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April 7, 2011

I have noticed an uptick in the number of poeple discussing they year 2012 lately.  You don't even have to be a believer in Nostradamus or the Mayan calendar to be concerned about this.  I have heard or read enough news stories about an increase of sun flares that may well happen in the year 2012, that I have become interested in the topic.  I am not at all impressed with Nostradamus.  The Mayan calendar is somewhat interesting.  But, it is always wise to know some basic skills in how to survive anything that might come your way.  

March 23, 2011

I uploaded a corrected edition of the Greek text of the ΔΙΔΑΧΗ ΤΩΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ (The Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, with footnotes on textual variants I have compiled. A Dr. Nikolaos Adamou sent me a list of some 3 dozen misspellings and diacritics errors that were in the text, mostly from the free text I had downloaded from the Internet to start with.  This text I am offering should as a result be the most accurate, free Greek text of the Didache available now, thanks to Dr. Adamou. Right-click here and choose "save as" to download.

March 19, 2011

I uploaded my edition of the Greek text of the ΔΙΔΑΧΗ ΤΩΝ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΩΝ (The Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, with footnotes on textual variants I have compiled. It shows most of the main textual variants, including of the Jerusalem Codex (or Codex Hierosolymitanus (1056 C.E.), Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1782, the Apostolic Constitutions, Church Ordinances, Barnabas, Latin version, Georgian version, Coptic version, Ethiopic version, Arabic version. And shows the readings of Greek Editions by Bryennios, Harnack, De Romestin, Hemmer\Oger\Lamont, Goold, Funk/Bilmeyer, T. Klauser, M. Holmes.  It’s a pdf, 710 KB in size. Any corrections are welcome, and if I missed noting any conjectural emendations, please advise. Right-click here and choose "save as" to download.

January 29, 2011

Have you heard of NFC technology? It stands for Near Field Communications. Apple is going to put an NFC chip in the next i-phone, so that you don't need to carry credit cards or cash. Google is also planning to put an NFC chip in the Android phone. You will just tap or wave your phone near the receiver at a merchant, and the chip in the phone gets read and your money deducted. The one-world government seriously wants to get rid of cash, because cash is anonymous, and they cannot track and control the population that uses cash. This NFC chip in phones, etc, is a necessary intermediate step in conditioning the people of the world to eventually have such chips be put in their own bodies.

January 8, 2011

I have just added a store page, where you can shop for various documents and order them on CD. It has some thirty plus items for now, and will be growing fast.

November 04, 2010

I have just published my work on the Epistle of Jude, on lulu.com  It gives line by line transcripts of 62 Greek manuscripts plus 9 Greek printed editions, in the Swanson style. You can buy both the printed edition and the ebook download here.

October 06, 2010

I have just published a guide to Greek ligatures, which are found in New Testament cursive manuscripts. Even if you know how to read the Greek in the Greek New Testament, or in the papyri or uncials, you still cannot read the minuscules without a guide like this. I put this book together as the result of my own experiences in learning how to read the ligatures. You can buy the printed edition here.

September 11, 2010

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell.

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God,
darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, "The Lord thy God is one," but I think
He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, "Give me a light" and someone did. Then God made the

He split the Adam, and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't
embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple. So they were driven
out of the Garden of Eden.....Not sure what they were driven in, though,
because they didn't have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated
his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived
to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of
his kids was a kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some
animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would
have to take a rain-check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his
brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot
roast. Jacob had a son called Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name is Charlton Heston.
Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after
God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice,
lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then He gave them His Top
Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance or covet
your neighbor's stuff.

Oh yeah, I just thought of one more; Humour thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies.
Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua, came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a sling-shot.
He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines.
My teacher said he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was
Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.
There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to
worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New.
He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too,
because my mom is always saying to me "Close the door. Were you born in a barn?
It would be nice to say, "As a matter of fact, I was.")

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and
the Democrats. Jesus also had twelve opossums.
The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a
terrible vegetable after him.
He healed many leopards and even preached to Germans on the Mount.

