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What Language The Bible Was Written Originally

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Is King James The Most Accurate Bible


That venerable old standard the King James Version also shows up very high on the list of most accurate Bibles. The KJV was made before some of the best texts were found like the Textus Siniaticus. But in spite of the outdated language- the KJV remains the most popular Bible in the English-speaking world.

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The Interpreters New Role

This individual was called a meturgeman, and at times he added his own flavor including paraphrases and a bit of commentary. In order to safeguard the priority of the Hebrew text, his translations were initially prohibited from being recorded. These spoken translations were referred to as targumim or targums, a term that means interpretation, translation, or version. The body of these impromptu Aramaic translations has simply come to be referred to as the Aramaic Targums. These were still only oral at the time of Christ.

However, the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 created a new reality for Rabbinic Judaism. Toward the end of the 1st century AD, these sayings from the Targum were recorded, collected, and became authoritative for a few communities. In some cases they have even been preserved side by side with the Hebrew text itself.

So, the Aramaic Targums were originally orally produced translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic. These were provided for the benefit of Jewish listeners, who no longer understood, or only understood with difficulty, the Hebrew text. After the decentralization of Judaism caused by the destruction of the Temple, the oral form was recorded in writing to assist an increasingly dispersed community.

Was The New Testament Originally Written In Greek Or Aramaic

The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, which was the most popular form of Greek at the time and the Greek dialect of the common people.

However, there are still a few Aramaic words found in the New Testament. The most notable example comes from when Christ quoted Psalm 22:1 as he was about to die:

  • Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?

This is the Aramaic phrase thats slightly different from the Eli Eli lema sabachthani? found in Matthew 27:46 ESV.

However, the New Testament is primarily written in Koine Greek, which was the go-to language in Palestine during the rule of the Roman Empire.

And why do you think the New Testament authors used Greek and not Hebrew or Aramaic for example?

Because Greek was the official language in the Roman Empire, which opens the doors for Scripture to be understood by the Gentiles, not just the Jews.

And since this was the most commonly used language at the time that made it possible to reach the lost world, the New Testament was written almost exclusively in Greek.

Of course there are a few small exceptions of Aramaic phrases like Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?

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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

What Was The Language Of The Old Testament

In which language was the Bible first written?

Ancient Hebrew was the tongue of the ancient Israelites and the language in which most of the Old Testament was penned. Isaiah 19:18 calls it the language of Canaan, while other verses label it Judean and language of the Jews .

Ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language that dates back past 1500 B.C. Its alphabet consists of 22 characters, all consonants , and is written from right to left.

While Hebrew remained the sacred tongue of the Jews, its use as a common spoken language declined after the Jews return from exile . Despite a revival of the language during the Maccabean era, it was eventually all but replaced in everyday usage by Aramaic. Modern Hebrew can trace its ancestry to Biblical Hebrew, but has incorporated many other influences as well.

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When It Comes To The Original Languages Of The Bible

it seems that people

  • think they know

Our knowledge is basically a sum total of what we have learned and experienced in life.

Whatever your sum total includesthe mating practices of oysters, whether or not going to Wal-Mart on Saturday afternoon is a good idea, or some knowledge of the original languages of the Biblesthe valuable info in this post will be useful at some time or another.

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When Was The Bible First Printed

The printing press was invented around 1440 AD by Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith. His invention, together with developments in paper making, greatly improved the speed, quality and affordability of book production. The earliest major book printed by Gutenberg was the Bible, in Latin. In 1516, Desiderius Erasmus produced the first printed edition of the Greek New Testament. The printing press also allowed the first vernacular Bible translations to spread rapidly. So, Bibles have been printed ever since the existence of the printing press.

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In What Language Was The Bible First Written Biblica

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  • Summary: The New Testament, however, was written in Greek. This seems strange, since you might think it would be either Hebrew or Aramaic. However, Greek was the

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  • Summary: Scholars generally recognize three languages as original biblical languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.

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Old Testament: The Single Author Theory

Kalenjin community unveils first-ever Bible written in Sengwer language

The Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, narrates the history of the people of Israel over about a millennium, beginning with Gods creation of the world and humankind, and contains the stories, laws and moral lessons that form the basis of religious life for both Jews and Christians. For at least 1,000 years, both Jewish and Christian tradition held that a single author wrote the first five books of the BibleGenesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomywhich together are known as the Torah and the Pentateuch . That single author was believed to be Moses, the Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and guided them across the Red Sea toward the Promised Land.

