12. NASKAH ASLI PERJANJIAN BARU

All that is told by the Gospel, originated from oral tradition which was taught by the first disciples of Jesus to congregations,and was not yet in the form of written document. Over the course of time, the followers of the Lord Jesus, considered that it was very necessary and important to write down all that was seen and heard by the first disciples of Jesus. That is why, the Gospel began to be written by the first disciples of Jesus, also using the services of others to write it; like Peter who used Mark’s services to write the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. It is understandable that Mark’s Gospel can also be as called the Gospel of Peter.

In the beginning, the New Testament was written in a media called papyrus. And it had become written documents since the year 140 AD. At that time, the four Gospels has been unified and perceived as complete, and many Christian figures in church – which are also apostles- tried to compile the epistles to a complete form of the Bible. The expert Christian archaeologists and congregation’s servants succeed to reconstruct the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament. They can prove the similarities between the ancient manuscripts with the Bible which Christians have today. As the proof, in the later days, the older ancient scripts of the New Testament found, such as some of Paul’s letters in a form of papyrus which is from 1st-2nd century, and the content is the same as the New Testament we have today.

Based on research, the New Testament was initially written and compiled completely in the 2nd century. At that time it was also translated to Latin which called Vetera Antiqua. This is a Coptic language which commonly found within the societies around Egypt, Ethiopia and Syria. Later, the Bible in Latin, was revised by Hironimus at 4th century, and It was called vulgate, which later became the official translation of the Bible at that time. Because the Christians at that time mostly used Latin. That’s why later, it can be seen that many churches in Europe used Latin in their liturgy.

The oldest and most complete manuscripts of the New Testament is from the 4th century, namely codex Vaticanus, codex Sinaiticus, etc. If we observe more, there are two groups in the New Testament manuscripts. The first group is the manuscripts that came from early days or earlier. These manuscripts are surely the closest to the time of its writing. At that time, the New Testament was written all with capital letters, called uncials. There’s also the second group of manuscripts which written in small letters and looked more cursive, and it’s called cursives or minuscule. This minuscule existed and appeared in 9th century.

Today, we have found more than 5.800 manuscripts of the New Testament. Certainly, not all of those have it in complete form like what we have today. By that,

Those New Testament manuscripts are ancient historical documents
which could be a better witness of the truth of the Bible.

Within those 5.800 manuscripts, most of it are minuscule which came from 9th – 16th century. All uncial manuscripts came from around the year 650AD.

In the beginning, the copyist of the ancient books wrote it in Greek without spacing between the word or sentence. It’s hard for today’s Christian to understand. This kind of writing in Theology is called scriptio continua. That kind of practice took place up to 8th century. After that time onwards, the scripts of the New Testament used punctuation in some places. There’s a big possibility that the manuscripts of the New Testaments was written in the form of uncial or cursives, and some letters were dictated to be written. Reading these verses might confirm the truth above (Rm. 16:22; 1 Ptr. 5:12; Gal. 6:11).

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