Dating the new testament manuscripts

The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. It was presented to the Russian Czar and in 1933 was bought by England. The Bodmer Papyri and Bodmer Papyri II are manuscripts dating from AD 150 to 200.

Produced by Jewish monastic Essenes, the scrolls number about 800; 200 of which are of biblical material. The five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.

These include one Isaiah scroll which was written between 150-100 BC, another around 50 BC, a commentary on Habakkuk penned between 100-50 BC, and two other documents.

The Septuagint, or LXX, is the oldest Greek translation of the Old Testament. Harrison confirms its early use: "While there are certain differences in New Testament usage, there is no doubt that of all Greek versions the LXX was employed predominantly and that it enjoyed independent existence in the period just prior to the time of Christ." (a codex is a bound volume of cut sheets).

Scholars recognise three "sections" in the Book of Isaiah: Proto-Isaiah (the original 8th century Isaiah); Deutero-Isaiah (an anonymous prophet living in Babylon during the exile); and Trito-Isaiah (an anonymous author or authors in Jerusalem immediately after the exile).

The Book of Jeremiah exists in two versions, Greek (the version used in Orthodox Christian Bibles) and Hebrew (Jewish, Catholic and Protestant Bibles), with the Greek representing the earlier version.

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The five books are drawn from four "sources" (distinct schools of writers rather than individuals): the Priestly source, the Yahwist and the Elohist (these two are often referred to collectively as the "non-Priestly" source), and the Deuteronomist.

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