Do you know that the Bible we read today didn’t come to existence over a night. Generations of people contributed their labor, knowledge and even life. Let me share with you the life story of the Holy Bible…,
The Bible was written by more than 40 authors from different backgrounds, over a period of 1600 years. (Approximately 1500 B.C 100 A.D) Yet the Bible is infallible for the authors were inspired by God. Among the authors were…,
Paul an Apostle and a Jewish Rabbi wrote sections of the Bible which are known as Pauline epistles. The Apostles and Jewish Rabbis…,
Luke the author of the book of Acts was a professional Physician. Physicians…,
Great Kings…, King David penned Psalms, King Solomon wrote Song of Songs, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
Farmers ,Fruit growers and Shepherds…, Amos was a fruit grower and a Shepherd.
It’s divided into 2 major parts… Old Testament & New Testament
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic.
Contains 39 books. They are placed under different categories according to their content. Category name Books placed under the category Pentateuch/The Law Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. History Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. Poetry & wisdom Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon. Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel. Minor Prophets Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
A tip to remember… Inter-Testament period You don’t see a gap between ‘Malachi’ the last book of OT and ‘Gospel of Matthew’ the first book of NT. However do you know a silent period of 400 years exists between the book of Malachi and the Gospel of Matthew? God did not communicate with humans during this long period.
The New Testament was written in Greek.
Contains 27 books. They are placed under different categories according to their content. Category name Books placed under the category The Gospels and Acts Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. Pauline epistles Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians,, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. General Epistles and Revelation Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude, Revelation.
Before the ‘Printing Press’ was invented, the Bible was copied by hand. It was copied very accurately, by special scribes who developed intricate methods to ensure that no errors had been made.
The Gutenberg Bible…, The Bible is the first book ever printed. It was printed by Johann Gutenberg from Germany in year 1455. Therefore it was called the Gutenberg Bible (Shown in the background).
Ancient manuscripts of the Bible The 1 st discovery This was between 1629 and 1947.Serveral of the oldest copies of the Bible were found. Codex Alexandrinus This was between 1629 and 1947.Serveral of the oldest copies of the Bible were found. Codex Sinaiticus (Earliest complete copy of the NT copied in AD 350) is found in St. Catherine’s monastery near mount Sinai Codex Vaticanus (The Earliest and probably best copy known of the NT from AD 325) It was released to scholars in 1889 by the Vatican library. These manuscripts plays a major role in translation work and scholarly studies. Lets take look at the ancient manuscripts discovered so far.
The fragment of a scroll found from the cave. One of the Qumran caves Ancient manuscripts: The Dead sea scrolls…, The oldest manuscripts of the Bible, found so far. They were discovered between 1947-1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the north west shore of the dead sea. These scrolls mostly in parchments date back to 150BC to 70CE. Among them scroll of Isaiah is the most popular segment. The text perfectly matched When the modern copies of the Hebrew Bible was compared against the text in the scrolls. Which indicates the accuracy of scribes who copied the text.
The Bible is the book with the highest number of translations. Let’s take a look at the major translations and their contributors. The earliest translations were done between AD 200-300. However these were not in English. They were available in, 1. Latin 2. Coptic (Egypt) 3. Syriac (Syria) Major translations Early Coptic translation
A tip to remember The Apocrypha. These books were omitted from the Bible, as they are not inspired by God. 1 Esdras 2 Esdras Tobit Judith 1 Maccabees 2 Maccabees Ecclesiasticus The Rest of Esther The Apocrypha continued…, The Wisdom of Solomon Baruch, with the Epistle of Jeremiah The Song of the Three Holy Children The History of Susanna Bel and the Dragon The Prayer of Manasses
A tip to remember: Canonicity… Canonicity is a kind of measuring rod used to determine whether or not a book of the Bible is truly inspired by God? The checklist used by the canonicity is shown below. 1. APOSTOLOCITY: Was it written by an apostle or his amanuensis (secretary)? 2. RECEPTION: Was it accepted by the early church fathers? 3. CONSISTENCY: Does it agree with the teachings of Christ and known Scripture? 4. AUTHENTICITY: Is it factual and historic?
Major translations: Latin Vulgate Jerome started translating scripture into Latin in AD 410 and finished 25 years later. This version was called the Latin Vulgate.
Major translations: Wycliffe Bible This is the First English Bible. Translated from Latin in 1382, and is called ‘The Wycliffe Bible’ in honor of priest and Oxford scholar John Wycliffe. Wycliffe always wanted the common people to read the Bible. This Bible was banned and burned. 40 years after Wycliffe’s death, his bones were exhumed and burnt for heresy.
