the old testament
What about the Hebrew text used by the KING JAMES BIBLE translators? Here’s some background on it. The Daniel Bomberg edition, 1516 1517, was called the First Rabbinic Bible. Then in 1524 25, Bomberg published a second edition edited by Abraham Ben Chayyim (or Ben Hayyim) iben Adonijah. This is called the “Ben Chayyim” edition of the Hebrew text.
Daniel Bomberg’s edition, on which the KING JAMES BIBLE is based on the the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text. This was called the Second Great Rabbinic Bible.
This became the standard Masoretic text for the next 400 years. This is the text that underlies the KING JAMES BIBLE. For four hundred years, that was the Old Testament Hebrew text. Nobody translated. the Old Testament except by using this text. [ Biblical Criticism Historical, Literal, Textual by Harrison, Walkie and Guthrie, 1978, pages 47 82.] The Ben Chayyim Masoretic Text was used even in the first two editions of Biblia Hebraica by Rudolf Kittel.( abreviated BHK) The dates on those first two editions were 1906 and 1912. He used the same Hebrew text .as the KING JAMES BIBLE translators.
God has revealed that as far as the Old Testament is concerned we have Divine Authority on the Jews as its custodians:
“What advantage then hath the Jew? ….? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” Romans 3:1-2
“He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.” Psalm 105:8
JEWISH RULES FOR COPYING THE
ORIGINAL AND SUBSEQUENT
OLD TESTAMENT TEXTS
- The parchment must be made from the skin of clean animals; must be prepared by a Jew only, and the skins must be fastened together by strings taken from clean animals.
- Each column must have no less than 48 nor more than 60 lines. The entire copy must be first lined . . . .
- The ink must be of no other color than black, and it must be prepared according to a special recipe.
- No word nor letter could be written from memory, the scribe must have an authentic copy before him, and he must read and pronounce aloud each word before writing it.
- He must reverently wipe his pen each time before writing the word for ‘God’ [which is Elohim] and he must wash his whole body before writing the name ‘Yahweh’ [which is translated “LORD” in our KING JAMES BIBLE] lest the Holy Name be contaminated.
- Strict rules were given concerning forms of the letters, spaces between letters, words, and sections, the use of the pen, the colour of the parchment, etc.
- The revision of a roll must be made witirin 30 days after the work was finished; otherwise it was worthless. One mistake on a sheet condemned the sheet; if three mistakes were found on any page, the entire manuscript was condemned.
- Every word and every letter was counted,
“Some of these rules may appear extreme and absurd , yet they show how sacred the Holy Word of the Old Testament was to its custodians, the Jews (Romans 3:2), and they give us strong encouragement to believe that WE HAVE THE REAL OLD TESTAMENT , THE SAME WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD.”
(General Bible Introduction H.S Miller 1960 pges 184-185)
(Notice that. The words and letters were counted. Think of counting all the letters on every page of the Hebrew Old Testament. Talk about exactness. Yet that was the method God used to preserve the Old Testament, and if a letter were omitted, an extra letter inserted, or if one letter touched another, the manuscript was condemned and destroyed at once.)
D.A Waite, Th.D.,PhD Defending The King James Version Page 25.