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Etymology and Development of the Bible – The term “Bible” can refer to the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Bible, containing the Old and New […]

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Etymology and Development of the Bible
– The term “Bible” can refer to the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments.
– The English word “Bible” is derived from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, meaning “the books.”
– The word βιβλίον originally meant scroll and later became the ordinary word for book.
– The Bible’s complex development started with oral transmission of songs and stories, written by various unknown authors from different backgrounds.
– The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating between 250 BCE and 100 CE, are the oldest existing copies of the Hebrew Bible.

Compilation, Canonization, and Transmission
– The Bible is an anthology of religious texts originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.
– Different religious communities compiled texts into various official collections, forming biblical canons.
– The Tanakh, composed of Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim, is an alternate term for the Hebrew Bible.
– The Masoretic Text and the Septuagint are authoritative versions of the Hebrew Bible.
– Scribes preserved and updated the texts, leading to the compilation of various biblical canons.

Influence, Impact, and Transmission
– The Bible, with over five billion copies sold, is the best-selling publication of all time.
– It has profoundly influenced Western culture, history, and global cultures.
– The Bible is translated or being translated into about half of the world’s languages.
– The New Testament, written in Koine Greek, is preserved in numerous manuscripts and translated into various languages.
– Different textual traditions led to recognizable text types in the New Testament.

Hebrew Bible and New Testament
– The Hebrew Bible has three major historical versions: Septuagint, Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch.
– The New Testament was written in Koine Greek during the rise of Christianity and preserved in numerous manuscripts.
– The Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim divisions form the Hebrew Bible, with the Torah traditionally believed to be dictated by God to Moses.
– The New Testament canon was established by the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage, varying between 73 to 81 books.
– The Babylonian Talmud provides a listing of the divisions of scripture in the Hebrew Bible.

Themes, Variants, and Canons
– The Bible covers various themes like morality, human nature, creation, justice, and divine providence.
– Textual variants in both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament impact a small percentage of the overall content.
– Different canons, such as the Council of Trent authorizing the Vulgate, establish the official versions of the Bible.
– The Ketuvim section of the Tanakh contains distinct books with unique styles and late event descriptions.
– The Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, and Ketuvim divisions of the Hebrew Bible focus on different historical and thematic aspects.

Bible (Wikipedia)

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures, some, all, or a variant of which are held to be sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, Islam, the Baha'i Faith, and many other Abrahamic religions. The Bible is an anthology, a compilation of texts of a variety of forms, originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. These texts include instructions, stories, poetry, and prophecies, among other genres. 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 in the Bible generally consider it to be a product of divine inspiration, but the way they understand what that means and interpret the text varies.

The Gutenberg Bible, published in the mid-15th century by Johannes Gutenberg, is the first published Bible.

The religious texts were compiled by different religious communities into various official collections. The earliest contained the first five books of the Bible, called the Torah in Hebrew and the Pentateuch (meaning five books) in Greek. The second oldest part was a collection of narrative histories and prophecies (the Nevi'im). The third collection (the Ketuvim) contains psalms, proverbs, and narrative histories. "Tanakh" is an alternate term for the Hebrew Bible composed of the first letters of those three parts of the Hebrew scriptures: the Torah ("Teaching"), the Nevi'im ("Prophets"), and the Ketuvim ("Writings"). The Masoretic Text is the medieval version of the Tanakh, in Hebrew and Aramaic, that is considered the authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible by modern Rabbinic Judaism. The Septuagint is a Koine Greek translation of the Tanakh from the third and second centuries BC; it largely overlaps with the Hebrew Bible.

Christianity began as an outgrowth of Second Temple 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. The gospels, Pauline epistles, and other texts quickly coalesced into the New Testament.

With estimated total sales of over five billion copies, the Bible is the best-selling publication of all time. It has had a profound influence both on Western culture and history and on cultures around the globe. The study of it through biblical criticism has indirectly impacted culture and history as well. The Bible is currently translated or is being translated into about half of the world's languages.

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