Why have to we have some understanding of just how the scriptures came tous? Young kids often think that milk come in cartons fromthe grocery store store. As they prosper up they discover that milk originates from cows on thefarm. Likewise many believer have end up being so supplied to having actually Bibles the theyhave bought at a publication store that they have virtually no expertise of where thepresent English translations that the bible came from.

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Understanding how theBible involved us provides us a confident structure for our confidence in thereliability the Bible. Proof presented in a criminal instance must be displayed tohave been protected by a suitable chain that custody from being tampered with. us will be able to answer tocritics when they case that the new Testament includes 200,000 errors. we will have some understandingof why the newer translations such together the NIV and NASV differ from theKing James version at various points.

Important terms to remember:

Skeptics often claim that the bible has to be changed. However, the is important to specify the state that use to the resource of ours English Bible.

Autographs: The original texts were composed either through the author's very own hand or through a scribe under their personal supervision. Manuscripts: till Gutenberg very first printed the Latin scriptures in 1456, every Bibles to be hand replicated onto papyrus, parchment, and also paper. Translations: when the bible is interpreted into a different language it is usually interpreted from the original Hebrew and also Greek. However some translations in the previous were derived from an earlier translation. For example the first English translation by john Wycliffe in 1380 was all set from the Latin Vulgate.

Old Testament

The scriptures comes indigenous two key sources - Old and brand-new Testaments - created in various languages. The Old testimony was written mostly in Hebrew, v some books written in Aramaic. The complying with are short snap shots of the beginning and also ending the the Old Testamentand the reasons for the an initial two translations the the Old testimony from Hebrewinto Aramaic and also Greek

1875 B.C. Abraham was referred to as by God to the soil of Canaan. 1450 B.C. The exodus that the youngsters of Israel indigenous Egypt.


There are no known autographs of any books of the Old Testament. Below is alist of the languages in i m sorry the Old Testament publications were written.

1450-1400 B.C. The classic date for Moses' composing of Genesis-Deuteronomy composed in Hebrew. 586 B.C. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. TheJews were taken into captivity to Babylon. They continued to be in Babylon under theMedo-Persian Empire and there began to speak Aramaic. 555-545 B.C. The publication of Daniel Chapters. 2:4 to 7:28 were composed in Aramaic. 425 B.C. Malachi, the last publication of the Old Testament, was composed in Hebrew. 400 B.C. Ezra Chapters. 4:8 come 6:18; and 7:12-26 were created in Aramaic.


The following is a list of the earliest Hebrew manuscripts the the Old Testamentthat room still in existence.

The Dead Sea Scrolls: day from 200 B.C. - 70 A.D. And contain the entire publication of Isaiah and also portions of every other Old Testament publication but Esther. Geniza Fragments: parts the Old testimony in Hebrew and also Aramaic, discovered in 1947 in one old synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, which day from around 400 A.D. Ben Asher Manuscripts: 5 or six generations that this household made duplicates of the Old testament using the Masoretic Hebrew text, native 700-950 A.D. The adhering to are examples of the Hebrew Masoretic text-type. Aleppo Codex: contains the complete Old Testament and also is dated about 950 A.D. Unfortunately over one 4 minutes 1 of this Codex was damaged in anti-Jewish riots in 1947. Codex Leningradensis: The finish Old testimony in Hebrew duplicated by the critical member of the Ben Asher family in A.D. 1008.


The Old testimony was translated an extremely early into Aramaic andGreek.

400 B.C. The Old Testament started to be interpreted into Aramaic. This translate into is referred to as the Aramaic Targums. This translation assisted the Jewish people, who started to speak Aramaic from the time of their bondage in Babylon, to know the Old testimony in the language the they typically spoke. In the first century Palestine of Jesus' day, Aramaic was still the commonly spoken language. For instance maranatha: "Our Lord has actually come," 1 Corinthians 16:22 is an example of one Aramaic word the is supplied in the new Testament. 250 B.C. The Old testimony was interpreted into Greek. This translate in is well-known as the Septuagint. The is occasionally designated "LXX" (which is Roman character for "70") since it was believed that 70 to 72 translators worked to interpret the Hebrew Old testimony in Greek. The Septuagint was regularly used by new Testament writers as soon as they quoted indigenous the Old Testament. The LXX was translation that the Old testimony that was offered by the at an early stage Church. 1. The following is a list of the oldest Greek LXX translations the the Old testament that are still in existence. Chester Beatty Papyri: contains nine Old Testament publications in the Greek Septuagint and also dates in between 100-400 A.D. Codex Vaticanus and also Codex Sinaiticus each contain nearly the whole Old testament of the Greek Septuagint and they both date roughly 350 A.D.

