FOUNDATIONS OF THE
The original manuscripts are those written under the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit. Although there are good manuscript copies, no original manuscripts
are in existence.
CODEX ALEXANDRINUS 425 AD
A well-preserved manuscript from the 5th century AD. Most likely copied by scribes in
The original of this famous manuscript was written on thin vellum, each
page being now about 13 ½ by 15 inches in size. This allows the letters to be quite large
and clear. This page contains two notable corrections by a latter editor. In the upper
right hand corner will be seen the reading: "They are not walking according to flesh
but according to spirit" (Romans 8:1). In the space between the last two columns, a
little over an inch from the top, is the word "grace", which answers the
question of the seventh chapter of Romans (Romans 7:24). In the first line on the page are
three abbreviations. These are indicated by horizontal strokes over the words. The first
two letters stand for Christ. The second two (the strokes over them is invisible)
are the first and last letters of Jesus. The next two are the article The.
The seventh and eighth letters stand for Master or Lord. The name God is abbreviated in
the fifth line from the bottom of the third column, the fifth and sixth letters from the
CODEX VATICANUS 340 AD
Perhaps the oldest uncial (print as opposed to cursive) on parchment
or vellum, and one of the most important witnesses to the text of the New Testament. It
includes most of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament and most of the New Testament
CODEX SINAITICUS 330 AD
Greek manuscript generally considered to be the most important
witness to the text because of its antiquity, accuracy, and lack of omissions.
Codex Sinaiticus (herein denoted by a small italic s) is the most
complete and perfect manuscript we have. It is the latest great codex to be discovered. In
1844, Constantin Tischendorf, in search of ancient manuscripts, visited the
monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai, in the desert of Arabia. While there he noticed
several leaves of vellum in a waste paper basket.
They proved to be part of a copy of the Septuagint, the Greek
translation of the Hebrew scriptures (285 BC). The monks were using these valuable books
as fuel. He got possession of forty-three leaves, which he took to Europe and
published. In 1853 he went back to recover the rest of the manuscript, but failed
to find any trace of it.
In 1859, under the patronage of Tsar Alexander II., of Russia, he
was once more at Mt. Sinai for a few days. As he was about to leave he had a conversation
with the steward of the monastery regarding his edition of the Septuagint. The steward
said that he too had a copy of the Septuagint, and brought out a copy which included the Greek
Scriptures in their entirety, wrapped up in a napkin.
Here was the prize Tischendorf had sought for fifteen years! He
persuaded the monks to let him take the manuscript to Cairo and have a transcript made,
but was unable to get them to part with it except as a present to the Tsar, the
protector of the Greek Church, to which they belonged. It was taken to the Russian
Imperial Library, in St. Petersburg, where it remained till it was bought by the British.
THE EDITOR OF SINAITICUS
The readings of Sinaiticus are of two classes:
First there are the corrections made at the time the manuscript was
written or soon afterwards. These are sometimes called the A or B readings.
The second class of corrections are editorial in nature and were made
some centuries later. They are sometimes called the C readings.
He was an editor, endeavoring, not merely to correct the mechanical
slips of the scribe, but to conform the text to the best ancient evidence. It is supposed
that this editorial work was done at Caesarea by comparison with Pamphilius
manuscripts, which in turn had been compared with Origens Hexapla. If this be true,
it is of the utmost importance that we recognize it and accord their readings the place
Note: Another point is of principal importance. Many of the
mistakes in the ancient manuscript are omissions. Only those actually engaged in
transcribing will realize how easy it is to leave out a few words or a line. There can
be no doubt that the scribe of Sinaiticus skipped many words which were
restored by the corrector.
