In the pages of the Bible, we learn of God's interaction with humans. We discover his purposes and plans from the beginning of time and throughout history. The word canon means "a rule" or "standard for measurement. Only the canonical books are considered the " divinely inspired " authoritative Word of God, and, thus, rightfully belong in the Bible. Both Jews and early church fathers agreed on 39 divinely inspired books as comprising the Old Testament Canon of Scripture.
Augustine A. Today, Coptic , Greek, and Russian Orthodox churches also accept these books. The word Apocrypha means "hidden. The central message or theme of the Bible is God's plan of salvation --his way of providing deliverance from sin and spiritual death through repentance and faith. In the Old Testament , the concept of salvation is rooted in Israel's deliverance from Egypt in the book of Exodus.
The New Testament reveals the source of salvation: Jesus Christ. By faith in Jesus, the promised Messiah, believers are saved from God's judgment of sin and its consequence, which is eternal death. In the Bible, God reveals himself to us. We discover his nature and character, his love, his justice, his forgiveness, and his truth. Many have called the Bible a guidebook for living the Christian faith. Psalm says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. On so many levels, the Bible is an extraordinary book, from its diverse content and literary styles to its miraculous preservation down through the ages.
While the Bible is certainly not the oldest book in history, it is the only ancient text with existing manuscripts that number in the thousands. In ancient days, the authors of the Bible recorded its messages with whatever resources were available at the time. The Scriptures themselves reveal some of the materials used: engravings in clay, inscriptions on tablets of stone , ink and papyrus, vellum, parchment, leather, and metals. Since Late Antiquity , once attributed to a hypothetical late 1st-century Council of Jamnia , mainstream Rabbinic Judaism rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts.
Several reasons have been given for this. First, some mistranslations were claimed. Second, the Hebrew source texts used for the Septuagint differed from the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts, which was chosen as canonical by the Jewish rabbis. After the Protestant Reformation , many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon and exclude the additional texts, which came to be called Biblical apocrypha. In most ancient copies of the Bible which contain the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, the Book of Daniel is not the original Septuagint version, but instead is a copy of Theodotion 's translation from the Hebrew, which more closely resembles the Masoretic Text.
In Greek-speaking areas, this happened near the end of the 2nd century, and in Latin-speaking areas at least in North Africa , it occurred in the middle of the 3rd century. History does not record the reason for this, and St. Jerome reports, in the preface to the Vulgate version of Daniel, "This thing 'just' happened.
It has been proposed, and is thought highly likely by scholars, that "Esdras B" — the canonical Ezra—Nehemiah — is Theodotion's version of this material, and "Esdras A" is the version which was previously in the Septuagint on its own. Some texts are found in the Septuagint but are not present in the Hebrew. Some books that are set apart in the Masoretic Text are grouped together.
The Septuagint organizes the minor prophets as twelve parts of one Book of Twelve. A Christian Bible is a set of books that a Christian denomination regards as divinely inspired and thus constituting scripture. Although the Early Church primarily used the Septuagint or the Targums among Aramaic speakers, the apostles did not leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead the canon of the New Testament developed over time.
Groups within Christianity include differing books as part of their sacred writings, most prominent among which are the biblical apocrypha or deuterocanonical books. The books which make up the Christian Old Testament differ between the Catholic see Catholic Bible , Orthodox, and Protestant see Protestant Bible churches, with the Protestant movement accepting only those books contained in the Hebrew Bible, while Catholic and Orthodox traditions have wider canons.
A few groups consider particular translations to be divinely inspired, notably the Greek Septuagint and the Aramaic Peshitta. These history books make up around half the total content of the Old Testament. Of the remainder, the books of the various prophets — Isaiah , Jeremiah , Ezekiel , and the twelve " minor prophets " — were written between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, with the exceptions of Jonah and Daniel , which were written much later.
The "wisdom" books — Job , Proverbs , Ecclesiastes , Psalms , Song of Solomon — have various dates: Proverbs possibly was completed by the Hellenistic time — BC , though containing much older material as well; Job completed by the 6th century BC; Ecclesiastes by the 3rd century BC. In Eastern Christianity , translations based on the Septuagint still prevail.
The Septuagint was generally abandoned in favour of the 10th-century Masoretic Text as the basis for translations of the Old Testament into Western languages. A number of books which are part of the Peshitta or the Greek Septuagint but are not found in the Hebrew Rabbinic Bible i. Most Protestants term these books as apocrypha. Modern Protestant traditions do not accept the deuterocanonical books as canonical, although Protestant Bibles included them in Apocrypha sections until the s.
