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The Bible Is Our Standard "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,

for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16,17 The Holy Bible was written by more than 40 human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit over a period of about 14 to 18 centuries. According to the above scripture all of the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit. The word "inspired" in Greek is theopneustos, which means "God-breathed." The Apostle Peter wrote that holy men composed the books of the Bible as they were "moved" by the Holy Spirit. Also the Apostle Paul wrote to his student Timothy that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God. The authors of the Bible wrote spontaneously using their own minds and experiences while influenced and directed by God. "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:20,21). The Two Parts of the Bible The Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament with 39 books and the New Testament with 27 books. It was written in two different time periods. The New Testament was written over a period of about 60 years, following the death and resurrection of Christ. The Old Testament was written from the time of Moses up to about four hundred years before Jesus was born, when the "book" (scroll) of Malachi was written. Malachi was the last book to be written in the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written in the original Hebrew language, with some chapters in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek with a few additional phrases from Aramaic, the commonly spoken Judean language of the day. The word "testament" is the King James-era English word for "covenant," or today what we might call a "contract." Therefore, the books of the Bible are divided according to the two blood covenants God has made with mankind. The Old Covenant was made between Abraham and God (Genesis 15) and covered Abraham's descendants through Isaac and Jacob, the natural race of Israel. The New Covenant was made with Jesus as both parties, God and man; the sacrifice; and the mediator. A mediator is someone like an attorney who works out the clauses to a contract with both parties. The new covenant covers members of all races who will accept Jesus as

Savior and Lord by faith. The new covenant fulfilled the promise of the old (Hebrews 8:6) and, ratified by the blood of Jesus, extended God's plan for reconciling man to Himself to cover all races, nations, and cultures (Galatians 3:28,29). "Testament" or "covenant" also can mean what we today call a will--a last will and testament. So in that sense, the new covenant is the spiritual way in which Jesus left (willed) all of the blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:14) to those who become born again under the new covenant and are also children of Abraham (Galatians 7). In addition, He willed to us redemption for our (Adamic) sin natures that enables us to become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have eternal life with God, the Father. God always has dealt with man through relationships. Adam and Eve were in a personal relationship with God before they fell into sin. In every age afterwards down to Abraham, God had at least one man (such as Noah) who would come into a relationship with Him and through whom He could execute His plan for the redemption of man. With Abraham, God "cut" a blood covenant to cover Abraham and his descendants until Jesus would come (Genesis 15:8-21). The ten commandments and the other health, civil, and religious statutes that were given to Israel some four hundred years after the Abrahamic covenant spelled out certain principles God laid down for them to live by and which the Israelites were to obey because of the covenant. This became known as "the Law," which actually was the details of how the covenant would work in the nation and in their lives. The Law was God's Word for that period and the standard by which man lived in order to receive the blessings or curses of the covenant. In any covenant, there are "assets" or good things that go with keeping it. Breaking a covenant or contract, on the other hand, means trouble, which in Bible terms is called receiving curses. However, Paul made it very clear that the Law never took the place of the Promise (the covenant) to Abraham. Jesus was the "promised seed of Abraham" who was to inherit all of the promises, so through Jesus, all those who are born again also inherit these promises of blessings (Galatians 3:29). People became a part of the old covenant by being a member of the people of Israel through faith and obedience to God, whether they were born into one of the tribes or whether they joined themselves to one of the tribes (Deuteronomy 4:6,13,34; Exodus 12:19; and Isaiah 56:3-5). Reading the Old Testament books carefully will show that, even then, the attitude of the heart was more important than legalistically keeping the Law and more important even than being born into Israel (1 Samuel 15:22).

Under the New Covenant, the Law or God's standards are "written on our hearts" (Romans 2:15), which means we have the Holy Spirit within us to remind us of right and wrong. Once we are saved, we have the power to overcome sin through the Holy Spirit and can receive the blessings of Abraham under the new covenant (Galatians 3:14). This is called "living under grace." However, since the time of Adam and Eve, God has dealt with mankind in two ways: love and mercy (grace) when one seeks Him or wrath and judgment for those who reject Him. Grace can be defined as "undeserved favor." Also, it is the ability to keep the law, which is called "divine enablement." Grace gives us power over sin, according to Romans 6:14, because we now have the "Covenant Maker" within us. Grace does not mean being able to break the law and get away with it. Grace does not mean that God looks the other way when we sin. It does mean that if we fail and break the law, forgiveness is immediately ours when we repent. The blood of Jesus already covers us. We can still overcome, although we may not yet perfectly be conformed to His image. We have the power or grace to become the sons of God (John 1:12). Criticism of the Bible Has Been Proven Wrong Some critics of the Bible say it is simply a collection of man's writings. Others believe it is a great "literary masterpiece," but not the "Word of God." Those are the people who do not believe there is a God. Others believe God's Word is in the Bible but that the entire Bible is not God's Word. However, scholars have proven that the Bible is accurate in its depiction of historical events that have been documented elsewhere, so the rest of it should be considered true as well, in spite of the critics. On the other hand, even if none of the Bible had any secular evidence, we still should believe it rather than the world's knowledge, because it is the Word of God and is reliable. Why Should the Bible be Trusted? Reliability depends on the accuracy of a document. There are three tests for determining the accuracy of any document. They are: 1. The Bibliographical Test (the accuracy of the copies that are compared, although there is a time span between them and the originals). 2. The Internal Test of Reliability (the author verifies or disqualifies himself by known factual inaccuracies or contradictions). 3. The External Evidence Test of Reliability (the document is authentic in regard to historical and archeological evidence or other writings).

