God's Sacred Word

   Bible Study Lesson 12                               ???? Which Bible ????                                                         Feberuary 19 / 1996

                        There is a new and growing concern about the right Bible to choose . I have been asked many times how do I know that the Bible that I use is the right one ? Friends ask me this question , and now I have been asked many times on the Internet on the Christian Chat Lines . People are starting to get confused with so many different Bible's now on the market . You can go into a Christian Book store and there is almost wall to wall Bible's . How to choose and pick the right one . There are so many counterfeits that man has put into print .

                        Just about every Religion now has their own Bible . Or they have different books added to the Bible . Then there are the programs which you can now get for the computer . You can get the Bible on floppy disks , on C D roms , and special programs which have the Bible and a Concordance built right in . Now you can even get a pocket Bible Computer . I just heard that there was a program just released for the computer with the Bible and Concordance and all of the maps of the holy lands . The kicker is that the Bible that was used is short of five thousand words .

                        This Bible was edited by man , and they have taken from the word of God . When I receive more information on this I will add it to my Web Page . So all can see . So you have to BEWARE ! There is also a bunch of people who meet every year and sit around a big table and they decide what to add and to delete from the Bible . They decide what Christians should believe and what they shouldn't believe . Maybe you have heard of these people , they call it the Jesus Seminar . These are people of the higher archery . Ministers Priests and Pastors and high Religious figures . 

                        These people decide what we are to believe . There is also more blasphemy headed our way . They are now going to come out with the New Age Bible , this Bible is now in the works and is suppose to be out shortly . It is full of all signs , wonders , and great miracles . They make everything so beautiful , they claim that we as individuals are gods . That we are god's when we are born and god's when we die . I will also add this to my Web Page when I get more information .

                        When asked which Bible do I recommend , I always recommend the King James Version . And I have very good reasons for doing so , so I have put together with study and research the reason why I say the King James Version . Now I will show you why .

From Bookshelf 94 : Bible

                        Bible term used since the 4th cent. for the Christian Scriptures and later, by extension, for those of various religions traditions. ( For the composition and canon of the Bible, OLD TESTAMENT , NEW TESTAMENT, Apocrypha, and articles on individual books. ) The traditional Christian view is that the Bible was written under the guidance of God and is, therefore , entirely true. Literally or coached in allegory. Interpretation of the Bible is a main point of difference between Protestantism, which holds that individuals have the right to interpret the Bible for themselves , and Roman Catholicism, which teaches that individuals may read the Bible only as interpreted by the church.

                        In recent times, many Protestants have been influenced by biblical criticism that has applied scientific and historical methods to Bible study ( higher criticism ) Fundamentalism, on the other hand, emphasizes the absolute inerracncy of the Bible. Noted extant manuscripts of the Bible include Codex Vaticanus ( Greek , 4th cent. ) , at the Vatican; COdex Alexandrunus ( Greek, 5th cent. ); in the British Museum; and Codex Bezae ( Greek and Latin, 6th cent , at Cambridge, England.

                        Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest fragments of the Hebrew text know; the New Testament has come down to us in Greek. The first great translation of the whole Bible was the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome. The Greek text generally accepted in the East is , for the Old Testament , the Septuagint. Great names in the history of the English BIble are John Wyclif ( d . 1384 ), whose name appears on two translations; William Tyndale, whose New Testament ( 1525 - 26 ) was the first English translation to be printed; and Miles Coverdale, who published ( 1535 ) a translation of the entire Bible.

                        The greatest English translation ( and one of the most influential English prose works ) is the Authorized Version ( AV ) , or King James Version ( KJV ) , of 1611 , made by a group of churchmen and scholars led by Lancelot Andrews. The Rheims-Douay Version was produced by Roman Catholic scholars at Rheims ( New Testament, 1582 ) and Douai ( Old Testament, 1610 ), France.

                        In the 19th cent, the Authorized Version was revised as the English Revised Version and the American Revised Version (pub. 1880 - 90 ). American scholars published ( 1952 ) the influential Revised Standard Version ( RSV ). New translations are the New English Bible (1970 ) and such Roman Catholic translations as the Westminster Version and the New American Bible ( 1970 ); an English translation of the French Catholic Bible de Jerusalem appeared as the Jerusalem Bible ( 1966 ).

