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1. Etymology and Development: – The term Bible refers to the Hebrew or Christian Bible. – The English word ‘Bible’ comes from Koinē Greek: τὰ […]

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1. Etymology and Development:
– The term Bible refers to the Hebrew or Christian Bible.
– The English word ‘Bible’ comes from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, meaning ‘the books.’
– The word βιβλίον originally meant scroll and later became the word for book.
– It is derived from βύβλος, Egyptian papyrus, possibly named after the Phoenician port Byblos.
– The Greek expression ‘ta biblia’ was used by Hellenistic Jews for their sacred books.
– The Bible started as orally transmitted songs and stories.
– Written and compiled by many unknown people from diverse backgrounds.
– The original texts were written on papyrus scrolls, but no originals have survived.
– The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest existing copies of the Hebrew Bible.

2. Compilation, Canonization, and Transmission:
– The Bible is a collection of books with a complex development.
– The Bible is an anthology of texts from different genres.
– The collection of accepted texts is called a biblical canon.
– The Hebrew Bible consists of the Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim.
– The Masoretic Text is the authoritative version for Rabbinic Judaism.
– The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Tanakh.
– The age of the original composition is heavily debated.
– Levites or scribes maintained the texts and made corrections over time.

3. Influence and Impact:
– The Bible is the best-selling publication of all time.
– It has influenced Western culture, history, and global cultures.
– Biblical criticism has indirectly impacted culture and history.
– The Bible is translated into about half of the world’s languages.
– Christianity emerged from Second Temple Judaism, using the Septuagint for the Old Testament.

4. Textual Variants and Canons:
– All biblical texts treated with reverence, yet contain transmission errors called variants.
– Hebrew texts considered precise but still contain some variants.
– Majority of variants are accidental, such as spelling errors.
– Some intentional changes made to biblical texts.
– Various Christian biblical canons exist, ranging from 66 to 81 books.
– Christianity lacks an official version, with many manuscript traditions available.

5. Content, Themes, and Divisions:
– Biblical texts cover various topics like ethics, relationships, and authority.
– Themes include good vs. evil, moral discernment, and sources of morality.
– The Bible provides patterns of moral reasoning and teachings on free will.
– The authoritative Hebrew Bible is derived from the Masoretic Text (Leningrad Codex).
– The Tanakh comprises Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim, reflecting the threefold division.

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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