WHO WROTE THE BIBLE? IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Updated: Jun 25
I will be discussing the history of the Bible, in this article I’ll be answering questions such as: who wrote the Bible, who the Bible was given to as well as an overview of all the Bible manuscripts and translations as primary sources.
The aim is to give you an overview of the bible, that will arm you with a perspective of the bibles publication that is informed by fact and not just hearsay.
For instance you will be able to debunk the myth that King James actually wrote the bible, when it fact he only translated it…
Who Wrote The Bible?
There is no ambiguity in the scriptures as to who wrote the bible scriptures. Furthermore, they were written by a number of different holy men, this gives them further credence as an authoritative book.
The scriptures below will explain this:
In 2 Timothy 3:16 It reads:
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
So we see here that the scriptures were inspired by the Most High.
In Psalm 68:11 it reads:
11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
So again we see that scriptures were given by the most high, and published by a number of different men. This is why we have books named after different prophets and prophetesses.
These are who we are told “really”, published the bibles contents i.e. the more accurate name(s), the “Word” or “Scriptures…
When you read the book of Exodus.
It gives us even more insight in regards to the commandments portion of the bible by further explaining that the most high actually wrote the Commandments with his finger…
In Exodus 31:18 it reads:
18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
So from these script we know that the Bible was inspired by the most high who gave it to Prophets who wrote it down.
The focal point of the scriptures are the LAW, COMMANDMENTS and the Messiah 2nd coming.
The next question…
An Overview Of The Bible
Before I begin I want to give you a brief definition of what the word Bible means. A popular belief which I will dispel immediately is the notion that the word “BIBLE” is the abbreviation:
“Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”.
This is a fitting abbreviation and one that certainly sums up the BIBLES purpose, but the truth is the word BIBLE is not an abbreviation.
Check out how the word Bible really came about…
The Real Origin Of The Word Bible
In the land of Canaan known as Israel today which later became known as Phoenicia, there was a sea port called Gebal where papyrus was imported.
In ancient times Papyrus was the original material used for writing. When the Greeks took over the land of Canaan they named the sea port Gebal, Bylos.
The word byblos in Greek became Biblia in Latin and then Bible in the English language.
So in summary the word Bible came about because of papyrus being imported through the port of Gebal in the land of Canaan, which is modern day Israel today.
That being said the word Bible, is just the name traditionally associated with the scriptures that have been found. The scriptures were written by holy men who were Hebrews, filled with the Holy Spirit.
So the emphasis should be on the text, and not the naming of the text. We should be reading the text and applying it, is what is important.
We can now move on to the next question, now we know how the word BIBLE came about…
Who Was The Bible Given Too?
When you read the scriptures you see clearly, that it is the history of a people.
These people are the children of Israel who are the descendants of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel after he fought with an Angel.
24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
There are 12 tribes and they can be found in the book of revelations, so contrary to popular belief Israel still exist
5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
Moses was given the commandments of the most high and Moses himself is an Israelite from the tribe of Levi.
14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
He then took these commandments down to the children of Israel.
In Deuteronomy 7:6 verse it reads:
6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
The most high further confirms his love for his people Israel in many more scriptures.
He chose the children of Israel and gave them his laws to keep.
8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
17 But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
The Most high gave them the laws so that they would know how to please him and be a light on to the nation’s commonly called the gentiles.
In Isaiah 49:6 it reads:
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Here the most high is talkin to the prophet Isaiah at a time when he was sent to the children of Israel to preach on to them the commandments which they had forsaken at that time.
It’s important to see that the most high allows gentiles to keep the commandments if they keep the commandments and with acknowledgement of who the Most highs chosen people are.
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
1 Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
The Bible therefore was given to Israel as a culture, and through their adherence to it they were to be an inspiration to the other nations.
An Overview of the Bible Manuscripts and Translations
Now I will be looking at the bible translations to give you an overview about how the Bible came about and the primary original sources that have been used to translate it over the years.
The first primary source manuscript which was translated from the original Hebrew is the Septuagint this was translated from Hebrew in 300 BC the common story is that seventy Hebrew Greek speaking scholars translated the scriptures at the time of Ptolemy II (283 to 246 BCE).
The Septuagint is also known as the L. X. X. which in roman numerals means 70.
After the Septuagints translation from unrecovered hebrew manuscripts, the earliest Hebrew original text manuscripts were found in 1947 at the Qumran caves in Israel, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
They date back between 150BC to 70AD.
The book of Enoch as well as 24 books of the Old Testament were found excluding the book of Esther.
Before this discovery the oldest original source text manuscripts in Hebrew were the:
The Aleppo Codex (c. 920 CE)
Leningrad Codex (c. 1008 CE)
The Aleppo Codex is a bound manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. The codex was written in the city of Tiberias, in the northern part of Israel, during the 10th century its accuracy was confirmed by Maimonides (A sephardic Jewish philosopher who was known as prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages, 13th Century. Since the true Israelites were run out of the land in 1st century, authorities on their scriptures was usurped).
