Tuesday, May 1, 2012
When is it time to change churches? The Teachings of Alexandria or Antioch, What's the difference?
OF ALEXANDRIA OR ANTIOCH
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Or, another way of classifying this chapter would be to call it “The Teachings of the NIV (and other perverted versions) vs. KJV. What’s the Difference?”
Take a look at Scripture for your answer.
And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. Acts 13:49
Shortly after Jesus ascended up to heaven, while the apostles were out spreading the gospel message we come to this verse.
“…the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.”
What region is being spoken of here? This is very important so please do not miss this point. Let nothing distract you from reading God’s Word in context. This will help to open your eyes, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to see the errors of following after Balaam, so to speak.
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. Acts 13:1-4
Start with Acts 13:1. Now there were in the church that was at Antioch…
Take hold of this city. Understand the city, the region and the home base attitude of the Apostles. Antioch was located about 300 miles north of Jerusalem not too far from the Great Sea (The Mediterranean Sea).
And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.
As a home base for Christians, it was here that Barnabas and Saul (Paul) were sent out. Now, look at where they went out to.
So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
The first place, Seleucia, was only a handful of miles southwest of Antioch, right on the edge of the Great Sea. From there, they sailed to the Isle of Cyprus immediately west and a little south of Seleucia. As they landed at Cyprus, they came upon Salamis and then Paphos.
And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to [their] minister. And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [was] Barjesus: Acts 13:5-6
Skip ahead a few verses…
Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. Acts 13:13-14
After leaving the Isle of Cyprus, they headed north up to Perga of Pamphylia, from there they went even further north and stopped at Antioch of Pisidian (this is not the same city as Antioch of Syria).
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. Acts 13:50-51
From Antioch of Pisidian, they then went into Iconium which is located a little bit south east of Antioch. It was in this area that the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. The word of God was spread throughout all the region. The region being shown is the area east and north east of Antioch of Syria.
Now, the above map shows the Apostle Paul’s first missionary trip. Look at the following map of his second missionary trip.
As you have viewed his first two missionary trips, can you see how there is something in common? Antioch is found in both maps. Right? Now look at this next map of his third missionary trip.
Again, you can see that Antioch is an important part of his journeys. This is the point of where the word of God was published throughout all the region. This is the place where the KJV Bible gets its manuscripts from. The other versions, the NIV, ESV, NKJV, NASB and all of the others do not come from this region. Guess where they come from? Alexandria. Where is that and why is that significant? Look at the map below.
Notice all of the areas that Paul and Barnabas preached at. None of those places were near Alexandria. Out of the manuscripts that have been found, there are only two locations that we receive the majority of our text from. The Majority text originates from Antioch, Syria while the Minority text originates from Alexandria, Egypt. The Majority text includes roughly 99% of the more than 5000+ manuscripts that are around today. These are the ones used by the King James Bible and they have a high degree of agreement with each other. The Minority text includes the remaining 1% of manuscripts that are available to us today. There is a very high level of disagreement between each of these manuscripts and it is no surprise that these are the manuscripts that Westcott and Hort decided to use when authoring the NIV Bible. In fact, these manuscripts disagree with each other at such a high degree that there are over 3000 disagreements within the four gospels alone. The two Alexandrian manuscripts that the NIV draws from are the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus, which differ so much that it is hard to put the two together. Look at how many differences there are between the two.
Total 3036 differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.
Not very reliable is it?
Modern translators have divided the Majority and Minority text into four groups.
The first three are from the Minority Text while the last one is from the Majority Text. Even though, they have broken it all down into four categories, it doesn’t change the fact that there are still only two originals – the Majority and the Minority manuscripts. The Byzantine is also known as the Textus Receptus (the “received text”, in Latin).
In the interpretation of scripture, there are four rules that must be used to properly divide the word of truth.
1. Discover the author, the people addressed and the life and times of the people involved in a given case.
2. Discover the facts and truths presented in a given passage and note the exact wording of the text.
3. The golden rule of interpretation – when the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.
4. The law of first mention which states “The law of first mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. When we thus see the first appearance, which is usually in the simplest form, we can then examine the doctrine in other portions of the Word that were given later. We shall see that the fundamental concept in the first occurrence remains dominant as a rule, and colors all later additions to that doctrine.”
With this being stated, take a look at what Scripture tells us about Antioch and Alexandria. First, take a look at the land of Egypt.
And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine [was] grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou [art] a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This [is] his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Genesis 12:10-12 (first mention – negative)
This is the place where they will take the wife and then will kill the husband.
Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, [was] with rigour. Exodus 1:11-14 (negative)
This is the place where they will make you into slaves.
I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Exodus 20:2 (negative)
God Himself calls Egypt the “house of bondage.”
But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, [even] out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as [ye are] this day. Deuteronomy 4:20 (negative)
This is the place that Moses called “the iron furnace.”
But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Deuteronomy 17:16 (negative)
God commands his people, that their king shall not buy horses from Egypt, in fact, they are not to return no more that way.
And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Revelation 11:8 (negative)
It is a place that God uses to denounce the city in which the two witnesses are murdered.
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Matt 2:15 (negative)
God called his Son out of Egypt!
Not looking good for Egypt is it? People will defend their rights to stay with the NIV Bible and the other perverse translations just because they feel it is easier to understand. No discernment whatsoever. Now, this is showing God’s view of Egypt. Take a look at what God says about Alexandria.
Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. Acts 6:9 (first mention – negative)
This is a place where they disputed with and killed the first Christian martyr, Stephen.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, [and] mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. Acts 18:24 (negative)
At first sight, this might look like a positive. It is important to remember the “first mention” rule. Upon deeper study, it is seen that even though Apollos was an eloquent man and mighty in scriptures, it wasn’t until he met up with Aquila and Priscilla, that he was taught properly in the Lord. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord but only knew the baptism of John. Aquila and Priscilla expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. This is a place of bad bible instruction.
And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein. Acts 27:6 (negative)
It was a ship from Alexandria that took the Apostle Paul to Rome to be executed.
And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. Acts 28:11 (negative)
Again, it was a ship from Alexandria that took Paul. He had survived a shipwreck and a snake bite only to be taken again by a ship from Alexandria.
God emphasizes that Alexandria is of death and bondage.
Alexandria was the second largest city of the Roman Empire, with Rome being first. It was founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. which is a type of Antichrist found in Daniel 8.
Both Egypt and Alexandria are shown in a negative light in Scripture. This is the area where the 1% of manuscripts had been found, the Minority Text, the manuscript that the NIV comes from.
Now, examine how God views Antioch.
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Acts 6:3-5 (first mention – positive)
Notice how only one hometown is mentioned in this verse.
This is a place where a man of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, was chosen.
Is it any coincidence that Acts 6 shows both Antioch (verse 5) and Alexandria (verse 9) as a contrast? Not surprising in the least.
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Acts 11:22-24 (positive)
The grace of God was seen here, as was gladness of heart to Barnabas, plus, he taught that the people would cleave unto the Lord. And what happened?
Much people was added unto the Lord!
Notice what happens next in Acts 11.
Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:25-26 (positive)
Barnabas sought out Saul and when he found him, where did he take him? Did he take him to Jerusalem? No. Did he take him to Alexandria? No. There was absolutely no consideration whatsoever to taking him to Alexandria. No. Look at what he did. He took him to Antioch. They assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. It was in Antioch that the name Christians was first used of followers of Christ.
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away. Acts 13:1-3 (positive)
Antioch is a place where God sends out missionaries.
If this is where God sent out His missionaries, wouldn't it make sense that the manuscripts used would have been of God as well? The place that God condemns has only 1% of the manuscripts and they do not even agree with each other and yet those are used by the NIV authors. Have you begun to see the differences between the two cities yet? Do you see how each city was used differently in the bible? What will you do with this information?