The Bible passes all three of these tests. Research into formerly unknown languages and excavations by noted archeologists have shown over and over that historical events recorded in the Bible really happened. Westerners exploring the Middle East for the past one hundred and fifty years and Israeli archeologists since the 1950s have proved the Bible is fact, not fiction. There can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the accuracy of the Old Testament's historical accounts, in spite of the great skepticism expressed toward the Bible by scholars of the "higher criticism" school (which began with German theologians in the 1700s). For example, critics said no such place as Sela, the rock fortress (the capital of Seir, home of Esau and the Edomites),existed. From shortly after the time of Jesus until the early 1800s, no one except wandering Arab tribes knew where it was. Then Anglo-Swiss explorer Johann L. Burckhardt risked his very life by disguising himself as an Arab in 1812 and was taken into a hidden valley to a huge rock fortress with only one narrow way in or out. Once again, the Bible was shown to be more accurate than secular history. Today, we know this place as Petra. Another example is the excavation of Shushan, which lies some 200 miles east of Babylon. It was the capital of ancient Elam (Susiana) and, later, the winter capital of the Persian kings. Sushan was the scene of many Biblical events in the time of Daniel, Nehemiah, and Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus. When archeologists uncovered the floor of the throne room, they found a pavement of red and blue and black and white marble, just as had been described in the book of Esther (Esther 1:6). The Bible is unique in that it has survived over the centuries with very little corruption to the text. Compared to other ancient manuscripts, the Bible is the most accurately preserved text in existence. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1948 has shown the world that, if all of the books of the Bible are as accurate as Isaiah--the scroll they have pieced together and dated to 100 B.C.-then there have been extremely few changes since at least a hundred years before Christ. What differences exist between modern versions and the ancient manuscript found in a cave above the Dead Sea are minor ones that make no difference to the text itself and have affected no Church doctrines. Most disputes among church scholars and theologians involve the interpretation of the words in the Bible, not the words themselves. It makes sense that if the Bible is the very Word of God, it would be the most persecuted book in history. And indeed it has! French philosopher, Voltaire, predicted in 1778 that within a hundred years, Christianity and the Bible would be swept away! In the days of the French Revolution, the 1790s, a comprehensive effort was made to burn all of the copies of the Bible in the country (the Roman Catholic Latin translation) and

thousands of Bibles were burned. However, Voltaire died and is only a name in the history books. Today, more copies of the Bible exist today worldwide than ever before. The Bible is unique, and it has been proven reliable. One thing that proves it is Holy Spirit-inspired is the fact that, in spite of the diverse human authors having lived across almost two millennia, the theme of the Bible is the same. Although the writing styles vary, the unity of all of the books of the Bible taken together are as if one person wrote them. And One Person did--the Holy Spirit. Translation of the Bible Compared to other ancient manuscripts, the Bible is accepted as being the most accurately preserved text. The Jewish people preserved the Old Testament manuscripts as no other ancient written documents have been preserved. In fact, most of the other writings from Bible times have been found only in the past few hundred years on clay tablets. About three hundred years before Jesus was born, the Jewish religious leaders authorized the first translation from the original Hebrew scrolls of the Old Testament. According to Jewish tradition, 72 rabbis and scribes made up a committee which translated the Hebrew into Greek, the common language of the Roman Empire, in 70 or 72 days. This translation is called the Septuagint, from the Greek word for "seventy." About the year A.D. 500, a group of Jewish scribes called "Masoretes" (so named from the word masora, which means "to hand down" authoritative traditions) took upon themselves the task of ensuring the accurate transmission of the Old Testament to future generations. Located at a school near Tiberias, they established strict rules to be followed by all copyists. No word or letter could be written from memory. The scribe had to look attentively at each word and pronounce it before writing it down. Even the words and letters of each section were counted, and if these did not add up to the newly made copy, that section was discarded and copying started over. The Jewish scribes had the responsibility for copying the old scrolls as they became cracked and not able to be used. Modern scholars have discovered several hundred copying errors, but most of those were made after the time of Jesus by monks who copied the early scrolls and codex manuscripts. The first scrolls were animal skins scraped thin and made into pages that were bound side by side and rolled up. Later, scrolls were papyrus pages. Papyrus was made out of reeds found along the Nile River and pounded to a pulp then dried in the sun. It was the first "paper." Codex manuscripts were sheets of papyrus put together in book form, instead of as scrolls. The majority of scholars agree, however, that the mis-copied words do not