The Aleppo and Leningrad Codex both contain the masoretic tradition, (Masoretes were a group of scribes and scholars who worked between 6-10th century.
They devised the vowel notation system for Hebrew that is still widely used, as well as the trope symbols used for cantillation, which are supposed to complement the letters and vowel points in hebrew writing) but the Aleppo Codex lacks most of the Torah section and many other parts.
This makes the Leningrad Codex the oldest complete codex of the Tiberian form of biblical scriptures that have survived today.
The New Testament Source Manuscripts
There are up to 9,300 manuscripts found of the new testament in various languages. between 125AD and 1500AD.
The Latin Vulgate
The work of St Jerome in 382AD. This is a revision of the scriptures into latin. It used the Septuagint and other hebrew aramaic text to produce the Catholic churces autoritative bible during the 16th century.
There are 4 significant New Testament manuscripts:
The Codex Vaticanus – 27 × 27 cm (10.6 × 10.6 in); c. 325–350
The Codex Sinaiticus – 38.1 × 34.5 cm (15.0 × 13.6 in); written c. 330–360
The Codex Alexandrinus – 32 × 26 cm (12.6 × 10.4 in); c. 400–440
The Codex Ephraemi – 33 × 27 cm (13.0 × 10.6 in); c. 450
Until the discovery of the Sinaiticus text, the Codex Vaticanus was unrivaled.
The Codex Sinaiticus came to the attention of scholars between 19th-21st century at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula.
Although parts of the codex sinaticus is scattered across four libraries around the world, most of the manuscript can be found in the British Library in London on public display.
It is also believed to have contained the Epistle of Barnabas and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas. Codex Vaticanus was considered to be one of the best Greek texts of the New Testament, with the Codex Sinaiticus as a competitor.
The Codex Alexandrinus however, contains the most scriptures as it contains “Old” and “New” testaments, Apocrypha books such as I and II Clement, 3, 4 Maccabees, Odes, Psalm 151, Epistle to Marcellinus and the Eusebian summary of the Psalms before the book of Psalms.
You now have an understanding of the sources that we use to translate the Bible today.
Here’s a look at some of the earliest bibles in order of their translations all created from the aforementioned manuscripts:
1. The Tynedale Coverdale Bible 1535
Originally the work of William Tynedale but completed by Myles Cloverdale.
Myles Coverdale actually printed the first English translated Bible. It used the source text which were Hebrew and Greek, and also latin and German.
2. The Matthew-Tyndale Bible 1537
It was published by John Rogers under the pseudo-name Thomas Matthew.
John Rogers published this book before being put to death. It included the apocrypha books, excluding the prayer of Manasseh.
3. The Great Bible 1539
Commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII . It was called the great Bible because of its size.
But it was also known by other names such as the Cromwell well Bible, Witchurch bible and the chain bible because it was chained to prevent it being removed from the church at the time.
4. The Taverners Bible 1539
The taverners Bible is said to be a minor revision of the Matthew Bible. It was edited by Richard Taverner. It also contain the apocrypha books.
5. The Bishops Bible of 1568
The Bishops Bible was translated under the authority of the Church of England in 1568. It went through a number of revisions in 1572 and 1602.
The Bishop’s Bible was the Church of England’s primary Bible, the Great Bible which was seen to have a number of flaws. Primarily because the old Testament and apocrypha was translated from the Latin vulgate, rather than the Hebrew Aramaic and Greek.
For this reason the Bishops Bible replaced the Great Bible.
6. The 1611 King James Bible
Which included The New Testament the Old Testament and the apocrypha.
The Apocrypha contains the history of Alexander the Greek in the book of Maccabees, a very interesting read.
The Apocrypha books fit between the book of Malachi in the so called “Old Testament” and Matthew in the so called “New Testament”. These books give us an understanding of what happened before the Messiah arrives in Jerusalem.
In summary the Bible itself is inspired by the Most High. This is not something understood by everyone, which is why you will always have those that doubt.
We see that with in the bible are the laws given to Israel and the world that are to be followed if we want to please God and enter the kingdom to come.
The laws and commandments are the focal point of the Bible, as well as the Israelites who are the chosen people of the most high. When the nations of the world accept Israel and the commandments they can attain salvation in the kingdom to come.
Finally when we look at the history of the Bible translations we see that scripture has been preserved over the years like any good work. It’s this preservation that has lead to the multiple versions of the bible.
It’s always important that we understand we must study because all translations may not be as good each other, especially in cases where there’s an attempt to make the bible an easy read.
Translations that correlate to the hebrew are always good because they give the reader a chance to cross reference words in the orginal language.
The most popular bible for this is the King James Bible version. This bible allows you to purchase a Hebrew concordance, which gives you the ability to get a better understanding of words in the bible from the original hebrew and Greek.
However other bibles such as the Amplified bible, Cepher and interlinear also do a good job of translating and retaining the hebrew prospective. In concluding we now know who wrote the bible. It was written by prophets inspired by the Most High!
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