Who Was Jesus Did He Really Exist
Most scholars agree that Jesus, a first-century religious leader and preacher, existed historically. He was born in c4 BC and died reportedly crucified on the orders of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in cAD 3033. Then, for around 40 years, news of his teachings was spread by word of mouth until, from around AD 70, four written accounts of his life emerged that changed everything.
The gospels, or good news, of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are critically important to the Christian faith. It is their descriptions of the life of Jesus Christ that have made him arguably the most influential figure in human history.
We cant be sure when the gospels were written, says Barton, and we know little about the authors. But the guess is that Mark came first, in the 70s, followed by Matthew and Luke in the 80s and 90s, and John in the 90s or early in the second century.
In general, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the same story with variations, and hence are called the synoptic gospels, whereas John has a very different style, as well as telling a markedly different version of the story of Jesus. Matthew and Luke seem to be attempts to improve on Mark, by adding more stories and sayings from sources now lost. John is a different conceptualisation of the story of Jesus, portraying a more obviously divine figure.
A Faithful Versionwhy This Unique Bible
The Holy Bible In Its Original Order is an extraordinary Bibleunique in two ways. First, itis the only complete Bible ever published in a single volume that accurately follows the original God-inspired manuscript order of all the books of the Old and New Testamentsmaking it the Original Bible Restored. In addition, once the original order of the 49 biblical books has been restored, the Seven Divisions of the Bible are also re-established: The Old Testament contains: 1) The Law, 2) The Prophets, and 3) The Writings. The New Testament contains: 4) The Gospels and Acts, 5) The General Epistles, 6) The Epistles of Paul, and 7) The Book of Revelation. With this restoration, Gods purposeful design of the Scriptures begins to unfold, revealing His divine inspiration.
As the apostle Paul wrote, All Scripture is God-breathedand thus reflects the mind of Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. It is the truth of God from the God of Truth, Who cannot lie it is His personal revelation to mankindthe pinnacle of His creationwhom He made in His own image. From Genesis to Revelation, God reveals His awesome, eternal plan and purpose to those who love and obey Him.
The Books Were Written Upon Perishable Materials
The first reason we do not possess any of the originals of the biblical books concerns the materials upon which they were written. Surfaces such as papyri and parchment were not as durable as stone tablets. They would wear after long years of use. Only under the most ideal conditions can we expect this type of material to survive. Because most of the biblical text was originally written upon perishable material, we should not expect the autographs to last.
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Timeline Of Bible Translation History
1,400 BC: The first written Word of God: The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses.
500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.
200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books.
1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make up The 27 Books of the New Testament.
315 AD: Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament which are today recognized as the canon of scripture.
382 AD: Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books .
500 AD: Scriptures have been Translated into Over 500 Languages.
600 AD: LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture.
995 AD: Anglo-Saxon Translations of The New Testament Produced.
1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible All 80 Books.
Hebrew: Language Of The Old Testament
Hebrew belongs to the Semitic language group, a family of ancient tongues in the Fertile Crescent that included Akkadian, the dialect of Nimrod in Genesis 10 Ugaritic, the language of the Canaanites and Aramaic, commonly used in the Persian empire.
Hebrew was written from right to left and consisted of 22 consonants. In its earliest form, all the letters ran together. Later, dots and pronunciation marks were added to make it easier to read. As the language progressed, vowels were included to clarify words that had become obscure.
Sentence construction in Hebrew might place the verb first, followed by the noun or pronoun and objects. Because this word order is so different, a Hebrew sentence cannot be translated word-for-word into English. Another complication is that a Hebrew word might substitute for a commonly used phrase, which had to be known to the reader.
Different Hebrew dialects introduced foreign words into the text. For example, Genesis contains some Egyptian expressions while Joshua, Judges, and Ruth include Canaanite terms. Some of the prophetic books use Babylonian words, influenced by the Exile.
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Set Aside What Religious Tradition Says And Discover Who Wrote The Bible According To The Scholars Who Have Examined The Actual Evidence
Wikimedia CommonsA depiction of Paul the Apostle writing his epistles.
