Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
This study edition offers the established text of the Hebrew Old Testament originals as Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) in a convenient format and at an extremely attractive price.
Published by numerous scholars. 5th, improved edition (1997), it is the prevailing edition of the
Hebrew Old Testament, according to the Codex Leningradensis, Masorah compiled, with cross references.
With key to Latin words and abbreviations in English and German.
There are many Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts predating Muhammad (pbuh)
- The Dead Sea Scrolls: these manuscripts were found in the desert by the Dead Sea and
contain one complete Old Testament book (Isaiah) and thousands of portions
and fragments of varying length. Among these manuscripts every Old Testament
book is represented except Esther. They are all dated before AD 70, and many
can be dated a century earlier.
- The Nash Papyrus: a papyrus portion
containing sections of Exodus and Deuteronomy dated to between 100 BC to AD
- The Geniza Fragments: these are 200,000 fragments of Biblical texts in Hebrew and Aramaic, other Jewish religious literature, and other nonreligious texts. The earliest Biblical texts are dated to the AD 400's.
Though manuscripts have not yet been found that date back to the times of
Moses and the Old Testament prophets, manuscripts do exist from a very ancient
date and these have the same contents of the Old Testament we possess today. The
textual variants in them do not alter one doctrine but are mainly scribal errors
consisting in items like misspelled words, transposed words, and portions copied
Lists of Old Testament books predating Muhammad (pbuh) lists.
The following people and events pre-dating Muhammad gave lists of the books making up the Old Testament:
- Josephus ( AD 90): a Jewish historian who wrote
in defense of the Jewish nation and faith to Greeks and Romans.
- Council of Jamnia ( AD 90): an assembly of
Jewish elders at a college that in the course of discussions listed Old
Testament books recognized as Scripture.
- Council of Laodicea (AD 363): a Christian church council held to recognize the true books of Scripture in the Old and New Testaments for the use of churches in their services and teaching.
These main lists and other personal lists in the writings of various early church fathers show that the Jews were very sure of the contents of the Word of God they had received. They all list the same books that are in the present Old Testament. The Christians accepted the same Hebrew Scriptures as the Word of God also. There was no disagreement between them as to which books were in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament in the Bible as is available today is the same
as was available in and before Jesus' time.
This Old Testament is also considered by Jews to be their Holy Scriptures. There is no evidence that any other book except the version mentioned above was ever regarded as the Scriptures of the Jews. The Jews and the Christians protected the Old Testament Scriptures from corruption and any isolated attempts to corrupt it did not succeed. Therefore the present Old Testament is the uncorrupted Scripture of the Jews that was available before, up to the time of Muhammad and beyond.