From Bookshelf 94 : Dead Sea Scrolls

                        Dead Sea Scrolls , documents of great historical and scholarly value, found in 1947 and later in caves above the NW Dead Sea. Archaeologists have shown that the scrolls stored in jars in the first cave at Qumran were written or copied between the 1st cent. B.C. and the first half of the 1st cent. AD. Chief among the scrolls are two copies of the Book of Isaiah, almost 1,ooo years old than an Hebrew Biblical manuscript previously know.

                        Another important scroll was the so-called Manual of Discipline for an ascetic community, which has been identified with both the ruins at nearby Qumran and the Essenes, a Jewish religious sect living an ascetic communal agricultural life in that region between the 2d cent. B.C. and 2d cent. A.D. Parallels between the Qumran scrolls and the New Testament have led some scholars to suggest a tie between the Essenes and the earl Christians, including the much - disputed suggestion that Jesus and John the Baptist may have been Essenes. Recent work by other archaeologists and biblical scholars has questioned the association of the scrolls with the Qumran ruins and the Essenes.

Encarta 95 : The Bible in English

                        The history of the English Bible is the history of the movement of the Bible from its possession and use by clergy alone to the hands of the laity. It is also the history of the formation of the English language from a mixture of French, Anglo-Norman, and Anglo-Saxon. Even though Christianity reached England in the 3rd century, the Bible remained in Latin and almost exclusively in the hands of the clergy for a thousand years.

                        Between the 7th and 14th centuries, portions of the Bible were translated into English, and some rough paraphrases appeared for instructing parishioners. In literacy circles, poetic translations of favourite passages were made. Interest in translation from Latin to English grew rapidly in the 14th century, and in 1382 the first complete English Bible appeared in manuscript . It was the work of the English reformer John Wycliffe, whose goal was to give the Bible to the people.

Translations of the Reformation Period :

                        In 1525 the English reformer William Tyndale translated the New Testament from the Greek text, copies of which were printed in Germany and smuggled into England. Tyndale's translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew text was only partly completed. His simple prose and popular idiom established a style in English translation that was continued in the Authorized Version of 1611 ( the King James Version ) and eventually in the Revised Standard Version of 1946-52.

                        In 1535 the English reformer Miles Coverdale published an English translation based on German and Latin versions in addition to Tyndale's . This was not only the first complete English Bible to appear in printed form , but unlike its predecessors, it was an approved translation that has been requested by the Canterbury Convocation . Shortly thereafter, the English reformer and editor John Rogers produced a singhtly revised edition of Tyndale's Bible. This appeared in 1537 and was called Matthew's Bible.

                        In 1538 the English scholar Richard Tavemer issued another revision. At about the same time, Oliver Cromwell commissioned Coverdale to produce a new Bible, which appeared in six editions between 1539 and 1568. This Bible, called the Great Bible , in its final revision in 1568 by scholars and bishops of the Anglican church was know n as the Bishops Bible. The Bishops Bible was designed to replace not only the Great Bible, which was primarily a pulpit Bible, but also a translation for the laity, produced in Geneva in 1560 by English Protestants in exile, called the Geneva Bible. The Bishops Bible was the second authorized Bible.

The King James Version :

                        In 1604 King James 1 commissioned a new revision of the English Bible; it was completed in 1611. Following Tyndale primarily, this Authorized Version, also known as the King James Version, was widely acclaimed for its beauty and simplicity of style. In the years that followed, the Authorized Version underwent several revisions, the most notable being the English Revised Version (1881-85), the American Standard Version (1901), and the revision of the American Standard Version undertaken by the International Council of Religious Education, representing 40 Protestant denominations in the U.S. and Canada.

                        This Revised Standard Version (RSV) appeared between 1946 and 1952. Widely accepted by Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic Christians, it provided the basis for the first ecumenical English Bible. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV. 1989) eliminated much archaic and ambiguous usage. The New King James Bible, with contemporary American vocabulary, was published in 1982.

