BOOK REVIEWS BY THE ‘ENGLISH CHURCHMAN’ NEWSPAPER.
The Creation Science Movement hosted “A day of lectures by Dr Bill Cooper” on May 13, 2017. The ‘The English Churchman’ was in the audience and kindly wrote some reviews on the two topics covered. First discussion was the “Forging of the Codex Sinaiticus” and secondly “New Testament Fragments amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
№.7978 English Churchman Fridays, 23rd&30th June 2017 – http://englishchurchman.com/
Dead Sea Scrolls vindicate the Received Text of our KJV Authorised Version
This third article concludes our report on the superb lectures given on 13th May in Portsmouth by Dr Bill Cooper.
Having been amazed by what we had heard in the morning regarding the forgery of the Codex Sinaiticus manuscript of the New Testament so much loved by liberal scholars, how could such a session be followed? After all, hasn’t everything that needs to be said about the Dead Sea Scrolls already been said? Little did those assembled know what a treat was in store. In the afternoon Dr Cooper gave an address that truly captivated the audience. What made it all the more wonderful was how Dr Cooper was able to explain a complicated subject in a way which everyone could easily understand.
Dr Cooper began by noting that the many books written on the Dead Sea Scrolls don’t say much about the findings from Qumran Cave Seven. Though discovered in 1955 it was not until 1972 that several small papyrus fragments were first identified as being from the New Testament. Furthermore they resembled most closely the Textus Receptus, not Sinaiticus. It was Jose O’Callaghan, an internationally esteemed papyrologist, who was intrigued by these Greek fragments, held in the Rockefeller museum, Jerusalem. He first thought the fragments were from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, but by a painstaking search he discovered that they did not match but were from the New Testament. Dr Cooper noted that it was a very strange thing to count O’Callaghan, being a Jesuit, as one of his heroes but O’Callaghan was no ordinary Jesuit. Because of his discoveries, O’Callaghan took a tremendous amount of flak from both scholars and from his superiors. Then Dr Carsten Peter Thiede laid his own career and reputation on the line and defended O’Callaghan’s work. Thiede was a world class papyrologist, head and shoulders above his peers who savaged him.
There are nineteen fragments. The first three are from the Old Testament so we begin at the fourth, named 7Q4, being the fourth fragment from the seventh Qumran cave. O’Callaghan discovered that this was from First Timothy 3:16-4:3. It is important to understand how this is worked out as the fragmentis only a few letters at the end of a few lines! The scholars count the letters which have no spaces except for paragraphs. This line and letter counting is called stichometry. Some scholars tried and failed to prove these fragments were from Enoch.
All these fragments proved to be TR, not critical text. All these fragments are from 68AD at the latest when the caves were sealed against Roman soldiers who were scouring the Qumran area for Jewish rebels. It is thought that in some caves the soldiers smashed some of the pots and threw out most of the manuscripts. The fragments remaining are the very earliest New Testament manuscript evidence.
7Q5 is, by computer analysis, Mark 6:52,53. This was even checked by Israeli forensics. One mathematician (Albert Dou) calculated that the chances of it belonging to some document other than Mark’s Gospel are more than 900,000,000,000 to 1 against!
7Q6 is from Mark 4:28 written in Herculanaeum script, indicating that it predates the Vesuvius eruption of AD79 and also that it was from a different copy than 7Q5. Kurt Aland said it exceeds all possible bounds of fantasy but he was a leading higher critic favouring Sinaiticus. Yet this fits TR perfectly. (Ed: to know more about Aland, there is an amazing booklet available from Trinitarian Bible Society which is enough to put anybody off going anywhere near the UBS Nestle Aland text.)
We know that letters were commanded to be copied to other churches and it looks like many copies were made. “And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” Colossians 4:16. 7Q6.2 letters fit into Acts 27:38. While 64 million words of Greek are preserved, the word ekouphizon translated “lightened” is only found in Acts 27:38, proving the early date of Acts which scholars simply refuse to accept!
7Q7 contains Mark 12:17. Dr Cooper apologised that in his book at this point there is an eta for epsilon, ie an incorrect vowel. Dr Cooper has shown in his book that O’Callaghan used an Alexandrian text which did not fit as accurately as the Received Text.
7Q8 is James 1:23-24. In his book, Cooper argues for a very early date and gives several reasons for the James, the brother of John, martyred in AD42, as the author. 7Q9 Romans 5-11-12
7Q10 2 Peter 1:15. This is a very important fragment as critics say that 2 Peter was written over a hundred years later, but here it is before 68AD. This is another fragment that proves the TR rather than the critical text. (Ed: Aland even wanted Peter and the Pastoral Epistles out of the Bible!)
7Q11to 14 were all by different hands but they were too small to identify. 7Q15 is Mark 6:48
7Q16-18 are too small to identify
7Q19 is a sliver of mud into which the papyrus fell so the imprint is backward. But these caves are bone dry, so this was possibly made by a soldier urinating in a cave! There are good reasons why 7Q19 appears to be a commentary on Romans. How? In Romans 1:2 Paul adds the word ‘Holy’ when describing Scripture, but he does not use the word the Jews always used, and that word is also absent in this commentary. Second Peter 3:16 says that Paul writes of things in scripture hard to understand. It appears that someone at Qumran was trying to supply this need.
A very strange matter is that cave seven no longer exists. Plans were made to excavate it but it has gone. Israeli authorities say it eroded but how can it have done as nothing remains. Dr Cooper believed that when O’Callaghan published his findings it angered the critics so much. Nobody will own up. It is well guarded by the antiquities authority. Now the fragments are in the Rockefeller museum in Jerusalem. It now receives more publicity through his book. It supports the TR and predates anything the Gnostics and Alexandrians came up with afterwards. Dr Carsten Peter Thiede studied Magdalen Papyrus P64 and found it to contain parts of the Gospel of Matthew and to be by the same scribe as 7Q5.
This address really solidified the evidence given in the morning concerning the forging of Sinaiticus.
Our prayer is that Evangelicals will repent of the use of Bibles based on the eclectic text and that the Bible Societies would do likewise. It is well and truly time that the long-suffering Trinitarian Bible Society was vindicated in its adherence to the Received Text.