The Roman Catholic Church recognizes: . In addition to those, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize the following: [ citation needed ]. Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches include: [ citation needed ]. There is also 4 Maccabees which is only accepted as canonical in the Georgian Church , but was included by St. Jerome in an appendix to the Vulgate , and is an appendix to the Greek Orthodox Bible, and it is therefore sometimes included in collections of the Apocrypha. The Syriac Orthodox tradition includes: [ citation needed ]. The Ethiopian Biblical canon includes: [ citation needed ].
The Anglican Church uses some of the Apocryphal books liturgically, though rarely and with alternative reading available.
Therefore, editions of the Bible intended for use in the Anglican Church may include the Deuterocanonical books accepted by the Catholic Church, plus 1 Esdras , 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh , which were in the Vulgate appendix. Not all of these works are actually pseudepigraphical. It also refers to books of the New Testament canon whose authorship is misrepresented.
The "Old Testament" Pseudepigraphal works include the following: . Notable pseudepigraphal works include the Books of Enoch such as 1 Enoch , 2 Enoch , surviving only in Old Slavonic , and 3 Enoch , surviving in Hebrew , c. These are ancient Jewish religious works, traditionally ascribed to the prophet Enoch , the great-grandfather of the patriarch Noah.
They are not part of the biblical canon used by Jews , apart from Beta Israel. Most Christian denominations and traditions may accept the Books of Enoch as having some historical or theological interest or significance. It has been observed that part of the Book of Enoch is quoted in the Epistle of Jude part of the New Testament but Christian denominations generally regard the Books of Enoch as non-canonical or non-inspired.
There arose [ when? These works were also outside the particular set of books that Roman Catholics called deuterocanonical and to which Protestants had generally applied the term Apocryphal. Accordingly, the term pseudepigraphical , as now used often among both Protestants and Roman Catholics allegedly for the clarity it brings to the discussion , may make it difficult to discuss questions of pseudepigraphical authorship of canonical books dispassionately with a lay audience.
To confuse the matter further, Eastern Orthodox Christians accept books as canonical that Roman Catholics and most Protestant denominations consider pseudepigraphical or at best of much less authority. There exist also churches that reject some of the books that Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants accept. The same is true of some Jewish sects. Many works that are apocryphal are otherwise considered genuine. The Old Testament has always been central to the life of the Christian church. Bible scholar N.
Wright says "Jesus himself was profoundly shaped by the scriptures. They regarded the "holy writings" of the Israelites as necessary and instructive for the Christian, as seen from Paul's words to Timothy 2 Timothy , and as pointing to the Messiah, and as having reached a climactic fulfillment in Jesus himself, generating the " new covenant " prophesied by Jeremiah. The New Testament is the name given to the second and final portion of the Christian Bible. Jesus is its central figure. The term "New Testament" came into use in the second century during a controversy among Christians over whether or not the Hebrew Bible should be included with the Christian writings as sacred scripture.
The New Testament presupposes the inspiration of the Old Testament. The New Testament is a collection of 27 books  of 4 different genres of Christian literature Gospels , one account of the Acts of the Apostles , Epistles and an Apocalypse. These books can be grouped into:. Narrative literature , account and history of the Apostolic age.
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Pauline Epistles. General epistles , also called catholic epistles. Apocalyptic literature , also called Prophetical. The mainstream consensus is that the New Testament was written in a form of Koine Greek ,   which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean     from the Conquests of Alexander the Great — BCE until the evolution of Byzantine Greek c.
The original autographs , that is, the original Greek writings and manuscripts written by the original authors of the New Testament, have not survived. There have been some minor variations, additions or omissions, in some of the texts. When ancient scribes copied earlier books, they sometimes wrote notes on the margins of the page marginal glosses to correct their text — especially if a scribe accidentally omitted a word or line — and to comment about the text.
When later scribes were copying the copy, they were sometimes uncertain if a note was intended to be included as part of the text. The three main textual traditions of the Greek New Testament are sometimes called the Alexandrian text-type generally minimalist , the Byzantine text-type generally maximalist , and the Western text-type occasionally wild. Together they comprise most of the ancient manuscripts. The Old Testament canon entered into Christian use in the Greek Septuagint translations and original books, and their differing lists of texts.
In addition to the Septuagint, Christianity [ vague ] subsequently added various writings that would become the New Testament. Somewhat different lists of accepted works continued to develop in antiquity. In the 4th century a series of synods produced a list of texts equal to the 39, 46, 51, or book canon of the Old Testament and to the book canon of the New Testament that would be subsequently used to today, most notably the Synod of Hippo in CE.
