Old Testament Manuscripts

Richard Anthony

Another reason why bibles are not reliable is because of the Old Testament manuscripts that bibles are translated from.

Corrupted Manuscripts

The Old Testament found in bibles today is not even translated from the original Hebrew texts! They are translated from the Masoretic Hebrew texts (from the 8th-10th century AD), not the original Hebrew texts. By the time bibles came around (in the 15th century), the original Hebrew had been lost, both the manuscripts and the language. There is not a man alive today who knows how to pronounce or read the original Hebrew language.

Around the 8th-10th century AD, the Masorites took the liberty within themselves to add vowel signs to the original Hebrew Alphabet. The original Hebrew alphabet had only 22 letters and had no vowels. This 10th century manuscript is what all bibles base their Old Testament translations on.

Now, if one starts taking liberties within himself and says, "Gee, there aren't any vowels in this alphabet. Why don't I start adding these little points in there and I'll re-create something here. I'll just add what God left out. It was a mistake for God to omit vowels in His alphabet, so I must correct His mistake." What has he now done to a language that was perfect at its conception? Can anybody improve on God? Can anybody do better than God Himself? If God intended for the Hebrew alphabet to have vowels, He would have added them himself!

We are not to tamper with the Word of God or His ordained languages, i.e., Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, English, etc. We are not to take away or add to God's Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Jeremiah 26:2, Revelation 22:18-19). But this is what the Masorites blatantly did! There is not one place in the Masoretic Hebrew where they can show that God ever authorized them to change the original language by adding vowel points to it. And by adding the vowels, they changed the words, and by changing the words, they have changed the meaning of these words, and by changing the meaning of words, they have changed the Word of God. And if they have changed the Word of God within the Masoretic Hebrew text, we must take care.

Two References

The Meaning of Words in the Masoretic Hebrew is Lost

The copy of the Holy Scriptures produced by the Jewish Publication Society, being the Jewish Bible, does not contain the New Testament. In reviewing it, we discovered some interesting things. One shocking observation was discovering hundreds of footnotes as the following:

  • Exact meaning of Hebrew uncertain,
  • Syntax of Hebrew unclear,
  • The traditional reading madhebah is of unknown meaning,
  • Grammar of Hebrew unclear,
  • Meaning of first line uncertain,
  • Meaning of verse uncertain in part,
  • Force of Hebrew uncertain,
  • Construction of the verses uncertain, etc..
  • This was very shocking. We are usually told the Bible is inerrant. The Jews were the guardians of the Old Testament who were extremely diligent to preserve the text that not one jot or tittle was added or removed. Nearly all Christian Bibles rely on the Jewish Masoretic Hebrew text for translating the Old Testament into current languages. How was it possible for the translators to produce an "inerrant" Bible, when the "guardians of the so called 'inerrant' Hebrew text", did not know the meaning of many words and passages?

    The Pronunciation of Words in the Masoretic Hebrew is Lost

    "The English names of the Hebrew letters are written with much less uniformity than those of the Greek because there has been more dispute respecting their powers. This is directly contrary to what one would have expected. Since the Hebrew names are words originally significant of other things in the letters and the Greek are not. The original pronunciation of both languages is admitted to be lost." The Grammar of English Grammar, 9th Edition, 1865.

    A Maxim of Law states, "He who does not speak the truth is a betrayer of the truth." So, if people are doctoring up the truth intentionally, or they are not really speaking the truth, they are actually betraying the truth!

    It is worth noting that, as far as the Hebrew text is concerned, the King James was translated from the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text; named after Jacob ben Chayyim, under whose editorship it was printed in 1524-1525, while almost all modern English bibles translated since 1898 rely heavily on Kittel's revised Masoretic text; Rudolf Kittel was a German rationalistic higher critic, rejecting Biblical inerrancy and firmly devoted to evolutionism.

    So, if the original Hebrew language has been lost, and all the Old Testament books contained in bibles are based upon a corrupted 8th-10th century manuscript that has little in common with the Original Hebrew Text, is God's Word still available to us today? Well, God has promised us that He would preserve his Word (1 Peter 1:23, 25, Luke 21:33, Psalms 12:6-7; 119:89, 152, 160, Isaiah 40:8; 59:21, John 10:35, Matthew 24:35). So, just where is God's Word preserved today?

    The Answer

    There is a manuscript still in existence today that was around during the time of Christ in the first century. The Septuagint (also known as the LXX - the Greek Old Testament) WAS translated from the original Hebrew Text, 285 years before Christ, into the language that was then predominant in the world, Greek!

    Dear reader, it is a fact that the New Testament manuscripts were all written in Greek. The reason they were all written in Greek is because that is the predominant language that Jesus and the apostles spoke. Jesus spoke at least three languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramic), but the predominant language spoken, by far, was Greek! And the gentiles to whom they preached certainly did not speak Hebrew, they spoke Greek! The reason Greek was the predominant language, and the reason the Septuagint came about, is because in 400 B.C., Alexander the Great had come through and conquered many of those nations, and Greek became the predominant language. So, around 285 B.C., they took the original Hebrew Text and translated it into Greek for those Jews that no longer spoke Hebrew, and also to convert many of the Greeks over to Judaism.

    By the time Christ was begotten in the first century, Hebrew was very rarely spoken, because they were conquered by a Greek speaking nation 400 years earlier (most of the Jews who still spoke Hebrew were those in charge of the temple). Similarly how, in the united states of America, the Indians were conquered by an English speaking nation 400 years ago. The ones who still speak the original Indian language today are mostly those who are in charge and in authority over their tribes. Most other Indians no longer speak their original tongue. And this is why very few people spoke the original Hebrew in the first century.

    Now, think about this. When Jesus and the apostles quoted from the Old Testament scriptures, they did not quote from the original Hebrew Text, for two reasons. One: the writers of the New Testament books spoke mainly Greek; and two, their listeners and readers (who were mostly gentiles) did not speak Hebrew! So, they quoted from a manuscript that was in the same language that they spoke during the first century...the Greek Septuagint! Doesn't this make sense? The Septuagint is the scripture cited by Christ and by the Apostles. By Christ quoting from the Septuagint, he is confirming what he wrote 285 years before he came! Why then would I need something that is a translation from another source that does not have God's seal of approval?

    "...the writers of the New Testament seem often to differ from those of the Old, because they appear uniformly to quote from some copy of the Septuagint version; and most of their quotations agree verbally, and often even literally, with one or other of the copies of that version which subsist to the present day." Clarke's Commentaries, The New Testament, Volume 5A, page 48.

    When you read the Greek of the Septuagint, and then you go to the New Testament and read the Greek of the same thing that Christ was expounding, you'll also see the same words used . But you can't find those same words if you're reading an English only Bible, because the Old Testament words are from the Masoretic Hebrew which don't necessarily correspond to what was translated to the English from the Greek in the New Testament.

    Now, what should somebody do when they find out that what they've believed is a lie? A Maxim of Law states, "It is better to retrace your steps than to proceed wrongly."

    The Brenton Edition of the Septuagint is the most accurate. It has the Greek translation on one side of the page, and the English on the other. There are corrupted Septuagint manuscripts as well, so make sure you get the Brenton Edition.

    "The Septuagint with Apocrypha" Brenton's edition (Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton), by Hendrickson Publishers. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851.

    arrow Return to Scripture And Bibles

    Translation arrow

      Home     Greetings     Who We Are     Helpful Info     Rest Room     Search     Contact Us