Monday, November 27, 2023

The Original Language Of The Bible

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Why The Hebrew Language Tapered Off After The Bar Kochba Revolt

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It is estimated that ½ million Jews died in the Bar Kochba revolt from war, famine, and disease. Numerous cities and villages were completed destroyed. The majority of the remaining Jewish people were either exiled or sold into slavery.

Moreover, the particularly evil Roman emperor Hadrian, attempted to eradicate Judaism by forbidding its practice. Hadrian even forbid the Jews to enter Jerusalem except on Tisha BAv . Tisha BAv is a day of mourning set aside to remember the numerous tragedies that the Jewish people have suffered on or around this day.

However, from this time, all the way through the Middle Ages, Hebrew remained the language of Jewish liturgy and rabbinic literature.

How Was The Kjv Translated

Here is how the KJV came about: 54 college professors, preachers, deans and bishops ranging in ages from 27 to 73 were engaged in the project of translating the KJV. To work on their masterpiece, these men were divided into six panels: two at Oxford, two at Cambridge, two at Westminster. Each panel concentrated on one portion of the Bible, and each scholar in the panel was assigned portions to translate. As guides the scholars used a Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, a Greek text for the New. Some Aramaic was used in each. They consulted translations in Chaldean, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch. And, of course, they used earlier English Biblesat least six, including William Tyndale’s New Testament, the first to be printed in English. So what language did they use? Every language that was available to them.

Aramaic Added Flavor To The Bible

Although not a major part of Bible writing, Aramaic was used in several sections of Scripture. Aramaic was commonly used in the Persian Empire after the Exile, the Jews brought Aramaic back to Israel where it became the most popular language.

The Hebrew Bible was translated into Aramaic, called the Targum, in the second temple period, which ran from 500 B.C. to 70 A.D. This translation was read in the synagogues and used for instruction.

Bible passages which originally appeared in Aramaic are Daniel 2-7 Ezra 4-7 and Jeremiah 10:11. Aramaic words are recorded in the New Testament as well:

  • Talitha qumi 5:41
  • Ephphatha Mark 7:34
  • Eli, Eli, lema sebaqtani Mark 15:34, Matthew 27:46
  • 1 Corinthians 16:22

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What Significance Does The New Testament Have For Christians

In the New Testament Gods revelation is completed. The four Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the centerpiece of Sacred Scripture and the most precious treasure of the Church. In them the Son of God shows himself as he is and encounters us. In the Acts of the Apostles we learn about the beginnings of the Church and the working of the Holy Spirit. In the letters written by the apostles, all facets of human life are set in the light of Christ. In the Book of Revelation we foresee the end of the ages.

Jesus is everything that God would like to tell us. The entire Old Testament prepares for the Incarnation of Gods Son. All of Gods promises find their fulfillment in Jesus. To be a Christian means to unite oneself ever more deeply with the life of Christ. To do that, one must read and live the Gospels. Madeleine Delbrêl says, Through his Word God tells us what he is and what he wants he says it definitively and says it for each individual day. When we hold our Gospel book in our hands, we should reflect that in it dwells the Word that wants to become flesh in us, desires to take hold of us, so that we might begin his life anew in a new place, at a new time, in a new human setting.

The words of God, expressed in human language, are in every way like human speech, just as the word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the weak flesh of human beings, became like them.

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Production And Use Of A Torah Scroll

Why don

Manuscript Torah scrolls are still scribed and used for ritual purposes this is called a Sefer Torah . They are written using a painstakingly careful method by highly qualified scribes. It is believed that every word, or marking, has divine meaning and that not one part may be inadvertently changed lest it lead to error. The fidelity of the Hebrew text of the Tanakh, and the Torah in particular, is considered paramount, down to the last letter: translations or transcriptions are frowned upon for formal service use, and transcribing is done with painstaking care. An error of a single letter, ornamentation, or symbol of the 304,805 stylized letters that make up the Hebrew Torah text renders a Torah scroll unfit for use, hence a special skill is required and a scroll takes considerable time to write and check.

According to Jewish law, a sefer Torah is a copy of the formal Hebrew text handwritten on gevil or klaf by using a quill dipped in ink. Written entirely in Hebrew, a sefer Torah contains 304,805 letters, all of which must be duplicated precisely by a trained sofer , an effort that may take as long as approximately one and a half years. Most modern Sifrei Torah are written with forty-two lines of text per column , and very strict rules about the position and appearance of the Hebrew letters are observed. See for example the Mishnah Berurah on the subject. Any of several Hebrew scripts may be used, most of which are fairly ornate and exacting.

