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[[Image:800px-Crop Book of Isaiah 2006-06-06.jpg|thumb|300px|right|The Holy Bible, opened to the Book of Isaiah.]]
 
{{Bible}}
 
  
The '''Bible''' is the most [[logic]]al, insightful and influential collection of [[book]]s and [[letter]]s ever written.  It includes the most beautiful book ever written, the [[Gospel of Luke]], the most profound book ever written, the [[Gospel of John]], and the most intellectual [[treatise]] ever written, the [[Epistle to the Hebrews]].  [[Biblical scientific foreknowledge]] has anticipated or guided nearly every great human achievement. 
 
 
The Bible is unique in the literature of the world,<ref name=LiteraryCriticism>See [[Historical-critical method (Higher criticism)]], in particular the findings of the following supportive sources of literary criticism:
 
*The Bible’s message is both ‘divine’ and ‘human’.<br/>—[http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/liturgy-answers/bibles-message-both-divine-and-human/ St. John's Abbey: ''The Bible’s message is both ‘divine’ and ‘human’.'' Friday, January 17th, 2014, Benedictine Father Michael Kwatera, a monk of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN.]
 
*The more conservative theologians who employ the historical-critical method believe that the Scriptures are more than the writings of mortal men.<br/>—[http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BeckerHistorical.pdf The Historical-Critical Method of Bible Interpretation, By Siegbert W. Becker], page 4.
 
*Unique among all the world's literature, the Bible is really God's word in human language.<br/>—[http://bibleasliterature.wordpress.com/lesson-1/ The Bible as Literature: The Bible ~ A Literary Work and an Artistic Presentation of Human Experience].</ref> and was extensively studied by the greatest modern thinkers, including [[Isaac Newton]], [[Louis Pasteur]], [[Bernhard Riemann]], [[Alexander Hamilton]], [[John von Neumann]], and [[Kurt Godel]].
 
 
Shorter than you might think, the Bible consists of two parts: 27 short books and letters of the [[New Testament]] of the [[Christian]] [[faith]], and 39 Hebrew and Aramaic books recognized by both Christianity and Judaism, which are included among the collection of 46 writings known as the [[Old Testament]].<ref>Christianity includes a few additional books with the Jewish [[Old Testament]], which have always been accepted as inspired scripture since the time of the apostles by the Orthodox and Catholic Churches which constitute the majority of Christianity, and later rejected as [[apocrypha]]l by the [[Reformation]]. See [[Biblical Canon]].</ref> The text of the Old Testament was originally written in [[Hebrew]] and [[Aramaic]], and was later translated and expanded in [[Greek]] by rabbinical scholars in the [[Septuagint]] Bible of the Greek-speaking Jews which was the Bible of the [[Apostles]].<ref>"Bible of the apostles". See the following four sources:
 
*[http://www.scripturecatholic.com/septuagint.html Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament]
 
*[http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/septuagint.html The Septuagint (LXX): History of the Septuagint]
 
*[http://www.crivoice.org/canonot.html Canons of the Hebrew Bible]
 
*[http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Apocrypha-Books/ Official King James Bible online: Apocrypha Books]</ref> The [[New Testament]] itself was originally written in Greek and was soon afterward added to the Septuagint, forming the Greek Bible of the ancient [[Christian]] church. The Bible has been translated into more than 2,000 languages.
 
 
The Bible is the best selling book in history, a testament to its timeless and compelling message.<ref>The Bible continues to be the best-selling book ever. Americans alone buy 25 million Bibles a year, according to Publisher's Weekly. Bible sales are now reaching $609 million a year, with specialty Bibles available for myriad "niche" audiences, from motorcycle riders to campers, brides and archaeologists. "Immerse," a water-resistant Bible for troops overseas, is now available from publisher Bardin & Marsee. [http://www.washtimes.com/national/20070529-111815-7952r.htm Polls: Most believe Bible as God's word] - Jennifer Harper, ''The Washington Times'' - May 30, 2007</ref>  In addition, the Bible has had an immense, positive influence on literature, culture, and history.  According to the website Guinness World Records, "A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies [of the Bible] were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion."<ref>[http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction/ Best-selling book of non-fiction], Guinness World Records</ref>
 