Major translations: Martin Luther’s work Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Monk translated the New Testament in to German in 1522.
Major translations: Translation by William Tyndale…, William Tyndale is called the ‘father of the English Bible’ because his translations has laid the foundation to the King James version. He was a priest and a scholar. In 1525, translated the NT from Greek to English (without the king’s approval). Therefore he moved to Germany and smuggled printed Bibles into England from there. In 1536 he was strangled and burnt at the stake. His last words were ‘Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.
Major translations: The Coverdale Bible This translation was done by Miles Coverdale in year 1535 and dedicated to Anne Boleyn one of King Henry VIII’s wives. This is the first complete Bible to be printed in English.
Major translations: The Matthew’s Bible John Rogers did this translation under the pen name Thomas Matthew. It was the first Bible published with King’s permission (1537). Printed just one year after Tyndale’s death. It’s New Testament relied heavily on Tyndale’s work, and even has a tribute to him on the last page of the Old Testament. Tyndale’s initials were printed in 2 ½ inch block letters. Later Thomas Cromwell the advisor to king Henry VIII entrusted Coverdale to revise Matthew’s Bible to make the Great Bible. (In 1539 the Great Bible was placed in every church by the order of Thomas Cranmer Arch Bishop under King Henry VIII. It was chained to the church pillars to discourage theft.) Tyndale’s initials John Rogers
Major translations: The Geneva and the Bishop’s Bibles Queen Mary ( People called her ‘Bloody Mary’) The Protestants who flee to Switzerland due to Queen Mary’s severe persecution against Protestants (Thomas Cranmer and John Rogers were burned at the stake.), published the Geneva Bible in year 1560. It was a complete revision of the Great Bible with Old Testament translated from original Hebrew. The Bishop’s: It was a new translation began under Queen Elizabeth in 1568. It was translated by Bishops from the church of England as an answer to the Geneva Bible. A page from the Geneva Bible
Major translations: King James Version This translation was carried out by 6 (a total of 54 individuals) teams of scholars under the commission of King James I of England (Left hand side). They used the Tyndale’s and Bishop’s Bibles and early Hebrew and Greek manuscripts as well. It was completed in 1611 (a page from 1611 version is shown above), and was called the authorized version as well, though the king never gave his royal permission for the new translation. It was revised several times. The edition we use today was revised in 1769. It remained the most popular Bible for more than 300 years.
Modern Translations The knowledge received form newly discovered old manuscripts has led to hundreds of new translations. Year Translation Description 1885 The English Revised version A British revision of the KJV Bible 1901 American Standard version (ASV) Revision of KJV in American English 1926 Moffatt Bible A very popular modern language version 1931 Smith-Goodspeed, An American translation. Uses modern American English 1952 The Revised Standard version (RSV) A revised version of ASV. It’s NT was revised in 1971 1958 J.B. Philips’ NT in modern English A paraphrase originally made for youth 1965 The Amplified Bible Uses word-to-word ASV with added words to communicate insights on original text. 1966 The Jerusalem Bible Translated by RC scholars. New Jerusalem Bible in 1985 1970 New English Bible Timeless modern English. Revised in 1989 1970 New American Bible (NAB) Official version of Catholic’s. Revised its NT in 1986 1971 New American Standard Bible Literal word for word translation. Updated in 1995 1971 The Living Bible Popular paraphrase 1976 The Good News Bible (Today’s English version) Vernacular English translation
Modern Translations The knowledge received form newly discovered old manuscripts has led to hundreds of new translations. Year Translation Description 1978 New International version Dignified, readable 1982 New King James version Modernized version of KJV (Same manuscripts were used) 1989 Jewish New Testament English translation using traditional Jewish expressions 1989 New Revised Standard version ‘ Gender neutral’ version of the RSV 1991 Contemporary English version Natural, uncomplicated English 1995 God’s Word Contemporary English 1996 New Living Translation A revision of The Living Bible to make it a translation 1996 New International Readers version (NIRV) A simplified version of NIV with 3 rd or 4 th grade reading level. 2001 English Standard version (ESV) Literal update of the RSV 2001 Today’s New International version (TNIV) (New Testament) A modernized version of the NIV 2002 The Message (MSG) A paraphrase from the original languages 2004 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Balanced between word for word and thought for thought
The End www.virtualpreacher.org Jesus said, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away…’ Matthew 24:35-36) Some people attempted to keep the world from reading the Bible. Others made efforts to destroy it forever. Yet centuries after it has become the book with the highest selling rate.