Table of Contents
Image: The Leningrad Codex's cover page E of Folio 474a. This is a very old manuscript of the Hebrew bible and former possession of Karaïte Jews whom claim its author was Karaite.
Bible Manuscripts - Overview
Biblical manuscripts, copies and translations are authentic documents of any handwritten copy or portion of text of an original biblical author or book. These manuscripts are important as they authentic the original text of the biblical books and help us to understand their early interpretation and inspiration.
Every original text was copied many times over by different scribes verifying the original source as the copies are found to independently authenticate what the original text said.
Fragments of the original texts or manuscripts are found in various conditions that help add to the authenticity of the copies of the various version of the text we have today.
The fact that the bible is known to be 99% consistent among all translations and worldwide copies is a staggering and awe inspiring. This fact points to the power of God preserving His word through all of time.
Autographs - the original texts written by the original authors.
Manuscripts - the earliest copies that were made from the autographs.
Translations - a specific copy of a manuscript that was translated into a different language.
Old Testament - Manuscripts, Copies and Fragments of the Bible
Hebrew Manuscripts & Texts
The Aleppo Codex
The Leningrad Codex
Vulgate Text (Latin Vulgate)
Peshitta Text (Syriac Peshitta)
Masoretic Text (MT)
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia-
The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS)
Samaritan Pentateuch (SP)
Elephantine Passover Papyrus
Ketef Hinnom Scrolls
Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon
Manuscript Translation Derivatives
This chart shows the relationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament:
Mt - denotes the Masoretic Text
LXX - denotes the original Septuagint
X (Aleph) - Codex Sinaiticus
A - Codex Alexandrinus
B - Codex Vaticanus
Q - Codex Marchalianus
New Testament - Manuscripts, Copies and Fragments of the Bible
The New Testament has been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work of literature. It has over 5800 known complete and fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10k Latin and over 9000 in other languages including Syriac, Coptic, Gothic, Ethiopian, Slavic etc. dates ranging from 100 a.d to 1500 a.d.
List of Greek New Testament Manuscripts
Most of the oldest Greek manuscripts and first generation copies of the New Testament are fragmented pieces that remain of the original. Most of these fragments from the first few centuries a.d. where written on papyrus, the typical writing material of that time and region. Papyrus is writing paper or parchment paper made from the reeds that grow along the Nile river. Most of the books of the new testament where originally letter written to various churches in the first century. The known composition of these letters being bound into books is found to date to the 4th and 5th century.
Various manuscripts date between 32 B.C and 640 A.D
Rylands Papyri is a collection of thousands of Papyri Fragments and documents