Modern Translations :

                        In the first half of the 20th century many modern speech translations, mostly by individuals, appeared: Weymouth (1903); Goodspeed and Smith (1923-27); Moffatt (1924-26); Phillips (1947); and others. SInce 1960, major translation projects have been underway to produce English Bibles that are not revisions of the Tyndale-King James-RSVV tradition. The more significant among these are the following : the Jerusalem Bible (1966), and English translation of the work of French DOminicans (1956); Today's English Version (1966-76) in idiomatic English by the American Bible Society; the New English Bible, commissioned in 1946 by the Church of Scotland and designed to be neither stilted nor colloquial; the New International Bible (1973-79), a revision by conservative American Protestants based largely on the King James Version and similar to the New American Standard Version; and the Living Bible (1962-71), not a translation but a paraphrase into the modern American idiom.

                        the latter was designed by its author, Kenneth Taylor, to make the Bible interesting, but to propagate a rigid evangelical position. The multi volume Anchor Bible (1964), an international and interfaith project, offers modern readers an exact translation, with extended exegesis (exposition.) Jewish translations of the Hebrew Bible into English have been appearing for two centuries. A new translation, sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society of America, was published in three segments in 1962, 1974, and 1983. It is called the New Jewish Version.

                        The continuing flow of new translations testifies to the changing nature of language, the discovery of new manuscript evidence, and most of all the abiding desire to read and to understand the Bible .


Taken From The Halley's Bible Handbook

                        Manuscripts : The original manuscripts of all the New Testament books, as far as is known, have been lost. COpies of these precious writings began to be made from the very first, for other churches; and copies of copies, generation after generation, as the older ones wore out .

                        The writing material in common use was Papyrus, made of slices of the water plant that grew in Egypt. Two slices , one vertical , the other horizontal, were pressed together and polished. Ink was made of charcoal, gum and water.

                        Single sheets were used for short compositions. For longer, sheets were fastened, side to side, to form rolls. A roll was usually about 30 feet long, and 9 or 10 inches high.

                        In the 2th century A.D. the New Testament books began to be made up in Codex form, that is , modern book form, in which any number of leaves could be put into one volume, with numbered pages. Papyrus was not very durable. It became brittle with age, or rotted with dampness, and soon wore out; except in Egypt, where the dry climate and shifting sands have preserved for discovery in our own times an amazing collection of ancient documents.

In 4th century A. D. Papyrus was superseded by Vellum as the main writing material. Vellum was parchment made from skins; much more durable; and made up in book form.

                        Until the recent discovery of the Egyptian Papyri, all known extant manuscripts of the Bible were on Vellum. WIth the invention of Printing in the 15th century the making of manuscript Bibles ceased.

                        There are not in existence about 4000 known manuscripts of the Bible, or parts of the Bible, made between the 2th and 15th centuries. This seems few to us, but it is far more than the manuscripts of any other ancient writings. There is not a complete known copy of Homer earlier than A.D. 1300; nor of Herodotus earlier than A.D. 1000.

                        The Vellum manuscripts now known are called Urcials and Cursives. The Uncials were written in large capital letters. There are about 160 of them, made between the 4th and 10th centuries. The Cursives were written in small running letters linked together, and were made between the 10 the and 15th centuries. The Uncials, being more ancient , are far more valuable.

                        The three oldest, completes, best known and most valuable manuscripts are : the Sinatic, Vatican and Alexandrian, which were originally complete Bibles.

                        The Sinatic Manuscript, or Codex Sinaiticus, was found by a German scholar named Tischdnodof (1844) , at the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai. He noticed, in a waste basket of leaves set aside to be burned, vellum pages with Greek writing. On closer examination they proved to be parts of an ancient manuscript of the Septuagint Old Testament. There were 43 leaves. He searched, and searched to continue the search, but found nothing. Again, in 1859, he returned. Ad he talked with the steward about the Septuagint, the steward remarked that he had an ancient copy of it, and he brought it forth wrapped in a paper napkin.

