What is the Shema Yisrael?

Shema Yisrael

The phrase Shema Yisrael comes from the first two Hebrew words of the verse Deuteronomy 6:4 (Hebrew שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל),  transliterated as šemǎʿʹ yiś·rā·ʾēlʹ. The words mean "Hear Israel", and this passage is frequently referred to as the ShemaStrong’s Concordance assigns the number 8085 to the Hebrew word šemǎʿʹ and translates it as "hear". "Hear" is...

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What’s Next for BibleQuestions.info?

Exodus 3:14 - 4:12a, King James Version, First Printing

I don't know what I'll be writing about next on BibleQuestions.info. I've spent over a year writing about Greek New Testament manuscripts and Textual Criticism, and I've decided to take a break. I will probably write some individual articles, or maybe a short series. Writing a long series take an enormous amount of time to do the research.

I'm currently working on a series about English Bible Versions, but the topic will take a lot more time than...

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Is New Testament Textual Criticism Important?

Before I started writing this blog just over two years ago, I didn't know what textual criticism was. I knew there were many English Versions of the Bible, but I assumed most of the differences were just choices in the specific English words the translators used to reflect the original Hebrew or Greek word.  That was clearly a naïve view. New Testament Textual Criticism (NTTC) tries to determine if the Greek New Testaments we have today are...

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Do We Have What The New Testament Authors Wrote?

I've spent over a year researching and writing about Greek New Testament Manuscripts and New Testament Textual Criticism. My goal was to find out if the New Testament has been reliably transmitted to us over nearly two thousand years. The simple answer is: yes!

There were many, many mistakes made in copying the New Testament, but mistakes in an individual manuscript can be corrected using other manuscripts that don't have errors in the same...

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What is the Purpose of Textual Criticism?

The purpose of Textual Criticism is actually quite simple: restore the text to the original form the author wrote (or as close to it as possible). Textual criticism isn't just used in New Testament studies, but also Old Testament studies, and by scholars working on the text of other ancient writers, both religious and secular.

The process of textual criticism, however, can be extremely complicated. There are many manuscripts which have slight...

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Why are Some Verses in Square Brackets?

Most modern English translations of the Bible have some places where scholars believe the traditional English translations included some words, verses or even whole sections, that may not have been part of the original text written by the Biblical author. When scholars are uncertain if part of the text is original, the passage is put in square brackets.

UBS [United Bible Societies Greek New Testament] and NA [Nestle-Aland Greek New...

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What is the Correct Wording In 1 John 5:7-8?

I've spent the past seven months writing about New Testament textual criticism, showing how ancient Greek New Testament manuscripts have errors in them. In spite of the errors (most of them spelling mistakes), the Bible still presents a consistent message.

For the past few weeks, I've been focusing on the last name in Matthew 1:7-8. The person referred to was, Asa, a King of Judah. The oldest existing Greek New Testament manuscripts record the...

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How do English Versions of the Bible Identify the Variant Reading in Matthew 1:7-8?

I've been studying how to read the sigla in critical editions of the Greek New Testament, which show how the editions identify which manuscripts support which variant reading at the end of Matthew 1:7 and the beginning of 1:8. Should the name be Asa (a King) or Asaph (a musician)? Now I want to look at the English versions of the Bible and see if readers are even informed there is a variant. The two possible readings found in the Greek text are...

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What do the Sigla in a New Testament Mean? CNTR Edition

Matthew 1:7-8, CNTR - Asaph or Asa

If you've been following along in my blog, you're probably hoping I'll move onto a different subject. I'll present one more type of critical apparatus, this one comparing some ancient Greek manuscripts with modern critical editions. The apparatuses I've shown in previous articles are from United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, Third Edition (USB3), Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th Edition (NA27) and Reuben Swanson's New...

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What do the Sigla in a New Testament Mean? Swanson Edition

Matthew 1:7-8, Swanson - Asaph or Asa

My last two articles were about decoding the critical apparatus in the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament and the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament. Both of those use some cryptic symbols, called sigla, to indicate where witnesses (manuscripts) have different readings. I was also able to find an editor who arranged the texts in horizontal lines, making it much easier (for me)  to see how the witnesses are different (and similar). Reuben Swanson...

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