Proof that the bible is fallible: early Christians confess to changing the bible

Even as far back as the third century CE, numerous Christians began noticing bible contradictions. They largely accepted these inconsistencies and believed there must be a reason for their existences. What they couldn’t accept, however, was how the early church dealt with these contradictions; the church changed the bible to get rid of them.

Linked in the above paragraph (see chapter XXVII) is a confession by Origen, an early Christian scholar, in which he says that he changed the bible to “answer objections.” He also exposes the “followers of Marcion, and those of Valentinus, and, I think, also those of Lucian” of doing the same. Here we clearly see that 1) early Christians were aware of inconsistencies, and 2) the bible was changed numerous times in order to fix these problems. Of course, they missed countless other contradictions.

Does Origen put Christianity to task for these inherent problems that were whitewashed away? No. Instead he blames people who read the problematic verses and took them to heart, saying that they corrupted the gospels. In other words, because people believed in the problematic verses, those verses had to be erased.

Origen’s actions underscore perfect evidence that the bible is manmade and fallible. If it were not then Origen and his conspirators would not have needed to make any changes to it.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political and social activist.
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16 Responses to Proof that the bible is fallible: early Christians confess to changing the bible

  1. Pingback: Proof that the bible is fallible: early Christians confess to changing the bible | Christians Anonymous

  2. K.D. says:

    The link you’ve provided to Chapter XXVII is not a confession by Origen. It is an apologetic. The first sentence is referring to a claim made by the Jew of Celsus. Origen then goes on to defend the integrity of original gospel and “genuine Christianity” as being unaltered.

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      To be fair, this post was not original; I was merely relaying the general consensus among historians. You may be right, but there is little reason (as far as historians are concerned) to believe you are.

      • K.D. says:

        Really? The general consensus of historians is that this is a confession of Origen that he personally altered the Gospels to answer objections?

        That is what you have claimed in your post.

        In your post we were appealing to the authority of the early church knowingly altering the Gospels, that is primarily Origen himself. Now you are appealing to authority without citation that you are just relaying that the general consensus among historians would agree with your claim of Origen.

        It’s rather clear in actually reading Chapter XXVII that it is an apologetic response to a claim and not a personal confession of altering the Gospels. To be fair: Have you read Chapter XXVII yourself?

        In it Origen mentions that the objection is not against the Gospels original integrity but against those who attempted to trifle with them. And further that it “is neither against genuine Christianity.”

        But the link you provided clearly contradicts the claim you have made regarding Origen confessing. In that the gospels integrity is in question. Or that he himself made alterations to answer objections. But if it is as you say and historians would agree with the claim you have made, please provide a citation so I may review it myself.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I wouldn’t go so far as to convict me of appeal to authority. I should not be expected to give an adequate response at around 3 in the morning (my time). You didn’t know, so no harm done. Since I’m up and ready to go, I will refer you to Bruce M. Metzger, “The Text of the New Testament. Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration,” pp. 199-200. This should be one even better, since Metzger isn’t merely a historian; he’s a biblical scholar. Or was. He’s deceased.

        I might also draw your attention to Constantin von Tischendorf, “When Were Our Gospels Written?” (I don’t have a page number for you. I’ve never had a need to cite the book, so I gave it away long ago).

        Origen was also intensely cited for his confession to changing the bible by nearly all authors of “Southern Presbyterian Review for April, 1871.”

        Ira Price, “The Ancestry of Our English Bible,” p. 75.

        Gleason Archer, “Survey of the Old Testament,” pp. 39-40.

        Les Garrett, “Which Bible can we Trust,” p. 190.

        H.P. Blavatsky, “Isis Unveiled, Vol. 1” p. 298.

        Philip Comfort, quoted by Gail Riplinger, “New Age Bible Versions,” p. 530.

        “The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics,” p. 318-9.

        Ad nauseum. I’m sorry I didn’t give an adequate review of the literature. But I hope this helps.

      • K.D. says:

        I appreciate it. And look forward to reviewing them.

        At first glance it seems a rather contrite your claim “the consensus of historians” would agree with you that Origen confessed that he partook in altering the Gospels to answer objections.

        I do still wonder if you have personally reviewed each source you have cited above?

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Yeah, I’m quite the prolific reader. It’s what I get paid to do.

      • K.D. says:

        For all I know you are a prolific reader of comic books and romance novels.

        If you have read them then shouldn’t mind providing direct quotes from your citations to support your claim. I would even except your own words on what each source has to say about Origen compared to the claim you’ve made.

        Am I asking too much for you to defend the content of your post?

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Actually yeah. You’re asking me to do chores. If you said that to your college professor, he’d tell you to head to the library. I don’t sit around on my blog all day. And I definitely don’t get paid to be here. I have actual work to do. I’ll tell you what. One day when I have some free time, I’ll do a more robust followup and inform you about it. But I’m not going to do all of this legwork in a comments section just to satisfy your curiosity.

