101 Bible Secrets
Bible Secret Number 18 

Modern Bibles Are All Mixed-Up

All Bibles today without exception do not have the books placed in the order of the main Hebrew or Greek manuscripts. The books were placed in the present order in the early fifth century after Christ by Jerome and they were placed in this new order for anti-semitic reasons (to put down the Jews and to exalt the Roman Gentiles).  

There is no doubt that the world has the complete Bible in its midst if one refers to simple content. One of them is the King James Version published in 1611. There have been similar versions produced over the last 100 years. But in spite of the fact that the Bibles are complete as to content, the order and original number of those books have not been in accord with the proper manuscripts of the Bible. And there are also wrong translations. See Question One Hundred One for this.

Let us look at the issue. Suppose a person bought a historical novel containing 49 chapters which introduced the various characters and plot in a progressive way from start to finish. Would it not be difficult to understand what the plot was all about if chapter 16 followed immediately after chapter 6, and especially if the chapters were not numbered? What then if chapter 22 were placed after chapter 7, chapter 22 before 21, chapter 14 after 21, chapters 12 and 13 followed 14, chapter 18 positioned after 13, chapter 17 followed 8 and 9, chapter 20 after 10, and finally chapter 11 after 20? This would represent utter confusion. But if one reckons the chapters of our hypothetical novel as being the books of the Old Testament, that is the exact sequence we are saddled with in our present Bibles. This order was established by Jerome from a similar one found in the Egyptian Version (LXX) which was in Greek and one which was not in the original Hebrew of the Jews at all.

Let us not stop with the Old Testament. Look at what Jerome did with the New Testament books. He avoided the order which was found in the major manuscripts and attested to by some top ecclesiastical leaders who preceded him. What he did was to abandon the original manuscript order and adopted one which arbitrarily put the "Jewish" epistles at the back (in an "inferior" position of influence). He made his Bible to have books 23 to 27 following immediately after 11. Books 28 to 34 were placed by him after book 44, while book 44 itself followed book 48, and books 35 to 43 he placed after book 27. Jerome’s arrangement is that of our present King James Version, but it is not proper in regard to the number or the order of the biblical books.


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