The ORIGINAL Order of the New Testament Books
HELP - Someone Scrambled my Scriptures!
Rome's Replacement Rearrangement
Just as the manuscript order of the books of the Tanak (OT), (followed by Judaism) does not agree with the ordering of the same books in the Christian "Old Testament" as printed today, so also does the manuscript order of the NT differ.
The ancient manuscript order of the books of the "New Testament" has first the "Gospels" then "Acts" followed by the Jewish Epistles (Ya'akov (James); 1 & 2 Kefa (Peter); 1, 2 & 3 Yochanan (John) and Y'hudah (Jude)) followed by the Pauline epistles which are followed by Revelation.
This original order was rearranged by Rome in the Latin Vulgate in which the Pauline epistles were given first place and the Jewish epistles given second place. This gave Romans a more prominent place in the NT as part of Rome's bid for power. Thus Rome effectively displaced and replaced the Jews by displacing the Jewish epistles and replacing them with the Pauline Epistles beginning with "Romans".
Up until the 4th Century all of the "Church Fathers" who list the NT books do so by placing the Jewish Epistles (sometimes called the "Catholic (Latin: Universal) Epistles") first, followed by the Pauline Epistles. The ancient Aramaic manuscripts always follow this order as well. This is because Rome had no legal authority over those in the Parthean Empire outside its borders, where the Aramaic retained its position as the original, standard text.
The original manuscript order had an important significance. It agreed with the precept that the message was to the Jews first and then to the Goyim (Gentiles). It also agrees with the concept that Ya'akov, Kefa and Yochanan were emissaries that come BEFORE Paul (Gal. 1:17) and with the concept that Kefa, Ya'akov and Yochanan served as three pillars which lend authority upon which Paul's message was built (Gal. 2:9) and not vice-versa. The reader of the NT was intended to read the "Jewish" epistles FIRST and then to read the Pauline epistles already having understood the Jewish epistles. The NT reader was intended to read Ya'akov's (James') admonition concerning faith and works (Ya'akov 2) as well as Kefa's warnings about Paul being difficult to understand and often twisted (2Kefa 3:15-16) etc. before ever attempting to understand the writings of Paul.
In fact when Westcott and Hort published their critical edition of the Greek NT in 1881 they returned to the original order of the books saying in their introduction:
We have followed recent editors in abandoning the Hieronymic Order familiar in modern Europe through the influence of the Latin Vulgate, in favour of the order most highly recommended by various Greek authority of the fourth century. (Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek, pp. 320-321)
(obviously I do not agree that the Greek was the original) So the ancient Aramaic places the Jewish Epistles first, and the Ancient Greek places the Jewish Epistles first and Rome actually rearranged the Scriptures to place the Pauline Epistles beginning with Romans in front and pushed the Jewish Epistles behind them when creating the Latin Vulgate which served as the Roman Catholic Standard text. This Roman Replacement Rearrangement became adopted by many Greek printed editions, the King James Version, virtually all English versions which followed, and even all Messianic Editions until the HRV. Even the Jewish New Testament and Complete Jewish Bible (which restores the order of the Tanak books) adopts Rome's replacement rearrangement of scrambled Scriptures.
( The HRV follows the ancient manuscript order (which agrees also with the order of the ancient Aramaic manuscripts) in placing the "Jewish epistles" immediately after Acts and placing the Pauline Epistles AFTER them.)
CONCLUSION The New Testament, like the Tanak was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the native languages of first century Jews and Syrians. The native tounge of both Jerusalem and Antioch. This is testified to by many of the ancient "Church Fathers" as well as many modern scholars. Even Paul, who was an anti-helenist wrote in Hebrew and Aramaic to core groups of Jewish leaders at local assemblies throughout the world who then translated them into Greek, Latin etc. for the populace. Contrary to popular myth there are in fact old and ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts and the oldest complete Aramaic manuscripts is about the same age as the oldest Greek manuscript. Moreover there is a plethora of internal evidence demonstration the originality of the Hebrew and Aramaic over the Greek. The Tanak quotes as they appear in the Hebrew and Aramaic NT mss. Demonstrate that these texts could not have simply been translated from the Greek NT. Moreover there are many instances where the Greek translator seems to have mistranslated ambiguous Hebrew/Aramaic words or misread them. Many cases of Synoptic and Johnian Variation can be traced back to these issues. There are also many cases where the Greek translator seems to have mistaken a question for a statement (a common translation error when translating Hebrew and/or Aramaic into other languages. Finally the Hebrew and Aramaic are filled with puns, wordplays and alliteration again demonstrating that they are the result of composition rather than translation from Greek.
To find out more about the Hebraic-Roots Version, the first Messianic translation translated not from the Greek manuscripts, but from the Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts.
Shake Helenism's biggest hold on Messianic Judaism: The Greek NT
Hebraic-Roots Version (HRV) Messianic Version NT