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bible study
essential guide to bible versions

This section serves as a guide to the English Bible and English Bible translations. This guide should help you understand key points on some history about important ancient manuscripts and significant English translations that have been made throughout history. The book, by Philip Comfort, Ph.D., can also guide you in your selection of Bible versions and give you direction in using each one. View each of the PDFs by clicking on the links below.

what are the differences in bible versions? do they matter?
where does the bible text come from?
how are bible translations made?
essential guide glossary

This tool will help you understand terms and words used within this reference.
Select a letter below to view all the associated words.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Samaritan Pentateuch:
The Samaritan text for the five books of Moses, which shows a different text type from the Masoretic Text.
scholia:
Marginal notes written by the scribe in the margin of the manuscript.
scribal reception tendencies:
A description of the way a particular scribe or group of scribes tended to read and copy the exemplar he was using--for instance, whether he read and copied strictly or allowed himself liberty.
scribes:
Scholars whose vocation was to make new copies of earlier manuscripts.
scriptoral practices:
The methods and practices of a particular scribe or school (group) of scribes.
scriptorium (pl. scriptoria):
A room or building (usually attached to a library) set apart for scribes to do their work of copying.
Semitic:
A family of languages that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic.
Septuagint:
A translation of the Old Testament into Greek, made in the third century B.C., and widely used in the early church (and in eastern Orthodox churches).
singular reading:
A textual variant that occurs in only a single manuscript witness.
square script:
Aramaic handwriting that was brought over to Hebrew, replacing the paleo-Hebrew script.
stichoi / stichometrical notes:
Notations at the end of a manuscript, recording how many lines were copied (as a means of measuring how much the scribe should be paid).
stylus:
A hard-pointed writing instrument.
endorsements

“For me, the greatest blessing of the NLT is how it opens up the meaning and impact of the Scriptures to people. I think it is a wonderful translation, and a gift to the Church.”

James Karsten
Grant Reformed Church
Grant, Michigan

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