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 How We Got Our Bible
by Chuck Missler

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The Inspired Canon

Canon (Greek: Kanor) - for "rule" or "standard of measurement" 

Divinely Authorized (the original texts)

  • All Scripture is given by inspiration [God-breathed] of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)

  • Subsequent human transmission is subject to errors and losses, on purpose or by accident. We need to search out the differences between the original God Inspired texts and the current translations that are being taught from the pulpit today.

  • There are many useful books from the times of Yeshua (Jesus) that scholars study, but they are not a part of the Canon, they are however, highly venerated and even referred to in the Bible. 

Staight & Narrow Path to the Son_edited.

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Mt 5:17–20.

The New Testament is the
Old Testament concealed;
the Old Testament is in the
New testament revealed

"Inerrancy is generally attributed only to the original autographs and recognizes the potential imperfections
inherent in their transmission: copying, translations, et al., and the potential cultural, historical, and rhetorical gaps
between the writer and the reader."


The Hebrew Bible

Original Hebrew ("Vorlage")

Pulled together in the days of Ezra & Nehimiah

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Today, the Hebrew Bible is called the Tanakh. It has the same books as the Old Testament, just in a different order. The Tanakh has three sections:

  • Torah - Five books of Moshe (Moses)

  • Prophets - Nevi'im

  • Writings - Ketuvim

There is far more meaning carried in a Hebrew sentence than a Greek or English Sentence. Greek is however extremely precise. Deeper meanings to scripture was lost in translation though. *Biblical Hebrew is not the same as modern Hebrew.

Non-Canonical Books

  • Also called, deuterocanonical works -  accepted in one canon.

  • Composed between 300 BC to 70 AD

  • 13 books included in the Septuagint (LXX)

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  •  Faulsly attributed works - texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past

  • Composed between 200 BC to 200 AD

  • Excellant for scholars 

  • 54 books

Lost Writtings

  • Book of the Wars of hte Lord - Numbers 21:14

  • Book of the Just - Joshua 10:13; 2 Samual 1:18

  • Book of the Acts of Solomon - 1 Kings 11:41

  • Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel - 1 Kings 14:19; 2 Chronicls 33:18

  • Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah - 1 Kings 14:29; 15: 7

  • More in Video

Tanakh תנח Texts




Original Hebrew ("Vorlage")

Pulled together in the days of Ezra & Nehemiah

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Septuagint Translation: LXX (Greek) 285 - 270 BC

  • First translation of the ancient Hebrew Bible by 70 or 72 scholars at Alexandria, Egypt

  • The primary source of quoted text in the New Testament, not the later Masoretic text

  • Gives us a precise Greek rendering 

  • Was the Bible of the Early Church along with the letters of Paul and other early writings around this time

Masoretic Text: 6th - 10th Century AD 

  • A codified version of the Babylonian Talmud

  • Codified by the masoretes and scribes who rejected Christianity

  • English version of our Old Testaments today

  • Derived from the Council of Jamnia

Council of Jamnia: 90 AD

  • Rejected the LXX and the Hebrew version on which it was based (Vorlage)

  • Rejected LXX because it had become "the Bible of the Christians", they wanted their own

  • Produced a unified text of the Tenakh and ensured that divergent texts were destroyed

  • Redefined Judaism (Rabbinic Judaism) into a religion of good works 

Masoretes: 500-950 AD

  • A body of Medieval scribes of Tiberias charged with Old Testament preservation

  • Oldest dated manuscript = Codex Cairernsis (895 AD) Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim are missing

Remaining Hebrew Texts of Today

  • Codex Leningradensis: textual basis for popular Hebrew text of today (Biblia Hebraica), was copied in 1008AD from a text written by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher

  • The Samaritan Pentateuch 4th century BC: differers from the Masoretic texts in about 6,000 places, of which 1,000 need to be taken seriously. *Where the Samaritan Pentateuch agrees with the Septuagent against the Masoretic, it should be regarded as significant.* There are two remaining of these oldest texts: 1211 AD - John Rylands Library, Manchester, England and    1149 AD - University Library at Cambridge, England. An Aramaic Samaritan Targum from early Christian times, and an Arabic translation from the 11th century also exist.

  • Aramaic Targums: Aramaic became official language of Persian Empire - 5th & 6th century BC. Post-exilic Synagogue liturgical needs led to translations such as the Onkelos (highly venerated) and "Jonathan" (named after a 14th century scribal mistake). There are other post 6th century

  • The Peshita: Eastern Aramaic Version in common use in Syriac Church (Peshita = 'plain' or 'simple'). Its literary history is complex and problematic - more research needed

  • Septuagint Manuscripts - most significant & important

  • Papyri Uncials - Hundreds of various sizes; importance (2nd centry BC - 650 AD)                                             - Chester Beatty collection: parts of 11 codices (2nd - 4th century)                                               - Pre-Christian Qumran parchment fragments (Dead Sea Scrolls)

  • Vellum Uncials (4th - 10th century) - Original Alexandria Egypt                                                                              - Codex Vaticanius - 4th century (almost complete)                                                                          - Codex Siniaticus - 4th century (less complete)                                                                                - Codex Alexandrinus - 5th century (almost complete) *This is the oldest,                                       most complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible before it was codified and                                   became the Masoretic version of the Tenakh (what our Old Testament was                                   translated from)

  • Miniscules (cursive script): appears in the 9th centry (over 1,500 recorded) & 11th - 16th century (see video for examples)

Latin Versions: Begins to replace Greek in 3rd centry AD

  • Old Latin: 160 AD, Tertullian; 250 AD, Cypriot; LXX and Vorlage clues; only fragments left

  • Vulgate: 390-405, AD Jerome commissioned by Pope Damasus 1; composite (LXX, Hebrew, Latin, etc)

  • Patristic Quotations - from Church Fathers

Dead Sea Scrolls:  3rd century BC - 2nd century AD

  • 11 caves in the Wadi Qumran; 600 manuscripts; 200 Biblical; 60,000 fragments (85% leather, 15% papyrus); Cave 4 (4Q) 40,000 fragments of 400 manuscripts (100 Biblical); every book of the Bible except Esther represented

  • Group 1: Wadi Qumran and Masada; all predate 70 AD; all agree with LXX and Vorlage

  • Group 2: Wadi Murabba' at and Nahal Hever and Nahal Se'elim; hidden after 100 AD; all agree with the Masoretic text

  • Again we see that dividing line after the Council of Jamnia in 90 AD!

Differences Between our Bibles (Masoretic) and LXX (Greek)

Amos 7:1

KJV - Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings.      ???? whaaat ????

LXX - Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of lucusts were coming, and behold, one of the yoound devastating locust was Gog, the King

When we go to the LXX we find out that they are demon locusts
Revelations 9:3, 11

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Koinonia House

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