Also c. With the benefit of hindsight it can be said that this process effectively set the New Testament canon, although there are examples of other canonical lists in use after this time. The Protestant Old Testament of today has a book canon — the number of books though not the content varies from the Jewish Tanakh only because of a different method of division — while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books 51 books with some books combined into 46 books as the canonical Old Testament.
Some include 2 Esdras. The Anglican Church also recognizes a longer canon. The New Testament writers assumed the inspiration of the Old Testament, probably earliest stated in 2 Timothy , "All scripture is given by inspiration of God". There are 81 books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible.
The three books of Meqabyan are not to be confused with the books of Maccabees. The order of the other books is somewhat different from other groups', as well. The Second Epistle to Timothy says that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". Within these broad beliefs many schools of hermeneutics operate.
Jewish antiquity attests to belief in sacred texts,   and a similar belief emerges in the earliest of Christian writings. Various texts of the Bible mention divine agency in relation to its writings.
What is the Bible?
The original texts of the Tanakh were mainly in Hebrew, with some portions in Aramaic. There are several different ancient versions of the Tanakh in Hebrew, mostly differing by spelling, and the traditional Jewish version is based on the version known as Aleppo Codex. Even in this version there are words which are traditionally read differently from written, because the oral tradition is considered more fundamental than the written one, and presumably mistakes had been made in copying the text over the generations.
The primary biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint.
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In addition, they translated the Hebrew Bible into several other languages. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic , Ethiopic , and Latin, among other languages. The Latin translations were historically the most important for the Church in the West, while the Greek-speaking East continued to use the Septuagint translations of the Old Testament and had no need to translate the New Testament. The earliest Latin translation was the Old Latin text, or Vetus Latina , which, from internal evidence, seems to have been made by several authors over a period of time.
It was based on the Septuagint, and thus included books not in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Latin Decretum Gelasianum also known as the Gelasian Decree , thought to be of a 6th-century document   of uncertain authorship and of pseudepigraphal papal authority variously ascribed to Pope Gelasius I , Pope Damasus I , or Pope Hormisdas    but reflecting the views of the Roman Church by that period,  the Council of Rome in AD under Pope Damasus I — assembled a list of books of the Bible. Damasus commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin.
This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible , in the fourth century AD although Jerome expressed in his prologues to most deuterocanonical books that they were non- canonical. Since the Protestant Reformation , Bible translations for many languages have been made. John Riches, professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow , provides the following view of the diverse historical influences of the Bible:. It has inspired some of the great monuments of human thought, literature, and art; it has equally fuelled some of the worst excesses of human savagery, self-interest, and narrow-mindedness.
It has inspired men and women to acts of great service and courage, to fight for liberation and human development; and it has provided the ideological fuel for societies which have enslaved their fellow human beings and reduced them to abject poverty. It has, perhaps above all, provided a source of religious and moral norms which have enabled communities to hold together, to care for, and to protect one another; yet precisely this strong sense of belonging has in turn fuelled ethnic, racial, and international tension and conflict.
In Islam , the Bible is held to reflect true unfolding revelation from God ; but revelation which had been corrupted or distorted in Arabic: tahrif ; which necessitated the giving of the Qur'an to the Islamic prophet , Muhammad , to correct this deviation. Members of other religions may also seek inspiration from the Bible. For example, Rastafaris view the Bible as essential to their religion  and Unitarian Universalists view it as "one of many important religious texts".
Biblical criticism refers to the investigation of the Bible as a text, and addresses questions such as authorship, dates of composition, and authorial intention. It is not the same as criticism of the Bible , which is an assertion against the Bible being a source of information or ethical guidance, or observations that the Bible may have translation errors. In the 17th century Thomas Hobbes collected the current evidence to conclude outright that Moses could not have written the bulk of the Torah. Shortly afterwards the philosopher Baruch Spinoza published a unified critical analysis, arguing that the problematic passages were not isolated cases that could be explained away one by one, but pervasive throughout the five books, concluding that it was "clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses Biblical archaeology is the archaeology that relates to and sheds light upon the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Greek Scriptures or the "New Testament".
It is used to help determine the lifestyle and practices of people living in biblical times. There are a wide range of interpretations in the field of biblical archaeology. One broad division includes biblical maximalism which generally takes the view that most of the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible is based on history although it is presented through the religious viewpoint of its time. It is considered to be the opposite of biblical minimalism which considers the Bible to be a purely post-exilic 5th century BCE and later composition.
