianic Legacy mention the Celts' alternative scriptures, most
likely based on the Syriac Peshitta:
Celtic Church] even had its own translation of the Bible - a translation which
Rome deemed unacceptable." 63.
Where do we find a disproportionately large number of Syriac Peshitta manuscripts
today? Forever Settled by Jack Moorman, locates them -- where else? -- in the
1950, Kenyon stated that there were 250 extant Peshitta manuscripts, of which
more than 100 were in the British Museum." 64.
For some unfathomable reason, many Fundamentalist scholars identify as "Christian"
the Celtic Church and certain other religious sects that are historically known
to be gnostic and even deeply occultic. Following are two examples of this type
of misinformation as they are found in the books of David Otis Fuller and D.A.
Waite. David Otis Fuller wrote in Which Bible?:
"The first stream [of manuscripts]
which carried the Received Text in Hebrew and Greek, began with the apostolic
churches, and reappearing at intervals down the Christian Era among enlightened
believers, was protected by the wisdom and scholarship of the pure church in her
different phases: precious manuscripts were preserved by...the Syrian Church of
Antioch which produced eminent scholarship; by the Italic Church in northern Italy;
and also at the same time by the Gallic Church in southern France and by the Celtic
Church in Great Britain; by the pre-Waldensian, the Waldensian, and the churches
of the Reformation." 65.
Defending the King James Bible, by D.A. Waite, catalogues various churches which
used the Old Latin and Syriac Peshitta as translations of the Textus Receptus:
a. Historical Evidences for the Received Text During the Apostolic Age (33-100
(1) All of the Apostolic Churches used the Received Text.
(2) The churches in Palestine used the Received Text.
(3) The Syrian Church at Antioch used the Received
b. Historical Evidences for the Received Text During the Early Church Period (100-312
(4) The Peshitta Syriac Version, (150 A.D....) This was based
on the Received Text
(5) Papyrus #66 used the
(6) The Italic Church in Northern
Italy (157 A.D)
(7) The Gallic Church of Southern
France (177 A.D.) (8) The Celtic Church in Great Britain used the
did all these have their Bibles based on the Received Text? -- the churches in
Italy, France, and Great Britain -- why? Because that was the true Word of God,
and they knew it. That was the Received Text...The Churches used this text and
not any other....
(9) Church of Scotland and Ireland used the Received Text
(10) The Pre-Waldensian churches used the Received
(11) The Waldensian (120 A.D. and onward)
used the Received Text. 66.
Fundamentalists are fond of listing the Waldensians and pre-Waldensians as the
churches which preserved the stream of manuscripts which would later be called
the Textus Receptus. There is some disagreement as to whether the Waldensians
were heretical, however, there can be no question that the Celtic Church and those
sects described as pre-Waldensian - the Cathari, Bogomils and Albigenses - were
gnostic in the extreme. David Cloud has written volumes of anti-Catholic material
to vindicate these heretical sects which were the object of the Papal Inquisition:
persecutions which were poured out upon these Bible-believing people beginning
in the 7th century caused them to be scattered throughout Europe, everywhere carrying
with them the New Testament faith. The Lutheran historian Mosheim, writing in
the 17th century, says:...They were later known by many names, including Paterini,
Cathari, Bulgarians, Patarins, Gazarians, Turlupins, Runcarians, and Albigenses...
The term 'Albigenses' probably derived from a Council which was held in the year
1176 at the town of Lombers near Albi, "for the purpose of examining certain reputed
heretics" (Faber, p. 221)...
Bogomiles, possibly an offshoot from the Paulicians, were condemned as heretics
and suffered great persecution...The Alibgenses rejected the Roman Church and
esteemed the New Testament above all its traditions and ceremonies... Reineriou
also falsely accused the Waldensians with Manicheanism. This Reinerius is probably
the same persecutor employed by Pope Innocent III to hunt out the 'heretical'
Waldenses and Cathari throughout southern France and northern Spain..." 67.
"We have now seen that the
Baptists, who were formerly called Anabaptists. ... were the original Waldenses,
and have long in the history of the Church received the honor of that origin.
On this account, the Baptists may be considered the only Christian community which
has stood since the apostles, and as a Christian society which has preserved pure
the doctrines of the Gospel through all ages." 68.
Examination of historical records unveils a far different picture of the Waldensian
and pre-Waldensian churches, which are found to be instead among the guardians
of the gnostic heresies. Space does not permit a full treatment of this subject,
but a sampling of encyclopedias and other sources bears witness to this assertion:
International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies & Fraternal Orders:
"The Waldenses were part
of the Manichean-Bogomil-Cathari- Albigensian tradition... They first came to
prominence in the south of France in the late 12th century..." 69. Columbia Encyclopedia,
is heard of the Manichees in the West after the 6th cent., but their doctrines
reappear in the medieval heresies of the Cathari, Albigenses, and Bogomils. It
was the practice in the Middle Ages to call by the name of Manicheaism any dualistic
Christian heresy." 70.