involve major Bible doctrines. The biggest area of confusion, which involves history, not doctrines, seems to be in the use of numbers. For example, did the Philistines send 3,000 war chariots to one battle or 30,000? No other book has been so scrutinized, sifted for error, criticized, and even vilified and attacked on such a massive scale as the Bible. Yet, it is still read and loved by millions. The Purpose and Theme of the Bible The Bible's main purpose is to reveal the plan of redemption and salvation for mankind. All Scripture should be studied in this light. Even when the judgment of God is mentioned, it is with the purpose of bringing deliverance to mankind. One of the Bible's purposes is that of warning man, individually or corporately, to avoid the consequences of judgment -- God's wrath. If he so chooses, he can escape Hell and go to Heaven. When studied in the light of God's purpose to redeem man through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, nothing in the Bible can put us into the bondage of legalism (the keeping of laws in an effort to please God). Law is not the theme of the Bible, but redemption through the grace of God. People are brought into the bondage of legalism when they stop studying the Word of God with the idea of redemption and salvation in mind. Many people come under bondage, not through reading the Word, but through what someone else has said "the Word says," quoting only a portion of Scripture or quoting a particular interpretation of that verse. The law reveals our sins, but God's grace points us to Jesus and His blood to cover and atone for our sins, if we will only receive Him and be born again. Many people want to throw out the Old Testament, except as interesting Bible stories and history. However, the Old and the New work together (1 Corinthians 10:11). The Old Testament was not erased; the New was simply built upon it. The redemption plan is told in the Old Testament by "types and shadows." People who were indirect examples of Jesus and the kinds of things He was to do when He came were used as these types and shadows. Also, literal prophecies that directly speak of Jesus fall into this category (Hebrews 10:1). For example, the temple in the Old Testament was a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit and was a literal building. Under the new covenant, the spirits of those who are born again become God's dwelling place, individually and collectively. Therefore the New Testament speaks of the bodies of Christians as "the temples of God" (1 Corinthians 3:16). So the temple that was a building to the Israelites, and later to the Jews, was a shadow, a "picture," of a

time to come when man himself could become God's "house" or "temple." Another example is the word virgin in New Testament typology, which means the holy and pure Bride of Christ (born again believers, or the Body of Christ), who has not had intercourse with the world. To those who are not Christians, things like this will not make sense. That is why Paul wrote that the natural mind cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). The redemption plan is told in the New Testament through the reports of Jesus' birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection (Hebrews 9:15). Therefore, the Bible's main purpose is to reveal the plan of redemption and salvation for man, which also is the theme of the entire Bible (Luke 24:27,44). The Old Testament was the written preparation for His coming (Isaiah 40:3). The gospels portray the manifestation of His coming (John 1:29). The Acts of the Apostles is the propagation of His purpose (Acts 1:8). And the epistles, the letters by several of the apostles to various early churches, presented the knowledge, or explanation, of the mystery of Christ and the hope of glory to Gentiles, those formerly alienated from God. The Revelation of Jesus to the Apostle John tells us of the consummation of God's plan, of its successful conclusion in victory, just as Genesis tells us of the beginning being marred by sin. Each part of the Bible needs the others to be complete. Therefore, the Old Testament was the preparation for the Lord's coming; the gospels were the manifestation of the Lord's coming; Acts was the propagation of the Lord's Gospel; the epistles were the explanation of the Lord's Gospel, and Revelation tells of the consummation of the Lord's Gospel. "Paradise lost" in Genesis becomes "paradise regained" in the Book of Revelation.

The Bible Is Our Standard 1. How many books are in the Bible? The Bible contains 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments. 2. How many books are in the Old Testament? There are 39 books in the Old Testament. 3. How many books are in the New Testament? There are 27 books in the New Testament. 4. What does "testament" mean? Testament means "covenant" or "contract."

5. Who wrote the Bible? The Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book. 6. Which single author contributed the most books to the Old Testament? Moses. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch; the foundation of the Bible. 7. Which single author contributed the most books to the New Testament? The Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books (over half) of the New Testament. 8. When was the Bible written? It was written over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 B.C. (the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D. (following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ). 9. What is the oldest book in the Old Testament? Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C. 10. What is the youngest book in the Old Testament? The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C. 11. What is the oldest book of the New Testament? Probably the book of James, written as early as A.D. 45. 12. What is the youngest book in the New Testament? The Book of Revelation is the youngest book of the New Testament, written about 95 A.D. 13. What languages was the Bible written in? The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. 14. When was the Bible canonized? The entire New Testament as we know it today, was canonized before the year 375 A.D. The Old Testament had previously been canonized long before the advent of Christ. 15. What does "canon" mean? "Canon" is derived front the Greek word "Kanon," signifying a measuring rod. Thus, to have the Bible "canonized" meant that it had been measured by the standard or test of divine inspiration and authority. It became the collection of books or writings accepted by the apostles and leadership of the early Christian church as a basis for Christian belief. It is the standard by which all Christians throughout the ages live and worship.

16. When was the first translation of the Bible made into English? 1382 A.D., by John Wycliffe. 17. When was the Bible printed? The Bible was printed in 1454 A.D. by Johannes Gutenberg who invented the "type mold" for the printing press. It was the first book ever printed. 18. What is the oldest almost-complete manuscript of the Bible now in existence? The Codex Vaticanus, which dates from the first half of the fourth Century. It is located in the library of the Vatican in Rome. There are older fragments of the Bible that are still preserved however-- the oldest being a tiny scrap of the Gospel of John was found in Egypt, dating back to the beginning of the second century. (It is currently in the Rayland's Library in Manchester, England). 19. What is the longest book in the Bible? The book of Psalms. 20. What is the shortest book in the Bible? 2 John. 21. What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119 22. What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 117 23. What is the longest verse in the Bible? Esther 8:9 24. What is the shortest verse in the Bible? John 11:35 25. Which book in the Bible does not mention the word "God?" The book of Esther. 26. Who was the oldest man that ever lived? Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27). 27. Who were the two men in the Bible who never died but were caught up to heaven? Enoch, who walked with God and was no more (Genesis 5:22-24). Elijah, who was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven (II Kings 2:11). 28. Who does the Bible say was the meekest man in the Bible (not including Jesus)? Moses (Numbers 12:3).

29. How many languages has the Bible been translated into? The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages, with countless more partial translations, and audio translations (for unwritten languages). (This is an enormous amount of translations. In comparison, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into 50 languages.) 30. Is the Bible still the best-selling book in the world? Yes, indeed! For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed BibleThe Bible (from Koine Greek ta biblia "the books") is any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the contents and the order of the individual books (Biblical canon) vary among denominations. The 24 texts of the Hebrew Bible are divided into 39 books in Christian Old Testaments, and complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible. The Hebrew and Christian Bibles are also important to other Abrahamic religions, including Islam[1] and the Bah' Faith,[2] but those religions do not regard them as central religious texts. The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is divided into three parts: (1) the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), comprising the origins of the Israelite nation, its laws and its covenant with the God of Israel; (2) the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites specifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God" and believers in foreign gods, and the criticism of unethical and unjust behavior of Israelite elites and rulers; and (3) the Ketuvim ("writings"): poetic and philosophical works such as the Psalms and the Book of Job. The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the (minimum) 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books. The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Jesus and are central to the Christian faith. Christian Bibles include the books of the Hebrew Bible, but arranged in a different order: Jewish Scripture ends with the people of Israel restored to Jerusalem and the temple, whereas the Christian arrangement ends with the book of the prophet Malachi. The oldest surviving Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century; the oldest complete Jewish Bible is a Greek translation, also dating to the 4th century. The oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (the Masoretic text) date from the Middle Ages.[3] During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospel accounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments together are commonly referred to as "The Holy Bible" ( ). Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, and cite passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief. The canonical

composition of the Old Testament is under dispute between Christian groups: Protestants hold only the books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonical; Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox additionally consider the deuterocanonical books, a group of Jewish books, to be canonical. The New Testament is composed of the Gospels ("good news"), the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles (letters), and the Book of Revelation. The Bible is the best-selling book in history with approximate sales estimates ranging from 2.5 billion to 6 billion,[4][5] and annual sales estimated at 25 million Bibles.[6] The English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and ultimately from Greek ta biblia "the books" (singular biblion).[7] Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural (gen. bibliorum). It gradually came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun (biblia, gen. bibliae) in medieval Latin, and so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.[8] Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek ta biblia ta hagia, "the holy books".[9] The word itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book". It is the diminutive of bublos, "Egyptian papyrus", possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician port Byblos (also known as Gebal) from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia (lit. "little papyrus books")[10] was "an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books (the Septuagint).[11][12] Christian use of the term can be traced to ca. AD 223.[7]

Jewish canon
Development of the Jewish canon
Main article: Development of the Hebrew Bible canon Tanakh (Hebrew: )"reflects the threefold division of the Hebrew Bible, Torah ("Teaching"), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings").

