The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other faiths. It appears in the form of an anthology, a compilation of texts of a variety of forms, originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. These texts include theologically-focused narratives, hymns, prayers, proverbs, parables, didactic letters, commandments, poetry, and prophecies. The collection of materials that are accepted as part of the Bible by a particular religious tradition or community is called a biblical canon. Believers generally consider the Bible to be a product of divine inspiration while understanding what that means in different ways.

The origins of the oldest writings of the Israelites are lost in antiquity. The Dead Sea scrolls are dated, approximately, from 250 BCE to 100 CE, and they are the oldest existing copies of the books of the Hebrew Bible of any length. Tanakh is an alternate term for the Hebrew Bible composed of the first letters of the three parts of the Hebrew scriptures, the Torah ("Teaching"), the Nevi'im ("Prophets") and the Ketuvim ("Writings"). The Torah is also known as the Pentateuch. There is no scholarly consensus as to when the Jewish Hebrew Bible canon was settled in its present form. Some scholars argue that it was fixed by the Hasmonean dynasty (140–40 BCE),[1] while others argue it was not fixed until the second century CE or even later.[2] The Masoretic Text, in Hebrew and Aramaic, is considered the authoritative text by Rabbinic Judaism, but there is also the Septuagint, a Koine Greek translation from the third and second centuries BCE, which largely overlaps with the Hebrew Bible.

Christianity began as an outgrowth of Judaism, using the Septuagint as the basis of the Old Testament. The early Church continued the Jewish tradition of writing and incorporating what it saw as inspired, authoritative religious books, and soon the gospels, Pauline epistles and other texts coalesced into the "New Testament". In its first three centuries AD, the concept of a closed canon emerged in response to heretical writings in the second century. A first list of canonical books appears in Athanasius' Easter letter from 367 AD.[3] The list of books included in the Catholic Bible was established as the biblical canon by the Council of Rome in 382, followed by that of Hippo in 393 and Carthage in 397. Christian biblical canons include the Catholic Church canon, the canon of most Protestant denominations, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church canon, among others.

With estimated total sales of over five billion copies, the Bible is widely considered to be the best-selling book of all time.[4][5] It has had a profound direct influence on Western culture and history.[6] The study of the Bible through biblical criticism has indirectly impacted culture and history as well. The Bible is currently translated or being translated into about half of the world's languages.


The English word Bible is derived from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, romanized: ta biblia, meaning "the books" (singular βιβλίον, biblion).[7] The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book". It is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus", possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos (also known as Gebal) from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece.[8][9]

The term "Bible" can have several meanings:[10]

The Greek ta biblia (lit. "little papyrus books")[11] was "an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books".[12] The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer (in his Homilies on Matthew, delivered between 386 and 388) to use the Greek phrase ta biblia ("the books") to describe both the Old and New Testaments together.[13]

Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια (tà biblía tà hágia, "the holy books").[14] Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book". It gradually came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun (biblia, gen. bibliae) in medieval Latin, and so the word was loaned as singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.[15]

Christians now commonly call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "the Holy Bible" (in Greek, τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια, tà biblía tà ágia) or "the Holy Scriptures" (ἡ Αγία Γραφή, e Agía Graphḗ).[16]


The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible (mid-15th century)

The Bible is not a single book but a collection of books, whose complex development is not completely understood. The books began as songs and stories orally transmitted from generation to generation before being written down. The Bible was written and compiled by many people from a variety of disparate cultures some of whom are unknown.[17]

British biblical scholar John K. Riches wrote:[18]

[T]he biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural, economic, and ecological – varied enormously. There are texts which reflect a nomadic existence, texts from people with an established monarchy and Temple cult, texts from exile, texts born out of fierce oppression by foreign rulers, courtly texts, texts from wandering charismatic preachers, texts from those who give themselves the airs of sophisticated Hellenistic writers. It is a time-span which encompasses the compositions of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Sophocles, Caesar, Cicero, and Catullus. It is a period which sees the rise and fall of the Assyrian empire (twelfth to seventh century) and of the Persian empire (sixth to fourth century), Alexander's campaigns (336–326), the rise of Rome and its domination of the Mediterranean (fourth century to the founding of the Principate, 27 BCE), the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple (70 CE), and the extension of Roman rule to parts of Scotland (84 CE).

Considered to be scriptures (sacred, authoritative religious texts), the books were compiled by different religious communities into various biblical canons (official collections of scriptures). The earliest compilation, containing the first five books of the Bible and called the Torah (meaning "law", "instruction", or "teaching") or Pentateuch ("five books"), was accepted as Jewish canon by the 5th century BCE. A second collection of narrative histories and prophesies, called the Nevi'im ("prophets"), was canonized in the 3rd century BCE. A third collection called the Ketuvim ("writings"), containing psalms, proverbs, and narrative histories, was canonized sometime between the 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century CE. These three collections were written mostly in Biblical Hebrew, with some parts in Aramaic, which together form the Hebrew Bible or "TaNaKh" (an abbreviation of "Torah", "Nevi'im", and "Ketuvim").[19] The transmission history of the Tanakh spans approximately 3000 years.[20]

Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria and elsewhere in the Jewish diaspora considered additional scriptures, composed between 200 BCE and 100 CE and not included in the Hebrew Bible, to be canon. These additional texts were included in a translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Koine Greek (common Greek spoken by ordinary people) known as the Septuagint which began as a translation of the Torah made around 250 BCE and continued to develop for several centuries. The Septuagint contained all of the books now in the Hebrew Bible, reorganized and with some textual differences, with additional scriptures interspersed throughout.[21]

The Masoretes began developing the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible in Rabbinic Judaism near the end of the Talmudic period (circa 300–500 CE), but the actual date is difficult to determine.[22][23][24] In the sixth and seventh centuries, three Jewish communities contributed systems for writing the precise letter-text, with its vocalization and accentuation known as the mas'sora (from which we derive the term masoretic).[25] In the seventh century, the first codex form was produced, and in 1488, the first complete printed press version of the Hebrew Bible was produced.[26]

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, c. 1619 painting by Valentin de Boulogne

During the rise of Christianity in the 1st century CE, new scriptures were written in Koine Greek about the life and teachings of Jesus, who Christians believed was the messiah prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures. Two collections of these new scriptures, the Pauline epistles and the Gospels, were accepted as canon by the end of the 2nd century CE. A third collection, the catholic epistles, were canonized over the next few centuries. Christians called these new scriptures the "New Testament", and began referring to the Septuagint as the "Old Testament".[27]

Between 385 and 405 CE, the early Christian church translated its canon into Vulgar Latin (the common Latin spoken by ordinary people), a translation known as the Vulgate, which included in its Old Testament the books that were in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. The Vulgate introduced stability to the Bible, but also began the East-West Schism between Latin-speaking Western Christianity (led by the Catholic Church) and multi-lingual Eastern Christianity (led by the Eastern Orthodox Church). Christian denominations' biblical canons varied not only in the language of the books, but also in their selection, organization, and text.[28]

A number of biblical canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents from denomination to denomination.[29] Christians have held ecumenical councils to standardize their biblical canon since the 4th century CE. The Council of Trent (1545–63), held by the Catholic Church in response to the Protestant Reformation, authorized the Vulgate as its official Latin translation of the Bible. The church deemed the additional books in its Old Testament that were interspersed among the Hebrew Bible books to be deuterocanonical (meaning part of a second or later canon). Protestant Bibles either separated these books into a separate section called the "Apocrypha" (meaning "hidden away") between the Old and New Testaments, or omitted them altogether. The 17th-century Protestant King James Version was the most ubiquitous English Bible of all time, but it has largely been superseded by modern translations.[30]

Perspectives on the Bible and its authority vary among world religions. The Rastafari view the Bible as essential to their religion,[31] while the Unitarian Universalists view it as "one of many important religious texts".[32] Muslims view the Bible as reflecting the true unfolding revelation from God but revelation which had been corrupted or distorted (in Arabic: tahrif); that necessitated correction by giving the Quran to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[33]

The Bible is one of the world's most published books, with estimated total sales of over five billion copies.[5] As such, the Bible has had a profound influence on literature and history, especially in the Western world, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type.[6][34] According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating."[6] 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.[35]

Textual history

The books of the Bible were written and copied by hand, initially on papyrus scrolls.[36] No originals survive, and the oldest currently existing scrolls are those discovered in the caves of Qumran in 1947. These scrolls date between 250 BCE and 100 CE and are the oldest existing copies of the books of the Hebrew Bible of any considerable length.[37] The earliest manuscripts were probably written in paleo-Hebrew, a kind of cuneiform pictograph similar to other pictographs of the same period.[38] The exile to Babylon most likely prompted the shift to square script (Aramaic) in the fifth to third centuries BCE.[39] From the time of the Dead Sea scrolls, the Hebrew Bible was written with spaces between words to aid in reading.[40] By the eighth century CE, the Masoretes added vowel signs.[41] Levites or scribes maintained the texts, and some texts were always treated as more authoritative than others.[42] Scribes preserved and changed the texts by changing the script and updating archaic forms while also making corrections. These Hebrew texts were copied with great care.[43]

