History of the Bible (part two)
1250 AD Cardinal Hugo places chapter divisions into scripture
Years later (1661) Athias adds OT verses and Robert Stevens adds NT (1551)
1350 ca Scholars, like Wycliffe, are unfamiliar with original Hebrew and Greek languages. All translating is from Latin to English
1375-6 John Wycliffe writes “On Divine Dominion” and “On Civil Dominion” and declares that all people are under God. States that all political/religious authority should live righteous or lose their rule and possessions. Wycliffe is condemned for these views
1377 Pope condemns Wycliffe. Wycliffe condemns the church’s rituals, ceremonies, and doctrine not found in the Bible. He says Christians are saved by divine grace. People are responsible for themselves and it is then required that they have access to the scriptures.
1380 Wycliffe decides the best way to fight corrupt church is to give everyone a Bible. Wycliffe’s English New Testament translation from the Latin Vulgate is released (not printed)
1382 Wycliffe’s English Old Testament is complete
1384 Wycliffe dies of a stroke. In about 35 years, around 1420, the church is still so upset with Wycliffe they have his body dug up and burned and his ashes thrown in the Swift River.
1388 John Pruvey revises Wycliffe’s English translation
1425ca The Renaissance bring new interest to the study of the classical writings. An interest and need to study Greek and Hebrew follow.
1448 Pope Nicholas brings Codex Vaticanus to the Vatican
1500 Oxford is teaching Greek
1515 William Tyndale graduates from Oxford saying to a clergyman who resisted translating the scriptures: “If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dost.”
1516 Erasmus publishes his Textus Receptus. Erasmus used 5 Greek New Testament manuscripts:
1) 11th century MSS of Gospels, Acts, Epistles
2) 5th century MSS of Gospels
3) 12th –14th century of Acts and Epistles
4) 15th century of Acts and Epistles
5) 12th century of Revelation
-He also used Latin copies to fill in the gaps.
1517 Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on October 31. Read the 95 Theses HERE
1519 2nd Edition of Textus Receptus with revised Greek text.
1522 3rd Edition of Textus Receptus now includes 1 Jn5:7 that Erasmus did not want and had omitted. Martin Luther makes a German translation from Erasmus’1516 text.
1523 Tyndale goes to London; the bishop refuses to let him work on an English translation
1524 Tyndale goes to Germany to work on his English translation. Read Prefaces Here
1525 Tyndale finishes the first English translation directly from a Greek text. He used Erasmus’
1516 Textus Receptus. Germany smuggles 15,000 copies to England. England burns the copies as fast as they can find them.
1527 The fourth edition of Textus Receptus is finished. It includes along with theGreek, the Latin Vulgate and Erasmus’s translation into Latin
1535 The fifth edition of Textus Receptus is finished
1536 October 6, Tyndale is strangled and burnt by England’s King Henry VIII and the Church of England. Tyndale dies praying, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” This prayer is almost immediately answered. . .
1537 King Henry VIII breaks ties with the pope and orders royal funds used to print Miles Coverdale’s English Bible. Henry did not know Coverdale’s work was simply the finishing of Tyndale’s OT work. It was printed along with Tyndales NT. This Bible becomes the first English Bible Authorized for public use. It is called “TheGreat Bible”
1543 King Henry VIII changes his mind along with parliament and makes it a crime to use an English Bible with out a licensed person. England again begins to burn Tyndale and Coverdale Bibles.
1551 Stephens adds verse numbers to the Bible text.
1553 (Father Ephream uses some old vellum in a Syrian Monestary to record sermons by erasing the GNT MSS from 400’s)
1554 Queen Mary of England attempts to restate Roman Catholicism in England. She executes protestants. She executes Bible translators: John Rogers and Thomas Cranmer. Coverdale is arrested. Protestants flee England.
1550’s “Geneva Bible” Whitingham, an English exile, uses Beza’s Latin and some Greek to make a small inexpensive Bible with John Calvin’s strongly evangelical notes.
See Romans 1 from Geneva Bible in original spelling Here.
