Notes 2 (A1-2-3)

Notes 2 (A1-2-3) - Assignments 1, 2, & 3 notes The New...

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The New Testament was written primarily in Koine (common) Greek. This was the universal language at the time. In fact, the first translation of the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament for Christians) was in Koine and was called the Septuagint. This was the Bible used by many in the NT world and is the text of the OT most quoted by the NT writers. For example, in Isaiah 7, Isaiah gives King Ahaz the sign of “Immanuel.” The Hebrew writer used the words, “Behold, a young woman will conceive and bear a son….” While the Hebrew text does not use the word for “virgin”, the Septuagint does (parthenos-virgin). The NT writers quote from the Septuagint in recording Jesus’ virginal conception. Yet neither Hebrew nor Greek was the common language among Palestinian Jews in Jesus’ day. The common language among them was Aramaic, a western Persian dialect used after about 500BCE. But many knew enough Koine Greek to make it the language of choice by the NT writers. As mentioned before, there were many canons of the NT before it was closed. Some of these reflect variations in early Christian beliefs. Two major challenges were Marcionism and gnosticism. You will read about these in chapter 2 of your book, but I will attempt to give brief explanations to help. Marcion believed that the God of the OT was wrathful and vengeful. This God had been replaced by the God of the NT, a God of love. Therefore, Christians should do away with the OT and only adhere to the NT. The church, however, affirmed the importance of the OT for understanding the NT. Gnostics taught that knowledge was the great good and that self-knowledge was the ultimate knowledge. They also taught that a person was a piece of God deep down inside. God would send a “redeemer”, or spirit man to Earth on occasion to lead people into self-knowledge. “Gnostic Christians” taught that Jesus was this “spirit man” and did not die for people’s sins. The church fought both of these heresies and eventually put them to rest. Before moving along, I want to mention the importance of translations. There are 2 primary reasons for translations:
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1) To make the text understandable 2) To get the text into as many hands as possible One of the most important translations for Christians was done by a Christian monk, Jerome, between CE380-400. He produced the Latin Vulgate which was the official translation of the church for over 1,000 years. Many Christians think that the King James Version was the first
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This note was uploaded on 05/27/2011 for the course REL 305 taught by Professor Null during the Spring '11 term at GWU.

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Notes 2 (A1-2-3) - Assignments 1, 2, & 3 notes The New...

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