The textual history of New Testament texts is quite different.[44] The Hebrew Bible is three times the length of the New Testament and was composed over a long period of time, at least a thousand years, and possibly three thousand.[45] In contrast, copies of the gospels and Paul's letters were probably made very soon after the originals were written, some probably within fifty to one hundred years,[46] as there is evidence in the early church father's writings and the Didache that copies were in circulation before the end of the First century.[47] Most of these early copies were not made by trained scribes.[48] James R. Royce explains that "The story of the manuscript tradition of the New Testament is the story of progression from a relatively uncontrolled tradition to a rigorously controlled tradition ...".[49]

The New Testament has been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work, but this only increases the difficulties associated with its textual history.[50]: 117 [51] Only a half dozen papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament were known and edited before the twentieth century, but the discovery of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri in Egypt provided 54 of the current 127 NT papyri representing 124 manuscripts as well as 12 majuscules (a style of lettering).[52] Their dates run from the beginning of the second century (P 52) to the eighth century, constituting just over 2% of all Greek NT manuscripts, with sixty–two dating to the late third and early fourth centuries.[53] Chester Beatty and Bodmer added 8 more to the elite group of early papyri.[54] The book of Revelation has its own textual history and is found in only about 300 manuscripts.[55]

Existing New Testament manuscripts also include about 300 great uncial codices, which are vellum or parchment books written in block Greek letters, mostly dating between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE; and about 2,900 minuscules, written in a cursive style (using connected letters) that superseded uncials beginning in the 9th century. These manuscripts differ in varying degrees from one another and are grouped according to their similarities into textual families or lineages; the four most commonly recognized are Alexandrian, Western, Caesarean, and Byzantine.[56]

photo of a fragment of papyrus with writing on it
The Rylands fragment P52 verso is the oldest existing fragment of New Testament papyrus.[57] It contains phrases from the Book of John.

The Qumran scrolls attest to different biblical text types. In addition to the Qumran scrolls, there are three major manuscript witnesses (historical copies) of the Hebrew Bible: the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Existing complete copies of the Septuagint, a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, date from the 3rd to the 5th centuries CE, with fragments dating back to the 2nd century BCE. The Masoretic Text is a standardized version of the Hebrew Bible that began to be developed in the 1st century CE and has been maintained by the Masoretes since the latter half of the first millennium CE. Its oldest complete copy in existence is the Leningrad Codex, dating to c. 1000 CE. The Samaritan Pentateuch is a version of the Torah maintained by the Samaritan community since antiquity and rediscovered by European scholars in the 17th century; the oldest existing copies date to c. 1100 CE.[58]

All biblical texts were treated with reverence and care by those that copied them, yet there are transmission errors, called variants, in all biblical manuscripts.[59] A variant is simply any deviation between two texts. Textual critic Daniel B. Wallace explains that "Each deviation counts as one variant, regardless of how many MSS attest to it."[60] Hebrew scholar Emmanuel Tov says the term is not evaluative; it is simply a recognition that the paths of development of different texts have separated.[61]

Differences in the Hebrew Bible include memory differences, lexical equivalents, semantic and grammar differences, shifts in order, and some intentional changes for updating doctrine.[62] The majority of variants are accidental, such as spelling errors, but some were intentional. Intentional changes in New Testament texts were made to improve grammar, eliminate discrepancies, harmonize parallel passages, combine and simplify multiple variant readings into one, and for theological reasons.[63][64] Bruce K. Waltke observes that one variant for every ten words was noted in the recent critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, leaving 90% of the Hebrew text without variation. The Fourth edition of the United Bible Society's Greek New Testament notes variants affecting about 500 out of 6900 words, or about 7% of the text.[65]

Nearly all modern English translations of the Old Testament are based on a single manuscript, the Leningrad Codex also called the St. Petersburg Codex, copied in 1008 or 1009. It is a complete example of the Masoretic Text, and its published edition is used by the majority of scholars. The Aleppo Codex is the basis of the Hebrew University Bible Project in Jerusalem. Copied about 925 CE, part of it was lost, so it must rely on additional manuscripts, and as a result, the Aleppo Codex contains the most comprehensive collection of variant readings.[66]

Hebrew Bible

The name Tanakh (Hebrew: תנ"ך‎) reflects the threefold division of the Hebrew scriptures, Torah ("Teaching"), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings").[citation needed]

The Tanakh was mainly written in Biblical Hebrew, with some small portions (Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26, Jeremiah 10:11, Daniel 2:4–7:28)[67] written in Biblical Aramaic, a language which had become the lingua franca for much of the Semitic world.[68]


The Torah (תּוֹרָה) is also known as the "Five Books of Moses" or the Pentateuch, meaning "five scroll-cases".[69] Traditionally these books were considered to have been dictated to Moses by God himself.[70][71] Since the 17th century, scholars have viewed the original sources as being the product of multiple anonymous authors while also allowing the possibility of Moses being the one who first assembled the separate sources.[72][73] There are a variety of hypotheses regarding when and how the Torah was composed,[74] but there is a general consensus that it took its final form during the reign of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (probably 450–350 BCE),[75][76] or perhaps in the early Hellenistic period (333–164 BCE).[77]

Samaritan Inscription containing portion of the Bible in nine lines of Hebrew text, currently housed in the British Museum

The Hebrew names of the books are derived from the first words in the respective texts. The Torah consists of the following five books:

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 biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel) and Jacob's children, the "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 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.[78]

The commandments in the Torah provide the basis for Jewish religious law. Tradition states that there are 613 commandments (taryag mitzvot).


Nevi'im (Hebrew: נְבִיאִים, romanizedNəḇî'îm, "Prophets") is the second main division of the Tanakh, between the Torah and Ketuvim. It contains two sub-groups, the Former Prophets (Nevi'im Rishonim נביאים ראשונים, the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (Nevi'im Aharonim נביאים אחרונים, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets).

The Nevi'im tell a story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites, specifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God"[79] (Yahweh) and believers in foreign gods,[80][81] and the criticism of unethical and unjust behaviour of Israelite elites and rulers;[82][83][84] in which prophets played a crucial and leading role. It ends with the conquest of the Kingdom of Israel by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, followed by the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah by the neo-Babylonian Empire and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Former Prophets

The Former Prophets are the books Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. They contain narratives that begin immediately after the death of Moses with the divine appointment of Joshua as his successor, who then leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land, and end with the release from imprisonment of the last king of Judah. Treating Samuel and Kings as single books, they cover:

  • Joshua's conquest of the land of Canaan (in the Book of Joshua),
  • the struggle of the people to possess the land (in the Book of Judges),
  • the people's request to God to give them a king so that they can occupy the land in the face of their enemies (in the Books of Samuel)
  • the possession of the land under the divinely appointed kings of the House of David, ending in conquest and foreign exile (Books of Kings)

Latter Prophets

The Latter Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets, counted as a single book.


Hebrew text of Psalm 1:1–2

Ketuvim or Kəṯûḇîm (in Biblical Hebrew: כְּתוּבִים "writings") is the third and final section of the Tanakh. The Ketuvim are believed to have been written under the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) but with one level less authority than that of prophecy.[85]

In Masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth").

These three books are also the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system.[citation needed]

The five scrolls

The five relatively short books of Song of Songs, Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Book of Esther are collectively known as the Hamesh Megillot. These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon even though they were not complete until the 2nd century CE.[86]

Other books

Besides the three books and the five scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim are Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics:[citation needed]

  • Their narratives all openly describe relatively late events (i.e., the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion).
  • The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them.
  • Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in the Tanakh with significant portions in Aramaic.

Book order

The following list presents the books of Ketuvim in the order they appear in most printed editions.

The Jewish textual tradition never finalized the order of the books in Ketuvim. The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Batra 14b–15a) gives their order as Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles.[87]

In Tiberian Masoretic codices, including the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, and often in old Spanish manuscripts as well, the order is Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra.[88]

The Ketuvim is the last of the three portions of the Tanakh to have been accepted as canonical. While the Torah may have been considered canon by Israel as early as the 5th century BCE and the Former and Latter Prophets were canonized by the 2nd century BCE, the Ketuvim was not a fixed canon until the 2nd century of the Common Era.[86]

Evidence suggests, however, that the people of Israel were adding what would become the Ketuvim to their holy literature shortly after the canonization of the prophets. As early as 132 BCE references suggest that the Ketuvim was starting to take shape, although it lacked a formal title.[89] References in the four Gospels as well as other books of the New Testament indicate that many of these texts were both commonly known and counted as having some degree of religious authority early in the 1st century CE.[citation needed]

Many scholars believe that the limits of the Ketuvim as canonized scripture were determined by the Council of Jamnia c. 90 CE. Against Apion, the writing of Josephus in 95 CE, treated the text of the Hebrew Bible as a closed canon to which "... no one has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable..."[90] For a long time following this date[timeframe?] the divine inspiration of Esther, the Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes was often under scrutiny.[91]

The Isaiah scroll, which is a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, contains almost the whole Book of Isaiah. It dates from the 2nd century BCE.

Masoretic Text

The Nash Papyrus (2nd century BCE) contains a portion of a pre-Masoretic Text, specifically the Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael prayer.

The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible. It defines the books of the Jewish canon, and also the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and accentuation. The oldest extant manuscripts of the Masoretic Text date from approximately the 9th century CE,[92] and the Aleppo Codex (once the oldest complete copy of the Masoretic Text, but now missing its Torah section) dates from the 10th century. The term "Keter" (crown, from the Arabic, taj) originally referred to this particular manuscript. Over the years, the term Keter came to refer to any full text of the Hebrew Bible, or significant portion of it, bound as a codex (not a scroll) and including vowel points, cantillation marks, and Masoretic notes.