 
[[Jesus Christ]] himself may have authored the perfectly written [[Epistle to the Hebrews]], which was composed in magnificent Greek and which discloses information that could have been known only to Jesus.<ref>The [[Epistle to the Hebrews]] contains an explanation of the stature of Jesus relative to angels.  For a contrary view that fails to discuss the likelihood that Jesus wrote the [[Epistle to the Hebrews]] or the information in that book which would be known only to Jesus, one commentator suggests that [[Barnabas]] or [[Apollos]] may have been the author (see [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%2018:24-28&version=KJV Acts 18:24-28]). [http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/hebrews.htm Judaism versus Christianity. The Book of Hebrews. Who wrote the Book of Hebrews?] (judaismvschristianity.com).  See also [https://bible.org/article/argument-hebrews The Argument of Hebrews] (bible.org).</ref>
 
 
Most [[Christians]], Protestant and Catholic, agree on the 27 books of the [[New Testament]], and while the Old Testament of the Orthodox Bible includes 50 books, for a total of 77, and the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible includes 46 books, for a total of 73, the Protestant Bible includes only the 39 books of the [[Old Testament]] which entirely correspond to the [[Biblical Canon#Palestinian canon (A.D. 4th century)|24 books of the Hebrew canon of the Jews]], for a total of 66.<ref>The Protestant Bible excludes the following books which have always been included in the Catholic Bible, the same books excluded from the canon by the Jews after the rise of Christianity in the 1st century: 
 
# The Wisdom of Solomon
 
# Tobit
 
# Sirach
 
# Judith
 
# 1st Maccabees
 
# 2nd Maccabees
 
# Baruch [http://www.catholicbible101.com/theholybible.htm]
 
The Orthodox Greek Bible since the 1st century has always included Psalm 151 as appended to Psalm 150, and the Third Book of the Maccabees, and, in an appendix to the Old Testament, the Fourth Book of the Maccabees, a treatise on the superiority of wisdom. These were never included among the Protestant Apocrypha in the 16th century—but they also have never been included among the books of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles. Martin Luther and the leaders of the Reformation did not address their canonical status, and did not discuss them. The Book of 1 Esdras has always been included in the Orthodox Bible among the Historical Books between 2 Chronicles and Ezra, but is regarded since the Council of Trent by both Catholics and Protestants as non-canonical and apocryphal and is not included by them in the Old Testament. The Latin apocalyptic 2 Esdras, which was never part of the Greek Old Testament, but was included in the Vulgate, is not included in the canon of standard Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Bibles, and is included with 1 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh in the Protestant Apocrypha. The same 2 Esdras is included as ''Ezra Sutuel'' in the canon of the Ethiopic Bible of the [[Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church|Orthodox Ethiopian Church]], which as a whole differs both in the Old and New Testament from that of any other churches. The Ethiopic canonical books, written in the [[Geez language]] and on parchment, are numerous. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has 46 books of the Old Testament and 35 books of the New Testament, bringing the total of canonized books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible to 81. The canon of the Ethiopic Bible appears to date back to the 5th century. See [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1292150/Worlds-illustrated-Christian-bible-discovered-Ethiopian-monastery.html World's first illustrated Christian bible discovered at Ethiopian monastery, By Daily Mail Reporter. Updated: 11:33 EST, 5 July 2010] Carbon dating gives a date between 330 and 650.</ref> The English King James Version of the Protestant Bible has 593,493 words in the Old Testament and 181,253 words in the New Testament.<ref>[http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/about.html ChristianAnswers.Net. About the Bible] (christiananswers.net)</ref>
 
 
 
