A Quick Introduction to the Holy Bible

Published: 21st February 2011
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The Bible is one of the most popular books ever. You can buy bibles at your local book store. You can buy bibles online. You can buy bibles almost anywhere. It is the best selling book ever.

The Holy Bible is made up of an assortment of writings that include the records of divine revelation. They're sacred scripture for both Judaism and Christianity. The word Bible is of Greek origins and taken from ta biblia which means "the books." There is no one version of the bible. Both the various books that comprise the bible and the order they are placed in differ among religions and denominations.

The Holy Bible is the work of many prophets and inspired authors influenced by God. The Christian Bible is separated into two portions identified as the Old and New Testaments. The first, the Old Testament, contains the 39 books of the Hebrew Scripture believed to have been written at various periods from the twelfth to the second century BC. Much of the content is thought to have been passed down by word of mouth for numerous generations. Hardly any manuscripts are claimed to have survived the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) the books were divided into 3 categories: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. The Law consists of the five books of the Torah which describe the beginning of the Israelite nation as well as its laws and its covenant with the God of Israel. The Prophets consists of the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah plus works of prophecy. The Writings include the poetic and philosophical works like the Psalms and the Book of Job. This system was in accordance with the Jews’ assessment of the significance of the books based on the identity of the writer.

The Old Testament is accepted by Christians as the word of God. Generally speaking, it contains the same writings as the Hebrew Bible. However, the sequence of the books isn't the same as that found in Hebrew Bible. The Bible used in the Christian community is based on a different layout of the Old Testament books and was established by a Greek translation known as Septuagint. In this instance the books are categorized according to subject type, such as historical, poetical, and prophetical.

The other part of the Bible is called the New Testament (N.T.), and it is actually a set of twenty-seven books. The N.T. has writings belonging to the Apostolic age, selected by the Church and viewed as having the same sanctity and authority as the Jewish scriptures. The books of the New Testament were initially written in Greek. They are made up of the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the epistles (or letters) of Paul (organized according to length, except Hebrews); the general epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; and the Book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse or Revelation of John. During the three centuries after the 1st century establishment of Christianity, Church Fathers gathered Gospel accounts and letters of apostles and put them into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the central figure in the New Testament.

With regard to the word testament, the word testament is a translation of the Greek word diatheke, which can also be translated as covenant or arrangement. The Old Testament or Old Covenant is the law which was given to Moses. The New Testament or New Covenant is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Old and New Testaments together are typically referred to as "The Holy Bible". The Bible being used by the majority of churches currently has 66 books-39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. There are a handful of other books, referred to as the apocrypha, that are usually not accepted as part of the traditional cannon of the bible but used by some sects like the Catholic Church. The books called Apocrypha typically haven't been published in the non-Catholic Bibles for the past century, although recently these apocryphal books are actually increasing in acceptance.

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