Medieval handwritten manuscripts were considered extremely precise, the most authoritative documents from which to copy other texts.[93] Even so, David Carr asserts that Hebrew texts contain both accidental and intentional types of variants, which are differences in the manuscripts: "memory variants" are generally accidental differences evidenced by such things as the shift in word order found in 1 Chronicles 17:24 and 2 Samuel 10:9 and 13. Variants also include the substitution of lexical equivalents, semantic and grammar differences, and larger scale shifts in order, with some major revisions of the Masoretic texts that must have been intentional.[62]

Samaritan Pentateuch

Samaritans include only the Pentateuch (Torah) in their biblical canon.[94] They do not recognize divine authorship or inspiration in any other book in the Jewish Tanakh.[95] A Samaritan Book of Joshua partly based upon the Tanakh's Book of Joshua exists, but Samaritans regard it as a non-canonical secular historical chronicle.[96]


Fragment of a Septuagint: A column of uncial book from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus c. 325–350 CE, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton's Greek edition and English translation.

The Septuagint, or the LXX, is a translation of the Hebrew scriptures and some related texts into Koine Greek, begun in the late 3rd century BCE and completed by 132 BCE,[97][98][99] initially in Alexandria, but in time it was completed elsewhere as well.[100] It is not altogether clear which was translated when, or where; some may even have been translated twice, into different versions, and then revised.[101]

As the work of translation progressed, the canon of the Septuagint expanded. The Torah always maintained its pre-eminence as the basis of the canon but the collection of prophetic writings, based on the Nevi'im, had various hagiographical works incorporated into it. In addition, some newer books were included in the Septuagint, among these are the Books of the Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach. However, the book of Sirach is now known to have existed in a Hebrew version, since ancient Hebrew manuscripts of it were rediscovered in modern times. The Septuagint version of some biblical books, like the Book of Daniel and Book of Esther, are longer than those in the Jewish canon.[102]

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.[103] Third, the rabbis wanted to distinguish their tradition from the newly emerging tradition of Christianity.[99][104]

Finally, the rabbis claimed a divine authority for the Hebrew language, in contrast to Aramaic or Greek – even though these languages were the lingua franca of Jews during this period (and Aramaic would eventually be given a holy language status comparable to Hebrew).[105]

The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament.[106] The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches use most of the books of the Septuagint, while Protestant churches usually do not. After the Protestant Reformation, many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon and exclude the additional texts, which came to be called apocryphal. The Apocrypha are included under a separate heading in the King James Version of the Bible, the basis for the Revised Standard Version.[107]

Incorporations from Theodotion

The Book of Daniel is preserved in the 12-chapter Masoretic Text and in two longer Greek versions, the original Septuagint version, c. 100 BCE, and the later Theodotion version from c. 2nd century CE. Both Greek texts contain three additions to Daniel: The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children; the story of Susannah and the Elders; and the story of Bel and the Dragon. Theodotion's translation was so widely copied in the Early Christian church that its version of the Book of Daniel virtually superseded the Septuagint's. Jerome, in his preface to Daniel (407 CE), records the rejection of the Septuagint version of that book in Christian usage: "I ... wish to emphasize to the reader the fact that it was not according to the Septuagint version but according to the version of Theodotion himself that the churches publicly read Daniel."[108] Jerome's preface also mentions that the Hexapla had notations in it, indicating several major differences in content between the Theodotion Daniel and the earlier versions in Greek and Hebrew.

Theodotion's Daniel is closer to the surviving Hebrew Masoretic Text version, the text which is the basis for most modern translations. Theodotion's Daniel is also the one embodied in the authorised edition of the Septuagint published by Sixtus V in 1587.[109]

Final form

Some texts found in the Septuagint are not present in the Hebrew. These additional books are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah (which later became chapter 6 of Baruch in the Vulgate), additions to Daniel (The Prayer of Azarias, the Song of the Three Children, Susanna and Bel and the Dragon), additions to Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Odes, including the Prayer of Manasseh, the Psalms of Solomon, and Psalm 151.

Some books that are set apart in the Masoretic Text are grouped together. For example, the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings are in the Septuagint one book in four parts called Βασιλειῶν ("Of Reigns"). In the Septuagint, the Books of Chronicles supplement Reigns and it is called Paralipomenon (Παραλειπομένων – things left out). The Septuagint organizes the minor prophets as twelve parts of one Book of Twelve.

The Orthodox
Old Testament[100][110][a]
English name
Γένεσις Génesis Genesis
Ἔξοδος Éxodos Exodus
Λευϊτικόν Leuitikón Leviticus
Ἀριθμοί Arithmoí Numbers
Δευτερονόμιον Deuteronómion Deuteronomy
Ἰησοῦς Nαυῆ Iêsous Nauê Joshua
Κριταί Kritaí Judges
Ῥούθ Roúth Ruth
Βασιλειῶν Αʹ[b] I Reigns I Samuel
Βασιλειῶν Βʹ II Reigns II Samuel
Βασιλειῶν Γʹ III Reigns I Kings
Βασιλειῶν Δʹ IV Reigns II Kings
Παραλειπομένων Αʹ I Paralipomenon[c] I Chronicles
Παραλειπομένων Βʹ II Paralipomenon II Chronicles
Ἔσδρας Αʹ I Esdras 1 Esdras
Ἔσδρας Βʹ II Esdras Ezra–Nehemiah
Τωβίτ[d] Tobit Tobit or Tobias
Ἰουδίθ Ioudith Judith
Ἐσθήρ Esther Esther with additions
Μακκαβαίων Αʹ I Makkabaioi 1 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Βʹ II Makkabaioi 2 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Γʹ III Makkabaioi 3 Maccabees
Ψαλμοί Psalms Psalms
Ψαλμός ΡΝΑʹ Psalm 151 Psalm 151
Προσευχὴ Μανάσση Prayer of Manasseh Prayer of Manasseh
Ἰώβ Iōb Job
Παροιμίαι Proverbs Proverbs
Ἐκκλησιαστής Ekklesiastes Ecclesiastes
Ἆσμα Ἀσμάτων Song of Songs Song of Solomon or Canticles
Σοφία Σαλoμῶντος Wisdom of Solomon Wisdom
Σοφία Ἰησοῦ Σειράχ Wisdom of Jesus the son of Seirach Sirach or Ecclesiasticus
Ψαλμοί Σαλoμῶντος Psalms of Solomon Psalms of Solomon[111]
Δώδεκα The Twelve Minor Prophets
Ὡσηέ Αʹ I. Osëe Hosea
Ἀμώς Βʹ II. Amōs Amos
Μιχαίας Γʹ III. Michaias Micah
Ἰωήλ Δʹ IV. Ioël Joel
Ὀβδίου Εʹ[e] V. Obdias Obadiah
Ἰωνᾶς Ϛ' VI. Ionas Jonah
Ναούμ Ζʹ VII. Naoum Nahum
Ἀμβακούμ Ηʹ VIII. Ambakum Habakkuk
Σοφονίας Θʹ IX. Sophonias Zephaniah
Ἀγγαῖος Ιʹ X. Angaios Haggai
Ζαχαρίας ΙΑʹ XI. Zacharias Zachariah
Ἄγγελος ΙΒʹ XII. Messenger Malachi
Ἠσαΐας Hesaias Isaiah
Ἱερεμίας Hieremias Jeremiah
Βαρούχ Baruch Baruch
Θρῆνοι Lamentations Lamentations
Ἐπιστολή Ιερεμίου Epistle of Jeremiah Letter of Jeremiah
Ἰεζεκιήλ Iezekiêl Ezekiel
Δανιήλ Daniêl Daniel with additions
Μακκαβαίων Δ' Παράρτημα IV Makkabees 4 Maccabees[f]

Pseudepigraphal books

Pseudepigrapha are works whose authorship is wrongly attributed. A written work can be pseudepigraphical and not be a forgery, as forgeries are intentionally deceptive. With pseudepigrapha, authorship has simply been mistransmitted for any one of a number of reasons.[112] Apocryphal and pseudepigraphic works are also not the same. Apocrypha includes all the writings claiming to be sacred that are outside the canon, while pseudepigrapha is a literary category of all writings whether they are canonical or apocryphal.[112]: 4 

The term "pseudepigrapha" is commonly used to describe numerous works of Jewish religious literature written from about 300 BCE to 300 CE. Not all of these works are actually pseudepigraphical. (It also refers to books of the New Testament canon whose authorship is questioned.) The Old Testament pseudepigraphal works include the following:[113]

Book of Enoch

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. 5th to 6th century CE). 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.[114] However, the Enoch books are treated as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.[citation needed]

The older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) are estimated to date from about 300 BCE, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably was composed at the end of the 1st century BCE.[115]

Christian Bible

A page from the Gutenberg Bible

A Christian Bible is a set of books divided into the Old and New Testament that a Christian denomination has, at some point in their past or present, regarded as divinely inspired scripture.[116] The Early Church primarily used the Septuagint, as it was written in Greek, the common tongue of the day, or they used the Targums among Aramaic speakers. Modern English translations of the Old Testament section of the Christian Bible are based on the Masoretic text.[66] The Pauline epistles and the gospels were soon added, along with other writings, as the New Testament.[117]

Some denominations have additional canonical texts beyond the Bible, including the Standard Works of the Latter Day Saints movement and Divine Principle in the Unification Church.

