People of the book – part 2

History of the Bible

Old Testament

Genesis
The biblical scholars believe that the Torah was given its present after the Exode.

Exodus
The Genesis is cut into two major elements, the priestly and the non priestly material. The only thing agreed is that the Priestly source is post exilic

Leviticus
It is collected from all periods of Israel’s history. It is entirely from Priestly material that dates from the exilic/post exilic period.

Numbers
It is from an early Persian period (5th century BC)

Deuteronomy
Its date has been extended to the early part of the 6th century

New Testament

Gospel of Mathew
There are three strands of evidence that shows that it is from around 80-90 CE:
1/ The setting of Mathew reflects the separation of the Church and Synagogue about 85 CE
2/ It reflects the capture of Rome and destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 CE
3/ It referred to Mark, usually dated around 70 CE, as a source

Gospel of Mark

As there is reference to persecution and to war in Judea, suggesting that it referred either to
Nero’s persecution of the Christians in Rome or the Jewish revolt it is estimated to be circa
60-70 CE

Gospel of Luke
There is evidence that it was still being substantially revised near the end of the 2nd century.

Gospel of John
The evidences show that the upper and lower part of the Gospel was known in the early 2nd
century on an internal reference to the expulsion of Christians from the synagogues. The overall
is circa 90-100 CE


The Aleppo Codex (c. 920 CE) and Leningrad Codex (c. 1008 CE) were the oldest Hebrew language manuscripts of the Tanakh before the discovery, in 1947 of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran. The earliest manuscripts of the Old Testament were in Greek such as Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.
There are over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin and 9,300 in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. Parts of the New Testament manuscripts range from c. 125 the 15th century. The vast majority of these manuscripts date after the 10th century.

Every year, several New Testament manuscripts handwritten in the original Greek format are discovered.
The task of copying manuscripts was generally done by scribes. In the 6th century, a special room devoted to the practice of manuscript writing and illumination came into use, typically inside medieval European monasteries. Sometimes a group of scribes would make copies at the same time from the text..

The New Testament books seems to have been completed in the 1st century. The original manuscripts of the books have not survived, they were lost or destroyed a long before. These copies were made centuries after from other copies rather than from the originals.

The earliest manuscript has the size of a business card from the Gospel of John which dates to the first half of the 2nd century. The earliest complete copy of the New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus dates to the 4th century.


There are a few differences between the manuscripts of the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus:

It is not mentioned the story of the stoning of the adulterous woman “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
Nor the words of Christ about his executioners from the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

And its Gospel of Mark ends abruptly omitting the 12 final verses.
Gospel of Matthew 12:47, 16:2b-3, 17:21, 18:11, 23:14, 24:35
Gospel of Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46, 11:26, 15:28, 16:9–20
Gospel of Luke 17:36
Gospel of John 5:4, (7:53–8:11), 16:15, 20:5b-6, 21:25
Acts of the Apostles 8:37; 15:34; 24:7; 28:29;
Epistle to the Romans 16:24
Some omitted phrases
Matthew 5:44 bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you
Matthew 6:13 For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Matthew 10:39a Ηe who finds his life will lose it,
Matthew 15:6 or (his) mother
Matthew 20:23 and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with
Mark 1:1 “the Son of God” omitted.

A large number of these differences are due to different variants in transcribing Hebrew names. These two manuscripts were not written in the same century.
So what if important verses concerning the end of times have been omitted?

Author: Novus Lectio

You'll never know what you'll read next. Random lecture is what is all about but one thing is for sure, it's by the same author who wrote The Theory of Fate and Who Went Out of Africa

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