Rev. 22:19 Book of life or Tree of life?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Will J. Kinney, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Will J. Kinney

    Will J. Kinney
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    Revelation 22:19 Book of Life or Tree of Life?

    "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the BOOK of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

    Rather than saying "book of life", versions like the RSV, NASB, NIV, ESV, Jehovah Witness New World Translation, and the Catholic versions read: "God will take away his share in the TREE of life."

    It should be noted that there are several textual differences found in just the last few verses of Revelation, and that not even the modern versions agree among themselves.

    For instance, in verses 20 and 21, the King James Bible as well as the Majority of all texts reads: "EVEN SO, come, Lord Jesus." However Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus omit the word for "even so", and so do the NASB, NIV, ESV.

    Again, in verse 21 in the KJB we read: "The grace of our Lord Jesus CHRIST be with YOU ALL. AMEN." Here the word CHRIST is found in the Majority of all texts, but again Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus omit it, and so do the NASB, NIV, and ESV.

    Then in the very last part of the last verse of Revelation, where the KJB says: "be with YOU ALL, AMEN", here Sinaiticus is different from all other texts, reading "with THE SAINTS", and the NIV paraphrases the Sinaiticus reading as "with GOD'S PEOPLE", while the NASB, ESV go with Alexandrinus which says: "with ALL" and omits the word "you". Then regarding the final word AMEN, manuscript Alexandrinus omits this word, but it is found in the Majority of all texts as well as Sinaiticus, but this time the NASB, ESV chose to reject the Alexandrinus manuscript they had just followed, and went the other way with the Sinaiticus reading and included the word!

    Do the modern versions always follow the Majority reading? Not at all. In fact they reject the Majority readings literally thousands of times. Do they always follow Sinaiticus? No, not at all. They continually pick and choose among the various readings; do not always agree with each other, and their own printed Greek texts found in Nestle-Aland or the United Bible Society editions are constantly changing every few years.

    I have written an article called They Dare Call This Science, which demonstrates how the modern Greek texts and versions continually change from one reading to another. It is divided into two sections, one from Matthew through Acts found here-

    http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/science.html

    And the other from Romans to Revelation found here-

    http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/science2.html

    Many anti-King James Bible critics bring up "the book of life" as found in Revelation 22:19 as an error. One well known such critic is Doug Kutilek. His full article is found at this site

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/kutilek1.html


    I have included only extracts from his main arguments, but I am by no means misrepresenting his views. Men like Mr. Kutilek have no inspired, complete, inerrant Bible and they often resort to false arguments, conjecture presented as facts, and outright falsehood as though they were irrefutable evidence. Let's read some of what he has to say and then we will respond to his criticisms.

    In Mr. Kutilek's article he says there are "a number of unique readings in Erasmus' texts, that is, readings which are found in no known Greek manuscript but which are nevertheless found in the editions of Erasmus. One of these is the reading "book of life" in Revelation 22:19. All known Greek manuscripts here read "tree of life" instead of "book of life" as in the textus receptus. Where did the reading "book of life" come from? When Erasmus was compiling his text, he had access to only one manuscript of Revelation, and it lacked the last six verses, so he took the Latin Vulgate and back-translated from Latin to Greek. Unfortunately, the copy of the Vulgate he used read "book of life," unlike any Greek manuscript of the passage, and so Erasmus introduced a "unique" Greek reading into his text."


    First of all, Mr. Kutilek says there are no Greek manuscripts that read "book of life". He is flat out wrong about this. Dr. Thomas Holland, Jack Moorman, Dr. H.C. Hoskier and many others have documented the textual evidence that exists for the reading of "book of life" as found in Revelation 22:19.

    Dr. Holland responds to this charge at his website -

    http://www.purewords.org/kjb1611/html/advanc01.htm

    There this question is posed and Dr. Holland responds:

    Question: "If the Textus Receptus is the error free text, then why are the last six verses of Revelation absent from the TR, yet present in the KJV? Did you know that for these verses, the Latin Vulgate was translated into English - a translation of a translation?

    Dr. Holland replies: "The "TR" has the last six verses of Revelation in it. It is found in the editions of Erasmus, Beza, Stephanus, and the Elzevir brothers.

    Codex 1r, which was used by Erasmus, was missing Revelation 22:16-21. The standard teaching is that Erasmus went back to the Latin Vulgate for these verses and re-translated them into Greek. However, Dr. H. C. Hoskier disagreed by demonstrating that Erasmus used the Greek manuscript 141 which contained the verses. (Concerning The Text Of The Apocalypse, London: Quaritch, 1929, vol. 1, pp. 474-77, vol. 2, pp. 454,635.)