Yet nearly from the beginning, readers of the Bible observed that there were things in the so-called Five Books of Moses that Moses himself could not possibly have witnessed: His own death, for example, occurs near the end of Deuteronomy. A volume of the Talmud, the collection of Jewish laws recorded between the 3rd and 5th centuries A.D., dealt with this inconsistency by explaining that Joshua likely wrote the verses about Moses death.

Rembrandt van Rijn, painting of Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law, 1659.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

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Greek Opened The New Testament To Gentiles

When the Bible writers began to pen the gospels and epistles, they abandoned Hebrew and turned to the popular language of their time, koine or common Greek. Greek was a unifying tongue, spread during the conquests of Alexander the Great, whose desire was to Hellenize or spread Greek culture throughout the world. Alexanderâs empire covered the Mediterranean, northern Africa, and parts of India, so the use of Greek became predominant.

Greek was easier to speak and write than Hebrew because it used a complete alphabet, including vowels. It also had a rich vocabulary, allowing for precise shades of meaning. An example is Greekâs four different words for love used in the Bible.

An added benefit was that Greek opened the New Testament to Gentiles, or non-Jews. This was extremely important in evangelism because Greek allowed Gentiles to read and understand the gospels and epistles for themselves.

Original Language Of The Bible

Two books of the Old Testament Wisdom and II Machabees were written in Greek. The rest of the Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language. The New Testament was written in Greek, with the exception of St. Matthews Gospel which according to the unanimous testimony of Christian antiquity was written in Hebrew or Aramaic.

The books of the Bible were very likely written in the cursive style of writing. The cursive style joins the letters of a word together as when we write today. In addition, the ancients had two other styles of writing: the lapidary and the uncial . The lapidary style was followed in inscriptions on stone monuments and used only capital letters. The uncial style was used in fine editions of books and in elaborate Bibles and employed large disconnected letters resembling the capitals. In uncial writing there were no spaces between the words or sentences and punctuation marks were used rarely. The word uncial comes from St. Jeromes description of some Bibles of his time as being written in letters an inch high.

Material taken from

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What Is The Right Way To Read The Bible

The right way to read Sacred Scripture is to read it prayerfully, in other words, with the help of the Holy Spirit, under whose influence it came into being. It is Gods word and contains Gods essential communication to us.

The Bible is like a long letter written by God to each one of us. For this reason I should accept the Sacred Scriptures with great love and reverence. First of all, it is important really to read Gods letter, in other words, not to pick out details while paying no attention to the whole message. Then I must interpret the whole message with a view to its heart and mystery: Jesus Christ, of whom the whole Bible speaks, even the Old Testament. Therefore I should read the Sacred Scriptures in the faith that gave rise to them, the same living faith of the Church.

Greek Dialect And Style

In which language was the Bible first written?

While Greek was considered the language of the learned, the New Testament writers did not write in elevated or classical Greek, but in the common parlance of the day. Todays scholars refer to the language of the Gospels and Epistles as koine Greek, set apart from both the Ancient Greek used by the likes of Plato and Aristotle and the Modern Greek spoken in Greece today. The term koine comes from the Greek word, , which means common. Most of the early Christian theological writings by the Church Fathers were also written in koine Greek, and it continues to be used as the liturgical language in the Greek Orthodox Church to this day.

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When Was The Bible Written And Other Questions About The Word Of God

There is literally nothing like it in the world. It has shaped every facet of the human experience: literature, the arts, law, education, science, politics, and human relations. It is ancient and ever new. What is it? It is the Holy Bible: a collection of sixty-six books composed and compiled over 2,000 years by forty authors on three continents.

This is God with us.. Therefore, just as in the development of the New Testament, the Old Testament books of the Bible were recognized by the people of God as the Word of God.. The books of the New Testament were recognized in time as the divine Word of God moving through His Apostles and disciples.. The New Testament nor the Old came about this way.. But how about the Bible in English?. Before Tyndales translation into English and before he published the English Bible , the People of the British Isles lacked uniformity in language.

