So How Did We Get the Bible?

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Have you wondered how the Bible came to be?  Today getting a Bible is so easy.  You can just go to any bookstore or order them online.  Most hotels you stay at have a Bible in the drawer.  The Bible has not always been an easy thing to get your hands on though.  There was a time when you could be executed for having or reproducing a Bible.  Thousands of people have lost their lives over the past 3500 years just so that all these years after it was written, the stories from the Bible could still be read.  So what makes the Bible so special that people would be willing to die for it?

What makes it so special is that it is the inspired Word of God.  God speaks to us through the authors He used to write the Bible.  Here are two places in the Bible that tell us this is true:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV)

20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is made up of 66 different books written over a period of 1600 years (from approximately 1500 BC to AD 100).  The authors of these books consist of more than 40 kings, prophets, leaders, disciples, and followers of Jesus.  The Old Testament is made up of 39 books (written from approximately 1500-400 BC).  The Old Testament was written mainly in Hebrew, with some Aramaic.  The New Testament is made up of 27 books (written approximately from AD 45-100).  The New Testament was written in Greek.

A council made up of church leaders and rabbis used careful guidelines to collect and arrange the books that were included in the Bible.  The books included were determined through their analysis to be inspired by God Himself.

In the centuries before the printing press was invented, the Bible was copied by hand.  In many cases, special scribes were used and attention to detail and accuracy was of top priority.  Many of these scribes developed intricate methods of counting words and letters to insure that no errors had been made.  The Bible was the first book ever to be printed on the printing press with movable type in AD 1455.  It was a Bible written in Latin by the Gutenberg Press.

There is much evidence that the Bible that we have today is very accurate and true to the very first copies of the Bible that were made.  Even though there are no longer any original scripts of any of the books contained in the Bible, there are nearly 5,900 Greek manuscripts from the New Testament alone that still exist today.  The text of the Bible is better preserved than the writing of Plato, Caesar, Aristotle, and Homer.

Author Approximate Time Span Between Original and Copy Number of Copies
Plato 1200 years 7
Caesar 1000 years 10
Aristotle 1400 years 49
Homer (Illiad) 500 years 643
New Testament <100 years 5800

The Bible has been translated into more languages than any other single book.  By AD 200, the Bible was translated into seven languages.  By AD 500, it was translated into 13 languages.  By AD 900, the Bible was translated into 17 languages.  By AD 1400, it was translated into 28 languages.  By AD 1800, it was translated to 57 languages.  By AD 1900, the Bible was translated into 537 languages.  By 1980, it was translated into 1,100 different languages.  By AD 2006, the Bible had been translated into 2,426 different languages.  Now that is getting the Word out.

As you look back over the history of the development of how the Bible was created and reproduced and the millions of people who sacrificed to keep the words of the Bible from dying, it is far too many events and sacrifices to list here.  I have narrowed the list down to 4 events, which I feel are the most crucial to keeping the Bible alive as we know it today.

In AD 1455, Johann Gutenberg invented the first printing press with movable type in Germany.  The Bible was the first book to ever be printed and this invention was most likely the single most important event to ever influence the spread of the Bible.  The first Bibles printed using this printing press were called the Gutenberg Bible.

In AD 1525, William Tyndale, who was an Oxford scholar and priest, translated the New Testament from Greek.  At that time, he could not get approval to publish it in England.  Tyndale moved to Germany and printed his Bible there.  He then smuggled them into England in sacks of corn and flour.  In AD 1536, Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake for smuggling the Bibles into England.

In AD 1605, King James I of England commissioned 54 scholars to undertake a new Bible translation in English.  It was a 6 year process to complete and in AD 1611, the King James Version of the Bible was first published.

In AD 1947, The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and is the oldest complete manuscript of any book of the Bible having an origin of approximately AD 100.  A complete copy of Isaiah was discovered among these scrolls.  This discovery confirmed the astonishing reliability of some of the copies of the Old Testament made over the years.  Although there were some spelling variations that did exist, none of the variations affected the basic Bible doctrines being conveyed.

The Bible has a rich and strong heritage.  We are so blessed to have a Bible that is so readily available to us today.  As we explore and learn how we got the Bible we have today, we need to remember all those that came before us who made this possible and be appreciative that they put keeping the Bible true and alive as more important than even their own lives.  This is the Book and we are so blessed to still have it among us.

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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