In Part 1, we examined the history of how the Tanakh, commonly called the "Old Testament" came down to us. In that article, we focused solely on the Hebrew Tanakh, because it is, after all, the original language of it. In this article we will examine the early translations of the Tanakh. In particular, we will focus on three primary version: The Greek Septuagint, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Latin Vulgate (with a brief discussion of the Old Latin). Throughout this article series I hope that you, the reader, will gain a better understanding of how the Bible in your hands came down to you through the ages.
This article is part of a series on the history of the Bible. This article will examine the Hebrew texts that form the Tanakh or "Old Testament" of our Scriptures.
The oldest known verifiable Hebrew writing dates to about 1000 BCE. It was found inscribed onto clay and ceramic shards. There is also what is called the Gezer calendar, a limestone tablet dated to about the same time as the above mentioned shard. Beyond small inscriptions and things of that nature, we do not have many Biblical writings that have survived passed that. This is approximately what is called the Monarchic Period, because it roughly includes the reign of Kings David and Solomon.
Most writings dated to this time period are what is commonly called the "Paleo-Hebrew" script (as shown in the image above). This script is virtually the same as the Canaanite script, also called the Phoenician script. It looked similar to the photo here: