A brief interesting history of the English Bible
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Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2012
by Joel Hendon
To cover a long period of history quickly allows only the very basics of the most important events. So let us begin with a time line of the original writings. Some contend there are slight variations in some of these periods, however, these differences are hardly worth discussing since the very precise dates are unknown. The following are the approximate periods for the different writings completion.
Then, from that point on to approximately 500 B.C, all 34 other original Hebrew manuscripts were completed. By 200 B.C, all of the 39 books of the Old Testament were completed in the Greek Septuagint Manuscripts, plus 14 apocryphal manuscripts.
All the 27 Greek manuscripts were written and completed within the first century A.D. In all of these ages there were many scribes who copied meticulously, all of these books which resulted in 1,000s of copies being discovered. Even though there has never been a single original copy found still intact, since there are such vast numbers of copies, even human mistakes can usually be determined due to so many which do not have the error.
Although each of these manuscripts were extant in quantity, the first copy of the entire bible, handwritten, was produced by John Wycliffe:
The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in 1380's AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” & “Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river! (greatsite.com-John Wycliffe)Wycliffe’s opposition towards the organized church was not new, but with his great reputation as a scholar made his views more troublesome to Roman Church hierarchy. There had been clandestine groups who had taught and worshipped as simply Christians with no authority except Christ and his word. These groups were often sought out and punished as “heretics” and many were burned at the stake if they would not recant their beliefs.
John Wycliffe was born in Yorkshire, England in 1324 and is though to have received his initial education in that same area. He was considered the main precursor of the Protestant Reformation. As an adult he apparently attended Oxford University, because he is listed as one of a series of illustrious names that were adding glory to the fame of the university in about 1345.
The history of the Lord’s church, which was established on the first Pentecost after his resurrection, reveals much persecution and trials. But Jesus had said that he would build his church upon the rock, the fact that he was the son of God, and the gates of Hades would not prevail against it. So many were martyred because of their faith and loyalty to him, yet his church will not only survive here but will also survive eternally with God.
The history of God’s chosen people, the children of Israel, is long and detailed. They were chosen by him to furnish the lineage to Jesus the messiah. He blessed them and protected them as long as they followed his law given through Moses. But they failed to do so and he allowed them to be taken into subjection. The record of their being chosen, their being led out of Egyptian bondage and on to the promised land of Canaan, their many blessings and eventually their many punishments, is a gripping story and is lengthy. It can be read from the latter part of Genesis through the rest of the Old Testament. It requires about 50 hours of reading time but is well worth that.
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