Glossary of Christian History
A group commonly called Cathari, meaning "pure ones." Since they were especially
influential in and about the town of Albi in southern France some people called
them Albigenses. Although most of what we know about the Albigenses comes from
their enemies, it is likely that they filtered into Europe from Bulgaria. Like
the gnostics in the early church, the Cathari held that the universe is the scene
of an eternal conflict between two powers, the one good, the other evil. Matter,
including the human body, is the work of this evil power, the god of the Old Testament.
He had imprisoned the human soul in its earthly body. To escape from the power
of the flesh the true Cathar was supposed to avoid marriage, sexual intercourse,
eating of meat, and material possessions. Here was a radical poverty, but not
one based on the example of Jesus so much as on the perceived nature of the universe.
The Cathari rejected not only popes and bishops, but basic Christianity. They
tried to escape from evil, not by repentance and faith but by dividing the self
in two. Not only did the Cathari succeed in reviving the ancient dualist heresy,
by 1200 they had gained the protection of the princes of Toulouse, a cultural
area in southern France, and were spreading at an alarming rate. The Roman church
eventually unleashed the Inquisition against the Cathari to rout them out and
destroy them and the movement was brought to an end before the thirteenth century
The Occult Theocrasy by Lady Queenborough Edith Starr Miller
"Manicheism, with its hierarchy
and missionary system, had taken root in Europe and, with its chief seat in Bulgaria,
had thus found it way into Northern Italy and the southern part of France. Unquestionably
Manicheans in their beliefs and teachings, the Cathares (purifiers or pure) held
the unadulterated tradition of Manes. Their hierarchy was that established by
their founder. In the 12th century, their chief supreme chief was in Bulgaria
having under him, bishops, priests, deacons and simple Perfects. These composed
the class of Perfects who were distinguised from the second degree of Believers...
to the Albigenses, their name derived from Albi, a town of Languedoc, covered
not one but many sects issued form Manicheism and Arianism, and counted also many
Jews or judaised Christians. Under this appellation of Albigenses, historians,
whether political or religious, have almost unanimously included the Cathares.
revolt against the then existing Church power of the 12th century]... gained many
adherents and left numerous disciples whose Manichean opposition to the Church
was identical with that of the Cathares. Upon such grounds fell the preaching
of Peter Waldo who, although he repudiated the dualist doctrine of the Manicheans,
formed a serious opposition to the Church. He created the sect of the Waldenses
divided in two degrees, Perfect and Believers. The fomer made a vow of Poverty
and as such took the names of Poor Brethren, the latter formed the Outer or Third
Languedoc, the home of the Catharis and Albigenses in southern France, was linked
to the Albigensian heresy and the Grail treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau by authors
of Holy Blood, Holy Grail -- and also to the Cabala:
"The Languedoc had much
in common with Byzantium. Learning, for example, was highly esteemed... Greek,
Arabic and Hebrew were enthusiastically studied; and at Lunel and Narbonne, schools
devoted to the Cabala - the ancient esoteric tradition of Judaism - were thriving...
And while culture flourished in the Languedoc, something else flourished as well
- the major heresy of medieval Christendom. In the words of Church authorities
the Languedoc was 'infected' by the Albigensian heresy, 'the foul leprosy of the
south.' ...Not infrequently they were branded or stigmatized with the names of
Arian, Marcionite, and Manichean...
though it is, there does seem to be some link between the Cathars and the whole
cult of the Grail as it evolved during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. A
number of writers have argued that the Grail romances - those of Chretien de Troyes
and Wolfram von Eschenbach, for example - are an interpolation of Cathar thought...Something
had been smuggled out of Montsegur just after the truce expired. According to
tradition the four men who escaped from the doomed citadel carried with them the
Cathar treasure, but the monetary treasure had been smuggled out three months
earlier. Could the Cathar 'treasure', like the 'treasure' Sauniere discovered,
have consisted primarily of a secret? Could that secret have been related in some
unimaginable way to something that became known as the Holy Grail?" 72.
A. E. Waite was prominent member of the Rosicruciana in Anglia and the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn during the late 19th/early 20th century. Waite wrote
in The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal that, within Christianity, the gnosticism
of the East held the "pearl of great price", a gnostic reference to the hidden
knowledge and esoteric wisdom of remote antiquity:
"Behind all this I should
look assuredly to the East, in the direction of that pure catholic gnosticism
which lies like a pearl of great price within the...shell of external Christianity,
which is not of Marcion or Valentinus, of Cerenthus and all their cohorts, but
is the unexpressed mystery of experience in deep wells whence issue no strife
or sects." 73.
It is not the prerogative of this writer to judge the motives of Fundamentalist
scholars who mislead by portraying the Church of Antioch and its descendants -
the Waldensian, Cathari, Albigensian and the Celtic churches - as bastions of
Christian orthodoxy. It seems reasonable to assume that many of these scholars
have reiterated, at times nearly verbatim, the statements of their predecessors,
without verification of actual history. However, an error of this magnitude seems
intended to deceive. At some point, one or more of these scholars set forth a
monstrous lie which was received as truth by their admiring disciples, who trusted
in the credentials and reputation of impressive persons, and did not conduct their
own research on the subject.
