The Bible is Authentic
(page one
How Do We Know That The Bible is God's Word and that it is True?

shared with you by
Kraig J. Rice

Table of Contents
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)

 Who wrote the bible?
 What is the bible About?
 When was the bible written?
 Where was the bible written?
 Why is the bible inspired?
 How was the bible written?
 The Septuagint Translation
 The Masoretic Text
 Chapter Divisions
 Verse Divisions
 Early bible history


The bible was inspired by God to tell us about Himself. In other words, it is God's revelation about Himself. Sometimes a manufacturer today will create a product and will also create an instruction booklet to let us know how it works and how to use it correctly. It is the same with God. He created mankind- and the bible is His instruction booklet to let us know how we are to spiritually function the way He wants us to. If we make correct choices we will do well in life. If we do not, we might get broken, and sometimes, the pieces are hard to put back together again. It would have been better to have followed God's directions and instructions from the start. But, even if we get broken and turn to Him, He can glue us back together again with His blood and help us to start over again.

Since the bible is about God- and Christ is God the Son, here is a writing I want to share with you:

"One Solitary Life"
(author unknown)
"Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of those things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself-

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While he was dying his executors gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth- His coat. When he was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty one long centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life."

Either the Bible will keep you away from sin,
Sin will keep you away from the Bible

Some critics of the bible believe that the bible is only a record of mankind's failed efforts to find a God who does not exist. It is a record of mankind's opinions about God and his experiences of inventing God and gradually improving his concept of God until we reach the point today of what we believe about Him. Those passages where it is said that God spoke, according to this concept, are only fairy tales. In other words, many unsaved folks think that mankind invented God and everything associated with Him. Therefore, the bible has been created about Him and is nothing more than a collection of fables, stories, and myths. In other words, since they do not believe in God, they do not believe in the bible as the Word of God. Conversely, since they do not believe in the authenticity of the bible, they do not believe in a doctrinally healthy view of God. But, for those of us who are saved, the Word of God " the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek"
(Romans 1:16).

How do we know that the bible is God's Word and that it is true? To answer that question let us look at the bible. I think the best way to present this teaching is by using the who, what, when, where, why, and how approach. Hopefully, I will answer many of the questions you may have about the bible.

Who Wrote the Bible?

As many as 40 authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible. The 40 authors that God chose came from various cultures, had various personalities, educations, and family backgrounds, and, what is amazing, is that the inspired books they wrote do not contradict one another.

The first 5 books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch, were written by Moses, and the last book of the bible, Revelation, was written by the Apostle John.

There are 39 books in the Old Testament. These were written by, at least, 32 authors. There are 27 books in the New Testament. These were written by, at least, 8 men: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude. Most of these men were apostles or leaders in the early church and most of them were put to death for their faith.

What is the Bible About?

The bible is God's love letter to the human race. It tells us about God- it is His revelation about Himself to mankind. It tells us about Heaven, why God created mankind in this world, it tells us about Satan and his agenda, it tells us about the fall of mankind into sin. It tells us about mankind's struggle against Satan and sin and tells us why the Son of God, Jesus Christ, chose to come to this world as a sacrifice for sin. It tells us about how a sinful person can be blessed with forgiveness from God and experience the peace and love of God down deep in his or her heart. It tells us how to live a holy life that is pleasing to God and is full of encouragement to help each of us along life's pathway.

It contains history, biography, poetry, speeches, proverbs, songs, parables, prophecies, romances, drama, tragedies, sermons, dialog, holiness teachings, and so much more. Because it is a spiritual book, its contents are inexhaustable.

The Old Testament, in the Greek or Septuagint version, is divided into 4 parts: the Pentateuch, History, Poetry, and Prophecy. The Hebrew language Old Testament is traditionally divided into 3 parts: the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Jesus is seen in each of these writings
(Luke 24:44).

The New Testament has 3 main parts: history (the 4 Gospels and Acts), doctrine (in the letters or epistles), and prophecy (Revelation).

The New Testament may also be grouped into 4 Gospels, one book of history (Acts), 21 letters to churches and individuals (or 14 letters of Paul and 7 general letters)- and one prophetic book (Revelation).

When was the Bible Written?

The bible was written over a period of more than 4,100 years (from about 4000 B.C. to about 100 A.D.). The early patriarchs, as mentioned in the bible book of Genesis, began their writings about 4000 years or so before Christ (B.C.). As well, all of written records from these men (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Joseph) were passed down from generation to generation and Moses compiled them all into the bible book of Genesis in about 1500 B.C.

