Who preserved the Old Testament?

Questions?    -    Our Newsletter
How did God preserve his words found in the Old Testament? Who did he use to insure the integrity of the text?

Below is a list of individuals and groups who faithfully protected and passed down to future generations the text of the Old Testament. Dates from Adam to the Great Assembly are B.C. while those starting with the New Testament preservation period are in A.D.

Adam to the Biblical Patriarchs

3969 - 3039
Adam

3282 - 2313
Methuselah

2913 - 1963
Noah

2411 - 1811
Shem

Who were imposters in the Bible?
Timeline of the New Testament
Location of Old Testament Events

The Biblical Patriarchs to Joseph

1960 - 1785
Abraham

1860 - 1680
Isaac

1800 - 1653
Jacob

1709 - 1599
Joseph

Moses to the Great Assembly

1525 - 1405
Moses

1405 - 515
Aaronic Priesthood

586 - 189 B.C.
Ezra and the Great Assembly

Who is the Great Assembly?

The Great Assembly (Great Synagogue) is a collection of 120 priests and Levites begun by Ezra the prophet. The assembly aided Ezra in collecting, reviewing, editing and ultimately canonizing the Old Testament text we are familiar with today. After the prophet's death, the assembly remained the highest Jewish religious authority in Judea for more than 100 years.


New Testament Preservation

189 B.C. - 26 A.D.
Simon the Just to Jesus Christ

20 B.C. - 20 A.D.
Hillel I

20 - 70 A.D.
Rabban Gamaliel I

50 - 70
Rabbi Johanan b. Zakkai


The Tannaim

(Scholars from Hillel I to the completion of the Mishnah)

50 - 140
Jabneh Academy

140 - 170
Usha Academy
Simeon b. Gamaliel II

170 - 220
Beit She'Arim Academy
Rabbi Simeon Judah Ha-Nasi

220 - 250
Sepphoris Academy
Rabbi Hanina b. Hama

The Amoraim

250 - 375
Tiberian Academy


What is Canonization?

Canonization is the process by which a collection of writings comes to be considered authoritative, definitive and fixed by a religious authority.

780 - 930
Tiberian Academy

930 - 1488
Sephardi to Soncino


Preservation by Printing

1488
Soncino Old Testament
(based on German manuscripts)

1494 - 1495
Brescia Old Testament
(based on German manuscripts)

1516 - 1517
1st Pratensis Rabbinic Bible

1524 - 1525
2nd Chayyim Rabbinic Bible (Basel)

1546 - 1548
Venice printing #2

1568
Venice printing #3

1616 - 1619
Basel printing #1

1618 - 1619
Basel printing #2
Johan Buxtorf the Elder

1699
Jablonski Hebraica

1720
Johann Heinrich Michaelis Hebraica
(based on Jablonski and Erfurt manuscripts)

1724 - 1725
Amsterdam printing

1839
Biblia Hebraica

1860 - 1866
Warsaw printing

1869
S. Baer, Eclectic "Masoretic"
(Basis of the Jewish Publication Society of America Version (JPSA))

1905 - 1906
Biblia Hebraica 1
Rudolph Kittel

1908
Christian D. Ginsburg
British and Foreign Bible Society

1912
Biblia Hebraica 2
Rudolph Kitte)

1926
Christian D. Ginsburg

1937
Biblia Hebraica 3
P. Kahle

1958
Norman H. Snaith

1966
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
(based on the Aleppo Codex from 900 - 950 A.D.)

1967
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
(P. Kahle, based on Codex Leningradensis, 1008 A.D.)

1976
Jay P. Green, The Interlinear Bible, 3 Volumes
(based on 1866 British and Foreign Bible Society)

Additional Study Materials
Learn chronology of Biblical events!
Comparison of Bible translations
Does God have a sense of humor?
What is the longest word in Scripture?

References
Adapted from
Holy Bible, a Faithful Version
pages 5, 6, 25, 26, 29, 180
and Chronology IV


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