The Origin and the growth of the English Bible

Rev. Jayasheelan - July 27, 2017 - The Bible & Its History /

During the dark ages very little Bible translation was attempted. There were a few minor translations made of portions of the Bible…

The Origin and the growth of the English Bible

Overview
THE ENGLISH BIBLE

In the drawing is shown the gradual development of the English Bible as well as the foundations upon which each successive version rests. We are living in an age of Printing .

It is hard for us to realise that when the books of the Bible were originally written, there was no printing press to multiply the copies.

Each copy must be made slowly and laboriously by hand. Under these conditions it was inevitable that many ancient books should be lost. This largely accounts for the fact that all the original manuscripts of the Bible have perished.

The question arises, what have we then as the literary foundation of our Bible?
1. We have the most ancient copies made from the original manuscripts. We mention only three principal ones.

a) The Codes Sinaiticus, Originally a codex of the Greek Bible belonging to the fourth century. Purchased from the Soviet Republic of Russia in 1933 by Great Britain and is now in the British Museum.

b) The Codex Alexandrinusn, probably written in the fifth century now in the British Museum. It contains the whole Greek Bible with the exception of forty lost leaves.

c) The Codex Vaticanus, in the Vatican library at Rome, originally contained the whole Bible but parts are lost. Written probably about the fourth century.

2. The Ancient versions.

The Septuagint version. The Translation of the old Testament Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, made at Alexandria about 285 B.C

The Samaritan Pentateuch, not strictly speaking a version, but the Hebrew text perpetuaated in Samaritan characters.

Peshito or Syriac. The whole Bible, date uncertain (first or second century?) apparently a translation into the common language of certain Portions of Syria.

The Vulgate. The entire Bible translated into the Latin language by Jerome at Bethlehem. Completed about 400 A.D. For a thousand years this was the standard Bible in the Catholic Church.

ENGLISH VERSIONS

During the dark ages very little Bible translation was attempted. There were a few minor translations made of portions of the Bible.

The Word of God was locked up in the Latin tongue which was unknown to the common people.

(Will be continued…)