Who compiled the first Bible?


#1

There’s the Synods, but I thought they made lists of Christian writings to be considered real and inspired by God. But who actually compiled the Bible?


#2

Do you mean who made the very first physical Bibles (i.e. a single book with all the writings considered inspired contained it under one cover)? :confused:


#3

I think the oldest known Bible is the Codex Sinaiticus.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus (330-360 A.D.)

Here is what I found:

Scribes and correctors[edit]

Tischendorf believed that four separate scribes (whom he named A, B, C and D) copied the work and that five correctors (whom he designated a, b, c, d and e) amended portions. He posited that one of the correctors was contemporaneous with the original scribes, and that the others worked in the 6th and 7th centuries. It is now agreed, after Milne and Skeat’s reinvestigation, that Tischendorf was wrong—scribe C never existed.[70] According to Tischendorf, scribe C wrote the poetic books of the Old Testament. These are written in a different format from the rest of the manuscript – they appear in two columns (the rest of books is in four columns), written stichometrically. Tischendorf probably interpreted the different formatting as indicating the existence of another scribe.[71] The three remaining scribes are still identified by the letters that Tischendorf gave them: A, B, and D.[71] Correctors were more, at least seven (a, b, c, ca, cb, cc, e).[3]
Modern analysis identifies at least three scribes:
Scribe A wrote most of the historical and poetical books of the Old Testament, almost the whole of the New Testament, and the Epistle of Barnabas
Scribe B was responsible for the Prophets and for the Shepherd of Hermas
Scribe D wrote the whole of Tobit and Judith, the first half of 4 Maccabees, the first two-thirds of the Psalms, and the first five verses of Revelation
Scribe B was a poor speller, and scribe A was not very much better; the best scribe was D.[72] Metzger states: “scribe A had made some unusually serious mistakes”.[60] Scribes A and B more often used nomina sacra in contracted forms (ΠΝΕΥΜΑ contracted in all occurrences, ΚΥΡΙΟΣ contracted except in 2 occurrences), scribe D more often used forms uncontracted.[73] D distinguished between sacral and nonsacral using of ΚΥΡΙΟΣ.[74] His errors are the substitution of ΕΙ for Ι, and Ι for ΕΙ in medial positions, both equally common. Otherwise substitution of Ι for initial ΕΙ is unknown, and final ΕΙ is only replaced in word ΙΣΧΥΕΙ, confusing of Ε and ΑΙ is very rare.[72] In the Book of Psalms this scribe has 35 times ΔΑΥΕΙΔ instead of ΔΑΥΙΔ, while scribe A normally uses an abbreviated form ΔΑΔ.[75] Scribe A’s was a “worse type of phonetic error”. Confusion of Ε and ΑΙ occurs in all contexts.[72] Milne and Skeat characterised scribe B as “careless and illiterate”.[76] The work of the original scribe is designated by the siglum א*.[3]


#4

Yes, that’s what I mean.


#5

We don’t know exactly who was first, but we do have a rough idea when they came out: the 4th-5th centuries, just around the same time as those local synods.

JamalChristophr already mentioned Codex Sinaiticus; that and the slightly earlier Codex Vaticanus are two of the very first ‘Bibles’ in the modern sense, in that they contain most or all of the writings considered authoritative in a single volume.

Before that (4th century), the technology of the codex was just not advanced enough for that to be feasible. (That’s why many of the earliest codices of the NT contain either just single books or just a specific grouping of books: say, some or all of the four canonical gospels or Paul’s letters.) Besides, most Christians from before the 4th century were poor. To make a Sinaiticus or Vaticanus-size Bible - there were no such thing as ‘pocket Bibles’ - you gotta have a lot of time and money (for one, you gotta have to slaughter a lot of animals to make the necessary parchment). So it’s not coincidental that the first Bibles (in the modern sense) came out when Christianity had a rise in status, when Christians could finally finance this type of thing.

Eusebius tells about how in 331, Constantine commissioned him (Eusebius) to have fifty Bibles made. (Athanasius of Alexandria also received a similar commission from Constantine slightly later.) We don’t know where these Bibles are right now; some 19th and early 20th scholars even thought that Sinaiticus or Vaticanus (or both) could have been among these fifty Bibles (many scholars today however reject this theory).

So we know at least that Constantine was one of the first persons to commission a Bible in the modern sense. But was he the very first? We don’t know for sure.


#6

Thanks.


closed #7

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