Where was the Bible Written?

The Old Testament was mostly written in Israel or nations in close proximity to Israel. The New Testament was mostly written in Israel or nations in close proximity to Israel.

Why was the Bible inspired?

I have already answered part of this question above. But there is more to it. What does the word "inspired" mean? The holy bible, in its original languages, is inspired. The word "inspired" means "God breathed". This activity was similar to when Creator God breathed into a mass of dust the breath of life that became Adam- the first person in the human race who became a living soul
(Genesis 2:7). The Hebrew word for "breathed" in that scripture is the word Nashamah meaning "the breath of God". The Apostle Peter said:
"...for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (Ghost)"
(2 Peter 1:21).
In other words, what they wrote was dictated to them by God.

The bible is not just an ordinary book that can be read by anybody. Because it is a spiritual book that was given by a spiritual God and written by spiritual men, its spiritual meaning is best revealed to a spiritual individual. How does a person get to be a spiritual individual? When one accepts (invites) Christ to come and take spiritual possession of himself (become God possessed)- when Christ comes to live in his or her heart, one's inner nature is changed to becoming Christ-like. Who does the changing? God does the changing when you receive Him. "...but we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"
(2 Corinthians 3:18).
When your inner spiritual nature matches the spiritual nature of the bible, then God will unlock His spiritual truths to you as you study His word. Can you be identically changed in some other way? No. If you remain unchanged then you remain a natural man (an unconverted sinner). If a person is spiritually incompatible with God's Word, then "...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"
(1 Corinthians 2:14).

How do we know the bible is inspired by God?

Jesus Christ indicated His Word was inspired:
Jesus Christ, our Lord of Lords and King of Kings, attested to the fact that the Old Testament scriptures are God's inspired word: "...and He said unto them:
"These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me." Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them: "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem"
(Luke 24:44-47).

The Apostle John was told to write the bible book of Revelation:
John was not only told to write but was told what to write:
"...and He that sat upon the throne said: "behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful"
(Revelation 21:5).

One time I heard the true story about a demon possessed man. A Christian handed this man a bible and the demon, inside of the man, spoke through the man it possessed. The demon shouted, "I hate that book. It is God's Word and I especially hate the blood of Christ it mentions". Then the demon prompted the man to shriek and throw the bible across the room. The Christians cast that demon out of that man. As the demon was leaving that man, it shouted, "I hate God, I hate that book, and I hate each of you". The demon left that man and looked for an unsaved person to enter into. So, you see, even that demon reluctantly acknowledged that the bible was the Word of God and that it is the power of God unto salvation. Another time, as mentioned in the bible, demons acknowledged that Christ is the Son of God. The demons "...cried out, saying, what have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?"
(Matthew 8:29).
The bible is a wonderful spiritual book that will be a blessing to each of us who studies it in spirit and in truth.

Is there any proof that can help prove that the bible is God's Word? Yes. Let us take a look at the Old Testament first. Is there any external evidence to prove that it is the Word of God?

The Old Testament was given by God to the Hebrews- the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These writings, from the earliest times, have been considered to be inspired documents and treated as holy scripture. Some of these writings are a record of their own repeated disobedience, apostasy, and punishments. But it is also attested by the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, and by numerous secular writers of long ago. Therefore, we have a most authentic account of history that has been recorded.

There has been much archaeology work done in biblical lands and much proof has been uncovered that proves what the bible says is true in regards to ancient cities, ancient kings, and ancient cultures. Inscriptions on stone monuments, old coins, artifacts, the remains of old cities, and other things prove the written accounts of the Old Testament. Records from ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia make it clear that the Hebrews were a literary people and well acquainted with the art of writing. The Hebrew records are accurate to the most minute details. The geography, animals, plants and plant life, as recorded in the Old Testament, apply to Israel and the countries around Israel.

Is there any internal evidence in the Old Testament to prove that it is the Word of God? Yes, there is the internal testimony of the books themselves. Many of the writers of these books reveal to us why they wrote what they did and what they were told by God to say. Many times God is quoted: "...and the Lord said unto Moses, "write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel"
(Exodus 34:27).