The brand-new Testament


45- 95 A.D. The brand-new Testament was written in Greek. The Pauline Epistles, theGospel the Mark, the Gospel the Luke, and also the publication of Acts are all dated from45-63 A.D. The Gospel that John and also the Revelation may have actually been composed as lateas 95 A.D.


There space over 5,600 early on Greek Manuscripts the the NewTestament that room still in existence. The oldestmanuscripts were created on papyrus and the later on manuscripts were composed onleather dubbed parchment.

125 A.D. The brand-new Testament manuscript which days most very closely to the original autograph was copied about 125 A.D, within 35 year of the original. It is designated "p 52" and contains a small section of john 18. (The "p" represents papyrus.) 200 A.D. Bodmer p 66 a papyrus manuscript which has a big part that the Gospel the John. 200 A.D. Chester Beatty Biblical papyrus ns 46 includes the Pauline Epistles and also Hebrews. 225 A.D. Bodmer Papyrus p 75 consists of the Gospels that Luke and John. 250-300 A.D. Chester Beatty Biblical papyrus p 45 includes portions the the 4 Gospels and also Acts. 350 A.D. Codex Sinaiticus has the entire new Testament and virtually the whole Old testament in Greek. That was found by a German scholar Tisendorf in 1856 in ~ an Orthodox monastery at Mt. Sinai. 350 A.D. Codex Vaticanus: B is an nearly complete brand-new Testament. It was cataloged together being in the Vatican Library because 1475.


Early translations that the new Testament deserve to give necessary insight into theunderlying Greek manuscripts indigenous which they were translated.

180 A.D. Beforehand translations the the new Testament native Greek right into Latin, Syriac, and Coptic version began around 180 A.D. 195 A.D. The name of the very first translation of the Old and brand-new Testaments into Latin was termed Old Latin, both Testaments having actually been translated from the Greek. Parts of the Old Latin were uncovered in quotes by the church father Tertullian, who lived approximately 160-220 A.D. In north Africa and wrote treatises top top theology. 300 A.D. The Old Syriac was a translate in of the brand-new Testament from the Greek into Syriac. 300 A.D. The Coptic Versions: Coptic was spoken in 4 dialects in Egypt. The bible was analyzed into each of these 4 dialects. 380 A.D. The Latin Vulgate was analyzed by St. Jerome. He analyzed into Latin the Old testimony from the Hebrew and the brand-new Testament indigenous Greek. The Latin Vulgate became the scriptures of the western Church until the Protestant reformation in the 1500's. It continues to it is in the authoritative translation the the roman Catholic Church to this day. The Protestant reformation saw rise in translations the the holy bible into the usual languages of the people. Other early translations the the holy bible were in Armenian, Georgian, and Ethiopic, Slavic, and Gothic. 1380 A.D. The very first English translation of the holy bible was by john Wycliffe. He analyzed the scriptures into English from the Latin Vulgate. This was a translation indigenous a translation and also not a translation native the initial Hebrew and Greek. Wycliffe was required to analyze from the Latin Vulgate since he walk not recognize Hebrew or Greek.

The arrival of Printing

Printing significantly aided the infection of the biblical texts.

