2.1.13 How do they explain all of these centuries of tampering?: Due to the vast number of changes, omissions, additions and corrections of the Church that Christianity is beginning to discover, most of those who attempt to defend the actions of the Church are switching to a new tactic. That of trivialization of all changes. For example:

“...the rare parts about which there is still uncertainty do not affect in any way any doctrine” Bible Translations, R.L. Sumner

RESPONSE: I totally agree with R.L.Sumner.

In the book “The Story of the Manuscripts” by Rev. George E. Merrill, the good Reverend quotes Prof. Arnold as stating:

“there are not more than fifteen hundred to two thousand places in which there is any uncertainty whatever as to the true text..”

Notice how the good Professor manages to first start by alleging that the number of “variant readings” are only a fraction of their true number (according to him only 1500-2000),

RESPONSE: On the contrary, notice how Al-Kadhi has misunderstood what Prof. Arnold is saying. Prof. Arnold has NOT referred to variant readings at all. He has referred to places where there is "any uncertainty". And there are numerous variant readings where there is no uncertainty. For of the many thousands of variants, the majority can be resolved with absolute certainty. For instance, if the variant is only in a single manuscript, it is clear that there is no uncertainty: that manuscript is wrong and all the others are correct.

this number being in the respected Professor’s estimation quite minuscule. He then goes on to explain how all of them are undeserving of his attention with only about a dozen being of any doctrinal importance. In this manner, in one paragraph many thousands of additions, omissions, and “corrections” of the church over the ages are suddenly transformed to only a dozen and then quickly reduced to none.

RESPONSE: But the Professor is correct! When the question is over the odd word here or there, or when the question is over whether Matthew records an incident which Luke records anyway, it is clear that doctrine is NOT affected!

Notice how casually and quickly centuries of tampering with the text of the “inspired word of God” is brushed off and justified?. For such men the answer is very simple. All of the changes to the text are all “trivial” and “inconsequential.” For them only a few thousand, or a few tens of thousands of errors in the “inspired word of God” is a very acceptable. For them it is just a matter of the “spirit” of the book. For them, some of the words of God are not really that important and can be disregarded. Let us see what Jesus (pbuh) has to say about such people :

“But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

We also read in the Old Testament: “that he (God) might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:3

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2

Look at it this way. If I were to tell you: “I would like to cut a few small pieces from your body. No more than, say, thirty or forty pieces.” Would you then reply: “Fine. So long as you do not cut off any ‘important’ or ‘big’ pieces.”? Should we not deal with the scriptures of God the same way?

RESPONSE: Actually, my body IS imperfect. In the case of this particular writer: the small finger on my right hand is permanently broken, and one of my front teeth is chipped and can never be repaired. But does that stop my body functioning? No! Because my body has "redundancy" built in. If one finger is broken, the other can still operate (and believe me, I am a VERY good basketball shot, even with one disabled finger on my shooting hand). If one tooth is chipped, the others can still do the biting.

So it is with the Bible. If the ending is Mark is missing, we still have the resurrection of Jesus described by Matthew, Luke, John, in the book of Acts and in the letters of Paul. Salvation through Jesus is described many times in the Bible, so that the odd error does not affect this.

We live in an imperfect world. All people make mistakes. The church has made mistakes. And the copiers of Scripture have made mistakes. But God has communicated the way of salvation so well, that it cannot be lost even in an imperfect copy or imprecise translation of the Bible. Perhaps your idea of God is that he cannot communicate with us without his message being letter-perfect. But I believe God is greater and more powerful than that. His plans are not hampered by the sins and mistakes of human beings.