17 Ancient Facts That Reveal the Bible’s Rich History

SharePinEmailOne of the oldest books to ever exist is the Bible. Made from a collection of texts, scriptures, letters, and poems, the Old Testament and the New Testament form a heavily studied set of Biblical books. Here are 18 historical facts about the Bible that you need to know. Writing the First Gospel The first…

One of the oldest books to ever exist is the Bible. Made from a collection of texts, scriptures, letters, and poems, the Old Testament and the New Testament form a heavily studied set of Biblical books. Here are 18 historical facts about the Bible that you need to know.

Writing the First Gospel

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The first Gospel of the New Testament was written around 40 years after the death of Jesus Christ. Initially, the teachings of Jesus Christ were passed from each community via oral traditions, before finally being written down around the year 70 AD.

The Origins of the Book of Revelation

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The Book of Revelation was written around the year 96 AD, featuring apocalyptic literature and predicting the end of time. However, it is thought that the text was created in response to the persecution early Christians faced at the hands of the Romans, being heavily influenced by the conditions at the time. The year 96 AD was significant for early Christians due to the growing tolerance of Christianity under the rule of the newly appointed Emperor Nerva.

Diverse Languages

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The Bible was written by many different authors and in numerous languages. These languages include Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

Written Over Many Centuries

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Some people think that the Bible was a book written in one time period, but they would be wrong. The Bible was written over many centuries, with the Old Testament written between the 12th and 2nd centuries BC, and the texts of the New Testament written in the first century AD.

The Muratorian Canon

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A fragmented Latin manuscript, the Muratorian Canon is key to understanding the New Testament canon development. Books such as the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and General Epistles, Revelation, and the Wisdom of Solomon were accepted. But the text attributed by Marcion that warns against the Shepherd of Hermas was rejected.

Gnostic Gospels

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Discovered in Egypt’s Nag Hammadi Library in 1945, the Gnostic Gospels are thought to have been written in 2 AD. They include texts written by Jude, Mary, and Thomas and explain many of the insights and practices of early Christians. These texts have caused some controversy over time, however. The Gospel of Mary describes Mary Magdalene as a special disciple who receives revelations from Jesus Christ, whilst the Gospel of Judas depicts Judas Iscariot as Jesus Christ’s closest disciple and not a betrayer.

Biblical Prophecies

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The Bible is full of prophecies and predictions that have influenced both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Matthew 26:34: “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls

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The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 in the Qumran caves close to Israel’s Dead Sea. They offer significant insight into the creation of Christianity and span several centuries, detailing the interactions between groups at the time as well as global organizational structures.

The Book of Enoch

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One of the books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the Book of Enoch, attributed to the great-grandfather of Noah named Enoch. The book explores the journey of Enoch through multiple Heavens along with apocalyptic visions and prophecies.

The Watchers

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The Book of Enoch contains a central narrative that centers on the Watchers. The Watchers were a group of beings who descended to Earth under the leadership of Semjaza. They became infatuated with human women and mated with them, against the divine order.

The Nephilim

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As a result of mating between the human women and the Watchers, the Nephilim offspring were created. They were giants in contrast to humans and wreaked havoc across the Earth. The Nephilim represent the wickedness of the Earth before the Great Flood and were also referenced in the Book of Genesis.

Genesis 6: 1-4: “The Nephilim were on the Earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.”

War Scroll

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Another text found in the Dead Sea Scroll is the War Scroll, also referred to as “The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.” It tells the story of a cosmic battle between the “Sons of Light” and the “Sons of Darkness”, with the Sons of Light achieving success and the ultimate establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Supporting Biblical Accounts

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Many archeological discoveries support the accounts in the Bible. These include the Lachish Letters, the Moabite Stone, and the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh is of particular importance due to the similarities the text shares with the story of Noah.

Printing the Bible

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For many centuries, the Bible was handwritten, which took a vast amount of time to copy. Once the printing press was invented in 1440 by the German inventor Johannes Gutenberg, the Bible could be printed more easily and distributed worldwide.

Cultural Influence

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As well as offering a significant religious impact throughout the world over time, the Bible also influenced art, writing, and music. In particular, Leonardo Da Vinci’s 15th-century painting “The Last Supper” depicts a painting of the Biblical text.

Biblical Translations Into Latin

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The first translation of the Bible from the original Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew text was a translation into Latin in 382 AD. A wider part of the world began to access Biblical teachings through translation as the message of Christianity spread.

English Translation

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The first recorded translation of the Bible into English can be dated back to around the 9th century AD. These translations were made from the Latin copy of the text.

Tyndale Bible

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As the Protestant Reformation took hold during the 16th century, the New Testament was translated by the English theologian William Tyndale.

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