The Alexandrian manuscript has thus
lost quite a few whole sentences and almost always the reason is apparent from the text
Most notably are the
Dead Sea Scrolls
VULGATE 382 AD
By the 3rd century AD, Latin had become the official language, as
well as the common language of the west. The roots of the Old Latin versions
are found in the Old Testament Greek text (Septuagint, also known as the LXX). A
revision of the Scriptures into Latin became necessary during the last half of the 4th
century, and in AD 382, Jerome was commissioned by the Bishop of Rome to revise the Old
Latin text. This revision is known as the Latin Vulgate.
WYCLIFFE 1380 AD
John Wycliffe, referred to as "the morning star of the Reformation" translated
the Bible into English from the Latin Vulgate.
TYNDALE 1525 AD
In the wake of the Renaissance, William Tyndale brought one of the major contributions to
the transmission of the English Bible: the first printed edition of any portion of the
Bible in English. Tyndale's version of the New Testament provided the basis for all
successive revisions. The King James Version is practically a 5th revision of
COVERDALE 1535 AD
The key individual in the publication of the first complete English Bible in printed form
was Miles Coverdale, Tyndale's assistant and proofreader.
MATTHEWS 1537 AD
Thomas Matthew was the pen name of John Rogers who had also been an assistant to Tyndale,
and merely combined the Tyndale and Coverdale Old Testaments with the 1535 revision of
Tyndale's New Testament.
GREAT 1539 AD
The Great Bible was done under the direction of Coverdale. It received it name because of
its size. The Great Bible was authorized by King Henry VIII of England for use in
GENEVA 1560 AD
Produced during the reign of Mary Tudor, by John Knox and a group of Protestant refugees
who found refuge from Mary Tudor in Geneva. It was the first Bible to introduce italicized
words into the text where English idiom required additional words.
BISHOPS 1568 AD
This was a revision of the Great Bible, for the most part by bishops of the Anglican
church. These scholars were better equipped in Hebrew and Greek, and many of their
innovations were carried over into the Rheims-Douay and the King James Versions.
DOUAY 1610 AD
During the first decade of Elizabeth's reign, a group of English Roman Catholics settled
in Spanish Flanders, easily accessible to England and under Roman Catholic rulers.
While there they founded the English College at Douay, for the training of priests and the
maintenance of their Catholic faith. The Douay Version was taken primarily from the
KING JAMES 1611 AD
Referred to as the "Authorized Version" because it was authorized by James I,
king of England. The text was based largely on the previous English translations, most of
which had their foundations in the Latin Vulgate.
REVISED VERSION 1881 AD
With the advances in the 19th century scholarship, the accumulation of earlier and better
manuscript materials, the archaeological discoveries in the ancient world, and the actual
changes in English society and its literary style, this revision of the King James Version
on a more "official" basis was necessary.
(ASV) 1901 AD
The American Standard Version was based on the English Revised Version of 1881 & 1885,
and was the work of many hands and of several generations. The foundation was laid by
PESHITTA 1933 AD
Translated from Aramaic into English in 1933 by George M. Lamsa. The
Peshitta was the authorized Bible of the Church of the East, and the
English translation is based on Peshitta manuscripts. The
Aramaic language was a language of empire extending from Persia to Europe,
and down the Nile through the length of Egypt. It was spoken
and written by the Jewish people at least equally with Hebrew, and was the
common language used by Jesus in addressing the masses in His 3 1/2 years
of earthly ministry.
Manuscripts used in making this translation were
||from the Codex Ambrosianus, currently
in the Ambrosian Library at Milan,
Italy, and has been identified as
||from the Mortimer-McCawley manuscript,
identified as sixth or seventy
Comparisons have been made with the
||Morgan Library, New York, N.Y.
|Peshitta Old Testament
||British Museum (the oldest dated Biblical
manuscript in existence)
Comparisons show no differences in text between these various
manuscripts, and Lamsa's translation.
BERKELEY 1945 AD
Based on the discovery of earlier and more reliable Greek manuscripts. They followed
Tischendorf's Greek, as well as consulting Leusden's Greek and Latin New Testaments, and
Weizsaeker's German Versions.
