Article: 1 Peter - Shifting Sands of Scholarship by Will Kinney

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The Shifting Sands of "Scientific" Scholarship in 1 Peter


The purpose of this comparative study is to show the fickle and ever-changing nature of the so called "science of textual criticism". One can easily show the same things occurring in any book of the New Testament. There are many more examples than those listed in this study. I have shortened a previous longer study I did, and retained these examples to clearly demonstrate that the modern versions are a mass of confusion, and they have no sure words of God.


Peculiarities of Vaticanus in First Peter.


Codex Vaticanus is highly exalted among modern scholars as being the best Greek manuscript, and its readings are primarily responsible for the omission of hundreds and hundreds of words from the King James Bible.


The following is a list of readings or omissions that are found ONLY in Vaticanus. Sinaiticus, the other darling of the Textus Corruptus crowd, does follow the KJB readings in these few instances.


This information is not found in the UBS, or Nestle-Aland texts. It is not to their advantage to let you know these things. This information comes from the book Codex B and its Allies, A Study and an Indictment, by Herman C. Hoskier, Volume #1 pages 417-418.


1 Peter 1:1 to the strangers in ....Asia, AND BITHYNIA. - Vaticanus alone omits AND BITHYNIA


1:11 the Spirit OF CHRIST which was in them - Vaticanus alone omits OF CHRIST.


1:21 who by him DO BELIEVE (pisteuontas) - Vaticanus and A read: who by him FAITHFUL (pistous), against all others.


2:1 laying aside all...hypocrisies, and ENVIES, and all evil speakings - Vaticanus alone reads MURDERS instead of ENVIES.


2:6 he that believeth ON HIM shall not be confounded - Vaticanus alone omits ON HIM (ep autoo)


2:24 who his own self bare OUR sins - Vaticanus alone reads YOUR sins.


2:25 FOR YE WERE (eete gar) as sheep going astray - Vaticanus alone omits FOR YE WERE.


3:4 of a MEEK and QUIET spirit - only Vaticanus reverses and reads: of a QUIET and MEEK spirit.


3:18 suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us TO GOD (tw Thew) - only Vaticanus omits these two words.


5:3 "Neither as being lord's over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock." Vaticanus omits the entire verse, though it is found in all the others.


5:8 the devil...seeking WHOM (tina) he may devour - Vaticanus alone omits WHOM.


5:12 by SilVanus, a faithful brother - Vaticanus alone reads: by SilBanus.


Now, let's look at some concrete examples of the Bible Bable found in this precious book of First Peter.


1:22 KJB "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth THROUGH THE SPIRIT unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a PURE heart fervently"


In this verse, the important words "THROUGH THE SPIRIT", tell us that it is through the power of God that we believe the gospel. This reading is found in the Majority of all manuscripts, including K, L, P, 049, 056, 0142 and others. The Alexandrian texts followed by the NASB, RSV, NIV omit the words "through the Spirit".


In the phrase - Love one another with a PURE heart- the word PURE is found in the Majority, Sinaiticus original, P 72 and C. The NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV omit this word. It is interesting to see the duplicity of the NASB footnotes. In the NASB 1972 and 1977 editions, their footnote tells us: "SOME manuscripts read "clean" (or pure). SOME!!?? Some implies just a few or not many! Then in the NASB 1995 edition their footnote says: "TWO early manuscripts read "a clean heart". This misleading footnote implies that only two early manuscripts contain this reading, when in fact the vast majority of all Greek texts testify to the reading found in the KJB.


In fact, the latest UBS, Nestle-Aland Greek texts now include the word, but still in brackets. The latest revision of the RSV, called the English Standard Version of 2001 now includes this reading of a PURE heart, and so does the Holman Standard of 2003!


1 Peter 2:7 - KJB "Unto you therefore which believe HE IS PRECIOUS: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the HEAD OF THE CORNER."


That it is Christ Himself who is precious to us that believe is the reading of the KJB, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, Tyndale, Webster, and the Third Millenium Bible.


The NASB says: "This precious value, then, is for you who believe"; the NIV adds a word not found in any text by saying: "to you who believe, THIS STONE is precious", but the worst of them all are the ESV 2001, and the Holman Standard of 2003 which say: "So THE HONOR is for you who believe." Is there some sort of honor or merit in our believing the gospel?