Fulfilled prophecy is a sign that the Old Testament was inspired. Only God knows the future and has the ability to foretell it and to bring it to pass. This happened many times in the Old Testament days. For example, the prophet, Isaiah, foretold the reign of King Cyrus of Persia. Isaiah even mentioned him by name. That was 100 years before King Cyrus came on the scene
(Isaiah 44:28, 45:1). The prophet, Jeremiah, foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and it came to pass just as he predicted
(Jeremiah 4:16, 1:3). Here is one of my favorite Old Testament stories. It contains a prophecy and its fulfillment:
"It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, there cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? And rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name, saying, if, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence, (for Thy name is in this house,) and cry unto Thee in our affliction, then Thou wilt hear and help. And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee. And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; and he said, hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, thus saith the Lord unto you, be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you. O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, praise the Lord; for His mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy one another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, the valley of Berachah, unto this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord. And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about"
(2 Chronicles 20:1-30).

Let us take a look at the New Testament. Is there any external evidence to prove that it is the Word of God? Yes. There were secular writers who wrote about Christ and the early Christians. The Annals of Tacitus, the Biographies of Suetonius, and the Letters of Pliny indicate that in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius there lived One called Jesus Christ. What was written about Him? Judea, in Israel, was the place of His teachings; He was put to death at the command of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate; in spite of His death, His teachings rapidly spread through the Roman Empire; Christ attracted a vast number of converts; those converts worshipped Christ as a God, and for His sake suffered horrible persecutions. Those writing prove that Jesus Christ did exist. Why is that important? Because, many today, deny that Jesus Christ existed. Why would they say something like that? Possibly, because if He never existed, they might be thought to be guiltless for their crimes and sins.

Israel was under a dual form of political government in the days of Christ. This form of government is mentioned many times in the New Testament and is one proof for its divine inspiration. Will you explain that? Yes. Israel was, at that time, under a peculiar system of double government, partly Hebrew and partly Roman. Therefore, there was 2 forms of taxation, 2 rules concerning capital punishment, 2 methods of recording time, 2 military forces, etc. In many secular writings from these times we find Greek, Latin, and Hebrew words that appear side by side. For instance, there are Latin military terms, Latin names for coins, Latin expressions connected with the revenue, and in conjunction with them Hebrew terms and names that mean the same thing. Now this could only have originated in Israel during the period of time when the New Testament was written. When was that? That was the period of time between the time of King Herod the Great, an Edomite, and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. Many scholars consider these Hebraisms and Latinisms to be "fossil history," that point to a period of time that came to an end within forty years of our Lord's crucifixion and resurrection.

Is there any internal evidence to prove that the New Testament is the Word of God? Yes. There is mentioned the names of Roman emperors, such as Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius. There is mentioned the names of Roman governors, such as Cyrenius, Pontius Pilate, Felix, Festus, Sergius Paulus, and Gallio. There is mentioned the names of kings, such as Herod the Great, Archelaus, Antipas, Agrippa I, and Agrippa II. Various places are mentioned such as Antioch, Cyprus, Iconium, Thessalonica, Philippi, Athens, Corinth, and Rome. These names and places help prove the authenticity of the New Testament.

There is the proof from personal experience. Millions of folks have received the same salvation experience that the New Testament mentions. As well, millions have received the same Baptism in the Holy Spirit
(Acts 2:4) that the New Testament mentions. As well, millions have enjoyed the presence of the Lord, His love, His peace, His grace, His forgiveness, His joy, and so much more that the New Testament mentions.

How was the Bible Written?

The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language, except that portions of Ezra and Daniel were written in Aramaic, sometimes called Syriac. The Aramaic section comprises 3 passages of scripture
(Ezra 4:8—6:18; 7:12-26; Dan. 2:4—7:28), one verse of
Jeremiah (10:11), and two words in Genesis 31:47- a place name meaning "heap of witness".

The early Bible was written by hand on rolls of papyrus, a kind of paper. Papyrus was made and easily obtainable from Egypt. The writing pens were finely-beaten reed brushes, or sharp-pointed reeds; the ink was made from a mixture of soot, gum, and water.

Although much early writing in Old Testament times was done on papyrus, important documents were later written on carefully prepared skins- vellum or parchment- because of their greater durability and permanence. In the case of a long scroll, the skins were stitched together. The New Testament manuscripts were written originally on papyrus. Later, when their great value had been perceived, they were copied on to vellum. It is not possible to state precisely when the change from scrolls to books took place. It did not happen all at once but over a period of time. For several centuries both scrolls and books were in common use. Important books were made of vellum rather than the more fragile papyrus. A manuscript which is in the form of a paper book, rather than a scroll, was called a codex. Why? Because the word codex means "book".

