“I've been listening to "Codex Sinaiticus," it's brilliant and amazing as your other work has been.”
– Ann Craft
THE CODEX CONTROVERSY
The new "Codex Sinaiticus" audio CD, our follow up release to “Tares Among the Wheat” has proven to be quite controversial in the past month. It has sparked debates across the Internet, as the critical text defenders have begun to challenge the story of Constantine Simonides, who claimed to have created the Codex Sinaiticus in 1840. Against them are the defenders of the traditional Greek text of the Protestant Reformation, who are challenging the credibility of the Codex Sinaiticus, and whether or not it should have been entered into the Biblical record. Why? Because the manuscript is of highly suspicious character – with 23,000 corrections, averaging 30 corrections per page. Since its discovery in 1859, it has been surrounded by suspicion and debate.
This Audio CD is packaged in a dynamic 6-panel digipak design
Special packs of 5 and 10 Audio CDs for family, friends and Bible studies:
Audio CD (2 discs) $19.95
Pack of 5 Audio CDs $59.95
Pack of 10 Audio CDs $99.95
A SETTLED DISPUTE?
While most modern scholars have been led to believe that the controversy over Simonides’ story was settled in the nineteenth century, it is important to consider that there were those who disagreed. One such person was John Eliot Hodgkin, curator of the Mayer Museum in Liverpool, whose writing collection is still housed at the British Library. Hodgkin was a zealous defender of Simonides, who stood by him until death. Also among them, was renowned scholar, James A. Farrer who published his classic work, Literary Forgeries in 1907. Of all the historians who have written on this matter, we believe Farrer to be the most thorough. After examining the details of the Simonides affair, he wrote:
“It is to be regretted that this matter was never cleared up at the time the claim was made. It cannot be said to have been settled by the mere opinions of Tregelles or Bradshaw, or by the more critical and palaeographical objections urged by Mr. Scrivener…. On the side of Simonides is his unlimited skill in calligraphy; the very audacity of such a claim if entirely baseless; the remarkable presence in the Codex of a portion of the Shepherd of Hermas, which Simonides was the first scholar ever to have seen in Greek; the very natural allusions to the work in the lithographed letters (sent by a friend of Simonides years before the controversy); the fact that no visitor to the monastery at Mount Sinai before 1844 had ever seen or heard of such a work as belonging to the monks; and the very extraordinary story told by Tischendorf of his discovery and acquisition of the Codex. The question therefore, pending the acquisition of further evidence, must remain among the interesting but unsolved mysteries of literature.” (Literary Forgeries, by James A. Farrer, 1907, pp. 64-65, emphasis added)
Notice that Farrer refers to the issue as one of the “unsolved mysteries of literature” nearly fifty years after these events happened. This is something they don’t teach at Bible colleges, but that is the whole purpose of the work we do. Our desire is to alert the Church to important issues, not for the purpose of stirring up controversy, but for edification, so that the faith of the Gospel might be better defended. It is important to remember that the Codex Sinaiticus is used by higher critics to undermine and discredit the Bible. Not just the King James Bible, but any Bible. As such, we believe that having a true and accurate history of the codex is very important for the Church.
To learn more about the men mentioned above (Tregelles, Bradshaw, Scrivener), we recommend viewing the film, "Tares Among the Wheat" where the role of these historic figures is explained.
Also, to understand what we mean about how Sinaiticus is used to discredit the Bible, we recommend viewing this seven minute clip from the BBC documentary, The Beauty of Books: Ancient Bibles, the Codex Sinaiticus.
Tares is the film that began the current controversy over Sinaiticus. We highly recommend viewing this documentary before listening to the audio CD listed above, since this film provides the full context for it all. Be sure to check out our bundle packages below, where you can get both for a discounted rate. Also, we offer another bundle that includes “A Lamp in the Dark,” which is the first part in this series.
THE HISTORY OF HIGHER CRITICISM
In addition to documenting the history of Codex Sinaiticus, even more important (in our opinion) is the history of how higher criticism was developed by the Jesuit Order as part of the Counter Reformation. This information forms the core issue in "Tares" and demonstrates that the modern movement to undermine the credibility of the Bible, and prove to the world that it is not the inerrant Word of God, is the very working of Rome. As we show in the film, the purpose of higher critical arguments are to cast enough doubt on the Scriptures so that the door to ecumenism could be opened in modern times.
A CRITICAL FILM REVIEW
Tares was recently reviewed on the Logos Apologia website by author Cris Putnam. The review presented an argument against the story of Simonides, but from the perspective of textual criticism. In other words, the belief that supposedly paleographical evidence within the manuscript itself proves its authenticity. This line of argumentation was presented by F.H.A. Scrivener in the 19th century, but was later dismissed by James Farrer in 1907. Yet, a new challenge has now been presented in the Putnam review. In response to these objections, we have posted a rebuttal on the Noise of Thunder website.
For those who wish to learn more about this important issue, we believe that both the review and the response will be edifying, since they both entail important information about the Bible and textual criticism.
THE MYSTERY OF THE CODEX TODAY
On a final note, we draw your attention to this comment from the British Library’s website at codexsinaiticus.org (the official site for the manuscript) where they discuss the history of the codex. While many others believe that what happened in the 19th century is fully known and agreed upon, this quote proves that such is simply not the case. Remember that the Codex Sinaiticus website represents the most up to date information on the codex and its history. According to the British Library, we are told that:
“… events concerning the history of the Codex Sinaiticus, from 1844 to this very day, are not fully known; hence, they are susceptible to widely divergent interpretations and recountings that are evaluated differently as to their form and essence.”
Notice how they tell us that the events are “not fully known” and are “susceptible to widely divergent interpretations.” We would certainly agree that this is true, and we continue to present Tares Among the Wheat as an important, and thoroughly historical interpretation of what really happened surrounding this codex.
Update on "Bridge to Babylon"
BRIDGE TO BABYLON, THE ROAD TO ROME
We continue to receive calls and emails about the next part in our history of the Bible series, which is titled, “Bridge to Babylon: Rome, Ecumenism & the Bible.” The new production is in development, and as the Lord leads us, we hope to complete the work on this by December 2014. To give some insight as to how our history will unfold, we point to the statement of Cardinal William Levada who has said: "Union with the Catholic Church is the goal of ecumenism."
Please pray for this endeavor, that the Lord will grant us help and guidance according to His will. We will continue to provide updates as the production moves forward. We thank you all in advance for your support.
AN ENCOURAGING WORD
“Chris, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the work you do for the Lord. I know the devil has taken great strides to discourage you, but even now I believe God has used this for good.
“You are also right when you say that Codex Sinaiticus is being used to destroy faith. One person I was talking to went to Church as a child and teen but stopped going because he's been reading people's work that says the Bible is based on manuscripts with so many corrections that they can't trust it.… He sees my belief in the Bible as so foolish in some cases he didn't explain anything and deemed it more important to insult me for being so foolish. It is your research that showed me where he was coming from even though he wasn't able/willing to explain it himself.
“When I first listened to you I took what you said at great offense as though you were attacking the Bible. Thru the Grace of God, the Holy Ghost, personal experience and looking into what you said I came to agree with you. I think that Sinaiticus is a forgery designed to make the Bible look like a fallible manuscript that Rome can then turn around and use to beckon to us ‘lost bretheren’ because they can offer the infallibility we seek in the Pope.
“… the work you do is restoring faith in the Word of God by establishing the reliability of real manuscripts. So please do not be discouraged. Please keep researching and revealing the truth.” -- Daniel
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