Copyright © 2011 by Gary Konecky

 

We have spent a fair amount of time exploring the bible and various teachings on sexual orientation.  Having done so, I would be remiss if I did not point out a surprising truth.  When we speak of the bible, most people assume that they are all referring to the same book.  This is not so.

 

When people use the term the Old Testament (a term which some Jews find offensive), they assume it is the bible that the Jewish people use.  This is not so. 

 

Even the Christian bible has variations among the various Christian faiths.

 

How and why these differences exist is a fascinating topic and it is also a topic well beyond the scope of this series.

 

Below are a series of charts that serve to highlight the differences in the various bibles.

 

Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Christian Bibles

 

It is noteworthy that the Christian “Old Testament” not only has a different arrangement of the books of the Hebrew bible, but it also contains a lot of material that is not present in the Hebrew Bible.  Despite having common ancestors, the Hebrew bible and Christian “Old Testament” reflect very different perspectives on matters of faith and belief as evidenced by the way the books of the bible are organized. 
 

HEBREW BIBLE
(a.k.a. Mikra or TaNaK/Tanakh)

ORTHODOX BIBLES
(based on larger versions of LXX;
exact contents & editions vary)

CATHOLIC BIBLE
(based on Alexandrian canon of LXX;
with seven Deuterocanonical books)

PROTESTANT BIBLE
(retains Catholic order, but
seven Apocrypha removed)

Torah / Books of Moses
1) Bereshit / Genesis
2) Shemot / Exodus
3) VaYikra / Leviticus
4) BaMidbar / Numbers
5) Devarim / Deuteronomy
 

Pentateuch
1) Genesis
2) Exodus
3) Leviticus
4) Numbers
5) Deuteronomy

Pentateuch (Law)
1) Genesis
2) Exodus
3) Leviticus
4) Numbers
5) Deuteronomy

Law (Pentateuch)
1) Genesis
2) Exodus
3) Leviticus
4) Numbers
5) Deuteronomy

Nevi'im / Former Prophets
6) Joshua
7) Judges
8) Samuel (1&2)
9) Kings (1&2)
 

Historical Books
6) Joshua
7) Judges
8) Ruth
9) 1 Kingdoms (= 1 Sam)
10) 2 Kingdoms (= 2 Sam)
11) 3 Kingdoms (= 1 Kings)
12) 4 Kingdoms (= 2 Kings)
13) 1 Chronicles
14) 2 Chronicles
15) 1 Esdras
16) 2 Esdras (=Erza + Nehemiah)
17) Esther (longer version)
18) JUDITH
19) TOBIT
 
20) 1 MACCABEES
21) 2 MACCABEES
22) 3 Maccabees
23) 4 Maccabees

 

Historical Books
6) Joshua
7) Judges
8) Ruth
9) 1 Samuel
10) 2 Samuel
11) 1 Kings
12) 2 Kings
13) 1 Chronicles
14) 2 Chronicles

15) Ezra
16) Nehemiah
17) TOBIT
18) JUDITH
19) Esther (longer version)
20) 1 MACCABEES
21) 2 MACCABEES

Historical Books
6) Joshua
7) Judges
8) Ruth
9) 1 Samuel
10) 2 Samuel
11) 1 Kings
12) 2 Kings
13) 1 Chronicles
14) 2 Chronicles

15) Ezra
16) Nehemiah


17) Esther (shorter version)

Nevi'im / Latter Prophets
10) Isaiah
11) Jeremiah
12) Ezekiel
13) The Book of the Twelve:
       Hosea, Joel,
       Amos, Obadiah,
       Jonah, Micah,
       Nahum, Habakkuk,
       Zephaniah, Haggai,
       Zechariah, Malachi
 

Khetuvim / Writings
14) Psalms (150)
15) Proverbs
16) Job
17) Song of Solomon
18) Ruth
19) Lamentations
20) Ecclesiastes
21) Esther (shorter version)
22) Daniel (12 chapters)
23) Ezra-Nehemiah
24) Chronicles (1&2)

Poetic Books
24) Psalms (151)
25)    Odes (w/ Prayer of Manasseh)
26) Proverbs
27) Ecclesiastes
28) Song of Solomon
29) Job
30) WISDOM of Solomon
31) SIRACH, a.k.a. Ecclesiasticus
32) Psalms of Solomon

Wisdom Books
22) Job
23) Psalms (150)
24) Proverbs
25) Ecclesiastes
26) Song of Solomon
27) WISDOM of Solomon
28) SIRACH, a.k.a. Ecclesiasticus

Wisdom Books
18) Job
19) Psalms (150)
20) Proverbs
21) Ecclesiastes
22) Song of Solomon

.

