FAQ: Did Constantine invent or change the Gospel/Bible?

Over the years I have been asked rather frequently about Constantine. There is lots of misinformation and rumour that circulates about him.  Popular books/movies such as the Da Vinci Code or Holy Blood, Holy Grail portray him as the Roman Emperor who basically invented the Gospel for his own political ends.  Is that true?  Let us start with some easy-to-verify facts about him.

Constantine the Great: Facts on-hand

Constantine was Roman Emperor from 306-337 AD.  Prior to his rule many of the Roman Emperors were openly hostile to the Gospel, killing and persecuting many of the followers of the gospel.  The Emperor Nero started this trend in 64 AD, when he took first century followers of the gospel, bound and dipped them in oil, and burned them alive as human torches for lighting in his palace gardens!  Successive Emperors Domitian, Marcus Aurelius (of Gladiator movie fame), Diocletian and others continued this kind of treatment.  But Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, granting religious tolerance to all views.  Constantine became sole emperor of Rome by being victorious in a series of military campaigns against other rivals.  During these campaigns he converted to Christianity (from paganism).  There is much debate today whether his ‘conversion’ was sincere, or whether he did so for political gain.

The Council of Nicaea

In 325 AD Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, the first empire-wide meeting of church leaders to discuss various controversies.   People often wonder if the gospels were changed or corrupted, or even selected (in some back-room conspiracy) for inclusion in the Bible at this time.  In fact, the main point of discussion was the theological understanding of the relationship between Jesus and God.  One camp (led by Arius) held that they were of different essences, and the other camp (led by Athanasius) held that they were of the same essences.   Therefore we know that theological understandings were staked out and the summary Nicene Creed was authored from this council convened by Constantine.

Corruption or Conspiracy?

But were the gospels changed and/or selected at this council?  As we saw in Session 3 and the post on the manuscript timelines for the Bible, there are many manuscripts on-hand today that come from up to two hundred years before the time of Constantine (and the Council of Nicaea).  If this council (or Constantine) changed the documents of the New Testament then we would see this change in the copies that pre-date the Council of Nicaea from those that come after.  But the copies show no such change.  We see this in the timeline in the figure below taken from that post where the manuscripts for Bibles today predate Constantine and the Council of Nicaea by up to two hundred years.

Where we get the modern Bible versions from.
But were the ‘wrong’ gospels selected into the Bible at this point?  We also know that this was not the case because both sides of the debate (Arius and Athanasius) used the same gospels and epistles (the ones that are in the Bible now) to argue their case.  Arius and Athanasius did not disagree on what the scriptural documents stated, nor did they disagree on which documents should be ‘in’ the Bible.  They disagreed, with heated debate, on the interpretation of these same scriptures.  We know this because an account of the debates and intrigues of the Council of Nicaea and Constantine’s role in it is preserved for us in the reporting of Eusebius who was one of the delegates to this council.  The writings of Athanasius are also preserved.

Constantine vs. the Good News

Constantine did have a huge impact on the development of Christianity.  Christian celebrations like Christmas on December 25, how the date for the Easter celebration is calculated, and a reversal of the gospel from being counter-cultural and viewed with mistrust by the government, to becoming the cultural standard of Europe, in alliance with government, started with Constantine.  But the Gospel is not about culture or government power.  It is about a good news message from God freely received in the hearts and minds of people – and then changing their hearts.  And just like barnacles collecting on the hull of a ship can distort the hydrodynamics of a streamlined keel – and must be removed for the ship to regain its ability to move gracefully in the water – so a lot of Christianity that has developed since Constantine might need to be scraped away so we can access the pure gospel.  But it can be done.  And the ‘scraper’ with which we can find the pure Good News is the Bible.  Since the books in the Bible were not invented, modified or corrupted by Constantine we can use them to get a view of Jesus and his Gospel that has been around since his disciples went forth proclaiming his message.
But what about the theology and creeds that came from the Council of Nicaea?  Are they corrupt?  The really good news is that since the scriptures upon which these interpretations were debated are open and available to us today, we ourselves can consider the scriptures, understand its message, and assess those very same interpretations and creeds.  Whatever we conclude about creeds and theology we can then ‘own it’ since we will have examined it for ourselves.
We may decide for a multitude of reasons not to believe or accept the Gospel.  Or we may decide to embrace it.  But let us avoid the really foolish notion of bringing Constantine into the mix.  He would be a poor excuse whichever way we land.

33 thoughts on “FAQ: Did Constantine invent or change the Gospel/Bible?

