Highlights of This Paper 

The Written Bible Languages


Old Testament 

Hebrew All except the Aramaic passages noted next.
Aramaic Gen 31:47 The place names Jegar-sahadutha and Galeed
Jeremiah 10:11
Daniel 2:4b-7:28
Ezra 4:6-18
Ezra 7:12-26

New Testament 

Koine (Common) Greek All except the Aramaic passages noted next.
Aramaic Mark 5:41 "Talitha Cum" means "Little Girl, I say to you, get up."
Matthew 27:46 "Eli, Eli, Lama Bachthani?" means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Mark 14:36 "Abba" means "Father"
Romans 8:15 "Abba" means "Father"
Galatians 4:6 "Abba" means "Father"
1 Corinthians 16:22 "Maranatha" means "Come, O Lord"

Canon - Rule or standard of measurement 

Inspired - God breathed 

The phrase "This is what the Lord says" is used in O.T. over 2,000 times, attesting to the source of what follows. 

O.T. canon closed in 400 BC and formalized in a list produced by Melito of Sardis in 170 AD      

Old Testament written between 1400 BC and 400 BC 

Apocrypha - Hidden - non-canonical. Written between 200 BC and 200 AD 

Apocryphal Books are Rejected Because: 

1. They're not in the Jewish canon.

2. Jesus and the apostles never quoted them.

3. They contain historical, chronological and geographical errors.

4. They contradict doctrine in the OT and NT canon.


New Testament written between 50-70 AD

N.T Canon

1. Only writings by Apostles or their associates or a relative of Jesus (ie., James and Jude His half-brothers)

2. They contain divinely inspired truth we can use as doctrine.

3. They were regarded by successive generations of Christians as meeting all these points.

Official Canon published by Athanasius of Alexandria in 367 AD

Council of Carthage in 397 AD voted to confirm the same canon.

Copying Errors

1. Trivial and of no consequence - spelling, addition or omission of the 'and' or 'for.'

2. Substantial but not of consequence - words or even multiple verses affected.

3. Substantial and having a bearing on the text- ie. Mark 16:9-20

None of the variations in readings have any affect on our doctrine. 

Old Testament Documents That We Have Today

Most are Masoretic texts from the 9th Century on.

Qumran discovery provided a copy of Isaiah from 100 BC as well as other ancient books of the OT

New Testament Documents That We Have Today

84 Papyrus fragments

267 Uncials (all capital letters) nearly complete New Testaments

2,764 Cursive documents containing many nearly complete New Testaments

2,143 Lectionaries containing quotes from 90% of the New Testament 

18,000 + copies in Latin and other languages 

Early church fathers writings which quote New Testament passages more than 80,000 times.


Selected Bible Versions 

Name Translator Source Text Year
Latin Vulgate Jerome Various Greek and Hebrew texts 382 AD
Wycliffe Bible John Wycliffe Latin Vulgate 1382 AD
Tyndale New Testament William Tyndale Erasmus' Greek text 1525 AD
Coverdale Bible Tyndale and Miles Coverdale Greek and Hebrew texts 1535 AD
Matthew's Bible John Rogers Greek and Hebrew texts 1537 AD
Great Bible Miles Coverdale Matthew's Bible and Greek/Hebrew Texts 1539 AD
Geneva Bible Committee Greek and Hebrew texts 1560 AD
Bishop's Bible English Clergy Geneva Bible 1568 AD
King James Version Committee Bishop's Bible, 5-6 Greek/Hebrew Texts 1611
American Standard Version Committee Alexandrian Greek plus Hebrew texts 1901
Revised Standard Version Committee Nestle-Aland Greek plus Hebrew Texts 1952
NASB-New American Standard Bible Lockman Foundation Nestle-Aland Greek plus Hebrew Texts 1971
NIV-New International Version Committee Nestle-Aland Greek plus Hebrew Texts 1978
NASB 95-New American Standard Update Lockman Foundation Nestle-Aland Greek plus Hebrew Texts 1995