Old Testament

The Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canon – the number of books (although not the content) varies from the Jewish Tanakh only because of a different method of division – while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books as the canonical Old Testament. The Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151 in addition to the Catholic canon. Some include 2 Esdras. 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. Eighty book Protestant Bibles include 14 books called Apocrypha in between the Old Testament and the New Testament that are deemed useful for instruction but non-canonical.[118][119][120] Both Catholics and Protestants (as well as Greek Orthodox) have the same 27-book New Testament Canon.[121]

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."[122] He adds that the earliest Christians also searched those same Hebrew scriptures in their effort to understand the earthly life of Jesus. 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 3:15), and as pointing to the Messiah, and as having reached a climactic fulfilment in Jesus himself, generating the "new covenant" prophesied by Jeremiah.[123]

Deuterocanon and apocrypha

The contents page in a complete 80 book King James Bible, listing "The Books of the Old Testament", "The Books called Apocrypha", and "The Books of the New Testament".

Christian Bibles often include books from the Septuagint that are not found in the Hebrew Bible, although the view of these books and which books are included in these Bibles differs between different denominations. In general it can be said that Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches embrace part of these books as part of the biblical canon, while newer denominations with roots in the Reformation to varying degrees reject those as part of the canon.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] They also sometimes adopt variants that appear in other texts, such as those discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls.[124][125]

A number of books which are part of the Peshitta or the Septuagint but are not found in the Hebrew 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.[126][127] It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if Jeremiah and Lamentations are counted as one) and 27 for the New.[128]

Eighty book Protestant Bibles have fourteen books that are found in the Septuagint and they are placed between the Old Testament and New Testament in a section called the Apocrypha.[120][118] Protestant traditions traditionally teach that these books are useful for instruction, but are non-canonical.[120][118] However, Eastern Orthodox Churches include these books as part of their Old Testament and the Roman Catholic Church includes most of them in their Old Testament with the exception of three books.[120][118]

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes:[129]

In addition to those, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize the following:[citation needed]

Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches include:[citation needed]

  • 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. It is an appendix to the Greek Orthodox Bible, and it is therefore sometimes included in collections of the Apocrypha.[citation needed]

The Syriac Orthodox Church includes:[citation needed]

The Ethiopian Orthodox biblical canon includes:[130]

and some other books.

The Revised Common Lectionary of the Lutheran Church, Moravian Church, Reformed Churches, Anglican Church and Methodist Church uses the apocryphal books liturgically, with alternative Old Testament readings available.[131] Therefore, editions of the Bible intended for use in the Lutheran Church and Anglican Church include the fourteen books of the Apocrypha, many of which are the deuterocanonical books accepted by the Catholic Church, plus 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh, which were in the Vulgate appendix.

New Testament

The New Testament is the name given to the second portion of the Christian Bible. The mainstream consensus is that the New Testament was written in a form of Koine Greek,[132][133] which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean[134][135][136][137] from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BCE) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600). The term "New Testament" came into use in the second century during a controversy over whether the Hebrew Bible should be included with the Christian writings as sacred scripture.[138]: 7 [11]

St. Jerome in His Study, by Marinus van Reymerswaele, 1541. Jerome produced a 4th-century Latin edition of the Bible, known as the Vulgate, that became the Catholic Church's official translation.

It is generally accepted that the New Testament writers were Jews who took the inspiration of the Old Testament for granted. This is probably stated earliest in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God". Scholarship on how and why ancient Jewish–Christians came to create and accept new texts as equal to the established Hebrew texts has taken three forms. First, John Barton writes that ancient Christians probably just continued the Jewish tradition of writing and incorporating what they believed were inspired, authoritative religious books.[138]: 2  The second approach separates those various inspired writings based on a concept of "canon" which developed in the second century.[138]: 3–8  The third involves formalizing canon.[138]: 8–11  According to Barton, these differences are only differences in terminology; the ideas are reconciled if they are seen as three stages in the formation of the New Testament.[138]: 11, 14–19 

The first stage was completed remarkably early if one accepts Albert C. Sundberg [de]'s view that "canon" and "scripture" are separate things with 'scripture' having been recognized by ancient Christians long before 'canon' was.[138]: 9–11, 17–18  Barton says Theodor Zahn concluded "there was already a Christian canon by the end of the First century", but this is not the canon of later centuries.[138]: 3  Accordingly, Sundberg asserts that in the first centuries, there was no criterion for inclusion in the 'sacred writings' beyond inspiration, and that no one in the first century had the idea of a closed canon.[138]: 9–11  The gospels were accepted by early believers as handed down from those Apostles who had known Jesus and been taught by him.[139] Later biblical criticism has questioned the authorship and datings of the gospels.

At the end of the second century, it is widely recognized that a Christian canon similar to its modern version was asserted in response to the plethora of writings claiming inspiration that contradicted orthodoxy: what they called heresy.[138]: 7  The third stage of development as the final canon occurred in the fourth century with a series of synods that produced a list of texts of the canon of the Old Testament and the New Testament that are still used today. Most notably the Synod of Hippo in 393 CE and that of c. 400. Jerome produced a definitive Latin edition of the Bible (the 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.

The New Testament is a collection of 27 books[140] 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:

The Gospels

Narrative literature, account and history of the Apostolic age

Pauline epistles

Pastoral epistles

Catholic epistles, also called the general epistles

Apocalyptic literature

The New Testament books are ordered differently in the Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant tradition, the Slavonic tradition, the Syriac tradition and the Ethiopian tradition.

Canon variations


The Peshitta (Classical Syriac: ܦܫܺܝܛܬܳܐ or ܦܫܝܼܛܬܵܐ pšīṭtā) is the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac tradition. The consensus within biblical scholarship, although not universal, is that the Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated into Syriac from biblical Hebrew, probably in the 2nd century AD, and that the New Testament of the Peshitta was translated from the Greek.[141] This New Testament, originally excluding certain disputed books (2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation), had become a standard by the early 5th century. The five excluded books were added in the Harklean Version (616 AD) of Thomas of Harqel.[142][143][144]

Ethiopian Orthodox 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.[130] In addition to the books found in the Septuagint accepted by other Orthodox Christians, the Ethiopian Old Testament Canon uses Enoch and Jubilees (ancient Jewish books that only survived in Ge'ez, but are quoted in the New Testament),[citation needed] Greek Ezra 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.[citation needed]

Biblical criticism

Jean Astruc, often called the "Father of Biblical criticism", at Centre hospitalier universitaire de Toulouse [fr]

Biblical criticism refers to the analytical investigation of the Bible as a text, and addresses questions such as history, 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, nor is it criticism of possible translation errors.[145]

In the 17th century, Thomas Hobbes collected textual evidence that he asserted as proving Moses could not have been the author of the first five books of the Bible known as the Pentateuch.[146] 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 ..."[147]

Jean Astruc (1684–1766), a French physician, believed these critics were wrong. He believed that Moses had assembled the first book of the Pentateuch, the book of Genesis, using hereditary accounts passed down through the Hebrew people.[148] Biblical criticism began when Astruc borrowed methods of textual criticism which were already used to investigate Greek and Roman texts and applied them to the Bible in search of those original accounts.[149]

Astruc believed this approach did identify the separate sources that were edited together into the book of Genesis, and modern scholars still, generally, accept his conclusions. In Astruc's view, the existence of separate sources explained the inconsistent style and vocabulary of Genesis, discrepancies in the narrative, differing accounts and chronological difficulties, while still allowing for Mosaic authorship.[72][150]

Biblical criticism made study of the Bible secularized, scholarly and more democratic, while it also permanently altered the way people understood the Bible.[151]: 22  It is no longer thought of solely as a religious artifact, and its interpretation is no longer restricted to the community of believers.[152]: 129 

"There are those who regard the desacralization of the Bible as the fortunate condition for the rise of new sensibilities and modes of imagination" that went into developing the modern world.[152]: 121  For many, biblical criticism "released a host of threats" to the Christian faith. For others biblical criticism "proved to be a failure, due principally to the assumption that diachronic, linear research could master any and all of the questions and problems attendant on interpretation".[153] Still others believed that biblical criticism, "shorn of its unwarranted arrogance," could be a reliable source of interpretation.[153] Michael Fishbane compares biblical criticism to Job, a prophet who destroyed "self-serving visions for the sake of a more honest crossing from the divine textus to the human one".[152]: 129  Or as Rogerson says: biblical criticism has been liberating for those who want their faith "intelligently grounded and intellectually honest".[154]: 298 

In the twenty-first century, attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, High Church Anglicans, Methodists and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of both the Bible and sacred tradition,[155][156] while many Protestant churches focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone. This concept rose to prominence during the Reformation, and many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. Others, though, advance the concept of prima scriptura in contrast, meaning scripture primarily or scripture mainly.[155]

Divine inspiration

A Bible is placed centrally on a Lutheran altar, highlighting its importance

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". (2 Timothy 3:16)[157] Various related but distinguishable views on divine inspiration include:

  • the view of the Bible as the inspired word of God: the belief that God, through the Holy Spirit, intervened and influenced the words, message, and collation of the Bible[158]
  • the view that the Bible is also infallible, and incapable of error in matters of faith and practice, but not necessarily in historic or scientific matters
  • the view that the Bible represents 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 many schools of hermeneutics operate. "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."[123] 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.[159]

Jewish antiquity attests to belief in sacred texts,[160][161] and a similar belief emerges in the earliest of Christian writings. Various texts of the Bible mention divine agency in relation to its writings.[162] In their book A General Introduction to the Bible, Norman Geisler and William Nix write: "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."[163] Most evangelical biblical scholars[164][165][166] 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.[167] Among adherents of biblical literalism, a minority, such as followers of the King-James-Only Movement, extend the claim of inerrancy only to a particular version.[168]

Versions and translations

Title page from the first Welsh translation of the Bible, 1588. William Morgan (1545–1604)
An early German translation by Martin Luther. His translation of the text into the vernacular was highly influential.

