Many were destroyed How can we be sure we have the original message?
Many Hebrew manuscripts of the complete OT Hebrew manuscripts date back to 9 th and 10 th Centuries (AD):- Aleppo Codex (AD850) Leningrad Codex (AD1008)
1700 fragmentary ones 350 Septuagint
Translated into Greek between BC (280BC?) In Alexandria, Egypt Ptolemy Philadelphus Numerous in the world’s libraries
Accuracy attested by these independent copies And by the (much older) Greek translations (Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947)
Copies extant belonging to 2 nd Century Translations made into other languages Latin & Syriac versions made AD150 Egyptian about AD200
4000 Greek manuscripts of the N T 8000 of the Latin Vulgate
Writings of early Christians Whole NT could nearly be reconstructed
In the Apostolic era, Greece had lost her world power Rome was the dominant influence Greek language was superseded by Latin Beginning of 3 rd Century saw Latin translations of the Old and New Testaments But….divergences were appearing!
A revision was needed Jerome (AD ?) undertook that work 390 AD Latin Vulgate produced
AD597 Augustine landed on coast of Kent Converted the English to Christianity Probably with the Latin vulgate
Need for Anglo-Saxon Versions Appeared in 8 th & 9 th Centuries They were fragmentary Bede’s ‘Gospel according to St. John’ (AD735) The Lindisfarne Gospels (10 th Century)
Saxon Versions ceased to appear Language of Britain changing Gradual mixing of Saxon with Norman-French 1150AD Old English yields to Middle English
OT – only available in Hebrew in a Greek translation (The Septuagint), and in Latin (The Vulgate) NT – only available in Greek and Latin
Believed Scriptures to be the Word of God, and…. A complete contrast to the sayings of the Pope & the Church
Bibles were not available Prohibition on reading! Rome had an iron grip!
Provide people with the means to read the Bible for themselves! An English Translation!
“No man is so rude a scholar but that he might learn the words of the Gospel according to his simplicity”
No printing press ! One hand written copy took 10 months ! A monumental work !
The Lollards 1382 – first English Bible (from Latin vulgate) Circulated widely ; eagerly read by common people Unstoppable!
“This pestilent and wretched John Wylciffe endeavoured by every means to attack the very faith of Holy Church, devising…..to fill up the measure of his malice…..the expedient of a new translation of the Scriptures into the mother tongue” (Archbishop Arundel – 1411)
Many were put to death Countless Bibles were burnt Wycliffe brought to trial in Church courts
1408 – synod of clergy met at Oxford Banned reading of the Bible…. …as well as the writing, circulation or study of the Scriptures in English
Bibles read in secret (200 hand written copies exist) 1424 – bones dug up and burnt! Cast into the River Swift “Morning star of the Reformation”
Fall of Constantinople The Printing Press The Renaissance The Reformation Henry VIII
Moslems take Constantinople in 1453 Exodus of Greek scholars to Western Europe Brought Greek manuscripts of the Bible
1440 – Johannes Guttenburg began to experiment with moveable metal type 1455 – first ever printed book – “the Holy Bible” Guttenburg Bible (Latin)
14-17 th Centuries Characterised by a revival of learning New interest in Hebrew and Greek
Dutch humanist Professor of Greek at Cambridge ( ) Regarded himself as an independent thinker Lifelong attack on what he regarded as the evils of the church
Had a great love for Greek, and had strong support to translate the Bible into an understandable language “I wish that the Scriptures might be translated into all languages”
1516 brought out the first printed Greek translation of the NT From Greek manuscripts that were more accurate than the Latin Vulgate
31 st October 1517 Martin Luther ( ) Specifically disputed the RC claim that freedom from God’s punishment could be purchased with money
Wrote an extensive list of R C doctrinal errors Fixed to door of Church in Wittenberg List became known as the 95 theses
Translated the Bible from Latin into German Printed & copied widely (Tyndale later translated the Greek NT into German )
Began reign 1509 Break away from the Papacy to enable him to divorce Catherine of Aragon 1536 – Dissolution of the Monasteries
Born in Gloucester Educated in Oxford and Cambridge Excellent linguist Desire to translate Bible into English
“I defy the Pope and all his laws, if God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost”
Bishop of London refused to help He became an exile Fled to Europe Worked secretly translating the Bible
1526 – first complete English NT rolled off the press Smuggled into Britain Many burnt Tunstall paid 4 times the value of a Bible - to burn them (Packington)
1536 Burnt at stake “Lord open the King of England’s eyes” Many had a like fate!
Persecution of Queen Mary I Hundreds fled Published a new English Bible in Geneva, Principally a revision of Tyndale’s earlier work of 1534
First English Bible to have verse chapter divisions Extensive marginal notes Bible the Pilgrims used when they sailed to the New World 1620
Shaped American life Impacted Colonial culture
300 Protestants burnt as heretics 1553 John Rodgers burnt at the stake 1555 Thomas Cranmer (publisher of the Great Bible) burnt at Smithfield
1555 Latimer (Protestant Bishop) burnt at the stake It was “the Counter Reformation”
“Be of good comfort Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out”
Separation from Rome Freedom to publish Bible Intense Persecution Plots – Spanish Armada (1588) Gunpowder Plot 1605 Henry VIII ( ) Edward VI ( ) Queen Mary ( ) Queen Elizabeth I ( ) King James I ( )
1534 – Act of Supremacy 1536 – Dissolution of the Monasteries 1549 – Act of Uniformity King, not the Pope, was Supreme Head of the Church of England Monasteries were suppressed Authorised use of English Prayer Book -
Mary passed an Act to restore Papal authority 1559 – Elizabeth I repealed the Act, and passed Act of Uniformity End of R C Church in England Diplomatic relations severed with the Rome Defeat of Spanish Armada
Extract from a document found in the “Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris” It was addressed to the future Pope Jules III (1550) “The Bible is the book which, more than any other, can stir up against us, revolts and storms……It is vital to keep the Bible away from the attention of the people but with much caution so as to avoid uproar”
1603 King James journeys to London for his accession Met by a deputation pleading to modify the Church in favour of puritan principles The Millenary Petition
1603 James called for a Conference at Hampton Court Discuss differences between Puritans and the Bishops Dr John Reynolds suggested a new Translation of the Bible
The ‘King James Bible’ came into existence! 47 scholars took part Result - largely reflected the work of William Tyndale
“But among all our joys, there was no one that more filled our hearts, than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God’s sacred Word among us; which is that inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth”
Inestimable treasure Excels all the riches of the earth A joy that fills the heart But more than that…………
“…the holy scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15)
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed” (2 Peter 1:19)
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103)
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105)
“The entrance of thy words giveth light ” (Psalm 119:130)
“Thy word is true from the beginning” (Psalm 119:160)
Brief History Jews came to Britain in Richard the Lion-heart gave them protection Expelled by Edward I –(1290?)
Development of the British Empire  English East-Indian Company was formed  The Reformation (16 th Century)
The Reformation Bible in English Common man had access to it Great age of Prophetic commentary Highest authority of British life was the Bible England were custodians of the Word of God – never happened before!
Government in the hands of Bible Believing Christians 1656 Oliver Cromwell opened the way for Jewish people to return to Britain Powerful Christian revival preaching– The Restoration of the Jewish people The Return of the Messiah Ultimately led to Britain providing a homeland for the Jews
THE BIBLE STILL HAS ENEMIES… UNBELIEF SCEPTICISM INDIFFERENCE