==Name==
 
The word "Bible" had its origins in an ancient [[Phoenicia]]n 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 [[scroll]]s and [[book]]s.  The [[Greek language|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 A.D. Greek [[Christianity|Christians]] had called the Scriptures ''ta Biblia'' ('''τα βιβλία''' ''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''.<ref>Unger, pg 143; Moulton; Blass</ref>
 
 
==Unique witness to truth==
 
 
The Bible is the most ancient collective document of writings in antiquity witnessing to the revelation of the one living God to the community of the people he has chosen and formed to be his priests and witnesses to all the peoples of the earth. This people chosen and called out from every nation and language on earth testifies that God is one being of three Persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, who loves all that he has created, and that there is nothing in all the whole created universe that he did not create through the power of his Word. The Bible is the collective testimony of this community of people chosen out of all the peoples of the earth that God is the one original cause of all existence, creator of the universe and all that it contains both visible and invisible. They have borne witness in the several sacred scriptures contained in the Bible that this one unique God has acted and continues to act in history.
 
 
The Bible is unique in antiquity in its witness that God has made one of his creations, the whole human race, to be above the physical animal nature of the body and be like himself with dominion over the whole earth and all its creatures. The Bible testifies that God himself has called this human creature, male and female, to a personal relationship with him as a whole community of love and goodness and mercy in his image as his living temple and dwelling place on earth and to give evidence of his reality and to acknowledge him in all they do and say.
 
 
The Bible is unique in all of ancient literature in that it testifies to the rebellion and fall of the human race, to the reality of sin and its effects, to the facts of evil and of righteousness, to objective physical and moral standards of right and wrong, of justice and judgment, and to the reality of invisible intelligent beings, both those who have rebelled against God and those who perpetually serve him.
 
 
The Bible contains the only stable, reliable written witness of his own community to the rest of the world that the '''Word''' of this one God is the perfect image of his own divinity, his only-begotten Son, who became one with us, in solidarity with each human being and the whole of the fallen human community, as a sinless flesh-and-blood man whose act of complete renunciation and self-sacrifice made perfect reparation for the offense of the whole of the human community, to save us from the merited ruin which is going to come on the whole rebellious, resistant, fallen human community occupied with its own selfishness. The Bible is the witness of God's people that his Word is his Son, that his name is Jesus, and that he is the supreme Anointed One ("''Christos''") of the people of Israel. The Bible is the unique written witness of the people he has called to himself that he established his Church as the holy temple of his Holy Spirit, with the divine commission to testify to him to the whole world and make disciples of those who are willing to come to him and worship in word and deed. The Bible is their unique written record that in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ God the Father has called all humanity to partake in a share of his own divinity, in selfless goodness, mercy and love, in eternal, everlasting life, as the gift of his love.
 
 
The Bible is the first book in antiquity to declare the revelation that death is not final, and that there will be a physical resurrection of all the dead at the end of time. In its collected writings the people of God have testified to the revelation of the total condemnation of the wicked who have chosen to reject both him and the gift of communion with him, and in it they have collectively testified to the revelation of the total salvation from ruin and the gift of communion with him of those who have not resisted him and his way of living and acting and whom he has made holy by his own power alone. No other book is like it. The whole community of believers past and present in its leadership has discerned and testified to this day that the whole collection of the books of the Bible is inspired by God, and that God is their true author. The Bible is the Word of God expressed in the written form of human language. Its chief value is as a stable unchanging resource for understanding the mind of God, for establishing a just society with just laws and true justice, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that each leader of the community (each "''man of God''") may be fully equipped for every good work as a witness to the one true God. [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2timothy%203:16-17&version=KJV 2 Timothy 3:16-17]
 
 
But just as Jesus has appeared to many to be no more than an ordinary human being, and just as Christianity has appeared to many to be no more than a merely human institution of religion, so the Bible too has appeared to many to be no more than a traditional collection of ordinary human literature. However, even the tools of [[Historical-critical method (Higher criticism)|ordinary literary criticism]] have clearly shown the Bible to be more than a collection of merely human literature, and its scriptures to be much more than ordinary human writings.<ref name=LiteraryCriticism/>
 