1551 Verse numbers added by Stephanus when he publishes his 4th edition of the T.R
1568 “Bishop’s Bible” English church leaders realize the “Geneva Bible” is a better translation than the Great Bible. The Great Bible is revised and called “Bishop’s Bible.” This became the main Bible until the “King James”
1580 (Catherine de Medici of France dies, her books are placed in the French National Library in Paris. Included unknowingly is Father Ephraem’s book of sermons coied in 1553 on GNT MSS from 400’s. They will be discovered in 254 years in 1834)
1611 King James Bible is finished using “Textus Receptus” as the Greek Text
1627 Codex Alexandrinus, Brought to England from Greek Orthodox in the East. It is a MSS from the 400’s and it includes Revelation.
1700 John Mills produces an improved “Textus Receptus”
1730 Bengel’s Greek New Testament deviates from Erasmus’
Textus Receptus due to Codex Alexandrinus
1750 Textus Receptus itself begins to change
1809 Napoleon takes Pope and the Vatican Library into exile. Someone takes note of some ancient manuscripts on parchment.
1815 Vatican Library Returned
1831 Lachman’s New Greek New Testament text is based on Manuscripts from 300’s
1834 A student in the back stacks of the French National Library in Paris is working on a term paper on Father Ephream. While reading Father Ephream’s hand written sermons he notices that the Father had erased something first. Ephraemi Rescriptus, a GNT MSS from the 400’s is discovered.
1843 Someone remembers seeing the Codex Vaticanus in the Vatican. Tregelles and Tischendorf are allowed to view it.
1844 Tischendorf discovers Codex Sinaiticus in a monestary at Mt.Sinia and saves it from the fire. It is an almost complete Bible MSS from 350 AD
1845 Tregelles memorizes Codex Vaticanus as the pope gave him permission to read it for a few hours a day, but could not take notes, use paper or pen, and could not remove it. He read it and memorized it in all three languages while guards observed him. He would return to his room each night and write it out. By the end of the summer he had a copy of the text of Codex Vaticanus.
1849 Henry Alford compiles his Greek New Testament Text
1857 Tregelles begins publishing his GNT text between 1857-1872 that he memorized from Codex Vaticanus
1859 Pope is very upset with Tregelles’ work. The pope reacts by having Codex Vaticanus photographed and released to the public. This manuscript had been available at the Vatican since
1481 and dates back to 320. It includes almost the entire Bible.
1860’s By now there are three very good Greek New Testament Text that surpass the Textus Receptus:
1)Tregelles’ 2) Tischendorf’s 3) Westcott and Hort’s
1870 The Convocation of Canterbury decided to revise the King James. Sixty-five British scholars made significant changes to the KJ Bible. They corrected mistranslations of Hebrew words and reformatted the poetic passages into poetic form. The NT had thousands of changes based upon better textual evidence.The English Revised Version is released. American scholars were invited to participate with the understanding that if their suggestions were not accepted they could not publish their own version until 1901. In 1901 several of the surviving members published the American Standard Version
1871 John Nelson Darby, Plymouth Brethren, made a new translation into English using mainly Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus called New Translation Bible.
1872 J.B. Rotherham publishes a translation of Tregelles text, in
which he attempted to reflect the emphasis inherent in the Greek text. This was The Emphasized Bible.
1881 Westcott and Hort release their GNT text. King James is revised. They attempt to make each Greek word same in English.
1900 Oxyrhynchus Papyri found. 2000 stuffed crocodiles are found containing a library of papyri from the first century that include many daily documents but also Greek grammars, etymologies and much more. This is a turning point in Greek studies. See a list of all the papyri found here.
1901 American Standard Version is released by the American scholars who had joined the 65 British scholars in 1870 to revise the King James and form the English Revised version.
1902 The Twentieth Century New Testament 20 men and women worked to produce a smooth-flowing easy to read translation.
1903 Richard Weymouth published The New Testament in Modern Speech. Weymouth had a Doctor of Literature from the University of London and spent his life producing an edition of the Greek text (1862) that was more accurate than Textus Receptus.
1906 A Jewish Temple Library from 600 BC is discovered in Elephantine, Egypt.
1913 James Moffiatt, a Scottish scholar published The New Testament: A New Translation. Unfortunately it was based on Soden’s Greek New Testament text that is now considered defective.
1923 Edgar J. Goodspeed, a professor of New Testament at the University of Chicago released The Twentieth Century New Testament. He had criticized Weymouth’s and Moffiatt’s translations and had been challenged to do better.