  1. I believe that Constantine did changed the bible. Maybe by selecting certain verses or deleting them. Powerful people like to flex their muscles. We see this in the United States. The bible was compiled 300 hundred years after Jesus death. I don’t trust man, but the bible do have some good words to live by. The bible do favors certain races over other races.

    • Hi Maximus. We all can have opinions about what happened 1700 years ago, but it is best to base it on what we know, not what we guess. Your analogy to powerful people in United States fits the point I am making. There are powerful people in the US (and elsewhere) and some of them use religion to justify their agenda. But none of these people in the US are changing the Bible. What they do is invoke certain passages, or ignore others, or take things out of context. And one can argue whether Constantine did the same 1700 years ago but a corrupt application or interpretation of the Bible is totally different than corrupting the text itself.

  2. There’s a lot of assumptions, half-truths and misinformation among these comments. Some bits of truth as well. (Including in the original article.) Be sure to research for yourself, from many multiple sources and always be wary of the partial pictures given by folks who have already determined that they believe 100% in one particular world/spiritual view, usually adopted from a very modern, skewed, NON-traditional interpretation of scriptures pulled out of context.

    Constantine was completely in charge for a time (though he had plenty of help before during and long after death) of the creation of “The Bible” and his manipulation of the church was for purely political, monetary and military reasons.

    Even so, details pulled out of context to prove points are less important than simply having a more accurate “big picture” in mind when determining how one is going to follow or not follow modern interpretations of the scriptures by these entities that pretend to embody the same humbleness that the original religious traditions and “churches” did.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/brian-darkfall/militant-evangelism-a-completely-modern-whacked-development/629010073811530

    • Hi Tylor
      Thanks for your comment. I would extend your argument to say that there are many ways, including using religion, to rule people. The communists are a case in point. And I am not advocating any religious rule. But there is an urban myth out there that Constantine tampered with the Gospel. He used religion, set up religious holidays (like Christmas) but did not change the Gospel.

    • I agree with Tylor that religion is often a means to rule people. When one can be the head of both religion and state, they tend to maximize their control, as in the case of Constantine. Of course prior to Constantine, the Roman ruler was also a god. The Egyptian pharaoh was considered a god. In communism, eliminating religion is a strategy to leave all the power with the state. What many religions/churches have in common with governments is that power is concentrated with those in control. They determine which individuals are candidates to be brought into the government / clergy / priesthood. Plus, both church and government demand payments (tithes, offerings, taxes). So follow the money and look at who has power. Power can beget money, and money can beget power. In the extreme, it is the 1% ruling the 99%. In my view of what true Christianity should be, the people should choose their bishop or deacon from among their elders (who in turn should serve, not command); and Christians should most often use their resources to directly help those in physical or spiritual need, not simply send it off for some authoritarian structure to determine its use.

  3. I am not a Bible scholar like the most of the people who replied to your post seem to be but I know God and Emperor’s who put people to death, conquer lands and abolish other’s beliefs in favor of their own do not mix. People from those times killed alot of people in the name of God which is pure insanity. Christians especially felt/feel the need to express how great their God is and how damned others are for not following Jesus. Isn’t it true that the Christian cross became the main symbol of Christianity during Constantine’s reign? It sure looks like a sword that’s pointing down to me. I personally have trouble believing that the Bible is pure due to the behavior of man. Even more so due to the behavior of men like Constantine. The two don’t mix. God is love, how much love did Constantine show during his reign? All this feels like a way to control and typcially Emperor’s like to establish control right? Truthfully it feels like Jesus was/is being pimped for some sort of gain. I do not wish to be right about that but that’s how I feel at the moment. If I am wrong about that and Jesus isn’t being pimped, I hope I can be forgiven and I will be able to correct my errors in this life.

    Thanks for the post and platform
    Peace

    • Hi Will
      Good thoughts. You are certainly correct that Constantine was a man of war. He won the Roman throne by beating out his rivals in a war. I am certainly not white-washing him. The point I make is that in all the many things he did (some good and some bad) he did not change the text of the Bible. We know this since the text pre-dates him by a couple of hundred years. Thanks for taking the time to log in your thoughts
      Ragnar

      • His translation of the Bible is GARBAGE! He also attached pagan holidays to our Bible some how. His version even removes God’s TRUE name over 7,000 times. It even says they did in the book itself. How can he remove the divine name from the Bible, and yet you say he didn’t change the text??? Because of him, people to this day believe that Jesus and Jehovah are the same person, even though they CLEARLY are not…

