Mark 15:28

By: Keith Dotzler

And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

I. INTRODUCTION

It will be my goal in this second part of the debate to demonstrate the corruption found in most of today's modern bibles, due to their omission of Mark 15:28.

As can be readily seen, this verse is a direct fulfillment of Isaiah 53:12, which prophesied that our Messiah would be crucified and numbered with the transgressors. Sadly, this precious identifier of the true Messiah has been done away with in most of the modern versions! Why would this verse be removed? The standard argument of "it doesn't matter if that one verse is not in the text...the doctrine can be found in other places..." just won't cut it this time! Where else in the Bible are we told of this fulfillment of Messianic prophecy? Schulz(editor for Griesbach) thinks the verse in question is "a gloss taken from Luke 22:37." As Burgon puts it,

"This is not criticism! It is dictation - imagination, not argument."

I would agree. Just because a doctrine or phrase appears elsewhere in the Bible, doesn't mean every instance of its appearance was "glossed" from another! God often uses repetition in His word to establish the most important things He wants us to know! Jesus's use of the phrase "Verily, verily," as well as, "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" in 3 of 5 verses in a row (Mark 9:44,46,48...a subject for a future discussion in and of itself!) shows that what He was imparting to His disciples(and US) was doubly important!

Why didn't any of the disciples say to Jesus, when He told them about hell(Mark 9:44-48), "Master, thou hast said these things already once, why do you repeat them two more times?" And when Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him 3 times, why didn't Peter say, "Master, you have already asked me once...why must you ask two more times?" Jesus's own disciples, that walked and talked with Him daily, NEVER ONCE questioned his repetition of words or phrases! Why must the "scholars" of today? Are they somehow more "intelligent" than the disciples, to know exactly what Jesus said and what He didn't? What arrogance!

To reach as far as one must to justify the omission of Mark 15:28, just because the phrase appears in Luke 22:37, makes the "scholar" of today no better than an unbelieving critic of any ordinary book! The Bible is God's HOLY word! It is not an ordinary book, hence must NOT be treated as such...especially by Christians!

Where does the excuse "the doctrine is found in other places in the Bible, so it doesn't matter if it isn't found HERE" stop? And who decides? The manuscripts yet to be discovered? What if the next one that is unearthed, and deemed to be another of the "oldest and best," omits Luke 22:37? Will the scholars then justify the COMPLETE omission of this fulfillment of Messianic prophecy altogether? It is the scholar's own MIND that is his final authority, just as it is the Christian's own mind that determines which bible they will use to correct our Authorized Version, all for the sake of an "easier to understand" translation! Neo-evangelicalism has no standard friends! Sure...they SAY their standard and final authority is Jesus Christ, but how can this be? For it is the VERY WORDS of Jesus Christ Himself that have been done away with in the majority of the omissions in today's bibles!

II. ARGUMENT

Most of the Bible critics make the claim that Mark 15:28 is an "unauthorized addition." Griesbach thinks it probably spurious, Tregelles closes it in brackets, but Alford, Tischendorf, Westcott/Hort, and today's "scholars," who DO follow the W/H text, per their own admissions, omit the verse from the text ENTIRELY! Lest anyone fall for the line put out by the Bible correctors of today that, "the modern versions are based on an eclectic text, not that of Westcott and Hort..." I offer a few brief quotes from some modern translators themselves, just to establish the fact that nothing has changed, with regard to the following of corrupt texts, since the ERV of 1881 came out. The modern bibles that omit Mark 15:28 follow the same text as that of the revisers, who Dean Burgon fought so mightily against:

"The theories of Westcott and Hort...[are] almost universally accepted today...Subsequent textual critical work [since 1881] accepted the theories of Westcott and Hort. The vast majority of evangelical scholars hold that the basic textual theories of Westcott and Hort were right and the church stands greatly in their debt." (D.A. Carson, The King James Version Debate, 1979, p. 75)

"The two most popular manual editions of the text today, Nestles-Aland and U.B.S.(Untied Bible Society) really vary little from the W/H text." (Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, 1980, p. 42)