Prophets
33) Hosea
34) Amos
35) Micah
36) Joel
37) Obadiah
38) Jonah
39) Nahum
40) Habakkuk
41) Zephaniah
42) Haggai
43) Zechariah
44) Malachi
 
45) Isaiah
46) Jeremiah
47)     BARUCH
48)     Lamentations
49)     LETTER of JEREMIAH
50) Ezekiel
51) Daniel (2 chapters listed separately):
52)     SUSANNA
53)     BEL and the DRAGON

Prophets
29) Isaiah
30) Jeremiah
31) Lamentations
32) BARUCH (incl. LETTER of JER.)
33) Ezekiel
34) Daniel (14 chapters)

35) Hosea
36) Joel
37) Amos
38) Obadiah
39) Jonah
40) Micah
41) Nahum
42) Habakkuk
43) Zephaniah
44) Haggai
45) Zechariah
46) Malachi

Prophets
23) Isaiah
24) Jeremiah
25) Lamentations
 
26) Ezekiel
27) Daniel (only 12 chapters)

28) Hosea
29) Joel
30) Amos
31) Obadiah
32) Jonah
33) Micah
34) Nahum
35) Habakkuk
36) Zephaniah
37) Haggai
38) Zechariah
39) Malachi

 

Source for the above chart:  http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Heb-Xn-Bibles.htm

 

The Ten Commandments

 

The phrase The 10 Commandments is actually a mistranslation.  A more accurate translation would be The 10 Statements.  Furthermore, according to Jewish tradition, G-d gave the Jews 613 commandments. 

 

Furthermore, not only are their differences in the Hebrew and various Christian bibles (as shown above), but also there are differences in things as fundamental as The Ten Commandments.  Not only are there issues of differing translation (such as murder vs. kill and covert vs. take), but there are even differences in the commandments themselves (do not worship idols) and in the numbers of the commandments themselves. 

 

 

 

Anglican,

 

Roman

 

 

Reformed,

Orthodox

Catholic (RC)

 

 

and other

and other

and some

Commandment

Jewish

Christian

Christian

Lutheran

 

 

 

 

 

I am the Lord your God

1

preface

1

1

You shall have no other gods before me

1

1

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not make for yourself an idol

2

2

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do not take the name of the Lord in vain

3

3

3

2

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy

4

4

4

3

 

 

 

 

 

Honor your father and your mother

5

5

5

4

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not kill/murder

6

6

6

5

 

murder

murder

murder

RC:  kill

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not commit adultery

7

7

7

6

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not steal/kidnap

8

8

8

7

 

kidnap

steal

steal

steal

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

9

9

9

8

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not covet/take your neighbor's wife

10

10

10

9

 

covert

take

take

take

 

 

 

 

 

You shall not covet/take anything that belongs to your

10

10

10

10

neighbor

covert

take

take

take

 

 

 

 

 

 

This chart is adapted from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10_Commandments

 








 

Additionally, there are differences in the commandments themselves as given in the Hebrew bible for the commandment to keep the Sabbath, for honoring your parents, and for coveting your neighbor’s property. 

 

The Psalms

 

Depending on what translation of the Hebrew bible into English you are reading will also bear on the meaning of what you are reading.  The Hebrew bible was at one point translated into ancient Greek.  At another time, the ancient Greek was translated into Latin.  At still another point, the biblical Hebrew was translated into Latin.  Any of these translations then made their way into English.  As we move from Hebrew into any translation, meanings sometimes are lost.  Moving from translation to translation to English makes this only more so.  Lastly, every translation has a point of view and any ambiguities are resolved in accordance with the teachings of the religion or faith that will be using that translation. 

 

The area in which the effects of the translation into Greek can be seen most clearly is in the Book of Psalms, where the very numbering of the psalms varies according to if it was first translated into Greek. 

 

Hebrew

Greek

 

 

psalm

psalm

 

 

numbers

numbers

 

 

1–8

1–8

 

 

9–10

9

 

 

11–113

10-112

 

 

114–115

113

 

 

116

114-115

 

 

117-146

116-145

 

 

147

146-147

 

 

148-150

148-150

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalms

 

According to the Syrian Orthodox Church  the psalms are numbered through number 155.

The Eastern Orthodox Church also includes psalm 151, which is not included in the Hebrew bible. 

 

Additional food for thought

 

While researching the material presented here, I came across an interesting website: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Christianity_vs_Judaism.  While I do not agree completely with the analysis presented here, I do think this is an excellent starting point for those who are curious about the differences between Christianity and Judaism. 

 

Another website, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80qn2YjxUng, also had a well throughout analysis of the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament differences. 
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