Stories About the Bible
Is the story of the Bible an account of its many translations? Is the story of the Bible part of the history of the Jewish people and the Christian church? Is the story of the Bible the effect it has had on Western civilization? Is the story of the Bible the accounts of individuals whose lives were changed by its message?
The story of the Bible is all that and more. Here are 47 wonderful individual stories of the Bible's writing, translation, and effect on civilization. I hope you enjoy them. Click on a title to read the entire story.
Indiana Von Tischendorf
Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, was discovered in 1853 by a German scholar with the charm, savvy, and adventure of Indiana Jones.
The First Translation of the Old Testament
The Septuagint is the most important translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek and the Bible of the early church.
“Lord, Open the King of England’s Eyes”
William Tyndale went into exile so he could translate the Bible. He was later betrayed and burned at the stake for the “crime” of translating the Bible into English.
“The One Who Falls Down Beside Us”
The story of an insightful Bible translation from the mountains of the Central African Republic.
The Politics of the King James Version
King James and his bishops, scholars, and courtiers were all people of deep convictions, entrenched prejudices, flagrant ambitions, and committed to political hard ball.
The Greatest Manuscript Discovery of Modern Times
One of the scrolls some young Bedouin shepherds found in a cave near the Dead Sea in 1947 was the oldest complete biblical manuscript ever discovered.
Fascinating and Rich Translations
Missionary translators have discovered rich expressions used by various language groups in translating the words of Scripture.
A Bible without Words
The Morgan Crusader’s Bible, created in 1250, pictured 283 scenes from Creation through the reign of King David as if they had occurred in the thirteenth century.
The Man of the Millennium
Johannes Gutenberg was chosen Man of the Millennium for creating printing with movable type—a revolutionary way to spread human knowledge around the world.
Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God
The first Bible printed in the United States was in the Massachusett dialect of Algonquin. Today it is unreadable, but the story is fascinating and important.
King James Version Was Not a New Translation
The six committees appointed by King James created a revision of a translation that had been made by one man: William Tyndale. Here’s the evidence.
The Most Watched Film in History
The JESUS film—the gospel of Luke—has been shown to several billion people, is available in over 1,000 languages, and is the most widely circulated Bible portion in history.
The Gun Wad Bible
When British soldiers occupied Germantown (now part of Philadelphia), they made cartridges from printed sheets of a German Bible—“The Gun Wad Bible.”
Chapters and Verses
The original manuscripts of the Bible did not have chapter and verse divisions. They were added later.
The Billion-Dollar Treasure
A particularly intriguing Dead Sea Scroll is a list of 64 places where sacred objects and huge quantities of gold and silver are hidden. They are thought to be treasures from the Temple in Jerusalem.
Meticulous Jewish Scribes
Before the invention of the printing press, Jews developed rules to prevent errors from being introduced into hand-copied manuscripts. Here are some of those rules.
The First Bible in English
It’s hard to comprehend the intensity of the battle between John Wycliffe and the Roman Church in the 14th century. At the center of the controversy was the first English Bible.
The Book of Heaven
The amazing story of some Nez Perces chiefs who walked from Idaho to St. Louis to find a book that would teach them how to better serve their Creator.
The Bible Shakespeare, John Bunyan, and the Pilgrims Read
The Geneva Bible predated the King James Version and, except for the KJV, is probably the most influential English Bible.
The Lost Book of the Law
The story of how God’s Word, hidden in the Temple and discovered when repairs were being made, transformed a nation.
The Bug Bible and Other Unusual Bibles
The King James has been printed—and misprinted—many times with some peculiar and infamous results.
“God Helped Me to Learn to Forgive.”
The amazing story of the effect that reading the Bible had on Kim Phuc, who was badly burned by napalm during the Vietnam war.
Who Translated the Bible from Hebrew to Latin?
Jerome translated the Bible into Latin—called the Vulgate—in the fifth century. The oldest Vulgate Bible, Codex Amiatinus, has its own fascinating story.
The Samaritan Pentateuch
The Samaritans believe only the first five books of the Old Testament are Scripture and made their own version in Hebrew in the second century B.C.
The Lindisfarne Gospels
One of the most magnificent biblical manuscripts also contains the earliest existing English translation of a portion of the Bible.
The Bible that Did Not Include I and II Kings
In the fourth century Wulfila translated the Bible into Gothic, but left out I and II Kings because the Goths needed no encouragement to go to war.
Manuscripts Waiting to be Discovered!
Since the Bible was written over 2,000 years ago, you would think all ancient manuscripts would have been found. Here are exciting stories of some recent discoveries.
Mary Jones’s Bible
The far-reaching impact of a 16-year-old Welsh girl’s heroic effort to buy a Bible so that she could read it for herself.
Gutenberg the Entrepreneur
It is often assumed that Gutenberg invented printing and then decided to publish a Bible. It could as well be the other way around.
“God Took Our Heads Out”
A poignant story of Bible translation in Mali, West Africa.
The Earliest Bible Translation in English
The Venerable Bede, the “Father of English History,” was translating the Gospel of John at his death in 735. His translation no longer exists.
Where Did I John 5:7-8 Come From?
The strange story of how most of two verses in I John were probably not in the letter John wrote but added on a challenge and became part of the KJV.
The Oldest Bible with Vowels
The 1,000-year-old Aleppo Codex disappeared in 1947 during rioting in Syria. Fortunately, most of it was recovered, including two pages found in Brooklyn, New York.
The Complutensian Polyglot
Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic all on one page – the story behind one of the most remarkable Bibles ever published.
The Oldest Hebrew Writing
The Gezer Calendar, most likely a school child’s exercise from the time of Solomon, is the earliest physical evidence of Hebrew writing.
A Tribute to the King James Version
The most influential English book ever written, the KJV has given context to our literature, inspired our music, and even helped form the language itself.
The Douay-Rheims Bible
First Protestants fled persecution in England; then Catholics fled to France where they made an English translation that was used for more than 300 years.
The “Pernicious” English New Testament
Tyndale had to print his translation in Germany and smuggle it into England because new English translations of the Bible were illegal.
“The Work of an Angel”
The Book of Kells, Ireland’s finest national treasure, contains decorations so intricate they can best be seen only with a magnifying glass.
“Even Women and Ignorant Persons Studied Luther’s Bible”
Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible transformed the church, encouraged other translators, and helped unify the German language
The New Testament that was Lost for 470 Years
The story behind the discovery in 1994 of the only complete copy of William Tyndale’s first printed New Testament (1526)
The Devil’s Bible
The story of a Benedictine monk who asked the devil to help him make the largest medieval Bible in the world, Codex Gigas. It weighs 165 pounds!
The First Printed Greek New Testament
There had been many hand-written Greek New Testaments, but the race was on for the first printed Greek New Testament. And Erasmus won.
The Bible of the American Revolution
The story of Robert Aitken’s Bible and why the King James Version could not be printed legally in America before independence from England.
The Lost Books of the Bible
The DaVinci Code, the Gospel of Judas, and why an obscure first-century heresy is alive and well today.
What is in the Old Testament?
A brief summary of the Old Testament’s 39 books, which were written over a period of more than 1,000 years.
What is in the New Testament?
A brief summary of the New Testament’s 27 books and letters written by eight or nine writers in the second half of the first century.