 
==Books of the Bible==
 
===The Old Testament===
 
{| border="1" align="right" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="360" style="margin-left:5px" class="wikitable"
 
|-
 
!colspan="2" align="center" style="color: black; height: 30px; background: tan  no-repeat scroll top left;"|Old Testament layout
 
|-
 
!align ="center" style="color: white; height: 30px; background: navy no-repeat scroll top left;"|Jewish
 
!align ="center" style="color: white; height: 30px; background: navy no-repeat scroll top left;"|Christian Protestant
 
|-
 
|1 Genesis
 
|Genesis
 
|-
 
|2 Exodus
 
|Exodus
 
|-
 
|3 Leviticus
 
|Leviticus
 
|-
 
|4 Numbers
 
|Numbers
 
|-
 
|5 Deuteronomy
 
|Deuteronomy
 
|-
 
|6 Joshua
 
|Joshua
 
|-
 
|7 Samuel
 
|Judges
 
|-
 
|8 Kings
 
|Ruth
 
|-
 
|9 Isaiah
 
|1st Samuel
 
|-
 
|10 Jeremiah
 
|2nd Samuel
 
|-
 
|11 Ezekiel
 
|1st Kings
 
|-
 
|12 The Minor Prophets
 
|2nd Kings
 
|-
 
|13 Psalms
 
|1st Chronicles
 
|-
 
|14 Proverbs
 
|2nd Chronicles
 
|-
 
|15 Job
 
|Ezra
 
|-
 
|16 Song of Songs
 
|Nehemiah
 
|-
 
|17 Ruth
 
|Esther
 
|-
 
|18 Lamentations
 
|Job
 
|-
 
|19 Ecclesiastes
 
|Psalms
 
|-
 
|20 Esther
 
|Proverbs
 
|-
 
|21 Daniel
 
|Ecclesiastes
 
|-
 
|22/23 Ezra (with Nehemiah)
 
|Song of Solomon
 
|-
 
|24 Chronicles
 
|Isaiah
 
|-
 
|
 
|Jeremiah
 
|-
 
|
 
|Lamentations
 
|-
 
|
 
|Ezekiel
 
|-
 
|
 
|Daniel
 
|-
 
|
 
|The Minor Prophets
 
|-
 
!colspan="2" align="center" style="color: black; height: 30px; background: tan no-repeat scroll top left;"|Dates of each Book
 
|-
 
!align ="center" style="color: white; height: 30px; background: navy no-repeat scroll top left;"|Protestant Old Testament
 
!align ="center" style="color: white; height: 30px; background: navy no-repeat scroll top left;"|New Testament
 
|-
 
|Genesis, 1440-1400 B.C.
 
|Matthew, A.D. 60-65
 
|-
 
|Exodus, 1440-1400 B.C.
 
|Mark, A.D. 60-65
 
|-
 
|Leviticus, 1440-1400 B.C.
 
|Luke, A.D. 58-65
 
|-
 
|Numbers, 1440-1400 B.C.
 
|John, A.D. 95
 
|-
 
|Deuteronomy, 1440-1400 B.C.
 
|Acts, A.D. 58-65
 
|-
 
|Joshua, 1400-1360 B.C.
 
|Romans, A.D. 58
 
|-
 
|Judges, c. 1020 B.C.
 
|1st Corinthians, A.D. 57
 
|-
 
|Ruth, c. 1090 B.C.
 
|2nd Corinthians, A.D. 57
 
|-
 
|1st Samuel, c. 931–722/21 B.C.
 
|Galatians, A.D. 56
 
|-
 
|2nd Samuel <ref>[https://bible.org/article/introduction-book-first-samuel Bible.org Introduction to First Samuel]</ref>
 
|Ephesians, A.D. 62-63
 
|-
 
|1st Kings, 609-600 B.C.
 
|Philippians, A.D. 58-60
 
|-
 
|2nd Kings, 609-600 B.C.
 
