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Author Topic: History of the Bible from Jesus to present day?  (Read 3003 times)
Bernadette
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« on: January 13, 2007, 03:38:18 PM »

Does anyone know when and how the written Word of God (New Testament) became written down?  What languages were used?  What in the world happened between 33 AD and, say, the first 1,000 years?  I mean, who gathered all the information together....when was it first printed in typewritten ink?  Thank you.
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David_james
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007, 04:01:41 PM »

I may misunderstood but Mattew, Luke, Mark, John, Paul to name a few. The Bible didn't stop at Jesus's ressurection
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Bernadette
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2007, 04:04:28 PM »

Yes, but I was wondering when was it written down in book form? 
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Bernadette
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2007, 04:16:25 PM »

Ok, maybe I didn't make the question very clear.  Let me try again to ask .... the apostles wrote it down but in what language?  Then, how did it get from that language(s) to English?   There must have been alot of something going on in the formation of the typed versions between then and now.  Just wondering how it evolved to what we see in English.  Maybe that's not more clear, sorry, if the question is still muddy.
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David_james
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2007, 04:27:47 PM »

I understand now but I don't know the answer. The Bible went through alot
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Bernadette
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007, 04:32:06 PM »

Out of the mouth of babes, my daughter just said, "Mom, look it up!"  She tells me that there is a Wikipedia (sp?) something on the internet that might have the answer if I plug in "history of the Bible."  I should try that!   Grin
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nChrist
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007, 05:11:43 PM »

Brothers and Sisters,

There are many large books about this subject. If I remember correctly, there are several excellent briefs about this subject already on the forum. If not, I think that I have several briefs on my computer, and I'll look if my electricity stays on.

Love In Christ,
Tom

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NASB  For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007, 06:43:39 PM »

Let me state at this point, that it is not my intent to offend or “bash” Roman Catholics. It is unavoidable that every historical account has its “good guys” and its “bad guys”. Just as it is impossible to accurately tell the story of World War Two without offending the Germans and the Italians who were undeniably the enemies of world peace at that time…... it is equally impossible to accurately tell the story of the English Bible without unintentionally offending those who continue to revere the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

The History of the Bible From 1,400 BC to 1,500+ AD

The first recorded instance of God’s Word being written down, was when the Lord Himself wrote it down in the form of ten commandments on the stone tablets delivered to Moses at the top of Mount Sinai. Biblical scholars believe this occurred between 1,400 BC and 1,500 BC… almost 3,500 years ago. The language used was almost certainly an ancient form of Hebrew, the language of Old Covenant believers.

The earliest scripture is generally considered to be the “Pentateuch”, the first five books of the Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy.. though there is some scholarly evidence to indicate that the Old Testament Book of Job may actually be the oldest book in the Bible. The Old Testament scriptures were written in ancient Hebrew, a language substantially different than the Hebrew of today. These writings were passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years on scrolls made of animal skin, usually sheep, but sometimes deer or cow. Animals considered “unclean” by the Jews, such as pigs, were of course, never used to make scrolls.

When the entire Pentateuch is present on a scroll, it is called a “Torah”. An entire Torah Scroll, if completely unraveled, is over 150 feet long! As most sheep are only about two to three feet long, it took an entire flock of sheep to make just one Torah scroll. The Jewish scribes who painstakingly produced each scroll were perfectionists. If they made even the slightest mistake in copying, such as allowing two letters of a word to touch, they destroyed that entire panel (the last three or four columns of text), and the panel before it, because it had touched the panel with a mistake! While most Christians today would consider this behavior fanatical and even idolatrous (worshiping the scripture, rather than the One who gave it to us), it nevertheless demonstrates the level of faithfulness to accuracy applied to the preservation of God’s Word throughout the first couple of thousand years of Biblical transmission.

Hebrew has one thing in common with English: they are both “picture languages”. Their words form a clear picture in your mind. As evidence of this; the first man to ever print the scriptures in English, William Tyndale, once commented that Hebrew was ten times easier to translate into English than any other language. Tyndale would certainly be qualified to make such a statement, as he was so fluent in eight languages, that it was said you would have thought any one of them to be his native tongue.