VERSION (RSV) 1952 AD
The International council of Religious Education expressed its desire to utilize the great
advances in biblical scholarship. The revision committee consisted of 22 scholars
who were to follow the meaning of the American Standard Version in the elegance of the
King James Version, and change the readings only if two-thirds of the committee
agreed. It uses simpler, more current forms of pronouns such as "you" and
CONCORDANT GREEK 1955 AD
A restored Greek text with superlinear literal word-for-word translation. Based on earlier
translations and the three most ancient manuscripts: Alexandrinus, Vaticanus and
AMPLIFIED 1958 AD
By a committee of qualified Hebrew and Greek scholars, produced by the Lockman Foundation
of La Habra California.. Its purpose is to revealing clarifying shades of meaning
that may be concealed by the traditional word-for-word method of translation.
The New Testament was first issued in 1958, Part 2 of the of the Old
Testament (Job - Malachi) was published in 1962, and Part 1 (Genesis -
Esther) was published in 1964.
An example: Acts 16:31 reads: "Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." What does the word
"believe" mean? Twenty-two New Testament versions out of
24 that the translators consulted render it as "believe".
They do so because there is no one English word that adequately conveys
the intended meaning. Actdually, the Greek word used here is "pisteuo".
It means "to adhere to, cleave to; to trust, to have faith in, to
rely on." Consequently, this verse really mean: "to
have an absolute personal reliance upon the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour."
NEW ENGLISH BIBLE (NEB) 1971 AD
Published by Oxford and Cambridge University.
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE
(NASB) 1971 AD
The translators had three stated goals: accuracy of translation, clarity of English, and
adequacy of notes.
LIVING BIBLE 1971 AD
A paraphrase (thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word) by Kenneth N. Taylor.
TRANSLATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT 1973 AD
What began as a pastor's effort to make the New Testament understandable
to a London youth group turned into an entirely new translation.
Encouraged by C. S. Lewis's favorable reaction to his translation of the
Pauline Epistles, J.B. Phillips went on to translate the Gospels. At first
reluctant, fearing that people would object to his paraphrasing the words
of Jesus, he completed the Gospels in 1952, the Acts in 1955, and the Book
of Revelation in 1957. The entire NT was published in 1958. He translated
four books of the OT (Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah) in 1963, and revised
his translation of the NT in 1973.
The strength of his translation is in its readability. The NT reads as if
it were originally written in 20th century English.
GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION 1976 AD
The Good News Bible (GNB), also called the Good News Translation (GNT) in
the United States, is an English language translation of the Bible by the
American Bible Society. It was first published as the New Testament under
the name Good News for Modern Man in 1966. It was anglicised into British
English by the British and Foreign Bible Society with the use of metric
measurements for the Commonwealth market. It was formerly known as Today's
English Version (TEV), but in 2001 was renamed the Good News Translation
in the USA, because a paraphrase is not a genuine translation. Despite the
official terminology, it is still often referred to as the Good News Bible
in the USA.
The beginnings of the Good News Bible can be traced to requests made by
people in Africa and the Far East for a version of the Bible that was
friendly to non-native English speakers. In 1961, a home missions board
also made a request for the same type of translation. Besides these
requests, the GNB was born out of the translation theories of linguist
Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society's
Translations Department. In the 1960s, Nida envisioned a new style of
translation called Dynamic equivalence. That is, the meaning of the Hebrew
and Greek would be expressed in a translation "thought for thought"
rather than "word for word". The result, titled Good News for Modern Man:
The New Testament in Today's English Version, was released in 1966 as a
599 page paperback with a publication date of January 1, 1966.
In 1976, the Old Testament was completed and published as the Good News
Bible: The Bible in Today's English Version. In 1979, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical
Books were added to the Good News Bible and published as Good News Bible:
Today's English Version with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. In 1992, the
translation was revised with inclusive language.
