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03D HOW THE BIBLE CAME TO US
The preservation of the Bible manuscripts that have come down to us from early ages is in itself a miracle. Entire copies of the Bible, some of them more than 1500 years old, are on display in the great museums and libraries of the world. Entire books of the Bible, and literally thousands of pieces of Bible manuscripts, some of them more than 2,000 years old, are on display in these museums and libraries. By comparing these early copies of the Bible writings it is readily seen that the Bible has been essentially unchanged since it was written.
Today it is easy for us to obtain the Bible and read it in our own language. But before the invention of printing it was not so. Until the invention of printing about five hundred years ago, all copies of the Bible were laboriously written by hand. Men who devoted their entire lives to copying the Bible knew how many letters there were in each book they copied, and they had to copy it accurately to the letter. If there was a single error, they were not allowed to erase it; the whole page had to be destroyed and recopied. As a result of their painstaking care, the Bible was passed down through the centuries with great accuracy.
With the invention of printing the mass production of the Bible became possible. The first book that came from the printing press was a Bible. Since that time more than one and one-half billion copies of the Bible have been printed. Today there are 255 complete translations of the Bible, and 1526 languages into which the Bible has been partially translated. And today more Bibles are sold each year in the Orient, the Americas, Africa and Europe, than any other book.
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