HOLY BOOKS HAVE A REACH that goes far beyond what virtually all works of literature can ever accomplish. Unlike, say, The Great Gatsby, the Bible is a text upon which millions and millions of people have based their entire lives.
That fact can be good or bad, and its often been both over the many centuries throughout which Christians have been reading the Bible and Jews have been reading the Torah. But given its immense reach and cultural influence, its a bit surprising how little we really know about the Bibles origins. In other words, who wrote the Bible? Of all the mysteries surrounding the Bible, that one may be the most fascinating.
Were not completely ignorant, of course. Some books of the Bible were written in the clear light of history, and their authorship isnt terribly controversial. Other books can be reliably dated to a given period by either internal clues sort of the way no books written in the 1700s mention airplanes, for instance and by their literary style, which develops over time.
Religious doctrine, of course, holds that God himself is the author of or at least the inspiration for the entirety of the Bible, which was transcribed by a series of humble vessels. About the best that can be said for that notion is that if God really did write the Bible through a millennium-long sequence of various authors, he was certainly doing it the hard way.
The Nation Of Israel Went Through Many Difficult Times
The history of the nation Israel must also be considered. The nation has been twice removed from its homeland. The first time was for seventy years while the second time was for almost nineteen hundred years. At the seventy year Babylonian captivity, the people were sent off to a foreign nation. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple burned, and all its treasures taken away. It is a testimony to Gods providence that the Scripture survived the deportation of the nation to Babylon. The psalmist wrote of this difficult time:
How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?
As God had promised, the people returned to the land and again sang the songs of Scripture.
At the second exile, the city and temple were again destroyed. Those who survived were taken to Rome and sold as slaves. The nation did not again become an actual functioning state for almost two thousand years.
The Holy Scriptures had to contend with this sort of conflict from those who opposed the nation. The text would have had to have survived these two deportations as well as other calamities the nation faced.
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When Was The Old Testament Compiled
The story of how the Old Testament books of the Bible is a saga of Gods faithfulness. The Old Testament books were collected and compiled is an epic narrative worthy of its own book . While some rabbis point to a general assembly of religious leaders that recognized the books of the Bible, this did not happen until well after the people of God were already using the Scriptures in worship. Therefore, just as in the development of the New Testament, the Old Testament books of the Bible were recognized by the people of God as the Word of God. Indeed, the development of the Old Testament seems to have taken place according to turning points in Israels history. This would include the Exodus, the taking of Canaan, the appearance of the monarchy in Israel with Saul and then David, the fall of Jerusalem and the exile in Babylon. And, finally, the restoration of the Israelite people to Jerusalem and the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah. Zondervan Academic has an excellent summary in their article How Did We Get the Old Testament?
And Don Stewart with BlueLetterBible.org explains,
How Did Christianity Spread Around The World
The Epistles, or letters, written by Paul the Apostle to churches dotted across the Mediterranean world which are our best source for the initial spread of Christianity confirm that Christianity started in Jerusalem, but spread rapidly to Syria and then to the rest of the Mediterranean world, and was mostly accepted by non-Jews, says John Barton, former professor of the interpretation of holy scriptures at the University of Oxford.
The epistles are our earliest evidence for Christianity, says Barton. The first date from the AD 50s, just two decades after the death of Jesus.
As Pauls letters to churches such as the one in the Greek city of Thessalonica reveal, the first Christian communities were often persecuted for their beliefs.
And its such persecution, particularly at the hands of the Romans, that may have inspired the last book of the New Testament, Revelations. With its dark descriptions of a seven-headed beast and allusions to an imminent apocalypse, Revelations is now widely believed to be a foretelling of the grisly fate that the author believed awaited the Roman oppressors of Christianity.
Versions of the Bible
Different editions of the Bible have appeared over the centuries, aiming to further popularise the stories and teachings within. Here are three of the most notable versions
King James Bible
The Gutenberg Bible
Dead Sea Scrolls
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Books Of The Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew canon contains 24 books, one for each of the scrolls on which these works were written in ancient times. The Hebrew Bible is organized into three main sections: the Torah, or Teaching, also called the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses the Neviim, or Prophets and the Ketuvim, or Writings. It is often referred to as the Tanakh, a word combining the first letter from the names of each of the three main divisions. Each of the three main groupings of texts is further subdivided. The Torah contains narratives combined with rules and instructions in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The books of the Neviim are categorized among either the Former Prophetswhich contain anecdotes about major Hebrew persons and include Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kingsor the Latter Prophetswhich exhort Israel to return to God and are named for Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 Minor Prophets . The last of the three divisions, the Ketuvim, contains poetry , theology, and drama in Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs , Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles.