The Bible Societies released the Contemporary English Version in 1995,
also using jargon-free English. While this translation is sometimes
perceived as a replacement for the GNB, it was not intended as such, and
both translations continue to be used. While the American Bible Society
promotes both translations, the British and Foreign Bible Society and
HarperCollins have since 2007 refocused their publishing efforts on the
GNB including the Good News Bible iPhone App.
TODAY'S ENGLISH VERSION (TEV) 1976 AD
Published by the American Bible Society, directed by
Robert G. Bratcher, it is a new translation which seeks to
state clearly and accurately the meaning of the original texts in words
and forms that are widely accepted by people who use English as a
language. It attempts to set forth the Biblical content and message in a
standard, everyday, natural form of English.
The first task was to understand correctly the meaning of the original.
The next task was to express that meaning in a manner and a form easily
understood by readers. Certain features as hours of the day and measures
are given in modern equivalents.
The Tetragrammaton is translated as LORD, in capitals. Where "Adonai" is
followed by "Yahweh", the rendering is Sovereign Lord.
Early drafts were reviewed by prominent theologians and Biblical scholars.
Drafts were also sent to English-speaking Bible societies. The final
approval of the text was given by American Bible Society's Board of
Managers upon recommendation of its Translations Department Committee.
Today's English Version, First Edition is no longer in print, and has been
superceded by Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © 1992
American Bible Society. Print editions of the TEV (also known as the Good
News Bible) are available from the American Bible Society.
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
New International Version. The translators sought to produce a version that would be
characterized by accuracy, clarity and literary quality.
NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV) 1979
Leading clergymen and lay Christians, under the leadership of Thomas Nelson Publishers
decided to sensitively revise the King James Version. They used the Old Testament text of
the Biblia Hebraica Stutgardensia. The New Testament was based on the "Textus
Receptus", a text presumed to be as identical as possible to that of the original
STANDARD VERSION (NRSV) 1989 AD
The International Council of Religious Education appointed a committee of
scholars to have charge of the text of the American Standard Version and
to undertake inquiry concerning the need for further revision. After
studying the questions whether or not revision should be undertaken, and
if so, what its nature and extent should be, in 1937 the Council
authorized a revision.
The Revised Standard Version Bible Committee is a continuing body,
comprising about thirty members, both men and women. Ecumenical in
representation, it includes scholars affiliated with various Protestant
denominations, as well as several Roman Catholic members, an Eastern
Orthodox member, and a Jewish member who serves in the Old Testament
section. For a period of time the Committee included several members from
Canada and from England.
As for the style of English adopted for the present revision, among the
mandates given to the Committee in 1980 by the Division of Education and
Ministry of the National Council of Churches of Christ (which now holds
the copyright of the RSV Bible) was the directive to continue in the
tradition of the King James Bible, but to introduce such changes as are
warranted on the basis of accuracy, clarity, euphony, and current English
usage. Within the constraints set by the original texts and by the
mandates of the Division, the Committee has followed the maxim, "As
literal as possible, as free as necessary." As a consequence, the New
Revised Standard Version (NRSV) remains essentially a literal translation.
TRANSLITERATED BIBLE 1994 AD
(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright © 1994, 2003 by
Published by Biblesoft.
Utilizing: Nestle-Aland Greek-English New Testament Greek text Novum
Testamentum Graece, in the tradition of Eberhard Nestle and
Edited by Barbara and Kurt Alan, Johannes Karavidpopoulos,
Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger.