    Regardless, the textual support for these verses is not limited to the Latin Vulgate. They are also found in the Old Latin manuscripts, additional early translations such as the Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, and Ethiopic, and some later Greek manuscripts.

    Regarding the Greek, it should be pointed out that even today there is not a great deal of textual support for the verses in question. For example, of the early papyri there are no manuscripts of Revelation 22, or for that matter of Revelation chapters 18-22. Further, among the uncials, only five have Revelation chapter 22, and only four of these contain the last six verses (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, 046, and 051). There are several minuscules which have been discovered which contain these verses (94, 1611, 1854, 1859, 2042, and 2138 to name a few).


    Of course, the biggest "change" comes in verse 19. Dr. Hoskier has shown that Greek manuscripts 57 and 141 read with the Latin in stating "book of life" and not "tree of life" as found in Sinaiticus and most other Greek mss. There are, of course, other witnesses to the reading found in the KJV here. For example, the Old Bohairic Coptic version also reads "book of life." Additionally, we have patristic citations from Ambrose (340-397 AD), Bachiarius (late fourth century), and Primasius in his commentary on Revelation in 552 AD. Thus, we have evidence of the KJV reading dating from before the Vulgate and maintained throughout Church history in a variety of geographical locations and various languages."

    Dr. Thomas Holland


    Mr. Jack Moorman, in his book "When the KJV Departs from the 'Majority' Text", says the reading of "book of life" is also found in the Coptic Boharic, the Arabic, the Speculum, Pseudo-Agustine and written as such in the Latin of Adrumentum 552, Andreas of Cappadocia, 614 Haaymo, Halberstadt, Latin 841. "Book of life" is found in the Greek manuscripts of # 296, 2049, and in the margin of 2067.

    Libro (book) is the reading of the Latin mss. Codex Fuldensis (sixth century); Codex Karolinus (ninth century); Codex Oxoniensis (twelfth to thirteenth century); Codex Ulmensis (ninth century); Codex Uallicellanus (ninth century); Codex Sarisburiensis (thirteenth century); and the corrector of Codex Parisinus (ninth century)."


    Secondly, Mr. Kutilek is very misleading when he says that Erasmus had no Greek texts to consult for the ending of Revelation and so he copied from the Latin Vulgate. It is well documented that Erasmus was exceedingly well acquainted with hundreds of Greek manuscripts from his extensive travels and studies. You can read more about this in a very informative article dealing with the question of Is the Received Text Based on A Few Late Manuscripts?

    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/isthereceived.htm


    Thirdly, in his article Mr. Kutilek also states as fact what is really unfounded conjecture when he says: "The fact that all textus receptus editions of Stephanus, Beza, et al. read with Erasmus shows that their texts were more or less slavish reprints of Erasmus' text and not independently compiled editions, for had they been edited independently of Erasmus, they would surely have followed the Greek manuscripts here and read "tree of life."

    This is pure guesswork on his part. Stephanus had access to many Greek manuscripts that Erasmus did not possess, as well as Beza. For example, Stephanus mentions and John Gill confirms that the three heavenly witnesses of "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one" of 1 John 5:7 was the reading found in 9 of the 16 Greek manuscripts he possessed, yet we do not have these Greek texts with us today. Earlier writers like Stephanus, Calvin, Beza often make referrences to the readings of old Greek manuscripts which we no longer possess.

    Fourthly, when Mr. Kutilek argues in favor of the Westcott-Hort text being based on "the oldest extant Greek manuscripts, plus the earliest of the versions or translations, as well as the early Christian writers", it seems than many "scholars" of equal learning have come to the exact opposite conclusions.

    This is a direct quote from the Preface of the New King James Version by people who have attended the same seminaries and have access to the same information. Here is what they say on page vii: "The manuscript preferences cited in many contemporary translations are due to recent reliance on a relatively few manuscripts discovered in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dependence on these manuscripts, especially two, the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts, is due to the greater age of these documents.

    However, in spite of their age, some scholars have reason to doubt their faithfulness to the autographs, since they often disagree with one another and show other signs of unreliability.

    On the other hand, the great majority of existing manuscripts are in substantial agreement. Even though many are late, and none are earlier than the fifth century, MOST OF THEIR READINGS ARE VERIFIED BY ANCIENT PAPYRI, ANCIENT VERSIONS, AND QUOTATIONS OF THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS. This large body of manuscripts is the source of the Greek text underlying
    the King James Bible. It is the Greek text used by Greek-speaking churches for many centuries, presently known as the Textus Receptus, or Received Text, of the New Testament."

