Presentation on theme: "The Writing of God Promised to Preserve His Word The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. –– Isaiah 40:8 Early."— Presentation transcript:
God Promised to Preserve His Word The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. –– Isaiah 40:8 Early Old Testament Hebrew Manuscripts Cairo Codex (895 AD) Leningrad Codex of the Prophets (916 AD) Leningrad Codex (1008 AD) British Museum Codex of Pentateuch (850 AD)
The Masoretes 5-10th Centuries AD Counted the number of letters in each book, the repetitions of certain expressions, the middle letter, and the word and the verse in the middle of each book or collection of books. Found the letter aleph occurs 42,377 times, the letter beth 38,218 times. (1) A synagogue roll must be written on the skins of clean animals, (2) prepared for the particular uses of the synagogue by a Jew. (3) These must be fastened together with strings taken from clean animals. (4) Every skin must contain a certain number of columns, equal throughout the entire codex. (5) The length of each column must not extend over less than 48 or more than 60 lines, and the breadth must consist of 30 letters. (6) The whole copy must be first lined; and if three words be written without a line, it is worthless. (7) The ink should be black, neither red, green nor any other color, and be prepared according to a definite recipe. (8) An authentic copy must be the exemplar, from which the transcriber ought not in the least deviate. (9) No word or letter, not even a yod, must be written from memory, the scribe not having looked at the codex before him. (10) Between every consonant the space of a hair or thread must intervene. (11) Between every new section, the breadth of nine consonants; (12) Between every book, three lines. (13). The fifth book of Moses must terminate exactly with a line, but the rest need not do so. (14). Besides this, the copyist must sit in full Jewish dress, (15) wash his whole body, (16) not begin to write the name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink (17) and should a king address him while writing that name he must take no notice of him. –– Samuel Davidson Hebrew Text of the Old Testament. The variation between the earliest Masoretic scrolls known to exist (9 th Century) and those copied by sofars (scribes) in the 21 st Century is less than 8 letters. –– Avi Bloomenstiel, Hasidic sofar, Dallas, Texas. November 2013
Accuracy of the Masoretic Text The Septuagint (LXX) (250-150 BC). Based on a Hebrew text 700- 1000 years older than the Masoretic text. “Substantial agreement with the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text.” –– Geisler & Nix General Introduction to the Bible Dead Sea Scrolls (200 BC-50 AD). 500 books; 127 Biblical texts Isaiah scroll (125 BC) is more than 1000 years older than any Isaiah manuscript previously discovered. The Isaiah scroll “proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95% of the text.” –– Gleason Archer A Survey of the Old Testament The scrolls show that the Hebrew Bible has been amazingly accurately preserved through centuries of hand-copying. One scroll that contains a major portion of the book of Isaiah, shows only 13 minor variations from the modern version. U.S. News & World Report, July 7, 1997
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was extremely reassuring. The Isaiah scroll from Cave I, for example, is by far the most complete of the scrolls and was one of the first to be published. Word by word, verse by verse, it corresponds exactly to the text as we have it.” --The Book. A History of the Bible. by Christopher DeHamel. Fellow Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England (2001).
The new evidence confirms what we have already good reason to believe –– that the Jewish scribes of the early Christian centuries copied and re-copied the text of the Hebrew Bible with utmost fidelity. –– F.F. Bruce Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls It may safely be said that no other work of antiquity has been so accurately transmitted. –– William Henry Green General Introduction to the Old Testament
Sir Frederic Kenyon 1863-1952 Director, British Museum It cannot be too strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain. Especially is this the case with the New Testament. The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. This can be said of no other ancient book in the world.
The Manuscripts Original Text (27 books) Greek Manuscripts (5,500) John Ryland MSS John 18:31-33 125 AD Codex Alexandrinus (350 AD) Codex Vaticanus (325-350 AD) Codex Sinaticus (340 AD) NUMBER OF EXTANT COPIES Caesar100-44 BC10 copies Plato427-347 BC 7 copies Tacitus14-70 AD20 copies Pliny 61-113 AD 7 copies Aristotle384-322 BC 5 copies Sophocles496-406 BC 100 copies Lucretius54 BC 2 copies New Testament 50-95 AD 5,500 copies TIME SPAN FROM WRITING TO EARLIEST EXTANT COPY Caesar1,000 years10 copies Plato1,200 years 7 copies Tacitus1,000 years20 copies Pliny 750 years 7 copies Aristotle1,100 years 5 copies Sophocles1,000 years 100 copies Lucretius1,100 years 2 copies New Testament 60 years 5,500 copies
MORE MANUSCRIPTS DISCOVERIES …. In 1897 excavators recovered 36 baskets full of fragments every day! Included Matthew 23:30-39 (200 AD) Now at Oxford University Library Titus chap 1 and 2 (200 AD) found in Cairo antique shop 1931 Almost complete volume of Paul’s epistles (200 AD), the Gospels and Acts (3 rd Century) found in Egypt Complete copy of gospel of John (200 AD) with original stitching intact! Gospels of Luke and John together found (3 rd Century). Perhaps exemplar for Codex Vaticanus Two virtually complete copies of four gospels (5 th cent.) purchased at Cairo antiques shop
The Translations Original Text (27 books) Greek Manuscripts (5,500) Translations (18,000 – 25,000) OLD SYRIAC (Aramaic) 3rd Century, copied from 2nd Century text SINATIC SYRIAC Copied from 2nd Century text SYRIAC PESHITTA 5th Century, copied from 2nd & 3rd Century COTIC (EGYPTIAN) BIBLE Copied from 2nd Century papyrus AFRICAN OLD LATIN Copied from 2nd Century papyrus LATIN VULGATE 366-384 AD DIATESSARION OF TATIAN Harmony of the Gospels In Syriac (2 nd Century)
The Quotations Original Text (27 books) Greek Manuscripts (5,000) Translations (9,000) Quotations in Church Fathers (86,000) …so extensive that the New Testament could virtually be reconstructed from them without the use of the New Testament manuscripts. –– J. Harold Greenlee
Original Text (27 books) Lectionaries (2,100+) The Lectionaries Greek Manuscripts (5,500) Translations (18,000 – 25,000) Quotations in Church Fathers (86,000)
The great majority of the New Testament “has been transmitted to us with no, or next to no, variation: and even in the most corrupt form in which it has ever appeared, to use the words of Richard Bentley, ‘the real text of the sacred writers is competently exact; … nor is one article of faith or moral precept either perverted or lost.’” B.B. Warfield
All evidence confirms that the text of the Christian Bible as we have it today has been maintained and transmitted with extraordinary accuracy since the late second or early third century AD. No significant variations or deliberate falsifications have ever been found to shake public confidence in the Bible as a whole. No other text of comparable antiquity has come down to us with so few uncertainties about its transmission. --The Book. A History of the Bible. by Christopher De Hamel, Fellow Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England (2001).
It is reassuring at the end to find that the general result of all these discoveries and all this study is to strengthen the proof of the authenticity of the Scriptures, and our conviction that we have in our hands, in substantial integrity, the veritable Word of God. –– Sir Frederick Kenyon It is reassuring at the end to find that the general result of all these discoveries and all this study is to strengthen the proof of the authenticity of the Scriptures, and our conviction that we have in our hands, in substantial integrity, the veritable Word of God. –– Sir Frederick Kenyon The last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established. –– Sir Frederick Kenyon The last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established. –– Sir Frederick Kenyon