In the Hebrew language there are no capital letters to distinguish proper nouns from common nouns and to mark the beginning of each new sentence. Hebrew is read from right to left, rather than from left to right as in English. The lines of Hebrew follow naturally down the page, from top to bottom. In the case of a scroll or book, one begins to read at what we would consider the end or back, and continues his reading till he reaches what we would consider the beginning or front.

In some cases the Bible authors did their own writing. In other instances they dictated to scribes who did the writing
(Exodus 24:4; Jeremiah 36:4).

King David of Israel was a song writer. As such, he wrote 73 of the psalms, but 8 different musicians sang them and got much of the credit because their names are connected to the songs. Psalm 90 was written by Moses.

Aramaic was the language spoken by the people of Israel and was the language spoken by Jesus during His public ministry. Why didn't the common people speak Hebrew or Greek? Hebrew and Greek were taught in the institutions of higher learning and were spoken by those individuals who needed those languages. Jesus spoke Aramaic because He wished to communicate with the common folks to whom He was ministering.

The 27 New Testament books were written in Greek, the universal language of that time. Greek was the language used in letters and other writings. Greek was the language understood practically everywhere throughout the Roman Empire, even in the remote provinces, and was recognized as the language of culture.

It was not until the fourth century A.D. that the Bible was circulated as one complete volume or unit. Up to the fifteenth century A.D. copies of the Bible were made by hand.

There are more than 4,000 known manuscripts, preserving all or part of the New Testament text, dating from about 200 A.D. There are some 8,000 manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate.

It is Greek to me:
The Koine Greek in which the New Testament books were written differs somewhat from the classical Greek of a few centuries earlier. Koine Greek was the everyday speech of the common people (and of the aristocrats also) in the first century A.D. The Greek language is like English in that it is read from left to right. The vowels are included in the Greek alphabet, and they appear in all Greek words except a few frequently used abbreviations.

Since few persons can easily read the ancient languages of the Scriptures, many versions and translations of the Bible have been made. It has been translated, either in whole or in part, into nearly every language of the world today; but, because the spoken languages change from generation to generation, the work of translation continues.

How has the Bible been made easier to study?

About the Septuagint Translation (LXX)-
What was that? It was a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament prepared in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. by Hebrew scholars. There were 70 translators, approximately six from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, and designated LXX. LXX are the Roman numerals for 70. This work took over 100 years to complete. This translation was made directly from the Hebrew originals. The Qumran scrolls have proven that the Septuagint book of Samuel–Kings goes back to an older Israeli text tradition that was in use prior to the 4th century B.C. Why did they make that translation? The Greeks at that time ruled the world and Greek became the official world language. It was only natural to want the bible to be in the language of the people because many Hebrew individuals spoke and wrote the Greek language only. In other words, a large colony of Hebrews was located in Alexandria, Egypt, and their native tongue, Hebrew, was little used, being superseded by the Greek. In order that the Hebrew Scriptures not be lost, a group of 70 bible scholars was commissioned by the Hebrew high priest in Jerusalem to perform this work. This translation received the endorsement of prominent rabbis, and within a short time was being widely used by the Hebrews and their gentile proselytes in the synagogues. It eventually became the Old Testament that was read in the early Christian churches.

About the letters of the Hebrew alphabet:
Many of the Old Testament manuscripts in existence are written in square, black letters which resemble the printed Hebrew of today. These square characters came into use some years prior to the birth of Christ. Two problems made the translator's task difficult. First, early Hebrew writing had no spaces separating the words. For this reason, the translator sometimes was puzzled to know where one word ended and the next began. Second, the Hebrew alphabet consisted of twenty-two letters, all of them consonants. (Four of these consonants, however, were sometimes used to represent vowels). In writing, only the consonants were put down. The reader was expected to know what vowels should be added but not all agreed on the pronunciation of each word. This problem was solved by the use of the Masoretic text. Would you elaborate on that? Ok. The Hebrew rabbis were not always agreed as to the proper reading of Old Testament passages of scripture from the synagogue scrolls. There was a problem of confusion and misunderstanding so they needed a set standard that would establish correct pronunciation. Accordingly, early Hebrew scholars, who became known as the Masoretes, undertook to determine and to indicate vowel signs- the proper vowel or vowels for every word in the Hebrew Scriptures. Among the various systems of vocalization that were invented, the one used in the city of Tiberias, (in Galilee in Israel), eventually gained ascendancy. The Masoretes indicated these vowels and signs for stress and pause by means of small marks above, within, or below the consonants. They did not regard these vowel points as a part of the sacred text, and for that reason they refrained from marking them on the synagogue scrolls. They did insert them, however, on other scrolls and in their commentaries on the Scriptures. Today, the Old Testament written with the Masoretic text is universally accepted as the authentic Hebrew Bible.