In the second part of the verse, the HEAD OF THE CORNER is literally what all texts say - kephalen gonias - head of corner. The head of the corner is the huge corner stone that forms the foundation of a building to which the walls are aligned.


The HEAD OF THE CORNER is the reading of the KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Geneva, Young's, Darby and others. The ESV, Holman say: "the cornerstone" but with a footnote telling us the Greek literally reads "the head of the corner".


The NASB paraphrases with: "the VERY corner STONE"; the NKJV with "the CHIEF cornerSTONE"; but the NIV totally turns things upside down and says: "has become THE CAPSTONE." Now, the capstone is the last stone placed on a building, not the first and principal one. But wait! Now the 2005 TNIV (Today's NIV) has come out and it has gone back to the reading of CORNERSTONE!!! The NIV gives us a meaning that is contradictory to all the other versions.


1 Peter Chapter 3 - In this chapter there are several textual differences found in the modern versions, like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, where they differ from the King James Bible. All of these changes in the modern versions are due to their reliance upon a handful of Alexandrian manuscripts. The Majority of all texts agree with the KJB readings. Yet, as we shall see, these Alexandrian texts constantly disagree among themselves, and the modern versions present a confused front. Some will at times follow one reading, and some another.


The words in this chapter either omitted or changed due to the textual differences are as follows: 1 Peter 3:4 MEEK and QUIET spirit; 3:7 the GRACE OF LIFE; 3:8 be COURTEOUS; 3:9 KNOWING that ye are thereunto called; 3:13 be FOLLOWERS of that which is good; 3:15 sanctify the Lord GOD in your hearts; 3:16 they speak evil OF YOU AS OF EVILDOERS; 3:18 Christ also hath once SUFFERED for sins...that he might bring US TO GOD; and 3:21 baptism doth also now save US."


The texts used by the modern versions, as opposed to the Majority and Textus Receptus, are Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, A (Alexandrinus), C, and P 72 - yet they constantly disagree with each other.


3:7 "as being HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE". Though most of the versions read the same here, the Alexandrian texts differ among themselves. P72 spells "heirs together" one way, Sinaiticus another, and Vaticanus yet another way. Then A and C differ from all the others.


Instead of reading "the grace of life", P72 says "the grace of ETERNAL life"; C omits "life"; and Sinaiticus and A read "the MANIFOLD grace of life".


Keep in mind that these are the supposed "oldest and best" manuscripts upon which the modern versions are based.


3:8 BE COURTEOUS - eusplagksnoi. This is the reading of the Majority of all Greek texts, and the NKJV. However the Alexandrian texts read BE HUMBLE -tapeinophrones. The NIV says: Be humble, and the NASB as "Be humble in spirit" though the words "in spirit" are not in any text.


3:9 "KNOWING that ye are thereunto called." Again this is the Majority reading, but the Alexandrian texts omit the word "knowing" (eidotes).


3:13 "And who is he that will harm you, if ye BE FOLLOWERS of that which is good?"


"Be followers" is mimetai genesthe. This is the Majority reading, but the Alexandrian texts say: "if you BE ZEALOUS". However a closer look will show that Vaticanus alone spells the verb BE one way, Sinaiticus original another, and then Sinaiticus was corrected to read as does the Majority.


3:16 KJB "Having a good conscience; that, whereas THEY SPEAK EVIL OF YOU, AS OF EVILDOERS, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."


This is the Majority reading. However Vaticanus and P72 omit "of you, as of evildoers", and the verb found in these two is a passive verb as opposed to the majority active verb. So the NASB follows Vaticanus and says: "and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which YOU ARE SLANDERED (notice the passive voice, and the omission of "as of evildoers"), those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."


But the complete reading in the active voice of "they speak evil of you as of evildoers" is found not only in the Majority, but also in Sinaiticus, A and C.


The NIV follows the texts that have an active verb, but still omits "of you as of evildoers", by saying: "those who speak maliciously (active verb) against your good behavior..."


1 Peter 3:18 KJB "For Christ also hath once SUFFERED FOR SINS, the just for the unjust, that he might bring US TO GOD, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."