The implications of such a deception within Fundamentalism is nigh unthinkable,
considering that the Celtic Church claims to be the authentic Christianity and
is preparing to place on the Throne (Mercy Seat) in the rebuilt Temple of Jerusalem
a false messiah of the lineage of Jesus Christ! The Stone of Destiny as 'Jacob's
Pillow' will be used in the coronation of their "Christ" as the King of Israel:
declaring himself Overlord of Scotland in 1296, Edward I of England stole what
he thought was the Stone of Destiny. What he actually got was a piece of sandstone
from a monastery doorway, which has since rested beneath the Coronation Throne
at Westminster Abbey. This piece of rubble is 26 inches long by 11 inches deep
(c. 66x 28 cm) and weighs about 335 lbs (c. 152 kg). Royal seals of the early
Scots kings depict a much larger installation rock, but this rock was not the
sacred Stone of Destiny -- no more than is the medieval masonry prize of King
Edward. The real Stone of Destiny is said to be smaller, more naturally rounded,
and is of inscribed black basalt, not of hand-cut sandstone. It was hidden by
the Cistercian Abbot of Scone in 1296, and it has remained hidden ever since.
The Columbian tradition tells us that, on secreting the Stone, the Abbot prophesied
that one day 'The Michael' would return to his inheritance." 74.
[This conspiracy is treated in our report The Prieuré de Sion vs. The Vatican.]
Those who have sought to mainstream the Celtic Church, and with it the Syriac
Peshitta, have set the parameters of the discussion carefully. It is the old Hegelian
dialectic of two opposing sides -- within Christianity the proponents of the KJV
[Textus Receptus/ Fundamental] vs. those of modern versions [Alexandrian/Catholic]
-- which are vying for supremacy in a contest whose end has been predetermined.
Having valiantly contended for their respective Greek texts and English translations,
the believers will soon be offered the synthesis -- the Semitic New Testament
based on various Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts such as the Syriac Peshitta.
For the facilitators of this Process do not make known to the warring factions
that, while they are preoccupied with a divisive controversy, they are also being
channeled into a planned resolution or synthesis. This writer believes that the
facilitators are strategically placed in leadership with assignments to conduct
the debate with as much acrimony as possible, thereby dividing and conquering
the bewildered Christians. The facilitators, who originally framed the issue in
a biased and adversarial context, are skillfully bringing the dialectical process
to its desired conclusion -- consensus. Thesis (KJV/TR) + Antithesis (modern versions)
= Synthesis (Hebrew/Aramaic texts)
The Third Way is the objective of the One World Religionists, and the preordained
method of atttaining synthesis is through the dialectical process. Modern translations
have already prepared the way of apostasy for multitudes to accept counterfeit
scriptures. Fundmentalism is the last stronghold contending for the Received Text
as found in the KJV. Now that these brethren have been assured by their revered
scholars that the Syriac Peshitta and the Old Latin Bibles, the texts of Antioch,
are also based upon the TR, they will not suspect otherwise. In this way, the
last bastion of orthodoxy will be drawn into the camp of the new Christianity,
of the Nazarene variety which characterizes the Eastern Churches. The infiltration
of Protestant and Catholic Churches by the Hebrew Roots / Nazarene Movement is
already well advanced and the Rebbes will soon be offering the Judaized Church
a Semitic New Testament which supports the historic heresies.
Continued in Part IV: Verse Comparisons: Syriac Peshitta vs. Textus Receptus
Alan Axelrod, The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal
Orders, Checkmark Books, 1997, p. 47-8.
56. Laurence Gardner, Bloodline Of
The Holy Grail, "The Stone Of Destiny," Element Books, 1996, p. 299
Messianic Legacy , Michael Biagent, Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln, Dell Publishing,
1986, p. 119.
58. The Messianic Legacy, p. 120.
59. The Messianic Legacy
, p. 124
60. Prince Michael Stewart, The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland,
Element Books, 1998, p. 29.
61. The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland, p. 30.
62. Bloodline of the Holy Grail, p. 189.
63. The Messianic Legacy, p.
64. Jack Moorman, Forever Settled, p. 121.
65. Which Bible, p.
66. Defending the King James Bible, pp. 45-6.
67. David Cloud,
Rome and the Bible, Way of Life Literature, 1996, p. 34, 36, 37.
Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia, Roman Catholic Dominion 500-1500 A.D.
The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, p. 121.
70. Columbia Encyclopedia, p. 1680.
71. Lady Queenborough, Edith Starr
Miller, The Occult Theocrasy, Los Angeles, 1933, pp. 162-3.
Lincoln & Leigh, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Dell Pub., 1982, pp. 51-2, 61-2.
73. Arthur Edward Waite, The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal, London: Rebman
Ltd., 1909, p. 681.
74. Bloodline Of The Holy Grail, "The Stone Of Destiny,"
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