Bible Source Text

Last updated: 9-Jan-2018

A brief summary  

work in progress

A wonderful research document can be found on this link from David B Lougrhan.   Below is a summary from his work and some other sources.  As listed in other places on Biblical Thoughts, there are the encryptions, gematria, counts of seven and divisibility of 7 when counting, prophecies with fulfillments, entire creation and of course the scriptures themselves that prove the Bible has to have it source from outside of the human, earthly and universe domain.  Undeniably and most importantly, the influence of God in the Christian's life when we hand ourselves over to His control will be convincingly enough.


The Old Testament's (OT) 39 books were written originally in Hebrew (small part in Aramaic) and the New Testament's (NT) 27 books were written originally mostly in Greek.  Some of the portions of the NT were most likely also written in Hebrew or Aramaic which is a Semitic language.  The codex/books were written on clay tablets with a stylus, vellum or papyrus.  Clay tablets could last a very long time, albeit brittle and vellum is animal skin(cattle, goats, deer) and would last longer than papyrus.   None of the original master works could have survived but were copied over time by first the Aaronic Priests and then the Masorites.  The practice was once a codex was no longer usable or condemned as unfit for use then it was destroyed and/or put into Geniza ~ storage area for manuscripts.  After the Geniza became full then all the defective manuscripts were buried with an elaborate ceremony.

Incidentally, some scholars argue the book of Psalms was most likely 5 books that were combined into one which would have given the total of OT books at 43 and the grand total of 70 books in the Bible rather than 66 books.

The ancient manuscripts were written without spacing between letters in capital letters, which is called Uncial or Majuscules.    An example in English would be NOMANHASTHSEENGOD.  Minuscules is when the letters are lower case.  While Ancient Hebrew changed after the Babylonian captivity the changes did not make it entirely different from the predecessor according to scholars.  Hebrew is written from right to left and did not contain any vowels, only consonants.  Scribes after the captivity, devised means of indicating a vowel sounds through the use of points above letters which is known as niqqud.

Based on information from New Testament Textual Research in Munster, Germany, which was summarized by CRI, the latest count of NT from 2-Feb-2010 is 2903 majuscules, 320 majuscules; 127 papyri; 2,445 lectionaries which totals 5,795.  In comparison to Homer's lliad, the count of copies is numbered to be around 1757.  CRI notes that the earliest writing is John Ryland's Papyrus which is dated by Bart Ehrman as between 125-130 with a 25 year accuracy variance.  There are many other ancient works from Homer, Herodotus, Sophocles, Plato, Caesar, Livy, Tacity, Pliny the Elder, Thucydides and Demosthenes, with fewer copies that are accepted by scholars as authentic without question as compared to the NT which has numerous translations that support a higher level of accuracy.

A mental fallacy or trap that many people fall into regarding the Bible is the incorrect conclusion of requiring the original, first manuscript written to still exist if they will believe it is book from God.  Additionally, while translations have problems because words can change meaning over the centuries, that does not prove the scripture is flawed.  Psalm 12: 6-7 "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." 1Peter 1:25 "The word of the Lord endureth for ever."

A warning concerning distortion and changing the Word of God, specifically in the Book of Revelation, is Rev. 22:18-19 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."