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Languages Of The Deuterocanonical Books

The deuterocanonical books have a different status according to various Jewish and Christian denominations, with some considering them canonical, others apocryphal. These books, mostly written between 300 BCE and 300 CE, were written in various times, places, contexts and languages by various authors for various reasons. Scholars continue to debate as to which languages each of the deuterocanonicals was originally written. Many of the oldest surviving texts are in Koine Greek, but show features of Semitic languages usually Semitisms such as Hebrew, Aramaic or Syriac, leading some scholars to argue that the original text, even though now lost, may have been written in a Semitic language rather than Greek. In other cases, the Greek seems more fluent and may be considered original. One of the youngest of these books, 2 Esdras, has a complex composition history with a probable mix of Hebrew, Latin and Greek origins.

Deuterocanonical books composition

c. AD 400440 Codex Alexandrinus is the oldest version. Medieval Greek, prior history unknown

S Of The Bible Written In Aramaic

Another original language of the Bible is supposed to be Aramaic. The first few passages of the Old Testament were penned down in Aramaic words. Aramaic is also a Semitic language, just like Hebrew, and both are quite similar. It was spoken in the Persian empire and was common during Jesus time. It was brought back by the Jews to Israel after their exile and became one of the popular Biblical languages.

Aramaic underwent various historical transformations and was the official language of the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires. It acted as an international tongue that brought people together from various regions of the Assyrian Empire to become the common language of Jews imprisoned in Babylon and, lastly, the official tongue of the western half of the Persian Empire.

We can assume that Jesus also spoke Aramaic, as some New Testament translations are of Aramaic to Greek. Although Jesus, most likely, spoke in Greek to the people outside of Israel.

The Hebrew Bibles translation into Aramaic, called the Targum, happened during the second temple period dating from 500 B.C. to 70 A.D. This translation was mainly used as instruction and read in synagogues. The Bible translations into Aramaic are in the passages contained in:

Daniel 2-7,

Jeremiah 10-11.

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Who Originally Wrote The Bible

Moses is the initial author as the first five books of the Bible were ascribed to him. However, hes not the only person who was inspired by God to write parts of the Bible.

In fact, the Bible consists of 66 different books, most of which were written by different authors.

You could say that the Bible was written in one book-at-a-time manner.

Heres a list of all known and unknown human Bible authors who were inspired by the Lord Himself:

Moses Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Unknown Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings

Ezra 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra

Nehemiah Nehemiah

Unknown Esther, Job

David , Asaph , Sons of Korah , Solomon , Moses , Ethan , Heman , unknown Psalms

Solomon , Agur , Lemuel Proverbs

Solomon Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

Isaiah Isaiah

Its worth pointing out that some books like the Psalms have multiple authors.

When Was The New Testament Written

Learn to Read the Bible in the Original Hebrew and Greek Languages

Since the New Testament books of the Bible are younger than the Old Testament collection, we naturally have more understanding about how the New Testament was written. The astounding feature of this knowledge actually helps us to understand how the Old Testament was collected and compiled. There is little difference in method. The books of the New Testament were recognized in time as the divine Word of God moving through His Apostles and disciples. From A.D. 33 until approximately A.D. 80, the Holy Spirit breathed out His Word in twenty-seven books and nine authors. Among the authors used by God were those who actually walked with Jesus and had seen Jesus in His post-resurrection form . The New Testament may be simply divided into Gospels and Epistles. Paul wrote most of the Epistles. These letters to churches were primarily concerned with clarifying doctrinal truths about Jesus and the way to be saved and ethical goals for the life of believers in the Church. Misunderstanding, contextualization problems, persecution, and false teachers became the forces that caused the writings and led to clarity, faithfulness, and further revelation about the mission of God in the world through Jesus Christ.

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S Of The Bible Written In Hebrew

The first five parts of the Bible were written in Mosess native ancient language, Hebrew One of the Bibles original languages.

Almost the whole Old Testament is in Hebrew word. The Hebrew language was the language of the ancient Israelites. Dating back to 1500 BC, ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language, written from right to left with 22 characters, with vowels added later.

Hebrew was the sacred spoken language of the Jews, but its everyday use declined after the Jews returned from exile. The usage of Aramaic replaced it. However, Hebrew saw a revival in the Maccabean era without much difference. Nowadays, modern Hebrew spoken in Israel can trace its ancestry back to Biblical Hebrew.

The use of Hebrew became exclusive as a religious or sacred language. To this date, many Jews read and memorize the Torah in it while worshipping in the synagogue. Many Jews may read the writings of the Torah in English as part of the Hebrew Bible, Tanak, or the Jewish Bible since only the text in original Hebrew is considered particularly sacred.

