The origin of the Bible

Posted on Jun 11, 2019

God has communicated with his people throughout history and His words have been written in what we call the Holy Bible. But what is its origin?

Br. ALESSANDRO CAVICCHIA, ofm, PhD in Biblical Theology   “It is very difficult to have clear and definitive answers on the origin and period of composition and conclusion of Scripture. On its completion, it is more or less agreed that the last book of the Bible [Hebrew Scriptures] , the book of Wisdom, was written around 50 BC. But to determine the sources and the period is very difficult.”

The Bible has undergone many transformations over time.

Br. ALESSANDRO CAVICCHIA, ofm, PhD in Biblical Theology   “We know that the ancient materials on which they wrote were stone, clay, parchment, papyrus and even metal; these are basically the main materials used for writing in antiquity.”

Archaeological findings prove the authenticity of the Bible.

Br. ALESSANDRO CAVICCHIA, ofm, PhD in Biblical Theology    “In 1947 there were the first discoveries of these rolls in the caves of Qumran, around the Dead Sea. The manuscripts of the Dead Sea take us back almost a thousand years from the biblical text. About 900 rolls have been discovered containing one-third of the biblical texts and two-thirds of the extra-biblical texts, or rolls that are not part of the biblical text. So, on one hand, we have the historical importance of the text of the Bible, on the other hand, the importance is given by the fact that we have direct testimony of a period that until now was unknown.”

The word Bible comes from the Greek. It means “books”. This collection of sacred texts was initially written in Hebrew. The Latin translation, called Vulgate, was edited by St. Jerome in the fourth century.

Br. ALESSANDRO CAVICCHIA, ofm, PhD in Biblical Theology   “St Jerome is important because he drew the attention of Christians to the importance of the Hebrew text since the language spoken at that time was Greek because of the phenomenon of Hellenization now widespread in the Middle East. He drew attention back to the Hebrew text: he proposed a new translation of the Latin Bible which united the Hebrew tradition with the Greek one. This is the importance of Saint Jerome for the Bible.”

Thanks to St. Jerome, we have now a large number of translations of the word of God.

Br. ALESSANDRO CAVICCHIA, ofm, PhD in Biblical Theology   “As far as I could see, there are about seven thousand languages in the world and the Bible has been translated more or less in half of these: three thousand, just over three thousand.”

A historical, archaeological and divine richness… this is the Holy Bible.