1927 Adolf Deissman writes “Light From the Ancient East” after 20 years of study of the papyri of Oxyrhynchos.
1931 November 19, the Chester Beatty Papyri from 90’s-200’s AD are purchased from a dealer in Egypt. Three manuscripts contain a large portion of the New Testament. P45 (200’s AD) contains portions of Gospels and Acts. P46 (90’s AD) almost all of Paul’s epistles and Hebrews. P47 (200’s AD) contain Rev. 9-17.
1933 Russian Communist, who see no value but cash in Codex Sinaiticus, sell it to Great Britian.
1947 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered
1952 The English Revised and the American Standard Version were accurate but hard to read. New manuscript finds demanded a revision of the Greek Text. The result was the Revised Standard Version generally based on Masoretic Text for the OT (1952) and the 17th edition of Nestle Text for the NT (1946). It was a revision which sought to preserve all that is best in the English Bible. It was well received by Protestants and son became their standard text. Evangelicals and fundamentals rejected it mainly because of Isaiah 7:14, “Look, a young woman is with child and whall bear a son.” It did not use the word “virgin.”
1954 Bodmer Papyrus published
1961 The New English Bible, it was to be a fresh translation in modern idiom (though extremely British) of the original languages. This was not a revision. They produced readings from different text never before produced in English.
1962 The Living Bible, Kenneth Taylor’s paraphrase of the NT Epistles. Taylor paraphrased from the American Standard Version.
1966 Good News for Modern Man (NT) Published by the American Bible Society. Promoted and made affordable sold more than 35,000,000 copies in six years. Influenced by the linguistic theory of dynamic equivalence
1971 New American Standard, this is a revision of the American Standard Version (1901). The popularity of the American Standard Translation was failing. 32 Scholars who believed in a literal translation prepared a new revision. Very good study Bible but hard to read and 30 years behind in the area of the text.
1976 Due to the success of the Good News Bible NT of 1966 the entire Bible was done: The Good News Bible: Today’s English Version.
1978 New International Version, a completely new rendering of the original languages done by an international group of more than 100 scholars. It is an excellent thought-for-thought translation in contemporary English. Scholars from U.S. Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand sought to use vocabulary common to the major English-speaking nations of the world.
The NT was finished in 1973 and the OT in 1978. Since 1987 the NIV has outsold the KJ, a feat never accomplished by any other translation.
1979 Novum Testamentum Graece – 1
1982 New King James
1985 New International Version revised
1986 New Jerusalem Bible
Novum Testamentum Graece – 2, corrections had been made
1989 New English Bible revised
1990 New Revised Standard
2008 You are studying the Bible on www.generationword.com !!!
KEY POINTS (back to the top)
- Bible Chapters were added in 1250 AD
- It was a crime to use a Bible without a license in England in 1543
- Key people: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Tischendorf, Tregelles
- Textus Receptus (the recieved text) was the Greek text of the New Testament that was put together in 1516 using five Greek manuscripts.
- The King James Bible is the English translation of the Greek Textus Receptus
- Key manuscripts: Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus
- Oxyrhynchos Papyri
OTHER SITES (back to the top)
BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: (back to the top)
- Which Bible? by David Otis Fuller
- The Battle for the Bible by Harold Lindsell
- The Complete Guide to Bible Versions by Philip W. Comfort
- Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament by Philip W. Comfort
- The King James Version Defended by Edward F. Hills
- How We Got the Bible by Neil R. Lightfoot .
QUESTIONS (back to the top)
- When were the first chapter divisions placed into scripture?
- In the 1300's who declared that all people should be able to read the Bible since they were all individually responsible for their lives before God?
- When did scholars begin to study Greek?
- Who was the first to translate the Bible into English from the Greek?
- What year did Martin Luther post his 95 theses?
- Who's translation did King Henry VII use to print the Great Bible? Why is this ironic?
- What year did Stephen add verses to the Bible text?
- What was Erasmus Greek text of the New Testament called?
- What is the name of the Bible that included John Calvin's notes?
- English church leaders improved the Great Bible and called it _______.
- Who discovered the Codex Sinaiticus?
- Who memorized the Codex Vaticanus?
- What major event concerning the Greek language occured around 1900?
- What year were the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered?
- What year was the NIV Bible finished?
- What was the first year that the NIV outsold the KJ translation?
Galyn Wiemers with two pages from his Bible collection:
Left: a page from the 1560 Geneva Bible
Right: a page from the first edition of the King James Bible from 1611-1650.