Torah
Main article: Torah The Torah, or "Instruction", is also known as the "Five Books" of Moses, thus Chumash from Hebrew meaning "fivesome", and Pentateuch from Greek meaning "five scroll-cases". The Hebrew book titles come from some of the first words in the respective texts. The Torah comprises the following five books: 1. Genesis, GeBereshith ()

2. 3. 4. 5.

Exodus, ExShemot () Leviticus, LeVayikra () Numbers, NuBamidbar () Deuteronomy, DtDevarim ()

The Torah focuses on three moments in the changing relationship between God and the Jewish people. The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide accounts of the creation (or ordering) of the world and the history of God's early relationship with humanity. The remaining thirty-nine chapters of Genesis provide an account of God's covenant with the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel)and Jacob's childrenthe "Children of Israel" especially Joseph. It tells of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home in the city of Ur, eventually to settle in the land of Canaan, and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt. The remaining four books of the Torah tell the story of Moses, who lived hundreds of years after the patriarchs. He leads the Children of Israel from their liberation from slavery in Ancient Egypt, to the renewal of their covenant with God at Mount Sinai and their wanderings in the desert until a new generation was ready to enter the land of Canaan. The Torah ends with the death of Moses. The Torah contains the commandments of God, revealed at Mount Sinai (although there is some debate amongst traditional scholars as to whether these were all written down at one time, or over a period of time during the 40 years of the wanderings in the desert, while several modern Jewish movements reject the idea of a literal revelation, and critical scholars believe that many of these laws developed later in Jewish history).[13][14][15][16] These commandments provide the basis for Halakha (Jewish religious law). Tradition states that there are 613 Mitzvot or 613 commandments. There is some dispute as to how to divide these up (mainly between the rabbis Ramban and Rambam). The Torah is divided into fifty-four portions which in the Jewish liturgy are read on successive Sabbaths, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy. The cycle ends and recommences at the end of Sukkot, which is called Simchat Torah.

Nevi'im
Main article: Nevi'im The Nevi'im, or "Prophets", tell the story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelitesspecifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God"[17] and believers in foreign gods,[18][19] and the criticism of unethical and unjust behavior of Israelite elites and rulers;[20][21][22] in which prophets played a crucial and leading role. It ends with the conquest of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians followed by the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah by the Babylonians and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Portions of the prophetic books are read by Jews on the Sabbath (Shabbat). The Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur.

According to Jewish tradition, the Nevi'im are divided into eight books. Contemporary translations subdivide these into twenty-one books. The Nevi'im comprise the following eight books: 6. Joshua, JsYehoshua () 7. Judges, JgShoftim () 8. Samuel, includes First and Second 1Sa2SaSh'muel () 9. Kings, includes First and Second, 1Ki2KiMelakhim () 10. Isaiah, IsYeshayahu () 11. Jeremiah, JeYirmiyahu () 12. Ezekiel, EzYekhezkel () 13. Twelve, Tre Asar ( ,) comprising what some call the Minor Prophets o A. Hosea, HoHoshea () o B. Joel, JlYoel () o C. Amos, AmAmos () o D. Obadiah, ObOvadyah () o E. Jonah, JhYonah () o F. Micah, MiMikhah () o G. Nahum, NaNahum () o H. Habakkuk, HbHavakuk () o I. Zephaniah, ZpTsefanya () o J. Haggai, HgKhagay () o K. Zechariah, ZcZekharyah () o L. Malachi, MlMalakhi ()

Ketuvim
Main article: Ketuvim The Ketuvim, or "Writings", may have been written or compiled during or after the Babylonian Exile. Many of the psalms in the book of Psalms are attributed to David; King Solomon is believed to have written Song of Songs in his youth, Proverbs at the prime of his life, and Ecclesiastes at old age; and the prophet Jeremiah is thought to have written Lamentations. The Book of Job is the only biblical book that centers entirely on a non-Jew. The Book of Ruth is the only book to focus on a convert to Judaism. It tells the story of a Moabitess who married a Jew and continued to follow the ways of the Jews after her husband's death; according to the Bible, she was the great-grandmother of King David. Five of the books, called "The Five Scrolls" (Megilot), are read on Jewish holidays: Song of Songs on Passover; the Book of Ruth on Shavuot; Lamentations on the Ninth of Av; Ecclesiastes on Sukkot; and the Book of Esther on Purim. Collectively, the Ketuvim contain lyrical poetry, philosophical reflections on life, and the stories of the prophets and other Jewish leaders during the Babylonian exile. It ends with the Persian decree allowing Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. The Ketuvim comprise the following eleven books, divided, in many modern translations, into twelve through the division of Ezra and Nehemiah:

14. Psalms, PsTehillim () 15. Proverbs, PrMishlei () 16. Job, JbIyyov () 17. Song of Songs, SoShir ha-Shirim (( 18. Ruth, RuRut () 19. Lamentations, LaEikhah ( ,)also called Kinot () 20. Ecclesiastes, EcKohelet () 21. Esther, EsEster () 22. Daniel, DnDaniel () 23. Ezra, Ea, includes Nehemiah, NeEzra ( ,)includes Nehemiah () 24. Chronicles, includes First and Second, 1Ch2ChDivrei ha-Yamim ( ,) also called Divrei ()

Hebrew Bible translations and editions


Main article: Bible translations The Tanakh was mainly written in biblical Hebrew, with some portions (notably in Daniel and Ezra) in biblical Aramaic.[23]

Oral Torah
According to some Jews during the Hellenistic period, such as the Sadducees, only a minimal oral tradition of interpreting the words of the Torah existed, which did not include extended biblical interpretation. According to the Pharisees, however, God revealed both a Written Torah and an Oral Torah to Moses, the Oral Torah consisting of both stories and legal traditions. In Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah is essential for understanding the Written Torah literally (as it includes neither vowels nor punctuation) and exegetically. The Oral Torah has different facets, principally Halacha (laws), the Aggadah (stories), and the Kabbalah (esoteric knowledge). Major portions of the Oral Law have been committed to writing, notably the Mishnah; the Tosefta; Midrash, such as Midrash Rabbah, the Sifre, the Sifra, and the Mechilta; and both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds as well. It may have even influenced early Christianity. Orthodox Judaism continues to accept the Oral Torah in its totality. Masorti and Conservative Judaism state that the Oral Tradition is to some degree divinely inspired, and that rabbis today must adapt and apply its principles to changing conditions, even if this results in changes in Jewish practice. Reform Judaism also gives some credence to the Talmud containing the legal elements of the Oral Torah, but, as with the written Torah, asserts that both were inspired by, but not dictated by, God. Reconstructionist Judaism denies any connection of the Torah, Written or Oral, with God, viewing it instead as the nation's literary and moral genius. Karaite Judaism holds strictly to the Written Torah but not the Oral Torah, maintaining that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah, without additional Oral Law or explanation. The article Jewish commentaries on the Bible discusses the Jewish understanding of the Bible, including Bible commentaries from the ancient Targums to classical Rabbinic literature, the

midrash literature, the classical medieval commentators, and modern day Jewish Bible commentaries.

Septuagint
Main article: Septuagint The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures. The Septuagint included books and additions not found in the Hebrew Bible. Modern Jewish Bibles follow the Masoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. The Septuagint splits certain books in two, so that the book of Kings, for example, became First Kings and Second Kings. Christian Bibles maintain these divisions.[citation needed]

Christian canons
Main article: Christian biblical canons The Christian Bible consists of the Hebrew scriptures of Judaism, which are known as the Old Testament; and later writings recording the lives and teachings of Jesus and his followers, known as the New Testament. "Testament" is a translation of the Greek (diatheke), also often translated "covenant". It is a legal term denoting a formal and legally binding declaration of benefits to be given by one party to another (e.g., "last will and testament" in secular use). Here it does not connote mutuality; rather, it is a unilateral covenant offered by God to individuals.[10] Groups within Christianity include differing books as part of one or both of these "Testaments" of their sacred writingsmost prominent among which are the biblical apocrypha or deuterocanonical books. Significant versions of the English Christian Bible include the Douay-Rheims, the RSV, the KJV, the ESV, the NKJV, and the NIV. For a complete list, see List of English Bible translations. In Judaism, the term Christian Bible is commonly used to identify only those books like the New Testament which have been added by Christians to the Masoretic Text, and excludes any reference to an Old Testament.[24]

Old Testament
Main article: Old Testament The books which make up the Christian Old Testament differ between Protestants and the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, the Protestant movement accepting only those books contained in the Hebrew Bible, while Catholics and Orthodox have a wider canon. The books were written in classical Hebrew, except for brief portions (Ezra 4:86:18 and 7:1226, Jeremiah 10:11, Daniel 2:47:28) which are in the Aramaic language, a sister language which became the lingua franca of the Semitic world.[25] Much of the material, including many genealogies, poems and