      • K.D. says:

        I see, so I have no reason to believe you other than, “because you’ve said so.”

        I do apologize for asking you to do something like supporting the claims you’ve made in your post.

        I will certainly entertain my curiosity and review the citations you’ve provided. But until then, hearsay is not solid ground to stand on. And if you are so busy with the amount if work you have, perhaps you should reconsider having a blog in the first place?

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I was more than generous by citing my sources. I did so because you made a valid point — that I failed to cite them. But what you asked of me was more than my peer review committee. It is up to the reader to check the sources, not the author to quote them verbatim. In academia (in my field) we use footnotes to point the reader to the source of our knowledge. Journals and scholarly books would be tediously long if we had to put all the information you requested. We don’t do that when we write articles. Why would anyone expect me to do it when I write a blog. The sources are there. Follow them. That’s what I’d tell any undergrad.

        Also, I’m not too busy to spend five or ten minutes a day writing a blog. I’m too busy to pull out several books, and spend an hour typing quotes and formulating interpretations… all for your entertainment. I’m not here to entertain you. I’m here for my own enjoyment.

      • K.D. says:

        I’m well versed with academia. I also do not appreciate condescending remarks: “That’s what I’d tell any undergrad.”

        I apologize, this was for my understanding not my entertainment.

        What is your field by the way?

        Would you agree that as an author you should not only cite your sources but ensure you accurately represent the content of those sources? Or if there are questions or concerns, that you should be able to use a general idea of what was said from your source rather than a simple citation of them?

        Now I will admit that verbatim would be a bit extreme, so my apologies for that. But your argument regarding your peer review, you must consider that the majority of those reviewing you had a general knowledge and the resources to adequately perform said review. I do not.

        Like I said previously, I will do my best to review the citations you have provided and take up no more of your time. I am thankful that you’ve provided them and taken the time to respond in kind to my comments.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        My field is international politics. My specialty is conflict and cooperation, as well as suicide protest. I also like nuclear weapons, but so does everyone else in my field.

        Something of interest for you, an evangelical professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has conducted a 25 (plus or minus one year) study of bible changes through history. He has written extensively about it, although I’m not certain if he’s written about Origen. I haven’t read all of his works. But he has a detailed bibliography at http://www.nobts.edu/faculty/stoz/WarrenW/Default.html

        He’s probably a lot more forgiving than I would be, considering his theological stance. I recommend starting there or with Metzger. Those are the most contemporary of the sources listed.

      • K.D. says:

        I appreciate the additional resource.

        I can see reason for interest in nuclear weapons with regard to international politics. Personally, I am a fan of worldwide disarmament but I am also a realist in understanding how unlikely that would be.

        I did note that most of your citations were not extremely contemporary, not that it is an issue, but definitely notable. I also noted from what I could find on your sources regarding Origen, that most were possibly theological and interpretational disputes rather than reliability or trustworthiness of original Gospel texts (that is the Greek manuscripts).

        I will have to dig more to be certain.

      • K.D. says:

        Here is a link on the accuracy and reliability of the New Testament, in case it peaks your interest:

        http://www.theopedia.com/New_Testament_Textual_Criticism

        Read the section headed “Comment on the confidence and accuracy of the NT text.”

        Now, the concern of contradictions found within the Bible is a separate issue all of itself. One I feel neither of us really have the time to discuss.

  3. Doug Brown says:

    As the brethren desired me to write epistles (letters), I did so, and these the apostles of the devil have filled with tares (changes), exchanging some things and adding others, for whom there is a woe reserved. It is not therefore, a matter of wonder if some have also attempted to adulterate the sacred writings of the Lord, since they have attempted the same in other works that are not to be compared with these.” (Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth)

    And yet these are veritable fables, which have led to the invention of such stories concerning a man whom they regarded as possessing greater wisdom and power than the multitude, and as having received the beginning of his corporeal substance from better and diviner elements than others, because they thought that this was appropriate to persons who were too great to be human beings. (Origen, 254 CE)

    It is clear to me that the writings of the christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction: I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings, three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism.” (Celsus 178 CE)

    Orthodox theologians were tempted, by the assurance of impunity, to compose fictions, which must be stigmatized with the epithets of fraud and forgery. They ascribed their own polemical works to the most venerable names of Christian antiquity.” (Edward Gibbon, History of Christianity, p. 598)

    Metzger states, “Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius and many other Church Fathers accused the heretics of corrupting the Scriptures in order to have support for their special views”. Burgon Says, “Even the orthodox were capable of changing a reading for dogmatic reasons. Epiphanius states that the Orthodox deleted he wept’ from Luke 19 : 41 out of jealousy for the Lord’s divinity.”

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