The Bible is a collection of short books recording the history of the world, ancient Israel, the life of Jesus Christ, and the early Christian Church. It contains 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament written by 40 different authors over 1500 years.  No other book in history is as popular, or as revered, nor as diverse in context as the lives of those who wrote it.
Due to its being prized as the coveted word of God, the Bible has been better preserved, and translated into more languages, than any other book in history. Original manuscripts can be found in the oldest written languages on Earth, and it also contains one of the longest running genealogical sequence known to exist, spanning approximately 4,000 years. There is simply no other book in existence that offers a better chronological record of the early history of the Earth.
Creationists hold a number of views regarding the reliability of the Bible, ranging from strict inerrancy to substantive accuracy. However, all Christians agree that the Bible is history, not mythology or allegory, because the text itself is so obviously historical in style and content unless otherwise implied within the text through a historical-grammatical exegesis.
The word "Bible" had its origins in an ancient Phoenician seaport called Byblos, which was so-named as a result of the trade and manufacture of writing material based on the papyrus or byblos reed, used extensively in antiquity for making scrolls and books. The Greek word biblos was based upon this, and it came to be the word for book (a small book was termed biblion), and by the 2nd century AD, Greek Christians had called the Scriptures τα βιβλία, ta Biblia ("the books") which was transferred to Latin by dropping the ta; the word made its way to Old French where the plural was dropped in favor of the singular, hence becoming the English word Bible.
- 1 Canonicity
- 2 Literal Translation
- 3 Division into chapters and verses
- 4 Books of the Bible
- 5 Bible Translations
- 6 See Also
- 7 References
- 8 External Links
- Main Article: Biblical canon
The Bible is an ancient collection of writings, comprised of 66 separate books, written over approximately 1,600 years, by at least 40 distinct authors. The Old Testament contains 39 books written from approximately 1500 to 400 BC, and the New Testament contains 27 books written from approximately 40 to 100 AD. The Jewish Bible (Tanakh) is the same as the Christian Old Testament, except for its book arrangement. The original Old Testament was written mainly in Hebrew, with some Aramaic, while the original New Testament was written in common Greek.
The Old Testament
- Main Article: Old Testament
The Old Testament, also called the Hebrew Bible (Hebrew: כִּתְבֵי הַקּדֶשׁ, Kitvei HaKodesh, The Holy Scriptures) or Tanakh (Hebrew: תנ״ך, Tanakh , acronym for Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim), consists of thirty-nine books. The books themselves were originally written in Hebrew, and later on in the Aramaic language of Palestine. The Greek language Old Testament was written after the conquest of Alexander the Great around 130 BC and is known as the Septuagint. This implies an even earlier date of an established Old Testament canon generally accepted to fall within the 5th century to 3rd century BC (400 to 200 BC).
- Main Article: Deuterocanonical books
The Deuterocanonical books (Greek: "Second Canon") are seven books, included in the Septuagint, which Catholics and Orthodox include in the Old Testament, but which Protestants generally do not. Classically they were called member of::Apocrypha by Protestants. But today the word Apocrypha denotes a class of literature that includes these deuterocanonical books plus several others of varying reputation for historical validity.
The New Testament
- Main Article: New Testament
The New Testament is a collection of twenty-seven books and letters, written by eyewitnesses and by people who attained testimony from eyewitnesses. Being that the oldest extant manuscripts are in Greek and the context of hellenization that helped develop the culture of first century Palestine, scholars have determined that the New Testament was originally written in Greek. Completed before 100 AD the emphasis of the New Testament is the life, teachings, crucifixion, death, resurrection and gift of salvation of Jesus of Nazareth.
NT Wright, an influential New Testament scholar, paints a quick picture of the history of reading the New Testament in his book The New Testament and the People of God. Wright recommends reading the New Testament as not only historical but theological, contexts enabling Christianity to maintain a practice of historical theology. However throughout the history of reading the NT there have been;
|“||... four ways (pre-critical, historical, theological and postmodern readings) correspond very broadly to three movements within the history of Western culture in the last few centuries. The first belongs to the period before the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century; the second, to the major emphasis of the Enlightenment, sometimes known as 'modernism' or 'modernity'; the third, to a corrective on the second, still from within the Enlightenment worldview has begun to break up under questioning from many sides, and which has become known as 'postmodern.'||”|
Some English translations of the Bible are strictly renderings from the original languages (mostly Hebrew and Greek) word for word or as close as possible, called literal rendering. Other English Bibles maintain a popular tone allowing paraphrasing. For instance, the New International Version (NIV) differs in word choice when compared to the New American Standard (NASB).
A literal translation of the NASB has rendered the text as close as possible to the original languages.
Division into chapters and verses
The division of the Bible in chapters is attributed to Hugo de Sancto Caro, a Roman Catholic Cardinal about A.D. 1240. The division of the chapters of the Old Testament in verses is attributed to Rabbi Mordecai Nathan, a famous Jewish teacher, about A.D. 1445. Robert Stephens made the verse division of the New Testament in the 16th century.