        • Hi Clint. I feel your anger and disgust. But think abit about what you know about Christmas and Easter. Are either of these celebrations mentioned by name or date in the Bible? No! (there is the Jewish Passover that falls on Easter but that predates Easter by hundreds of years and is not Easter). So this simple fact means that Constantine could not have ‘attached pagan holidays to our Bible some how’ as you charge. He attached holidays to Christianity yes (shown by the simple fact that we have Christmas and Easter) but he did not attach them to the gospel. Do you see the difference?
          And what translation of the Bible did Constantine produce? You do not name it because he never produced one. The earliest translation of the Bible was the Septuagint (done about 500 years before Constantine) and that was Hebrew -> Greek of Old Testament. The next major translation was the Latin Vulgate done by Jerome around 400 AD (70 years after Constantine) and that was into Latin. All other translations that we use today were done around 1000 years or so later. So Constantine had nothing to do with translation. It is an indisputable fact.
          Perhaps there are translations that are poor (there are). In that case ignore them and use a good one. But Constantine had nothing to do with it. And perhaps there are things added to Christianity by Constantine (there are). But that in no way invalidates the gospel or the Bible (because they are not the same thing as Christianity)

          • Dude….
            the earliest complete new testament was Codex Sinaiticus 4th Centuary ad
            well after 313 edict of milan.

            Before this is only parts. bits and pieces.
            I have been a fervent believer in the word of God all my life, but I’m starting to see that maybe i was wrong in the reliability of it..

            We have no evidence that we have the FULL version or even a non disfigured version anymore.

            Not that i don’t believe in christ because that is indisputable due to the evidence.
            But what he said and did are the things in question here.

            you just have to look at the difference between the KJV and the NIV to see.
            64000 words MISSING out of the NIV.
            and that is due to another scroll.

            The “religious” authorities want control.
            If we knew the truth about the word.
            without the contradictions we wouldn’t need them.
            We wouldn’t be fear driven and we wouldn’t need them to filter what they say through what THEY believe, or want us to believe.

            Im real interested to hear anyones reply please. as this is a topic I’m in real need for clarification.
            if you have anything that would help me to thrust EVERY WORD again message me
            viney-84@hotmail.com

          • The ‘bits and pieces’ as you say were because until then the different books of the New Testament (ie Matthew, Mark Luke, etc) were kept in separate scrolls, or groups of books (like the 4 gospels) were kept in scrolls. (By the way 4th century is 300′s AD so it is not way after but about contemporaneous to Edict of Milan of 313 AD – which is 4th century). Thus the content of the Bible was there long before Sinaiticus but not in book form.
            You say ’64 000′ words were missing out of NIV? You should check your facts. There are only 181 000 words in the entire New Testament! You are saying that the NIV New Testament is one-third of KJV New Testament. There are a couple of verses difference and it is not that they went missing it is that the Greek text behind the KJV (Textus Receptus) had a few sentences added. See my article on that here.

  4. I’d like to address Ann’s comment about the scientific reliability of the Bible, specifically about the spherical nature of the earth and her statement that the Bible accurately said that the earth ‘hangs on nothing’ (Job 26:7). I direct her to (Job 38:6); “What holds up the pillars that support the earth? Who laid the cornerstone of the world?” Can this be explained? How could Job (or Abraham or whomever the author of Job really was) dangle the theory that the earth floats around the sun (a concept unknown in these times) and then contradict that theory 12 chapters later describing the world in linear and solid geometrical terms?

    For that matter, can anyone explain why God said “I will not allow people to live forever; they are mortal. From now on, they will live no longer than 120 years.” (Genesis 6:3) but then Job lived to 140 years (Job 42:16)? I understand that Job is considered by many scholars to be the oldest book in the Bible, but that contradicts other scholars who insist the Pentateuch was written much earlier. If that’s the case, Genesis would trump Job in terms of chronology and thus it would make no sense that Job lived longer than God said he would allow.

    • Hi Gwin (sorry this took so long)
      You make some good points and raise some good questions. I do not know how Ann would answer but I do not think the reference to 120 years in Genesis refers to lifespan. It is saying that in 120 years the flood will come (and people ‘will live no longer’). This was a statement or declaration from God 120 years before the flood. You are correct in that Job is probably the oldest book. In fact Genesis was editted by Moses who used pre-existing documents (I can’t prove it but it makes sense of some internal structure and explains details of events that occurred long before Moses). Job lived quite shortly (by comparison to Moses) after the flood and this explains his longevity (see the longevity of early descendants of Noah in Genesis 10-11.
      Re. your comment on Job 38:6. The translation used will play here. The NIV translates Job 38:6 as “On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—” In fact no translation I looked at used the words ‘pillars that support the earth’. I think it can fairly be interpreted to mean the structure that we do know of the earth (inner core, outer core, mantle, crust etc) which is captured by the words ‘footings’, ‘bases’ or ‘foundations’ which are used in the translations that I could see.

