With the rise in the use of Aramaic and Greek during the Roman era, the Paleo-Hebrew language went completely out of use around the death of Christ. The Paleo-Hebrew had 22 consonants and no vowels. Tannaitic Hebrew was a type of Jewish Aramaic used by Jewish scholars to draft the Mishnah and Gemara between 100 A. D. and 500 A.D. The Mishnah and Gemara were interpretations of the Old Testament. Their scribes used Tannaitic Hebrew (Aramaic) to copy editions of the Old testament. After the expulsion of the Jews from the province of Syria Palaestina by the Romans around 135 A.D., the Jews settled in southern Arabia, Egypt and Europe. After the appearance of Muhammad in 610 A.D., the expansion of Islam forced most of the Jews to migrate to Europe. However the Masoretes, a Jewish sect thriving from 700-1000 A.D., remained in Syria and Babalyon and added consonants to the existing Jewish language and rewrote the Old Testament with this new form of the Jewish language. Meanwhile Yiddish developed in Europe. Yiddish is of German, Jewish origin and spoken in many parts of the world. It developed as a fusion of different German dialects of Hebrew, Armaic and Slavic vocabulary. In 1881 Eliezer Ben-Yehuda immigrated to Palestine from Luzhki, Belarus in eastern Europe , and settled in Jerusalem. He found a job teaching at the Alliance Israelite University. Ben‑Yehuda set out to develop a new language that could replace Yiddish and other regional dialects as a means of everyday communication between the Jews. Ben-Yehuda was a major figure in the reestablishment of the Hebrew Language. He was the author of the first modern Hebrew dictionary and became known as the "reviver" of the Hebrew language. Ancient languages and modern Standard Arabic were major sources for the modern Hebrew of Ben-Yehuda. The differences between Paleo-Hebrew and modern Hebrew can be compared to the differences between modern English and Shakespearean English. Throw in Aramaic influences and all of the new words created within the last 200 years and modern Hebrew has become almost a new language. My whole point behind this criticism is that the transition of the Jewish language from the Tannaitic Hebrew(Aramaic) then to the Masoretic Text and modern Hebrew can be and has been used to change much of the original meaning of the Paleo-Hebrew. Many references to the Messiah, a particular virgin and a savior in the original text of the Jewish bible have been altered or changed to cast aspersions and impugn the appearance and reputation of Jesus Christ. The Jews did not like the Christians during the Roman era and thereafter and used all means possible to impede the advancement of Christianity.
Isn't it amazing to see the depths to which we believers in Christ have sunk. What am I talking about? Well the Mormons had an add campaign a couple of years ago declaring themselves Mormon. Remember those "I am Mormon" commercials. Now we Catholics are attempting a new evangelization to bring home our lost fellow Catholics. The main line Protestant churches are on a decline because they tend to follow secular desires and approve of homosexual marriage and allow homosexuals to preach to themselves. Will acceptance of abortion be next? These non- denominational churches or so called evangelical, mega churches are siphoning off the disenfranchised, but they will meet with their demise. Most of these preacher are in the game for the wrong reasons. They first desire to build themselves a nice retirement nest egg and then they retire on the congregation money traveling around the world pretending to establish churches around the world. Have you ever read the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the various churches in Asia as he was being carted to Rome in chains for martyrdom around the year 110 A.D.?
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians
" Keep yourselves from those evil plants which Jesus Christ does not tend, because they are not
the planting of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but exceeding purity. For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, (those that sacrifice to idols) return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism . Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to [the will of] God. in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.]... For though some would have deceived me according to the flesh, yet the Spirit, as being from God, is not deceived. For it knows both whence it comes and whither it goes, John 3:8 and detects the secrets [of the heart]. For, when I was among you, I cried, I spoke with a loud voice: Give heed to the bishop, and to the presbytery and deacons. Now, some suspected me of having spoken thus, as knowing beforehand the division caused by some among you. But He is my witness, for whose sake I am in bonds, that I got no intelligence from any man. But the Spirit proclaimed these words: Do nothing without the bishop; keep your bodies as the temples of God; love unity; avoid divisions; be the followers of Jesus Christ, even as He is of His Father."
A look at Old Testament editions would not be complete without looking at a brief history of the Jewish Old Testament after the death of Christ. Some scholars are concerned that the Jews may have slightly altered some phrases in their Old Testament copies in order to play down, cast aspersion on,
or temper the notion that Christ was the messiah predicted in their books of old. Notice that the Jews never accepted the New Testament. In 135 A.D. after the total destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth and their ancient Hebrew language was
no longer in use, either by the spoken or written word. Most importantly a complete compilation of Holy Scripture for the Jew at the death of Christ had no official name.
