How We Got the Bible

Intermediate Bible Studies, Lesson 1 of 15

We are so glad you want to learn about God! As you study this fifteen-lesson course of the Bible, we hope you will be thrilled with learning about God. As these lessons are designed for those who already believe that the Bible is the Word of God, we will not attempt to prove this in this course; but we believe you will learn much as you study the Word of God in the next few weeks.

THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES

Some people do not know exactly how we got the Bible. The answer to this question is that God through the Holy Spirit instructed men exactly what to say (2 Peter 1:21). The Old Testament part of the Bible was written in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. Today very few people can read these languages. The New Testament was written in the Greek language that Jesus spoke. Today we are very fortunate that wise men have translated (brought from one language to another) the Bible into the languages men speak.

FIRST WRITTEN ON SCROLLS

The earliest parts of the Bible were written on scrolls. To have a complete Old Testament it was necessary to have many scrolls. For example, the book of Isaiah was on one scroll, the book of Daniel was on another, and thus having a Bible meant having many such scrolls.

By the time of the writing of the New Testament a form of paper called papyrus was in use. Later, men took the writings on paper and put them in book form. But even then, the Bible was in a language few people could read.

THE BIBLE INTO ENGLISH

In the 17th century King James of England wanted a Bible in the English language for all to read. He ordered that the wise men in his kingdom translate the Bible for the common man. In 1611 this translation was completed. Most English Bibles today are copies of this translation.

Some people find the King James Bible hard to read. Often this is because the English words used in 1611 are not all used today. The chart below shows some of these words and their present meaning.

WORD USED IN 1611 MODERN WORD
let hinder
allow approve
communicate share
prevent precede
kine cow

Because of the change in the meaning of a few of the King James words, modern translations have been made. Some of these are not as accurate as the King James, but most are very good. The King James Bible is still widely used, and in this course we will use both King James and the American Standard Version.

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