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Textual Transmission How Did We Get the Bible? Lesson 3.

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1 Textual Transmission How Did We Get the Bible? Lesson 3

2 Over many generation and over many years, several individuals copied the scriptures by hand. We owe our having the Bible to these scribes.

3 Scribal Care of Old Testament Scripture Historical scribes were essential in ancient times to kings, judges and the business world. Ancient scribes believed that they were copying the very word of God, so they took great care in preserving the scriptures.

4 The Masoretes A.D. 500-1000 Received their name for the masora, a complex system of markings they developed to achieve their purpose

5 Three Steps to Insure Textual Accuracy 1. They developed a system of writing vowels. Up until this time Hebrew contained only consonants although there were a few consonants that indicated certain vowels. They wanted to preserve in writing form the oral traditions that they had received in earlier generations.

6 2. Masoretes developed a system of accents for the Hebrew text, and they separated the letters into individual words. Accents assisted in pronunciation Showed relationships to various words and phrases in the text

7 3. Masoretes developed a system of notes on the text to provide a means to check accuracy of the copied text. They made all changes in the margins because they refused to alter the original text.

8 Text Examples

9 Scribe - Counter Masoretes counted everything in the text. They knew : The Torah, the first five books, had 400,945 letters. The middle word was the Hebrew word translated “searched” in Leviticus 10:16.

10 The Torah’s middle letter was in the Hebrew word “belly” in Leviticus 11:42. While this may not seem important to us, it was their diligence that allowed the scripture to be passed on in its accurate state.

11 Transmission in Original Languages Most of the original O.T. text was written in Hebrew with the exception of a few text written in Aramaic. Both Hebrew and Aramaic are Semitic languages.

12 Three Copies of Old Testament text that have come down to us are: 1. Masoretic 2. The Samaritan Pentateuch 3. Dead Sea Scrolls

13 Masoretic – Most reliable Oldest copies date to somewhat earlier that A.D.1000. Some believe these copies reflect text to A.D.100.

14 Samaritan Pentateuch Only Genesis-Deuteronomy Samaritans came for the intermarriage of Hebrews and foreigners in the Northern Kingdom after it fell to Assyria in 722 B.C.

15 Oldest text date to A.D.1100. They are believed to be based on texts for 100-200 B.C.

16 Dead Sea Scrolls * Accidentally discovered by a shepherd in a cave in 1947 *Date to 100-200 B.C. *Contain at least parts of every Old Testament book except Esther. *Confirm the reliability of the Masoretic text.


18 Transmission in Other Languages The Septuagint - A translation of the Old Testament into Greek Dates to about 200-300 B.C. The Pentateuch portion is more carefully translated and therefore more reliable than the rest of the translation.

19 How Do We Interpret the Bible? Use Grammatical- Historical Method – “Plain Sense” meaning using standard grammar rules and syntax Understanding the Context – Find meaning by looking at the words surrounding a word Determine the Type of Literature

20 How Do We Interpret the Bible? Historical Narrative Prophecy Poetry and Parables Each type writing or genres must be interpreted in a different way. ALL scripture can be interpreted by examining other scripture.

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