Chapter Divisions:
The original manuscripts of the bible do not have chapter divisions. Chapters were added to the printed Word of God to make it easier to study. The invention of the chapter divisions is usually attributed to Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, in England, who died in 1228 A.D. Cardinal Hugo, who died in 1263, used Langton's chapter divisions in a concordance which he prepared for use with the Latin Vulgate. Wyclif used chapter divisions in his 1382 A.D. translation of the New Testament. All English language versions from then on had chapter divisions.

The chapter divisions helped so much in referring to passages of Scripture that Hebrew scholars borrowed the idea and employed it in printed editions of the Hebrew Scriptures. Therefore, the present-day printed Hebrew Old Testament has similar chapter divisions as does our English language Old Testament.

Verse Divisions:
The scriptures in each chapter are further divided into verses, numbered in regular order throughout each chapter. The numbered verses are not a part of the Holy Scriptures but they help one in the study of the bible. The verse divisions for the Hebrew Old Testament were invented by Rabbi Nathan in 1448 A.D. The verse divisions for the Greek New Testament were invented by Robert Stephanus, a Paris publisher of the Greek-Latin edition of the New Testament in 1551. His Latin Vulgate was the first complete bible to contain the verse numbers like we have today. The first English language bible to contain them was the Geneva Bible, published in 1560. Since then, all English language bibles have contained the verse numbers.

Early Bible History:
Roman Catholic, Saint Jerome, lived for a time as a hermit, became a priest, served as secretary to Pope Damasus, and in about 389 A.D. established a monastery at Bethlehem. Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire, gradually replaced Greek in the Roman Church, and became the ritual language of the church. Various translations of the scriptures into "Old Latin" were created but those quickly became outdated. Finally, with the approval and aid of Pope Damasus, Jerome translated the Bible into Latin. He went to Bethlehem, where he visited the places mentioned in the Bible, and there completed the translation of the scriptures known as The Latin Vulgate and also founded two religious orders. His Latin translation became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church. His numerous biblical, ascetical, monastic, and theological works profoundly influenced the early Middle Ages. The first book printed from movable type, the Gutenberg Bible, was a printing of Jerome's Latin Vulgate.

The gospel became established in Great Britain in the 7th century A.D. There were few bibles, all handwritten and in Latin from which learned men could read the Scriptures. In order that the common people, who spoke and wrote the Anglo-Saxon language, might understand the scriptures, translations or paraphrases were needed.

Caedmon, an unschooled servant in one of the monasteries, with a rare musical gift, was able to sing about many bible stories in the Anglo-Saxon language. He did this in true minstrel fashion. His ministry was one of the first unconventional ministries on record in Great Britain. His efforts helped tell many biblical stories that the common folks could understand in their own language. That means something to me because my missionary bottle evangelism work was considered to be an unconventional ministry at the time.

Bible Translations and Paraphrases:
Throughout the church years, there have been many bible translations and paraphrases. There has been numerous ways to get the bible into the hands of spiritually starving folks. I will mention a few here in case you want to do more research on them on your own:
The Psalms by Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne, who died in 709 A.D.,
The Venerable Bede (673-735) completed a translation of the Gospel of John,
King Alfred (848—901) supported the Christian movement,
Aelfric, abbot of Eynsham (995-1020),
A prose version of the Psalms by William of Shoreham (1270?-1350),
John Wyclif and his translation of the bible from the Latin Vulgate,
William Tyndale and his translation of the bible from Hebrew and Greek,
Miles Coverdale and his printed bible in English (1535),
Thomas Matthew and his printed bible in 1537,
Richard Tavener and his printed bible in England in 1539,
The Great Bible printed in 1539,
The Geneva Bible printed in 1560,
The Bishops' Bible printed in 1568,
The Douai Bible (of Douai, Flanders) printed in 1609,
The King James Bible printed in 1611,
And more modern translations and paraphrases- too many for me to list here.

Note: there is more information about the authenticity of the bible on the next page.

The authenticity of the bible
(page 2)

For your encouragement

Genesis chapter 50

Genesis commentary index

Click here to go to the Bible Index page


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