      • God, Jesus, and the entire Christian religion is of pagan origin. Constantine was a sun god worshiper and conductor of Christianity. The ONLY name of the father is Yahuwah and the son who’s name has the father’s name in it (John 17:11-12); is Yahuwshuwah. Shalom

        • Hi Ryan. THanks for your comment. Perhaps it depends by what we mean by our terms. You quote John 17. But many who would question Constantine’s role think that he ‘messed’ with this very gospel (and the others). And certainly in this sense you are correct. Whatever Constantine may or may not have believed or was, he did not mess with the Gospels so we can quote them as authoritative without wondering if we are re-hashing Constantine’s own views by quoting the gospel.

    • There is teaching that suggests (and historical documents back this up) that the 120 years refers to the race of giants in the land at that time. If you study it out, quite a few recorded “giants” throughout history were reported to die at 120. Years. You’ll find the historical and biblical references in “the battles of the Elohim” by Christian Harfouche (look on amazon for the book)

      In fact, Genesis 6:4 (the next verse after the 120 years statement) talks about the giants.

    • Firstly Gwin, you have to understand that there is two lineages of man………..The first are the Sons of God through Seth to Noah. The second are from Cain’s linage (the Serpent seed) that brought in the giants. Yehovah is talking about this seed as he is now bringing about the destruction of them through the flood.
      Noah was the last of the PURE seed of God through his generation……..So he would have to marry a mixed breed wife. Then all changed through the 3 sons of Noah as the world became full of mixed bred humans!
      Noah had to go through the tribulation of the flood as he was bound to an impure seed. Yashua came through the linage of Shem. And Ham brought about another lot of giants through his insest with his mother………….Cush and Nimrod were the results of this deed and were also called Gods as they had no higher to worship!
      Shem was known to kill off Cush the infounder called Bell as he practiced child sacrifices which are still practiced today throughout Babylon the Great mother of all harlots.

    • Hi Jo Anne
      The point in my article is that the canonical gospels are the same before Constantine as the ones that are later, so we know that Constantine did not change them (because we would see the different). It seems like you are asking more broadly about the selection of which books were ‘in’ and which were not. The quick answer is that a document had to have apostolic authority to be accepted as ‘in’. One way to show that it had an apostle behind its writing was if it was old enough. THe gospels that were not accepted into the Bible (Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Barnabas etc.) were all written 2nd century or later, thus they could not have apostolic authority. But you raise an interesting question and when I get a chance I will put together a more complete article on that.
      thanks for your point
      Ragnar

  5. Early copys of biblical texts do show discrepencies between modern interpretation, My grandfather has an antique bible which refers to God as Gods in Genesis. I’ve lookind into this strangeness and discovered that in some of the Gospels that the Council of Nicea chose not to include (there were over 50 of them) the concept of God was a group of either seven or twelve beings.

    I’ll see if I can get a good digital photo of some of the text.

    Matt.

    • HI Matt
      The issue you are referring to has nothing to do with Nicea. The Hebrew word for God in Genesis in the original Hebrew is ‘Elohim’. THis word is plural form so it can be translated ‘Gods’ as it is in some other parts of Bible. The reason it is not translated ‘Gods’ is that the other words of the sentence (the verbs etc) are in singular. So this is not a Council of Nicaea issue. It is a Hebrew translation issue. This nuanced plurality within the singleness that we see in Genesis is one reason why theologians came up with the doctrine of the Trinity – One God in three Persons’. It is more explicit in New Testament but the seeds of it are there in Genesis in the Hebrew