1456 A.D. Gutenberg created the very first printed holy bible in Latin. Printing revolutionized the method books were made. From currently on books could be released in good numbers and at a reduced cost. 1514 A.D. The Greek brand-new Testament was published for the an initial time by Erasmus. That based his Greek brand-new Testament native only five Greek manuscripts, the earliest of i beg your pardon dated just as far back as the twelfth century. With minor revisions, Erasmus' Greek brand-new Testament became known together the Textus Receptus or the "received texts." 1522 A. D. Polyglot Bible was published. The Old testament was in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and also Latin and also the new Testament in Latin and Greek. Erasmus offered the Polyglot to revise later on editions the his new Testament. Tyndale made usage of the Polyglot in his translate in on the Old Testament into English which the did no complete since he was martyred in 1534. 1611 A.D. The King James Version right into English native the initial Hebrew and Greek. The King James translators of the new Testament provided the Textus Receptus as the communication for their translations. 1968 A.D. The United bible Societies fourth Edition that the Greek brand-new Testament. This Greek brand-new Testament made usage of the oldest Greek manuscripts which day from 175 A.D. This to be the Greek new Testament message from i beg your pardon the NASV and the NIV were translated. 1971 A.D. The new American conventional Version (NASV) was published. It renders use of the riches of much older Hebrew and Greek manuscripts now easily accessible that weren't available at the moment of the translate into of the KJV. That wording and sentence structure closely follow the Greek in much more of a word because that word style. 1983 A.D. The brand-new International Version (NIV) was published. It likewise made use of the oldest manuscript evidence. That is more of a "thought-for-thought" translation and reads much more easily than the NASV. As an example of the contrast in between word-for-word and thought-for-thought translations, an alert below the translate in of the Greek word "hagios-holy" NASV Hebrews 9:25. "...the high monk enters the holy place year through year through blood not his own." NIV Hebrews 9:25. "...the high monk enters the Most divine Place every year with blood that is no his own." The NIV gives "understood" information about the day of Atonement, namely that the high priest's duties took location in the compartment of the temple known specifically together the Most holy Place. Note that the NASV just says "holy place" showing the much more literal translate in of "hagios."

The integrity of the Manuscript Evidence

As through any ancient book sent through a number of handwrittenmanuscripts, the question normally arises as to how confident can we be that wehave anything resembling the autograph. Let united state nowlook in ~ what evidences we have actually for the integrity of the new Testamentmanuscripts. Let united state look at the number of manuscripts and how close they date to the autographs the the holy bible as compared with other old writings of comparable age.

Tacitus, the roman inn historian, created his Annals of royal Rome in about A.D. 116. Only one manuscript of his work remains. It was copied about 850 A.D.Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote The Jewish War quickly after 70 A.D. There space nine manuscripts in Greek which day from 1000-1200 A.D. And also one Latin translation from approximately 400 A.D.Homer's Iliad to be written about 800 B.C. It was as crucial to old Greeks together the holy bible was to the Hebrews. There room over 650 manuscripts remaining but they day from 200 come 300 A.D. I beg your pardon is over a thousand years after the Iliad was written.The Old testament autographs were composed 1450 - 400 B. C. The Dead Sea Scrolls date between 200 B.C. Come 70 A. D and also date within 300 year from when the last book of the Old testament was written.Two almost complete Greek LXX translations that the Old testimony date about 350 A. D.The oldest finish Hebrew Old testament dates around 950 A. D.Genesis-Deuteronomy were composed over 1200 years prior to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Codex Vaticanus is an virtually complete Greek translation of the Old testament dating around 350 A.D. The Aleppo Codex is the oldest complete Old testament manuscript in Hebrew and also was copied roughly 950 A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls day from within 200-300 year from the last publication of the Old Testament. However since the five books of Moses were written around 1450- 1400 B.C. The Dead Sea Scrolls still come nearly 1200 year after the an initial books the the Old testament were written.

The brand-new Testament autographs were written in between 45-95 A. D. There room 5,664 Greek manuscripts part dating as early as 125 A. D. And also an complete new Testament that dates from 350 A. D.8,000 to 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts.8,000 manuscripts in Ethiopic, Coptic, Slavic, Syriac, and also Armenian.In addition, the complete new Testament can be reproduced indigenous the estimates that to be made from that by the early church fathers in their letters and also sermons.

Authorship and also dating the the new Testament books

Skeptics and also liberal Christian scholar both seek to date the brand-new Testament books as late an initial century or early second century writings. They contend that these books were not created by eyewitnesses but rather by 2nd or third hand sources. This permitted for the breakthrough of what they see as myths worrying Jesus. For example, they would certainly deny the Jesus in reality foretold the damage of Jerusalem. Fairly they would compete that later on Christian authors "put this words into his mouth."

