Jack Snyder

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Sinaiticus! I have one!

Hello, fellow Israelites in the Dispersion!  Roots & Branches Hebraic Roots Group will meet Friday night 7:30 (time change) and Saturday afternoon at 2 PM.  Study sessions are roundtable format and last about two hours each, but you are free to go anytime.  R&B meets in the River Room at Tabernacles Ministries in Vero Beach Florida. There are maps and other info at www.yahpop.us if you care to join us.

Thanks for making us a full house last Sabbath!!

“The Oldest Bible,” It Says

One of you send me a link to an article “Oldest known Bible goes (now) online.”  You were very open to the spirit to send it. So I write in hopes that you’ll take time to read my account of the “Oldest Known Bible” in this note.  I have had personal experience with this “Bible,” and I’ll make the story short.
We are talking about the Codex Sinaiticus version, probably more than 1700 years old, the oldest complete New Testament in existence, found in the trash can of the St. Catherine’s Monastery at the top of Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.  Here’s the link to the story at CNN.

How Rare!

Years ago, when I first learned of this ancient Sinaiticus (sine-EYE-tick-oos) New Testament, I wanted to have one myself, for I read that, being the oldest New Testament we had, there was significant differences between the it and the Johnny-come-latelys of the last 1700 years.  So I started looking for the Greek Sinaiticus but could not find a version that was readable.  I started looking for English translations, but there weren’t any.  None.  Almost none anyway.  This manuscript has been out of circulation so long that most have forgotten it.  The H. T. Anderson translation I found dated back to the 1860s.  There were only a few of them in the US, all in the rare books section of certain university theological libraries.

Not at the Local Library; Not on Amazon; Not of this World

I tried these libraries, but because of the translation’s rarity, they wouldn’t lend it to me.  Finally one library said I may borrow it if I could find a tenured theology professor to borrow it on my behalf.  Even at that, it would have to be back in 10 days.  So I found a dusty old professor to borrowed the dusty old book for me.  When I received it I only had enough time to scan the entire translation into my computer and send it back.  It took me weeks to run optical character recognition software (OCR) on the text so it might be edited for the first time in 140 years. After another solid year of editing Anderson’s
text (with the help of some online editors), I put the whole Testament online myself – the only such translation on the only such website anyplace.  The original site is still up here: www.sinaiticus.com.

Flying Off the Shelves; well, not exactly

I print-published the H T Anderson in 2007 and have it for sale at my little online bookstore. There were only a couple sales, then nothing – until just this month.  All of a sudden, they are ‘flying off the shelves.’  Sure wouldn’t have known why had not that certain someone sent me the CNN article.  Thank you!  Write back!  Send news! (I hope you’ll take time to read the account of how Tischendorff found this manuscript in 1840 or so – the story would make a first-rate novel, history again more astounding than fiction. You can find a short version of the story in my editor’s preface at www.sinaiticus.com.)

Differences Between Sinaiticus and the Rest

Obviously, a text this old would be shorter than the later texts used to bring you bloated translations like the NIV and NRSV.  Why shorter? Because the Sinaiticus came along before medieval scribes, monks, priests, professors, philanthropists, and theologians doctored the later copies to help lead us astray in all centuries since the 4th, beginning with the takeover of the Messianic Faith by the Roman government.  Don’t believe for a minute that theologians and the rest didn’t change the Scriptures to them read both Catholic and Protestant!  Even the layperson will be able to tell the difference, because reading the Sinaiticus is so simple and understandable.  Certain doctrines that have kept us bound up in fear are simply not in there because they weren’t thought up yet.

It’s Not In There

(What’s not there?  Just to name two doctrines – the Trinity is not in there, neither is Everlasting Burning in Hell.  These doctrines were never taken out of the Scripture – they just were never in there to begin with.  Others false teachings, like the substitution of the multitude of pagan names for that of our Heavenly Father, were added into the Scripture at a later time – sometimes by accident, but more often deliberately.  Remember, in those days, all  manuscripts were published by hand – whoever was paying for 50 scribes could have them put any extra in there that would serve their purpose.  The doctrine of eternal torment has really served its purpose down through the millennia.)  Reply if you want to know more.

What IS in There

What IS in there might make the preacher shake if any preachers really cared what was in there.  There are two extra books in the New Testament that were cast out centuries later by the Catholic Church.  Why?  You tell me.  The first, right after the Book of Revelation, is The Epistle of Barnabas. This letter is every bit as authentic any of Paul’s letters; yet if you read what churchy scholars have to say about it, it could be the letter from Hell.  Barnabas simply writes to his spiritual sons and daughters around the time of Jerusalem’s destruction (70 AD), teaching them how to live through terrible times.
Barnabas was thrown out no doubt because Banabas tells us what the Savior means in his Olivette prophecies, and how ‘moderns’ might understand
living the Torah life in spite of the lawless world teaching contrary. Can you see why Barnabas would be solid gone while Paul takes up most of the
book?  If you are intereste in The Epistle of Barnabas, I have a new translation at www.Apostolia.us. If you don’t want to invest $14, you may listen to the whole book at this link (about 45 minutes long).

The second book is The Shepherd of Hermas.  Like Revelation, there is an angel guiding Hermas, a new believer, through allegorical places, with each place teaching truth.  It is thought that the Shepherd was helpful to true disciples, children, and new believers, to learn what it means to be living the life of a
believer.  This is a really great book for everyone – but I must warn you – churchy types, if they know it at all, don’t like Shepherd in the New Testament because it actually teaches MORALITY and SPIRITUALITY.  You can read it at www.Sinaiticus.com.

Why the Apocrypha Cast Out

The Sinaiticus has what is called “the Apocrypha,” Jewish scriptural works that made the original (1611) King James Version.  The Apocrypha wasn’t liked by the Jews because they were written in Greek thus too pagan.  Protestants hate the Apocrypha (and hate is not too strong a word) because they think it’s too Jewish!  Both have cast it out of the Bible!  In this case, we are in debt to Catholics and Orthodox folks because they kept it in and made all these wonderful books available to us.  Again, I have some, like Tobit and Judith recorded if you would like to hear their wonderful stories.  (Tobit or  Tevyah is here. Judith and Susanna are here.)

If you read the CNN Article

Finally, if you do read the article from CNN, please consider a few errors in the article.

1) Sinaiticus is not the oldest Bible but the oldest complete New Testament.

2) The Sinaiticus in no way denigrates the resurrection.  It does show us that the Gospel of Mark ended with 16:8 rather than the tacked on endings that accumulated down through the years.

3) The Sinaiticus Greek is finally online at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/.

In the Scripture:

Dr. Jackson H. Snyder II



July 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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