WHAT BIBLE DID JESUS USE? DO YOU HAVE THE SAME BIBLE THAT JESUS USED, TAUGHT WITH & MEMORIZED?
If you were put on the spot and hundreds of eyes and ears were on you and you were asked to give THE reason why you know the Bible is true—what would you say? That question is best answered by remembering what Jesus said in the same situation.
As we open to Matthew 5:18, we are listening to Jesus starting His public ministry. At that huge gathering, called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confidently told all the thousands who heard Him speak—that Heaven and Earth would pass away before any word of His Bible failed. Wow, He sure knew He had a Bible He could trust. Jesus didn’t fear that there were any historical, moral, theological, and scientific inaccuracies in His Bible. He had a copy of the Book anyone can Trust!
But as we stand to read Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus summed it up as simply this, HE believed God’s Word and so should we:
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Have you ever looked down and wondered if you really held the same Bible Jesus had, the one God breathed out supernaturally by inspiration? And further, have you ever wondered if this one is okay, because it is a translation, and not the actual Hebrew or Greek words that God gave to those 40 plus men, who He used to write the Bible?
Wouldn’t it be great to just have been able to go up to Jesus while He was on Earth and say, “What Bible do you use?” Wouldn’t that really give you confidence? Here is the answer:
This is the Bible Jesus Used
To be very specific, if Jesus went to one of our local Family Christian Bookstores this week to buy a Bible, what version would He buy? Have you ever thought that? We can find the precise answer to that question in the Bible you hold.
The grouping and ordering of the books in the ancient, Old Testament Hebrew Bible is different from what Christians have in their Bibles. This is because the Christian Bible adopted the same order and groupings, as is found in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Here is a brief historical insight.
After his conquest of the Babylonian Empire, Alexander the Great promoted the Greek language throughout the known world, and thus almost everyone, including the Jews, spoke Greek. Hebrew fell into disuse, being reserved primarily for ceremonial purposes (like the use of Latin among Roman Catholics). In order to make the Jewish Scriptures (what we call the Old Testament) available to the average Jewish reader, a project was undertaken to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Seventy scholars were commissioned to complete this work and their result is known as the “Septuagint” (LXX, literally the “70”) translation.
The Septuagint was the first translation of the Hebrew Bible; and was made in the third century B.C. by Jewish scribes, who were direct descendants of those trained in Ezra’s Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. They were complete experts in the text, being very well versed in Hebrew and Greek.
This translation became very popular among Jews in the first two centuries before Christ because many Jews in those days did not understand Hebrew. Their ancestors had left Israel centuries before, and generation after generation gradually lost the ability to read the Scriptures in Hebrew.
Many of the Jews in Jesus’ day used the Septuagint as their Bible. Quite naturally, the early Christians also used the Septuagint in their meetings and for personal reading; and many of the New Testament apostles quoted it when they wrote the Gospels and Epistles in Greek. What is most fascinating is that the order of the books in the Septuagint is the same order in our Bibles today, and not like the Hebrew scrolls. So this means that:
Jesus Primarily Used a Translation
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