HELP… Someone Scrambled my Scriptures!
Rome's Replacement Rearrangement
The HRV Scriptures now available in hardbound and in e-text:
The books of the Bible as you probably know them, have been rearranged from their original, proper, manuscript order.
The original order of the books of the Tanak ("Old Testament") places the books in three sections: The Torah; the Navi'im (prophets) and the Ketuvim (writings) in an order quite different from that used by most Bibles today. Yeshua refers to these three sections in Luke 24:44-45 but this statement loses its meaning to those not aware of the three sections of the Tanak. Moreover in Mt. 23:35 and Luke 11:51 Yeshua refers to the murders of Abel and Zechariah by which he implies the beginning and ending of the Tanak (Abel was killed at the beginning of the Tanak (Gen. 4) while Zechariah was killed at the end of the Tanak (2Chr. 24:20-21) using the original order of the books. There are many other reasons the manuscript order of the books is important. The three sections of the Tanak correspond with the three sections of the Temple, and their subsections correspond to the items in each section of the Temple.
Just as the manuscript order of the books of the Tanak (OT), does not agree with the ordering of the same books in the Christian "Old Testament" as printed today, so also does the original manuscript order of the NT differ.
The Hebraic Roots Version restores the books of the “New Testament” to their original manuscript order.
Most copies of the New Testament today follow the order:
However the original manuscript order of the books was:
This original manuscript order is followed by the Aramaic Peshitta canon and thus is that which is followed by such well known Peshitta manuscripts as Codex Khaboris and the Yonan Codex (these two are mentioned by name, not because of their age but because they are good examples of complete Peshitta New Testament manuscripts).
This original manuscript order is also followed by the oldest and best ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, such as Codex Vaticanus; Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Ephraem.
This original manuscript order was also followed by Westcott & Hort in their 1881 publication of the Greek New Testament (which they mistakenly believed was the “original”) writing:
We have followed recent editors in abandoning the Hieronymic
order [Jerome’s order] familiar in modern Europe through the
influence of the Latin Vulgate, in favour of the order most highly
recommended by various Greek authority of the fourth century…
It differs from the Hieronymic order… the Acts are immediately
followed by the Catholic Epistles.
(Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek, p. 320)
In his Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament Scrivener writes:
Whether copies contain the whole or a part of the sacred volume,
the general order of the books is the following: Gospels, Acts,
Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse.
(Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament Vol. 1 p. 72)
Our English Bibles follow the order as given in the Latin Vulgate.
This order, therefore, depends on the arbitrary judgment of one
man, Jerome (A.D. 382-429). All theories based on this order rest
on human authority, and thus are without any true foundation.
(Companion Bible, Appendix 95, p. 139)
M’Clintock and Strong in their twelve volume Cyclopedia write:
The Western Church… as represented by Jerome…
gave priority of position to the Pauline epistles. The tendency
of the Western Church to recognize Rome as the center
of authority may perhaps, in part, account for the departure
from the custom of the East. The order of the Alexandrian,
Vatican and Ephraem manuscripts gives precedence to the
Catholic Epistles, and this is also recognized by the Council
of Laodicea, Cyril of Jerusalem and Athanasius,…
(CBTEL, vol. 1, p. 800)
The late Dr. Ernest Martin writes:
There can be no doubt whatever that the actual manuscript
arrangement of the New Testament books should be restored
in all modern versions. …the seven Catholic (“Jewish”)
Epistles should be placed in their original position before those of Paul…
(Restoring the Original Bible; by Ernest L. Martin p. 16-17)
This original manuscript order is also testified to by many of the ancient “Church Fathers”. Athanasius (296-373 CE) Bishop of Alexandria gives the order of books as “the four Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles; the seven Catholic Epistles; the fourteen epistles of St. Paul; and the Revelation of John” Leonitus of Byzantium also gives this order. The fourth century “Church Father” Philastrius also argued that the Catholic Epistles must precede the Pauline epistles because Gal. 1:17 has Paul referring to the Emissaries of the Jewish Epistles as coming before him. Cyril Bishop of Jerusalem also maintained the original manuscript order as did the Council of Laodicea.
This is another important feature which makes the HRV unique when compared to other Messianic editions. Just as the manuscript order of the books of the Tanak (OT), (followed by Judaism) does not agree with the ordering of the same books in the Christian "Old Testament" as printed today, so also does the manuscript order of the NT differ. The ancient manuscript order of the books of the "New Testament" has first the "Gospels" then "Acts" followed by the Jewish Epistles (Ya’akov (James); 1 & 2 Kefa (Peter); 1, 2 & 3 Yochanan (John) and Y'hudah (Jude)) followed by the Pauline epistles which are followed by Revelation. This order was rearranged by Rome in the Latin Vulgate in which the Pauline epistles were given first place and the Jewish epistles given second place. The original manuscript order had an important significance. It agreed with the precept that the message was to the Jews first and then to the Goyim (Gentiles). It also agrees with the concept that Ya'akov, Kefa and Yochanan were emissaries that come BEFORE Paul (Gal. 1:17) and with the concept that Kefa, Ya'akov and Yochanan served as three pillars which lend authority upon which Paul's message was built (Gal. 2:9) and not vice-versa. The reader of the NT was intended to read the "Jewish" epistles FIRST and then to read the Pauline epistles already having understood the Jewish epistles. The NT reader was intended to read Ya'akov's (James') admonition concerning faith and works (Ya'akov 2) as well as Kefa's warnings about Paul being difficult to understand and often twisted (2Kefa 3:15-16) etc. before ever attempting to understand the writings of Paul. The HRV follows the ancient manuscript order (which agrees also with the order of the ancient Aramaic manuscripts) in placing the "Jewish epistles" immediately after Acts and placing the Pauline Epistles AFTER them.