By approximately 500 BC, the 39 Books that make up the Old Testament were completed, and continued to be preserved in Hebrew on scrolls. As we approach the last few centuries before Christ, the Jewish historical books known as the “Apocrypha” were completed, yet they were recorded in Greek rather than Hebrew. By the end of the First Century AD, the New Testament had been completed. It was preserved in Greek on Papyrus, a thin paper-like material made from crushed and flattened stalks of a reed-like plant. The word “Bible” comes from the same Greek root word as “papyrus”. The papyrus sheets were bound, or tied together in a configuration much more similar to modern books than to an elongated scroll.

These groupings of papyrus were called a “codex.” The oldest copies of the New Testament known to exist today are: The Codex Alexandrius and the Codex Sinaiticus in the British Museum Library in London, and the Codex Vaticanus in the Vatican. They date back to approximately the 300’s AD. In 315 AD, Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identified the 27 Books which we recognize today as the canon of New Testament scripture.

In 382 AD, the early church father Jerome translated the New Testament from its original Greek into Latin. This translation became known as the “Latin Vulgate”, (“Vulgate” meaning “vulgar” or “common”). He put a note next to the Apocrypha Books, stating that he did not know whether or not they were inspired scripture, or just Jewish historical writings which accompanied the Old Testament.

There is no truth to the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha, which stemmed from the fact that the Roman Catholics kept 12 of the 14 Apocrypha Books in their Bible, as the Protestants removed all of them. No real justification was ever given for the removal of these ancient Jewish writings from before the time of Christ, which had remained untouched and part of every Bible for nearly two thousand years.

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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2007, 06:44:29 PM »

By 500 AD the Bible had been translated into over 500 languages. Just one century later, by 600 AD, it has been restricted to only one language: the Latin Vulgate! The only organized and recognized church at that time in history was the Catholic Church of Rome, and they refused to allow the scripture to be available in any language other than Latin. Those in possession of non-Latin scriptures would be executed! This was because only the priests were educated to understand Latin, and this gave the church ultimate power… a power to rule without question… a power to deceive… a power to extort money from the masses. Nobody could question their “Biblical” teachings, because few people other than priests could read Latin. The church capitalized on this forced-ignorance through the 1,000 year period from 400 AD to 1,400 AD knows as the “Dark and Middle Ages”.

Pope Leo the Tenth established a practice called the “selling of indulgences” as a way to extort money from the people. He offered forgiveness of sins for a fairly small amount of money. For a little bit more money, you would be allowed to indulge in a continuous lifestyle of sin, such as keeping a mistress. Also, through the invention of “Purgatory”, you could purchase the salvation of your loved-one’s souls. The church taught the ignorant masses, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the troubled soul from Purgatory springs!” Pope Leo the Tenth showed his true feelings when he said, “The fable of Christ has been quite profitable to us!”

On the Scottish Island of Iona, in 563 AD, a man named Columba started a Bible College. For the next 700 years, this was the source of much of the non-Catholic, evangelical Bible teaching through those centuries of the Dark and Middle Ages. The students of this college were called “Culdees”, which means “certain stranger”. The Culdees were a secret society, and the remnant of the true Christian faith was kept alive by these men during the many centuries that led up to the Protestant Reformation.

In fact, the first man to be called a “Culdee” was Joseph of Aremethia. The Bible tells us that Joseph of Aremethia gave up his tomb for Jesus. Tradition tells us that he was actually the Uncle of the Virgin Mary, and therefore the Great-Uncle (or “half-Uncle” at least) of Jesus. It is also believed that Joseph of Aremethia traveled to the British Isles shortly after the resurrection of Christ, and built the first Christian Church above ground there.

