It just seems that Mythicist Milwaukee can’t win for losing. The Wisconsin based regurgitator of bottom feeder atheist websites has a habit of releasing graphics illustrating their ignorance. While many are merely items recycling claims from Zeitgeist and thus the same drivel we have been getting from that end of the mythicist spectrum for years, occasionally they come up with a new twist and thus it allows for further illustrations of why some people should read a few books before making sensationalistic claims.
Consider, for example, one of MM’s recent graphic posts:
Astonishingly, they managed to get through all of that without making a single cogent point. As we shall see, every “point” was either factually wrong or simply irrelevant.
It does not help that MM begins their little screed with something that is not only irrelevant but factually incorrect:
The King James Version of the New Testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the Church of England.
At this point, MM is trying to make this sound scandalous but, due to their own ignorance and incompetence, have simply fouled up the whole thing. First of all, it is not the number of translators but their quality that matters. I would rather have a translation by eight experts than fifty less than competent translators. Yet even in number they got it all wrong as there were far more than eight of them! The Gospels, Acts, and Revelation were translated by Thomas Ravis, George Abbot, Richard Eedes, Giles Tomson, Sir Henry Savile, John Peryn, Ralph Ravens, John Harmar, John Aglionby, and Leonard Hutten. The Epistles were translated by William Barlow, John Spenser, Roger Fenton, Ralph Hutchinson, William Dakins, Michael Rabbet, and Thomas Sanderson. If you cannot even take the time to get your lead statement correct (available online in many places), you simply have no business commenting. And, by the way, these groups included among them the top Greek scholars then residing in England. As for their being in the Church of England, if you are translating a Bible for English speakers who, at that early date, primarily resided in England, it does make sense that they be members of the Church of England.
There were (and still are) no original texts to translate.
So?? Are MM really so stupid as to think we have any originals of any ancient writings?!? Where, do tell, may I find the original of any other texts from the first century AD? Or the second? Or the third? Here we find the typical double standards of Jesus mythicists who apply one standard to the New Testament and another to everything else. There is a reason why historians consider mythicists to be largely conspiracy theorist crackpots.
The oldest manuscripts we have were written down hundreds of years after the last apostle died.
Excuse me?? Where exactly is MM getting their information? Certainly not from anyone who has a clue about the state of the manuscript evidence. Even if we exclude fragments and just concentrate on manuscripts with a sizable chunk of one or more books, it is still wrong. For example, P75 contains the majority of the Gospels of Luke and John. P46 contains the large majority of the Pauline epistles, and P66 contains most of John. All of these date from about 200 AD which is likely 100-125 years after the last apostle died – not “centuries” later. Compared to other works of antiquity, this is astoundingly good. For example, our earliest example of Plato’s Republic is from the 9th century AD – about 1300 years after it was written. Does MM ever do research before they post this stuff??
There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts, with no two alike.
First of all, considering that many of the manuscripts are of different books (early in the Church’s history there were collections of the Gospels, Paul’s letters, etc., rather than single copies of the New Testament), we would not expect a copy of one to match the other. Even when we consider copies of the same books, we don’t expect complete agreement in handwritten texts. Of the differences, over 95% are misspellings, alternate spellings, and other factors that are of no importance. Even when we get alternate readings, the earliest manuscripts generally settle the issue. For example, an alternate reading that first appears in the eighth century AD may be eliminated from serious consideration. In terms of variant readings that might be considered in dispute, this makes up a miniscule portion of the New Testament and does not affect any major points of Christian belief.
The King James translators used none of these, anyway. Instead, they edited previous translations to create a version their king and Parliament would approve.
The above is an example of the fallacy of the red herring. While it is true that the KJV translators did not use the manuscripts, there is no reason for them to have done so. That is not how translations are done with texts that have significant numbers of handwritten manuscripts. Instead, you use a critical edition of the text in its original language. This is what the KJV translators did as they used editions of the Greek text by Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza that were then available. Of course, these editions could not take advantage of the much earlier manuscripts discovered since then, but they did the best they could with limited resources.
The claim that they merely edited previous versions is patently false as anyone who had cracked open a book now and then on the subject could have told them. What they were instructed to do is use the style of previous translations unless they were inaccurate. One can translate a passage many ways to convey the same meaning and the idea was not to make the translation seem foreign to their ears.
So, 21st century Christians believe the “word of god” is a book edited in the 17th century from 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.
First of all, most 21st century Christians do not use the KJV. They will usually rely upon a translation using the 26th or 27th edition of the Nestle/Aland text. This would include the ESV, NIV, NASB, and many others. Since the majority of the New Testament in that edition relies upon 2nd and 3rd century texts, the fourth century scrolls bit is nonsense. In fact, any mention of scrolls is nonsense as the Christian texts were written in codices – not scrolls. The remainder of the idiocy in that statement has been dealt with already.
That’s not faith, it is insanity.
Given what these folks posted, that’s not scholarship – it’s crackpot drivel.
Seriously …. does this bunch ever research anything???