We were quite shocked when an apologetic ministry boldly stated that the Bible was written by Catholics. When we investigated that statement, we found it to be incorrect. Because most people we know have not much understanding of how the Bible came into existence, we would like to present a thumbnail sketch.
Though the first Book, the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament, contains no express record for denying that Moses is the author, not only of Genesis, but of all five books of the Pentateuch under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The following books through Psalms, were written by servants of the Lord to whom the books pertain to.
The Book of Psalms is a collection of at least six authors. King David himself wrote 73 Psalms of the 150 contained in the Book. The Book of Proverbs was authored by numerous people, although they are often attributed to King Solomon. From Proverbs to the New Testament each prophet described wrote before Christ.
The first book of the New Testament was written approximately A.D. 58 - 68 only 25 years after Jesus was crucified in both languages, Hebrew and Greek. The Book of Mark dates to A.D. 67 or 68. Luke, a physician, a Gentile, wrote his account A.D. 58-60. The Apostle John is believed to have written his account in A.D. 90. Luke was responsible for Acts and the Apostle Paul wrote to the Gentiles who had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Beginning with A.D. 56, the Book of Romans up to James was intended by Paul to educate the believers in the basic doctrines. The only author `unknown' was the book of Hebrews. Speculation has it that Apollos wrote it. The letters of James and Jude, both brothers of Jesus (see Gal. 1:19, Jude 1:1), were written by them, as well as the letters of the Apostles of Peter and John.
The Catholic Church was not in existence at that time. So close to the time of Christ's life were the writings, that accounts of His life, teachings and future events were described by eye witnesses. Each book of the Bible was written by hand originally in Hebrew and Greek and the name of the first biblical text in it's entirety was the ancient version called `The Vulgate', put together in A.D. 400. This record was taken directly from ancient copies of individual books written by Old and New Testament prophets and Apostles in Hebrew and Greek.
The Vulgate was later translated into Latin language by Jerome at Bethlehem. (p. 1586 Thompson Chain Reference Bible (KJV) The Old Testament is a careful translation of the Hebrew Masoretic text. For this purpose Jerome sought the aid of several Jewish rabbis. The New Testament was also done by Jerome first; he revised the old Latin Gospels carefully, leaving the text as it stood unless it was actually incorrect. The two Gospels were translated in A.D. 382-83.
In 1546 the Council of Trent made the Vulgate the official version of the Roman Catholic Church. "In 1933 Benedictines, deputed by the Holy See (the Pope), began a thorough revision of the Vulgate.." (Columbia Encyclopedia p.205) The King James Version (1611) was written long before the revision by the Catholics. The KJV was done by forty seven scholars under the authorization of King James I of England. The
`Bishop's Bible' still based on the original `Vulgate' (1568) prepared under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Elisabeth was mainly a revision of the Great Bible not popular with common people.
The Hebrew and Greek texts were studied and other English translations consulted with a view of obtaining the best results. The KJV has held the first place throughout the English speaking world for over three centuries.What is most interesting now about later Bibles beginning with Berkeley (1959), Amplified (1965), JB (1966), NEB (1970),
NASB (1971) and later Bibles, modern translations, are taken from early Catholic works: Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinairicus. (p. 1586 Thompson Chain Reference Bible, KJV)
Since the King James Version will continue to be the most reliable, original, a least tampered with source, it can be considered to be the true Word of God. The writings are based on eyewitness reports and written by people who were personally involved. The Scripture predicts a famine of the Word and the signs are here even we have a multitude of new versions. We expect the KJV to disappear from the shelves one of these days, unavailable in book stores, just as the first Living Bible which was an excellent translation into every day language, easy to understand. It is out of print and has been replaced with a new translation.
Pretribulation research was unknown before the 1800 or so they thought, after which a number of thinkers got involved. (See Pre-Trib Perspectives Newsletters) John Nelson Darby, born in 1800 in Ireland, was a brilliant, fighting Fundamentalist who already challenged modernism in his day. He stated: "It was not at all a strange thing - immediately after conversion to the living God - "to wait for his Son from heaven, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come." (Darby, Letters, 2:361) Just before he departed in 1882 he wrote in a final letter to the Brethren, "I can say, Christ has been my only object; thank God, my righteousness too .. Hold fast to Christ." (A.C.Gaebelein,
Half a Century (New York: Our Hope Publication Office 1930), p. 85).
Grant R. Jeffrey, a member of the Pre-Trib Study Group, has found an ancient citation, which dates back to the period A.D. 374-627, a Sermon by Pseudo-Ephraem in Latin, translated now into English which clearly teaches that believers will be raptured and
taken to heaven before the Tribulation. Grant found this important citation in Paul J. Alexander's `The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition' (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985, p. 210).
The English translation of the Latin was provided by Cameron Rhoades, instructor of Latin at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas. Pseudo-Ephraem's Rapture Statement occurs twice in Section 2. The Latin text is produced (from four manuscripts) in C.P. Caspari's Briefe, Abhandlungen und Predigten aus den zwei letzten Jahrhunderten des kirchlichen Altertums and dem Anfang des Mittelalter, Christiana, 1890, pp. 208-20. (Interpreted: Caspari's letters, treatments and sermons from the last two latest middle-ages) Section 2 "We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging.
Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated), and there is no other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms the world?
Believe you me, dearest brother, because the coming advent of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time. Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: "Woe to those who desire to see the day of Lord!" For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of the world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord.
And we think that the earth exists with blind infidelity, arriving at its downfall early.. because they hurl fear at us, and we do not wish to be changed, although we at least stand in need of penance for our actions!" (Copy of whole document available from The Pre-Trib Research Center, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20024)