Many the the brand-new Testament publications claim come be written by eyewitnesses.The Gospel the John cases to be written by the disciple that the Lord. Current archeological research has confirmed both the presence of the pool of Bethesda and that the had 5 porticoes as defined in man 5:2. This correct recommendation to one incidental information lends credibility come the claim that the Gospel of man was composed by John who as one eyewitness knew Jerusalem before it was destroyed in 70 A. D.Paul signed his epistles with his own hand. That was writing to churches who knew him. This churches were able come authenticate that these epistles had come native his hand (Galatians 6:11). Clement an associate of Paul's created to the Corinthian Church in 97 A. D. Urging them come heed the epistle that Paul had actually sent them.The complying with facts strongly suggest that both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts to be written before 65 A.D. This lends credibility come the author's (Luke) case to it is in an eyewitness come Paul's missionary journeys. This would day Mark prior to 65 A.D. And the Pauline epistles in between 49-63 A.D.Acts records the beginning background of the church through persecutions and martyrdoms being discussed repeatedly. 3 men; Peter, Paul, and also James the brothers of Jesus every play leading roles throughout the book. They were every martyred by 67 A.D., but their martyrdoms are not tape-recorded in Acts.The church in Jerusalem played a central role in the publication of Acts, but the damage of the city in 70 A.D. Was not mentioned. The Jewish chronicler Josephus quote the siege and destruction the Jerusalem as befalling the Jews since of your unjust death of James the brothers of Jesus.The book of plot ends through Paul in Rome under residence arrest in 62 A.D. In 64 A.D., Nero blamed and also persecuted the Christians for the fire that shed down the city that Rome. Paul self was martyred through 65 A.D. In Rome. Again, neither the terrible persecution that the believer in Rome no one Paul's martyrdom space mentioned.Conclusion: these books, Luke-Acts, were created while Luke was an eyewitness to many of the events, and also had chance to research parts that the was not an eyewitness to.

The church fathers bear witness to even earlier brand-new Testament manuscripts

The earliest manuscripts we have of significant portions the the new Testament room p 45, p 46, p66, and p 75, and they date from 175-250 A. D. The beforehand church fathers (97-180 A.D.) be affected by each other witness to even earlier new Testament manuscripts by quoting from all yet one of the new Testament books. Castle are also in the place to authenticate those books, composed by the apostle or their close associates, native later books such as the gospel of cutting board that asserted to have actually been created by the apostles, yet were not.

Clement (30-100 A.D.) wrote an epistle come the Corinthian Church roughly 97 A.D. He reminded them to heed the epistle that Paul had actually written come them year before. Recall that Clement had actually labored through Paul (Philippians 4:3). The quoted from the following new Testament books: Luke, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Titus, 1 and also 2 Peter, Hebrews, and James.The apostolic fathers Ignatius (30-107 A.D.), Polycarp (65-155 A.D.), and Papias (70-155 A.D.) point out verses native every new Testament publication except 2 and also 3 John. They in order to authenticated nearly the entire new Testament.Both Ignatius and Polycarp were disciples that the apostle John.Justin Martyr, (110-165 A.D.), cited verses indigenous the complying with 13 publications of the brand-new Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Peter, and Revelation.Irenaeus, (120-202 A.D.), created a five volume job-related Against Heresies in which,He quoted native every publication of the new Testament however 3 John.He quoted from the brand-new Testament publications over 1,200 times.

How was the brand-new Testament canon determined?

The beforehand church had actually three criteria because that determining what publications were to be had or excluded native the Canon that the brand-new Testament.

