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What Was The Original Language Of The Bible

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What Was The Original Language Of The Bible

Michael Heiser – Studying the Original Languages of the Bible (Naked Bible Podcast)

Questions about the bible, What Was The Original Language Of The Bible:

The Bible is an extraordinary collection of texts considered sacred by millions of believers around the world. It has been translated into hundreds of languages, yet its original language remains a source of debate.

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Production And Use Of A Torah Scroll

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.

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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Why Was The New Testament Written In Greek

The New Testament of the Bible was written in Greek because Greek was the linga franca, or common language, of the Roman Empire. As a result, the authors of wrote in Greek even when it wasnt the language they spoke, ensuring that their manuscripts could be widely read and passed on to future generations. Greek probably became the Roman lingua franca as a result of the empire of Alexander the Great, a Greek military leader who conquered a large section of the Ancient World, introducing people to the language.

The form of Greek used to write the New Testament is known as Koine or Common Greek, and it represents an evolutionary step between Ancient Greek and its Modern Version, meaning that people must learn Koine Greek specifically if they want to read the document in its original language. In many parts of the Roman Empire, Koine Greek was actually the official language, rather than Latin, because its use was so widespread. Some scholars refer to Koine Greek as Biblical Greek, in a reference to its arguably most famous application.

Literature And The Arts

Dissertations on the Original Languages of the Bible (Paperback ...

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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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 Original Language Of The Bible

The original language of the Bible is the three languages of ancient times, called the Semitic languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Although in the present times, the modern version of these languages is spoken, making it a little difficult for modern-day readers of Biblical literature to understand the Christian Bible text.

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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. Matthew’s 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. Jerome’s description of some Bibles of his time as being written in “letters an inch high.”

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What Is The Historical Reason The King James Version Was Created

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

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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In What Language Was The Bible First Written

The first human author to write down the biblical record was Moses. He was commanded by God to take on this task, for Exodus 34:27 records Gods words to Moses, Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel. And what language did he use? He wrote in his native language, called Hebrew.

Hebrew is one of a group of languages known as the Semitic languages which were spoken throughout that part of the world, then called Mesopotamia, located today mainly in Iraq. Their alphabet consisted of 22 letters, all consonants.

During the thousand years of its composition, almost the entire Old Testament was written in Hebrew. But a few chapters in the prophecies of Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah were written in a language called Aramaic. This language became very popular in the ancient world and actually displaced many other languages. Aramaic even became the common language spoken in Israel in Jesus time, and it was likely the language He spoke day by day. Some Aramaic words were even used by the Gospel writers in the New Testament.

Yes, we do have what God wanted us to have! By way of translation, we now have His revelation in our own language and in 2300 other languages, too. Today we have the very Bible that comes to us from the three languages used in the original. Truly we can say, God speaks my language, too!

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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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,

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Cyrus And The Persian Era


In 538 BC, Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and established the Achaemenid Empire , which at the time was the largest empire the world had ever seen. However, this had no effect on the language of the Hebrews. Cyrus quickly issued the Edict of Restoration , which allowed the repatriation of various peoples conquered by the Babylonians to return home .

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Because You Will Be Amazed At The Depth Of Scripture

You study the Bible in English and are already amazed at the depth of its teaching and of its interconnected thoughts. However, the Scriptures are even deeper than you imagined and surpass what many lifetimes can exhaust. As you grow in your appreciation of the depth of Scripture, your flock will also grow in that appreciation.

What Language Was The Bible First Written In

The Bible was not written in one language, but three!

The Old Testament is written in Hebrew, and a few passages in Aramaic. There are minor language differences between the first books of the Old Testament and the last ones, because every language develops over time, and there is some variation in language use by different authors and literal genres.

The New Testament, however, is written in a completely different language: Greek. In Jesus days, this had become the language of the common people in the region around Israel, primarily due to the conquests of Alexander the Great. Therefore, Greek would be a language that many people could understand at that time.

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The Importance Of The Septuagint

After the translation of the Torah, the other books of the Old Testament were translated. The New Testament was originally written in Greek.

This Greek translation of the Bible is important because it added theological concepts that help to better understand the religious and political context in which the prophets lived. The Septuagint has helped scholars determine which manuscripts are most reliable, giving a faithful translation of the Old Testament.

In addition, the Septuagint helps to better understand Jewish theology, by better understanding the worship practices of the Jewish people.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are names entered into the Bible through the Septuagint. Just as the division of the books into law, history, poetry, and prophets, as well as the subdivision of books like 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, etc., are due to the Septuagint.

The Septuagint was the Bible of the early church, and the most cited text by the Apostles and authors of the New Testament. Mark 7: 6-7 says: Jesus replied, Isaiah was right about you hypocrites when he said, These people claim they honor me, but in their thinking they are far from me. Theres no point in their worship of me, for what they teach as doctrines are merely human rules, referring to the Septuagint.

Today, the Bible has been fully translated into 450 languages.

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Because It Will Enable You To Counter False Ideas

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

As a pastor you will often encounter people who have encountered false information and ideas, some of which involve questionable appeals to the original languages or insinuations of cover up and conspiracy. Studying the Bible in its original languages enables you much more quickly to quash these ideas.

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Revival Of The Hebrew Language

1921 Hebrew Language Revived in Israel

Hebrew was revived as a spoken and written language in the 19th century. Along with English and Arabic, modern Hebrew became one of Israels three official languages in 1921. During this time, the land of Israel was known as Palestine, and was under British rule.

1920-1948 Under British Rule

The British government served as civil administration from 1920-1948 . In 1947, the British announced they would be pulling out of Israel.

136-1948 Jews in Europe

From the time of the Roman emperor Hadrian through the volatile and horrific times, and aftermath, of Hitler and WWII, the majority of Jewish people had been living throughout Europe. In these countries they spoke the native languages of the countries in which they lived.

1948 State of Israel and Jews Returning to Israel

In 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel was declared, and Hebrew became the official language of Israel. Between 1948 and 1970, approx. 1.1 million Jewish refugees relocated to Israel!

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