|Colosians, A.D. 61-63
 
|-
 
|1st Chronicles, c. 400 B.C.
 
|1st Thessalonians, A.D. 52
 
|-
 
|2nd Chronicles, c. 400 B.C.
 
|2nd Thessalonians, A.D. 53
 
|-
 
|Ezra, c. 400 B.C.
 
|1st Timothy, A.D. 62-65
 
|-
 
|Nehemiah, c. 400 B.C.
 
|2nd Timothy, A.D. 65-66
 
|-
 
|Esther, 464-425 B.C.
 
|Titus, A.D. 65
 
|-
 
|Job, 1440-1400 B.C.
 
|Philemon, A.D. 65
 
|-
 
|Psalms, 1004-965 B.C.
 
|Hebrews, A.D. 63-64
 
|-
 
|Proverbs, 965-925 B.C.
 
|James, A.D. 63-64
 
|-
 
|Eccleisiastes, 965-925 B.C.
 
|1st Peter, A.D. 64
 
|-
 
|Song of Solomon, 965-925 B.C.
 
|2nd Peter, A.D. 65
 
|-
 
|Isaiah, 785-697 B.C.
 
|1st John, A.D. 90-100
 
|-
 
|Jeremiah, 587-538 B.C.
 
|2nd John, A.D. 90-100
 
|-
 
|Lamentations, 587-538 B.C.
 
|3rd John, A.D. 90-100
 
|-
 
|Ezekiel, 592-572 B.C.
 
|Jude, c. A.D. 70-75
 
|-
 
|Daniel, 539-520 B.C.
 
|Revelation, A.D. 96-98
 
|-
 
|Hosea, 753-731 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Joel, 835-796 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Amos, 787-747 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Obadiah, 848-841 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Jonah, 771-754 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Micah, 715-687 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Nahum, 661-612 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Habbakuk, 625-608 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Zephaniah, 621-608 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Haggai, 520 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Zechariah, 520 B.C.
 
|
 
|-
 
|Malachi, 455 B.C.
 
|
 
|}
 
The Hebrew Old Testament of the Bible, also called Tanakh, consists of twenty-four books. The books themselves were originally written in [[Hebrew]], and later on in the [[Aramaic]] language of Palestine (the original texts of the Hebrew books of Daniel and Ezra, for example, have major portions written in Aramaic). The Greek language version written after the conquest of [[Alexander the Great]] is known as the [[Septuagint]], and to it the Jews added more texts that they also valued for their piety, wisdom and history, most of them translated from Hebrew or Aramaic originals. By A.D. the 1st century this Septuagint collection had become the Greek Old Testament Bible of the apostles.<ref>Most Protestant Christians are unaware that the overwhelming majority of Old Testament quotations and references in the New Testament are numerous quotations from the Septuagint including the books Martin Luther separated as [[Apocrypha]]. See the following four sources:
 
*[http://www.scripturecatholic.com/septuagint.html Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament]
 
*[http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/septuagint.html The Septuagint (LXX): History of the Septuagint]
 
*[http://www.cresourcei.org/canonot.html Canons of the Hebrew Bible]
 
*[http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Apocrypha-Books/ Official King James Bible online: Apocrypha Books]
 
Biblical researchers in the 20th and 21st centuries have also discovered manuscripts and linguistic evidence that appear to prove that most of the Apocrypha, except the Book of Wisdom (originally written in Greek?), were originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic (Syriac) prior to the Christian era. <br/>[http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/apocrypha/ Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Apocrypha] <br/>[http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/apocrypha.html The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha] (jewishvirtuallibrary.org)</ref> [[Melito]],<ref>[http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1017 Catholic Online: St. Melito of Sardis], [http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/melito.html Early Christian Writings: Melito of Sardis]</ref> a bishop of [[Sardis]] in [[Lydia]] (in what is now [[Turkey]]), is said to have coined the phrase ''Old Testament'' about A.D. 170. The Greek Old Testament has been a continuous part of the Christian Bible in the eastern Churches in Palestine, Greece, Turkey, and the whole of the [[Levant]] since the 1st century.
 