"Westcott and Hort...all subsequent versions from the Revised Version (1881) to those of the present...have adopted their basic approach...[and] accepted the Westcott and Hort [Greek] text." (John R. Kohlenberger, Words About the Word, 1987, p. 42)

So we see from the above three quotes, things equal to the same thing are equal to each other! Do not be fooled Christian! Westcott and Hort live on in todays modern bibles, whether those opposed to the perfection of the Authorized Version want to admit it or not! I don't wish to get bogged down with the translators, but I felt it necessary to establish the basis and foundation of today's new bibles, for it is the manuscripts that are the culprits of all the depravity contained within these "up-to-date" perversions...the SAME manuscripts that were used back in the days of Westcott and Hort! We move on...

It is my contention, as well as that of a great many others here, that Mark 15:28 IS inspired Scripture, thus part of the Sacred Book! Again I ask, why would the scholars of today omit it? Does the evidence support its inclusion in our Bible? The answer is a resounding YES!!! Here's what Adam Clarke had to say in his commentary on the verse in question:

Verse 28. The scripture was fulfilled - All this verse is wanting in many MSS., some versions, and several of the fathers.

The footnote in the NLT says, "Some manuscripts add verse 28." In the NRSV it says, "Other ancient manuscripts add verse 28." The NIV footnote, "Some manuscripts...[then the verse]"

Are Clarke's comments and the footnotes in the new bibles correct? The key to the answer is by breaking Clarkes comments down into the following questions:

1) HOW MANY manuscripts omit it?
2) HOW MANY ancient versions omit it?
3) HOW MANY of the Church Fathers don't cite it?

By the time you have finished reading this post, it will be clear that Clarke, as well as the footnotes in the modern bibles, SHOULD HAVE SAID, "just a very few ancient authorities leave it out," rather than the present deceptive wording they currently use, which does nothing but call into question the accuracy of the KJV! "Some manuscripts add verse 28?" That is almost laughable!!! We will delve into the evidence, for AND against the inclusion of Mark 15:28, in the next section.

III. THE EVIDENCE FROM THE MSS, VERSIONS, AND FATHERS

Before we get into the manuscript evidence, let me point out the findings of my search for Mark 15:28 in 36 Bible translations, ranging from Wycliff's(1380) to the newly released New Testament of the TNIV. ALL of them, but 14, contained the verse! Among the ones that omit it are the NIV, NASB, NRSV, RSV, NLT, and TNIV. Every translation up until 1881, when the ERV of Westcott and Hort came out, HAD Mark 15:28 in them! To no surprise of mine, the NWT of the Jehovah's Witnesses also omits the verse! Strange bedfellows the new bibles have, indeed! They read closer to the Jehovah's Witness NWT than the KJV! Yet the user of one of the above mentioned versions will REJECT the NWT!!!

Now for the manuscript evidence. ALL of the uncials except 6 have Mark 15:28 in them, as well as the majority of the cursives...such as K L P Delta Theta Pi 0112 f1 f13 28 33(the so-called 'Queen of Cursives') 565 700 892 1010 1241. The ancient versions that contain it are the Old Latin, Jerome's Vulgate, the Syriac, the Syriac sectional system(p,h,pal), the Gothic and Boharic versions, as well as Tatian's Diatessaron (2nd century) and the Peshitta (150 AD).

Among the early Church Fathers that cite the verse are Eusebius, St. Augustin, St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril, St. Hilary, Cyprian, Origen, Clement, Justin Martyr, and Tertullian.

Now...what evidence is there for the removal of this precious verse of Scripture? The 6 uncials mentioned above that omit it are none other than those notorious Alexandrian favorites: Aleph, A, B, C, D, and X! Among the cursives, Psi and 2427. According to Tischendorf, there are a total (supposedly) of 45 cursives that omit the verse, half of which are lectionaries(but see Burgon's quote on '71' below for the characteristics of lectionary practices, and you'll see why Tischendorf's suppositions carry no weight at all!). How many of the ancient versions omit the verse? Only the Sahidic!

