(A Powerpoint Presentation)

The Formation and Revelation of the Bible


Transmission OT -- Stone
One of the Ebla Tablets from Syria about 2100 B.C.
Moses born 1526 B.C.

Transmission OT -- Stone 
The Moabite Stone
4’ x 2’ x 14”
King Omri
 870 B.C.

Transmission OT
Animal Skins and Papyrus Reeds
Vellum -
    From Cow and Antelope Hides
    From Sheep and Goat Hides

From reeds of a plant interwoven and pressed together

Documentation - 
Two Basic Forms
Papyrus Scroll, then Codex (like a book)

Documentation -- OT Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
100 B.C. (1947)
Parts of all the OT books but Esther
A complete scroll of Isaiah is pictured here

 Documentation -- OT Copyists

To ensure the accuracy of their copies, the Jewish Masoretes took
     great pains: 
     –to count the number of times each letter appeared in each book
to know the middle letter of the Pentateuch
     –to know the middle letter of the OT
     –to invent many safeguards to check a copy's accuracy
Created vowels for clarity and memory aids for double checking all

 Documentation -- OT Codices

Cairo Codex
895 A.D.
Has only the books of the prophets

  Documentation -- OT Codices

Aleppo Codex
930 A.D.
Had the complete Old Testament, but parts later became lost
Can see an electronic copy of the Hebrew

   Documentation -- OT Codices

Leningrad Codex
1008 A.D.
Oldest complete OT
When this text was compared with DSS, only 5% difference

Likely Based on Its Divisions

The Hebrew Bible of the Jews had 3 groupings (Luke 11:49-51 & 24:44-45)
      –The Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
      The Prophets
      The Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings)
      The Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The 12 Minor
      The Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth,
          Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah,
The order in the Hebrew Bible was not always the same

Collection -
     The Temple As a Place for Collections

After Israel was carried into captivity by the Assyrians, it would have
      been natural for the Temple in Jerusalem to become a depository for
      for the Jews' sacred writings to protect them.  
A book of Jewish traditions tells how the Law was read in the temple at
      at each worship service.  
Another book of Jewish traditions tells how the Prophets and Writings
      were used in worship.

Versions - Septuagin
Hebrew to Greek

  Septuagint is the OT translation in Koine Greek made about 
      250 B.C.
  About 70 Jewish scholars in Alexandria did the translation --
      (Latin- septuaginta & Roman LXX)

  LXX was the Bible of Jesus day and the early church
  Like our King James Version, it was in acceptance and use for many

                                         Versions -- The Vulgate
                                              Hebrew to Latin

  The OT portion was translated from the Hebrew by Jerome.
   About 400 A.D.
  About 500 years earlier than the oldest Hebrew codex

Canonization -- Authority

  How did our list of 66 (39 + 27) books come to be?
  The canonical writings are those books that are regarded as having
       divine authority
Canonicity depends on authority, not the other way around!

Canonization -- Inspiration

  No group of rabbis or church council by their decrees can make
      a book of the Bible authoritative  
  A book first has divine authority due to its inspiration  
  The recognition of its authority, due to its inspiration, is why it
      is deemed canonical

                                        Canonization The LXX

  The Septuagint also clearly indicates that our 39 OT books were
      considered canonical
  This was 250 B.C
  Some copies of the LXX did include other books, but their placement
     (at the end) and their additions (with notes denying inspiration)
     indicated these others were not authoritative

Worship Shows a Sacred Status

The usage of Scriptures in the Temple was a sign of their sacred status;
      this began around 150 B.C.
Jesus and His disciples referred to these books as recognized Scripture
       (John 7:38; Acts 8:32),
“…the Scriptures (Matthew 21:42; John 5:39),
“…Inspired (2 Tim 3:15)
A meeting of Jewish rabbis in 90 A.D. put their approval also on these
       accepted books

 Transmission NT
Animal Skins and Papyrus Reeds

Vellum Used much; our oldest codices
Also used (2 Timothy 4:13)
Greatly used
       –  Scrolls were 30' by 10
 –  The codex form was greatly used in the 2nd century A.D.

 Transmission NT

P52 (150 A.D.)John Ryland’s Fragment of the Gospel of John; this
     discovery shattered the theory that John was written during the
nd century!

   Transmission NT --
Scribal Tools

The pen would be a reed (sharpened and slit)
The ink a mixture of carbon, soot, and gum
A ruler for drawing light lines to use as guides
A sponge for erasing and cleaning the “pen”
A knife for sharpening the pen
Pumice to smooth the pen and paper

 Transmission NT --
Scribal Methods

Reading the original and copying to the new material
Dictation was the way to make multiple copies (one reader, many
The room this was done in was called a scriptorium (writing room)
Scribes would sometimes write notes in the margins
They would date the work, include their name, and express thanks
      that the task was done

 Transmission NT --
Manuscript Types

   Uncial - the oldest with 650 examples
        All capital letters
      –  No spaces between letters
Little or no punctuation
Minuscules (9th century and later)
        Cursive and/or mixture of lower and upper case
      –  Spaces between letters

 Number of  Manuscripts

There are 5000 copies of the Old Testament and 8000 copies of the New
No other ancient document comes close to having this much

Vaticanus Codex

   Bound in book form
   759 vellum pages
   Written in 3 columns per page
   Probably the oldest
   4th century A.D.
   Considered our best witness
   In the Vatican Library (Rome)
       –  It has been there since 1481 A.D.
No known story relating its discovery
   Vatican kept it secluded for centuries

 Sinaiticus Codex

   Second in importance to Vaticanus
   Discovered by Constantine Tischendorf at St. Catherines Monastery on
      Mt. Sinai in 1844 and 1853
   Sinaiticus dates to about 350 A.D.
   It is the oldest complete copy of the NT
   Sinaiticus originally had 730 vellum pages
   Written in 4 columns
   In the British Museum

Codex Alexandrinus

   Known to have been in Alexandria, Egypt for many centuries
   Given as a gift to James I of England
   Now in the British Museum
   Has 773 vellum pages
   Written in 2 columns
   Writing is a different style to the previous codices
   Dated around 450 A.D.

