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  1. #1
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    Restoring the Original Bible - by Ernest L. Martin


    The world has never had a complete Bible of the Old and New Testaments in the original manuscript order of the biblical books. This is a fact! It is almost unbelievable that such a non-manuscript arrangement of the books of the Bible could exist, but all modern translations of the Holy Scriptures do not follow the early manuscripts. -- Ernest L. Martin
    Thus begins the first chapter of Restoring the Original Bible in which Ernest L. Martin advocated a new and novel arrangement of the Christian Bible that has never actually existed as such at any time in the history of Christianity. Apparently oblivious to the inherent irony of claiming to "restore" that which has never existed, Martin refuted himself in his first sentence. Contrary to the title of his book, he advocated the creation of a novel hybrid Bible in which the New Testament would be patterned on his so-called "original manuscript order" and the Old Testament would be patterned on the modern Jewish Tanakh that was fixed in its present form by medieval Rabbis. He began the justification of his thesis in the second paragraph of his first chapter by appealing to an apparent concensus amongst a few 19th century biblical scholars (all quotes are from the free online version of his book published on the www.askelm.com site):

    Let us look at the situation with the New Testament first. The last century saw the advent of what we call the modern scholarly criticism of the biblical texts and manuscripts. These pioneer scholars were very good at their task. Indeed, when they printed their final results of surveying the early New Testament manuscripts, they all without exception placed their arrangement of the books in the same order. [Martin's emphasis]
    Martin's statement is factually correct in that the four Greek New Testaments published in the 19th century by Lachmann (1862), Tischendorf (1872), Tregelles (1872), and Westcott and Hort (1881) "all without exception placed their arrangement of the books in the same order." But his statement is egregiously misleading because it suggests a consensus that has never existed, then or now. If critical scholars know anything, they know that there is a vast array of various orders represented in the Greek manuscripts. The mere existence, let alone exact sequence, of an "original order" has never been proven, and if there is any scholastic consensus it would have to be that no single sequence should be called "original" because the various patterns probably developed somewhat independently over time through communal use in local congregations. Here is how Daryl Schmidt explained the facts in his exhaustive analysis of all the sequences found in the Greek manuscripts that contain the complete New Testament called "The Greek New Testament as a Codex" published in "The Canon Debate" (edited by McDonald and Sanders, 2002, p.473):

    The variety of actual arrangements is quite surprising, and rarely mentioned by current textual critics. After noting that the sequence varies within each group, the Alands state: "The only characteristic common to the whole manuscript tradition ... is that the Gospels stand at the beginning and Revelation at the end," with "all variations of sequence to occur" in the middle sections. As we will see, even these characteristics vary.
    Given the overwhelming evidence that the actual historical documents exhibit nothing like the uniform sequence that Martin suggested in his second paragraph, we could wonder if he was simply ignorant of the evidence, or if perhaps his zeal had caused him to accidentally overstate his case in that one instance. Unfortunately, neither provides a viable solution to the enigma of his error. We know he did not "accidentally" overstate his case because the thesis of his entire book is that the order he advocates is the one and only "proper manuscript order." Indeed, he uses the phrase "proper manuscript order" or its equivalent ten times in chapter one to refer to his prefered sequence. A typical example is found in the eleventh paragraph of chapter one [my emphasis]: ....

    Read the full review here.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  2. #2

    "Martin's" So-called Hybrid Order?

    First, I am very glad you have posted a review of Dr. Martin's book. It is a book that should be carefully studied by any student of the Scriptures.

    As I knew Dr. Martin personally since 1959 or 1960, I believe I can correct a statement or two in the review if that is appropriate.

    I'll just mention one at a time since too many distracts from any point trying to be made.

    In the first criticism of his book is the statement indicating that Dr. Martin's first statement is incorrect. That is, that there has never been a COMPLETE Bible in the "correct" order before. And, whether one agrees with his listing of books or not, he is correct. For, in reading your statement I perceive that you did not realize what he was actually stating. Let me see if I can explain this.

    1. He knew and always taught that the Scriptures as presented by JPS, etc. were in the "correct" order. Although you seem to feel that is a modern innovation of the Jews. Be that as it may Dr. Martin understood this.