First, the books must have apostolic authority-- the is, lock must have been created either by the apostles themselves, who were eyewitnesses come what they wrote about, or by associates that the apostles.Second, there was the standard of conformity come what was called the "rule the faith." In other words, to be the document congruent v the basic Christian heritage that the church well-known as normative.Third, there was the criterion of even if it is a document had appreciated continuous acceptance and usage by the church at large.The gospel of thomas is not had in the Canon of the brand-new Testament because that the complying with reasons. The gospel that Thomas stops working the check of Apostolic authority. None of the at an early stage church fathers indigenous Clement to Irenaeus ever before quoted from the gospel the Thomas. This shows that they either did not understand of that or that they rejected it as spurious. In one of two people case, the early on church fathers fail to support the gospel the Thomas' insurance claim to have actually been created by the apostle. It was thought to by written roughly 140 A.D. There is no evidence to assistance its purported claim to be created by the Apostle thomas himself.The gospel that Thomas stops working to conform to the dominance of faith. That purports come contain 114 "secret sayings" that Jesus. Few of these are very comparable to the sayings that Jesus videotaped in the 4 Gospels. For example the gospel that Thomas estimates Jesus together saying, "A city built on a high hill cannot be hidden." This reads the same as Matthew's Gospel except that high is added. But Thomas insurance claims that Jesus said, "Split wood; i am there. Lift increase a stone, and you will find me there." That concept is pantheistic. Cutting board ends with the adhering to saying that denies females salvation uneven they room some how readjusted into gift a man. "Let mar go far from us, because women room not worthy that life." Jesus is quoted together saying, "Lo, ns shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she also may become a living spirit, the same, similar thing you males. Because that every mrs who makes herself masculine will go into into the kingdom that heaven."The gospel the Thomas fails the test of continuous usage and acceptance. The absence of manuscript evidence plus the failure of the beforehand church fathers come quote from that or recognize it shows that it was not used or accepted in the early Church. Only two manuscripts are known of this "gospel." till 1945 just a solitary fifth-century copy translation in Coptic had actually been found. Climate in 1945 a Greek manuscript that the Gospel of cutting board was discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. This compares an extremely poorly to the thousands of manuscripts the authenticate the Four Gospels.

Textual Criticism: What Is It and Why the Is Necessary

Important terms:

Textual criticism is the technique used to study the vast variety of manuscripts to determine the most likely composition that the original autographs.

"Lower" Textual Criticism: the exercise of researching themanuscripts the the holy bible with the goal of reproducing the original text the theBible indigenous this huge wealth the manuscripts. This is a necessary task becausethere exists minor variations amongst the biblical manuscripts. So, uneven onemanuscript is arbitrarily liked as a standard whereby to judge every others,then one should employ textual criticism to to compare all manuscriptsto derive the reading which would certainly most carefully reflect the autographs."Higher" criticism: "The Jesus Seminar" is a team ofliberal Christian higher critics who vote on i m sorry of the sayings of Christ theybelieve to have actually been talked by Him. This is an instance of"higher" criticism. The is very subjective and is fancy by the approaches of various "higher" critics.Textual Variants: because all Greek manuscripts of the brand-new Testament prior toErasmus' first printed Greek new Testament were replicated by hand scribal errors orvariants might have crept into the texts.. When these Greek brand-new Testament manuscriptsare contrasted with each various other we find evidence of scribal errors and also places wherethe various manuscripts differ v one another.

Textual variants and also the truth of the brand-new Testament text

Many scholars have spent a lifetime of examine of the textual variants. Thefollowing is the conclusion of the prominence of these variants together they relateto the truth of the new Testament text.

There are over 200,000 variants in the new Testament alone. Just how do thesevariants impact our confidence the the brand-new Testament has actually been faithfully handeddown come us?These 200,000 variants space not as large as castle seem. Remember that everymisspelled native or one omission that a single word in any type of of the 5,600 manuscriptwould count together a variant.Johann Bengel 1687-1752 was very disturbed by the 30,000 variants the hadrecently been listed in Mill's execution of the Greek Testament. After ~ extendedstudy he concerned the conclusion that the different readings were fewer in numberthan might have been expected and that they did not shake any article ofChristian doctrine.Westcott and Hort, in the 1870's, state the the brand-new Testament textremains over 98.3 percent pure no issue whether one supplies the Textus Receptus ortheir very own Greek message which to be largely based upon Codex Sinaiticus and also Codex Vaticanus.James White, ~ above p. 40 of his publication The King James Only controversy states:"The fact is that the quantity of variation in between the two most extremely various manuscripts of the new Testament would certainly not essentially altar themessage of the Scriptures! i make this declare (1) completely aware the the widerange that textual variants in the brand-new Testament, and also (2) painfully mindful of thestrong assaults upon those who have actually made comparable statements in the past."Scholars Norman Geisler and William Nix conclude, "The brand-new Testament,then, has not just survived in an ext manuscripts that any kind of other publication fromantiquity, but it has survived in a purer form than any kind of other an excellent book-a formthat is 99.5 percent pure.

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"When textual critics look at all 5,600 Greek brand-new Testament manuscriptsthey find that castle can team these manuscripts into text-types or family members withother similar manuscripts. There are 4 text-types.