Codex Bezae

   Earliest known copy of both Greek and Latin
   Theodore Beza gave it to Cambridge University
   It is only one column because pages are small
   Contains the Gospels and Acts
   Differs in many ways from the previous codices
   Used by KJV translators; they had none of the others mentioned
   About 500 A.D.

Based Again on Divisions

     A scroll could only hold so much material
     There were three major divisions:
     –   The Gospels (as early as 115 A.D.)
The Letters of Paul and Hebrews (85 A.D.)
     –   Acts and the other letters
     These collections were made at different times and places, so the
       contents were not always the same in each collection

  Collection The Churches As Places for Collections

There was no central church to serve as a depository like the temple in
Congregations in homes did exchange letters (Colossians 4:16), and it
      would be natural for them to make collections
The church leaders in the second century mention the writings of the
(=OT) and the memoirs of the apostles (=parts of the NT)
      being read in churches

Versions – Greek to Syriac 

Syriac was the language of Syria and Mesopotamia
There are numerous cursives

  Versions Greek to Egyptian

From the book of Acts
Other versions were Greek to: Armenian, Ethiopian, Georgian, Slavic,
     and Gothic

Versions -- The Vulgate
Greek to Latin

NT portion was translated from an Old Latin version
Gospels compare favourably with Vaticanus and Sinaiticus
   Was the reigning translation for 1,000 years
The earliest translations into European languages used the Vulgate as their base
   Gutenbergs Bible was a Latin Vulgate

Versions From Latin to English

John Wycliffe, with the help of students at Oxford, made a translation of
      the Bible from the Vulgate in 1382

His followers made many copies by hand
He greatly upset the State religion of the day

  Versions – Latin to Printed Latin

Gutenburg invented the printing press (1450)
The first book to ever be printed was the Bible (the Vulgate), printed in
     Mainz, Germany

Versions Latin With Greek

Erasmus corrected the corrupted Latin Vulgate
Published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament
Focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate
      had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original
      Greek (NT) and original Hebrew (OT)

 Versions Greek To English

William Tyndale was a true scholar, a genius
Fluent in 8 languages
His NT (1526) became the first printed edition from Greek to English Tyndale was burned at the stake in 1536
Tyndale’s last words were, "Oh Lord, open the king

From Originals to English

Translations by 50 scholars were sponsored by King James 1
Several English translations were consulted too
This was a revision of the Bishop's Bible and was to be put in every church
From1605-1610 scholars worked privately and together
Published in 1611
Made without notes to keep down conflicts

Versions -- Modern Versions

    The English Revised Version               1870
    The American Standard Version          1901
    The Revised Standard Version             1952
    The Living Bible                                    1969
    The New American Standard Version  1971
    The New English Bible                          1971
    The New International Version             1978
    The New King James Version               1979
    The New Revised Standard Version     1990
    The New Living Bible                            1996
Worship Shows a Sacred Status
The usage of Scriptures in churches was a sign of their sacred status;
     this began around 180 A.D.
Other determiners for acceptance included: an apostles authorship or
     links to an apostle, a book
s age, and its doctrine (consistent with
     others teachings of the accepted books)
Meetings of Catholic leaders in the 300-400s gave approval to what was

Some Rules of Textual Criticism

With all the copying done by hand, there were errors that occurred
But thankfully, they are errors we understand, they do not significantly
      alter our present text
s meaning (the experts say only about 12% of all
      the Bible could be debated).  No major teachings would be affected!
Take the more difficult reading, consider the quality of the codices, be
      cautious of harmonized texts

 Translations --
Types of Translation

    The Literal Translation (word for word)
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14
    The Dynamic Equivalent (the meaning)
     –  The Word became a human being and lived here with us. John 1:14
    The Paraphrased (more modern sound)
     –  The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.
         John 1:14

 A teacher was once asked, “What is the best translation?”  His reply,
one that you will read each day!”

  Revelation The Importance

What difference does it make?
     - Likely very little to those whose faith has been firmly and well
       established for many years
- But for those who are sceptical of the validity of the text, it can make
       a substantial difference

When we consider that the Bible:
     - was written over a period of some 1600 years
     - was written by 40 men from different situations
- was translated by those who gave their lives
And yet, it is not contradictory in all matters
, then
Faith in this Book of Books can be established that it is indeed from God,
and the proper Rule of Faith and Practice for us today and

Psalm 119: 33-40

   The Bible reveals GODS will (v. 33)!
Lets obey it (v. 34)!
   Lets delight in it (v. 35)!
   Lets focus on it (v. 36-37)!
   Lets let it shape us (v. 38-39)!
   Lets let it revive us (v. 40)!