4:3 Changes & Lost Gospels

If one thinks the canonizing of the Bible was divinely guided they only need to look at the Bible's long history of changes.

Before becoming the collection of books that Christians worship today, entire books were removed or added during the Bible's history. Entire generations of Christians devoted their faith and lives to versions of the Bible that contained different collections of books and teachings. The Bible only became relatively consistent because of the 15th century invention of the printing press, which mass produced copies with its current collection of books.

History of the Bible

Once Rejected & Now Accepted

The Bible has been canonized many times throughout history. Here are some books that were once accepted into the Bible then later rejected and vice versa.

Books that were once rejected but are now accepted
Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation

Books that were once accepted but are now rejected
Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement, 2 Clement, Paul's Epistle to Laodiceans, Apostolic Constitutions

The Lost Gospels

Once Rejected & Now Accepted

Some of the scriptural texts that were not chosen to be included in the Bible are still referred to in the Bible Christians worship today. There are at least 18 references in the Bible to scriptural texts that man choses to exclude from the Bible. How can one honestly trust man's decision of what texts are to be deemed "sacred" when those very texts invoke other texts which man discarded as unsacred?

Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18)
Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings 11:41)
Book of Samuel the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29)
Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles 29:29)
Book of Nathan the Prophet (1 Chronicles 29:29, 2 Chronicles 9:29)
Prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chronicles 9:29, 13:22)
Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chronicles 9:29, 12:15, 13:22)
Book of Shemaiah (2 Chronicles 12:15)
Book of Jehu (2 Chronicles 35:25)
Sayings of the Seers (2 Chronicles 33:19)
Lament for Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:25)
Paul's epistle to Corinthians before our "1 Corinthians" (Corinthians 5:9)
Paul's epistle to Church at Laodicea (Colossians 4:16)

Changes to the Scriptures

Changes to the Scriptures

Before scriptural texts were declared sacred they were fair game for revision. The texts we know today are not based on original scriptures but rather from copies of copies of copies. All these copies were copied by hand and during the copy process changes were occasionally made. Today we have discovered many copies of the scriptures from different time periods which allows us to literally see when changes were made and exactly how different the scriptures in the Bible are from that of the oldest copies. Familiar stories like Jesus and the Adulteress and his ascension to Heaven were both later additions.

The Adulteress

In John 7:53-8:12, one of the best-known biblical stories, the Pharisees present Jesus with an adulteress to see if he will follow the old laws laid out by God and have her stoned or show her mercy. Jesus responds to this test by saying,"Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her."

As it turns out though, this story was not originally in the Gospel of John or any of the other original Gospels. It is not found in any of the earliest surviving manuscripts, it is not in the two 3rd century papyrus witnesses to John (P66 and P75) nor is it in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus or Codex Vaticanus. The writing style is also very different from what is found in the rest of John and includes a large number of words and phrases that are alien to the gospel. The story was actually added and snuck into the Bible some time during the late 4th century or early 5th century to make Jesus and the Bible appear more appealing.

Ascension to Heaven

The ascension of Jesus up to Heaven does not actually appear in the original forms of any of the gospels. It was not until 200 years after the supposed event took place that the ascension was added to later copies of Mark and Luke. Mark originally ends with the discovery of an empty tomb. Matthew and John remain to have no mention of the ascension into heaven.

Mark 16:9-20, where Jesus ascends bodily to heaven, was added later. The earliest scriptures that we have such as the Alexandrian Unical Mss, Vaticanus, and Sinaiticus just end at 16:8. Also early Christian writers noted that the ascension was not in the earliest manuscripts. Jerome and Eusebius both state that the best manuscripts available to them did not contain the extended ending. Also there are significant linguistic and stylistic differences between 9-20 and the rest of Mark. As noted on page 103 of "An Introduction to the New Testament" by new testament scholar Douglas J. Moo, the longer ending also contains several non-Markan words and expressions.

The only "defense" that Apologists have to offer is claiming that these added passages were probably in the very original scriptures but early scribes must have forgot to include these (rather important) stories during the copy processes. Apologists then go on to claim that much later scribes were reminded by God of the supposed 'missing ending' and that is why it was added in later scriptures. Not only is this claim unsupported and completely made up it also ignores the issue about the linguistic and stylistic differences. Besides, why would God wait so long before "correcting" the copies of scriptures, was he on holiday for a few centuries or simply felt that just the people of those centuries didn't need to know these stories?

More Verses Not Found
In Earlier Scriptures

John 5:4 - "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."

John 5:7 - "The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me."

John 8:7 - "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

John 8:11 - "She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

Luke 24:12 - "Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass."

Luke 22:20 - "Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

Luke 22:44 - "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

Luke 24:51 - "And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven."

Mark 16:9-20 - "When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."