Biblical Literature NOTES Essay

Submitted By tarakhawaja
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Pages: 38

Reliability of Scripture- Walter J. Harrelson
Debates have raged within the churches with regard to the reliability of this biblical text in its various forms
The bible can be said to be reliable if it can be reasonably claimed that is contents as preserved through centuries are what the original writers spoke and said
The consensus of biblical scholarship is that readers do indeed have reason to accept current translations of the bible as close approximations to what the biblical authors said and wrote  because the bible is based upon centuries of study of the actual manuscripts of the biblical books, collected and preserved in libraries museums and other repositories around the world The Hebrew text:
Hebrew bible (old testament) is available on two complete leather codices ancient manuscripts in book form dating to the early 10th and early 11th CE.
Leningrad codex exact same copy of the OT is available to scholars in printed form
Alepo codex makes up a good portion of the OT but some of it has not survived.
Codices are what make up the OT dead sea scrolls was a milestone in biblical studies and research
Cave 1 findings provided evidence of the care that harnessed the meaning and texts of the bible ( meaning wasn’t lost)
However dead sea scrolls also proved that there were variations manuscripts found in the dead sea area differs considerably from the medieval biblical codices. Scholars through the centuries have noted the difference between medieval Hebrew text of the Hebrew bible and the text that lies behind the Greek translation made in Egypt by the 2nd century.
Other dead sea copies have a text that differs from both the medieval Hebrew and the LXX texts, a phenomenon that has led:
1. some scholars to propose that there exists a fixed text of the Hebrew scriptures in Egypt from which the LXX stems , another fixe text developed in Babylonia from which the medieval Hebrew tradition comes and a third text not so fixed developed in Israel/Palestine
2. other scholars think of a single fixed text of the Hebrew scriptures, completed no later than the 2nd cent. BCE with the text traditions of Egypt Babylonia and Israel/Palestine preserving variations from that single text
The Jewish bible consisted of three distinct parts:
1. the law or teaching (Torah)
2. the prophets
3. the writings
Masoretes: scholars who continued to work on standardizing the spelling, vocalization, and the arrangement of the text for public reading
By 800CE the Hebrew text was fully vocalized (what it is today)
Translation of the Hebrew text:
Started as early as the 5th century BCE
By the 3rd century BCE the largest Jewish community in Egypt found the need to have the Torah translated into Greek which had become the dominant language in the entire eastern Mediterranean world
The importance of the greek translation for the early Christian community is unmistakable pauls letters quote from the greek translation and in general the NT shows that the greek OT was more readily at hand for its writers than was the Hebrew bible
The Greek new testament:
The NT books were written in Hellenistic greek, a development from the classical Greek of earlier times.
Most of the lit. was written down during the 1st century although only fragments of NT books are available from as early as the 2nd cent CE manuscripts of the entire NT, which also contain the OT and the apocrypha, date to the middle 4th cent CE and soon thereafter
In some churches these apocryphal writings are highly valued treated almost as scripture in the life and piety of the community
The Apocrypha:
Biblical texts not considered genuine/ not part of the accepted canon of scripture
The texts of some of the apocryphal books is as well preserved as the text of the OT and NT
Their popularity declined due to the standardization of Hebrew scripture
Modern and Contemporary Translations of the Bible:
The authorized or kings James version of the bible published in 1611 came to be the