What Are the Earliest Versions and Translations of the Bible? (2022)

What follows is an overview of the major versions and translations of the biblical text. Other versions and translations exist, but the ones discussed below are important both historically and for their continuing use by various contemporary communities of faith.

Masoretic Text (MT)

The earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible were written without vowels or accents, as written Hebrew did not represent vowels until the Middle Ages. To preserve traditional spoken readings, starting in the fifth century C.E., a group of Jewish scribes known as the Masoretes carefully selected, copied, and annotated biblical scrolls, adding vowels and accents to the ancient Hebrew consonants in the process. Though the Masoretic scribes added these vowels to the ancient text long after it had been written, they were likely preserving traditional vocalizations that dated to much earlier times. The Masoretes produced several different systems of vocalization (writing in vowels) between 500 and 700 C.E.

Until the last few decades, most biblical scholars believed that the Masoretic biblical texts were, with some exceptions, the best witnesses to the most ancient Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible (what Christians sometimes call the Old Testament).

Recent discoveries from the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, suggest that there were several different versions of many biblical books in the Second Temple period. Some of these versions differed only slightly from each other, but some versions were very different. After the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Romans in 70 C.E., Jewish groups dispersed across the ancient world, preserving these versions of the Hebrew Scriptures in their communities. One of these groups preserved the texts that would later become the Masoretic Text. Others are preserved in versions such as the Septuagint, the earliest Greek translation.

In the 10th century C.E., the ben Asher scribal family of Tiberias produced a manuscript of the Hebrew Bible that Maimonides, a famous Jewish scholar, declared to be the best known version of the sacred text. Soon after, the Tiberian Masoretic text and its particular version of vowels and annotations became the standard, authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible for rabbinic Judaism. The most important Masoretic medieval manuscripts are the Aleppo Codex, which dates to the 10th century C.E., and the Leningrad Codex, which dates to 1009 C.E.

The Masoretic Text is the version held as authoritative and used liturgically in most synagogues today. The Catholic Church since the time of Jerome (fourth century C.E.) and most Protestant Christian churches use this version as their source text for modern translations.

(Video) History of Bible Translation

Old Greek (OG) or Septuagint

The earliest translation of the Hebrew Bible is the Old Greek (OG), the translation made in Alexandria, Egypt, for the use of the Greek-speaking Jewish community there. At first, just the Torah was translated, in the third century B.C.E.; the rest of the biblical books were translated later. The whole Hebrew Bible was likely translated into ancient Greek by the middle of the second century B.C.E.

Scholars think that many OG translators worked from early Hebrew versions of biblical books that were quite different from those versions that became the MT. As a result, some biblical books, such as Daniel, Jeremiah, and Job, are longer or shorter in the OG version of the Bible than they are in the MT.

We now know from discoveries in the Dead Sea region that these alternate Hebrew versions were circulated alongside the versions that became the MT. It is not clear that one Hebrew version was preferred over the others. In any event, the OG translators sometimes chose versions very similar to those later chosen for the MT version, and other times the translators chose versions that were very different.

At the time the Bible was translated into Greek, there was no MT or any official or authorized Bible in existence. There were merely multiple editions of many scrolls of various perceived levels of sacredness. In fact, it seems that there wasn’t an official project to translate “the Bible” into ancient Greek; instead, many different Greek-speaking Jews in various times and places simply translated their favorite books into ancient Greek. Some of these books were later chosen to be included in the Bible, and some were not. It was only many centuries later that people began to choose the best of these Greek translations and to copy them all together as if they were one book. So, it can be said that the Bible was translated in its entirety before there even was a Bible!

Eventually, early Christians adopted the OG as their preferred version of the Hebrew Bible. Most Jews in Greek-speaking lands returned to using the Hebrew version that would later become the MT. Christians then added bits and pieces to what had already been added by Jewish editors and translators, and the resulting text used in early Christian liturgy (and still used by Eastern Orthodox Churches) is called the Septuagint.

Christians then translated the Greek version into many other languages, such as Latin (the Old Latin version, completed by the third century C.E.), African languages such as Coptic (third century C.E.), Asian languages such as Armenian (circa fifth century C.E.), and Arabic (ninth century C.E.).

