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When one refers however to works written by clergymen, not meant for mass publication, one realizes that the question concerning the authenticity of the books in the Bible is much more complex than one might suppose a priori.
For example, when one consults the modern publication in separate installments of the Bible in French translated under the guidance of the Biblical School of Jerusalem , the tone appears to be very different. D., Saint Jerome was able to produce a text in latin using Hebrew documents.
One realizes that the Old Testament, like the New Testament, raises problems with controversial elements that, for the most part, the authors of commentaries have not concealed. It Was on this text that the New Testament was based. It was later to be called the Vulgate on account of its universal distribution after the Seventh century A. All of these versions have enabled specialists to piece together so-called 'middle-of-the-road' texts, a sort of compromise between the different versions.
Many people are unaware, and Edmond Jacob points this out, that there were originally a number of texts and not just one. C., there were at least three forms of the Hebrew text: the text which was to become the Masoretic text, the text which was used, in part at least, for the Greek translation, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. C., there was a tendency towards the establishment of a single text, but it was not until a century after Christ that the Biblical text was definitely established. It remained authoritative until the Seventh century A. The basic Greek texts in general use in the Christian world are from the manuscripts catalogued under the title Codex Vaticanus in the Vatican City and Codex Sinaiticus at the British Museum, London. Multi-lingual collections have also been produced which juxtapose the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Aramaic and even Arabic versions.
The Ecumenical Translation of the Old Testament is a work of unification written by numerous Catholic and Protestant experts now nearing completion Thus the human element in the Old Testament is seen to be quite considerable.
It took three years (1962-1966) of strenuous effort to produce.
If we had had the three forms of the text, comparison would have been possible, and we could have reached an opinion concerning what the original might have been. Apart from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Cave of Qumran) dating from a pre-Christian era near the time of Jesus, a papyrus of the Ten Commandments of the Second century A. presenting variations from the classical text, and a few fragments from the Fifth century A. (Geniza of Cairo) , the oldest Hebrew text of the Bible dates from the Ninth century A. The Septuagint was probably the first translation in Greek. This is the case of the famous Walton Bible (London, 1667).For the sake of completeness, let us mention that diverging Biblical conceptions are responsible for the fact that the various Christian churches do not all accept exactly the same books and have not until now had identical ideas on translation into the same language.One wonders how many readers of the Old Testament, if asked the above question, would reply by repeating what they had read in the introduction to their Bible.They might answer that, even though it was written by men inspired by the Holy Ghost, the author was God.Sometimes, the author of the Bible's presentation confines himself to informing his reader of this succinct observation which puts an end to all further questions.
Sometimes he corrects it by warning him that details may subsequently have been added to the primitive text by men, but that nonetheless, the litigious character of a passage does not alter the general "truth' that proceeds from it. The Church Authorities answer for it, being the only body, With the assistance of the Holy Ghost, able to enlighten the faithful on such points.