Has the Bible ever been edited, changed, or had parts added/removed?

Rant away.
I’m a librarian. We grasp that most books outlive their intended life-span and are no longer useful – check out used book stores and the Good Will. Those, we don’t mind destroying or turning into craft projects to make room for new books.
However, destroying books as a method of destroying ideas or access to ideas is intolerable. Even ideas that I hate.


Qur’an translations are sometimes referred to as interpretations or reflections.

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Yes there is diversity. There are Sunnis, Shia, and even groups of Muslim mystics, such as the whirling Dervishes.

There is much more diversity in Christian groups, however.

My library gets multiple copies of books and movies when there is a lot of demand for them. And then they have a sale for the excess copies. The stuff that doesn’t sell is given away at the end of the sale. The town also has a “book aid plan” that collects donated books in good shape and ships them overseas. But there are always books that are ultimately discarded.

Sometimes an old book become popular again. When a misguided school board in Tennessee banned Art Spiegelman’s Maus, our Connecticut library had to order extra copies to keep up with the demand. And it became a best seller on Amazon.

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  • Nestorian Scripture consisted of documents valued by Nestorians and used for religious education and spiritual edification, kinda like Anglican Scripture. Some stuff in Nestorian Scripture was straight out of the canonical New Testament. But some stuff that was canonical New Testament material was not included in Nestorian Scripture, such as: “Revelation, Jude, Second John, Third John and Second Peter , because the use of those books was not attested in the churches of Persia early enough to have been woven into the canonical tradition.”
  • So, did Nestorian Scripture include anything that was not in the New Testament or Old Testament canon?
    I put on my ‘thinking cap’ and read through the Qur’an, and this is some of what I found:
  • There are stories about Jesus and his mother, Maryam, that aren’t in the Bible. In fact, the Qur’an mentions her quite a few times more than the New Testament does.
  • I ask myself: So where did all that extra-New Testament stuff about Jesus and his mother come from?
    • From the polytheistic Arabs living around Muhammad during his lifetime? Unlikely.
    • From the Jews living around Muhammad during his lifetime? Unlikely.
    • From Allah through arcangel Gabriel? Maybe, maybe not.
    • From Muhammad’s wife’s cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn Abd-al-Uzza ibn Qusayyurashi, who is said to have been a Nestorian and who, together with Muhammad’s wife, were the first two to tell Muhammad that he had received a revelation from Allah.
    • And, probably from a Nestorian monk named Sergius that I’ve been told about [cf. McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia - Nestorians].
      • “Indeed, Mohammed is supposed to owe his imperfect knowledge of Christianity to a Nestorian monk, Sergius; …”
  • So if Muhammad got his info from Waraqah and/or Sergius, where did they get it from? I say: from extra-canonical New Testatment Scripture, which I call “Nestorian Scripture”.

Has the Bible ever been edited, changed, or had parts added/removed?

The Bible’s own books are, themselves, largely the result of editing, adding things in, and leaving things out. And the compilation into “the Bible” is itself an editing, include/exclude process. (And there is also the question “whose Bible?”; different denominations settled on different book choices within what they each call “the Bible”.)

Who chose which books are included and which excluded? A single meeting of some sort of council? An iterative process over centuries?

For editing within a book during its composition, compilation and transmission, an example is Psalms. Who selected the particular poems (addition/exclusion)? What criteria did they use for inclusion/exclusion? Why 150 (in our Bibles; other places in the world have a few more)? Why is the numbering different (starting at the broken 9/10, becoming two adrift near 115, and only reconciling at 148)?

Were the writers of, say, the alphabetic-acrostic Psalms (and similarly Lamentations) simply doing “stream of consciousness” writing and somehow ended up alphabetic-acrostic? Or, rather, were they head-scratching and scribbling and crossing out, trying to make that pattern work out?

Who edited the Hebrew version of what we call the OT into one order (Tanakh; although there is sub-variety even there among these versions) and the Greek version of the OT (Septuagint) into a very different order (the basis of western Christian OTs)? And that’s before we begin on the merits or otherwise of the deuterocanonical books that were included or excluded (and some of those are part of existing books, rather than separate books).

What do we make of Martin Luther trying to downgrade James, Revelation and perhaps other books?

By what process did the final version of the Pentateuch arise? (The principles behind the various forms of the Documentary Hypothesis and its descendants, etc.)

How did Matthew, Mark and Luke reach their final forms? Based on each other? (But which came first?) And drawing on other sources, now lost (Q and all that)? How did that “writing from multiple sources” work, if not “editing”?

So: “Has the Bible ever been edited, changed, or had parts added/removed?”. Without such processes, the Bible we know wouldn’t even exist!


