IZHARUL HAQ READING CONTINUED
REFUTATION OF MISLEADING PROTESTANT STATEMENTS REGARDING THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLICAL TEXT
At the beginning of this section we should point out that misleading
statements are often made by the Protestant scholars to misguide the general
reader with regard to the authenticity of the Christian text. We intend to provide
our readers with answers to five out of many such attempts to mislead.
Protestant scholars sometimes try to convince people that the claim of
distortion in the Bible is made only by the Muslims and that no such claim is
made by anyone else. The fact is that the ancient and later writers of both the
Jews and the Christians have claimed the presence of distortions in the Bible
more frequently than the Muslims. Before producing witnesses to prove our
claim we must mention particularly two terms which are frequently used in their
books about the history of the holy books. The two words are ‘errata’, and
‘various readings’ (variations in reading). Horne said on page 325 of vol. 2:
The best difference between ‘errata’, an error of a copier, and ‘various
readings’, a variation in the text, is that described by Michaelis who said,
‘When there is difference between two or more descriptions only one of
them can be true; the rest will be either deliberate distortion or an error of the
copier. It is really difficult to separate right from wrong. If there remains any
doubt, it is called variation of the text, and when we are certain that the
copier has written it wrong we call it ’errata.’
In short there is no great difference between the two terms. A variation in the
text is nothing but distortion according to generally accepted terminology. Now
any admission to the presence of such variations would obviously be an
admission to the presence of distortion. According to the findings of Mill the
number of such variations in the text of the Bible is thirty thousand, and
according to Gricsbach it is one hundred and fifty thousand and according to
Sholtz the number of such variations is innumerable and unknown.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica under the entry, “Scripture”, in vol. 19
includes the statement of Wettstein that the number of such variations in the
Bible is one million. With the above in mind, we now proceed to reproduce the
opinions of many varied authentic sources regarding this matter.
Observations of Non-Christian Scholars
Celsus was a great pagan scholar of the second century who wrote a book
refuting Christianity. A famous German scholar Eichhorn reproduced the
following statement of Celsus:
The Christians have changed their Gospels three or four times to the
extent that the contents of the Gospels have become distorted.
This is clear evidence coming from a non-Christian scholar, confirming the
deliberate distortions made in the Gospels. There are people in European
countries who do not believe in prophet-hood and divine revelation. If we were
to try and collect their statements with regard to the distortions it would require
a separate volume. We confine ourselves to the presentation of only two.
Anyone curious to know more should refer to their books which are easily
available all over the world. One of their scholars, Parker said:
The Protestants claim that the Old and the New Testaments have been
preserved and protected from the slightest damage through an eternal and
everlasting miracle, but this claim is not strong enough to stand against the
great army of variations present in the Bible. The number of these is not less
than thirty thousand.
He seems to have based his remark on Mill’s findings. He avoided other
statements which describe this number as being up to one million. The author of
Ecce Homo printed in London in 1813 said in the supplement to his book:
This is the list of the books which are ascribed to Jesus by the ancient
Christians. Some of them are attributed to the Disciples and other follower”:
The Books of Jesus
The books that are ascribed to Jesus are seven in number.
1. The letter that was written to Achars, King of Odessia.
2. Epistle of Peter and Paul.
3. The book of Parables and Sermons.
4. The Psalms, a collection of his cryptic teachings to the disciples and
5. The book of Jugglery and Magic.
6. The book of Jesus and Mary.
7. The Epistle that fell from heaven in the 6th century AD.
The Books of Mary
The books that are ascribed to Mary are eight in number.
1. Her letter to lgnatius.
2. Her letter to Siciliane.
3. The Book of Mary.
4. The biography of Mary and her Sayings.
5. The book of Christ’s miracles.
6. The book of questions put to her by the elders and the young.
7. The book of Solomon’s ring.
The Books of Peter
The books ascribed to Peter are eleven in number.
1. The Gospel of Peter.
2. The Acts of Peter.
3. The Revelation of Peter I.
4. The Revelation of Peter 11.
5. His Epistle to Clement.
6. The discourse of Peter and Epian.
7. The Teaching of Peter.
8. The Sermon of Peter.
9. The Mode of Peter’s Prayer.
10.The book of Peter’s travels.
11.The book of Peter’s inferences.
The Books of John
The books ascribed to John are nine.
1. The Acts of John.
2. The Gospel of John.
3. The book of John’s travels.
4. The sayings of John.
5. His Epistle to Andrew.
6. The book of Mary’s death.
7. The story of Christ and his descent from the cross.
8. The Apocryphon of John.
9. The Book of John’s prayers.
The Books of Andrew
The books ascribed to Andrew are two.
1. The Gospel of Andrew.
2. The Acts of Andrew.
The Books of Matthew
The books ascribed to Matthew are two.
1. The Gospel of Childhood.
2. The Mode of Matthew’s Prayers.
The Books of Philip
There are two books ascribed to Philip.
1. The Gospel of Philip.
2. The Acts of Philip.
There is also the Gospel of Bartholomew, ascribed to the Disciple
The Books of Thomas
The books that are ascribed to Thomas are five.
1. The Gospel of Thomas.
2. The Acts of Thomas.
3. The Gospel of Christ’s childhood.
4. The book of Thomas’s travels.
5. The book of Thomas’s revelation.
The Books of James
The books ascribed to James are three.
1. The Gospel of James.
2. The book of James.
3. The book of of James’s travels.
The Books of Matthias
There are three books ascribed to Matthias who is said to have been admitted
among the disciples.
1. The Gospel of Matthias.
2. The traditions of Matthias.
3. The acts of Matthias
The Books of Mark
The books that are a scribed to Mark are three.
1. The Gospel of Egyptians.
2. The Prayers of Mark.
3. The Book of Pishan Barhas.
The Books of Barnabas
Barnabas was a disciple of the Apostles, a descendant of Levi. His name was
Joseph, and was called Barnabas because he sold his farm gave the money to the
Apostles for preaching. The word signifies ‘son of guidance’.
There are two books ascribed to Barnabas.
1. The Gospel of Barnabas.
2. The Epistle of Barnabas.
The Gospel of Theodotion is ascribed to Theodotion
The Books of Paul
The number of books ascribed to Paul, apart from those included in the New
Testament, is fifteen.
1. The Acts of Paul.
2. The Acts of Thecla.
3. The Epistle to the Laodiceans.
4. The Third Epistle to the Thessalonians.
5. The Third Epistle to the Corinthians.
6. The Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul and his reply to them.
7. His Epistle to the lonians and their reply to him.
8. The Apocalypse of Paul.
9. The Second Revelation of Paul.
10.The Vision of Paul.
11.The Ascent of Paul.
12.The Gospel of Paul.
13.The Sermon of Paul.
14.The book of Spells of Serpents.
15.The book of Acts of Peter and Paul.
The author of Ecce Homo also said:
When the falsity of the Gospels, the Revelations, and the Epistles is so
evident, how can it be ascertained that the genuine books are those which are
acknowledged by the Protestants, especially with the fact in mind that even
these books also had many alterations and additions before the invention of
printing machines. The difficulties are really serious.
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