Aramaic

Because the Jews in Palestine spoke mostly Aramaic by the time the biblical books were coming into their final forms, translations were required even while the finishing touches were being put on the texts. For example, some parts of the Aramaic translation of the Torah, called Targum Onqelos, probably go back as far as 100 B.C.E. Others, such as Targum Psalms, date from as late as 600 C.E. These Aramaic translations are usually called targums, the Aramaic word for “translation.” Some targums are more literal, and others are more expansive and creative. Some biblical books have a number of different targums made from them, whereas for others we can only find one.

Syriac

The Syriac language was spoken by Jews in northern Syria; they translated their Bible into Syriac at various points in the second century C.E. Several translators worked on this project, so the quality and style of translation varies. The Peshitta (which means “simple,” that is, a plain translation without textual comments) was prepared for the use of Jews. Later, Syriac-speaking Christians adopted the Peshitta and added a Syriac version of the New Testament, although the far-Eastern Christian churches seemed not to include several New Testament letters or the book of Revelation.

In the second century C.E., a Christian named Tatian decided to harmonize all four canonical Greek Gospels and, at the same time, translate them into Syriac. Because the four Gospels seem to exhibit some discrepancies, Tatian rewrote them so that they would not conflict. Although Tatian’s harmonization was very popular in the East until the fifth century C.E., other early Christian interpreters such as Irenaeus urged Christians to maintain all four (separate) canonical Gospels. The tradition of four separate Gospels continues in almost all Christian churches to this day.

The New Testament

By the end of the first and the beginning of the second century C.E., various Gospels, narratives, letters, and apocalyptic writings, all written in a broadly used dialect of Greek named koine, or “common,” were being used by various Christian communities.

Selection among these sacred texts, and from the Hebrew Bible, for public reading in Christian worship probably began the process of canonization of Christian writings. When disputes broke out about beliefs or traditions, the canonical status of the various Christian writings became a touchstone in the debates.

Official lists of books in or out of the canon only began to appear in the fourth century C.E., as a result of particular theological disputes, usually about the divinity of Jesus or the Trinity. However, Christian canon lists remained fluid through the seventh century; during this time, books such as the Shepherd of Hermas or the forged Epistle to the Laodiceans could be found in certain Christian Bibles.

Overall, by the end of the fourth century C.E. there was general agreement about which books should have scriptural status. Although early Christians wrote quite a few letters and books, only a few became widely accepted. For a work to be considered sacred in the fourth century and beyond, it seems that it had to claim apostolic authority: the work had to be written or authorized by one of the earliest Christian leaders, especially Paul and the twelve apostles. Apostolic authority required that the books be consistent with the teachings about Jesus and the Trinity that were found in other accepted books and that were current in fourth-century Christianity. As a result, books such as the Gospel of Peter were rejected from most Christian canon lists, and some of the writings deemed noncanonical were lost and only rediscovered in the 19th and 20th centuries.

(Video) English Bible Translations Explained | Comparison & Family Tree

Brennan Breed, "What Are the Earliest Versions and Translations of the Bible?", n.p. [cited 13 Sep 2022]. Online: https://www.bibleodyssey.org:443/en/tools/bible-basics/what-are-the-earliest-versions-and-translations-of-the-bible

Contributors

Brennan Breed is assistant professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. Much of his research focuses on the reception history of the Bible, which studies the ways in which biblical texts function in diverse contexts in liturgy, theology, visual art, literature, and politics.

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one of the oldest (ca. 930 CE) and most important, but no longer complete, existing examples of the Masoretic Text

The idea that Christian doctrines and bishops obtain their authority through a lineage going back to the original apostles.

Trustworthy; reliable; of texts, the best or most primary edition.

An authoritative collection of texts generally accepted as scripture.

Belonging to the canon of a particular group; texts accepted as a source of authority.

(Video) History of Bible Translation | Seed Company

A text of pages bound leaf style, like a modern book—as opposed to a scroll, which has no discrete pages.

The final stage of the Egyptian language, which also lent its name to the Coptic Church, the Egyptian branch of Orthodox Christianity.

A collection of Jewish texts (biblical, apocryphal, and sectarian) from around the time of Christ that were preserved near the Dead Sea and rediscovered in the 20th century.

A variant of a language, characteristic of a certain group of speakers.

A detailed letter, written in formal prose. Most of the New Testament books beyond the gospels are epistles (letters written to early Christians).

A gospel is an account that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

The set of Biblical books shared by Jews and Christians. A more neutral alternative to "Old Testament."

People who study a text from historical, literary, theological and other angles.

An early (second century) Christian leader and theologian whose writings attacked heresies like gnosticism.

A Christian priest and theologian from around 400 C.E.; his translation of the Bible into Latin, called the Vulgate, became the definitive Bible translation for over a thousand years.

The religion and culture of Jews. It emerged as the descendant of ancient Israelite Religion, and is characterized by monotheism and an adherence to the laws present in the Written Torah (the Bible) and the Oral Torah (Talmudic/Rabbinic tradition).

the oldest complete manuscript (ca. 1010 CE) of the Masoretic Text; used as the basis of many modern editions of the Hebrew Bible

The standardized collection of practices—ceremonies, readings, rituals, songs, and so forth—related to worship in a religious tradition.

Textual documents, usually handwritten.

(Video) What is the best English Bible translation?

A group of medieval scribes who preserved and transmitted the written Hebrew text and developed the system of vowel markings that eventually were added to the consonantal text.

Relating to the Masoretes, a group of medieval scribes who preserved and transmitted the written Hebrew text of the Bible. Or, the Masoretic Text itself, an authoritative Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible.

The authoritative Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible, containing both the consonants and the vowels (unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, which have no vowels). The earliest existing copies of the Masoretic Text date to the 10th century C.E.

Of or relating to the Middle Ages, generally from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. and overlapping somewhat with late antiquity.

The historical period generally spanning from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. in Europe and characterized by decreases in populations and the degeneration of urban life.

A collection of first-century Jewish and early Christian writings that, along with the Old Testament, makes up the Christian Bible.

Of or related to textual materials that are not part of the accepted biblical canon.

Also called the Hebrew Bible, those parts of the canon that are common to both Jews and Christians. The designation "Old Testament" places this part of the canon in relation to the New Testament, the part of the Bible canonical only to Christians. Because the term "Old Testament" assumes a distinctly Christian perspective, many scholars prefer to use the more neutral "Hebrew Bible," which derives from the fact that the texts of this part of the canon are written almost entirely in Hebrew.

Of or belonging to any of several branches of Christianity, especially from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, whose adherents trace their tradition back to the earliest Christian communities. Lowercase ("orthodox"), this term means conforming with the dominant, sanctioned ideas or belief system.

Another name often used for the area of Israel and Judah, derived from the Latin term for the Roman province of Palaestina; ultimately, the name derives from the name of the Philistine people.

The version of the Bible used by churches in the Syriac tradition.

The structure built in Jerusalem in 516 B.C.E. on the site of the Temple of Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians seventy years prior. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. by the Romans responding to Jewish rebellion.

An early Christian allegory from the first or second century C.E. that depicts visions appearing to a former slave.

A dialect of Aramaic, common among a number of early Christian communities.

Relating to thought about the nature and behavior of God.

God as expressed in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.

The third division of the Jewish canon, also called by the Hebrew name Ketuvim. The other two divisions are the Torah (Pentateuch) and Nevi'im (Prophets); together the three divisions create the acronym Tanakh, the Jewish term for the Hebrew Bible.

(Video) Why are there so many different Bible translations, and which ones should we use? | UNLEARN the lies

FAQs

What are the earliest versions of the Bible? ›

The oldest complete copy still in existence is the Leningrad Codex dating to c. 1000 CE. The Samaritan Pentateuch is a version of the Torah maintained by the Samaritan community since antiquity, which was rediscovered by European scholars in the 17th century; its oldest existing copies date to c. 1100 CE.

What is the earliest translation of the Bible? ›

The first printed English translation of the whole Bible was produced by Miles Coverdale in 1535, using Tyndale's work together with his own translations from the Latin Vulgate or German text. After much scholarly debate it is concluded that this was printed in Antwerp and the colophon gives the date as 4 October 1535.

What is the oldest original version of the Bible? ›

Codex Sinaiticus came to the attention of scholars in the 19th century at Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, with further material discovered in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Which version of the Bible is closest to the original translations? ›

The New American Standard Bible is a literal translation from the original texts, well suited to study because of its accurate rendering of the source texts. It follows the style of the King James Version but uses modern English for words that have fallen out of use or changed their meanings.

Which Bible is the original Bible? ›

Geneva Bible
Full nameGeneva Bible
AbbreviationGEN
NT published1557
Complete Bible published1560
4 more rows

Is the Ethiopian Bible the oldest Bible in the world? ›

The Ethiopian Bible is the oldest and most complete bible on earth. Written in Ge'ez an ancient dead language of Ethiopia it's nearly 800 years older than the King James Version and contains over 100 books compared to 66 of the Protestant Bible.

What language did Adam and Eve speak? ›

The Adamic language, according to Jewish tradition (as recorded in the midrashim) and some Christians, is the language spoken by Adam (and possibly Eve) in the Garden of Eden.

Which Bible is the most accurate translation of the original text? ›

Almost all scholars agree that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) gets the crown for being the most accurate English Bible translation.

How many times has the Bible been translated from its original text? ›

As of September 2020 the full Bible has been translated into 704 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,551 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,160 other languages. Thus at least some portions of the Bible have been translated into 3,415 languages.

Who destroyed the original Bible? ›

In A.D. 301-304, the Roman Emperor Diocletian burned thousands of copies of the Bible, commanded that all Bibles be destroyed and decreed that any home with a Bible in it should be burned.

What parts of the Bible were removed? ›

Contents of The Forgotten Books of Eden
  • The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan (The First and Second Book of Adam and Eve)
  • The Secrets of Enoch (also known as the Slavonic Enoch or Second Enoch)
  • The Psalms of Solomon.
  • The Odes of Solomon.
  • The Letter of Aristeas.
  • The Fourth Book of Maccabees.
  • The Story of Ahikar.

Who wrote the first Bible ever written? ›

That single author was believed to be Moses, the Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and guided them across the Red Sea toward the Promised Land.

Why is the King James Bible the most accurate? ›

Published in 1611, the King James Bible spread quickly throughout Europe. Because of the wealth of resources devoted to the project, it was the most faithful and scholarly translation to date—not to mention the most accessible.

Did King James change the Bible? ›

In 1611, the new British state headed by King James I issued its translation of the complete Bible, "newly translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. By His Majesty's special command.

Which version of the Bible do Baptists use? ›

In 2010, it was the sixth-most-popular Bible version in the U.S. Second Baptist Church in Houston, the nation's largest Southern Baptist congregation, uses the New American Standard Bible. Others use the English Standard Version and the New King James Version.

Why was the book of Enoch removed from the Bible? ›

I Enoch was at first accepted in the Christian Church but later excluded from the biblical canon. Its survival is due to the fascination of marginal and heretical Christian groups, such as the Manichaeans, with its syncretic blending of Iranian, Greek, Chaldean, and Egyptian elements.

Is the King James Bible the real Bible? ›

The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King James VI and I.

How do we know the Bible is real? ›

We have copies of the manuscripts and throughout history these copies show that the Bible has been transmitted accurately. Despite common skeptical claims that the Bible has often been changed through the centuries, the physical evidence tells another story. The New Testament records are incredibly accurate.

Is the Quran older than the Bible? ›

Knowing that versions written in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament does predate the Quran, Christians reason the Quran as being derived directly or indirectly from the earlier materials. Muslims understand the Quran to be knowledge from an omnipotent God.

Who stole the Book of Enoch from Ethiopia? ›

For four centuries the book of Enoch was lost to Western Christianity and Judaism. That was until 1773, when Scottish explorer James Bruce brought back from Ethiopia 'three' copies of it to France and England.

What was the first language Jesus spoke? ›

Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic. Through trade, invasions and conquest, the Aramaic language had spread far afield by the 7th century B.C., and would become the lingua franca in much of the Middle East.

What was Jesus last name? ›

What was Jesus's Real Name? - YouTube

What language do angels speak in heaven? ›

Enochian
Created byJohn Dee Edward Kelley
Date1583–1584
Setting and usageOccult journals
PurposeDivine language Enochian
6 more rows

What is God's language? ›

Divine language, the language of the gods, or, in monotheism, the language of God (or angels) is the concept of a mystical or divine proto-language, which predates and supersedes human speech.

Which Bible do Catholics use? ›

The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) is a Bible translation approved for use by the Catholic Church, receiving the imprimatur of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1991.

Which version of the Bible is the easiest to understand? ›

The Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) is an English translation of the Bible compiled by the World Bible Translation Center.

What Bible translation should I use? ›

NASB, it's the New American Standard Bible, this is a word for word translation and it's often considered to be the most accurate English translation available.