1 Peter 3:18 presents us with another classic case of where the "oldest and best" manuscripts are in total confusion, and so are the modern versions based on them. People like James White who argue that each Christian has the responsibility to search out for himself what are the best texts and translations, end up with every man doing that which is right in his own eyes. The "scholars" constantly disagree among themselves; this results in no sure words of God and no final authority. Every Bible corrector becomes his own final authority. They are all looking at the same evidence, yet they arrive at different conclusions.


The phrase SUFFERED FOR SINS is composed of three words - peri hamartion EPATHE. 'Suffered'(epathe)is the reading of the Majority, the Textus Receptus, and Vaticanus. SUFFERED for sins is found in the KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NRSV, Holman Standard, and the ESV.


On the other hand, Sinaiticus, C, P72 and A read DIED ( apethenen) instead of "suffered", and the versions that read DIED are the NASB, NIV and the RSV.


But Sinaiticus and C read "died for OUR sins", while A and P72 have "died for YOUR sins". So while the NASB, NIV reject the verb "suffered" found in Vaticanus and the Majority, they do not completely follow the conflicting manuscripts from which they get the verb "died"; they leave out either "our" or "your".


Then in the phrase "that he might bring US TO GOD", only Vaticanus omits the words "to God" (tw theo), and then Vaticanus and P72 say "bring YOU" instead of "bring US". But the reading of "bring US to God" is found in many copies, as well as A, C and Sinaiticus correction. The original Sinaiticus omitted the word altogether. If all this sounds confusing, that's because it is.


Now, let's compare the results of this confusion in the modern versions. Remember the NASB is a revision of the ASV and the ESV is a revision of the NRSV, which in turn is a revision of the RSV, and the TNIV is a revision of the old NIV.


SUFFERED for sins - KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, TNIV!


DIED for sins - NASB, NIV, RSV


Bring US to God - KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, ESV


Bring YOU to God - NIV, NRSV, Holman, TNIV


Did you notice that between these two variant readings, neither the RSV, NRSV nor the ESV agree with each other, nor do the NASB, NIV, nor do the NIV and the TNIV? All these conflicting versions are put together by equally qualified men, examining the same evidence, yet they all differ in their conclusions. This is why few Christians today believe the Holy Bible is the inspired words of God. Did you ever wonder who might promote the question: "Yea, hath God said...?" (Genesis 3:1)


The message or the meaning is not the same "but in different words". Even when the same underlying texts are used, the meaning is totally different in hundreds of verses. It is funny to see the Bible correctors argue on the one hand that the message is the same in all bibles, and then attack the KJB for giving the wrong message!


1 Peter 3:21 KJB "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now save US (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the ANSWER OF a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."


Here "save US", which again is the Majority reading and that of C, is changed to "save YOU" in the NASB, NIV.


Admittedly 3:21 is a difficult passage and there are many interpretations, but clearly the meaning in all versions is not at all the same. Whether you view the baptism spoken of here as our baptism into Christ which took place when He was baptized into death at the cross and we were positionally in Him at the time (see Luke 12:50; Mark 10:38, Col. 2:12 and Rom. 6:4) or you see it as water baptism for the believer, the meaning of the rest of the sentence has been totally changed in many new versions.


"The ANSWER OF a good conscience towards God" is the reading of the KJB, NKJV, Hebrew Names Version, Jay Green's "literal" translation, Webster's, and the Third Millenium Bible.


The fact is we now have a good conscience towards God because of the finished work of Christ who put away our sins and hath forgiven us all trespasses. See Hebrews 9:9, 14; 10:2,22. It is because of Christ's redemptive work, we now have a good conscience.


However the NASB joins the RSV, ESV and says: "not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but AN APPEAL TO GOD FOR a good conscience", while the NIV has: "THE PLEDGE OF a good conscience toward God" - with a footnote in the Scofield NIV which says: "or Response of a good conscience".


So, are we answering or responding to God because we already have a good conscience (KJB), or are we asking for a good conscience (NASB), or are we pledging to keep a good conscience toward God? Clearly, the meaning is not the same in all versions.


1 Peter 4:1 - “Christ hath suffered FOR US.” Here the words “for us” are not found in Vaticanus and so omitted from the NIV, NASB, ESV, Holman, but the original Sinaiticus differs from Vaticanus and most others and says “for you” which is rejected. Sinaiticus has been corrected many times, and the second correction says “for us” like the KJB, but it is still rejected.


