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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

Definitions

Establishing a critical edition of the biblical text involves the collection of all the differences between manuscript copies of any text, and the publication of all significant ones. The manuscripts are in the form of collections of biblical books, usually bound leaves, called codices (the plural of codex); scrolls, or long strips of papyrus or parchment rolled up, of individual books, such as those found at Qumran near the Dead Sea; lectionaries, or passages excerpted from texts in order to be read in worship services; and citations, or quotations in ancient writers, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the rabbis, or early church theologians. These sources, taken all together, are called witnesses or authorities, and the differences among them are called variant readings or simply variants. Also important are ancient translations, or versions, of the Bible, which provide indirect evidence for the original text. More details on these different forms of the texts are given under the specific discussion of the texts for the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament.

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