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# Translation Dating Notes Language Source Pros/Cons
  Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text 200 BC (apprx) Old Testament Hebrew & Aramaic   Matches Dead Sea Scrolls, En-Gedi Scroll.
  Waldensian AD 120 Translation from Hebrew and Greek   Textus Receptus Good.  From Majority Text known as Textus Receptus
  Peschitta Vrsion AD 150 First Syrian translation from the original languages.  Around 350 copies still in existnance.  Used in Antioch, capital of Syria, and other places. Syrian Textus Receptus Good version used by first Christians
  Old Latin Vulgate or Itala version AD 157 Used by Early Believers in Europe when Latin was popular Latin Textus Receptus Good.  Vulgate means common
  Italic Bible AD 157 Made from the Greek Vulgate into Latin and used Italy, France and Great Britain Latin Textus Receptus Good
  Gallic Bible AD 177 Used in Southern France   Textus Receptus Good
  Gothic Bible AD 330-350     Textus Receptus Good
  Jerome's Vulgate AD 380 Rejected by Christians at that time and now. Old Latin   Bad.  Made by corrupted manuscripts by Jerome
  Old Syria Bible AD 400     Textus Receptus Good
  Armenian Bible AD 400 1244 copies still in existance   Textus Receptus Good
  Codex Sinaiticus (ALEPH) AD 400s Found in trash heap in 1844 at St Catherine's Monasery near Mt Sinai     Extreemly unreliable when comparing it to other versions.
  Codex Vaticanus (B) 4th Century 2nd manuscript using Minority Text.  Found in 1481 in Vatican Library     Corrupted version.  Riddled with omissions, insertions and amendments.
  Palestinian Syria AD 450     Textus Receptus Good
  Wycliffe's Translation AD 1380-82 Hand written English Old Latin Vulgate Good
  Wiliam Tyndale New Testament AD 1526 1st Printed.   Used Tyndale's version and Luther's German Bible. English Textus Receptus  
  Miles Coverdale AD 1535 1st complete Bible in English English    
  Frcnch Bible AD 1535   French Textus Receptus Good
  Great Bible AD 1539  Large Print bible  (15X9) which was a revision of Tyndale and Matthew's work from bebfore. English Textus Receptus  
  Matthew's AD 1500-1555 Issued with the king's license for Henry VIII.   Based mostly on Tyndale and Coverdale's work English Textus Receptus  
  Geneva Version AD 1560 During reign of Catholic Queen Mary English Textus Receptus Translated from original Hebrew and Greek.  Took 6 years.
  Bishops' Bible AD 1568 By Archbishop Parker English Textus Receptus  
  Czech Bible AD 1602     Textus Receptus Good
  Italian Bible AD 1606     Textus Receptus Good
  King James AD 1611   English Textus Receptus Good.  Minor problems that are well known and noted.  
  Greek Orthodox 1st Century Used from Apostolic times to present day by Greek Orthodox Church   Textus Receptus Good
  Revised Version AD 1881-1885; newer version 1952 and so on Based on the Minority Text   Minority Text BAD.  Has been the spawn of a whole group of present day inaccurate translations.  Over 100 modern Bibles based on this bad translation


........ following sections are not complete yet!

Dead Sea Scrolls:

Estimated to be from 408 BC to possibly 318 AD.  They contain around 25% of the Old Testament.  They were discovered in the Qumran Caves, eleven caves in Khirbet Qumran of the West Bank, between 1946 and 1956.  There are at 981 different texts.  The dating was done by two methods: radiocarbon and paleographic dating.  Additionally for the dating there were two types of bronze coins found (1) the first type from Hasmonean leader in the 2nd century BCE, born 164 and reigned from 134 to his death in 104 BCE; and, the (2) coins pertaining to the first Jewish Roman War.

These Texts are the 3rd oldest known surviving manuscripts.  They are used in the Hebrew Bible Cannon and  {....}


Estimated to be started in 300 BC.  These are the translation of the first five books of the Old Testament in Alexandria and others into Koine Greek.  The work was done by 70 Jewish scholars and derived its name from the Latin "vesio septuaginta interpretum" meaning "translation of the seventy interpreters".

Aramaic Targums

Paraphrases of hte Scriptures in the Aramaic dialiect  because Hebrew had ceased to be a living language.

Aquila Theodotion and Symmachus version

Made in the 2 century BC for the Jews by Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus

Syriac Version

It is a Syriac Version of the Pentateuch made by Jews

Hebrew Samaritan Pentateuch

Is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible written in the Samaritan alphabet.  It goes back to the 4 century BC.




The Tanakh is the first five books of the Bible.  They are written by Moses except for the last 8 verses.

  Name Notes Date of Authenticity
1 Yahwist   950 BCE
2 Elohist   850 BCE
3 Deuteronomist   721-621 BCE
4 Priestly   550 BCE

The following are dealing with the New Testament

  Name Notes Date of Authenticity


Examples of Historical discovies of written documents:




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