TITLE: Our Present Bible
By gene hudgens
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Our present Bible
Have you ever attended a seminar or a conference leaderís course, where the person in charge has everyone sitting in a circle? The person in charge chooses one person and then whispers a short story to this person. This person is instructed to turn and whisper the same story to the person in the next chair. Each person is to repeat the process until every person receives the short story and relays it to another person.
When the last person in the circle hears the story, the person in charge asks that person to tell the group out loud exactly what the story is.
I have participated in several of these groups and never once did the story received by the last person even resemble the story given to the first person.
And so it is with our present Bible. On this point each of us must put aside our personal feelings about this subject, which is instilled in our minds and hearts by the teachings we have received. We must objectively study the facts.
The Old Testament tells the story of Godís chosen people, the Hebrews, who were later called Israelites or Jews. It is a fact that when God spoke to Abraham and Moses in about 1800 B.C. there was not one written word.
Everything was oral then and continued to be handed down from one generation to another by mouth as stories. We must give credit that at least some story was handed down. However, by human nature it was changed at least a tiny bit by each story teller.
Targum is a word for uncertain origin and is a general term for the Ghaldee or Aramaic versions of the Old Testament.
Targums were originally oral and the earliest Targum began to appear in writing about the second century of the Christian era.
It is a fact that in the second century three versions of the Old Testament Scriptures were put completely into Greek.
In the early times of Syrian Christianity a translation version of the Old Testament was completed from the original Hebrew, but most likely no part of this is older than the advent of our Lord. It is likely that a version of the New Testament in Syriac existed in the second century.
The Bible is a collection of books, accepted by Christians as sacred and inspired by God and is comprised of The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament comprises the sacred writings of the Jews and was written during the period 1000 B.C. to 100 B.C. It includes events that occurred many centuries earlier and were passed from generation to generation in oral form. A few sections were written in the Aramaic language, but most was written in the Hebrew language. In 100 A.D. Jewish rabbis revised their Scripture and formed an official canon of Judaism. They rejected some books not found in Hebrew versions of the Scripture, thus Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christians use different versions of the Old Testament.
The New Testament tells of Jesusí birth (somewhere between 6 and 4 B.C.), His life, ministry, death and resurrection. The books were written in Greek about 50 A.D. to 120 A.D. and contain the sacred writings that are unique to Christianity, such as the growth of the Christian Church and predictions of the second coming of Jesus. In the late second century the New Testament, as we know it, emerged after church leaders stripped many earlier Christian writings and kept what "they" felt were eyewitnesses to the events handed down orally. In 397 A.D. the Synod of Carthage formally adopted the New Testament canon.
We have about sixteen major versions of the Bible prior to the King James Version. There have been many translations of the Bible and enumerable revisions. The original form of the Bible was the Scroll, which was made from the papyrus plant.
I feel that anyone can see that it is impossible to know the exact words that God spoke, when these words were passed from generation to generation by human mouths. Through out history church leaders and government leaders revised the Bibles to fit "their" desires and needs for a particular time. Contradictions exist today in the Bible because of human error.
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