How We Got Our Bible

Written by Usko Haber

November 20, 2022

Bible facts

Many young people asked, the bible is written thousand of years ago, is it not outdated and irrelevant to our generation? The answer is a big, affirmative NO!


The bible is one of the oldest books in the world and was written  over a period of 1500 years by over 40 authors from all backgrounds —kings,  prophets, fishermen and more. Yet, when you read the 66 books in the bible from Genesis to Revelation, you will discover an incredible consistency of the love, compassion, justice and redemption plan of God for men.

No other book has ever been so loved and at the same time, so hated. It has been the target of many book burning activities and yet it is the best selling book and longest preseved book in history.

Wordsrated Book statistics in 2022 showed the following:

    • In the world today, there are more than 80,000 different versions of the Bible that generate at least 1 sale annually
    • Bible sales revenue per year is approximately $430 million as of 2020
    • 20 million bibles are sold each year (38 bibles are sold per minute)

An overview of the bible

The bible has two major sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament:

There are five basic categories of books in the Old Testament:

Books in the bible Quantity Category
Genesis to Deuteronomy 5 books Law
Joshua to Esther 12 books History
Job to Song of Solomon 5 books Poetry
Isaiah to Daniel 5 books Major Prophets
Hosea to Malachi 12 books Minor Prophets
The first five books were written by Moses, and is called the Torah. The following is extracted from Wikipedia:

The Talmud holds that the Torah was written by Moses, with the exception of the last eight verses of Deuteronomy, describing his death and burial, being written by Joshua.[42] Alternatively, Rashi quotes from the Talmud that, “God spoke them, and Moses wrote them with tears”.[43][44] The Mishnah includes the divine origin of the Torah as an essential tenet of Judaism.[45] According to Jewish tradition, the Torah was recompiled by Ezra during Second Temple period.[46][47]

Canonizing the Old Testament

The word “canon”  mean “measuring rod” and is the title given to those religious writings that have met the standards to be included in the Old Testament.  Before a book caould be included in the Old Testament, the canonizers asked,

      • Is it divinely inspired?
      • Was is written by a prophet or spokesman for God?
      • Is it genuine and can it be traced back to the time and place as well as the writer?

The work of canonizing the Old Testament was done during the days of Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Jesus quoted the Old Testament many times, indicating His approval of the Old Testament texts. Hence, we are confident that the Old Testament is God’s divinely inspired Word.


The first translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into another language was called the Septuagint. Seventy scholars were brought to Alexandra, Egypt, to create this Greek translation.

The first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE.[4] The remaining translations are presumably from the 2nd century BCE.[5][6][7]

Manuscripts of the Septuagint have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and were thought to have been in use among various Jewish sects at the time.[54]

Dead Sea Scrolls

According to Wikipedia, the Dead Sea Scrolls were ancient manuscripts discovered in 1946/7:

The Dead Sea Scrolls (also the Qumran Caves Scrolls) are ancient Jewish and Hebrew religious manuscripts discovered in 1946/7 at the Qumran Caves in what was then Mandatory Palestine, near Ein Feshkha in the West Bank, on the northern shore of the Dead Sea. Dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 1st century CE,[1] the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered to be a keystone in the history of archaeology with great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the oldest surviving manuscripts of entire books later included in the biblical canons, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism. At the same time they cast new light on the emergence of Christianity and of Rabbinic Judaism.[2]

The Psalms scroll, one of the Dead Sea scrollsHebrew transcription included. English translation available here. By Photograph: the Israel Antiquities Authority 1993; photographer not named. – Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikipedia.

The New Testament:

The New Testament is divided into five sections:

Books in the bible Quantity Category
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John 4 books The Gospels
Acts 1 book History of Early Church
Romans to Hebrews 14 books Paul’s Epistles
James to Jude7  7 books General Epistles
Revelation 1 book Prophecy

The New Testament Authority

The early church used the Old Testament in their services with the same authority as did the Jews in their synagogues. As the New Testament books were completed, they were given the same respect as the phrophets or Moses and were used right along with the Old Testament Scripture.

In 1 Timothy 5:18, apostle Paul quotes from Luke 10:7, citing it as “Scripture”. In 2 Peter 3:1-2, apostle Peter placed his and the other apostle’ writings on par with those of the Old Testament prophets.

Ancient Translation of the  New Testament Authority

The New Testament was originally written in Greek and the work of translating it into other languages began early.

The Peshito or Syriac translation was written in Syrochaldaic or Aramaic and was translated before 150 A.D became the official Scriptures of the Eastern churches.

The Latin Vulgate, translted by Jerome in the fourth century, became the Bible of the Western churches.

Manuscript on parchment of the book is Peshitta: Syrian Aramaic translation of the Bible. May Edessa Greece, 9th century. Displayed in the National Library at Givat Ram, Jerusalem. Photo by JHistory, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
8th-century Vulgate (Codex Sangallensis 63) with the Comma Johanneum at the bottom margin. Photo by Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Two important facts about the New Testament

First, the New Testament was completed by the second century.

Second, the authencity of our New Testament can be traced back to within 100 years or less of the apostles. Even the book of Revelation, written by John on Patmos was in A.D. 95.

Emperor Constantine authorized Eusebius

When Emperor Constantine professed Christianity in A.D. 312, he authorised Eusebius to prepare 50 copies of the Scriptures for the churches. The tests of canonicity were much the same as they were for the Old Testament:

  1. Was this written by an apostle or a close associate of an apostle?
  2. Does it agree with the doctrine of the Lord and His apostles?
  3. Is it genuine in regards to facts, the date of writing and the author?
  4. Was it accepted for use in the early church?

The 27 New Testament books we use today were formally ratified by the Council of Carthage in A.D. 397, which only recognized the books that had already been used by the church for over three centuries.

Biblical Manuscript

Before printing machinese were invented, the bible were handwritten. A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the bible. The orginal manuscript of the New Testament weree written on payprus, a material that come from an aquatic plant in Egypt. During the fourth century, vellum came into use, a much-improved writing material.

A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. The Bible was written in Belgium in 1407 AD, for reading aloud in a monastery. Photo by Adrian Pingstone  – Own work, Public Domain, wikipedia
Papyrus (P. BM EA 10591 recto column IX, beginning of lines 13–17), Public Domain, Link
By Original authors were the barons and King John of England. Uploaded by Earthsound. – This file has been provided by the British Library from its digital collections. It is also made available on a British Library website., Public Domain, Link
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There are more than 13,000 manuscripts of the New Testament

According to Tim Layhe Charting the End Times, there are 4000 Greek manuscripts of New Testament, 8000 of the Latin Vulgate, at least 1000 of other ancient versions, 1700 fragments of the Hebrew Old Testament and 350 copies of the Greek Septuagint. This is the extend that the bible was being back up!

The Bible was written by God through "holy men of old", preserved supernaturally.

Every word written in the bible is God breathed. It is accurate and there is no unnecessary details in the bible. It is the most reliable truths. The bible stated that God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to come and take our place, to sacrifice for us so that we can be forgiven and become children of God, by believing in Jesus Christ. If you would like to believe in Jesus, all you have to do is to say the following prayer:

Dear LORD Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe that you love me and chose to die for my sins so that I can live a victorious life. I receive you right now as my LORD and Saviour and from this time forth, I am a new creation, a child of God Most High. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.