The translated Bible text is from: The King James Version Electronic
Database Published by Biblesoft
COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE 1998 AD
Translated by David H. Stern in 1998. Following are some of his
JEWISH NEW TESTAMENT PUBLICATIONS, INC.
|"I am Jewish, was raised in the Jewish religion by Jewish parents and did
not come to faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, until I was thirty-seven
years old. As a Messianic Jew (a Jew who honors Yeshua as the Messiah), I
saw that the greatest schism in the world is the separation between the
Church and the Jewish people; and I experienced it as God’s will for my
life that I do what I could to resolve this — it would be my contribution
to tikkun-ha‘olam (repairing the world). Although I had a doctorate in
economics, I returned to school to learn more about both Christianity and
Judaism — Fuller Theological Seminary for the Christian elements and the
University of Judaism for the Jewish."
|"Thus equipped, I set out in 1977 to write a Messianic Jewish commentary on
the New Testament; I wanted to produce a single book that would deal with
all the “Jewish issues” I could think of in connection with the New
Testament — questions Jews have about Yeshua, the New Testament, and
Christianity; questions Christians have about Judaism and the Jewish roots
of their own faith; and questions we Messianic Jews have about our own
identity and role in the light of two thousand years of separation and
conflict between the Church and the Jews. But I quickly discovered that
much of what I was writing consisted of arguments with the translator of
the English version I was using; they took the form, “Our English version
says such-and-such, but what it really means is so-and-so.” The idea came
to me to attempt my own translation of the New Testament from the ancient
Greek original; then, obviously, I would have a version I agreed with, so
I could focus exclusively on the subject matter. I did a sample and was
pleased with it. Thus was born the Jewish New Testament (JNT), which was
published in 1989."
NEW LIVING TRANSLATION 2004 AD
The Holy Bible, New Living Translation, was first published in 1996. It
quickly became one of the most popular Bible translations in the
English-speaking world. While the NLT’s influence was rapidly growing, the
Bible Translation Committee determined that an additional investment in
scholarly review and text refinement could make it even better. So shortly
after its initial publication, the committee began an eight-year process
with the purpose of increasing the level of the NLT’s precision without
sacrificing its easy-to-understand quality. This second-generation text
was completed in 2004
The translators of the New Living Translation set out to render the
message of the original texts of Scripture into clear, contemporary
English. As they did so, they kept the concerns of both formal-equivalence
and dynamic-equivalence in mind. On the one hand, they translated as
simply and literally as possible when that approach yielded an accurate,
clear, and natural English text. Many words and phrases were rendered
literally and consistently into English, preserving essential literary and
rhetorical devices, ancient metaphors and word choices that give structure
to the text and provide echoes of meaning from one passage to the next.
THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
(See also Pillars of
Clement of Rome (95 AD)
A contemporary of the apostles, wrote his letter to the Corinthians (95-97 AD) after
the pattern of the apostle Paul. In it he quotes the synoptic gospels (Matt 9:13; Mark
2:12; Luke 5:32) after calling them "Scripture. He urges his readers to
"act according to that which is written. (from "a General
Introduction To the Bible, by Norman L Geisler & William E. Nix)
Polycarp (110 AD)
The disciple of the apostle John. He referred to the New Testament several times in his
letter to the Philippians. He introduces Galatians 4:26 as "the word of
truth", and Philippians 2:16 and 2 Timothy 4:10 as "the word of
righteousness". (from "a General Introduction To the Bible, by Norman
L Geisler & William E. Nix)
Irenaeus (130 AD)
Presbyter of the church at Lyons. As a boy, before he moved to Rome for studies prior
to his ordination as a presbyter (elder) and later bishop of Lyons, France, he is reported
to have actually heard Polycarp. Irenaeus himself was a seminal figure in the
development of Christian doctrine in the West, and his role makes him a key individual in
understanding the doctrine of scripture in the early church. In his treatise Against
Heresies (3.1.1), he referred to the authority of the New testament when
|"for the Lord of all gave the power of the
Gospel to his apostles, through whom we have come to
know the truth, that is, the teaching
of the Son of God ... This Gospel they first preached.
Afterwards, by the will of
God, they handed it down to us in the Scriptures, to be 'the pillar and
ground' of our
(from "a General Introduction To the Bible,
by Norman L Geisler & William E. Nix)
of Alexandria (150)
At this time, also, flourished Clement, at Alexandria, of the same name with him who
anciently presided over the church of Rome, and who was a disciple of the apostles. This
Clement was devoted to the study of the same Scriptures with Pantyaenus, and in his
Institutions expressly mentions the latter by name as his teacher.