What Is The Historical Reason The King James Version Was Created

Many years ago, I heard someone say that the KJV came about because King James I wanted a version of the Bible that supported him getting a divorce. Nowadays, I canât help but wonder how true this is. Thus, Iâm asking for the historical reasons the KJV came about.

  • Check out the forward/dedication of the original KJV . Remember that it is always best to listen to the creators of the work when trying to guess their purpose instead of listening to contemporary âscholarsâ who like to lace every historical figure with dark motives.

Since one of the reasons for the English Reformation by King Henry VIII which lead to the creation of the Church of England was divorce, I doubt King James I would have needed a new translation.

From Wikipedia, it sounds like the main reasons for the commissioning of the KJV 70 years after the reformation were around translation errors believed to be in the existing English translations.

The newly crowned King James convened the Hampton Court Conference in 1604. That gathering proposed a new English version in response to the perceived problems of earlier translations as detected by the Puritan faction of the Church of England.

It sounds to me like what you had heard may have just been history getting crossed.

To begin with, that statement is logically flawed as the Bible does not condone divorce KJV or not.

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What Was The Original Language Of The Hebrew Bible Not As Simple As It Sounds

In brief, the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, was originally written in Hebrew, except for half of Daniel , a portion of Ezra , and a word or verse here and there in Aramaic. This was because Hebrew was the language of the Israelites until the Babylonian captivity , at which time they were heavily influenced by Aramaic. This related Semitic language had intersected with Hebrew before, but it rose to prominence under the Neo-Assyrian Empire where it achieved the status of a prestige language.

The earliest recorded instance of biblical interplay between Aramaic and Hebrew occurs in Genesis 31:47 where Jacob and Laban erected a pillar of stones to mark the covenant between them. Each named the heap-of-stones monument. Jacob named the pillar in Hebrew, while Laban did so in Aramaic. Galeed was Jacobs appointed Hebrew title, whereas Labans label in Aramaic was Jegar-sahadutha . The relationship must have been very close, because later, Moses taught the Israelites that their ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean .

In any case, Aramaic was inherited from the Assyrians by the Babylonians where it continued to be utilized for administrative, legal, and commercial purposes. During the period of the Babylonian captivity, an entire generation or two of Jewish exiles was born in a land that spoke a foreign language, as Moses had warned. The result was that Aramaic became the dominant language of the displaced Judeans, and for many, it had become their new mother tongue.

What Is Koin Greek


Its street Greek.

Koiné is the transliteration of the feminine form of the adjective .

You are probably familiar with the cognate Greek word koinonia (pronounced kwah-nah-nee-ah. Though a lot of preachers and teachers translate it fellowship, which is as good a translation as any, it can also mean close association involving mutual interests and sharing, association, communion, fellowship, close relationship, participation.

Koiné has two major categories of meaning :

1) Being of mutual interest or shared collectively, communal, commonFor example:Acts 2:44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.Jude 1:3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

2) Being of little value because of being common, ordinary, profaneFor example:Mark 7:2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.Revelation 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lambs book of life.

Koiné Greek simply means the ordinary language shared collectively and spoken by all the people.

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How Many Languages Is The Bible Written In

Its generally accepted that the original Biblical texts were written in 3 languages:

The Old Testament Scripture was primarily written in Hebrew and partially Aramaic .

The New Testament was written in Koine Greek with a few occasional Aramaic phrases like Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani? that Christ uses from the cross.

However, note that Hebrew and Aramaic are considered sister languages. Think of Spanish and Italian extremely similar.

Basically, if you know Hebrew, learning Aramaic would be a walk in the park and vice versa.

So one may argue that only 2 languages were used, but technically the Bible was written in 3 languages.

Shakespeare & The King James Bible

Anyone even vaguely familiar with the Christian Bible knows that there has never been a translation yet that surpassed the King James.

What nobody ever mentions and something I had never before considered is that the KJV Bible was created and produced at the very pinnacle of Shakespeares career. Not him, of course. Though there are legends about his alleged involvement.

But how many people, when they praise the unmatched linguistic beauty of that bible, know it sprang from the very same time and place as Shakespeare?

This is from Wikipedia:

The King James Version , commonly known as the Authorized Version or King James Bible , is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.

Now that I know this, it makes me wonder how much of Shakespeares eloquence was in the air during that momentous decade of literary achievement not to take anything away from him, but rather to better understand the context of early 17th century England.

UPDATE: Thanks to Karla Tipton for alerting me to a documentary called The Story of English. The following is an excerpt from episode 3 titled Muse of Fire dealing specifically with the English language around Shakespeares time:

The documentary in its entirety may be viewed HERE.

From Wikipedia:

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