Bible its Origin, History and Place in the World

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The Holy Scriptures contain in themselves proof of their divine origin. No other book can answer the questions of the spirit or satisfy the yearnings of the heart as they do. They adapt to every condition of life, and are filled with that knowledge that illumines the spirit and sanctifies the soul.
We find in them the revelation of a living God. Received by faith, they have the power to transform life. Throughout its history, divine care has been demonstrated over them, preserving them.

How, When and Why They were Written

After the flood, as the human species multiplied and the darkness again became thicker in the world, holy men wrote inspired by the Spirit of God. Thus did God speak to His people, and for this to the world, so that the knowledge of God and His will would not perish on earth.
This work continued for centuries, until Christ, the promised Seed. With Him, and with the blessed message "of light and salvation proclaimed by Him and the apostles proclaimed, the sacred report ends, completing the Word of God.

Original Manuscripts and Translations

The Old Testament Scriptures were first written in Hebrew, on rolls of parchment, linen or papyrus. They were later translated into Greek, the oldest version being known as the Septuagint, or 'Version of the Seventy /' made in Alexandria, for the Alexandria library, by a group of seventy learned Jews, under the supervision of Ptolemy Filadelfo , for the year 285 BC (Before Christ). The original order for this version is said to have been given by Alexander the Great, who before visiting Jerusalem in 332 BC, had learned, through Daniel's prophecy, that Greece should conquer the kingdom of Persia. (See the book of Josephus, Jewish Antiquities.) This was the version commonly used in the time of Christ.
The New Testament was originally written in Greek, with the exception of St. Matthew, which was written in Hebrew, and then translated into Greek.
In later times, Latin translations were made by different people, both from the Septuagint and from the Greek New Testament, and the most carefully prepared Latin Vulgate of Jerome * the complete Scriptures * was made in the years 383-405 of our era.

The Impression of the Holy Scriptures

Before the advent of the press, while still unknown, copies of Scripture could only be produced by the lengthy, arduous and expensive process of handwriting. This, of course, severely limited his circulation. Worse still, its illuminating and saving truths had been well hidden in the centuries of the Dark Ages. During that time, the people knew little of its content.
But with the invention of the art of printing in the mid-fifteenth century, and with the advent of the great Reformation in the following century, the Holy Scriptures entered a new preparatory era for the final proclamation of the gospel to the whole world.
No less significant is the fact that the first important book, printed in movable types, was the Holy Bible in Latin, made in print by João Gutenberg, in Mainz, Germany, in 1456, of which a copy was sold in New York, in 1911, for fifty thousand dollars, the largest, amount ever paid for a single book.

Holy Scriptures in Native Languages

Even so, however, since the Scriptures were published only in the ancient languages, little was understood by the common people. Without the Word of God in their hands, the good seed spread was easily destroyed. The defenders of his pure teachings said: "Oh, if the people could only have the Word of God in their own language, it would not happen! Without it, it will be impossible to establish the laity in the truth."
And why wouldn't they have it in their own language? reasoned. Moses wrote in the language of the people of his time; the prophets spoke in language familiar to the men they addressed; and the New Testament was written in the current language throughout the Roman world.
The translation of the Holy Bible into English by João Wiclef, in 1380, was the main event at the beginning of the Reformation. It also paved the way for the revival of Christianity in England, and for the spread of the Word of God to the millions there, and around the world, which then followed.
Doing such work at that time, says Neander, "required bold spirit that no danger could intimidate." In doing so, Wiclef was attacked on all sides, because, they said, "he was introducing into the crowd a book intended exclusively for the use of clergy." In the general denunciation it was stated that "thus the gospel was opened by the laity to him, and women could read it, when previously it could only seal by the most learned of the clergy; in this way the pearl of the gospel was thrown out and trampled by pigs. " In the preface to his translation, Wiclef urged all the people to read the Holy Scriptures.
A feeling of fear and a shudder of joy pervaded the heart of the great German reformer, when, at the age of twenty, while examining the volumes of the library at the University of Erfurt, he took in his hands, for the first time in his life, a copy complete of the Holy Bible. "O God," he murmured, "if I could have one of these books, I would not ask for another treasure." A little later he found a Holy Bible in a convent, attached by a chain, to which he had constant access.
But all these Bibles that were there, and everywhere except England, were in the original language, and could be read only by the learned. Why, Luther thought, should the living Word be kept in dead languages? Following Wiclef's example, he decided to give the Bible to his countrymen in his own language. This made the New Testament in 1522, and the complete Bible, the greatest work of his life, in 1534.
Impressed by the idea that people should read the Scriptures in their mother tongue, William Tyndale likewise, in 1525, bequeathed to the English his translation of the New Testament, and later, portions of the Old Testament. His fervent desire for everyone to know the Bible was well expressed in declaring that if God spared his life, he would make the worker who wielded the plow know more about the Scriptures than the theologians of his day commonly knew.
The first complete printed English Bible was that of Miles Coverdale, published in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1535.

Burning of Holy Scriptures

As Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of king Zedekiah showed their disobedience to God by burning the writings of Jeremiah, and throwing the prophet into a dungeon (Jer. 36: 20-23; 38: 1-6), also now, burning the Bible and its translators seek men to withstand the tide of reform that is emerging.
The burning of the Scriptures was inaugurated in England, in the city of London, in 1527.
Forty-three years after the death of Wiclef, or in 1428 of the Christian era, by order of the Council of Constance his bones were exhumed and burned. On October 6, 1536, by order of Charles V of Germany, Tyndale was strangled and burned on a pole in Vilvorde, near Brussels. "If Luther does not recant," wrote Henry VIII of England, "let him and his writings be turned into flames."
Under the spiritual tyranny that prevailed in those days, this was the fate of many who sided with God and His Word.
But the Word of God could not be stopped forever. In trying to avoid its circulation, they soon discovered the men who started a company superior to their forces.
The Bible had taken a deep place in the hearts of the people. What kings and prelates at that time did to suppress and destroy it, kings and prelates today do to protect and assist it.


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