When Was The New Testament Compiled
To compile intimates an intentional time and place in which various documents or fragments are united into one. The New Testament nor the Old came about this way. Rather, the books of the New Testament were received by the Church as Gods Word by numerous quantitative and qualitative factors.1 Chapter one of the Westminster Confession of Faith summarizes those factors in its article 5 :
We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole , the full discovery it makes of the only way of mans salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
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Scribes Copied The Writings Meticulously
We can confirm the accuracy of the transmission of the original Bible to copies in four important ways.
First, after the Babylonian captivity, Ezra and other scribes carefully went to work to ensure that plenty of copies of Gods Word would always exist. These scribes became known as lawyers because of their knowledge of the Old Testament law.
Second, the Talmudists , the Masoretes , and other such groups who copied under the strictest of rules reproduced the Old Testament. Their high standards reflect the accuracy of their copying. Here are some of the rules they followed:
- They could not copy from memory.
- They could not correct the original if they felt it was wrong .
- On each line they copied, they counted the number of letters and words, compared middle words, checked the frequency of each letter, and the like.
- They used the space of a hair between each letter. (Talk about precise!
- They reverently burned or buried worn-out copies .
Third, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence for the New Testament. Its 27 books were written between AD 40 and 100. The earliest known copy of part of the New Testament is dated only a few short decades after the completion of the original.
Also, there are 5,400 ancient copies of the New Testament in Greek alone, 10,000 more in Latin, and 9,300 in other languages. From this wealth of sources, scholars have made comparisons to accurately determine the original.
When Was The First Complete Bible Published
Well, that is a hard one. Naturally, the Bible developed with Hebrew Scriptures and the Scriptures after Jesus Christ on through to the death of the Apostle John. The Old Covenant text in Hebrew was already being recorded on skins four hundred years before our Lord Jesus incarnate birth. Jesus knew the Bible as the lectionary was read in his local synagogue. The Gospel of Mark was well-circulated in the early years after Jesus ascension. The letters of Paul and Peter, Luke and Acts by Luke, and the other letters were copied and disseminated amongst the local Christian communities in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth .
But we can say that there was the first work published that we know of that contained the Old and New Testaments . This Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus , was published around 350 AD.5 Until that discovery by Dr. Constantin von Tischendorf in 1844, the Codex Vaticanus was the only surviving Bible from the early Church. We must remember, however, that though those documents survived, that doesnt mean there were not earlier editions. For example, I do not believe that I have the first Bible I used in the pastoral ministry. I used it up. So, too, we have what has remained and what has been found. If you are ever in London, go to the British Museum and you will see the full New Testament at its earliest publication, with much of the Old Testament. But how about the Bible in English?
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Why This New Bible Is Making Modern History
With all due respect to the King James Version of the Bible, its books are quite out of order! The fact is, King James and his team of 54 translators missed a golden opportunity to produce a complete Bible in which the books follow the original manuscript orderwhich, ironically, was well known among those scholars. Why was the inspired canonical order intentionally ignored? Was it political/religious expediency? Was there a real fear of offending the doctrinal sensitivities of the Church of England?
Now, 400 years later, a new Bible is making headlinesThe Holy Bible In Its Original Order. This extraordinary Bible is unique in three ways.
First, it is theonly complete Bible ever published in one volume that accurately follows the original God-inspired manuscript order. Today, nearly all scholars and theologians recognize this manuscript order, but overlook its importance. The Holy Bible In Its Original Order gives you, the reader, concrete, verifiable proof of the original, inspired manuscript order of the books of the Bible. Commentaries are included that trace precisely how the order of the books of the Bible was mysteriously altered by early church fathers in the fourth century, leading to the present 66-book format.
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