                        It was the rest of the manuscript of which Tishendorf had seen the 43 leaves 15 years before. As he looked through its pages he realized that he held in his hand the most precious writing in existence. After long international negotiations it was finally secured for the Imperial Library in St. Petersburg, where it remained till 1933, when it was sold to the British Museum at the price of half a million dollars. It contains 199 leaves of the Old Testament, and the entire New Testament with the Epistle of Barnabas and part of the Shepherd of Hermas, on 148 leaves, making 347 leaves in all, written in beautiful hand on the finest of vellum, the leaves 15 by 131/2 inches. It was made in the first half of the 4th century. It is the only ancient manuscript that contains the entire New Testament. The 43 leaves which Tischendorf secured on his first visit are in the University Library at Leipzig.

                        The vatican Manuscript. Made in 4th century. In the Vatican Library since 1481. Some fragments of New Testament missing. The Alexandrian. Made in 5th century, at Alexandria. In the British Museum since 1627. Entire Bible, with some fragments missing. and Epistles of Clement and Psalms of Solomon.

                        Others. The Ephraem, 5th century, now in University of Cambridge, Gospels and Acts . The Washington, 4th century, found in Egypt 1906, now in Smithsonian Library at Washington, the Gospels.

The Papyri:

                        Their Discovery : Flinders Petrie, in excavations in central Egypt, notice old sheets of papyrus appearing in rubbish heaps that had been buried beneath the sand, and suggested that they might be valuable. Two of his pupils, Grenfell and Hunt, Oxford students, began in 1985 , a systematic search for these papyri. In the following ten years, at Oxyrhynchus, and nearby places, they found 10,000 manuscripts and parts of manuscripts. Other excavators, also, found great quanties of similar manuscripts. They were dug out of sand-covered rubbish heaps, stuffing's in mummy cases, and embalmed crocodiles bodies. They consisted mostly of letters, bills, receipts, diaries, certificates, almanacs, etc. Some of them were valuable historical documents dating as far back as 2000 B.C. Most of them, however, dated from 300 B. C. to A. D. 300. Among them were some early Christian writings, which is the thing that made them of interest to the bible student.

                        Fragment of John's gospel. A tiny scrap of Papyrus, 31/2 by 21/2 inches, containing on one side John 18: 31-33, and on the other side John 18: 37-38 . It is a part of one leaf of a manuscript that had been originally 130 pages 81/4 by 8 inches. Comparing the shape of the letters and the style of writing with certain dated manuscripts, scholars assign it to the first part of the 2th century. It is the oldest known bible manuscript, and is evidence that the gospel of John was in existence, and was in circulation in Egypt, in the years immediately following the death of John, It was found in 1920; is now in the Rylands Library, Manchester, England.

                        Gospels and Acts. Among the papyri are 30 imperfect leaves, containing parts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts, made in the early part of the 3th century. It is a part of what is known as the Chester Beatty collection .

                        Paul's Epistles, consisting of 86 leaves, out of what has been 104, contains Romans, Hebrews , 1 & 11 Corinthians, Ephesians, Gelatines, Philippians, Collossians , 1 & 11 Thessalonians. It was written about A.D. 200. Belongs to the Chester Beatty collection of Papyri.

                        The Chester Beatty Collection also contains some manuscripts of Genesis , Numbers, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, and about one-third of Revelation. It was published in 1931. Is owned partly by the University of Michigan. It is considered the most important discovery bearing on the text of the bible since the discovery of the sinaitic manuscript, and is valuable evidence for the authenticity and integrity of the New Testament books.

                        The Logia. Besides the many fragments of papyrus leaves containing parts of bible books, there were some that contained hitherto unrecorded Sayings of Jesus, current in the 3th century. And some with portions of an unknown gospel, with parallels to the canonical gospels; and many fragments containing similar incidents from Jesus life .

            The language of the Papyri. Adolph Deissman, a German scholar, noticed that the Greek of the Papyri was the same as New Testament Greek, and not the classic Greek of the age of Pericles. There are 500 words in the Greek New Testament not found in classic greek at all. This discovery that the New Testament was thus written in the everyday language of the common people gave impulse to the modern speech translations of the New Testament that have recently appeared.