narratives, is thought to have been handed down by word of mouth for many generations. Very few manuscripts are said to have survived the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.[25] The Old Testament is accepted by Christians as scripture. Broadly speaking, it contains the same material as the Hebrew Bible. However, the order of the books is not entirely the same as that found in Hebrew manuscripts and in the ancient versions and varies from Judaism in interpretation and emphasis (see for example Isaiah 7:14). Christian denominations disagree about the incorporation of a small number of books into their canons of the Old Testament. A few groups consider particular translations to be divinely inspired, notably the Greek Septuagint, the Aramaic Peshitta, and the English King James Version. Apocryphal or deuterocanonical books The Septuagint (Greek translation, from Alexandria in Egypt under the Ptolemies) was generally abandoned in favour of the 10th century Masoretic text as the basis for translations of the Old Testament into Western languages. In Eastern Christianity, translations based on the Septuagint still prevail. Some modern Western translations since the 14th century make use of the Septuagint to clarify passages in the Masoretic text, where the Septuagint may preserve a variant reading of the Hebrew text. They also sometimes adopt variants that appear in other texts e.g. those discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. A number of books which are part of the Peshitta or Greek Septuagint but are not found in the Hebrew (Rabbinic) Bible (i.e., among the protocanonical books) are often referred to as deuterocanonical books by Roman Catholics referring to a later secondary (i.e. deutero) canon, that canon as fixed definitively by the Council of Trent 1545-1563.[26][27] It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if Jeremiah and Lamentations are counted as one) and 27 for the New.[28] See Canon of Trent: List of the Canonical Scriptures. 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. Decretum de Canonicis Scripturis, Council of Trent, 8 April 1546 Most Protestants term these books as apocrypha. Evangelicals and those of the Modern Protestant traditions do not accept the deuterocanonical books as canonical, although Protestant Bibles included them in Apocrypha sections until the 1820s. However, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches include these books as part of their Old Testament. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes:

Tobit Judith 1 Maccabees 2 Maccabees

Wisdom Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus) Baruch The Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch Chapter 6) Greek Additions to Esther (Book of Esther, chapters 10:4 12:6) The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children verses 168 (Book of Daniel, chapter 3, verses 2490) Susanna (Book of Daniel, chapter 13) Bel and the Dragon (Book of Daniel, chapter 14)

In addition to those, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize the following:

3 Maccabees 1 Esdras Prayer of Manasseh Psalm 151

Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches include:

2 Esdras i.e., Latin Esdras in the Russian and Georgian Bibles

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:

Psalms 151155 The Apocalypse of Baruch The Letter of Baruch

The Ethiopian Orthodox tradition includes:


Jubilees Enoch 13 Meqabyan

and some other books. The Anglican Churches uses some of the Apocryphal books liturgically. Therefore, editions of the Bible intended for use in the Anglican Church 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. Role in Christian theology

Further information: Sola scriptura and Christian theology The Old Testament has always been central to the life of the Christian church. Bible scholar N.T. Wright says "Jesus himself was profoundly shaped by the scriptures."[29] He adds that the earliest Christians also searched those same scriptures in their effort to understand the earthly life of Jesus. They regarded the ancient Israelites' scriptures as having reached a climactic fulfillment in Jesus himself, generating the "new covenant" prophesied by Jeremiah.[30]

New Testament
Main articles: Canonical gospels and New 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). Jesus is its central figure. The New Testament presupposes the inspiration of the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:16). Nearly all Christians recognize the New Testament (as stated below) as canonical scripture. These books can be grouped into: The Gospels

Pastoral epistles

Synoptic Gospels o Gospel According to Matthew, Mt o Gospel According to Mark, Mk o Gospel According to Luke, Lk Gospel According to John, Jn Acts of the Apostles, Ac (continues Luke)

First Epistle to Timothy, 1Ti Second Epistle to Timothy, 2Ti Epistle to Titus, Ti Epistle to Philemon, Pm Epistle to the Hebrews, He

Pauline Epistles

General epistles, also called Catholic epistles


Epistle to the Romans, Ro First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Co Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Co Epistle to the Galatians, Ga Epistle to the Ephesians, Ep Epistle to the Philippians, Ph Epistle to the Colossians, Co First Epistle to the Thessalonians, 1Th Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, 2Th

Epistle of James, Jm First Epistle of Peter, 1Pe Second Epistle of Peter, 2Pe First Epistle of John, 1Jn Second Epistle of John, 2Jn Third Epistle of John, 3Jn Epistle of Jude, Jd

Revelation, or the Apocalypse Re

The order of these books varies according to Church tradition. The New Testament books are ordered differently in the Catholic/Protestant tradition, the Slavonic tradition, the Syriac tradition and the Ethiopian tradition. Original language

See also: Language of the New Testament The consensus scholarly view is that the books of the New Testament were written in Koine Greek, the language of the earliest extant manuscripts, even though some authors often included translations from Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Other minority views hold that the original language of the books of the New Testament are Aramaic, Hebrew, or both. Historic editions

The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at the Royal Library in Sweden. See also: Biblical manuscript, Bible translations, and Textual criticism When ancient scribes copied earlier books, they wrote notes on the margins of the page (marginal glosses) to correct their textespecially if a scribe accidentally omitted a word or lineand 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. See textual criticism. Over time, different regions evolved different versions, each with its own assemblage of omissions and additions. The autographs, the Greek manuscripts written by the original authors, have not survived. Scholars surmise the original Greek text from the versions that do survive. 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.