The original texts of the Tanakh were almost entirely written in Hebrew; about one per cent is written 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 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.[citation needed]

The primary biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint. 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[169][170] of uncertain authorship and of pseudepigraphal papal authority (variously ascribed to Pope Gelasius I, Pope Damasus I, or Pope Hormisdas)[171][172][173] but reflecting the views of the Roman Church by that period,[174] the Council of Rome in 382 CE under Pope Damasus I (366–383) gives a complete list of the canonical books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament which is identical with the list given at the Council of Trent.[175] Damasus commissioned 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 4th century CE (although Jerome expressed in his prologues to most deuterocanonical books that they were non-canonical).[176][177] In 1546, at the Council of Trent, Jerome's Vulgate translation was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only authentic and official Bible in the Latin Church.

Since the Protestant Reformation, Bible translations for many languages have been made. The Bible continues to be translated to new languages, largely by Christian organizations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, New Tribes Mission and Bible societies. Lammin Sanneh writes that tracing the impact on the local cultures of translating the Bible into local vernacular language shows it has produced "the movements of indigenization and cultural liberation".[178] "The translated scripture ... has become the benchmark of awakening and renewal".[179]

Bible translations, worldwide (as of September 2021)[180]
Number Statistic
7378 Approximate number of languages spoken in the world today
2217 Number of translations into new languages in progress
1196 Number of languages with some translated Bible portions
1582 Number of languages with a translation of the New Testament
717 Number of languages with a full translation of the Bible (Protestant Canon)
3495 Total number of languages with some Bible translation

Archaeological and historical research

The Tel Dan Stele, Israel Museum. Highlighted in white: the sequence B Y T D W D.

Archaeology reflects that Bible texts are fully integrated with material culture at times, and fully out of sync at others.[181] Biblical archaeology is a subsection of archaeology that relates to and sheds light upon the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. It is used to help determine the lifestyle and practices of people living in biblical times.[182] There are a wide range of interpretations in the field of biblical archaeology.[183] 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. According to historian Lester L. Grabbe, there are few, if any, maximalists in mainstream scholarship.[184] It is considered to be the extreme opposite of biblical minimalism which considers the Bible to be a purely post-exilic (5th century BCE and later) composition.[185] According to Mary-Joan Leith, professor of religious studies, many minimalists have ignored evidence for the antiquity of the Hebrew language in the Bible, and few take archaeological evidence into consideration.[186] Most biblical scholars and archaeologists fall somewhere on a spectrum between these two.[187][184]

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. 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 generally not considered historical.[188][189] The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, ancient non–biblical texts, and archaeology support the Babylonian captivity beginning around 586 BCE.[190] Excavations in southern Judah show a pattern of destruction consistent with the Neo-Assyrian devastation of Judah at the end of the eighth century and 2 Kgs 18:13.[191] In 1993, at Tel Dan, archaeologist Avraham Biran unearthed a fragmentary Aramaic inscription, the Tel Dan stele, dated to the late ninth or early eighth century that mentions a “king of Israel” as well as a “house of David” (bet David). This shows David could not be a late sixth-century invention, and implies that Judah’s kings traced their lineage back to someone named David.[192] However, there is no good archaeological evidence for the existence of Kings David and Solomon or the First Temple as far back as the tenth century BCE where the Bible places them.[193]

For the Israelites, the writing of history was not the modern equivalent of an archival reporting of facts, though they were capable of that. It was a complex cultural reconstruction. Historical details that were important to the author were included, modified, embellished, or even reworked, while those that did not fit with what the author wanted to say were often simply left out.[194] Joshua J. Bodine[who?] writes that, while historical skepticism is necessary, "it does not follow that Kings, Chronicles, or other texts are historically worthless".[194]

In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, surveys demonstrated that Acts of the Apostles (Acts) scholarship was divided into two traditions, "a conservative (largely British) tradition which had great confidence in the historicity of Acts and a less conservative (largely German) tradition which had very little confidence in the historicity of Acts". Subsequent surveys show that little has changed.[195] Author Thomas E. Phillips writes that "In this two-century-long debate over the historicity of Acts and its underlying traditions, only one assumption seemed to be shared by all: Acts was intended to be read as history".[196] This too is now being debated by scholars as: what genre does Acts actually belong to?[196] There is a growing consensus, however, that the question of genré is unsolvable and would not, in any case, solve the issue of historicity: "Is Acts history or fiction? In the eyes of most scholars, it is history—but not the kind of history that precludes fiction." says Phillips.[197]

The earliest material culture that is archaeologically recognizable as distinctly Christian is found in mortuary inscriptions, wall paintings and modest buildings used for worship. These date from the second and third centuries.[198] Distinct forms of Christian material culture that point to "theological reflection on Christ's victory over death" appear by the third century.[199] Explosive growth of material culture begins in the last quarter of the fourth century, and by the fifth century, ceramic pottery, bricks and tiles bearing crosses, the images of saints, other Christian symbols, and architecture that celebrated wealth and status and Christian ritual in the everyday life of ordinary believers are found from the British Isles to Persia (modern Iran).[200]

Bible museums



The grandest medieval Bibles were illuminated manuscripts in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders (marginalia) and miniature illustrations. Up to the 12th century, most manuscripts were produced in monasteries in order to add to the library or after receiving a commission from a wealthy patron. 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."[212] By the 14th century, the cloisters of monks writing in the scriptorium started to employ laybrothers from the urban scriptoria, especially in Paris, Rome and the Netherlands.[213] Demand for manuscripts grew to an extent that the Monastic libraries were unable to meet with the demand, and began employing secular scribes and illuminators.[214] These individuals often lived close to the monastery and, in certain instances, dressed as monks whenever they entered the monastery, but were allowed to leave at the end of the day.[215] A notable example of an illuminated manuscript is the Book of Kells, produced circa the year 800 containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables.

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."[212] In the case of manuscripts that were sold commercially, the writing would "undoubtedly have been discussed initially between the patron and the scribe (or the scribe's agent,) but by the time that the written gathering were sent off to the illuminator there was no longer any scope for innovation."[216]

See also


  1. ^ The canon of the original Old Greek LXX is disputed. This table reflects the canon of the Old Testament as used currently in Orthodoxy.
  2. ^ Βασιλειῶν (Basileiōn) is the genitive plural of Βασιλεῖα (Basileia).
  3. ^ That is, Things set aside from Ἔσδρας Αʹ.
  4. ^ Also called Τωβείτ or Τωβίθ in some sources.
  5. ^ Obdiou is genitive from "The vision of Obdias", which opens the book.
  6. ^ Originally placed after 3 Maccabees and before Psalms, but placed in an appendix of the Orthodox Canon.