Editing of individual passages is quite rare, although there are a few examples. This is evident in textual criticism of the body of ancient manuscripts.

The addition or deletion of entire books is common.

The 1611 KJV had 80 books, for example, and most KJVs published now have 66.

Different ancient churches have more or fewer books.

I prefer the canon of the Church of the East, which you called Nestorian.

And I think that there are more reasons for excluding the five books they do not consider canonical.

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By the way, thought I’d let you know. I’ve nominated your summary of Nestorius “problems” for “The Understatement of the Year Award.”

Do you realize that calling extra-canonical New Testament writings “Scripture” is a contradiction in terms? If something is extra-canonical it is not Scripture! There is no such thing as Nestorian scripture. Muslims probably got their stories about Jesus and the prophets from both the Bible and extra-canonical Christian literature, e.g. the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

And what on earth do you mean by Anglican Scripture?

btw, The Muslims also valued the Psalms for some time, before deciding they didn’t care for them.

He saw the two natures of Jesus as being separate.

I find it peculiar that Muhammad would need to be told that he received revelation from Allah.
I mean, you would think that was obvious if God suddenly started talking to you, right? Maybe not in this day and age, but the ancient didn’t really understand about mental illness and hallucination, not the illiterate ones at any rate!
And on top of that, to be told this by his Christian brother-in-law? If true, what would this say about Islam and its relation to Christianity? Rhetorical question BTW :slightly_smiling_face:

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It is?
Is the Apocrypha in the Old Testament portion of your Bible Scripture? Because the New American Standard Bible doesn’t include it.

Sure there is. I made it myself. You ought get yourself “a thinking cap.” They’re really helpful.

Probably”??? Probably you don’t know what “stories about Jesus” and Mary are in the Qur’an, do you?

That’s the Scripture that you use which isn’t the same as the Scripture Protestants use. LOL!

Uhhh, … so what does that have to with price of avocados in Mexico?
There has never ever E-V-E-R been a Psalm in the Qur’an. The most there’s ever been is a reference to them.

You really don’t know what’s in the Qur’an, do you? You ought to ask your library to get a copy. Allow me to recommend The Study Qur’an edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. It has a Commentary by a whole Team of genuine Muslims, not “Orientalists”.

Yes, weird indeed.
Here’s the “official” Wikipedia version:

  • Muhammad began to pray alone in a cave named on, near Mecca for several weeks every year. Islamic tradition holds that during one of his visits to that cave, in the year 610 the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded Muhammad to recite verses that would be included in the Quran. Consensus exists that the first Quranic words revealed were the beginning of Quran 96:1. Muhammad was deeply distressed upon receiving his first revelations. After returning home, Muhammad was consoled and reassured by Khadijah and her Christian cousin, Waraka ibn Nawfal. He also feared that others would dismiss his claims as being possessed. Shi’a tradition states Muhammad was not surprised or frightened at Gabriel’s appearance; rather he welcomed the angel, as if he was expected. The initial revelation was followed by a three-year pause (a period known as fatra ) during which Muhammad felt depressed and further gave himself to prayers and spiritual practices. When the revelations resumed he was reassured and commanded to begin preaching: “Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased.”


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Sounds like your resident theologian could offer a lecture on “Nestorianism” in a series about “Heresies”, or you could check it out in Wikipedia.

No, Protestants do not consider these books to be Scripture. But Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do. That’s why they are often referred to as Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books.

What on earth are you saying? Anglicans are Protestants and all have the same canon of Scripture.

We did have classes, and some years ago, before you were even here, I wrote about Nestorius.
btw, the Nestorians were recognized by the Islamic Caliphate in Persia, and were even allowed to send missionaries to China and India!!! There are archaeological remains of a Nestorian church in China.

Yes I do. But the topic was the provenance of the Jesus stories in the Qur’an.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

I never said there were Psalms in the Qur’an

Yes I do.

btw, why are you so rude and insulting to me and others? Got something going on? The moderators apparently think you’re being cute.

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You’re done. :zzz:

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Speak for yourself. But if you don’t want to converse, that’s okay.

When I say “You’re done”, I’m telling you that I am not interested in trying to explain myself to you.