    But, that was the "OT" in one book SEPARATE from the "NT". In other words a complete Bible would be like the KJV, i.e. having both OT and NT combined in one volume.

    2. He knew that there were older manuscripts that presented other orders of the books, and also the NT order with James, etc. after Paul and before Revelation. But, again, these were NEVER connected in one book with the OT.

    3. Dr. Martin also knew that Ivan Panin's NT, to his and my knowledge up to this point, was the ONLY modern NT with the books listed in the ancient manuscript order.

    But, that was a separate NT book totally apart from an OT book.

    In other words, what Dr. Martin actually meant, which to me was not recognized in your review, was that, there has never, until today as of 2008, been ONE book including both the OT and NT in what Dr. Martin taught was the "manuscript" order. And, I believe he is correct on many levels. But, can discuss that in other posts.

    So, with that in mind, I believe Dr. Martin was right in stating: "The World has NEVER [till now] had a COMPLETE Bible of the Old AND New Testaments in the original manuscript order of the biblical books. This is a fact!" p. 7 And, it is a fact. There have been separate volumes in these orders but never a COMPLETE BIBLE...

    To finish, I would like to quote from page iii of his book to show that Dr. Martin understood the fact that at times one must make an educated guess on the facts as presented. "All scholars love to guess. I also love to guess, especially when I feel my guessing is approaching the truth. Indeed, all scholars who are in the field of discovering what represents the inspired and original canon of the Old and New Testaments often show a profound reliance on the principle of guessing. There is nothing wrong with guessing if one has no solid evidence to support one's position of belief. And, in regard to the canonization of the Old and New Testaments most scholars feel compelled to resort wholesale to the realm of guessing."

    In fact, I surmise a bit of guessing in the review of his book.

    So, for my part as someone who knew Dr. Martin for decades, and have myself looked into this question since I first met Dr. M., I believe his book is much closer to the truth than is presently realized. And, that many of the criticisms against it can be answered.

    Student1

    Student1

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    First, I am very glad you have posted a review of Dr. Martin's book. It is a book that should be carefully studied by any student of the Scriptures.

    As I knew Dr. Martin personally since 1959 or 1960, I believe I can correct a statement or two in the review if that is appropriate.
    Welcome to our forum, student1!



    I very much look forward to discussing Dr. Martin's book with you. I am busy this evening, but hope to find time soon.

    Many blessings,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  4. #4

    Also looking forward...

    Richard,
    Thanks for your quick first reply.
    I also look forward to discussing this most important book.

    I'd like to continue on, in the meantime, with another critique of your review.

    Let's start first with your first sentence, which is:

    "Thus begins the first chapter of Restoring the Original Bible in which Ernest L. Martin advocated a new and novel arrangement of the Christian Bible that has never actually existed as such at any time in the history of Christianity."

    This comment is only partially correct. First, let me be a little "picky". Why do you use "a new and novel arrangement of the Christian Bible"? I think the choice of words clearly begin to prejudice the reader's mind. What if on the other hand I wrote, "thus begins the new and novel arrangement of the Bible Wheel that has never actually existed as such at any time in the history of Christianity." Would that not be a true statement? I know of no such work exactly like that before. Does that make it "valueless"? I think not!! I think what it means is, in my way of looking at things, is this: Richard is on to something important, and I think he may need to tweak it here and there perhaps. But, that does not mean I think it is worthless because it is new, to us.

    What Dr. Martin wrote, in spite of what you said in your first sentence, is that such orders of the text DID exist at some time in the history of Christianity. Panin is the first modern source that did so. Would you say Panin concocted from nothing a "new and novel arrangement"? I think not since he used what the texts he found had, i.e. the same order presented by Dr. Martin. And, he came way before Dr. Martin even knew anything about this topic.

    What about the OT? Dr. Martin says what Eusebius said AND Jerome. Jerome himself said there were 22 books of the Hebrews, and this was before, way before, way before your statement that it was done by "medieval Rabbis". How did Jerome know that if it was only done by "medieval Rabbis"? If I'm not mistaken, Jerome's time was before that. Centuries.

    Now, let's go on to the next "picky" point. Why do you use programming words like "he advocated the creation of a novel hybrid Bible"? That is not at all what Dr. Martin advocated. He advocated the complete Bible, with all the books we already know, only in their combined and accepted order of the Jews and early Believers for the NT.

