Friday, September 21, 2007

History of the Bible - Monday, Sept 24 - Session

Outline of the History of the Bible
Part One: Writing of the Bible
4000-3000 BC Sumerians invent writing
around 2400 BC Gilgamesh - first written epic in world history written in Babylonia (deluge story)
around 1750 BC Enuma Elish - Babylonian Epic (creation story)
The Codex of Hammurabi - First book of the law in Babylon
Birth of Abraham (birth of oral stories about the patriarchs of the Hebrews in the land of Canaan
around 1275 BC Exodus form Egypt - The law of Moses
around 1000 BC David becomes the King of Israel - beginning of the writing of the history of Israel - "Chronicles of the Kings"
950BC Collection of proverbs, psalms, etc during the reign of Solomon
740 BC....587BC First writing prophets ministry in Israel & Judah: (Hosea, Micah, Isaiah 1-40, Zepehniah, Jeremiah, Ezekeil, Nahum, Habakkuk)
621 BC Religious Reforms of King Josiah - discovery of the Book of the Law in Jerusalem Temple (Deuteronomy ???)
587 - 538 BC Destruction of Jerusalem & Babylonian Exile
- collection, editing of Israel’s holy writings by priests & scribes
- creation of Pentateuch (Torah) in the present form with introductions (Genesis 1-11), genealogies, and division into five books.
- beginning of Jewish Synagogues where Holy Scriptures are read , commented on and studied.
550 BC - Isaiah 40-55
around 520 BC - Prophecies of Haggi, Zechariah 1-8, Obadiah
around 450 BC - Prophecies of Joel, Jonah, Malachi
around 350BC - Book of Esther ?
around 300 BC - Prophecy of Zechariah 9-14
300-150 BC - Wisdom Literature: Qoheleth, Wisdom, Sirah, etc
around 250 BC - Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek: SEPTUAGINT


200 BC- 200AD - The majority of Apocalyptic and Apocryphal Books are written
49-92 AD - Writings of the NEW TESTAMENT
95 AD
- The Jewish Rabbis meet in Jamnia to establish the OLD TESTAMENT

Until 4th century AD all books of the Old & New Testaments are written on individual SCROLLS made of Papyrus. From the 4th century BC the animal skins (pergamins) were used to write on and the skins were sown together which resembled in some way books.

Part Two: Copying, translating and transmitting of the Bible

Scribes, rabbis (masora), literate slaves, and later on, monks were entrusted to faithfully copy the books of the Bible by hand - MANUSCRIPTS

380-420 AD St. Jerome translates the New and then the Old Testament from original Greek & Hebrew into Latin: The VULGATE
from 400 AD
Translation & Coping of the Bible by monks in monasteries
Use of Lectio Divina as a way of reading, meditating and studying the Bible
around 500 AD First attempts into translating the Bible into vernacular languages (languages used by various groups of Mediaeval Europe, North Africa & Asia): Gothic, Anglo- Saxon, Slavic (Cyril & Methodius), Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, etc
1382 Wycliffe Bible - First English translation of the whole Bible
1456 Invention of printing press by Jan Gutenberg
1517 Start of Reformation - Martin Luther
1525 Tyndale’s New Testament
1535 Coverdale Bible - First printed complete bible in English
1537 The Matthew’s Bible
1539 The Toverner’s Bible
1539-41 The Great Bible
1557 The Geneva Bible
1568 The Bishop’s Bible
1582 The Rheims-Douay Bible - The official Catholic Bible until Vatican II
1604-1611 The King James Authorised Version of the Bible - The first bible in English translated from original biblical languages; Hebrew & Greek

KJAV Bible suppressed all the other Bibles in the British Empire until XX century. It is the best known and most widely used translation of the Bible in the English speaking world. One however has to remember that in other languages and other countries of Europe the VULGATE (Latin Bible) was official Bible but translations of this Bible into Vernacular: Polish, German, Slovak, French, Spanish, Portugeese, etc were approved and used by the catholic Church.

1962-65 Second Vatican Council
1965 Dei verbum - Councils document on Divine Revelation
1962 Revised Standard Version (RSV) updated King James version
1989 New Revised Standard Version. (The most accurate English translation up to date)
Early 1980's First Bibles appear on Computer software and then Internet
2007 95% of the people in the world can read the Bible (some books or the whole) in their own languages. The complete Bible exists in 429 different languages and New Testament in 1145 languages of the world.

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