  1. ^ Philip R. Davies in McDonald & Sanders 2002, p. 50: "With many other scholars, I conclude that the fixing of a canonical list was almost certainly the achievement of the Hasmonean dynasty."
  2. ^ McDonald & Sanders 2002, p. 5, cited are Neusner's Judaism and Christianity in the Age of Constantine, pp. 128–45, and Midrash in Context: Exegesis in Formative Judaism, pp. 1–22.
  3. ^ Schaff Philip, A selected library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 1888 Vol IV, Athanasius Letters No 39
  4. ^ "Best selling book of non-fiction". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 8 May 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b Ryken, Leland. "How We Got the Best-Selling Book of All Time". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 8 May 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Biema, David (22 March 2007). "The Case For Teaching The Bible". Time. Archived from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018. 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. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating. Even pop culture is deeply influenced by the Bible.
  7. ^ Bandstra 2009, p. 7; Gravett et al. 2008, p. xv.
  8. ^ Brake, Donald L. (2008). A visual history of the English Bible: the tumultuous tale of the world's bestselling book. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-8010-1316-4.
  9. ^ Beekes, R. S. P. (2009). Etymological Dictionary of Greek. Leiden and Boston: Brill. pp. 246–7.
  10. ^ etymology of the word "Bible" Archived 15 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Nashville: Broadman, 1962. ISBN 0805416137.
  12. ^ "From Hebrew Bible to Christian Bible" by Mark Hamilton Archived 14 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine on PBS's site From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians Archived 21 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Bruce 1988, p. 214.
  14. ^ Biblion, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus.
  15. ^ "The Catholic Encyclopedia". 1907. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  16. ^ Bible Hub Archived 16 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine – The NT generally uses 1124 (graphḗ) for the Hebrew Scriptures (the OT) – but see also 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 3:16. 1124 (graphḗ) was used for the Hebrew Scriptures as early as Aristeas (about 130 bc; so MM)
  17. ^ Lim 2017, pp. 40, 44, 58–59; Hayes 2012, ch. 1; Brown 2010, Intro.; Carr 2010, p. 17; Bandstra 2009, pp. 7–9; Gravett et al. 2008, pp. xv, 41; Harris & Platzner 2008, pp. 21–22; Riches 2000, pp. 9, 18.
  18. ^ Riches 2000, p. 9.
  19. ^ Lim 2017, pp. 40, 44–45, 58–60; Hayes 2012, ch. 1; Brown 2010, Intro.; Carr 2010, pp. 3, 17; Bandstra 2009, pp. 7–9; Gravett et al. 2008, p. 54; Harris & Platzner 2008, p. 3; Riches 2000, chs. 2 and 3.
  20. ^ Hauser, Watson & Kaufman 2003, p. 201.
  21. ^ Lim 2017, pp. 45–46, 58; Hayes 2012, ch. 1; Brown 2010, Intro.; Carr 2010, p. 250; Bandstra 2009, pp. 8, 480; Gravett et al. 2008, p. 47; Harris & Platzner 2008, p. 27; Riches 2000, ch. 3.
  22. ^ Hauser, Watson & Kaufman 2003, p. 201; 30.
  23. ^ Wegner, Paul (1999). The Journey From Texts to Translations. Baker Academic. p. 172. ISBN 978-0801027994.
  24. ^ Swenson, Kristin (2021). A Most Peculiar Book: The Inherent Strangeness of the Bible. Oxford University Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-19-065173-2.
  25. ^ Hauser, Watson & Kaufman 2003, pp. 30–31.
  26. ^ Hauser, Watson & Kaufman 2003, pp. 31–32.
  27. ^ Lim 2017, pp. 45–46; Brown 2010, Intro. and ch. 1; Carr 2010, p. 17; Bandstra 2009, pp. 7, 484; Riches 2000, chs. 2 and 3.
  28. ^ Lim 2017, p. 40; Hayes 2012, ch. 1; Brown 2010, Intro.; Carr 2010, pp. 3–5; Bandstra 2009, pp. 7–8, 480–481; Gravett et al. 2008, p. xv; Harris & Platzner 2008, pp. 3–4, 28, 371; Riches 2000, ch. 3.
  29. ^ Riches 2000, pp. 7–8.
  30. ^ Lim 2017, pp. 40, 46, 49, 58–59; Hayes 2012, ch. 1; Brown 2010, Intro.; Carr 2010, pp. 3–5; Bandstra 2009, pp. 7–8, 480–481; Gravett et al. 2008, pp. xv, 49; Harris & Platzner 2008, pp. 3–4, 28, 31–32, 371; Riches 2000, ch. 3.
  31. ^ Becoming Rasta: Origins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica. p. 171, Charles Price. 2009
  32. ^ Unitarian Universalism. p. 42, Zondervan Publishing, 2009
  33. ^ "…they [from the Children of Israel] pervert words from their meanings, and have forgotten a part of what they were reminded …" Quran 5:18.
  34. ^ "The Bible tops 'most influential' book survey". BBC. 13 November 2014. Archived from the original on 12 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  35. ^ Riches 2000, p. 134.
  36. ^ Lim 2017, p. 47.
  37. ^ Lim 2017, p. 47; Ulrich 2013, pp. 103–104; VanderKam & Flint 2013, ch. 5; Brown 2010, ch. 3(A); Harris & Platzner 2008, p. 22.
  38. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 59.
  39. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 60.
  40. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 61.
  41. ^ VanderKam & Flint 2013, p. 88.
  42. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 62-63.
  43. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 64-65.
  44. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 27, 300.
  45. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 58.
  46. ^ Wallace 2009, p. 88.
  47. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 40-41; 300-301.
  48. ^ Wegner 2006, p. 300.
  49. ^ Royce 2013, p. 473.
  50. ^ Gurry, Peter J. "The Number of Variants in the Greek New Testament: A Proposed Estimate." New Testament Studies 62.1 (2016): 97-121.
  51. ^ Rezetko, Robert; Young, Ian (2014). Historical Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew Steps Toward an Integrated Approach. SBL Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-62837-046-1.
  52. ^ Epp 2013, pp. 2–4, 6.
  53. ^ Epp 2013, pp. 6, 9.
  54. ^ Epp 2013, p. 7.
  55. ^ Royce 2013, p. 472.
  56. ^ Parker 2013, pp. 412–420, 430–432; Brown 2010, ch. 3(A).
  57. ^ Hurtado, Larry W. "P52 (P. Rylands Gk. 457) and the Nomina Sacra: Method and Probability". Edinburgh Research Archive. University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  58. ^ Lim 2017, pp. 46–49; Ulrich 2013, pp. 95–104; VanderKam & Flint 2013, ch. 5; Carr 2010, p. 8; Bandstra 2009, p. 482; Gravett et al. 2008, pp. 47–49; Harris & Platzner 2008, pp. 23–28.
  59. ^ Wegner 2006, pp. 41, 44, 58, 61, 64.
  60. ^ Wallace 2009, p. 98.
  61. ^ Tov, Emanuel (2001). Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (illustrated ed.). Uitgeverij Van Gorcum. p. 18. ISBN 9789023237150.
  62. ^ a b Carr 2011, pp. 5–7, 18, 24, 29, 42, 55, 61, 145, 167.
  63. ^ Black, David Alan (1994). New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide (illustrated ed.). Baker Academic. p. 60. ISBN 9780801010743.
  64. ^ Royce 2013, pp. 461–464, 468, 470–473.
  65. ^ Wegner 1999, p. 24–25.
  66. ^ a b VanderKam & Flint 2013, p. 87.
  67. ^ Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26, Jeremiah 10:11, Daniel 2:4–7:28
  68. ^ Sir Godfrey Driver. "Introduction to the Old Testament of the New English Bible." Web: 30 November 2009
  69. ^ iarchive:isbn 9780393064933/page/647 The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas by Willis Barnstone – W. W. Norton & Company. p. 647
  70. ^ Robinson, George (2008). Essential Torah: A Complete Guide to the Five Books of Moses. Knopf Doubleday. ISBN 9780307484376. p=97
  71. ^ "Pentateuch". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  72. ^ a b Nahkola 2007, pp. vii, xvi, 197, 204, 216–217.
  73. ^ Baden 2012, p. 13.
  74. ^ Greifenhagen 2003, p. 206.
  75. ^ Greifenhagen 2003, pp. 206–207.
  76. ^ Newsom, Carol Ann (2004). The Self as Symbolic Space: Constructing Identity and Community at Qumran. Brill. p. 26. ISBN 9789004138032.
  77. ^ Greifenhagen 2003, p. 224 n. 49.
  78. ^ Seymour Rossel (2007). Archived 27 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine The Torah: Portion by Portion, p. 355. Torah Aura Productions, CA. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  79. ^ 1 Kings.18:24;1 Kings.18:37–39 9
  80. ^ George Savran "I and II Kings" in The Literary Guide to the Bible edited by Robert Alter and Frank Kermode. "Each king is judged either good or bad in black-and-white terms, according to whether or not he "did right" or "did evil" in the sight of the Lord. This evaluation is not reflective of the well-being of the nation, of the king's success or failure in war, or of the moral climate of the times, but rather the state of cultic worship during his reign. Those kings who shun idolatry and enact religious reforms are singled out for praise, and those who encourage pagan practices are denounced." 146
  81. ^ Yehezkel Kaufmann "Israel In Canaan" in Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People edited by Leo Schwartz, The Modern Library. "The fight against Baal was initiated by the prophets" 54
  82. ^ Yehezkel Kaufmann "The Age of Prophecy" in Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People edited by Leo Schwartz, The Modern Library. "The immediate occasion of the rise of the new prophecy was the political and social ruin caused by the wars with Israel's northerly neighbor, Aram, which continued for more than a century. They raged intensely during the reign of Ahab, and did not end until the time of Jeroboam II (784–744). While the nation as a whole was impoverished, a few – apparently of the royal officialdom – grew wealthy as a result of the national calamity. Many of the people were compelled to sell their houses and lands, with the result that a sharp social cleavage arose: on the one hand a mass of propertyless indigents, on the other a small circle of the rich. A series of disasters struck the nation – drought, famine, plagues, death and captivity (Amos 4: 6–11), but the greatest disaster of all was the social disintegration due to the cleavage between the poor masses and the wealthy, dissolute upper class. The decay affected both Judah and Israel ... High minded men were appalled at this development. Was this the people whom YHWH had brought out of Egypt, to whom He had given the land and a law of justice and right? it seemed as if the land was about to be inherited by the rich, who would squander its substance in drunken revelry. it was this dissolution that brought the prophetic denunciations to white heat." 57–58