  • You object to darn near anything I say about stuff, and make unfounded claims about significant things and rarely “converse” reasonably about your claims.
    • For instance, you argued with me, long ago, about the shooter in Atlanta who killed the women.
    • You claimed that all Abrahamic faiths “worship the same god”. I carefully explained why I do not believe that is true. Your whole argument was based on the fact that Yahweh is “the God” of Judaism and Christianity, and that “Allah” means “god” in Arabic. Whoopty-do, … just because “Allah” means “god” and Yahweh is God, “Yahweh” and “Allah” are interchangeable, therefore all Abrahamic faiths worship the same god??? That’s nonsense. The Baha’i say the same nonsense.
    • I stated elsewhere that, although I realize there is no consensus on the matter, I personally choose to believe that the Shroud could be authentic, and–whether it is or isn’t authentic–it makes, IMO, a perfect “summary” of the rock-bottom Gospel-with-a-capital-"G"and an ideal banner to hang over every Christian altar in every Christian church. Vinnie the Scientist proceeded to drag out Wikipedia arguments against the authenticity of the Shroud AND offend and insult me by comparing my position to

And what was your cute “rejoinder”?

  • Got news for you, if indeed the Shroud was produced by human hands, it is the finest example of human handiwork that I have ever seen in 14th century art. To deem its production “the second oldest profession”, presumably after prostitution was the epitome of nonsense to me and, by the way, insults my opinion and “shed no light” on the topic.
  • In your response to my mocking one of your “typical” silly questions, you insulted me with this response:
    • My point? Pots ought to think twice about calling a kettle “black”. You’re no stranger to offense and insult and disrespect, and yet you’re ever ready and quick to point out what you decide is “offensive, insulting, and disrespectful”. I know because I’ve seen you offend, insult, and disrespect others as well as me.
  • Your latest contentious “conversation” with me, over the difference between a “true, devout Muslim’s” belief about the source of the Qur’an and any uninspired belief regarding its sacred authority is just one more example of your willingness to contend for the sake of contending.
    • You, like others in this forum, seem to have an aversion to retracing steps taken in the often long and winding path of dispute. The apparent aversion continues to be a mystery to me. With no expectation of putting an end to our contentious conversation, I now retrace its history in this thread.
  • In my post #16, I made a number of claims which I believed were for Rave, Rohan, and Trippy_Elixir’s benefit. One in particular evoked your question, in post 23, to wit:
  • The simple answer is that, to “true, devout Muslims”, the Qur’an is Allah’s revelation through Muhammad in Arabic and should be shared with everybody which is really hard to do when the people Allah wants his revelation shared with don’t speak or read Arabic.
  • Instead, I tediously pointed out, in post #30. several things that I am convinced are important things to keep in mind, and ended with a terse opinion, to wit:
  • Your response?
  • So, how far backwards or frontwards did you have to lean in order to turn my comment into a suggestion that mishandling a translated Qur’an was okay? And what does your little story about Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible have to do with translations of the Qur’an?
  • And when I question your response, in post #42, you question my questioning, as if your responses are always clear and unquestionable, but others’ responses are frequently unclear and questionable. If disagreeableness isn’t genetic, yours sure seems to raise the possibility.
  • And what’s with all the extra-stuff that you typically include in a message to me? FYI: I don’t wait with bated breath for a post from you addressed specifically to me.
  • Next, miffed by my response to you, you decide to seize on my term “Nestorian Scripture” in order to continue contending with me.
  • Obviously, at least to me, if all you think is important about Nestorius was his preference for the title of “Christ-bearer” versus Mary’s title of “God-bearer”, my term “Nestorian Scripture” will seem unintelligible. But if you find my words unintelligible so often, why do you think it’s important to let me know that what I say is intelligible? You could just ignore me, rather than go out of your way to be disagreeable.
  • So when I carefully and tedious explain the rationale for my term “Nestorian Scripture”, you come unglued,
    • accusing me of a “contradiction in terms”;
    • refuting my “Nestorian source” conjecture with what? With your “probably Biblical and extra-canonical Christian source” hypothesis? Are you serious? Of course you’re serious. You are confident that your hypothesis is brilliant and my conjecture is false. Whereas the truth is that your hypothesis flounders and my conjecture is viable and floats. The problem is that your myopia prevents you from being open to an otherwise inconceivable impossibility.
    • you seize on my term “Anglican Scripture”; and
    • top off your diatribe against me with this nonsense:
  • What does “valued the Psalms for some time” even mean?
    * IMO, it either means one or more Psalms are in the Qur’an, and/or
    * there’s written documentation of their current importance to Muslims, and that you can tell me where to find that documentation. But you can’t. If I thought it would change your mind, I’d quote the Qur’an for you. and “converse” with you more. But history has shown that that would be a futile exercise and a waste of time.
  • Bottom line: You’re done. :zzz:
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I found your rant bizarre. But you know, this is a discussion forum. Maybe you can have me removed—just explain that you don’t like my answers.

Just what would you consider an acceptable answer? You fly off the handle at everything I have to say.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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