The Bible was written over a period of 1600 years, Torah was written 3500 years ago.

There are few claims that it could change over the period of time.

So how do we know that The Hebrew Bible of today is substantially the same as the original writings?

  • What do you mean by "substantial" and "the original writings"? – Al Berko Sep 16 '18 at 0:32

One way to know that it is substantially the same is by comparing it to the Samaritan Pentateuch which is considered to date sometime between the end of the first temple period up until as late as the Hasmonean period. While technically, there are some 6000 variations between the two versions, most are basically minor spelling or grammatical variations and only a handful have any significance. If you're looking for an academic quality argument this is the best one I am aware of. Of course this only gets you back to the end of the first temple period in the best case.


The Torah must be written by a scribe copying from a "checked" copy of a scroll. Originally, the copy checked was that written by Moses. Eventually, Ezra wrote an "official" copy that was used. The "Torah Codes" that have been found could not have been determined if any letters in the Torah or the "distance" between the letters had changed at all. For example, see Writing the Torah at Aish Hatorah.The Talmud discusses this. The navi in Melachim discusses how an original scroll was discovered by Hilkiah in the time of Yoshiyahu and recognized as the original scroll of Moshe.

Note that I do not claim anything about these "Torah Codes". That is just an example of something that could not have been done if any of the words in the Torah that they try to use had been changed. Since they rely on the count of letters between points, any change would have totally dirupted their calculations.

  • 1
    Torah Codes??? Is this a joke? (Are you referring to the Ketuvim in Divrei HaYamim? I wouldn't call that Pshat, but whatever) – Double AA Aug 14 '14 at 15:54
  • No. I just meant that those who use the "Torah Codes" as an example of counting the number of letters between letters to get whatever it is they get. If the Torah were not accurate the counts would have been off and the whole set of codes gibberish. This was only an example and does not claim that the codes are actually valid (or are not valid). – sabbahillel Aug 14 '14 at 18:38
  • But the codes are gibberish, and there are variations in the text. If you change some of the letters you'd just find different messages in the codes. You are claiming that there is significance in what "code seekers" have found whether you like it or not, and such a claim is obviously bupkis. – Double AA Aug 14 '14 at 18:45
  • @Double AA - SOME people, like the authors of the Code books, didn't consider them jokes, but a rather good source of income.. Too bad the Moby Dick and War and Peace codes did just as good a job of history depiction and fortunetelling... – Gary Aug 15 '14 at 14:56
  • @Gary according to the articles, the Moby Dick and War and Peace checks did not find anything that showed as codes statistically. The problem was that there were people who actually did not to a proper mathematical analysis in order to "prove" a predetermined agenda. They caused the entire concept to look bad and be discarded. In any case, the point was not whether the codes were or were not valid but that proper analysis would have been disrupted had the text been changed. – sabbahillel Aug 15 '14 at 22:21

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