    And, the use of "his so-called 'original manuscript order'"? In fact, Dr. Martin does present a factual order that was understood in the past for both the OT and NT. And, bases his final conclusions on internal evidence within the Scriptures to complete the external research.

    By the way, as of a couple months ago, there is now a complete new Bible that has been printed and is available with the OT and NT in the "manuscript" order with commentary to also explain why the order, in addition to Dr. Martin's original information. It is a beauty, covered in Lambskin, and formatted for ease of use.

    I believe, in time, that with use it will become more and more obvious why this "manuscript" order is of great value to all Bible students. Just as we have Bibles in historical chronological order, combined gospels to be read as one book, etc. etc. so all will find this version extremely valuable from the subtle insights that come from using the manuscript order.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by student1; 09-14-2008 at 10:53 PM. Reason: double words

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    Richard,
    Thanks for your quick first reply.
    I also look forward to discussing this most important book.

    I'd like to continue on, in the meantime, with another critique of your review.

    Let's start first with your first sentence, which is:

    "Thus begins the first chapter of Restoring the Original Bible in which Ernest L. Martin advocated a new and novel arrangement of the Christian Bible that has never actually existed as such at any time in the history of Christianity."

    This comment is only partially correct. First, let me be a little "picky". Why do you use "a new and novel arrangement of the Christian Bible"? I think the choice of words clearly begin to prejudice the reader's mind. What if on the other hand I wrote, "thus begins the new and novel arrangement of the Bible Wheel that has never actually existed as such at any time in the history of Christianity." Would that not be a true statement? I know of no such work exactly like that before. Does that make it "valueless"? I think not!! I think what it means is, in my way of looking at things, is this: Richard is on to something important, and I think he may need to tweak it here and there perhaps. But, that does not mean I think it is worthless because it is new, to us.
    I appreciate your point, but there is one fundamental difference that you have missed. The Bible Wheel is not a "new" arrangement of the ORDER of the books of the Bible. It is "new" on in the sense of a "point of view" of a pre-existing structure. I did nothing but "roll up" the list of 66 books like a scroll on a spindle wheel of 22 Spokes corresponding to the 22 Hebrew letters, which themselves are eternally established in the very text of Holy Scripture, most notably in Psalm 119, the great Psalm of the WORD. Martin's work is altogether different. He began by making outrageously false statements about the history of the Bible and accused Jerome of inventing a new arrangment for the purpose of exalting Rome! Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows that the order Jerome followed existed before he was born. I documented this in my review of his book. Did you read it?

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    What Dr. Martin wrote, in spite of what you said in your first sentence, is that such orders of the text DID exist at some time in the history of Christianity. Panin is the first modern source that did so. Would you say Panin concocted from nothing a "new and novel arrangement"? I think not since he used what the texts he found had, i.e. the same order presented by Dr. Martin. And, he came way before Dr. Martin even knew anything about this topic.
    The existence of a variety manuscript orders is common knowledge amongst students of the canon. Martin's claim for one particular order being "correct" has no basis in fact. I documented this at length in my refutation of his book. If you want to support Martin's work, you will have to answer those points that I made.

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    What about the OT? Dr. Martin says what Eusebius said AND Jerome. Jerome himself said there were 22 books of the Hebrews, and this was before, way before, way before your statement that it was done by "medieval Rabbis". How did Jerome know that if it was only done by "medieval Rabbis"? If I'm not mistaken, Jerome's time was before that. Centuries.
    It seems pretty evident now that you did not read my refutation with any attention to detail. The fact that the ancient Jews organized their canon into 22 books is common knowledge to all students of the Canon. I have written two lengthy articles on that topic and put links to both of them in that article. Here they are again:
    When I refered to the Medieval Rabbis I was speak of the time that the order of the Tanach became standardized in its modern form. There have always been variations in the order of the books, and the Rabbis argued amongst themselves about the proper order.

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    Now, let's go on to the next "picky" point. Why do you use programming words like "he advocated the creation of a novel hybrid Bible"? That is not at all what Dr. Martin advocated. He advocated the complete Bible, with all the books we already know, only in their combined and accepted order of the Jews and early Believers for the NT.
    I don't know what you mean by "programming words." The word "hybrid" was originally an agricultural term first used in 1601 (according to Websters). I was using it in its third sense which is "something heterogeneous in origin or composition." And that is EXACTLY what Martin created when he melded a Jewish pattern of the OT with one variation on an ancient Christian pattern. My point stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    And, the use of "his so-called 'original manuscript order'"? In fact, Dr. Martin does present a factual order that was understood in the past for both the OT and NT. And, bases his final conclusions on internal evidence within the Scriptures to complete the external research.
    Yes, Martin used one of the available patterns of the Hebrew scriptures and one of the available patterns of the Greek Scriptures to form his "Restored Bible." But he erred in the extreme when he refered to the one particular order he chose as the "original order." I proved this point in the article in the section where I showed his incredible errors relating to the Old Testament.

    I hope you will continue this conversation after taking time to actually read the refutation that I wrote.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #6
    "I appreciate your point, but there is one fundamental difference that you have missed. The Bible Wheel is not a "new" arrangement of the ORDER of the books of the Bible. It is "new" on in the sense of a "point of view" of a pre-existing structure."

    No, you are right. The Wheel is not a "new" arangement of the ORDER of the books of the Bible, since it is the old and not accurate order of Jerome and others.

    To start, Jerome admitted himself that there were 22 books of the OT. You do not admit that. Then, you say:

    Martin's work is altogether different. He began by making outrageously false statements about the history of the Bible and accused Jerome of inventing a new arrangment for the purpose of exalting Rome! Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows that the order Jerome followed existed before he was born. I documented this in my review of his book. Did you read it?.

    Outrageously false? I think not. Those are your words and they are not accurate. Jerome by admitting for the OT 22 books and then presenting more books than that is what you seem not willing to admit.

    Thanks, but your premise is not accurate,

  7. #7
    I don't know what you mean by "programming words." The word "hybrid" was originally an agricultural term first used in 1601 (according to Websters). I was using it in its third sense which is "something heterogeneous in origin or composition." And that is EXACTLY what Martin created when he melded a Jewish pattern of the OT with one variation on an ancient Christian pattern. My point stands.

    I mean simply that those kinds of words are NEGATIVE programming to set up the reader's mind to believe that YOU the writer is right and that the person you are talking about is wrong. In other words, you are preprogramming the reader to believe that what you say is correct and that your "opponent" is not. They are negative words, and are the type suggested in a book, among several, titled, "How to win every argument".

    Instead of saying simply that you disagree with the author, you are setting up the author for a fall by saying he uses "hybrids", and other negative words.

  8. #8
    I appreciate your point, but there is one fundamental difference that you have missed. The Bible Wheel is not a "new" arrangement of the ORDER of the books of the Bible. It is "new" on in the sense of a "point of view" of a pre-existing structure. I did nothing but "roll up" the list of 66 books like a scroll on a spindle wheel of 22 Spokes corresponding to the 22 Hebrew letters, which themselves are eternally established in the very text of Holy Scripture, most notably in Psalm 119, the great Psalm of the WORD. Martin's work is altogether different. He began by making outrageously false statements about the history of the Bible and accused Jerome of inventing a new arrangment for the purpose of exalting Rome! Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows that the order Jerome followed existed before he was born. I documented this in my review of his book. Did you read it?

    Yes, I totally read it. But, Jerome was the OFFICIAL and FINAL authority for this order and he himself admitted that he did NOT, i.e. NOT follow the arrangement that he admitted the Jews followed!! Now, why would that be, IF he knew better? He changed the order for some reason, and it was not from historical precedent, but from another reason. That is obvious from his own writings on the subject, and the quotes of Eusebius on it.

    If they knew better, then we also can follow their example and know better also. Don't you think?

  9. #9
    The existence of a variety manuscript orders is common knowledge amongst students of the canon. Martin's claim for one particular order being "correct" has no basis in fact. I documented this at length in my refutation of his book. If you want to support Martin's work, you will have to answer those points that I made.

    That's EXACTLY what I plan to do as time permits.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    First, I am very glad you have posted a review of Dr. Martin's book. It is a book that should be carefully studied by any student of the Scriptures.

