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This language only developed as the Jesus movement became more established. If such a Bible existed, you can be sure the library, museum, or church that owned it would be a major pilgrimage site. Bits and pieces of biblical texts are scattered quite literally across the whole world.

Modern Bibles are composed and translated based on whichever bits and pieces are judged to be the oldest and/or most reliable.

These are new questions without definitive answers yet.

What we do know is that the writer found it helpful to refer to the destruction of the Temple as a way to explain who Jesus was and why he was significant, because the passage that immediately follows this one is a long, detailed description of what the writer expected to happen next.Maybe a second-century writer picked up that shorter version and converted it into the two-part Luke-Acts volume that made it into modern Bibles.Maybe the same writer went back and crafted a much longer version later to serve a new purpose.Sometimes writers quote an important and respected text in order to borrow from the original text’s prestige or influence, or to solve a problem related to the original.This happens frequently in the New Testament: the writers regularly quote Hebrew scriptures to back their claims about Jesus.

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Westar Fellow Dennis Mac Donald, among others, has pointed out the influence on Christian writings of such Greco-Roman writings as Homer’s , and even popular novels. I remember sitting in a seminar once where Dennis Mac Donald reminded everybody that an allusion really only works if you can recognize the source.