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ADMISSIONS OF PROTESTANT SCHOLARS

Ward reproduced a number of statements from the great scholars of the
Protestant faith. We reproduce below nine of them from his book prenticed in
1841.

(1)Zwingli, a Protestant bibliographer, said that all the events described in
Paul’s letters cannot be considered sacred, as some events described in
these epistles are incorrect.

2)Mr. Fulk accused Peter of making false statements and declared him to be
ignorant of the Evangel.

(3)Dr. Goad, during a polemic with Father Campion, said that Peter was
wrong in his belief about the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus.

(4)Brentius, called a learned leader and master by Jewel, said that Peter the
chief disciple and Barnabas made erroneous statements after the descent
of the Holy Spirit.

(5)John Calvin remarked that Peter spread heresy in the church and put the
independence of Christianity in danger and the Christian grace was led a
stray by him.

(6)The Magdeburg Centuries accuses the disciples, and especially Paul, of
making false statements.

(7)Whittaker said that the people and dignitaries of the church, and even the
disciples of Jesus, made great mistakes in preaching the Christian faith to
the gentiles, and that Peter made mistakes in rituals, and that these
mistakes were committed by them after the descent of the Holy Spirit.

(8)Zanchius gave an account of some followers of Calvin in his book. He
reported that some of them said that if Paul ever came to Geneva to
preach against Calvin, they would listen to Calvin and leave Paul alone.

(9)Lewathrus, a staunch follower of Luther, giving a description of some
great scholars has quoted their statements to the effect that it was possible for them to doubt a statement of Paul, but there was no room for any
doubt about the statements made by Luther. Similarly it was not possible
for them to allow of any doubt in the book of the church of Augsburg
concerning the principles of faith.
The above statements are from the great scholars of the Protestant faith.
They have declared that none of the books of the New Testament were inspired
and genuine. They have also admitted that the disciples were erratic in what
they wrote.

 

ADMISSIONS OF GERMAN SCHOLARS

The learned scholar Norton wrote a book on the truth of the Bible, which
was printed in Boston in 1837, He said in his preface to the book:
Eichhorn observed in his book that, in the first days of the Christianity,
there was a short book consisting of various accounts of Jesus’ life. It is
quite possible to say that this was the original Evangel. Most probably this
was written for those followers who could not listen to the sayings of Jesus
and could not see him with their own eyes. This Evangel was a model. The
accounts of Jesus written there were not in chronological order.
It must be noted that this script was different from the present gospels in
many respects. The present gospels are by no means the model represented by
the one discussed above. The present gospels were written under very difficult
circumstances and contain some accounts of Jesus which were not present in the
original script. There is evidence to suggest that this original script was the main
source of all the gospels which appeared in the first two centuries after the death
of Jesus. It also served as the basis for the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke
which later on became more popular than the others. Though these three gospels
also contained additions and omissions, they were later on supplemented with
the missing events by other people to make them complete. The other gospels,
which contained various accounts of Jesus occurring after his prophethood, such
as the Gospel of Marcion and the Gospel of Tatian were abandoned. They also
added many other accounts, accounts of Jesus’ birth and also accounts of his
youth and reaching maturity and other things. This fact is evident from the
gospel called the Memoirs from which Justin quoted in his book. The same is
understood from the gospel of Corinth.
The portions of these gospels which are still available, if compared with each
other, clearly show that the addition of these accounts has been quite gradual,
for example, the heavenly voice which was heard originally spoke in these
words:
Thou art my son, I have begotten thee this day.
As has been quoted by Justinian in two places, Clement also reproduced this
sentence from a Gospel of unknown identity in these words:
Thou art my beloved son, I have begotten thee this day.
The present gospels, however, have this sentence in these words:

Thou art my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. 15
The Ebonite Gospel combined the two statements together thus:
Thou art my beloved son, I am pleased unto thee, thou art begotten this
day
This was stated by Epiphanius.
Christian history, through gradual additions and innumerable manipulations,
has totally lost its original form and is now a mixture of unidentifiable
ingredients. Any one curious enough can easily satisfy his curiosity by reading
an account of Jesus’ baptism that has been collected together from several
gospels.
This gradual mixture of contra-factual events with original scripture has so
terribly deformed the authenticity of the gospels that they no longer retain their
original divine character. The more they were translated from one language to
another, the more they lost their original shape and form.
Releasing this situation, the Church came to their aid towards the end of the
second century or at the beginning of the third century AD and tried to save the
true and the original Evangel and to convey, as far as possible, the truth to the
future generations. They therefore selected the four present gospels out of many
gospels that were current in that period, because these four scripts seemed more
comprehensible than any of the others.
There is no sign of the existence of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke
before the end of the second century or the beginning of the third century AD,
The first man to speak of these gospels in history was Irenaeus in 200 AD who
also advanced some arguments concerning the number of the gospels.
Then in 216 AD Clement of Alexandria made a painstaking effort to prove
that these four gospels were inspired and, therefore, should be acknowledged as
the source of Christian faith. The result of this is that, towards the end of the
second century and the beginning of third, the Church made serious efforts to
get these four gospels acknowledged, in spite of the fact that they did not
deserve acknowledgement since they are clearly not genuine in all respects. The
Church also tried hard to convince people to discard all other existing gospels.
Had the Church devoted this serious effort to purifying the original script
found by the early preachers, it would have been a great contribution towards
the future generations. But perhaps it was not possible for the Church to do so
since none of the existing gospels was free from additions and alterations, and
there was no way of distinguishing the right from the wrong. Eichhorn further
said in the footnotes to his book:

Many early theologians had doubts about several parts of these gospels,
but they were not able to put forward any corrections to them.
He also said:
In our times, printing facilities have made it impossible for people to
distort and manipulate the text of a certain book. Before the invention of
printing the conditions differed from those of today. It was possible for the
owner of a certain version to insert distortions and additions into the book,
which then became the source for all subsequent copies, leaving no means
for them to ascertain which parts of the book were from the author and
which had been added or changed. Subsequently these corrupted copies
became common among the people.
You will find that many saints and theologians complained that the copiers
and the owners of the copies of these hooks distorted the texts shortly after they
were written. The script of Dionysius was distorted even before it was
circulated. You also find that there were complaints of impurities being inserted
into the books by the followers of Satan who were said to have excluded certain
things and included certain others on their own account. In the view of these
witnesses it is clear that the Holy Scriptures did not remain safe and intact. This
in spite of the fact that it was quite difficult for the people of that period to
distort the texts as the authors of that period used to issue heavy curses and
make sworn oaths in order to discourage people from daring to make changes in
them.
The same also happened with the history of Jesus, otherwise Celsius would
have not felt it necessary to point out the changes and distortures that had been
made by the Christians in their texts. That is how some sentences regarding
certain accounts of Jesus, which were scattered in several gospels, came to be
combined together in a single gospel. For example, the Ebionite Gospel gives a
complete account of the baptism of Jesus which has been compiled from things
found scattered in all of the first three gospels and in the memoirs from which,
according to Epiphanius,16 Justin quoted.
In another place Eichhorn said:
Manipulations in the sacred texts, in the form of additions and omissions
and the replacement of a word by its synonym, by those who lacked the
necessary scholastic aptitude, is historically traceable right from the time of
the appearance of the gospels. This is not surprising since, from the
beginning of the history of the Christianity, it has been a common habit of
writers to make changes according to their own whims, particularly in the
sermons of Jesus and the accounts of events in his life which were preserved by them. This procedure, initiated in the first era of Christian history,
continued to be followed by the people of later centuries. 1n the second
century AD, this habitual distortion in the texts had become so commonly
known to the people that even the opponents of the Christian faith were
aware of it. Celsus, as noted above, raised objections against the Christians
that, they had changed their texts more than three or four times, and these
changes were not of a superficial nature but done in such a manner that the
subjects and meanings of the gospels were altogether changed. Clement also
pointed out that at the end of the second century AD there were some people
who used to tamper with the texts of the gospels. He has specified that the
sentence, ”For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” 17 was changed in some
versions to, ”they shall be perfect.” Some others even made it read: ”They
shall attain a place where they shall see no trouble.”
Norton, having quoted the above statement by Eichhorn said:
No one thinks that Eichhorn is alone in this opinion, because no other
book is as popular in Germany as the book of Eichhorn, and it is considered
to be in accordance with the opinions of most of the modem writers with
regard to the gospels, and the same applies to matters which cast doubt upon
the truth of the gospels.
Since Norton is known as an advocate of the gospels, having quoted the
above statements of Eichhorn, he refutes them all in favour of the gospels, but,
as will be evident to any reader of his hook, his arguments are not convincing.
In spite of all this, he had to admit openly that the following seven portions of
the New Testament are definitely not from those who are considered to be their
authors, and had been added later.
1. He says on page 53 of his book that the first two chapters of Matthew
were not written by him.
2. On page 63 he says that the event of Judas Iscariot 18 contained in Matt.
27:3-10 is certainly a false statement and was added later on.
3. Similarly he declared that verses 52 and 53 of chapter 27 of Matthew are
a later addition

4. It appears on page 70 that verses 9-20 of chapter 16 of Mark are a later
invention 20
5. On page 89 he says that verses 43 and 44 of chapter 22 of Luke are a later
addition 21
6. On page 84 he points out that verses 3, and 4 of chapter 5 of the Gospel
of John, are a later addition, That is from, “Waiting for the moving of the
water…” to, ”…was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”
7. On page 88 he specifies that verses 24 and 25 of chapter 21 of the Gospel
of John are certainly later additions 22
Further on page 610 he says:
The miraculous events described by Luke have been mixed with
traditional untruths and poetic exaggeration by the scribes. But it is very
difficult in this age to separate the truth from falsifications. Any statement
containing traditional untruths and poetic exaggeration is obviously very far
from being an inspiration.
We may be allowed to draw the following four conclusions from the above
statement of Eichhorn which has also been favoured by other German scholars.
1. The original Evangel has become extinct from the world.
2. The present gospels are a mixture of true and false descriptions.
3. The text of these gospels has been distorted and changed by the people of
different times. Celsus tried hard to inform the world that the Christians
had changed their texts three or four times or more, to the extent that they
had actually changed the subject matter of these texts.
4. The present gospels did not show any signs of existence before the end of
the second century and the beginning of the third century AD.

Scholars such as Leclerc, Koppe, Michael, Lessing, Niemeyer and Manson
agree with regard to our first conclusion, because they have all said that perhaps
Matthew, Mark and Luke might have had the same copy in the Hebrew
language of a document containing and account of the life of Christ. Matthew
borrowed most of the contents of that script while Mark and Luke did not use as
much of it as he did. Home also stated this in his commentary printed in 1822
AD 23 but he does not seem to agree with their option, which, however, does
not make any difference as far as our point of view is concerned.

 

VIEWS ON THE SUBJECT OF THE CHRONICLES

Almost all the Judaeo-Christian scholars are agreed on the point that both
Books of Chronicles were written by the Prophet Ezra with the help of two
other Prophets, Haggai and Zechariah. The above three Prophets are jointly
supposed to be the author of this book. However, strangely enough, we know
for a fact that the First Book of Chronicles contains many errors as has been
admitted by the scholars of both the Christians and the Jews. They have said
that through the folly of the author the name of the grandson was written instead
the name of the son.
They have also said that Ezra, who wrote these books, did not even know
which of them were sons and grandsons. The script from which Ezra copied was
defective and incomplete and he could not distinguish the false from the true, as
will be shown in the next chapter. This evidence is more than sufficient to reach
the conclusion that these books were not written through inspiration. Their
dependence on defective and incomplete documents is further proof. However
the two books of the Chronicles are held to be as sacred as the other books of
the Bible both by the Christians and the Jews.
This also confirms our suspicion that, according to the Christian faith, it is
not necessary for the Prophets, as we have seen before, to be free from
committing sins. Similarly, they are not necessarily free from errors in their
writings, with the result that these books cannot be considered to be written
through inspiration.
Whatever we have so far discussed in this chapter is enough to show that the
Christians are not in a position to make a definite claim that any single book of
the Old or the New Testaments was written through inspiration.

 

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