Development of Christian canons


Main articles: Development of the Old Testament canon and Development of the New Testament canon 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 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),54, or 57 book canon of the Old Testament and to the 27-book canon of the New Testament that would be subsequently used to today, most notably the Synod of Hippo in AD 393. Also c. 400, Jerome produced a definitive Latin edition of the Bible (see Vulgate), the canon of which, at the insistence of the Pope, was in accord with the earlier Synods. 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. A definitive list did not come from an Ecumenical Council until the Council of Trent (1545 63).[31]

During the Protestant Reformation, certain reformers proposed different canonical lists to those currently in use. Though not without debate, see Antilegomena, the list of New Testament books would come to remain the same; however, the Old Testament texts present in the Septuagint but not included in the Jewish canon fell out of favor. In time they would come to be removed from most Protestant canons. Hence, in a Catholic context, these texts are referred to as deuterocanonical books, whereas in a Protestant context they are referred to as the Apocrypha, the label applied to all texts excluded from the biblical canon but which were in the Septuagint. It should also be noted that Catholics and Protestants both describe certain other books, such as the Acts of Peter, as apocryphal. Thus, the Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canonthe number of books (though not the content) varies from the Tanakh because of a different method of divisionwhile the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books(51 books with some books combined into 46 books) as the canonical Old Testament. The Orthodox Churches recognise 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151 in addition to the Catholic canon. Some include 2 Esdras. The Anglican Church also recognises a longer canon. The term "Hebrew Scriptures" is often used as being synonymous with the Protestant Old Testament, since the surviving scriptures in Hebrew include only those books, while Catholics and Orthodox include additional texts that have not survived in Hebrew. Both Catholics and Protestants have the same 27-book New Testament Canon. The New Testament writers assumed the inspiration of the Old Testament, probably earliest stated in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God".[10]

Ethiopian Orthodox canon


Main article: Ethiopian Biblical canon The Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is wider than the canons used by most other Christian churches. There are 81 books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible.[32] The Ethiopian Old Testament Canon includes the books found in the Septuagint accepted by other Orthodox Christians, in addition to Enoch and Jubilees which are ancient Jewish books that only survived in Ge'ez but are quoted in the New Testament[citation needed], also Greek Ezra First and the Apocalypse of Ezra, 3 books of Meqabyan, and Psalm 151 at the end of the Psalter. 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 Old Testament follows the Septuagint order for the Minor Prophets rather than the Jewish order.

Divine inspiration
Main articles: Biblical inspiration, Biblical literalism, Biblical infallibility, and Biblical inerrancy The Bible itself says that "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God". (2 Timothy 3:16-3:17) [33] Christians believe that the Bible consists of the inspired word of God, where God intervened and influenced the words of the Bible. For many Christians the Bible is also infallible, in that it is incapable of error within matters of faith and practice. For example, that the Bible is free from

error in spiritual but not necessarily in historic or scientific matters. A related, but distinguishable belief is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, without error in any aspect, spoken by God and written down in its perfect form by humans. Within these broad beliefs there are many schools of hermeneutics. "Bible scholars claim that discussions about the Bible must be put into its context within church history and then into the context of contemporary culture."[30] Fundamentalist Christians are associated with the doctrine of biblical literalism, where the Bible is not only inerrant, but the meaning of the text is clear to the average reader.[citation needed] Belief in sacred texts is attested to in Jewish antiquity,[34][35] and this belief can also be seen in the earliest of Christian writings. Various texts of the Bible mention Divine agency in relation to its writings.[36] In their book A General Introduction to the Bible, Norman Geisler and William Nix wrote: "The process of inspiration is a mystery of the providence of God, but the result of this process is a verbal, plenary, inerrant, and authoritative record."[37] Most evangelical biblical scholars[38][39][40] associate inspiration with only the original text; for example some American Protestants adhere to the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy which asserted that inspiration applied only to the autographic text of Scripture.[41] A minority even within adherents of Biblical literalism extend the claim of inerrancy to a particular translation, e.g. the KingJames-Only Movement.

Versions and translations


Further information: Bible translations and Bible translations by language

A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. This Bible was transcribed in Belgium in 1407 for reading aloud in a monastery. The original texts of the Tanakh were in Hebrew, although some portions were in Aramaic. In addition to the authoritative Masoretic Text, Jews still refer to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and the Targum Onkelos, an Aramaic version of the Bible. 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 by itself, there are words which are traditionally read differently from written (sometimes one word is written and another is read), 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 or (LXX). In addition, they translated the Hebrew Bible into several other languages. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic, Ge'ez 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.

Pope Damasus I assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Council of Rome in AD 382. He 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 and in 1546 at the Council of Trent was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only authentic and official Bible in the Latin Rite. Since the Protestant Reformation, Bible translations for many languages have been made. The Bible has seen hundreds of English language translations.