"These books," says he, "were not fabricated as a work of ostentation,
but they are treasured up by me as a kind of commentaries for my old age, and an antidote
to forgetfulness, as a natural image and sketch of those efficacious and inspired
doctrines which I was honored to have from those blessed and truly excellent
.These, indeed, preserved the true tradition of the salutary doctrine,
which, as given by Peter and James, John and Paul, had descended from father to son.
" (Ecclesiastical History Chapter 11 Eusebius
Origen (185 AD)
Origen began his Commentaries on the sacred Scriptures, to which he was particularly
urged by Ambrose, who presented innumerable incentives, not only by verbal exhortation but
by furnishing the most ample supplies of all necessary means; for he had more than seven
amanuenses, when he dictated, who relieved each other at appointed times. He had not fewer
copyists, as also girls, who were well exercised in more elegant writing. For all which,
Ambrose furnished an abundant supply of all the necessary expense. "As I have
understood from tradition, respecting the four gospels, which are the only undisputed ones
in the whole church of God throughout the world. The first is written according to
Matthew, the same that was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who
having published it for the Jewish converts, wrote it in the Hebrew. The second is
according to Mark, who composed it, as Peter explained to him, whom he also acknowledges
as his son in his general Epistle, saying, The elect church in Babylon, salutes you,
as also Mark my son. And the third, according to Luke, the gospel commended by Paul,
which was written for the converts from the Gentiles, and last of all the gospel according
to John." Ecclesiastical History Pages 243,245,246
From these letters we come to the conclusion that the early Church fathers who some
times hazard their lives to believe in Jesus and to spread His doctrine also had a great
love and admiration of the Holy Scriptures that were written by the Disciples of Christ.
So I believe that all Scripture did come from inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that man
has and will not be able to corrupt the Living Word of God.
..When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not
as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also
in you that believe" I Thessalonians 2:13
In his "Father of Latin Theology," never wavered in his support of the
inspiration of both the Old and New testaments. He maintained that the four gospels
"are reared on the certain basis of apostolic authority, and so are inspired in a far
different sense from the writings of the spiritual Christian. (from "a
General Introduction To the Bible, by Norman L Geisler & William E. Nix)
The most learned, the most eloquent, and the most interesting author among the Latin fathers.
His writings contain the whole spirit of the church of the middle ages, its monasticism, its contrast of sacred things with profane, its credulity and superstition, its subjection to hierarchical authority, its dread of heresy, its passion for pilgrimages.
The Vulgata, or Latin version of the whole Bible, Old Testament and New,
is by far the most important and valuable of his works
(from Schaff's History of the Church, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1999 by
To see how different translations can give a
complete picture without diluting the pure Word of God:
King James Version (KJV)
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he
knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after
that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the
harvest is come.
American Standard Version (ASV)
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth;
27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he
knoweth not how.
28 The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain
in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is ripe, straightway he putteth forth the sickle, because the
harvest is come.
New American Standard (NAS)
26 And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the
27 and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows-- how,
he himself does not know.
28 "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the
mature grain in the head.
29 "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest
New International Version (NIV)
26 He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on
27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does
not know how.
28 All by itself the soil produces grain-- first the stalk, then the head, then the full
kernel in the head.
29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has
New King James (NKJ)
26 And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the
27 "and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow,
he himself does not know how.
28 "For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that
the full grain in the head.
29 "But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest
The Living Bible (TLB)
26 "Here is another story illustrating what the Kingdom of God is like: "A
farmer sowed his field
27 and went away, and as the days went by, the seeds grew and grew without his help.
28 For the soil made the seeds grow. First a leaf-blade pushed through, and later the
wheat-heads formed and finally the grain ripened,
29 and then the farmer came at once with his sickle and harvested it."