    Even Dr. Hort of the famed Westcott Hort text said: "The fundamental Text of late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian Text of the second half of the 4th century." (Hort, The Factor of Geneology, pg 92)

    Furthermore, concerning the church Fathers, John Burgeon compiled over 86,000 citations and quotes of the church Fathers and found that not only did the Textus Receptus that underlies the King James Bible exist but it predominated.

    The early versions like the Old Latin contain many TR readings not found in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus as does the Syriac Peshitta. And both of these predate Sinaiticus Vaticanus by 150 years.

    For my article dealing with the Old Latin version which refutes Doug Kutilek's claims see -

    http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/OldLatin.html


    In summary, we see that the reading of "book of life" in Revelation does have some Greek manuscript support, as well as ancient versions and church Fathers.

    The Providence of God has seen fit to place this reading in most Bibles that have been used throughout history to reach millions for Christ. These include Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible, the Bishops' Bible 1568, and the Geneva Bible 1587. "Book of life" is found in Young's, Webster's, Third Millenium Bible, and the New KJV. It is also the reading of the 1569 and 1602 Spanish Reina Valera versions as well as its modern 1960 edition used throughout the Spanish speaking world.

    Martin Luther's translation of 1545, using Greek texts before Stephanus' 1550 edition, also reads "book of life". I met a Russian pastor a couple years ago and asked him what his Russian Bible said here. He told me it reads book of life too. I also have a copy of the Modern Greek New Testament, that used by the Orthodox churches in Greece today, printed in 1954 and its reading of Revelation 22:19 is also book of life.

    As a side note, the number 7 is highly significant in the book of Revelation and in the texts that underlie the King James Bible, and the phrase "the book of life" is found 7 times. This is the number of divine perfection. In the NIV, ESV and NASB it is only found 6 times, the number of weak, sinful, fallen man.

    Mr. Kutilek closes his article by saying: "Some writers calculate the differences between the two texts at something over 5,000, though in truth a large number of these are so insignificant as to make no difference in the resulting English translation.  Without making an actual count, I would estimate the really substantial variations to be only a few hundred at most. What shall we say then? Which text shall we choose as superior? We shall choose neither the Westcott-Hort text nor the textus receptus as our standard text, our text of last appeal... we refuse to be enslaved to the textual criticism opinions of either Erasmus or Westcott and Hort or for that matter any other scholars, whether Nestle, Aland, Metzger, Burgon, Hodges and Farstad, or anyone else. Rather, it is better to evaluate all variants in the text of the Greek New Testament on a reading by reading basis, that is, in those places where there are divergences in the manuscripts and between printed texts, the evidence for and against each reading should be thoroughly and carefully examined and weighed, and the arguments of the various schools of thought considered, and only then a judgment made."

    Do you see where Mr. Kutilek is coming from? He is his own Final Authority. He has no inerrant, complete, inspired Bible to give you or recommend. He is like those of old of whom God says in the last verse of the book of Judges: "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25.


    There ultimately is no certain way of knowing what the "originals" really said, because we simply do not have them, but the KJB text here is not without textual support, be that of Greek copies, ancient versions, Latin manuscripts, early church fathers or modern English and foreign language versions.

    I and many thousands of other Bible believers have come to the conclusion that God meant what He said in His Book about His preserved words.

    Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."

    Psalm 12:6-7: "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

    Psalm 138:2: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy Truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

    Psalm 100:5: "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

    Psalm 33:11: "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."

    Psalm 119:152, 160: "Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. ... Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

    Isaiah 59:21: "... My Spirit that is upon thee [Isaiah], and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."

    Matthew 5:17-18: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

    Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

    1 Peter 1:23-25: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

    John 10:35: "... the Scripture cannot be broken."

    Will Kinney
     
  2. Orvie

    Orvie
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    willie, I won't attempt to answer pro or con, because it's out of this "Bible Rummager's" league. May I advise you in your attempt to well document your view you go overboard for this type of forum. Many of us do not have the time to read your posts since they're so looooonnnnnggg. :D Yeah, I can't speak for everybody else but I'd rather read James White's book, instead ;)
     
  3. Orvie

    Orvie
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    PS- You "inspired" me to start a thread called, "Bible Facism and KJVO" please contribute but not a whole book! [​IMG]
     
  4. Daniel David

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    So, we are to follow the MINORITY of readings in this passage, but not anywhere else? Glad to know that KJVOs never contradict themselves.
     
  5. Scott J

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    Will, Can't you see your double-mindedness?

