Did Jesus Have A Beginning?
For centuries, Christians have found in their Bibles that Jesus is God, eternally existent, without beginning or end. But the text found in many new Bibles would make this difficult to prove. Micah 5:2, that timeless prophecy telling the Jews their Messiah would come from Bethlehem, says "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." No problem so far, right?
But if you are using the popular New International Version, your Bible will say that his "origins are from old, from ancient times." There is nothing eternal about that! And if the Messiah has an origin in ancient times (as did Rameses II, Confucious, Mohammed and Nimrod), then he cannot be God! The next time a Jehovah's Witness (they deny that Jesus is God) comes to your door, make sure you are not trying to use a Bible that says this, or you will be defenseless. Not to be easily shaken, though, you may quickly take him to Romans 14:10-12, to show him that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and give account of ourselves to God. It is therefore logical that Christ must be God.
But oops, the JW is gloating again, because your NIV says "we will all stand before God's judgment seat." Once again, he finds that your Bible fails to defend the divinity of Christ. Finally, in exasperation, you take him to I John 5:7, to show that Jesus, the Word, is one with the Father. But after much page-thumbing, the truth sinks in. This scripture isn't even there! It has been completely removed from the new Bibles! What's wrong here?
Simply put, the translators making the new Bibles have based their work largely upon two old manuscripts, known as the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus. These manuscripts disagree with the vast majority of ancient copies and even with each other. And they weaken the deity of Christ. It is foolish to choose a Bible just because it is easier to read. When your eternal destiny is at issue, the most important thing is having a Bible that is correct! And single words are very important. Many important doctrines stand or fall upon the exact wording of Scripture. Approximations won't do.
How can you tell if your Bible relies upon the two Catholic manuscripts that disagree with 95% of the evidence? One easy way is to look at Mark 1:2-3. There are quotations from two prophets there, Malachi and Isaiah. If your Bible says they both came from Isaiah, it is simply wrong.
Buy a new one.
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