Those who believe in the infallibility of the Bible have questions to answer regarding numerous major textual errors and contradictions contained in this allegedly divinely inspired book, as well as several regarding a few books of the Bible that are evidently forgeries. Firstly, we shall look at a few examples of passages in the Bible that were not original portions of the text and were apparently added by later scribes. These passages are primarily not present in Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest and most reliable surviving manuscripts, as well as several other manuscripts and textual witnesses of great importance. Some may claim that these false passages are not of any particular importance. But in a book that claims to be divinely inspired and infallible, those claims obviously need to be verified, and it is difficult to claim that a book is infallible if it contains numerous errors. Moreover, even if the Bible was infallible at one point, we obviously no longer have access to the infallible version of the text. 1. Mark 16:9-20: This passage is not present in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts available to us. The early church fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that this passage was not present in almost all of the Greek manuscripts available to them. As John MacArthur notes, The internal evidence from this passage weighs heavily against Marks authorship. The transition between verses 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. The Greek particle translated now that begins verse 9 implies continuity with the preceding narrative. What follows, however, does not continue the story of the women referred to in verse 8, but describes Christs appearance to Mary Magdalene. The masculine particle in verse 9 expects he as its antecedent, yet the subject of verse 8 is the women. Although she had just been mentioned 3 times, verse 9 introduces Mary Magdalene as if for the first time. Further, if Mark wrote verse 9, it is strange that he would only now note that Jesus had cast 7 demons out of her. The angel spoke of Jesuss appearing to his followers in Galilee, yet the appearances described in verses 9 through 20 are all in the Jerusalem area. Finally, the presence in these verses of a number of Greek words used nowhere else in Mark argues that Mark did not write them. Verses 9 through 20 represent an early (they were known to the second-century fathers Irenaeus, Tatian, and possibly Justin Martyr) attempt to complete Marks gospel. Even MacArthur, himself a Christian apologist and minister who believes in the divine inspiration and infallibility of the text, acknowledges that Mark 16:9-20 is very obviously a later addition to the Gospel. It is difficult to claim that we currently possess divinely inspired Scripture, since it has been clearly altered since it was first written. 2. John 7:53-8:11: This passage is of greater importance than Mark 16:9-20, since the text therein relates the well known story of Jesus forgiving a woman caught in adultery, and telling her Pharisee captors that He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. Yet, this passage is also not present in the earliest and best manuscripts available to us. At times, it has been placed after verses 36, 44, 52, or chapter 21, verse 25. One manuscript even places it after Luke 21:38. Various manuscripts mark the passage so as to indicate skepticism toward its inclusion in the Gospel. In addition, Luke 7:52 flows well into Luke 8:12, and 7:53-8:11 are an awkward interruption. As MacArthur again notes, no Greek church father comments on the passage until the 12th century. 3. Acts 8:37: Though a relatively minor verse involving the evangelist Philips baptism of an Ethiopian, it is remarkable in that it is an extremely explicit statement of the salvation brought through belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior and acceptance of that salvation. Verse 36 notes that the Ethiopian saw some water, and asked Philip what prevented him from being baptized. Verse 37 follows thusly. Then Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 4. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35: For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? This is an important doctrine regarding the practice of women speaking in church. Female ministers are still frowned upon or prohibited by various Christian sects because of this passage and similar passages in 1 Timothy, which I will address shortly. The problem with verses 34 and 35 are that several important textual witnesses place these verses after verse 40 rather than verse 33, which indicates that these verses may have originated as a scribal marginal note rather than an original part of the epistle. Moreover, verses 34 and 35 do not seem to be contextually related to the verses that surround them. If they were removed from the passage, verse 33 would flow well into verse 36, but verses 34 and 35 create an awkward interruption similar to that of Luke 7:53-8:11. Perhaps most importantly, verses 34 and 35 seem to conflict with statements made earlier in chapter 11. 5. 1 John 5:7-8: These verses contain a section that is the most explicit reference to the modern Christian doctrine of the trinity that exists, known as the Comma Johanneum. They read as follows. "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. The bolded section of the text appears to be a later addition to the text, as again, they are not contained in the oldest and most reliable manuscripts. As Christian sects who disbelieve in the doctrine of the Trinity frequently note, the word Trinity is contained nowhere in the Bible, and this invalidity of the most explicit statement of it poses problems for modern Christians, essentially all of whom accept that doctrine. As MacArthur again notes, These words are a direct reference to the Trinity, and what they say is accurate. External manuscript evidence, however, is against them being in the original epistle. They do not appear in any Greek mss. dated before circa tenth century A.D. Only 8 very late Greek mss. contain the reading, and these contain the passage in what appears to be a translation from a late recension of the Latin Vulgate. Furthermore, 4 of these 8 mss. contain the passage as a variant reading written in the margin as a later addition to the manuscript. No Greek or Latin father, even those involved in Trinitarian controversies, quotes them; no ancient version except the Latin records them (not the Old Latin in its early form or the Vulgate). Internal evidence also militates against their presence, since they disrupt the sense of the writers thoughts. Most likely, the words were added much later to the text. There is no verse in Scripture which so explicitly states the obvious reality of the Trinity Hence, this obviously poses problems, as I noted previously. Having established at least five passages of dubious legitimacy, I would also note several major books of the New Testament which are not regarded as legitimate, and are thought to be forgeries. These would be the Pastoral Epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy, as well as Titus. The arguments against the authorship of these books by Paul are accepted by the majority of modern textual critics, and include the facts that the vocabulary of the epistles contain many words and phrases seen nowhere else in Pauls writing, or indeed, anywhere else in the New Testament, that the false teachings described by the epistles are developed forms of second-century Gnosticism, or other schools of Christianity that competed with the school that we are familiar with today, that the church organizational structure described therein is far too developed for Pauls era, and similarly seems to parallel the Gnosticism of the second century, and that the chronological framework of Pauls life in the book of Acts does not match up with many of the historical references made by the author of the Pastoral Epistles. A similar error (or deliberate omission) seems to have been made by Paul himself concerning his own activities after he was met by Jesus at Damascus. In Acts 9:26, he is recorded as attempting to meet the disciples at Jerusalem. (Saul and Paul are his respective Hebrew and Roman names.) And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. Yet, in Galatians 1:17, he claims nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. He then says in verses 18 through 20, Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lords brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Now, Acts 9:23 reads, Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. This is a reference to his expulsion from Damascus, which evidently took place after his conversion there. Those who believe in the infallibility of the text have attempted to claim that many days refers to a period of three years in which Paul was ministering in Nabatean Arabia, which is an implausible explanation. Moreover, the passage in Acts continues to say this in verse 27. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. These two passages are obviously not a reference to the same visit, since in the Acts passage, Luke reports that Paul was brought to the apostles by Barnabas, whereas in the Galatians passage, Paul reports that he only visited Peter (though some texts read Cephas) and James, and did not visit the other apostles. He also apparently finds it necessary to claim that he is not lying about this report of his events. Moreover, it seems odd that he would only mention his conversion in Damascus to the apostles if he had been ministering for three years in Nabatean Arabia. Hence, there is a clear contradiction between Luke and Pauls accounts, and Paul may even be being willfully deceptive in this matter, which does not reflect well on the character arguably the most important figure in the development of Christianity besides Christ. There are also several major contradictions in the Gospels regarding Christs birth and death, and Ill be back to present those tomorrow if this thread receives a satisfactory response from those who claim to believe in the infallibility of the Bible.