How can we know for sure that the collection of Books making up the Old Testament haven’t changed over time? After all, they were written over a period of at least a thousand years from @1446BC – @400BC. Isn’t it likely that between that time and now, errors would have crept in?
As in our day and age with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Christians have been translating the Scriptures for almost 2,000 years. Christians translate the entire Word of God (both the Older Testament and the New) into the languages of the people they are trying to reach.
In its last edition of the 20th Century, Time Magazine considered who was the most important/influential person of the previous millennium. The managing editor of the magazine selected Johannes Gutenberg.
The Ipuwer Papyrus is the sole surviving manuscript which contains an ancient Egyptian poem officially designated as Papyrus Leiden I 344 recto. The English translation of this title is The Admonitions of Ipuwer.
The Old Testament was written primarily in the Hebrew language as well as in Aramaic. Coming into the 20th Century, the oldest Hebrew copies (of the Old Testament) possessed by scholars were from a collection of manuscripts called the Masoretic Text.
The Midrash is another category of rabbinical interpretative literature (along with the Mishnaand the Gemara). This dates back to 400BC, though we only have copies dating to shortly before the time of Christ.
Although the Printing Press didn’t come along until the mid 15th Century, Jewish scribal tradition was utterly meticulous in copying the Scriptures. The following article provides a sense of the techniques employed by Masoretic scribes as they carefully copied Holy Writ.
After Alexander the Great conquered most of the Middle Eastern world, the area became heavily influenced by Greek culture and language (what historians refer to as Hellenization). Most Jews outside of Palestine (and most people for that matter) spoke Greek by the 3rd Century BC.
The Targums are Aramaic translations (really paraphrases) of the Old Testament, the tradition for which date back over 400 years before Christ. The purpose of a paraphrase is not to provide a word-for-word translation of the text; rather, it is to give a strong sense of each passage.
A shepherd boy named Abu Dahoud tossed a stone into a cave, hoping to find one of his sheep, when he heard the sound of pottery smashing. The year was 1947. The place was Qumran, on the Northwest corner of the Dead Sea.
To date, the Hinnom Valley Amulets are the earliest known fragments of any portion of biblical text that have ever been found. These two tiny silver scrolls were discovered back in 1979 on a dig involving archeologist Gordon Franz (who is on the advisory board of Christian Evidences Ministries).