  83. ^ Abraham Joshua Heschel 1955 The Prophets Harper and Row: "What manner of man is the prophet? A student of philosophy who runs from the discourses of the great metaphysicians to the orations of the prophets may feel as if he were going from the realm of the sublime to an area of trivialities. Instead of dealing with the timeless issues of being and becoming, of matter and form, of definitions and demonstrations, he is thrown into orations about widows and orphans, about the corruption of judges and affairs of the market place. Instead of showing us a way through the elegant mansions of the mind, the prophets take us to the slums. The world is a proud place, full of beauty, but the prophets are scandalized, and rave as if the whole world were a slum. They make much ado about paltry things, lavishing excessive language upon trifling subjects. What if somewhere in ancient Palestine poor people have not been treated properly by the rich? .... Indeed, the sorts of crimes and even the amount of delinquency that fill the prophets of Israel with dismay do not go beyond that which we regard as normal, as typical ingredients of social dynamics. To us a single act of injustice – cheating in business, exploitation of the poor – is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To us an injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence; to us an episode; to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world." 3–4
  84. ^ Joel Rosenberg "I and II Samuel" in The Literary Guide to the Bible edited by Robert Alter and Frank Kermode. "Samuel is thus a work of national self-criticism. It recognizes that Israel would not have survived, either politically or culturally, without the steadying presence of a dynastic royal house. But it makes both that house and its subjects answerable to firm standards of prophetic justice – not those of cult prophets or professional ecstatics, but of morally upright prophetic leaders in the tradition of Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Gideon, and others ..." 141
  85. ^ Neusner, Jacob, The Talmud Law, Theology, Narrative: A Sourcebook. University Press of America, 2005
  86. ^ a b Coogan, Michael D. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: the Hebrew Bible in its Context. Oxford University Press. 2009; p. 5
  87. ^ The Babylonian Talmud Archived 6 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine The Babylonian Talmud, Vol. 7 of 9: Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate) translated by Michael L. Rodkinson, first published 1918 – published 2008 by Forgotten Books, p. 53
  88. ^ About the Bible Archived 23 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine Ketuvim כְּתוּבִים 30 July 2008
  89. ^ Henshaw 1963, pp. 16–17.
  90. ^ Lightfoot, Neil R. How We Got the Bible, 3rd edition, rev. and expanded. Baker Book House Company. 2003, pp. 154–155.
  91. ^ Henshaw 1963, p. 17.
  92. ^ A 7th-century fragment containing the Song of the Sea (Exodus 13:19–16:1) is one of the few surviving texts from the "silent era" of Hebrew biblical texts between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aleppo Codex. See "Rare scroll fragment to be unveiled," Jerusalem Post, May 21, 2007.
  93. ^ "The Damascus Keters". National Library of Israel. Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  94. ^ VanderKam & Flint 2013, p. 91.
  95. ^ Although a paucity of extant source material makes it impossible to be certain that the earliest Samaritans also rejected the other books of the Tanakh, the 3rd-century church father Origen confirms that the Samaritans in his day "receive[d] the books of Moses alone." (Commentary on John 13:26 Archived 3 February 2021 at the Wayback Machine)
  96. ^ Gaster, M. (1908). "A Samaritan Book of Joshua". The Living Age. 258: 166. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  97. ^ Life after death: a history of the afterlife in the religions of the West (2004) Archived 6 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Anchor Bible Reference Library, Alan F. Segal, p. 363
  98. ^ Gilles Dorival, Marguerite Harl, and Olivier Munnich, La Bible grecque des Septante: Du judaïsme hellénistique au christianisme ancien (Paris: Cerfs, 1988), p. 111
  99. ^ a b "[...] die griechische Bibelübersetzung, die einem innerjüdischen Bedürfnis entsprang [...] [von den] Rabbinen zuerst gerühmt (.) Später jedoch, als manche ungenaue Übertragung des hebräischen Textes in der Septuaginta und Übersetzungsfehler die Grundlage für hellenistische Irrlehren abgaben, lehte man die Septuaginta ab." Verband der Deutschen Juden (Hrsg.), neu hrsg. von Walter Homolka, Walter Jacob, Tovia Ben Chorin: Die Lehren des Judentums nach den Quellen; München, Knesebeck, 1999, Bd.3, S. 43ff
  100. ^ a b Karen H. Jobes and Moises Silva (2001). Invitation to the Septuagint. Paternoster Press. ISBN 978-1842270615. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  101. ^ Joel Kalvesmaki, The Septuagint Archived 9 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  102. ^ Rick Grant Jones, Various Religious Topics, "Books of the Septuagint", (Accessed 2006.9.5).
  103. ^ "The translation, which shows at times a peculiar ignorance of Hebrew usage, was evidently made from a codex which differed widely in places from the text crystallized by the Masorah." "Bible Translations – The Septuagint". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  104. ^ "Two things, however, rendered the Septuagint unwelcome in the long run to the Jews. Its divergence from the accepted text (afterward called the Masoretic) was too evident; and it therefore could not serve as a basis for theological discussion or for homiletic interpretation. This distrust was accentuated by the fact that it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by the new faith [Christianity] [...] In course of time it came to be the canonical Greek Bible [...] It became part of the Bible of the Christian Church.""Bible Translations – The Septuagint". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  105. ^ Mishnah Sotah (7:2–4 and 8:1), among many others, discusses the sacredness of Hebrew, as opposed to Aramaic or Greek. This is comparable to the authority claimed for the original Arabic Koran according to Islamic teaching. As a result of this teaching, translations of the Torah into Koine Greek by early Jewish Rabbis have survived as rare fragments only.
  106. ^ Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, trans. Errol F. Rhodes, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. Eerdmans, 1995.
  107. ^ "NETS: Electronic Edition". 11 February 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  108. ^ Jerome, Commentary on Daniel, translated by Gleason L. Archer (1958), accessed 5 January 2019
  109. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)
  110. ^ Timothy McLay, The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research ISBN 0802860915. – The current standard introduction on the NT & LXX.
  111. ^ Not in Orthodox Canon, but originally included in the Septuagint. Archived 29 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  112. ^ a b Metzger, Bruce M. (1972). "Literary Forgeries and Canonical Pseudepigrapha". Journal of Biblical Literature. 91 (1): 4.
  113. ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  114. ^ The Book of Enoch Archived 8 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine – The Reluctant Messenger. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  115. ^ Fahlbusch E., Bromiley G.W. The Encyclopedia of Christianity: P–Sh p. 411, ISBN 0802824161 (2004)
  116. ^ Johnson, Paul (2012). History of Christianity. Simon and Schuster. p. 374. ISBN 9781451688511.
  117. ^ Kelly 2000, p. 31–32.
  118. ^ a b c d Quaker Life, Volume 11. Friends United Press. 1970. p. 141. Even though they were not placed on the same level as the canonical books , still they were useful for instruction . ... These – and others that total fourteen or fifteen altogether – are the books known as the Apocrypha.
  119. ^ Ewert, David (11 May 2010). A General Introduction to the Bible: From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations. Zondervan. p. 104. ISBN 9780310872436. English Bibles were patterned after those of the Continental Reformers by having the Apocrypha set off from the rest of the OT. Coverdale (1535) called them "Apocrypha". All English Bibles prior to 1629 contained the Apocrypha. Matthew's Bible (1537), the Great Bible (1539), the Geneva Bible (1560), the Bishop's Bible (1568), and the King James Bible (1611) contained the Apocrypha. Soon after the publication of the KJV, however, the English Bibles began to drop the Apocrypha and eventually they disappeared entirely. The first English Bible to be printed in America (1782–83) lacked the Apocrypha. In 1826 the British and Foreign Bible Society decided to no longer print them. Today the trend is in the opposite direction, and English Bibles with the Apocrypha are becoming more popular again.
  120. ^ a b c d Wells, Preston B. (1911). The Story of the English Bible. Pentecostal Publishing Company. p. 41. Fourteen books and parts of books are considered Apocryphal by Protestants. Three of these are recognized by Roman Catholics also as Apocryphal.
  121. ^ [1] Archived 27 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Frank K. Flinn, Infobase Publishing, 2007, p. 103
  122. ^ Wright 2005, p. 3.
  123. ^ a b Wright 2005
  124. ^ The Masoretic Text and the Dead Sea Scrolls Archived 27 January 2013 at the Wayback Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  125. ^ "Dead Sea Scrolls" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  126. ^ Council of Trent: Decretum de Canonicis Scripturis "Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures" Archived 5 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, from the Council's fourth session, of 4 April 1546: Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, The Fourth Session, Celebrated on the eighth day of the month of April, in the year 1546, English translation by James Waterworth (London 1848).
  127. ^ The Council of Trent confirmed the identical list/canon of sacred scriptures already anciently approved by the Synod of Hippo (Synod of 393), Council of Carthage, 28 August 397, and Council of Florence (originally Council of Basel), Session 11, 4 February 1442 Archived 24 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine  – [Bull of union with the Copts] seventh paragraph down.
  128. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd ed.). Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 2019. Paragraph 120.
  129. ^ the Canon of Trent:

    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
  130. ^ a b "The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church". Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  131. ^ "The Revised Common Lectionary" (PDF). Consultation on Common Texts. 1992. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015. In all places where a reading from the deuterocanonical books (The Apocrypha) is listed, an alternate reading from the canonical Scriptures has also been provided.
  132. ^ Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland The text of the New Testament: an introduction to the critical 1995 p. 52 "The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, the Greek of daily conversation. The fact that from the first all the New Testament writings were written in Greek is conclusively demonstrated by their citations from the Old Testament ..."
  133. ^ Archibald Macbride Hunter Introducing the New Testament 1972 p9 "How came the twenty-seven books of the New Testament to be gathered together and made authoritative Christian scripture? 1. All the New Testament books were originally written in Greek. On the face of it this may surprise us."
  134. ^ Wenham The elements of New Testament Greek p. xxv Jeremy Duff, John William Wenham – 2005 "This is the language of the New Testament. By the time of Jesus the Romans had become the dominant military and political force, but the Greek language remained the 'common language' of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond, and Greek ..."
  135. ^ Daniel B. Wallace Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament 1997
  136. ^ Henry St. John Thackeray Grammar of New Testament Greek ed. Friedrich Wilhelm Blass, 1911 "By far the most predominant element in the language of the New Testament is the Greek of common speech which was disseminated in the East by the Macedonian conquest, in the form which it had gradually assumed under the wider development ..."
  137. ^ David E. Aune The Blackwell companion to the New Testament 2009 p.61 Chapter 4 New Testament Greek Christophe Rico "In this short overview of the Greek language of the New Testament we will focus on those topics that are of greatest importance for the average reader, that is, those with important ..."
  138. ^ a b c d e f g h i Barton, John (1998). Holy Writings, Sacred Text: The Canon in Early Christianity (reprint ed.). Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664257781.
  139. ^ Kelly 2000, p. 4.
  140. ^ Mears, Henrietta C. (2007) "A glossary of Bible words". Archived 27 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine What the Bible is All About Visual Edition, pp. 438–439. Gospel Light Publications, CA. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  141. ^ Sebastian P. Brock The Bible in the Syriac Tradition St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute, 1988. Quote p. 13: "The Peshitta Old Testament was translated directly from the original Hebrew text, and the Peshitta New Testament directly from the original Greek"
  142. ^ Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1995). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Q–Z. p. 976. ISBN 0802837840. Printed editions of the Peshitta frequently contain these books in order to fill the gaps. D. Harklean Version. The Harklean version is connected with the labors of Thomas of Harqel. When thousands were fleeing Khosrou's invading armies, ...
  143. ^ Kiraz, George Anton (2002) [1996]. Comparative Edition of the Syriac Gospels: Aligning the Old Syriac Sinaiticus, Curetonianus, Peshitta and Harklean Versions (2nd ed.). Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press.
  144. ^ Kiraz, George Anton (2004) [1996]. Comparative Edition of the Syriac Gospels: Aligning the Old Syriac Sinaiticus, Curetonianus, Peshitta and Harklean Versions (3rd ed.). Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press.
  145. ^ "Expondo Os Erros Da Sociedade Bíblica Internacional". 2000. Archived from the original on 29 October 2002. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  146. ^ Walther League (1924). The Walther League Messenger. University of Wisconsin. p. 332.
  147. ^ Potter, George (2005). Ten More Amazing Discoveries. CFI. p. 121. ISBN 978-1555178055. Archived from the original on 26 January 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  148. ^ Young, Edward Joseph (1989) [1964]. An Introduction to the Old Testament. Eerdmans. pp. 118–123. ISBN 978-0-8028-0339-9.
  149. ^ Nahkola 2007, pp. 204, 216.
  150. ^ Grieve, Alexander James (1920). Peake, Arthur Samuel; Grieve, Alexander James (eds.). A Commentary on the Bible. Harvard University. pp. 122–124.
  151. ^ Soulen, Richard N.; Soulen, R. Kendall (2001). Handbook of Biblical Criticism (Third ed.). Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22314-4.
  152. ^ a b c Fishbane, Michael (1992). The Garments of Torah, Essays in Biblical Hermeneutics. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-11408-2.
  153. ^ a b Harrisville, Roy A. (2014). Pandora's Box Opened: An Examination and Defense of Historical-Critical Method and Its Master Practitioners. Eerdmans. p. vii. ISBN 978-0-8028-6980-7.
  154. ^ Rogerson, J. W. (2000). "Higher criticism". In Mason, Alistair; Hastings, Adrian; Hastings, Ed; Pyper, Hugh (eds.). The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Oxford University Press. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-19-860024-4.
  155. ^ a b "Methodist Beliefs: In what ways are Lutherans different from United Methodists?". Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. 2014. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 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.
  156. ^ Humphrey, Edith M. (15 April 2013). Scripture and Tradition. Baker Books. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4412-4048-4. historically Anglicans have adopted what could be called a prima Scriptura position.
  157. ^ Grudem, Wayne (1994). Systematic Theology. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 49–50.
  158. ^ Rice, John R. – Our God-Breathed Book: The BibleISBN 0873986288, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1969, pp. 68–88.
  159. ^ "Beyond Biblical Literalism and Inerrancy: Conservative Protestants and the Hermeneutic Interpretation of Scripture", John Bartkowski, Sociology of Religion, 57, 1996.
  160. ^ Philo of Alexandria, De vita Moysis 3.23.
  161. ^ Josephus, Contra Apion 1.8.
  162. ^ "Basis for belief of Inspiration Biblegateway". Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  163. ^ Norman L. Geisler, William E. Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. Moody Publishers, 1986, p. 86. ISBN 0802429165
  164. ^ For example, see Leroy Zuck, Roy B. Zuck. Basic Bible Interpretation. Chariot Victor Pub, 1991, p. 68. ISBN 0896938190
  165. ^ Roy B. Zuck, Donald Campbell. Basic Bible Interpretation. Victor, 2002. ISBN 0781438772
  166. ^ Norman L. Geisler. Inerrancy. Zondervan, 1980, p. 294. ISBN 0310392810
  167. ^ International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (1978). "The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy" (PDF). Dallas Theological Seminary Archives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2008.
  168. ^ "Ruckman's belief in advanced revelations in the KJV". Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  169. ^ Clark, Francis (1987). The Pseudo-Gregorian dialogues. Leiden: E.J. Brill. pp. 601–602. ISBN 978-9004077737. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  170. ^ Bruce 1988, p. 234.
  171. ^ Frazier, Alison (2015). Essays in Renaissance Thought and Letters: In Honor of John Monfasani. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 465. ISBN 978-9004294479. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  172. ^ Burkitt (1913). "The Decretum Geladianum". Journal of Theological Studies. 14: 469–471. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  173. ^ Ellis, E. Earle (2003). The Old Testament in early Christianity : canon and interpretation in the light of modern research. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. p. 26. ISBN 978-1592442560. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  174. ^ "The Christian canon". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  175. ^ Cross, F. L.; Livingstone, E. A., eds. (1 January 2005). "Canon of Scripture". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 282. doi:10.1093/acref/9780192802903.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3.
  176. ^ Kelly, J. N. D. (1960). Early Christian Doctrines. San Francisco: Harper. p. 55.
  177. ^ "The Bible". Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  178. ^ Sanneh & McClymond 2016, p. 265.
  179. ^ Sanneh & McClymond 2016, p. 279.
  180. ^ "2021 Scripture Access Statistics". Archived from the original on 13 October 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  181. ^ Caraher & Pettegrew 2019, p. 19.
  182. ^ Caraher & Pettegrew 2019, p. 11.
  183. ^ Mazar 2003, p. 85-87.
  184. ^ a b Grabbe 2017, p. 36.
  185. ^ Davies 2000, p. 27.
  186. ^ Leith 2022, p. 5.
  187. ^ Leith 2022, p. 4.
  188. ^ Finkelstein, Israel; Silberman, Neil Asher (2001). The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0743223386. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  189. ^ Dever, William (2003). Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from?. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0802809759.
  190. ^ Leith 2022, p. 1.
  191. ^ Leith 2022, p. 6.
  192. ^ Leith 2022, p. 2.
  193. ^ Leith 2022, p. 2-3.
  194. ^ a b Bodine 2011, p. 63-64.
  195. ^ Phillips 2006, p. 365.
  196. ^ a b Phillips 2006, p. 366.
  197. ^ Phillips 2006, p. 385.
  198. ^ Caraher & Pettegrew 2019, pp. 1, 13–14.
  199. ^ Caraher & Pettegrew 2019, p. 14.
  200. ^ Caraher & Pettegrew 2019, p. 1, 17, 20.
  201. ^ Turner, Allan (31 August 2015). "Historic Bibles ?' even a naughty one ?' featured at Houston's Dunham Museum". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  202. ^ "About Us". Museum of the Bible. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  203. ^ "Museum of the Bible opens in Washington, D.C., with celebration amid cynicism". NBC News. Archived from the original on 21 November 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  204. ^ "Questions swirl around Museum of the Bible before grand opening". NBC News. Archived from the original on 9 December 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  205. ^ "St Arnaud gets it own holy grail". The Herald and Weekly Times. 21 April 2015. Archived from the original on 12 December 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  206. ^ "Bible Museum Homepage | Features". Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020. Australia's only Bible Museum has temporarily closed and is preparing to relocate. Our exciting new location will be announced on this website.
  207. ^ "Great Passion Play has some interesting new sights that don't cost anything to see". KSNF/KODE – 17 May 2019. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  208. ^ The Christian travel planner. Thomas Nelson. 2008. p. 327. ISBN 978-1401603748. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  209. ^ Jordan, Leah. "Shelby County awards $15,000 grant for Bible Museum in Collierville". WHBQ-TV. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  210. ^ "About". Bible Museum On The Square. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  211. ^ Mary, Fonseca. Weekend Getaways in Louisiana. Pelican Publishing. p. 249. ISBN 978-1455613984. Archived from the original on 11 December 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  212. ^ a b Putnam A.M., Geo. Haven. Books and Their Makers During The Middle Ages. Vol. 1. New York: Hillary House, 1962. Print.
  213. ^ De Hamel 1992, p. 45.
  214. ^ De Hamel 1992, p. 57.
  215. ^ De Hamel 1992, p. 65.
  216. ^ De Hamel 1992, p. 60.

Works cited

Further reading

External links


Article Bible in English Wikipedia took following places in local popularity ranking:

Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2022-02-25 based on