Versions of the Bible, Brief Bible Studies, Lesson 2, Brief History of the Bible, Part II

The New Testament includes 27 books and they fall into three natural groups. The first group includes the historical books: the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The Epistles make up a second group. The third group is made up of a book of prophecy called Revelation. The earliest of the Gospels was not written until some years after Christ was crucified. His followers handed the stories down by word of mouth. Then, Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote their Gospels to present the stories. The Gospel of John was the last to be completed, probably in the 90 ADs.

The American version contained readings which the American revisers liked, but which the English did not. Edgar J. Goodspeed of the University of Chicago published a version of the New Testament in 1923. he wanted to return to the original purpose of the first makers of the English Bible. William Tyndale had said that he wanted to make a Bible that a plowboy could understand. The same purpose had been in the minds of the translators of the King James Version as stated in previous mentions. Most of the incorrect modern views of that version arose because there are many people who simply cannot understand the readings of the various versions.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible for PRotestants was completed in 1951 and published in 1952. A demand for this revised version had arisen because of the discovery of new manuscripts and development of Biblical scholarships. The language is more modern than that of the King James Version and poetry is printed in verse form. The Revised Standard Version was begun in 1937 by a committee of 32 scholars headed by Luther A. Weigle of the Yale University Divinity School. The Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, which represents 40 denominations in North America, sponsored the work.

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