Ancient Translations :

                        The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in Greek. A Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint, made in the 3rd century B.C. was in common use in Jesus day. Greek was the language in general use throughout the Roman world .

                        The Old Syriac. Made in the 2nd century A.D. for use among the Syriac, which it completely superseded. Peshito means simple. There were other later Syriac versions.

                        The Old Latin. Made in the 2nd century. Its Old Testament was translated, not from the Hebrew, but the Septuagint.

                        The Vulgate. A revision of the Old Latin, by Jerome, A.D. 382-404. Its Old Testament, except the Psalms, was direct from the Hebrew. It became the Bible of the West for a thousand years.

                        The Coptic. The vemacular language of Egypt. Made in 2nd century A.D. A number of versions followed.

                        Other Translations. In the 4th century, Ethiopic and Gothic. In the 5th century. Armenian. 9th century, Arabic and Slavic.

                        With the growth of the Papacy the Bible fell into general disuse, being supplanted by the decrees and dogmas of councils and Popes.

                        With the Protestant Reformation came a renewed interest in the Bible, unto now the Bible, or parts of it, is translated into more than a thousand languages and dialects. It is estimated that nine-tenths of the whole world's population, at the present time, may read or hear the Bible in their own language.

English Translations :

                        Caedmon ( A.D. 676 ), Bed ( 672 - 735 ), Alfred the Great ( 849 - 901 ), translated short parts of the Bible into Anglo - Saxon, followed by a few later fragmentary attempts.

                        Whclif's Bible ( A.D. 1382 ) First English Bible . Translated from the Vulgate. In manuscript only, because it was before the invention of printing. Not widely circulated, but reached the people, and was one of the main factors in paving the way for the Reformation. The Pope was against him. He was excommunicated, and, after death, his bones burned and cast into the river.

                        Tyndale's Bible ( 1525 ), Translated from the original Greek and Hebrew. More accurate than Wyclif's. Tyndale, persecuted, fled from England to Hamburg, then to Cologne and Worms, where his New Testament was printed, and smuggled into England in bales of merchandise. For translating the Bible into the language of the people, by order of the priesthood, he was burned, Oct. 6 , 1536.

                        Coverdale's Bible ( 1535 ) , which was almost wholly copied from Tyndale's . And by the The Great Bible ( 1539 ), which was a compilation from Tyndale, Rogers and Coverdale.

                        Geneva Bible ( 1560 ). By a group of Protestant scholars, who had fled to Geneva. Based mainly on Tyndales with strongly Cavinistic notes. Became very popular . Followed by the Bishop's Bible (1568 ), authorized for the Church of England.

                    King James Version ( 1611 ). Ordered by King James, for the sake of uniform service in Presbyterian Scotland and Episcopal England. A revision of versions based on Tyndale's . For 300 years it has been the household Bible of the English-speaking world.

                        I have outlined for you to the best of my ability on which Bible we should be reading . I believe that the King James Version is the proper Bible for us to use . Man is changing the Scriptures in the Bible every time there is a new version released . They say , new and improved . Hog wash . They are changing the word of God . They are doing this for their own personal gain , they are taking Scriptures out of the Bible . They are adding False doctrine's . So if you have an older King James Bible hold on to it , because the new and improved is going to be full of doctrine's of men .

                        Also for those of you who keep the proper Sabbath which is Saturday . They are now working on a new Calendar which makes Monday the first day of the week and Sunday the seventh day of the week . Once again the doctrine of men . Changing everything to fit to their own way's of belief . Then they can say that they keep the right day ( sunday ) which will be the seventh day of the week according to their new Calendar .

                       When I have more information on these things that I say , I will post them on my Web Page . Remember to keep God's word not man's word . For you have to answer to God not man . I will be getting back to my regular studies , for those of you who are interested . So check back every now and then and see what is new .


You are responsible for what you read !

May the Father & Jesus Christ be with you always

By Edward P. Porter