Ransacking the Scriptures

By Keith Leroy Brooks

Chapter 13


Three Oldest Bibles. 1. The Alexandrian (called Codex Aleph). Kept at St. Petersburg; owned by the Greek church. In book form, four volumes. Copied in fifth century. Presented to King Charles I. in 1628. In good state of preservation. 2. The Vatican (called Codex B). Kept at Rome by the Roman Church. Book form, 700 leaves. Copied in beginning of fourth century. 3. Sinaitic (called Codex A). Kept in British Museum, owned by Protestant Church. Book form. Nearly as old as the Vatican.

Old Testament. The oldest translation we have is called Septuagint. Written in Greek, copied from Hebrew, about 280 B.C. Translated by 70 translators for King Ptolemy for the library at Alexandria, in third century B.C. Our present O. T. came through this channel. The ancient origin of the O. T. is well corroborated by the discoveries of archaeologists. The N. T. shows that the O. T. as we have it was in the hands of Christ and the disciples. (Jno. 5:39; Acts 17:11; Lk. 24:44, 45, etc.) Christ is recorded as having quoted from 22 of the 39 O. T. books. Over 1500 O. T. passages are quoted in the N. T. Christ set His seal of authority to every O. T. book which has since been attacked by critics.

New Testament. The ancient origin of the N. T. can now be easily established from the writings of many who lived in the first and second centuries. We find in the works of Origen, two-thirds of the N. T. Tertullian makes 2500 references to it. Irenaeus makes 1200 references, 400 of which are to the Gospels. Clement of Alexandria makes 300 references. Clement of Rome, a disciple of the disciples (died 95 A.D.), wrote a letter to the church at Corinth which is still preserved, quoting copiously from the N. T. Polycarp, disciple of John, wrote a letter to the church at Philippi, still preserved, making many quotations. Papias wrote a work, "The Sayings of Jesus." Papias was a friend of Polycarp. The N. T. has therefore been possessed since the first Christian era.

Books in the N. T. Two of the earliest translations of the N. T. show us what books comprised the N. T. from the beginning. 1. The Peshito, or Syriac Version, completed before 150 A.D. contained the four Gospels, 14 Epistles of Paul, 1 John, 1 Peter, James. Five books missing but no book not found in our present N. T. is included in it. 2. The Latin Version, made in second century. Contains the Gospels, Acts, 13 Epistles of Paul, 3 of John, 1 Peter, Jude, Revelation. Three missing, but no book not found in our present N. T. is included. These two versions together include all in our N. T. except 2 Peter, and NO OTHERS.

First Book Printed was the Bible, between 1450 and 1455 A.D. at Mentz, Germany, by Gutenberg, the reputed inventor of printing.

First whole Bible in English printed by Miles Coverdale, 1535.

First Complete Translation of whole Bible into English by John Wycliff, 1380.

First N. T. in English printed by Wm. Tyndale, 1525.

Chapter divisions in O. T. made by Cardinal Hugo, middle 13th century.

Verse Divisions of O. T. made by Rabbi Nathan, adopted by Robert Stephens, French printer, in his edition of Vulgate Bible, 1555. They were transferred to the Authorized Version in 1611.

Apocrypha, are books contained in some editions of the O. T. They were not originally written in Hebrew. They were not counted as inspired by the Jews and were excluded from the canon at the Reformation. They contain no statements claiming divine inspiration.