 
The Hebrew Old Testament is divided in three parts within the Jewish community: the [[Torah|'''T'''orah]] ("Law"), or [[Pentateuch]], the five books of [[Moses]]; the [[Nevi'im|'''N'''evi'im]] ("Prophets"), and the [[Ketuvim|'''K'''etuvim]] ("Writings,” or [[Hagiographa]]) (abbreviated '''T'''a'''N'''a'''K'''h, hence, "Tanakh", ). Here the arrangement of the books differs somewhat from the Old Testament as used by Christians, with three of the twenty-four (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles) each being divided into two books, and Ezra being divided into Ezra and Nehemiah; however the actual writing of each book remains the same. The Christian order of the books of the Bible follows the Chronology of the events and the personages being related, according to their arrangement in the Septuagint, while in the Jewish order, though there is a chronological framework, the order follows more the importance, influence, "weight of usage" within Judaism. Thus, for orthodox Judaism, The Torah of [[Moses]] comes first (the 5 books of Moses), and is the most authoritative of all Scripture. Under the [[Pharisee|Pharasaic]] theory that Moses was also given the Oral law, explicating how the Written law was to be applied, at the same time as he was given the written law contained in the Bible, the Oral Law too was passed on through the generations, and was later in A.D. the 3rd century first put into writing in the Mishna (compiled by [[Judah haNasi]] <ref>[http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/hanasi.html Yehudah HaNasi (Judah the Prince) (A.D. 135 - 219)], [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8963-judah-i Jewish Encyclopedia: Judah I]</ref>) and the Gemara (gathered by the [[Amoriam]] <ref>Amoraim (Aramaic: plural אמוראים [ʔamoʁaˈʔim], singular Amora אמורא [ʔamoˈʁa]; "those who say" or "those who speak over the people", or "spokesmen"), were renowned Jewish scholars who "said" or "told over" the teachings of the Oral Torah, from about 200 to 500 CE in Babylonia and the Land of Israel. See [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0002_0_01018.html Jewish Virtual Library: AMORAIM]</ref>) finally composing the [[Talmud]], and is regarded as equally authoritative with the Torah of Moses.<ref>There is a similar teaching in the Christian New Testament, in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians ([http://biblehub.com/multi/2_thessalonians/2-15.htm 2:15]) and in the First Letter to the Corinthians ([http://biblehub.com/multi/1_corinthians/11-2.htm 11:2]). This seems to be the Biblical justification for the Catholic and Orthodox teaching that the fullness of the Christian faith is contained in both scripture and tradition, "letter" and "word". See [[Sola scriptura]]</ref> Then the Prophets come next in authority. But the category of the Hebrew Prophets for the Jews is much broader than the category of the Prophets as considered by the Christian ordering. The "Prophets" in the Tanakh includes what Christians consider "History" - such as the books of the Kings -  but it also includes what Christians call the Former and the Latter, or the Major and the Minor prophets. The last in authority for every day life of the Jew, in terms of "regulation", actually form a great influence in the Synagogue worship - the Writings, with a heavy emphasis on the Psalms.
 
 
====Torah====
 
The Five books of Moses, in their Hebrew and English names:
 
*<big>בְּרֵאשִׁית</big> Bereisheet ("in the beginning"), or [[Genesis]]
 
*<big>שְׁמוֹת</big> Shemot (“names”), or [[Exodus]]
 
*<big>וַיִּקְרָא</big> Vayikra (“and God called”), or [[Leviticus]]
 
*<big>בְּמִדְבַּר</big> Bemidbar (“in the Wilderness”), or [[Numbers]]
 
*<big>דְּבָרִים</big> Devarim (“words”), or [[Deuteronomy]]
 
