Origins Of The Written Bible
In the modern era, we take for granted that the Hebrew Bible is a textwritten words, displayed in chapters and verse. Yet biblical scholar William Schniedewind, the Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies at UCLA, has a different view. In How the Bible Became a Book , he explores when and why the ancient Israelite accountsonce conveyed only orallycame to be written down and attain the status of Scripture. Here, Schniedewind offers an overview of his findings.
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In writing How the Bible Became a Book, I began with a different question than scholars usually ask. Namely, why did the Bible become a book at all? This question began to haunt me more and more as I studied the archeology of ancient Palestine and the early history of Hebrew writing. Scholars agree that early Israel was an oral society of pastoralism and subsistence farming. So how and why did such a pastoral-agrarian society come to write down and give authority to the written word? How and why did writing spread from the closed circles of royal and priestly scribes to the lay classes? It was this spread of Hebrew writing in ancient Palestine that democratized the written word and allowed it to gain religious authority in the book we now call “the Bible.”
Development Of The Christian Canons
The Old Testament canon entered into Christian use in the Greek Septuagint translations and original books, and their differing lists of texts. In addition to the Septuagint, Christianity subsequently added various writings that would become the New Testament. Somewhat different lists of accepted works continued to develop in antiquity. In the 4th century a series of synods produced a list of texts equal to the 39, 46, 51, or 54-book canon of the Old Testament and to the 27-book canon of the New Testament that would be subsequently used to today, most notably the Synod of Hippo in 393 CE. Also c. 400, Jerome produced a definitive Latin edition of the Bible , the canon of which, at the insistence of the Pope, was in accord with the earlier Synods. With the benefit of hindsight, it can be said that this process effectively set the New Testament canon, although there are examples of other canonical lists in use after this time.
The New Testament writers assumed the inspiration of the Old Testament, probably earliest stated in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”.
Ethiopian Orthodox canon
What Language Was The Bible Originally Written In
The Hebrew Bible was written in Hebrew. Its Greek translation, the , made it accessible in the Hellenistic period and provided a language for the New Testament and for the Christian liturgy and theology of the first three centuries CE. The Bible in Latin, the Vulgate, shaped the thought and life of Western people for a thousand years. Bible translation led to the study and literary development of many languages.
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Heres Why The Gospels Were Written
In the early years after Jesus’ death and resurrection there was no apparent need for written biographies about Jesus.Those living in the Jerusalem region were witnesses of Jesus and well aware of his ministry.6
However, when news of Jesus spread beyond Jerusalem, and the eyewitnesses were no longer readily accessible, there was a need for written accounts to educate others about Jesus’ life and ministry.
If you would like to know more about Jesus, this article will give you a good summary of his life: Why Jesus is God.
Why Is The Bible Important
The Bible contains the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity and has long been the most available, familiar, and dependable source and arbiter of intellectual, moral, and spiritual ideals in the West. The great biblical themes are God, his revealed works of creation, provision, judgment, and deliverance, his covenant, and his promises. The Bible sees what happens to humankind in the light of Gods nature, righteousness, faithfulness, mercy, and love.
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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.
When Was The New Testament Written
Since the New Testament books of the Bible are younger than the Old Testament collection, we naturally have more understanding about how the New Testament was written. The astounding feature of this knowledge actually helps us to understand how the Old Testament was collected and compiled. There is little difference in method. The books of the New Testament were recognized in time as the divine Word of God moving through His Apostles and disciples. From A.D. 33 until approximately A.D. 80, the Holy Spirit breathed out His Word in twenty-seven books and nine authors. Among the authors used by God were those who actually walked with Jesus and had seen Jesus in His post-resurrection form . The New Testament may be simply divided into Gospels and Epistles. Paul wrote most of the Epistles. These letters to churches were primarily concerned with clarifying doctrinal truths about Jesus and the way to be saved and ethical goals for the life of believers in the Church. Misunderstanding, contextualization problems, persecution, and false teachers became the forces that caused the writings and led to clarity, faithfulness, and further revelation about the mission of God in the world through Jesus Christ.
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Is The Word Good
Discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in the caves of Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls consist of passages of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, that range from 1,800 to more than 2,000 years old. They comprise the oldest copies of Biblical text ever found.
From 1947 to 1953, many of the scrolls were purchased from Bedouin by the local merchant Khalil Iskander Shahin , who then sold them to collectors and academic institutions. But once the 1970 UNESCO convention on cultural property kicked in, the illicit excavation and selling of newfound scrolls was made illegal.
Today, many of the Dead Sea Scrollswhich total some 100,000 fragmentsare housed in the Shrine of the Book, part of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The private market fights for the literal scraps grandfathered into current law, mostly pieces that entered private collections before 1970.
In the early 2000s, about 75 grandfathered-in fragmentsmost no bigger than large coinswere put up for sale, many by Kandos relatives. Sixteen of the fragments were purchased by the Green family from 2009 to 2014. Many of these post-2002 fragments arent academically revelatory: Their texts mirror content known from earlier Dead Sea Scrolls. Nevertheless, museums and private collectors jumped at the chance to claim physical ownership of some of the earliest known Biblical texts.
“Any reputable Bible museum almost has to have Dead Sea Scrolls,” said Trobisch, the museums director, in a 2017 interview with CNNs Daniel Burke.
What About The Original Language
Again, the beauty of the Bible is how God reaches men and women, boys and girls, by coming to us in our own language. The Old Testament was written in ancient Hebrew. Parts of the Old Testament were written in an imperial Aramaic . The fact that the Bible was written to a People, in a place, amidst their trials and joys, their living and dying, demonstrates the astounding relevance, relation, and reliability of Gods Word. This is no fable. This is not yarn. This is God with us.
