Manuscripts, et al used in translations Part 1

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Aleppo Codex – The oldest formerly complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the Aleppo Codex was copied by the scribe Shlomo ben Buya’a and verified, vocalized, and notated by Rabbi Aaron Ben Asher around 920 A.D. Consulted by Jewish scholars for centuries, it is considered to be the most authoritative text available of the Hebrew Bible. It is slightly different than the traditional Torah in that notations were made to indicate pronunciation, as there was a concern that the Hebrew language was dying out. The Leningrad Codex was copied from and verified against the Aleppo Codex less than a century later, with the two being examples of what is referred to as the Masoretic Text, with the notations indicating pronunciation called Tiberian Vocalization. Vowels were also added to the language to help in the word pronunciation. Stored in Aleppo, Syria from 1375 until 1947, Muslim riots broke out over the establishment of the nation of Israel by the United Nations and the synagogue it was stored in was burned. Thought lost, it showed up in 1958 when a Syrian Jew named Murad Faham presented it to the nation of Israel. It is currently stored in the “Shrine of the Book” in the Israeli Museum. Approximately one-third of it is still missing. For more information visit

Alexandrian text-type – One of the types of text used to describe and group Biblical texts, the Alexandrian text-type is primarily found in the oldest documents.

Ben Asher Masoretic Text – Primarily referring to the Aleppo Codex, or the Leningrad Codex which was corrected against the Aleppo Codex, this is the work of Rabbi Aaron Ben Asher.

Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text – The Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text was the text used in the Old Testament translation of the King James Bible. Jacob ben Chayyim, a Jewish Rabbi, first published this text in 1524 and it is also known as the Daniel Bomberg edition or the Second Great Rabbinic Bible.

Biblia Hebraica – A Latin phrase meaning Hebrew Bible, the Biblia Hebraica was written and published by Rydolf Kittel. In its first two editions of 1906 and 1912-13, Kittel used the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text, and in its last edition in 1937 he used the Ben Asher text of the Leningrad Codex. It was superseded by the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.

Biblia Hebraica Quinta – A new edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, this edition also uses the Leningrad Codex as its basis, along with a commentary. This edition has been released in parts beginning in 2004, with the completion set to be in 2010.

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia – A successor to the Biblia Hebraica, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia uses the Leningrad Codex entirely as its basis, and was released in parts from 1968 to 1976. The entire text was released in one volume in 1977.

The Bodmer Papyri – The Bodmer Papyri are so named since they come from a collection by Martin Bodmer. Collected in Egypt in the 1950's, they are comprised of 22 papyri from both the Old and New Testaments and other ancient documents.

Byzantine text-type – One of the types of text used to describe and group Biblical texts, the Byzantine text-type is found in more manuscripts than other types of text, Alexandrian, Caesarean, or Western, although not in the oldest ones.

Caesarean text-type – One of the types of text used to describe and group Biblical texts, the Caesarean text-type is one that has been found in Greek copies of the Gospels, but can’t be categorized as being of the Byzantine, Alexandrian, or Western text-types.

Cairo Codex of the Prophets – See Codex Cairensis.

Chester Beatty Papyri – Sir Alfred Chester Beatty acquired numerous papyri of both Old and New Testament books of the Bible, primarily from around Memphis, Egypt in 1930. His collection is known as the "Chester Beatty Papyri." For more information you can go here

Codex Basilensis – The Codex Basilensis, also known as the Codex Baseliensis, is a Greek copy of the New Testament that dates to about the 8th century, consisting of the four Gospels. The manuscript is currently located in Basel, Switzerland.

Codex Bezae – Written in both Latin and Greek and dating from the fifth century, this Codex is written on vellum and includes the Gospels, Acts, and a portion of 3 John. There is some doubt as to its complete reliability, and has been used primarily as a confirming text to other Codices. A notable exception is that Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort of the Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament fame, believed it to be reliable.

Codex Bobiensis – Containing parts of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, this is a 4th or 5th century manuscript written in old Latin from North Africa. It is currently kept in the national library in Turin, Italy.

Codex Britannicus – See Codex Montfortianus.

Codex Cairensis – The Codex Cairensis, also known as the Cairo Codex of the Prophets, was written by Moses ben Asher in approximately 895 A.D. It is the oldest known Hebrew manuscript that contains the entire text of the Nevi’im, or the Books of the Prophets. It is currently located in Cairo, Egypt.

Codex Claromontanus – Named Codex Claromontanus since it was discovered near Clermont-en-Beauvaisis in France, this manuscript contains the Epistles of Paul in both Greek and Latin, and is considered an early form of the Western text-type of manuscript.

Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus – The Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus received its name from the writings of Saint Ephraemi the Syrian over the original New Testament Greek text. The original Biblical text appears to have been rubbed off so the newer writings could be written on the parchment. In 1834 a chemical process was employed to better see the underlying text. Approximately 2/3 of the text was able to be recovered, and has been determined to be from around the fifth century. For more information you can go here

.....There have been many thousands of documents and manuscripts found with God's Word that have been used in the translation process. Here we've listed many of them and their associated terminology, and a little bit about them.
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