Even among those scholars who adhere to biblical minimalism, the Bible is a historical document containing first-hand information on the Hellenistic and Roman eras , and there is universal scholarly consensus that the events of the 6th century BCE Babylonian captivity have a basis in history. The historicity of the biblical account of the history of ancient Israel and Judah of the 10th to 7th centuries BCE is disputed in scholarship.
The biblical account of the 8th to 7th centuries BCE is widely, but not universally, accepted as historical, while the verdict on the earliest period of the United Monarchy 10th century BCE and the historicity of David is unclear. Archaeological evidence providing information on this period, such as the Tel Dan Stele , can potentially be decisive. The biblical account of events of the Exodus from Egypt in the Torah , and the migration to the Promised Land and the period of Judges are not considered historical in scholarship.
The Bible used by Abraham Lincoln for his oath of office during his first inauguration in Most old Bibles were illuminated, they were manuscripts in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials , borders marginalia and miniature illustrations. Up to the twelfth century, most manuscripts were produced in monasteries in order to add to the library or after receiving a commission from a wealthy patron.
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Larger monasteries often contained separate areas for the monks who specialized in the production of manuscripts called a scriptorium , where "separate little rooms were assigned to book copying; they were situated in such a way that each scribe had to himself a window open to the cloister walk. The manuscript was "sent to the rubricator , who added in red or other colours the titles, headlines , the initials of chapters and sections, the notes and so on; and then — if the book was to be illustrated — it was sent to the illuminator.
Coloured version of the Whore of Babylon illustration from Martin Luther's translation of the Bible. An Armenian Bible, illuminated by Malnazar. Jonah being swallowed by the fish, Kennicott Bible, But if anyone receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Bible disambiguation. For the song by Biffy Clyro, see Biblical song. Collection of religious texts in Judaism and Christianity. Canons and books. Tanakh Torah Nevi'im Ketuvim. Christian biblical canons. Deuterocanon Antilegomena. Authorship and development. Authorship Dating Hebrew canon. Pauline epistles Petrine epistles. Translations and manuscripts. Biblical studies. Hermeneutics Pesher Midrash Pardes. Allegorical interpretation Literalism. Gnostic Islamic Qur'anic. Inerrancy Infallibility. See also: Authorship of the Bible.
Main article: Development of the Hebrew Bible canon. Main article: Torah. See also: Oral Torah. Main article: Nevi'im. Joshua Judges Samuel Kings. Isaiah Jeremiah Ezekiel. Main article: Ketuvim. Psalms Proverbs Job. Main article: Samaritan Pentateuch. Main article: Septuagint. Jesus Christ. Jesus in Christianity Virgin birth Crucifixion Resurrection appearances. Bible Foundations. History Tradition. Denominations Groups. Related topics. Main articles: Christian biblical canons and List of English Bible translations. Main article: Old Testament. Main article: Pseudepigrapha.
Further information: Sola scriptura and Christian theology. Main article: Development of the New Testament canon. See also: Language of the New Testament.
See also: Biblical manuscript and Textual criticism. Main article: Ethiopian Biblical canon. Main articles: Biblical inspiration , Biblical literalism , Biblical infallibility , and Biblical inerrancy. Further information: Bible translations and List of Bible translations by language.
- Endemione (Italian Edition).
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Main article: Islamic view of the Christian Bible. Main articles: Biblical studies and Biblical criticism. Main articles: Higher criticism and Lower criticism. Main articles: Biblical archaeology school and The Bible and history. The Kennicott Bible, Jephthah's daughter laments — Maciejowski Bible France, ca. This table reflects the canon of the Old Testament as used currently in Orthodoxy. The Bible: the making and impact on the Bible a history. England: Lion Hudson.
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Retrieved 22 May The United Methodists see Scripture as the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. They emphasize the importance of tradition, experience, and reason for Christian doctrine. Lutherans teach that the Bible is the sole source for Christian doctrine. The truths of Scripture do not need to be authenticated by tradition, human experience, or reason. Scripture is self authenticating and is true in and of itself. Scripture and Tradition. Baker Books. Time Magazine.
Retrieved 11 August Simply put, the Bible is the most influential book of all-time The Bible has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Even pop culture is deeply influenced by the Bible. Guinness World Records. Retrieved 9 December The Wall Street Journal.
The Economist. Top 10 of Everything Dorling Kindersley.