In the late 1300’s, the secret society of Culdees chose John Wycliffe to lead the world out of the Dark Ages. Wycliffe has been called the “Morning Star of the Reformation”. That Protestant Reformation was about one thing; getting the Word of God back into the hands of the masses in their own native language, so that the corrupt church would be exposed and the message of salvation in Christ alone, by scripture alone, through faith alone would be proclaimed again.

The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.”

Martin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records that in that same year, 1517, seven people were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for the crime of teaching their children to say the Lord’s Prayer in English rather than Latin.  Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German.

William Tyndale wanted to use the same 1516 Erasmus text as a source to translate and print the New Testament in English for the first time in history. Tyndale showed up on Luther's doorstep in Germany in 1525, and by year's end had translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale's trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language. Subsequent printings of the Tyndale New Testament in the 1530's were often elaborately illustrated.

They were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, but copies trickled through and actually ended up in the bedroom of King Henry VIII. The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution, the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning if caught in mere possession of Tyndale's forbidden books.

Having God's Word available to the public in the language of the common man, English, would have meant disaster to the church. No longer would they control access to the scriptures. If people were able to read the Bible in their own tongue, the church's income and power would crumble. They could not possibly continue to get away with selling indulgences (the forgiveness of sins) or selling the release of loved ones from a church-manufactured "Purgatory". People would begin to challenge the church's authority if the church were exposed as frauds and thieves. The contradictions between what God's Word said, and what the priests taught, would open the public's eyes and the truth would set them free from the grip of fear that the institutional church held. Salvation through faith, not works or donations, would be understood. The need for priests would vanish through the priesthood of all believers. The veneration of church-canonized Saints and Mary would be called into question. The availability of the scriptures in English was the biggest threat imaginable to the wicked church. Neither side would give up without a fight.
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nChrist
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2007, 09:12:33 PM »

Amen Dreamweaver!

Brother Bob, I was just thinking about how wonderful it is that just about all people of the entire world now have access to the Holy Bible in their own language. Just this is enough to make all Christians give thanks. We also know that GOD'S WORD never returns void!

Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Ephesians 4:4-6 NASB  There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
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Bernadette
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2007, 10:46:29 PM »

Thank you, that was a very in depth description.  Over the last few ours, I looked up some information, too.  I see there was a "tribe" called "Angles".  The German dialect varied depending on where one was between 1066-1377, there were different tribes with different dialects.  Because there was no written language, Latin and Greek were the most commonly used by the literate....any educated person.  Of course, not just Priests otherwise Tyndale could not have translated.  The common people had no English written language.  After the 1500's getting a written English language was a priority.  There were many more Italians and Spanish speaking people in the 1300's than English speaking in several dialects.

Between 400 AD and 850 AD, the Latin language evolved into French, Italian, and Spanish.  The last recorded usage of Latin being preached to the common people was around the year 800, in Italy.  However, the written language of Latin continued.  Isaac Newton in the 1660's required an audience for his theories and wrote his Mathematics in Latin for publication. At this time, the written English was still obscure.

In 1749, the first of several revisions of the Bible from the "Old English" style into the newer English then in use. 

It was during the period of 1578 to 1593 that the Vulgate was translated into the new language called "English."  In 1582, Queen Elizabeth ordered searchers to confiscate every copy of the New Testament newly translated into English by the College of Rheims.  Priests were imprisoned for having it, and the sentence of "torture by rack" was given to those who circulated it. 

Other portable editions of the 8th through 16th century were parts or sections of the Bible, like the Penitentail psalms and the Pauper's Bible.

In a nutshell, there was no English language written down because it was a new language.  I did see, when I was researching this, a copy of the original Old English written down....no one today could read it today.  It doesn't appear to be as much of a plot by the Catholic Church to fool people as it was the people in the new area called England, didn't have a written language....the normal every day citizens like you and me, did not have the schooling to read any language. 

Selling indulgences was done but it wasn't written in the Bible.  It was a really wrong thing to do.   Those who stayed in the Catholic Church, got it cleaned up finally.  Others, left the church to reform. 