1 Peter 4:3 “the time past OF OUR LIFE may suffice US”, the “of our life” is missing from Sinaiticus & Vaticanus and so omitted from the NIV, NASB, and the US is omitted as well because not in Vaticanus, while Sinaiticus reads “you”.


1 Peter 4:14 - KJB "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit OF GLORY AND OF GOD RESTETH upon you."


"the spirit OF GLORY AND OF GOD" is the reading of the Majority, TR, Vaticanus, P72, and the NASB, NIV. However Sinaiticus joins A and adds: "the spirit of glory, AND OF POWER, and of God resteth upon you." In fact, this is how the Catholic Douay version reads.


1 Peter 4:14 - The entire phrase “ON THEIR PART HE IS EVIL SPOKEN OF, BUT ON YOUR PART HE IS GLORIFIED" is missing from the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV because not in Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, A or P72, though the phrase is in the majority of all Greek manuscripts, as well as the Old Latin, some Syriac Harclean, and the Coptic Sahidic and Boharic ancient versions. It is also quoted by Clement in 215 and Cyprian in 258 A.D. It is also the reading found in Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops' bible, the Geneva Bible, Wesley, Youngs, Darby, Hebrew Names Bible, the NKJV and the Spanish Reina Valera. However what your modern day scholars will most likely fail to tell you is that of the four principle manuscripts that omit all these words (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, A and P72) NONE of them agrees even with each other in this verse! All four of them read differently than each of the others.


1 Peter 5:2 - KJB "Feed the flock of God which is among you, TAKING THE OVERSIGHT THEREOF". The phrase "taking the oversight thereof" is omitted by the NAS from 1960 to 1972, and the RSV because it is not in Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, but the phrase is included in the NIV, RV, ASV, NRSV and the ESV because it is in the Majority, A, and P72. The older Nestles text omitted the phrase, but now the UBS text puts it back in brackets, and the newer NASBs now include the reading along with the Holman, ESV and NIV. By the way, Vaticanus omits the entire next verse: "Neither as being lord's over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock." Vaticanus omits the entire verse, though it is found in all the others, including Sinaiticus, and this time the modern versions follow the Sinaiticus reading and include the whole verse. Nice of them to do, don't you think?


1 Peter 5:2 - "not by constraint, but willingly". This is the reading of the Majority and Vaticanus. The RSV also reads as does the KJB, but later the NRSV, and now the ESV have added the words:"as God would have you", taken from P72, A and Sinaiticus, and this time the NAS and NIV add them too, thus rejecting Vaticanus and the majority of all texts.


1 Peter 5:10 - KJB "But the God of all grace, who hath called US unto his eternal glory by Christ JESUS”. Here "called US" is in many manuscripts, Geneva, Great, Bishops, NKJV, Spanish, Douay, and Lamsa's, yet the NIV, NASB read "called YOU".


JESUS is omitted by both the NIV/NAS because it is not in Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, but it is found in the older P72, A, and the Majority. You see, the modern versions don’t always follow the oldest manuscripts.


1 Peter 5:11 - "To him be GLORY AND dominion for ever AND EVER". This is the reading of Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops', Geneva Bible, NKJV, Hebrew Names Version, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac, Young's, Spanish Reina Valera and many others. The words "Glory and" are in Sinaiticus but not in Vaticanus and so is omitted by the NIV, NASB, RSV, ESV while the second “and ever” is not in Vaticanus or P72, yet it is in Sinaiticus, and so is "scientifically" included in the NAS/NIV/ESV, BUT the Holman omits it. Back and forth, back and forth, now one, and now the other.


1 Peter 5:14 - "Peace be with you all that are in Christ JESUS. AMEN." JESUS is found in Sinaiticus but not in Vaticanus so the NIV/NAS omit it. The AMEN is found in Sinaiticus, and the older P72, but not in Vaticanus, and the NIV/NAS this time follow Vaticanus and omit it.


As you can easily see, the so called "oldest and best" manuscripts continually disagree with each other, and the new versions go willy-nilly back and forth, sometimes choosing one and then the other reading. Confusion and uncertainty and Bible Babel are the inevitable result.


You need to ask yourself a very serious and weighty question. Do you believe God has preserved His infallible words? If so, where are they today?


Will Kinney


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