But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot.
Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to
Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminium. His return is foretold
in the book of Revolution.

June 18, 2010

I just read Vigiliae Christianae 64 (2010) pp. 217-254, "Sacred Scriptures as Trash: Biblical Papyri from Oxyrhynchus," by AnneMarie Luijendijk, Princeton University, Department of Religion.

After reading Luijendijk's article, I came away with these as her main conclusions:

The Biblical manuscripts discarded in Oxyrhynchus' trash heaps were deliberately and voluntarily discarded.  These acts of discarding were not due to persecution, or lack of canonicity of their texts.  Neither were they discarded because they were only fragments of their texts.

She argues that the discardings were not from persecution, because, 1, "The Imperial edict required that Christian manuscripts be burned, not thrown away."

And 2, the practice of throwing away manuscripts in Oxyrhynchus can be shown, by the dates of other papers found with them, that they were thrown away as a general practice over many centuries, both before and after the persecutions.  For the same reason we can say that they were not all thrown away by Muslims.

One significant finding of Garbologists is that the people discarding things do so thinking that their acts of discarding are discreet.  For example, the number of alcohol containers in people's garbage shows that they under-report their alchohol consumption by 40-60%.

Thus, there is generally no intended philosophical statement made in the act of throwing away something; in fact, the opposite is true- the discarder thinks that this act is out of sight.

But in Oxyrhynchus there was a "lively milieu of scribes that copied these manuscripts, canonical and non-canonical, and threw out the old exemplars."

The Chrisitian community of Oxyrhynchus appears to have had the same casual attitude about discarding their sacred items as did their co-inhabitants in that locale of other religions or no religion, in contrast to more reverential practices in other locales and eras.

The Christian manuscripts in Oxyrhynchus trash heaps were shredded into pieces before being discarded.  Notwithstanding her observation in my previous paragraph, Luijendijk spends some time exploring reasons why Christians in other locales and eras destroyed sacred objects.  One observation was that gospel manuscripts were elevated to the status and function of representing the very presence of the Word of God himself during ceremonies, and that when those documents were damaged therefore, they were now a flawed representation of the divine being, and were shredded in order to "break the link between sacred text and sacred manuscript."

Other possibilities given for Oxyrhynchus Christians discarding Bible manuscripts were:

Loss of religion, and thus loss of interest in reading the Bible   [It may be that some of those who discarded Biblical manuscripts in Oxyrhynchus would be ashamed or embarrassed if they found out that others knew that they threw away those manuscripts.]

Change of language of Christians in Oxyrhynchus

Could it be that Oxyrhynchus was so rich with scribes and manuscripts that manuscripts were not as rare and precious to them? 

The author of the article seemed to conclude that the discarded manuscripts were mostly exemplars thrown away after they had had fresh copies made from them.

April 29, 2010

Eusebius of Caesarea, who died in the year 339, says in "Quaestiones Ad Marinum" that "almost all the copies" of the gospel of Mark ended it at verse 16:8, which he also called the accurate copies. Thus, the longer ending of Mark, as found in the majority of recent and late copies, was the tiny minority reading in the century of the 300's. This cannot be emphasized enough. This shows the value of Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. That they show us what the Greek text was like in the 4th century, which is more important than what it developed into later. Thus, what value is there in a "majority text" derived from counting up only the recent and late copies, when in the 3rd and 4th centuries, the majority of manuscripts read so differently than the present majority?

The conclusion is, most Textual Criticism scholars agree, we must "weigh" each manuscript and witness, not "count" them. Thus, I believe the testimony of Codex Vaticanus may be more important than the testimony of 4,000 cursive manuscripts from the much later centuries.

This is what I have maintained for some time; that scribes were far more afraid to REMOVE anything, however suspect it was, than to ADD something to the text.

Which is another prop for the tenet, that the shorter reading is generally to be preferred; it has that going for it, that scribes were more afraid to remove anything than to add something.

I was recently referred to John William Burgon, and his book, "The last twelve verses of the Gospel according to S. Mark vindicated against recent critical objectors established., pp. 41-51. In it Burgon attempts to lessen the impact of the testimony of Eusebius and Jerome about the the longer ending of Mark not being found in the accurate copies, and being absent in almost all the copies of Mark.

