In this issue...
How much thought do you give to the earliest physical copies of the Bible? For most of us what matters is the text, not tangible objects. However these artifacts play a hugely important part in our understanding of what Scripture says.
How do we know that the Old Testament we read is essentially the same Hebrew Bible that Jesus read? This question matters, and it is answered with reference to ancient and sometimes beautiful manuscripts, created by incredibly committed people, who lived hundreds of years ago.
The cover of this issue shows an amazing “carpet page” from one such manuscript, the Leningrad Codex. Its intricate design evidences the care and creativity of these early scribes, who dedicated their lives to the preservation of Scripture. You can find out more about their painstaking work and the tricks of their trade on page 10.
In this issue we also introduce a new column by teacher, preacher and writer Christopher Ash. His Bible Toolkit looks at how we can use scholarship to better understand the parts of the Bible that we find puzzling — particularly when the commentaries all seem to say different things. Find out more about the help available on page 8.