16

The original manuscripts are not believed to be in existence any more, and most manuscripts we do have aren't easily accessible. But some important ones can be viewed online: Aleppo Codex Codex Sinaiticus Codex Vaticanus Because there are so many manuscripts, most scholars rely on critical texts: the editors of these texts choose which variations they ...


15

It's hard to know for certain, but there are very good reasons to believe all four gospels were written in Greek. However, according to the earliest Christian tradition, Matthew was written in Hebrew. Papias, an early second century bishop and a disciple of the Apostle John, is our earliest witness to the tradition that Matthew was the author of this gospel....


14

First, to clarify, the ancient record was recorded on plates, bound by rings, not on tablets. I've never seen official or first-person historical sources refer to them as tablets and have only seen that term used in sources which have either strong or subtle sentiments against the Mormon church, or a political agenda. From every reliable source I have ever ...


12

New Testament scholars have no doubt that Matthew was written in Greek. Certainly, it was attributed to the apostle Matthew in the second century, but before this the book was anonymous. By laying the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke in parallel and reading them synoptically ('with the same eye') in Greek, scholars have established that Matthew and Luke ...


12

There are none. Translation Choices aren't Biblical Version issues I categorically have to rule out translation choices as different "versions" because by definition, languages that change will change their wording to make things clear. Whether one translates the term "cell phone" into German as Mobil Telefon or Handy, for instance, is completely arbitrary,...


12

It is highly unlikely. I will address the OP's commentary/questions in turn: The reason why I ask this is because I can't really seem to find much proof of the age of the Septuagint. I offer the following pedantic quibble only because it is directly relevant to OP's concern: when considering the historical creation of the Greek Jewish scriptures, it is ...


10

Old Testament The Dead Sea Scrolls currently housed in the Israeli Dead Sea Scroll museum and available online, is a collection of 972 manuscripts from the period 408 - 308 BC. Seeing as the Old Testament itself consists of books written between 1000 - 600 BC and the late 450s, this is a pretty good collection. There are others, but this is the most well-...


10

It is impossible to know for sure without asking the person that said it, but I believe it is most likely, given her description of the individual in question, the historical time frame and the context of the discussion, that she was speaking of a man named Marcion. Who was Marcion? For the first hundred years or so of the Christian faith, documents ...


8

The answer appears to be «usually» but «with some exceptions», and also «the experts aren't completely sure». We can divide the sources adduced into indirect evidence (references to scrolls in ancient documents) and direct evidence (scrolls). Indirect Evidence Old Testament The word used in the passage quoted in the question is βιβλίον.1 While it is ...


7

As others have said, the original manuscripts no longer exist. But the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts is making an effort to photograph extant Greek manuscripts and make them available for study. Many of the manuscripts are fragments, but some are complete books of the New Testament. The photographs that are available online are high ...


6

The Nestle-Aland/UBS text is standard. This is an edited text which shows what the editors think the original text was most likely to be based on the evidence they have researched. The NA and UBS names refer to two editions of the same base text. They have occasional differences in punctuation or spelling, but the main difference is their apparatus. The main ...


5

I've been able to find exactly two explanations: The anomaly is because two separate Pauline letter collections were merged, one of which ended with Galatians and the other of which began with Ephesians. The canonical order was modified from pure length order to emphasize the imprisonment theme common to Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. The truth ...


5

Matthew was likely written for Greek-speaking Christians of Jewish descent. In my answer to your first question, I discussed reasons for believing Matthew was written in Greek rather than Hebrew. And it should be self-evident that the gospels were written to Christians. So here I'm going to list the reasons for believing the intended audience was ...


5

The above resources are indeed excellent surveys of the issues surrounding textual criticism of the bible. A couple of extra points are worth noting: (1) The question asks about the textual history of the Bible. The Greek manuscript families relate specifically to the New Testament. If the question includes the Old Testament that would need to be looked at ...


5

How many early New Testament manuscripts do we have? You ask about the first four centuries, until about 400 AD. I am inclined to initially answer through 300 AD, because I believe that period is more important for historical* reasons. This page on Wikipedia lists the 130 papyri of the New Testament that we know of, together with what content each has. For ...


5

Laypeople owned Books of the Hours and illuminated manuscripts of Holy Scripture before the printing press. (See the "Manuscript" Catholic Encyclopedia article for the history of manuscripts and copyists.) There was no ecclesiastical prohibition of such ownership. St. Paula (347-404), a wealthy Roman lady who could thus afford manuscripts, studied Holy ...


5

The Englishman's Greek New Testament, available widely, has the Stephens Text of 1550 and an interlinear, literal, English translation. It is one of a few almost identical Greek texts which are commonly called the Received Text or the Textus Receptus. This is the Greek text behind the Authorised Version (the King James Version) and is the Greek text used by ...


5

The earliest Biblical manuscripts were almost certainly written on papyrus. We know of over 130 Biblical papyri dating from the second to the eighth century. These were written in majuscule case, and I think usually without spaces or much punctuation. They were not written in the uncial script as it was developed only in the fourth century for use on ...


4

For the New Testament, yes. Though Wikipedia may not be a "scholarly" source I find it good for this sort of thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_manuscript#Listings Also, in at least the UBS and NA, there is a list of manuscripts used to compile the "Greek New Testament." I think that the BHS contains something somewhat similar for the Hebrew ...


4

One of Joseph Smith's revelations has God saying: Doctrine and Covenants 5:9 Behold, verily I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations, No more definitive answer is possible. A speculative one is to prevent the plates, ...


4

As to your question regarding origins, we do not know the author or the means of revelation of the book of Job. What we do know is that there is an ancient tradition including the book in Hebrew scripture. The book makes no reference to the patriarchs or the law or the prophets but it is consistent with teachings therein and is commonly considered to ...


4

It's impossible to tell whether the original manuscripts (the autographs) of any given sacred text were written in one hand, or the other, since as far as we are able to tell, none have survived unharmed to the present day. The earliest manuscripts we have in our possession, though early, are certainly already copies, and a copyist may change the hand of a ...


4

The Church has never proscribed private possession, reading, or translation of the Bible (and indeed the Douay-Rheims Bible, long the standard Catholic English translation, was published before the King James Version). The Church was very concerned in the mid-16th century that Protestants had made their own decisions about what books to include in the canon ...


4

Are there any bundles of subsets of the New Testament that are common? Catholic Bibles are divided into 5 subsets for the New Testament. The Catholic New Testament is composed 27 books of the New Testament. The Catholic Bible is composed of the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. Old Testament Torah: ...


3

There are suggestions that Uz is in central Syria, north of Israel, because of a genealogy in Genesis 10:23, but hard evidence for its location is not so readily available. Reference to attacks by Chaldeans (Job 1:17) would normally place the location of Uz to the east of Palestine, but reference to the Sabaeans would probably place its location in southern ...


3

Animal names are not very frequently used words. They may appear only one time in the Bible, and as a result, their exact identification is not easy. Not many classical Hebrew texts exist. The Bible is basically it. So if a word only occurs once in the Bible, it can be hard to pin down its meaning. Older translations would go off of the traditional ...


3

Because Matthew's Gospel, more than any other, relies on quotations and apparent prophecies from the Old Testament, some believe that the author was a Jew who wrote his gospel for other Jews. However, the Gospel was written in Greek and the Old Testament references were clearly taken from the Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. For ...


3

There are some rather major and fundamental differences between different versions. The KJV was based on the Textus Receptus New Testament, a work which was clearly corrupt (the last part of Revelation was translated from a Latin version!) and the Masoretic Text, a document which was clearly inferior. Of course, if you want to be able to see the ...


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