Books of the Bible
The following table lists the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are linked to the searchable index at BibleGateway.com
- King James Version
- American Standard Version
- Revised Version
- New American Standard Version
- New King James Version
- Douay-Rheims Bible
- Good News Version
- New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
- Latin Vulgate
- Revised Standard Version
- English Standard Version
- Amplified Bible
- New English Bible
- New International Version
- Living Bible
- Unger, Merrill F (1988). Harrison, R. K.. ed. The New Unger´s Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press. pp. 169-171. ISBN 0-8024-9037-9.
- Slick, Matthew J. "The Bible." Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, 1995. Accessed January 8, 2008.
- Archer, Gleason L (1982). Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publisher House. pp. 7. ISBN 0-310-43570-6.
- Unger, Merril F. Unger's Bible Handbook, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1967, p. 143. See also Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1966.
- Moulton, James H., and others. A Grammar of New Testament Greek (two volumes), edited by Wilbert Francis Howard, T&T Clark Publishers, Harrisburg, PA (1985); originally published 1920, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Blass, Frederich, and others. A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and other early Christian literature, translated by Robert W. Funk; University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL (1961); German edition Grammatik des Neutestamentlichen Griechisch Friedrich Rehkopf, editor, 14th edition. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1976.
- History of the Bible by All About The Journey.
- Unterman, Alan (1997). Dictionary of Jewish Lore & Legend. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0500279847.
- Old Testament By Wikipedia
- Lecture with Dr. Peter Williams on the evidence that builds a case for eyewitness accounts in the New Testament By Lanier Theological Library. Mar 23, 2011
- The New Testament and the People of God by NT Wright, page 7. Fortress Press, 1992
- Smith, William (1979). Smith´s Bible Dictionary. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers. p. 438. ISBN 0-87981-033-5.
- American Bible Society
- United Bible Society
- The International Bible Society (New York/Colorado Springs)
- World Bible Translation Center
- Wycliffe Bible Translators
Online Bible Texts
- Hebrew-English Bible (JPS 1917 translation; includes Hebrew audio)
- XML Hebrew-English (KJV) Bible
- Old Testament in Hebrew
- Latin Vulgate — Latin Vulgate with parallel Douay-Rheims and King James English translations
- SacredBible.org — Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
- Jerome's Latin Vulgate (405 A.D.)
- AudioBible — Audio version of the King James Version.
- The Douay-Rheims Bible — Catholic Bible with Search, Holy Scriptures.
- Blue Letter Bible — On-line interactive reference library continuously updated from the teachings and commentaries of selected pastors and teachers who hold to the conservative, historical Christian faith.
- E-sword- Downloadable Bible for Windows.
- Theophilos Bible program
- American Standard Version.
- English Standard Version from Good News/Crossway (the publisher).
- King James Version with dictionary.
- King James Version.
- New Living Translation
- New Revised Standard Version.
- World English Bible.
- King James Version built using AJAX technologies, with Strongs and Greek Morphological Codes by Robinson.
- The Hypertext Bible with side-by-side translations in English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew at the Internet Sacred Text Archive
- Bible Gateway at GospelCom.net text search in any one of many translations.
- Bible Read-Through — read through the Bible in a year aid.
- TheFreeBible.com Bible software downloads
- Interlinear (word-by-word) translation of the Christian Bible Hebrew and Koine Greek
- Aramaic New Testament resources
- Over 40 versions of the Bible
- Eastern and Western Armenian Bible
- Online Bible (King James Version & Old Testament)
- Bible — Louis Segond de 1910
- Spanish Bible PDT version
- Complete Sayings of Christ
- Crosswalk.com Parallel Bible
- Blue Letter Bible
- Turkish Bible (Turkish Old and New Testament)
- Bible Timeline
- My Jewish Learning.com
- American Bible Society to search NASB, KJV, CEV, ASV and others.
- University of Virginia Library KJV word proximity search.
- Many translations in English, verse by verse
- Nava Karar NT Translation from Greek to Marathi
- Gender-neutral Bible translations.
- Word-for-Word vs.Thought-for-Thought translation Outlines the difference between formal and dynamic equivalent translation philosopy.
- Klingon Bible.
- Bible Conservapedia's article on Bible.
Commentaries and analysis
- Biblical chronology by Alan Montgomery, B.Sc.(Hon)
- Biblical History, The Jewish History Resource Center — Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- Judaica Press Translation — online Jewish translation of the Tanakh.
- Reading and Understanding the Bible.
- Source for Bible Answers.
- Amazing Facts Bible Studies.
- Learning Bible Today — a historical approach the Bible.
- John Gill's Exposition of the Bible — verse by verse commentary.
- Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
- Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible — unabridged.
- Topical References
- Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedia
- Classic Bible Commentaries
- Bauer, Walter. Griechisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Scriften des Neuen Testaments und der frühchristlichen Litteratur. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, editors; 6th edition. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, Germany (1988). Heading βιβλίον, columns 281-82.
- Bible study guides - topical