Monday, June 12, 2017

How Did We Get the Bible?

How did we get the Bible? God inspired over 40 prophets to write the original manuscripts, which were later copied. Because they didn’t have copying machines or duplicating presses, each manuscript had to be copied by hand. This task was done by scribes, who patiently copied the Scriptures when the scrolls became too worn and had to be replaced. The material they wrote on only lasted about 40 years, so they had to keep making new manuscripts over the centuries to preserve the text from being destroyed.

The Jewish scribes valued the Scriptures so much that they counted every letter on every page they copied. The word for scribes, sopherim, literally means, “the counters” because they counted, not only every word, but every letter. The middle letter of the manuscript was marked, as was the middle word of each major section of a book. If the letters of the copy didn’t match up with the original, they destroyed the entire page and started over.

By the time of Jesus, the most recent Old Testament book, Malachi, had been copied and recopied over a span of more than 400 years. The books of Moses had been copied for more than 1,400 years! Imagine copying the book of Exodus without making a mistake.

Today we have over 14,000 manuscripts: 5,000 Greek manuscripts, 8,000 Latin manuscripts, and 1,000 manuscripts in other languages. Compare this with the non-biblical manuscripts—we have 7 manuscripts of Plato’s writings (380 BC) and 5 manuscripts of Aristotle (350 BC).

Over 3,000 years, thousands of scribes spent their lives carefully copying manuscripts so that we could have a Bible today. They did all that work for you—and have you read the Bible through even one time?

CLICK HERE for more about How We Got the Bible
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Making Life Count Ministries
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