    When the overwhelming evidence goes against the KJV you say a minority reading is OK. When there is significant evidence against the textual choice in an MV, you accuse them of ignoring evidence.

    Then, to beat all, you accuse Kutilek of having no Bible and being his own final authority when you are more guilty than he is of the charges you level. You have found "evidence" that supports your presuppositions... and prefer that evidence only on the basis that it agrees with what you already believe.

    You give the quantity of Burgon's "proofs" as if that should be impressive but deny that volume or age demonstrates "book of life" to be incorrect.

    You employ standards that you arbitrarily apply but object when others attempt to apply the exact same standard universally.

    Your final authority is not the Word of God since KJVOnlyism is nowhere to be found in any version. It is not the evidence, for the evidence often points away from the KJV being correct. It is not, logic for you employ double standards and unfounded leaps of "logic". It is not honesty, for you frequently put words in people's mouths that they don't say nor believe and also use long posts to hide your selective "massaging" of the facts.

    Your final authority is your own intelligence and pride.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    So the "Majority Text" is a "Minority Text"? But that's okay for them. Not for us. Hmmm.
     
  7. robycop3

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    Maybe Will should've posted in the "double standards" thread?

    Will, I, for one, encourage you to make your posts as long as is necessary to present your point. However, when you cite Dean Burgon in reference to the Textus Receptus, don't forget that didn't exactly hold it in high esteem. And I know that sometimes you're hoping to steer attention away from the fact that you haven't gotten past the basic facts that render KJVO incorrect. You still build from the roof down, hoping that no one will notice the LACK OF A FOUNDATION, that is, the lack of Scriptural support for such a theory about Scripture, and the fact that throughout the history of the Bible in English, there are no two versions alike.

    No matter what spin one puts on it, KJVOnlyism is still a loser.
     
  8. tinytim

    tinytim
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    What does it matter?

    If your names not in the Book
    You won't be eating from the tree!!!

    It means the same thing:
    You won't go to Heaven.

    BTW, do you believe in eternal security?
    sounds like works to me.
     
  9. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Can somebody educate us on SIMILE and METAPHOR?
     
  10. skanwmatos

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    simile: A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as, as in “How like the winter hath my absence been” or “So are you to my thoughts as food to life” (Shakespeare).

    metaphor : 1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another, thus making an implicit comparison, as in “a sea of troubles” or. 2. One thing conceived as representing another; a symbol.
     
  11. HankD

    HankD
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    SIMILE : something you do with your face when you are happy.

    METAPHOR: : When I was a lad growing up in "little Italy" (yes I am) of Boston, I heard this question a lot from my grandmother:

    Hey, Enrico, what's a metaphor you?

    [​IMG]

    HankD

    [ February 19, 2004, 02:57 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  12. LadyEagle

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    LOL. It's a non-issue. If the KJV says Book, then that's good enough for me.

    The leaves of the tree are for healing of the nations, anyway.

    I now leave. Carry on.
     
  13. Ed Edwards

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    Interesting, a Prophetic book
    like Revelation uses a literary
    devise like the metaphor.

    "Book of Life" is a metaphor.
    "Tree of Life" is a metaphor.
    Having multiple metaphors adds understanding
    to that God is trying to communicate.
     
  14. Will J. Kinney

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    Daniel posts: "So, we are to follow the MINORITY of readings in this passage, but not anywhere else? Glad to know that KJVOs never contradict themselves."

    Daniel, whoever told you that the KJB does not have some minority readings?

    Do you think we are never to follow a "minority reading"?

    Do you have a complete, infallible, inspired Bible anywhere on this earth?

    If so, what is it called?

    If not, then why waste your time asking questions about something that doesn't matter anyway?

    Will K
     
  15. Will J. Kinney

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    Scott posts: "Will, Can't you see your double-mindedness?
    When the overwhelming evidence goes against the KJV you say a minority reading is OK. When there is significant evidence against the textual choice in an MV, you accuse them of ignoring evidence."

    Scott, do you have a complete, inspired, inerrant Bible or not? If so, what version is it?

    From what I have seen of your views, you do not have any inerrant Bible on this earth, right?

    For every "minority" reading in the KJB there are easily 20 such minority readings in the versions you seem to favor.

    Kutilek, just like you, is his own final authority.

    My authority is the word of God and this word of God is found in all its purity only in the Holy Bible, nowadays known as the King James Version.

    I believe God has preserved His words and I can tell you up front and clearly where you can get a copy.

    So what do you have to offer?