Barbaric and stupid and surely most people back then were all a bit far away from Christ.  Hate crimes were sick and wrong then and they still are today.  No one can ever hurt another emotionally or physically under the geise of religion and call themselves a man of God in the same breath.

The Catholic Church of Rome is accurately called the Catholic Church, Latin Rite.  The term Roman Catholic is only less than a 200 year old term tacked on.  However, the Chaldeans, Byzantines, the Eastern Orthodox are all "Catholic" following exactly the same doctrines.  St. Andrew, the apostle,  started the Byzantine Catholic Church because he was sent to Constantinople....now Istanbul. 

My feelings aren't hurt by anti-Catholic comments.  I don't say anything bad about anybody and would appreciate the same Christian courtesy.  After all, Jesus never said to love one another....except for "so and so."

Really, thank you for the time and effort you all put into answering my question.  May God's peace be with you all.



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nChrist
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2007, 12:08:47 AM »

Brothers and Sisters,

The Holy Bible is from GOD, and the human instruments he used were Jews. Most of the Holy Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, and small portions may have been written in Aramaic to be later translated into Hebrew or Greek. Hebrew and Greek were the scholarly languages of the time. The translation into Latin was really a big step down from what was the original Holy Scriptures. Here's the amazing thing that can only be explained by GOD:  we actually have most or all of the original Holy Scriptures in the original ancient languages. If one considers the thousands of years and the number of people determined to destroy it, one can know that it wasn't GOD'S Will for it to be destroyed. So, we can still study the original languages today. GOD said that HIS WORD would be preserved forever, and it has been.

NOW, think about the fact that average, ordinary people don't have to be rich or highly educated to own and use their own copy of the Holy Bible. In fact, ordinary people can even study the ancient languages and compare their Bible, regardless of language, to the original texts. Think about how wonderful this is. No power can stop or destroy GOD'S WORD, and HIS WORD will never return void. Christians around the world sharing the GOOD NEWS are still being killed, but nothing CAN OR WILL stop it.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Romans 6:10-14 NASB  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2007, 03:32:48 AM »

Amen Brother Tom and His word is most beautiful.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2007, 04:04:00 AM »

Amen Brother Tom and His word is most beautiful.



Pastor Roger,

I never cease to be amazed about just how BEAUTIFUL GOD'S WORD is.  I see and learn something new every time I pick it up. The BEAUTY would be and is beyond human description and imagination. I've heard many people say that the Holy Bible is an amazing literary masterpiece, and we both know this is a gross understatement. However, it is a Masterpiece - a Masterpiece that could come only by way of the MASTER HIMSELF - ALMIGHTY GOD.

I pray that more people consider the absolute REALITY OF GOD'S WORD. It is a message to us from our Loving CREATOR - telling us what HE expects from us and giving us a glimpse of Eternity.

Love In Christ,
Tom

John 1:1-4 NASB  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

John 11:25 NASB  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,

John 14:6-7 NASB  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."

Galatians 2:20 NASB  "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

1 John 1:1-4 NASB  What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life -- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us -- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.


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Bernadette
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2007, 10:31:28 AM »

The Truth will never be destroyed.  The Truth overcame death on the cross.  The Truth is who you are with every time you read the Bible...I prefer to say "pray" the Bible.  Each time we are with the Truth, amazing things will happen....what we are supposed to learn that day, that moment in time, the Truth reveals it to us personally.  Keep our eyes on the cross, the One crucified for us. 

After I left the forum last night, I went to my room for prayer and the Word as I do every night.  Two things were opened to me....one, is that I should "do" instead of talking about "doing" and that I can't really "do" if I spend so much time on here talking about it.  In other words, our Lord just beautifully made me aware that my time is better spent in prayer and with Him through the Word than here talking about it.

Also, layed on my heart was our Lord reminding me that what goes into the mouth is not unclean, but what comes out can be unclean.  Saying too much, talking to much, opens the door for sin to come from what is said.  Our Lord wants me as a prayer warrior more than one to talk.

May God's blessings be with you and your families, in all your comings and goings, and the peace of Christ with you always.  Thank you for everything.
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