  6. The Bible was written over a 1,600-year period. Its writers lived @ different times @ came from many walks of life. Some were farmers, fishermen, and the shepherds. Others were prophets, judges, and kings. The Gospel writer Luke was a doctor. Despite the varied backgrounds of its writers, the Bible is harmonious from beginning to end. The 1st book of the Bible tells us how mankind’s problems began. The last book shows that the whole earth will become a paradise or garden. All the material in the Bible covers thousands of years of history and relates in some way to the unfolding of God’s purpose. The harmony of the Bible is impressive, but that is what we would expect of a book from God. Plus, the Bible is scientifically accurate. It contains information that was far ahead of its time. For example, the book of Leviticus contained laws for ancient Israel on quarantine and hygiene when surrounding nations knew nothing about such matters. At a time when there were wrong ideas about the shape of the earth, the Bible referred to it as a circle, or sphere. (Isaiah 40:22) The Bible accurately said that the earth ‘hangs on nothing’ (Job 26:7) Of course, the Bible is not a science book textbook. But when it touches on scientific matters, it is accurate. The Bible is also historically accurate and reliable. Its accounts are specific. They include not only the names but also the ancestry of individuals. In contrast to secular historians, who often do not mention the defeats of their own people, Bible writers were honest, even recording their own failings and those of their nation. For example in the Bible book of Numbers, the writer Moses admits his own serious error for which he was severely reproved. (Numbers 20:2-12) Such honesty is rare in other historical accounts but is found in the Bible because it is a book from God, inspired by HIM and is “beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight.” (2 timothy 3:16) The Bible is a practical book. It reflects a keen understanding of human nature. No wonder, for its Author Jehovah God, is the Creator! He understands our thinking & emotions better than we do. Furthermore, HE knows what we need in order to be happy. The Bible is truly a unique book. Yet it’s value extends far beyond its internal harmony, scientific and historical accuracy, practical wisdom, and reliable prophecy. The Christian apostle Paul wrote: “The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even tot the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their marrow, and is able to discern thought and intentions of the heart.” Reading God’s “word”, or message, in the Bible can change our life. It can help us to examine ourselves as never before. We may claim to love God, but how we react to what his inspired Word, the Bible, teaches will reveal our true thoughts, even the very intentions of the heart. The Bible truly is a book from god. It is a book that is to be read, studied, and loved. We must show out gratitude for this divine gift by continuing to peer into its contents. As you do so, you will gain a deep appreciation of God’s purpose for mankind. I know in my own heart God would not allow his Divine message, or our life’s instruction manual, to be changed in any way shape or form. If HE would allow such thing to happen, what then would we have to turn to? Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:60-71

      • Yeah…1st point Ann. The bible is not harmonious. The old testement and new testement completely contridict each other. “Eye for an eye” and then “Forgive and forget”.

        2nd point, please read these quotes from the bible. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.”(Leviticus 18:22)
        If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13). Was Leviticus also correct about homosexuality? If you think he was then you don’t live in the real world. The bible is anything but scientifically accurate. Say enough mindless random things and one or two are bound to eventually become correct. What about the rest that is just crap? The earth being 5,000 years old for example. When the bible touches on scientific matters it is correct? Have you lost your mind? Jesus (after he came back from the dead) floated up to heaven on a cloud. Please explain the science behind that.

        There is also nothing specific about the bible. The whole thing is open to interpretation, like for example to council of Nicaea choosing not to include 50 pieces of texts. Also please explain which prophecies these were that came true. The end of the world on the 6th of the 6th 2006 perhaps?

        The word of God HAS been changed over the years. You said yourself Ann that it has been written over the last 1,600 years…so how could it not? I don;t think you really understand the true meaning of the word harmony.

        In short, as I’ve told many a christian in my own family, faith is not faith when it is blind stupidity. Also, stop judging people who don’t believe, and maybe you won’t get such harsh criticism from admittedly angry people such as me.

        Thank you.

        • Hi James
          You seem to have many issues with the Bible – and that is fair enough. But this specific article is about how the Bible was not altered by Constantine. And we know that because the manuscripts that come before him – some by almost 200 years – are the same as the ones that come after him. If he had changed them, the ones prior to Constantine would be different then the (supposedly) altered ones that are later than 325AD

          • The Bible is very harmonious
            Jesus in the new testament said that he came to reform the law that had been given to Moses. Back then when Jesus hadn’t been crucified, humans took responsibility for their actions and that’s why you have the eye for and eye thing.
            And the Bible is the most accurate book on the planet. I’m a Christian and I don’t say anything harsh about other religions so I think you should not be too harsh either. The Bible is a book to be read and loved. In the end (Whenever the world ends) we’ll all find out who was right or wrong

  7. From what I have seen, the problem with the “old law” was never about what God had said to do. It was what man had invented to do in order to become (self) righteous.

