A friend of mine made some claims, in her blog, based on THE BIBLE. I haven’t talked to her about it yet, but have been poundering on what to say. I’ll tell you the background story later, in a more appropiate forum.Anyway…
Who gathered all the writtings and put together the first Bible? I know I’ve heard it before, but can’t remember the name. Did that particular group consider themselves Catholic, as we think of Catholics today? Any data you have will greatly help.
My mom’s Catholic Bible has more books than the King James version. Would that mean that King James actually corupted the original written word? Whose Bible would be the 'real" Bible? Once again, I’ll need data.
When it comes to such questions, there is a book by Henry G. Graham called “Where we got the Bible.” It was copyrighted in 1911 and written by a priest who was a converted Presbyterian minister in Scotland. It is available for about 15 bucks including shipping and handling from Catholic Answers ,2020 Gillespie Way, El Cajon, CA, 92020. Also from Amazon.com. CA can sell it also by phone at 1-888-291-8000. The last few pages tell the interesting story of Graham’s conversion. An inexpensive fascinating book that answers many of the kind of questions you are asking.
The first books of the Old Testament were composed and transmitted orally – you can see that in the two versions of the Creation, two versions of the flood, and three versions of Abraham saying Sarah is his sister (the third time, it’s Issac who makes that blunder.)
The oral stories were written down by several people (Scholars tend to identify four different people who wrote down the first five books of the Old Testament.)
Around 300 BC, the Ptolomies of Egypt were collecting books for the famous Library of Alexandria. They wanted the Jewish scriptures, but in Greek. A group of 70 (or 72) scholars translated the Scriptures into Greek – this version of the Bible is called the “Septaugent” for that reason. It became the most-used version, even in Judah, where people now spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew, and learned Greek for commercial purposes.
The canon of the Bible was not stable in those days – the Saducees, for example, rejected all but the first five books.
The Christians read “the memoirs of the Apostles” at communion (the Mass). Over time, Church tradition accepted certain documents as suitable for being read at mass and rejected others.
By the 4th Century, there was a huge mass of Christian literature – a good bit of it forged to uphold various heresies. In the late 4th Century, a formal examination of all these documents was made, and Pope Damasus proclaimed the Canon of the Bible – the list of legitimate books in both the Old and New Testaments.
Yes. Christians – including people like Martin Luther – recognized the canonicity of the Deutrocanonical books (the missing books) for more that 1500 years before the King James version.
The King James Version of the Bible includes all the same books as whatever Catholic version you would use. Most Protestands who use the KJV now, however, publish it without the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and Maccabees I and II. The Protestant-revised editions of the KJV also excludes portions of Esther and Daniel. (I could be missing others, and I’m sure I’ll be corrected :))
It’s not the King James version that corrupted the word–it’s the Protestants who created and refashioned it.
The King James Version as we have it today is not a complete Bible. It originally included the deuterocanonicals but it no longer does. Even then, the deuterocanonicals were in a separate part of the Bible as if they were not really sacred scripture.
Constantine actually commissioned the compilation and then copying of 50 Bibles as part of the Council of Nicea. But lists of scripture existed before then whether they were brought together in a codex as a complete Bible is hard to say. We have codexes that are older than Constantine, but most have sections missing. Is that because the codexes were damaged, or were the incomplete works to begin with.
Jerome translated the entire Bible into Latin in 400 AD, so we know that there was a complete Bible before that for him to translate from. Still many people think of Jerome as producing the first Bible.
All of these people were part of the Church. There was only one church at that time. So the idea of being Catholic as opposed to something else had not occurred to them. In that sense they couldn’t be Catholic as we think of it today. But they most certainly were Catholic. They were part of a universal Church that had already been calling itself catholic since the beginning of the 2nd century. The words “catholic” and “universal” are synonymns, so whenever you have just the one church that all Christians in the entire world are part of , of course you have the catholic Church. Understood that way, perhaps they were even more Catholic than Catholics today are.