To get an idea of lectionary practices, practices that actually authenticate Mark 15:28 as genuine, read the words of Burgon:

"If the reader will take the trouble to inquire at the Bibliotheque at Paris for a Greek Codex numbers '71,' an Evangelium will be put into his hands which differs from any that I ever met with in giving singularly minute and rubrical directions. At the end of St. Mark 15:27, this is written: 'When you read the sixth Gospel of the Passion --also when you read the second Gospel of the Vigil of Good Friday -- stop here; skip verse 28, then go on at verse 29.' The inference from this is so obvious that it would abuse the reader's patience to enlarge on it, or even to draw it out in detail. Very ancient indeed must have been the Lectionary practice in this particular; so much so that it would leave so fatal a trace in its operation in our four oldest Codexes. But it has left it! The explanation is evident; the verse is plainly genuine. And the Codexes that leave it out are corrupt." (Burgon, Unholy Hands vol 1, pg B36,7)

Someone may well ask, "How could those 6 "oldest and best" uncials ALL be in error?" The reason they ask is because Aleph, A, B, C, D, and X are HEAVILY relied upon by the "scholars," so when they are ALL said to be in error together, it drives them crazy! James White says on page 33 of The King James Only Controversy that Aleph

"is not nearly as bad as its enemies would say."

And that Vaticanus(B) is

"another great Codex."

Sadly, White's views are held by a great many Christians today...laymen, as well as pastors! There is ample evidence for the corruptions of Aleph and B, yet they relegate the fact that Aleph was altered at least 10 times to constant use over the centuries! We read the words of White again,

"A handwritten text that is used for 1,500 years is going to collect a few corrections along the way!" (ibid)

Simply unbelievable the extremes one will go to in order to stay ignorant, isn't it? David Cloud says on pg 30 of For Love of the Bible,

"If the Bible which went to the ends of the earth during the greatest era of missionary activity in church history since the apostolic era was not the preserved word of God, there is no such thing as the preserved word of God, and this entire matter is merely an exercise in vanity."

Are White and others actually of the opinion that all those during the Reformation who died for the words, as found in their Bibles that were NOT translated from Aleph and B, died in vain? How silly!

Anyway, the answer to the querrie about the 6 uncials being in error together is simple. Just ask them "How could all the ancient versions (that pre-date the "oldest and best") except the Sahidic conspire to mislead mankind?" Make sure you have a bucket of cold water though to put out the fire that will eminate from the tops of their heads! :-D

There you have it. All the manuscript evidence FOR and AGAINST Mark 15:28. All scholars are pretty much agreed that the worst corruption of God's word ocurred within the first 100 years of the completion of the Book of Revelation. Tertullian supports this contention with the following:

Now this heresy of yours does not receive certain Scriptures; and whichever of them it does receive, it perverts by means of additions and diminutions, for the accomplishment of its own purpose; and such as it does receive, it receives not in their entirety; but even when it does receive any up to a certain point as entire, it nevertheless perverts even these by the contrivance of diverse interpretations. Truth is just as much opposed by an adulteration of its meaning as it is by a corruption of its text. (The Prescription Against Heretics, ch 17)

Too many today forget that the devil HATES God, Christians, and the Jews. They also forget that the devil started attacking God's word from the beginning when he asked Eve, "Yea, hath God said?" Do you remember how it went? First the devil OMITTED part of God's word(Gen 3:1). Then Eve ADDED to the word of God(Gen 3:3). And next the devil ADDS to what God said by only ONE word(Gen 3:4). The corruption of God's word is nothing new friends! Another quote from Tertullian makes this clearly known:

One man perverts the Scriptures with his hand, another their meaning by his exposition. (ibid, ch38 )

IV. CONCLUSION

In concluding this post, let me state emphatically that Mark 15:28 is inspired Scripture! God wrote the words, hence their omission from most of today's bibles makes those bibles untustworthy and corrupt! If I were the devil, I would surely do the same thing, viz attack Messianic prophecies so God's chosen people(the Jews) won't recognize Him! Then I would attack other doctrines like the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the blood atonement, the Incarnation, and other such doctrines...sound familiar? The Bible says the devil can appear as an angel of light:

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Why won't Christians believe for one minute that their bibles could possibly be the target of our adversary?!? Those with eyes to see will see it. In these last days though, we are reminded of the following from the Holy Scriptures,

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD"