The Bible – the accuracy of copyists and the translators; number of supporting texts

Studying the Bible reveals how accurate the text is. This is confirmed by supporting texts such as the Dead Sea scrolls found in caves at Wadi Qumran (see above photo).It also becomes clear that copyists and translators were accurate in their work.

Who wrote the Bible?

The Bible is split into two parts – Old Testament and New Testament.
The Old Testament books were of Hebrew origin and would have been written originally in the Hebrew language. The books basically recorded events and experiences of the Hebrew nation. The New Testament writers were mainly Jews. Even though the books contained therein were originally written in the Greek language.

The question may be asked, did God actually physically write the Bible? The answer to this is that even though the Bible is full of God’s thoughts and tells of his plan for this mankind on this Earth, he didn’t actually physically write the books. He actually got various people to write the books with the inspiration or, in other words, the thoughts of God. The books were written over a period of almost 1,600 years, and their various authors were drawn from all ranks of society. Kings, statesmen, priests, scribes, shepherd, fishermen and scholars all played a part in producing the Bible. These authors would have written in a language they were familiar with – so different parts of the Bible have been written in three different languages.

Yet despite the fact that these people came from all different types of classes in society and from different times in the history of the world, there was still a complete harmony in all the things taught and recorded in the Bible. Each of the writers presents a different point of view of the great plan that God has for this Earth.

When you look at the writings in the Bible and compare it against the ancient records written by historians you will find that the writings of the Bible match the historical writings exactly. No historian or scientist has ever proved it to be otherwise – nor will they ever will. In fact, archaeology or research discoveries serve only to support the Bible.

Accuracy of copying

The authors of the Bible would have recorded their thoughts on manuscripts. The oldest manuscripts in existence now are, at best, only copies of the original writings. Probably more likely is that they are copies of copies, or maybe even copies of copies of copies of copies!! Some of the more recent copies may have come down through ten or twenty copyists’ hands. So the question could be asked – how certain are we that the best copies we have are not full of copyists’ mistakes?

The Dead Scrolls at the Israel Museum

In 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The scrolls were found in caves around the Wadi Qumran, north west of the Dead Sea. About 100 scrolls are books of the Old Testament in Hebrew and the manuscripts date from the last few centuries BC and the earliest part of the fist century AD. These ancient scrolls verify the accuracy of the existing manuscripts which included the Septuagint (Greek version of the Old Testament).

Modern day translations

In the middle ages, the Latin Vulgate was the official version of the Bible, but after the Reformation the Bible was translated so that people could read it in their own language. Williams Tyndale’s translation of the Bible into English in 1526 was so controversial it had to be smuggled into Britain.

Today the Bible continues to be translated into more and more languages. For example, the first Bible in Chinese was translated by Robert Morrison and William Milne and published in Canton in 1823.