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Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier Text Suggests
ByClara Moskowitz15 January 2010
Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David’s reign.
The breakthrough could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought.
Until now, many scholars have held that the Hebrew Bible originated in the 6th century B.C., because Hebrew writing was thought to stretch back no further. But the newly deciphered Hebrew text is about four centuries older, scientists announced this month.
“It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research,” said Gershon Galil, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, who deciphered the ancient text.
BCE stands for “before common era,” and is equivalent to B.C., or before Christ.
The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel’s Elah valley. The excavations were carried out by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At first, scientists could not tell if the writing was Hebrew or some other local language.
Finally, Galil was able to decipher the text. He identified words particular to the Hebrew language and content specific to Hebrew culture to prove that the writing was, in fact, Hebrew.
The Magical Writing Of Priests And Kings
In ancient Palestine, writing was a restricted and expensive technology. Writing was controlled by the government and manipulated by the priests. Writing was seen as a gift from the gods. It was not used to canonize religious practice, but rather to engender religious awe. Writing was magical. It was powerful. It was the guarded knowledge of political and religious elites.
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So Where Did The Bible Come From
So, where did the Bible come from? For a book thats pretty much everywhere, its not a question that gets asked very much. But unlike that one U2 album you never asked for, that old book didnt just magically appear in your life. Below, we try to find an answer to that question as quickly and simply as possible.
No matter what you believe, its hard to argue the Bible is anything less than the most influential book in history. Thats not hyperbole. Its completely changed civilizationfrom the laws we make, to the words we use, to the lives we lead. Its basically the Sgt. Peppers of human history, minus the creepy mustaches. Chances are, youve got a copy in your house right now. A recent study found nearly 9 out of 10 American households have at least one copy of the scriptures, despite their religious affiliation .
Lets be real, though. To fully represent the story of the Bible, wed need more space than we have here. Thats because, for all its holy content, the history of the Bible is messy. Stretching across millennia and multiple languages, it involves vulgar translations, rampaging monarchs, and more than one burned heretic.
Now, if youd be so kind, place your seat backs and trays in the upright position and pop that last second Dramamine. Were taking off!
Biblical Understanding & 19th
The stories which the Bible relates were considered to be historically accurate and entirely unique until the mid-19th century CE when archaeologists discovered the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. The Bible, in fact, was considered the oldest book in the world until much older literature was discovered which told the same stories, in an earlier form, than those found in the Bible. Scholars had long known that the Bible was a compilation which had been gathered from earlier works and authorized under the Bishops of Rome but no one seemed to be aware that those works were drawn from even earlier pieces. No one could read Egyptianhieroglyphics until Jean Jacques Champollion deciphered them and the literature of Sumer was completely unknown to the modern world.
In the mid-19th century CE museums and publications sent archaeologists from the west to the region of Mesopotamia to find physical evidence that would substantiate biblical narratives. The 19th century CE was an interesting period for religion in the west, especially Christianity, in that people became more vocal in their criticism of the faith and new ideas and philosophies provided for acceptable alternatives to religious belief. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection was published in 1859 CE and challenged the traditionally held belief in the creation of humanity by an all-powerful God.
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Gadget And Tech News: In Pictures
The passages, which come from the Book of Leviticus, show the first physical evidence of a long-held belief that the Hebrew Bible thats in use today has is more than 2,000 years old.
The discovery was announced in an article in Science Advances written by researchers from Kentucky and Jerusalem. It described how the researchers used a tool called virtual unwrapping, which provides a 3D digital analysis of an X-ray scan.
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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Who Was King David
The first wave of scribes may, its been suggested, have started work during the reign of King David . Whether thats true or not, David is a monumental figure in the biblical story the slayer of Goliath, the conqueror of Jerusalem. David is also a hugely important figure in the quest to establish links between the Bible and historical fact, for he appears to be the earliest biblical figure to be confirmed by archaeology.
I killed king of the house of David. So boasts the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone dating from 870750 BC and discovered in northern Israel in the 1990s. Like the Merneptah Stele before it, it documents a warlords victory over the Israelites . But it at least indicates that David was a historical figure.
The Tel Dan Stele also suggests that,no matter how capable their rulers, the people of Israel continued to be menaced by powerful, belligerent neighbours. And, in 586 BC, one of those neighbours, the Babylonians, would inflict on the Jews one of the most devastating defeats in their history: ransacking the sacred city of Jerusalem, butchering its residents, and dragging many more back to Babylonia.
Impact On Biblical Scholarship
Along with Codex Vaticanus, the Codex Sinaiticus is considered one of the most valuable manuscripts available, as it is one of the oldest and likely closer to the original text of the Greek New Testament. It is the only uncial manuscript with the complete text of the New Testament, and the only ancient manuscript of the New Testament written in four columns per page which has survived to the present day. With only 300 years separating the Codex Sinaiticus and the lifetime of Jesus, it is considered by some to be more accurate than most New Testament copies in preserving readings where almost all manuscripts are assumed by them to be in error.
For the Gospels, Sinaiticus is considered among some people as the second most reliable witness of the text in the Acts of the Apostles, its text is equal to that of Vaticanus in the Epistles, Sinaiticus is assumed to be the most reliable witness of the text. In the Book of Revelation, however, its text is corrupted and is considered of poor quality, and inferior to the texts of Codex Alexandrinus, Papyrus 47, and even some minuscule manuscripts in this place .
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