When Was The New Testament Compiled

To compile intimates an intentional time and place in which various documents or fragments are united into one. The New Testament nor the Old came about this way. Rather, the books of the New Testament were received by the Church as Gods Word by numerous quantitative and qualitative factors.1 Chapter one of the Westminster Confession of Faith summarizes those factors in its article 5 :

We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole , the full discovery it makes of the only way of mans salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

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The Greek New Testament

Luke 23:8-23, 25 from Miniscule 28, 12th century

This is a miniscule of Luke 23:8-23,25 from a late Byzantine codex of the Gospels. The majority of the codex is now in Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. The manuscript was used for many important printed Greek New Testaments. Catalogued as Codex 28.78 in Gregory Alands catalog.

Lectionary Reading from John 13:31-38. 1500

A Lectionary is a book with Scriptures organized for reading on specific days. This lectionary was used in the Orthodox church for Passion Week. It is the first lesson of the Twelve Accounts of the Passion which was read on Holy Friday. The lesson begins with a title and illuminations made with brown ink: The reading is from the according to John.

Aland L2434.

Nouum Iesu Christi D.N. Testamentum. Ex Bibliotheca Regia . Robert Estienne , Paris, 1550

Printer Robert Estienne, known by his Latin name Stephanus, printed four editions of the Greek New Testament. This third edition became normative for most biblical translations into the twentieth century.

Stephanus fourth edition of the Greek New Testament, printed in 1551, was the first New Testament with verse numbers.

. Jacob Wettstein, Amsterdam, 1751

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Literature And The Arts

What languages were the Bible originally written in?

The Bible has directly and indirectly influenced literature: St Augustine‘s Confessions is widely considered the first autobiography in Western Literature. The Summa Theologica, written 12651274, is “one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature.” These both influenced the writings of Dante‘s epic poetry and his Divine Comedy, and in turn, Dante’s creation and sacramental theology has contributed to influencing writers such as J. R. R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare.

Many masterpieces of Western art were inspired by biblical themes: from Michelangelo’s David and Pietà sculptures, to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and Raphael’s various Madonna paintings. There are hundreds of examples. Eve, the temptress who disobeys God’s commandment, is probably the most widely portrayed figure in art.The Renaissance preferred the sensuous female nude, while the “femme fatale” Delilah from the nineteenth century onward demonstrates how the Bible and art both shape and reflect views of women.

The Bible has many rituals of purification which speak of clean and unclean in both literal and metaphorical terms. The biblical toilet etiquette encourages washing after all instances of defecation, hence the invention of the bidet.

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In Which Language Was The Bible First Written

Nowadays, the complete Bible is available in over 700 languages, and the New Testament in another 1500 languages around the world . All these versions are translations from the original Bible texts as they were written down centuries ago. So, in which language was the Bible first written? Was it written in English, Latin, Hebrew or Greek? The answer is more complicated and more interesting than one would expect. Let me first give a bit of background information.

What Language Was The Old Testament Written In

One of the oldest and most studied texts, the Old Testament remains a source of profound wisdom, inspiration, and guidance. The overarching narrative of Gods love and care for His chosen people reveals the character of our Creator and invites us to define ourselves out of our relationship with Him.

But while the Old Testament continues to engage and challenge us, we rarely read this portion of scripture in its original form. Most of us necessarily rely on Bible translations, thoughtfully interpreted and presented to help modern readers draw close to ancient sources . Today, we turn our attention to the language in which the first major section of the Bible was originally written and reflect on the texts context and history.

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Why Was The Old Testament Written In Hebrew

The Old Testament was written over a period from about 1500 BC until about 400 BC.

Every Old Testament writer was from Israel, and Hebrew was the language of Israel.

Thats exactly why the Old Testament was written in Hebrew because this was the written and spoken language of the authors of all 39 Old Testament books.

The Hebrew language is an offshoot of Proto-Semitic that was likely the language spoken by Adam and Eve.

This form of Semitic that was preserved in Hebrew shares a lot of similarities to the Semitic language.

However, the term Hebrew that we use to describe the OT language isnt found in any of the 39 Old Testament books. Instead, we find Scripture referring to the language of the Jews as:

  • Language of Judah

While in the New Testament John the Apostle refers to Hebrew as we know it today in his inspired writings about the end times .

Although Hebrew has a somewhat simple vocabulary, the Old Testament authors really displayed the beautiful and rich metaphoric side of this language.

And they also wrote Old Testament Scripture in a right to left fashion, which is the standard writing system for Hebrew .

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