Burgon spends some time questioning the authenticity of the document provided by Cardinal Mai entitled "Quaestiones ad Marinum," and its quotations of Eusebius. Why? Because it appears to be a CONDENSED version of Eusebius, Burgon says. But then, on p. 44, Burgon says, "Let it, however, be candidly admitted that there seems to be no reason for supposing that whenever the lost work of Eusebius comes to light, (and it has been seen within about 300 years,) it will exhibit anything essentially different from what is contained in the famous passage which has given rise to so much debate,..."

Ok, so reading all that questioning of the authenticity of the Eusebius quotations was a waste of my precious time.

In the succeeding pages, Burgon's main point seems to be that Eusebius is playing Devil's advocate, that "some may say that..." Well, Eusebius does not contradict or refute or dismiss those statements from such advocate.

Burgon's purpose was to show that Eusebius did not question the authenticity of the passage. In fact, Burgon himself quotes Eusebius, on p. 45, where Eusebius says about the last 12 verses of Mark, "Well then, allowing this portion to be really genuine, our business is to interpret the sense of the passage." (KAI DH TOUDE MEROUS SUGCWROUMENOU EINAI ALHQOUS, PROSHKEI TON NOUN DIEREMHNEUEIN TOU ANAGNWSMATOS)

Thus, Burgon himself shows us that Eusebius did in fact question the authenticity of the longer ending of Mark. Eusebius only allows for the sake of argument that it is "really genuine." That does not sound to me like Eusebius believed it to be genuine.


April 25, 2010

If you know me, you know I am a lover of music of all kinds. Here is a love song from Norway, from the Pier Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg.

The winter may pass and the spring disappear;
next summer too will vanish and then the year.
But this I know for certain: you'll come back again.
And even as I promised, you'll find me waiting then.

May God give you strength, every place you roam.
God grant to you his joy as you'll kneel before his throne.
If you are in heaven now waiting for me,
we shall join again love, and never parted be.


March 18th, 2010
I recommend a bookseller, Abe Books.  I got a very good deal on the Lidell & Scott Greek Lexicon.  It was the lowest price available on the Internet at the time, and they also have a good selection of hard-to-find books.

March 11th, 2010
I have been a little discouraged lately in my translation endeavors, due to having to work so many hours at my regular paying job.  I don't have much spare time, and when I do, I am more tired.  Age I suppose.
I didn't want to do this, but my friends keep suggesting I put a donation link on my site in case any of my readers might want to help out with a donation.  Prior to this, someone actually attempted to give me a donation, a man who appreciated my translations very much.  I don't have a way to contact me on my website, due to so much spam.  But he wanted so bad to donate, that he tracked down my parents, who are missionaries in Papua New Guinea, and gave them the money.  So I have decided to make it easier for such people to help me, buy posting a PayPal link on my new "Donate" page.  Or, you can also help me out by clicking one of the ads to the left and purchasing something from them. I am PayPal Verified.

October 14th, 2009
If Jesus Christ lived in America, he would have a very bad FICO score, credit worthiness score. He didn't stay at one address for long. He didn't have regular income. He didn't have a credit history. He sometimes slept on the ground, and the cops would roust him or arrest him. He would also be in trouble with the law for feeding people without a Health Dept. license and inspections. He would be arrested for curing people without sanction of the American Medical Association or having a physician's license. He would be on the "no-fly list" for his out-spoken, dissident-type speech. He might even be called a terrorist by our current American government. If he disagreed with the current American president on anything, he might be called a "racist." He would not be allowed legally to have children, since he believed and practiced the value system of living one day at a time, only worrying about food enough for one day. This would not be acceptable to "child protection agencies." If they come to your abode and find an empty refrigerator, you could have your children taken away.

Of course, all the above would or mighty apply to any of His true followers, since they would be doing the same things he did, "and even greater things shall do." One could thus accurately say that it is practically illegal to live like Christ in America.

