While there were professional scribes whose lives were dedicated to this grueling work, they did not start copying the letters and testaments about Jesus's time until centuries after they were written. These manuscripts were originally written in Koiné, or "common" Greek, and not all of the amateur copyists spoke the language or were even fully literate.
Some copied the script without understanding the words.
They gather in football stadiums by the thousands to pray for the country's salvation.
They are God's frauds, cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which Bible verses they heed with less care than they exercise in selecting side orders for lunch.
A Pew Research poll in 2010 found that evangelicals ranked only a smidgen higher than atheists in familiarity with the New Testament and Jesus's teachings.
"Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don't read it,'' wrote George Gallup Jr.
Newsweek's exploration here of the Bible's history and meaning is not intended to advance a particular theology or debate the existence of God. At best, we've all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.
Rather, it is designed to shine a light on a book that has been abused by people who claim to revere it but don't read it, in the process creating misery for others. About 400 years passed between the writing of the first Christian manuscripts and their compilation into the New Testament.
Ask each of your professors which style they want you to use.
If they have no preference you can follow any of these styles (just be consistent).