The Bible will not be released for another 200 years, according to biblical scholars who say that what many Christians believe is the holy text, is actually a disorganized collection of altered writings that hold the key to what the Bible truly said, The Associated Press reports.
Started in 1958, the Bible Project at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University has been assembling the original text of the Old Testament, tracking every change and every alteration, no matter how small, that has been made to the book over the last few thousand years, in order to eventually publish a completely accurate version of the Bible.
The project’s scholars have spent years researching every biblical manuscript they can, including translations on papyrus from Egypt, a printed Bible from 1525 Venice, parchment books in handwritten Hebrew, the Samaritan Torah, and scrolls in Aramaic and Latin, the AP reports.
The discrepancies the scholars have discovered range from small grammar changes. For example, they say "those who swear falsely” was meant to be "those who swear falsely in my name"; much more consequential changes involves the Book of Jeremiah, which the researchers say should be one-seventh longer.
Due to the meticulousness needed to get through such dense and obscure texts, the group has only managed to complete three of the Bible’s 39 books (Jews count that number as 24). It is estimated that the entire project will take another 200 years to complete.
Although some believers of the Bible might find it disconcerting to discover that it is full of errors, Rafael Zer, a secretary at the Bible Project, says that even with errors, the Bible still stands.
"A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy," he said. "But as soon as the words are given to human beings - with God's agreement, and at his initiative - the holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text is passed on."