A STRANGE ODDITY

“You bring them in and plant them on your mountain, the place that you, Lord, have chosen for your home, the Temple that you yourself have built”.

Ex 15:17 GNB

The Bible was written over a period of a thousand years, maybe even eleven or twelve hundred. That means that a lot of people were its writers. And there were no printing presses. Which means that for all that period – and long afterwards – every copy made was copied out – by hand!

Now the exodus from Egypt took place about 1290 B.C. And this passage is a song of praise to God which the Israelites sang to celebrate the event. And they sing about God having already built his home, the Temple. Now the temple in Jerusalem was built by King Solomon in about 950 B.C. three hundred and forty years later than the exodus. It didn’t exist when this song was sung! How can this be? A possible explanation could be that as one of the many hand-written copies of the original song was being made, the copyist, probably a great lover of the temple, stuck in this phrase on his own initiative, it not being there in the original – and we don’t know when that was written. This is only a guess and we cannot be sure.

What this tells us is that many people with love, dedication and skill passed on the writings that are now our Bible over hundreds of years. Many more copies became available with the invention of the printing press And now it is not only available after being translated into English (the Authorised Version having been translated into English in 1611 A.D.) but we can read it in modern English too.

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, thank you for the Bible and its message about you.