Where is the original Bible now? ›

They are the Codex Vaticanus, which is held at the Vatican, and the Codex Sinaiticus, most of which is held at the British Library in London.

Has the meaning of the Bible been lost in translation? ›

The nuances, as well as the clear meanings of the original words, are lost in translation. This is not just because of the limitations of transferring meanings from one language into another. It is also because translations are also interpretations.

Why was the Apocrypha removed? ›

They reasoned that not printing the Apocrypha within the Bible would prove to be less costly to produce. Since that time most modern editions of the Bible and reprintings of the King James Bible omit the Apocrypha section. Modern non-Catholic reprintings of the Clementine Vulgate commonly omit the Apocrypha section.

Who decided what books went into the Bible? ›

Eventually, the question was taken up by Church councils. At the Council of Hippo, held in north Africa in AD 393, a group of church leaders recognized a list of books that they believed to be scripture. Later, the Council of Carthage affirmed that decision in AD 397.

Where is Sodom and Gomorrah today? ›

Sodom and Gomorrah are possibly located under or adjacent to the shallow waters south of Al-Lisān, a former peninsula in the central part of the Dead Sea in Israel that now fully separates the sea's northern and southern basins.

Did the Catholic Church ban the Bible? ›

Canon 825 of the Catholic Church

Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them.

How old is the Earth according to the Bible? ›

Concerning the age of the Earth, the Bible's genealogical records combined with the Genesis 1 account of creation are used to estimate an age for the Earth and universe of about 6000 years, with a bit of uncertainty on the completeness of the genealogical records, allowing for a few thousand years more.

Why are the Lost gospels not in the Bible? ›

One possible reason they were not included in the emerging New Testament is they were not meant to be part of a wider canon or to be read as scripture in church - instead each one was meant to be read by an elect few.

Why is the book of Tobit not in the Bible? ›

For unknown reasons it is not included in the Hebrew Bible, although four Aramaic and one Hebrew fragment were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls indicating an authoritative status among at least some Jewish sects.

How much of the Bible is historically accurate? ›

“ … the historical books of the Old Testament are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archaeological work.”

How long after Jesus died was the Bible written? ›

Written over the course of almost a century after Jesus' death, the four gospels of the New Testament, though they tell the same story, reflect very different ideas and concerns. A period of forty years separates the death of Jesus from the writing of the first gospel.

How many years was it from Adam to Jesus? ›

So 69 weeks amount to 483 years; for, from the said year of Darius, unto the 42nd year of Augustus, in which year our Saviour Christ was born, are just and complete so many years, whereupon we reckon, that from Adam unto Christ, are 3974 years, six months, and ten days; and from the birth of Christ, unto this present ...

Which version of Bible is best? ›

Through May 2022, the top five best-selling translations were as follows:
  • New International Version.
  • English Standard Version.
  • New Living Translation.
  • King James Version.
  • Christian Standard Bible.

What version of the Bible did Billy Graham preach from? ›

Review of the Billy Graham Training Center Bible: The text is the New King James Version, and is a red letter edition (words of the Lord Jesus in red letters). I didn't know that, till I got the Bible, and am very pleased.

What is the oldest version of the Bible? ›

The oldest complete copy still in existence is the Leningrad Codex dating to c. 1000 CE. The Samaritan Pentateuch is a version of the Torah maintained by the Samaritan community since antiquity, which was rediscovered by European scholars in the 17th century; its oldest existing copies date to c. 1100 CE.

Who actually wrote the King James Bible? ›

This precious text shows Greek, Latin and English lines, revealing the detailed craft behind the King James Bible — a testament not only to the tireless endeavor of John Rainolds, but to the importance of learning in one of humanity's most prized religious works.

What is the difference between KJV and 1611 KJV? ›

Almost no two existing "original 1611" King James Bibles are exactly the same. Eventually there were various calls for the need to correct and revise the King James Version because of printer's errors over the years and the changes in spelling and word usage.

Who rewrote the Bible? ›

Thomas Jefferson was known as an inventor and tinkerer. But this time he was tinkering with something held sacred by hundreds of millions of people: the Bible. Using his clippings, the aging third president created a New Testament of his own—one that most Christians would hardly recognize.

What Bible do pastors use? ›

The Pastor's Bible is designed to be a CSB resources specifically for pastors. After the book of Psalms, it includes a section for wedding ceremonies (classical and contemporary), information on funeral preparation, and some funeral sermons.

