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Description of the Holy Bible – Part 4


Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Those whom God used to write His message are akin to confidential secretaries, who wrote exactly what their bosses dictated out. It becomes clear that in the latter case, the originator of the document—the true author—is the boss; not the secretary. In the same way, it is reasonable to imagine that God worked through those who were involved in the process of writing down and translating his message.

How the Bible was given
Nine Ways the Bible was given: Through
• Audible voice of God (Ex 19:19; Deut 5; Mat 3:16-17; Jn 12:28)
• Angels (Acts 7:38; Heb 2:2) • Prophets (Acts 3:21; Heb 1:1)
• Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1; Rev 1) • Apostles (Acts 1:2; Eph 4)
• Visions (Isa 6; Dan 7-8; Ezek 1) • Dreams (Dan 2; Mat 1:20; 2:12) • Revelation • Inspiration (2 Tim 3:15-17)

Languages of the Bible
Three languages were used by the first biblical writers: Hebrew is the main language of the Old Testament, a language of the ‘Semitic’ group, spoken throughout Mesopotamia. The OT, with the exception of Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Jer 10:11; Dan 2:4-7:28, was written in Hebrew. These passages were written in Aramaic (the so-called Chaldee), a dialect related to Hebrew, which gradually took its place as the spoken language after the exile. Aramaic was the language of commerce towards the end of the Old Testament period and was the spoken language of Palestine at the time of Jesus. A few passages in Ezra and Daniel, and Jeremiah 10: 11 are Aramaic, and some Aramaic words are used by the Gospel writers. Greek. The New Testament was written in Greek, but a particular type known as ‘common Greek’― a simplified form of classical Greek. The Greek language was used throughout the New Testament.

The language of the N.T. was the common (Hellenistic) Greek or Hebrew-Greek, so-called because the Jews introduced so many of their own idioms into Greek, which became well-known through the influence of the Septuagint and Jewish businessmen who travelled everywhere. This was the commercial language spoken throughout the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, and it was the most adapted to express Christian doctrine. The Bible is now printed in over 1,100 languages and dialects.

There was a Greek version of the Old Testament known as the “Septuagint” (often denoted by the Roman numerals ‘LXX’ because the tradition is that seventy scholars translated it), translated in Alexandria in Egypt in the third century B.C.

How the Bible was written
The Bible is divided into the Old Testament and New Testament. The word ‘testament’ is a translation of a Greek word, which means ‘covenant’. The Old Testament is about the old covenant or agreement made between God and Israel and based on the Law. The New Testament is about the new agreement made between God and His people and based on Jesus’ death and resurrection.

THE OLD TESTAMENT: Here is a simple summary of how the Old Testament became what it is.
Written accounts, often using older writings, were carefully preserved from the earliest times and verified by oral tradition. These were collected together.

Editing and re-editing brought together collections of material and new material was added. Groups of prophets (called ‘schools’) saved the work of the great prophets. Scholars, known as ‘scribes,’ edited and updated the books, thereby passing on a living tradition. This work was most important during the time in exile, and great care would have been taken to preserve sacred writings. Mobile: +234 803 344 6614; +234 808 123 7987

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