September 30th, 2009
I have added music YouTube videos to my links page, of Larry Norman, Keith Green, Christopher Parkening, Cliff Richard, Creedence Clearwater Revival, plus there are still the great MIDIs for download there.

September 21st, 2009
Why I am opposed to the Healthcare Reform bill proposed by Dem. Sen. Baucus

The bill would make it mandatory for everyone to buy health insurance, just as it is mandatory now to buy car insurance. But I am healthy, and do not use enough health care services to even pass the deductible in health insurance policies. For this reason, I do not buy health insurance. I make 9 dollars an hour, so this proposed law would force me to have money withheld from my wages that would get me nothing for my money. This bill would be a hindrance to the working poor; not a help.

The bill does not address the outrageous, nearly criminal retail mark-up in prices enjoyed by the healthcare industry. For example, hospitals are price offenders. They charge 10 dollars for an item that probably costs them 5 cents. Yes, I know; their excuse is that they have to do this to pay for the bills left unpaid by the uninsured. Look, that is false. The uninsured might be happy to pay the bills if they were reasonable bills. But the hospital bills are unconscionable.

The bill does not contain tort reform. This is a reform that would limit the liability judgment awards that plaintiffs get from winning malpractice lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. Tort reform has been proven in states like California to reduce health and health insurance costs.

Another reason I oppose mandatory health insurance is that I don't always agree with the western medicine model, so don't want to be forced to use it. The U.S. healthcare system is very oppressive to the truth in regards to alternative medicine, and natural, less expensive treatments that can actually cure some diseases. Diseases for which regular hospitals know no cure, but they will simply run up a million dollar tab for you.

The bill would cut 400 billion dollars from current Medicare coverage. Senior citizens should rightly rise up against this bill.

This bill is so bad for the working poor, and for the middle class, that it would be better to do nothing, than to pass this bill.

September 1st, 2009
I have just added the readings of the uncial 043 (Phi) to the footnotes of my translation of the The Gospel of Matthew.

July 1st, 2009
I have uploaded my new translation of the Third Epistle of John.

June 23rd, 2009
I have added the minuscules 1678 and 2080 to the witness list for 1 John and 2 John. In addition, I have cleaned up and further proof-read the footnotes to these files.

April 30th, 2009
What about the swine flu?

Here is one physician's advice.

March 18th, 2009:
The mark of the beast according to Papyrus 115

Papyrus 115 reads (image) for the mark of the beast, H ΧΙC. The "H" letter is a whole Greek word that means "or."  So it is speculated that it read “666 or 616.”  See my TC Exercises page for some of the possibilities of what this papyrus originally said:


March 17th, 2009:
I have just uploaded a MAJOR update of my translation of Revelation, with all the major textual variants now footnoted with a revised consistent list of witnesses. I have also found quite a few errors in the process, unfortunately. It is just a huge job, and I have to go to a paying job too. But I am on a small vacation now, and have really attacked the revision and proof-reading job on these files. I have updated and corrected 2 John significantly as well. I have also added about 5 new TC notes to my translation of the gospel of Mark.

To download the edition of Revelation with the Greek NT text, with 369 footnotes, a 3.2 MB pdf, right-click here and then choose "save as."
To download the edition of Revelation with the textual variants in English, and 213 footnotes, a 860 KB pdf, right-click here and then choose "save as."

November 20, 2008:
I have finished my translation of the Second Epistle of John. This document indicates every difference between the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text and the UBS/NA27 text in 2 John. It also shows differences, in the footnotes, between various editions of the KJV and TR for 2 John.

It contains the Greek text of the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition ("NA27") combined with the Robinson-Pierpont ("RP") 2005 edition; The agreement thereof in black text; otherwise, the NA27 in green text and the RP in red; with critical footnotes combining the data from the Text und Textwert catholic epistles volume, the UBS4, the UBS3 (not including its patristic citations), the NA27, and the online Münster apparatus.