    As I knew Dr. Martin personally since 1959 or 1960, I believe I can correct a statement or two in the review if that is appropriate.

    I'll just mention one at a time since too many distracts from any point trying to be made.
    Hello Student1,

    As I said, I am very glad you have taken time to discuss my review of Dr. Martin's book. Your personal knowledge of him should be very valuable to all concerned. I also very much appreciate your method of taking one thing at a time. That is very helpful in online discussions.

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    In the first criticism of his book is the statement indicating that Dr. Martin's first statement is incorrect. That is, that there has never been a COMPLETE Bible in the "correct" order before. And, whether one agrees with his listing of books or not, he is correct. For, in reading your statement I perceive that you did not realize what he was actually stating. Let me see if I can explain this.

    1. He knew and always taught that the Scriptures as presented by JPS, etc. were in the "correct" order. Although you seem to feel that is a modern innovation of the Jews. Be that as it may Dr. Martin understood this.

    But, that was the "OT" in one book SEPARATE from the "NT". In other words a complete Bible would be like the KJV, i.e. having both OT and NT combined in one volume.

    2. He knew that there were older manuscripts that presented other orders of the books, and also the NT order with James, etc. after Paul and before Revelation. But, again, these were NEVER connected in one book with the OT.

    3. Dr. Martin also knew that Ivan Panin's NT, to his and my knowledge up to this point, was the ONLY modern NT with the books listed in the ancient manuscript order.

    But, that was a separate NT book totally apart from an OT book.

    In other words, what Dr. Martin actually meant, which to me was not recognized in your review, was that, there has never, until today as of 2008, been ONE book including both the OT and NT in what Dr. Martin taught was the "manuscript" order. And, I believe he is correct on many levels. But, can discuss that in other posts.

    So, with that in mind, I believe Dr. Martin was right in stating: "The World has NEVER [till now] had a COMPLETE Bible of the Old AND New Testaments in the original manuscript order of the biblical books. This is a fact!" p. 7 And, it is a fact. There have been separate volumes in these orders but never a COMPLETE BIBLE...
    I don't have any issues with the points you made. I agree completely that ""The World has NEVER [till now] had a COMPLETE Bible of the Old AND New Testaments in the original manuscript order of the biblical books." You seemed to have missed the point of my opening statement, so let me repeat it:
    Thus begins the first chapter of Restoring the Original Bible in which Ernest L. Martin advocated a new and novel arrangement of the Christian Bible that has never actually existed as such at any time in the history of Christianity. Apparently oblivious to the inherent irony of claiming to "restore" that which has never existed, Martin refuted himself in his first sentence. Contrary to the title of his book, he advocated the creation of a novel hybrid Bible in which the New Testament would be patterned on his so-called "original manuscript order" and the Old Testament would be patterned on the modern Jewish Tanakh that was fixed in its present form by medieval Rabbis.
    My point was that Martin's use of the word "RESTORE" was self-refuting because you can not "restore" something that never existed in the first place. The truth is that he invented a new and novel arrangement of books of the Christian Bible. It is true that he selected the patterns from pre-existing collections, but it is not true that any of those pieces were known with certainty as the "correct" order. Thus, it seems my point stands.

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    To finish, I would like to quote from page iii of his book to show that Dr. Martin understood the fact that at times one must make an educated guess on the facts as presented. "All scholars love to guess. I also love to guess, especially when I feel my guessing is approaching the truth. Indeed, all scholars who are in the field of discovering what represents the inspired and original canon of the Old and New Testaments often show a profound reliance on the principle of guessing. There is nothing wrong with guessing if one has no solid evidence to support one's position of belief. And, in regard to the canonization of the Old and New Testaments most scholars feel compelled to resort wholesale to the realm of guessing."

    In fact, I surmise a bit of guessing in the review of his book.
    I do hope you will be very very specific about what you have surmised.

    Quote Originally Posted by student1 View Post
    So, for my part as someone who knew Dr. Martin for decades, and have myself looked into this question since I first met Dr. M., I believe his book is much closer to the truth than is presently realized. And, that many of the criticisms against it can be answered.

    Student1

    Student1
    I look forward to discussing this with you further. I will now answer your second post.

    Many blessings,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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