Ancient Manuscripts - Champions of God's Word:

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Ancient Manuscripts - Champions of God's Word:

Post  Admin on Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:42 pm

Ancient Manuscripts - Champions of God's Word:

INTRODUCTION:

When many of the well known early great Bibles such as the Douay-Rheims, the Authorized King James, the Great Bible, etc. were translated only a few ancient manuscripts were available to the translators. These were Jerome's Latin Vulgate and the Vatican 1209.

In the beginning of the 19 th. Century higher critics sought to undermine the Bible's authority. Many scholars were challenging the authenticity of the Bible text itself. However, defenders of the Bible maintained that new "Champions" would arise in the form of yet undiscovered ancient Bible manuscripts that would unquestionably uphold the integrity of God's (YHWH's) word.

WHY DISCOVERY OF MORE ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS WAS IMPORTANT:

Why would discovery of more ancient manuscripts be so important? Simple, in manuscripts older than those extant, and not under the control of the Catholic church could be found, they would serve as silent witnesses to the purity of the Bible text. Also, such manuscripts could uncover and expose the few places where erroneous renderings, either intentional or by human error, had crept into the text.

Some of the most vicious debates on the authenticity of the Bible raged in Germany. This spared a young professor, Konstantin von Tischendorf, who rejected this foolish higher criticisms, to go on a search for ancient manuscripts. His first journey in 1844 was unbelievable successful. He found parts of an ancient copy of the Septuagint, or Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures in a monastery in the Sinai.

He knew there must be more and got Alexander II, Czar of Russia, to finance an expedition to find more. He returned to the Sinai, properly financed, and returned with the remainder of the Septuagint, now known as the Codex Sinaiticus, which is still one of the oldest Bible manuscripts in existence. The Czar also financed the translation of this remarkable find.

MORE GREAT BIBLE TREASURES COME FORTH:

Another scholar, Abraham Firkovich, a Karaite scholar was also searching for ancient manuscripts among his people, the Karaites. The Karaites who were descendents of Jews exiled to Babylon after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylon's who eventually migrated to the Crimea region on the shores of the Black Sea. They rejected the Talmud, but emphasized the reading of the scriptures. The Crimean Karaites were eager to present to the Czar proof of their distinctness from rabbinic Jews.

Their champion, Abraham Firkovich, undertook his search among his fellow Karaites who had a custom of never destroying worn-out copies of the scriptures that contained the Tetragrammaton, the four consonant (YHWH) divine name. Instead, they carefully preserved them in genizah, which means 'hiding place" in ancient Hebrew because of their deep respect for the divine name.

Abraham Kirkovich started a search of all manuscripts in genizahs, many having been there for centuries, and he amassed a great collection which numbered a staggering 2,412 items. This collection included 975 manuscripts and scrolls.

One of these manuscripts is today called the Petersburg Codex of the Latter Prophets and is one of the oldest existent copies of the Hebrew Scriptures. Another was the renown Leningrad Codex - B19a, which is the world's oldest copy of the complete Hebrew Scriptures, and is sometimes called the single most important manuscript of the Old Testament since it has been used as the guide and/or central text for most modern critical editions of the Hebrew Bible, such as Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), Kittel's Biblia Hebraica (KBH), American Standard Version (ASV), New World Translation (NWT), the New English Bible (NEB), An American Translation (AAT), etc.

WHERE ARE THESE ITEMS TODAY?

Most of these documents are now basically located in the Manuscript room of the National Library of Russian in Saint Petersburg or the British Museum. Indeed we owe a lot to Konstantin von Tischendorf, Abraham Firkovich, and Alexander II, Czar of Russian [sources - article by Klaus-Zehnder-Tischendorf in 2002, translation of Spamers Illustriete Weltgeschichte - Leipzig 1898, Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Encyclopedia on Protestant Christianity: Biographies, the Jewish Encyclopedia, The Karaite Encyclopedia (Frankfort 1995) by Nathan Schur, JTS - The Library - http://www.jtsa.edu/library/news/btl/btl_12_1.shtml (Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary).

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Francis David said it long ago, "Neither the sword of popes...nor the image of death will halt the march of truth."Francis David, 1579, written on the wall of his prison cell." Read the book, "What Does The Bible Really Teach" and the Bible today!

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