Every one of the "teststellen" from Text und Textwert is listed in the apparatus with a greater number of witnesses, showing the readings of 86 of the Greek manuscripts:

Papyrus 74 Aleph A B C K L P 044 048 049 056 0142 0232 1 5 6 18 33 69 81 82 88 93 104 175 181 221 252 307 321 322 323 326 330 398 424 429 436 442 450 451 454 456 457 468 469 614 621 623 627 629 630 642 920 945 1067 1127 1175 1241 1243 1292 1409 1505 1611 1735 1739 1846 1852 1862 1875 1881 1891 2127 2138 2147 2200 2298 2344 2374 2412 2464 2492 2495 2541 2805

It is a pdf document, and its size is 211 KB. Here is the download link To download the PDF, right-click the link, and choose "save."

To download the edition without the Greek (189 KB), right-click this link, and then choose "save as." 

Wednesday October 22, 2008
I received a plea from a Christian brother in India for someone to send them Bibles. He says, "This is Tracy Bontha, TRACY BB , PO BOX 7, NRT - 522601, INDIA (PRAKASHNAGAR, NARSARAOPET) - 522601, INDIA. I am the Missionary and the Evangelist since 25 years . I do live in India . i do the missionary work and feeding the poor at times with the Gospel . Pray for us we will pray for you . God bless u so much.
in Christ
Tracy Bontha
bonthat at gmail dot com

Friday October 10, 2008
A poll shows that Americans are by far the most Bible-literate out of nine countries -- the United States, Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Spain and Poland. Spaniards and French were by far the lowest.

Wednesday October 1, 2008
I believe more firmly than ever in my Christian upbringing in regard to debt. In my circles as a child, Christians just didn't go into debt. The Bible, both old and new testaments, advises against it. Benjamin Franklin said, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." Now that I have become a man in America, I have been looked down on and regarded as less than a man and a bad Christian, because I never believed in getting a mortgage, or a college loan.

Isn't it funny how the world system calls debt "credit."

Am I supposed to feel sorry for people who bought a house at the top of the price market, and then got a loan they really couldn't afford, and now they are going to lose "their" house? First of all, if you must do business in the world system, then you must buy low and sell high. Why did they buy a house that is so over-priced in the first place? What we really need is exactly what is happening: those in debt go out of business, and the wise people who have no debt, get to buy the now lower-priced assets. That is how it is supposed to work. Don't bail anyone out; that just perpetuates the high prices.

The Bible warns us not to be rooted in the world anyway. We are supposed to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth, looking for a better country, one whose builder and maker is God. Citizens of heaven. Of that kind of people, God is not ashamed to be called their god. When I was a child, one of my favorite songs was "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through." Now the sentiment of that song is mocked by pastors and friends alike. Why? They do not live by faith. They have provided well for themselves; so they don't need God to provide for them.

"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." If your sense of financial security is based on the world's banks and governments, you are to be pitied for how way off you are. But if you look at the sparrow, and know that God cares about it and feeds it, then you know by faith he will certainly care for and feed you. He provides only enough for one day at a time. That's all he promises, provided you are seeking his kingdom first.

If you want hear some sound advice from someone in politics, start by reading this CNN article.

Thursday July 10, 2008
Michigan man sues two publishing companies for publishing Bibles that use the word "homosexual" in 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Thursday May 29, 2008
I noticed again that the same Hebrew word for "desire / longing" is used in Genesis 3:16, Genesis 4:7, and Song of Solomon 7:10. Especially interesting is the similarity of Genesis 3:16 and 4:7:

Gen. 3:16 - To the woman he said..."And your desire shall be your husband, and he shall rule over you."

Gen. 4:7 - ...sin crouches at the door: and its desire is you, but you must rule over it.

Did you know that you might be the object of sin's longing?

Tuesday May 27, 2008
I uploaded to this website for the first time, my English translation of the First Epistle of John. Have you ever had a problem with 1 John 3:9? The King James Version says, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." If you have ever had a problem with accepting that whoever is born of God cannot sin, then download my translation. It is translated correctly. If I didn't think there was need for improvement, I wouldn't be doing a Bible translation. But, if you think 1 John 3:9 as in the KJV does not need improvement, you would be one of few.


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