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The Bible: what it is   By: (1833-1891)

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By Charles Bradlaugh

Published By The Author

Sold By Holyoake And Co., 147, Fleet Street; Parker, Ridge Heath; Sharp, Tabernacle Walk, London; J. Bates, Champton; J. B. Cooper, Manchester; G. Miller, Glasgow; Watson, Newcastle On Tyne; And Robinson, Edinburgh.



The author states the scope of his work as "BEING AN EXAMINATION THEREOF FROM GENESIS TO REVELATIONS". My copy of the first two pamphlets give only the first nine books of the 39 book St. James version nor can I find in any old book stores or on internet search any print or electronic copy which goes beyond the first nine books of the Old Testament. Either my nine books are but a fragment of the whole of Bradlaugh's work, or he may not have completed it. Regardless, the detail of his work here, with Hebrew and Greek references, make this a valuable study. If any reader has access to the remainder of this work, whether whole or partial, kindly notify:



The Bible is the name by which the collection of Books beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelations is commonly known. It is derived from the Greek word [ ] (Books), and this name is supposed to have been first applied in the fifth century by Chrysostom, before which time those books were known as [ ] holy writings, sacred writings, writings of God.

The Bible is divided into three parts: the Old Testament, containing thirty nine books, the New Testament, containing twenty seven books, and the Apocrypha, containing fourteen books; making in the whole eighty books. It is only the first portion, known as the Old Testament, upon which I intend to treat at present. It professes to be translated from the Hebrew, in which Language (according to the learned Parkhurst) God communicated with Adam; or, perhaps to quote the learned divine more correctly, I ought to say that 'Hebrew was the language in which God taught Adam to speak.' It has been suggested by other saintly writers that Hebrew will be the language spoken in Paradise by the Saints. It is perhaps to be regretted that God did not choose a language more copious, and less capable of being misconstrued; but I will not at present stop to question whether the fact be as above stated it is sufficient for us to know that the original of the Old Testament is (with some slight exception) written in the Hebrew.

The Old Testament is divided by the Jews into three parts, called 1st, (the law) this division includes Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; 2nd, (the Prophecies) this portion contains the Books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, which are known as the former prophets, and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi of these, the three first are called 'the greater Prophets,' and the remaining twelve 'the lesser'; 3rd, (holy writings), comprising the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemian, and first and second Chronicles. I have given the books in their Jewish order, which differs from our own, Chronicles being the last book of the Hebrew Bible.

The earliest complete translation into English of the whole of the Bible was made in the fourteenth century by the famous John Wickliffe, who was born in 1324 and died in 1384. This translation was reprinted in 1731, and again in 1810. Wickliffe's version {2} of the Old Testament, I believe, still remains in manuscript. Portions of the Bible had been previously translated into Saxon, and it is alleged that one John de Trevisa had completed a translation prior to Wickliffe.

The next translation appears to have been made by William Tyndale (a native of Gloucestershire, born about 1477, and cruelly murdered in September, 1536) who, in 1526, printed two editions of the New Testament, which were issued from Wittemberg; both of these were, however, bought up by the Church authorities, and committed to the flames... Continue reading book >>

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