text of the Bible

text of the Bible
It is the purpose of textual criticism (formerly known as ‘Lower Criticism’) to try to recover as far as possible the authentic words of the books of the Bible as they were originally penned. It is an enormous task. Nothing at all remains of any of the authors' own writing. What we do have is a vast number of texts copied by scribes, versions translated into ancient languages, and a host of quotations in the Fathers which act as checks on the various MSS. It was so easy for mistakes to creep in: a word or two could be omitted by mistake, or repeated; if scribes were writing from dictation words of similar sound could be misheard. Sometimes a scribe could produce an alteration for doctrinal reasons.
1. The OT. The basic text of the Hebrew OT is that provided by the Masoretes around 500–1000 CE on which very few variants exist. Before this time, the Hebrew script consisted only of consonants. The Masoretes then introduced pointing (vowel signs) and they were scrupulous about accuracy. Their work can be tested by the Hebrew of some of the Dead Sea scrolls, MSS older by 1,000 years than any other extant Hebrew MS. The Hebrew of the OT can be checked by translations, especially those in Greek, notably the LXX of the 3rd cent. BCE, translated for the use of Jews in Egypt. Other Greek translations were made, and in 245 CE Origen arranged the OT (in a work called the Hexapla) in six parallel columns: Hebrew, a Greek transliteration, three Greek translations, and Origen's own translation. The Greek translation included the deutero-canonical books of the Apocrypha which were not in the Hebrew OT, and it was the LXX version of the OT that was used by the first Christians. A Latin translation from the Hebrew was made by Jerome; it is called the Vulgate. The Hebrew OT was translated into Syriac early in the 1st cent. CE; it was adopted by the Christian Syriac Church, and known as the Peshitta (which also contains most of the NT).
2. The NT. Thousands of Greek MSS exist, of which the oldest almost complete MSS go back to the 4th and 5th cents. CE. Some 2nd- and 3rd-cent. fragments are on papyrus; other MSS are on parchment; all were bound in the form of books (Latin codices). They have a continuous text which may be in uncials (capitals) or minuscules (lower-case letters); some are organized as lectionaries, with portions for the daily services. The words do not have breathings or accents, and there are no spaces between words, no punctuation marks, no divisions into chapters and verses. The most important uncials are Codex Sinaiticus of the 4th cent., Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Alexandrinus [[➝ codex]]. The Codex Bezae [[➝ Beza, Theodore]] contains both Greek and Latin texts of the gospels and Acts. The earliest fragment of a papyrus MS is of John 18:31–4, 37–8, discovered in Egypt and published by C. H. Roberts in 1935, dated about 130 CE, and now in Manchester.

Dictionary of the Bible.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Bible and homosexuality — is a contentious subject that influences how homosexuality and homosexual sex are regarded in societies where Christianity has made a strong impact. The Bible is generally considered by believers to be inspired by God or to record God s… …   Wikipedia

  • The Bible and Its Influence — is a textbook first published in 2005 to facilitate teaching about the Bible in American public high schools. Its publishers, the Bible Literacy Project, say the textbook allows schools to study the Bible academically while fully respecting the… …   Wikipedia

  • The Bible with Sources Revealed — (2003) is a book by American biblical scholar Richard Elliott Friedman dealing with the process by which the five books of the Torah came to be written. Friedman follows the four source Documentary Hypothesis model, but differs significantly from …   Wikipedia

  • The Bible Code (book) — The Bible Code is a best selling controversial book by Michael Drosnin, first published in 1997. A sequel, The Bible Code II , was published in 2002 and also reached best seller status.Drosnin describes an alleged Bible code , in which messages… …   Wikipedia

  • Editions of the Bible — • Includes Hebrew and Greek editions Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Editions of the Bible     Editions of the Bible      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Chapters and verses of the Bible — The Bible is a compilation of many shorter books written at different times and later assembled into the Biblical canon. All but the shortest of these books have been divided into chapters, generally a page or so in length, since the early 13th… …   Wikipedia

  • The Bible and history — Part of a series on The Bible …   Wikipedia

  • Science and the Bible — The various books of the Hebrew and Christian Bible contain descriptions of the physical world in the Iron Age Levant which may or may not be considered scientific.AgricultureIn the Parable of the Mustard Seed (nasb|Matthew|13:31 32|Matthew 13:31 …   Wikipedia

  • Versions of the Bible — • Article on versions of the Bible in the original languages and in translation. Grouped by source Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Versions of the Bible     Versions of the Bible …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Manuscripts of the Bible — • Manuscripts are written, as opposed to printed, copies of the original text or of a version either of the whole Bible or of a part thereof Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Manuscripts of the Bible     Manuscript …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”