What Bible do Methodist read? ›

The most common Bible translations that Methodists read are the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the Common English Bible (CEB). The NRSV is more scholarly, and the CEB is more accessible to average readers. The KJV and NIV are also popular. Leaders don't require members to read a certain translation.

Which churches use King James Bible? ›

Five large denominations of Christianity — Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Latter-day Saints and Pentecostal — use the KJV today.

How many versions of Bible are there? ›

As of September 2020 the full Bible has been translated into 704 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,551 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,160 other languages. Thus at least some portions of the Bible have been translated into 3,415 languages.

How far back does the Bible go? ›

So the oldest Biblical text we found is about 2700 years old. Of course, this is just what we've been able to locate and date. The first Biblical stories were passed down orally and only written down later by various authors. Most Biblical scholars believe the Book of Genesis was the first book to be written down.

How many versions of the Bible were there before the King James Version? ›

Before James commissioned the KJV in 1604, most people in England were learning from two different Bibles — the Church of England's translation, commonly read during worship services (known as the Bishops' Bible, first published in 1568), and the more popular version most Brits read at home, known as the Geneva Bible, ...

What Bible was before the Geneva Bible? ›

The King James Bible was translated in 1611. It was commissioned and published under the sponsorship of King James, the first. The Geneva Bible is another translation of the Holy Bible published by a group of protestants in exile. They worked under Miles Coverdale, John Knox, and John Calvin.

How many time has the Bible been changed? ›

Over 30,000 changes were made, of which more than 5,000 represent differences between the Greek text used for the Revised Version and that used as the basis of the King James Version.

Is the KJV the most accurate translation? ›

Published in 1611, the King James Bible spread quickly throughout Europe. Because of the wealth of resources devoted to the project, it was the most faithful and scholarly translation to date—not to mention the most accessible.

Which Bible do Catholics use? ›

The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE) is a Bible translation approved for use by the Catholic Church, receiving the imprimatur of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1991.

How old is the Earth according to the Bible? ›

Concerning the age of the Earth, the Bible's genealogical records combined with the Genesis 1 account of creation are used to estimate an age for the Earth and universe of about 6000 years, with a bit of uncertainty on the completeness of the genealogical records, allowing for a few thousand years more.

How old was the earth when Jesus was born? ›

In accordance with Theophilus' calculations, the world was from 5600 to 5700 year old. Among other dates, a younger age of 5228 years at the beginning of Christ's public life was derived by Eusebius of Caesarea, yielding about 5199 years for the Nativity.

What is the oldest archaeological evidence of the Bible? ›

Ketef Hinnom scrolls – Probably the oldest surviving texts currently known from the Hebrew Bible – priestly blessing dated to 600 BC. Text from the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament. Described as "one of most significant discoveries ever made" for biblical studies.

Why was the book of Enoch removed from the Bible? ›

I Enoch was at first accepted in the Christian Church but later excluded from the biblical canon. Its survival is due to the fascination of marginal and heretical Christian groups, such as the Manichaeans, with its syncretic blending of Iranian, Greek, Chaldean, and Egyptian elements.

WHO removed the Apocrypha from the Bible? ›

The British Puritan revolution of the 1600s brought a change in the way many British publishers handled the apocryphal material associated with the Bible. The Puritans used the standard of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) to determine which books would be included in the canon.

What was the first language Jesus spoke? ›

Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic. Through trade, invasions and conquest, the Aramaic language had spread far afield by the 7th century B.C., and would become the lingua franca in much of the Middle East.

Who destroyed the original Bible? ›

In A.D. 301-304, the Roman Emperor Diocletian burned thousands of copies of the Bible, commanded that all Bibles be destroyed and decreed that any home with a Bible in it should be burned.

Why did King James have the Bible rewritten? ›

In 1604, soon after James's coronation as king of England, a conference of churchmen requested that the English Bible be revised because existing translations “were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the original.” The Great Bible that had been authorized by Henry VIII (1538) enjoyed some popularity, but its ...

What parts of the Bible were removed? ›

Contents of The Forgotten Books of Eden
  • The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan (The First and Second Book of Adam and Eve)
  • The Secrets of Enoch (also known as the Slavonic Enoch or Second Enoch)
  • The Psalms of Solomon.
  • The Odes of Solomon.
  • The Letter of Aristeas.
  • The Fourth Book of Maccabees.
  • The Story of Ahikar.

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