Isaac Newton was born on this day in 1643, his name is on a list of people said to be a “Nicodemite“. He was called a Nicodemite because he believed that the Roman Church had corrupted the Bible. Isaac Newton would have loved to know about the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi library proving that he was correct, the New Testament had been hacked.
The dissertation was sent in a letter to John Locke on 14 November 1690. In fact, Newton may have been in dialogue with Locke about this issue much earlier. While living in France, Locke made a journal entry, dated 20 December 1679, where he indicates that while visiting the library at Saint-Germain-des-Prés he saw “two very old manuscripts of the New Testament, the newest of which was, as appeared by the date of it, at least 800 years old, in each of which 1 John, ch.v. ver. 7, was quite wanting, and the end of the eighth verse ran thus,“tres unum sunt;” in another old copy the seventh verse was, but with interlining; in another much more modern copy, ver. 7 was also, but differently from the old copy; and in two other old manuscripts, also, ver. 7 was quite out, but as I remember in all of them the end of the eighth verse was 6 tres unum sunt.'” Newton’s work also built upon the textual work of Richard Simon and his own research. The text was first published in English in 1754, 27 years after his death. The account claimed to review all the textual evidence available from ancient sources on two disputed Bible passages: 1 John 5:7 and 1 Timothy 3:16.
Newton describes this letter as “an account of what the reading has been in all ages, and what steps it has been changed, as far as I can hitherto determine by records”, and “a criticism concerning a text of Scripture”. He blames “the Roman church” for many abuses in the world and accuses it of “pious frauds“. He adds that “the more learned and quick-sighted men, as Luther, Erasmus, Bullinger, Grotius, and some others, would not dissemble their knowledge”.
Newton’s work on this issue was part of a larger effort of scholars studying the Bible and finding that, for example, the opinion that Trinity is not found in the original manuscripts in explisit view. Such scholarship was suppressed, and Newton kept his discoveries private.
My Nicodemite Discovery
Recently I discovered the term “Nicodemite” quite by accident but it was important to me because in my own research I read the Gospel of Nicodemus found in the Dead Sea scrolls and then again in the Nag Hammadi library, this caused me to question why his testimony was removed at the Council of Nicaea.
The more I learned about the meeting in Nicaea, to which 1800 scholars were invited but only 319 attended, the more questions it caused me to ask. For years I have joked that removing Nicodemus from the New Testament would be equal to removing Marlon Brando from the Godfather story.
Nicodemus met with Jesus on the roof of the prison before Christ was sentenced to death by the Jews, is what we are told in the good book. However, it makes much more sense that it was the Romans that sentenced Jesus to be crucified, not the Jews and they at the Council of Nicaea they changed the entire narrative of the New Testament by removing the testimony of Nicodemus.
Divide and conquer is what happened, as the Roman empire morphed into the Vatican. By removing the most respected Jew in Judea, who claimed that Jesus was the son of God, it became easy to turn the Christians against the Jews. Then divide and conquer for one thousand eight hundred more years.
The term was apparently introduced by John Calvin (1509–1564) in 1544 in his Excuse à messieurs les Nicodemites. Since the French monarchy had increased its prosecution of heresy with the Edict of Fontainebleau (1540), it had become increasingly dangerous to profess dissident belief publicly, and refuge was being sought in emulating Nicodemus.
In the Gospel of John (John 3:1-2) there appears the character Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin. Although outwardly remaining a pious Jew, he comes to Jesus secretly by night to receive instruction. Although he was eventually made a saint, his dual allegiance was somewhat suspect.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.Nicodemus
Notable suspected Nicodemites
- Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (c.1527–1556), courtier of Mary I of England
- Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556), first AnglicanArchbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII of England
- Michelangelo (1475–1564), who sculpted a portrait of himself as Nicodemus in his Florentine Pietà
- Isaac Newton (1643–1727), eminent scientist and theologian
- Reginald Cardinal Pole (1500–1558), last Roman CatholicArchbishop of Canterbury
I am a Nicodemite because I believe that Pontius Pilot sentenced our Messiah to his death, and the Roman Empire survived by changing strategy from rule by sword to rule by Bible. The one with the mightiest book survives while the Christians kill the Jews, then Muslims all because of books, by creating the Narrative and controlling the dissemination of the Codex Vaticanus.
The Codex Vaticanus (The Vatican, Bibl. Vat., Vat. gr. 1209; no. B or 03 Gregory-Aland, δ 1 von Soden) is one of the oldest copies of the Bible, one of the four great uncial codices. The Codex is named after its place of conservation in the Vatican Library, where it has been kept since at least the 15th century. It is written on 759 leaves of vellum in uncial letters and has been dated palaeographically to the 4th century.
The manuscript became known to Western scholars as a result of correspondence between Erasmus and the prefects of the Vatican Library. Portions of the codex were collated by several scholars, but numerous errors were made during this process. The codex’s relationship to the Latin Vulgate was unclear and scholars were initially unaware of its value. This changed in the 19th century when transcriptions of the full codex were completed. It was at that point that scholars realised the text differed significantly from the Textus Receptus.
Most current scholars consider the Codex Vaticanus to be one of the most important Greek witnesses to the Greek text of the New Testament, followed by the Codex Sinaiticus. Until the discovery by Tischendorf of Sinaiticus, Vaticanus was unrivaled. It was extensively used by Westcott and Hort in their edition of The New Testament in the Original Greek in 1881. The most widely sold editions of the Greek New Testament are largely based on the text of the Codex Vaticanus. Codex Vaticanus “is rightly considered to be the oldest extant copy of the Bible.
Roman Law at the Time of Christ
Herod the Great was the villain in the Christmas story, a wicked king who saw the baby Jesus as a threat and wanted to murder him. Herod the Great was a brutal man who killed his father-in-law, several of his ten wives, and two of his sons. He ignored the laws of God to suit himself and chose the favor of Rome over his own people.
According to Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews (18.4.1–2), Pilate’s removal as governor occurred after Pilate slaughtered a group of armed Samaritans at a village called Tirathana near Mount Gerizim, where they hoped to find artifacts that had been buried there by Moses.
Almost no information known about Pilate but to assume he was less cruel than Herod the Great would be a mistake, therefore it’s most likely in my opinion that it was he that sentenced Jesus and hung a sign in 3 languages beside the crucified Christ that said here is the “King of the Jews”. Also, a Roman soldier pierced the body on the cross to make sure he was dead. All of these actions were the Law of Roman Legion for foreign territory rule.
Nicodemus told the truth, so much so that his testimony had to be removed or the Jews would have continued the Jewish Apostasy. Constantine the Great (Roman Emperor) knew all about the Apostasy in Judaism taking place, he also knew that in Rome the Christians had grown into a significant faction. His plan was genius, control the Bible and control the world. Bravo all that book burning worked.