    Will K
     
  16. Will J. Kinney

    Will J. Kinney
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    Dr. Bob posts: "So the "Majority Text" is a "Minority Text"? But that's okay for them. Not for us. Hmmm. "

    Excuse me, Bob, but what you just said here doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe I missed the clarity of your wisdom.

    Do YOU have an inerrant, complete Bible or are you still promoting the idea that they are all inspired by the same Holy Spirit, even though they say completely different things in hundreds of verses?

    For a "Doctor" I have yet to see anything in your posts to indicate you have much spiritual understanding of anything regarding the Bible version issue.

    All I have seen from you so far is a bunch of pot shots and wiseguy comments. Absolutely nothing of substance.

    Do you believe God has given us a perfect Book of His inerrant words anywhere on this earth or not? If so, then what is it called?

    NASB, NIV, ESV, RSV, NKJV, KJB, ISV?
    ALL of the above?

    I suspect that is your answer.

    And you guys think we are loopy.

    Will K
     
  17. Orvie

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    willie, you sure are an arrogant double standard Pickled Version promoter :rolleyes: Read 1 Cor 14:9 in your worship, and you'll see that the KJV actually promotes the very idea of MV's. [​IMG]
     
  18. Archangel7

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    This article is so riddled with mistaken claims and poor methodology that it would take another article of comparable or greater length to respons to them all. However, I'll limit my response to two specific comments.

    The Greek MSS commonly cited as having "book of life" -- Hoskier 57 (AKA Gregory 296), and Hoskier 141 (AKA Gregory 2049) are both hand-written copies of the TR made *after* the TR was printed. And Hoskier 119 (AKA Gregory 2067) is a 15th C. MS having "tree of life" in the actual text and "book of life" as a marginal note. Kutiliek is essentially correct -- there's not a single Greek MS anywhere in the *authentic* Greek MS tradition in support of the reading "book of life" in the text of Rev. 22:19. *All* extant pre-TR Greek MSS read "tree of life" at Rev. 22:19.

    It is also reasonably well documented that Erasmus had only one Greek copy of Revelation, and that it was by his own admission missing the ending. One must also explain why Erasmus' own Greek text of the last six verses of Revelation contains a series of unique textual variants not found in any other Greek witness (e.g., v. 16, του Δαβιδ; v. 17, ελθε twice; ελθετω και; λαμβανετω; v. 18, συμμαρτυρουμαι γαρ; επιτιθη προς ταυτα; v. 19, αφαιρη; αφαιρησει; βιβλιου; v 21, υμων). The best explanation for this "uniqueness" is their wholesale creation in the process of back-translation from Latin to Greek.

    The reading "book of life" shows up in Western MSS and Fathers (and MSS later influenced by them) because of a scribal error in the transmission of the text. The Latin word for "tree" is ligno, which some scribe mis-copied as libro, the Latin word for "book." This corruption was made official in the Vulgate, which Erasmus back-translated from Latin into Greek for the last six verses of Revelation because his sole Greek MS lacked those verses. The pedigree of the error is clearly traceable through the Old Latin to the Vulgate to the TR to the KJV.
     
  19. Ed Edwards

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    Thank you Brother Archangel7.
    Another KJVO argument falls to facts.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Will J. Kinney

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    Archy posts: The Greek MSS commonly cited as having "book of life" -- Hoskier 57 (AKA Gregory 296), and Hoskier 141 (AKA Gregory 2049) are both hand-written copies of the TR made *after* the TR was printed."

    Archy, can you document the dates for these manuscripts please. Where can I find this information?


    "It is also reasonably well documented that Erasmus had only one Greek copy of Revelation, and that it was by his own admission missing the ending."


    Archy, the KJB is not done solely on the basis of Erasmus' text. You should know this. Stephanus had at least 16 independent Greek manuscripts that Erasmus did not have and he reads "book of life". We have none of these 16 mss. today, as far as I know.

    Then after him we have Beza and he also had Greek texts that neither Erasmus nor Stephanus had and he also reads "book of life". Besides, Erasmus was familiar with many manuscripts that he did not directly use for his text.

    Also, of interest is the Latin Vulgate, which you accuse of being responsible for the KJB reading. The only online copy of the Latin Vulgate that I found, and which dates from 425 A.D., actually reads "tree of life" just like your nasb, niv, esv.

    Here is the site for the Latin Vulgate.

    http://www.studylight.org/desk/?l=en&query=Revelation+22%3A19&section=0&translation=vul&oq=&sr=1

    et si quis deminuerit de verbis libri prophetiae huius auferet Deus partem eius de LIGNO vitae et de civitate sancta et de his quae scripta sunt in libro isto


    Will K
     

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