In fact both Jew and gentile used the Septuagint at the death of Christ. Septuagint is derived from the Latin word meaning 70. The Roman numeral is LXX. Some argue that the later editions of the Septuagint included 70 books. A possible list is as follows: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Prayer of
Manasseh, Ezra(1 Ezra), Nehemiah(2 Ezra), 1 Esdras(3 Ezra), 2 Esdras 3–14(4 Ezra), 2 Esdras 1–2; 15–16(5 and 6 Ezra), Esther, Additions to Esther, Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees,
4 Maccabees, Jubilees, Enoch, 1 Meqabyan, 2 and 3 Meqabyan, Ethiopic Pseudo-Josephus,Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Book of Job, Psalms 1–150, Psalm 151, Psalms 152–155, Psalms of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Book of Wisdom, Sirach, Prayer of Solomon(Sirach 52), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations (1-5), Ethiopic Lamentations (7:1-11,63), Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch(2 Baruch 1–77), Letter of Baruch(2 Baruch 78–87), Greek Apocalypse of Baruch(3 Baruch), 4 Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Additions to
Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
Most everyone who believed in one true God at the death of Christ, including many of the Jews, used some form of the Septuagint as their official compilation of Holy Scripture. The Septuagint was
quoted by the apostles as their source of Old Testament scripture as they composed the New Testament. Even though copies of the Old Testament written in Paleo-Hebrew still existed at the death of Christ, as evidenced by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, they were not in general use.
Everyone claims that the Dead Sea scrolls were hidden in the caves of Qumran around 70 A.D. in order to avoid detection and destruction by the Romans. But these scrolls could have very well been hidden there during the period of the Maccabees, which ruled Judea from 164 B.C. to 63 B.C. or after 63 B.C., when Pompey invaded Judah and made it a client state of Rome. These Paleo-Hebrew scrolls may not have existed in the public arena at the death of Christ or thereafter.
Jewish scholars allege that their rabbis officially adopted the list of books that compose their old testament at the Council of Jamnia about 100 A.D. However this view has been recently questioned. The eventual name of the Jew’s old testament became the Tanakh, an acronym of the first Hebrew
letter of each of the three traditional subdivisions: the Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), the Prophets which include the eight books of the major and minor prophets, which cover the time from the entrance of the Israelites into the Land of Israel until the Babylonian
captivity of Judah and the Writings which include the 11 books of truth, wisdom and prayer—hence TaNaKh. But remember, in the first century the word Tanakh did not exist as a name for the Jewish bible. The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus described 22 sacred books of the Jews, not the 24 that eventually became the Tanakh.
In time, the Tanakh, which became known as the Jewish Bible, was probably composed between 800 A.D. and 1000 A.D. by the Masoretes. The Masoretes were groups of Jewish scribe-scholars who worked between the 7th and 10th centuries A.D. based primarily in present-day Israel in the cities of Tiberias and Jerusalem, as well as in Iraq (Babylonia). Their Jewish bible included the 24 listed books. The Torah has always included first five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The eight books of Prophets include Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets( Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The 11 books of the Writings include Job , Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Chronicles, Ezra- Nehemiah. These are the 24 books of the Jewish Bible. Until the invention of the
printing press in 1450 A.D., these books were copied by scribes by hand for hundreds of years. It is important to note that the Jews probably used a form of the Septuagint during their 700- 900 years of Diaspora after 70 A.D. until the Masoretes compiled the Tanakh.
The Masoretic Text (MT) defined the books of the Jewish bible and it is the current Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible. The MT was primarily copied, edited and distributed by these Jewish Masoretes.
The Masoretic text (MT) established by the rabbis between the 7th and 10th centuries A.D. has until
recently been accepted as an official reproduction of the Hebrew Bible of the 1st century A. D. Yet, this proposition is now being challenged in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The oldest extant manuscripts of the Masoretic Text date from approximately the 9th century A.D. The MT of the
Aleppo Codex dates from the 10th century. Recent inquiry has found that copies of some of the Biblical books found at Qumran reveal sharp divergences from the MT. As an example, scholars have discovered that the Paleo- Hebrew copies of 1 and 2 Samuel found at Qumran agree more with the Septuagint than the MT. One of these fragments is dated from the third century B. C. and is
believed to be the very oldest copy of a biblical text found to date. Therefore scholars allege that the Masoretic version of 1–2 Samuel is significantly inferior to the Septuagint.
The Masoretic text of the Jewish Old Testament Bible differs from the Septuagint in hundreds of places. There are glaring differences between the Septuagint and MT of 1 and 2 Samuel,
Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Proverbs and Ezekiel, 40-48, and to a lesser degree important differences in the books of Isaiah and Job. Why is that? Scribe error or intentional deceit? And the fact remains that the oldest copies of the Septuagint are still 400 – 500 years older than the Masoretic text. Most importantly the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are older than any surviving copy of the Septuagint, tend to agree more with the Septuagint than with the Masoretic text. Therefore, it seems that the best translation we have of the Old Testament from the original Paleo-Hebrew Bible is the Septuagint. The only existing Old Testament at the time the Septuagint was translated was the Paleo-Hebrew text.