    One thing that is commonly said is that “Jesus fulfilled the law”. Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the Torah AND THE PROPHETS but to fulfill them. Jesus fulfilled a large portion of the Torah and the prophecies but clearly there are more prophecies to come that are not fulfilled. Plus, fulfilling is clearly not equal to abolishing.

    Everything that has to do with blood sacrifices, the temple and the priesthood are what put the Jews in touch with God and in favour with him. Jesus’ blood changed all of that. However, not murdering and committing adultery are still “laws” that we are expected to keep. Those two are listed right there with sabbath keeping, as well.

    Constantine abolished the torah. Jesus never did. Constantine was not Christian at all. His kingdom was of this world and that is why he used the name of God and Jesus to fight battles. He used his political clout to claim victory for “Christianity”. Then they began rewriting history from their pagan point of view.

    I agree with you, Oborn, that the scriptures have not changed. However, Satan has certainly done a good job at deceiving the public into thinking that the Catholic church and Constantine did the world a favour by preserving scripture. The integrity of the scriptures were preserved DESPITE the efforts of the pagans rather than because of them. This preservation is clearly the power of God to preserve His word in the midst of crookedness and perversion.

  8. In the year 321 A.D., Constantine decreed, “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed” (Codex Justinianus lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, p. 380, note 1). About Easter vs Passover.

    Again, Constantine changed everything associated with the Jewish traditions. Constantine, in his Easter Letter, makes it quite clear that his intention was to completely eradicate the Jewish influence in the Passover, and make it something completely different,

    We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course [the order of the days of the week]; and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews. Amazing remarks made by Constantine that changed the course of true Christianity that practiced everything that God said to do.

    Christianity had become the church of Constantine to this very day. What a shame that is. I no longer belong to any of the present day churches of Constantine.

    Do more research about Constantine. Any deviation from the word of God is not of him.

    Frank

    • HI Frank
      Thanks for your comment. It reinforces the point I am making here. I am NOT trying to say that Constantine has not influenced/changed Christianity. Your citations could be amplified. And not only him, but many others have also influenced Christianity. But I am talking about the Gospel, the message foretold through the ancient Hebrew prophets, revealed in Jesus, and announced by his disciples. And today these prophets and disciples can be accessed in the Bible, which also records the life, death, resurrection and teachings of Jesus. Now Constantine has not changed these. Various aspects of Christianity one may choose to take-or-leave. But that is a different thing then engaging with the gospel

      • Constantine did change bible by not letting some books in an other books out. Peter never believed in Paul as part of them but Paul’s books are in. he did not change the words but what books were let in and out. For even Jesus quotes books that are not in the bible so yes if you leave books out and leave books in that you can change the story and for this he did change the bible. history even says that Jesus was born and died on the same day which would be around pass over not in December a pagan day. we use trees a pagan thing eggs again pagan so yes he did change the bible by changing the book in and out. my god is forgiving in the old and the new. the beginning one brother kills the other but God doesn’t kill the brother but marks him instead. so to say God is difference from old to new is untrue. the 10 commandments say surly must die but doesn’t say we should kill them. so if you are gay it says it is a sin just like the other 9 are. but the bible says that sin is man made not God made so for who’s sin is it. I believe in God and Jesus but not the cross nor the star. the fish was Jesus, and he left us with the loaf of bread and wine for this I will remember. Jesus was a Jew so the Torah he worship so to me the bible is not complete that means he changed it.

        • HI Charles
          Thanks for your comment. You are correct in differentiating between reliability of the text (the issue of textual criticism) and the issue of canon (which books should be in the Bible or not). And my article here was really directed at the reliability of the text issue, not the selection of books issue. But in your specifics you are not correct. You say ‘Peter never believed in Paul’ but notice what Peter himself writes in the New Testament

          15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3: 15-16)

          So Peter accepted Paul’s writing. And it is Paul, not Jesus, that quotes books not in the Bible. He does so in Acts 17. But he prefaces his quote with “As some of your own poets have said…” In other words, he quotes them, not because Paul believes that these writings should be in the Bible, but because his hearers were familiar with these writers.

          You are correct that Christmas was chosen on a pagan holiday. But that is the example that proves my point. Constantine did affect Christianity. But the Bible says nothing about what day of year that Jesus was born so choosing to celebrate that day on the day of a pagan celebration did change christianity, but did not change the Bible (since it says nothing about the day). There is much that is cultural about Christianity that has been affected in history but certain individuals. But the value, truth, integrity and relevance of the Gospel has been faithfully preserved for us in the Bible. That is why we can trust it.

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