 
The first eleven chapters of ''Genesis'' provide the account of the [[Creation]], the history of God's early relationship with humanity, and the [[Deluge]] of [[Noah]]. The remaining thirty-nine chapters detail the account of God's covenant with the early Hebrew nation, led by the patriarchs [[Abraham]], [[Isaac]] and [[Jacob]] (or Israel), and one of Jacob's children, [[Joseph]]. It tells the beginnings of God's chosen people, of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home to settle in the land of [[Canaan]], and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt.  The remainder of the Torah, beginning with ''Exodus'' and ending with ''Deuteronomy'', tells the story of the great Hebrew leader [[Moses]], and of the Hebrews through their sojourn and slavery in Egypt, their escape from bondage, and their wanderings in the desert until finally they stand ready to enter the Promised Land.
 
 
====Nevi'im====
 
The [[Nevi'im]] ("Prophets") is the story of the rise toward, and ultimately reaching, the Hebrew monarchy; the sad period of anarchy and revolt leading to the division into the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel; and the prophets who judged the kings of both in God's name. It ends with the conquest and dissolution of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and its Assyrian exile, and then the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Babylonian exile. The Minor Prophets are considered a single book in the Nevi'im; in Christianity they have been split into twelve separate books and named for their authors.
 
*<big>יְהוֹשֻׁעַ</big> [[Joshua (Biblical book)|Joshua]]
 
*<big>שׁוֹפְטִים</big> [[Judges (Biblical book)|Judges]]
 
*<big>שְׁמוּאֵל א</big> [[I Samuel]]
 
*<big>שְׁמוּאֵל ב</big> [[II Samuel]]
 
*<big>מְלָכִים א</big> [[I Kings]]
 
*<big>מְלָכִים ב</big> [[II Kings]]
 
*<big>יְשַׁעְיָהוּ</big> [[Isaiah (Biblical book)|Isaiah]]
 
*<big>יִרְמְיָהוּ</big> [[Jeremiah (Biblical book)|Jeremiah]]
 
*<big>יְחֶזְקֵאל</big> [[Ezekiel (Biblical book)|Ezekiel]]
 
* [[The Minor Prophets]]
 
**<big>הוֹשֵׁעַ</big> [[Hosea (Biblical book)|Hosea]]
 
**<big>יוֹאֵל</big> [[Joel (Biblical book)|Joel]]
 
**<big>עָמוֹס</big> [[Amos (Biblical book)|Amos]]
 
**<big>עֹבַדְיָה</big> [[Obadiah (Biblical book)|Obadiah]]
 
**<big>יוֹנָה</big> [[Jonah (Biblical book)|Jonah]]
 
**<big>מִיכָה</big> [[Micah (Biblical book)|Micah]]
 
**<big>נַחוּם</big> [[Nahum (Biblical book)|Nahum]]
 
**<big>חֲבַקּוּק</big> [[Habakkuk (Biblical book)|Habakkuk]]
 
**<big>צְפַנְיָה</big> [[Zephaniah (Biblical book)|Zephaniah]]
 
**<big>חַגַּי</big> [[Haggai (Biblical book)|Haggai]]
 
**<big>זְכַרְיָה</big> [[Zechariah (Biblical book)|Zechariah]]
 
**<big>מַלְאָכִי</big> [[Malachi (Biblical book)|Malachi]]
 
 
====Ketuvim====
 
The [[Ketuvim]], or "Writings," contain lyrical poetry, philosophical reflections on life, and the writings of the prophets and other Jewish leaders during the exile in [[Babylon]].
 
*<big>תְּהִלִּים</big> [[Psalms]]
 
*<big>מִשְׁלֵי</big> [[Proverbs]]
 
*<big>אִיּוֹב</big> [[Book of Job]]
 
*<big>שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים</big> [[Song of Songs]], also called [[Song of Solomon]] in the Protestant Christian Bible.
 
*<big>רוּת</big> [[Book of Ruth]]
 
*<big>אֵיכָה</big> [[Lamentations]]
 
*<big>קֹהֶלֶת</big> [[Ecclesiastes]]
 
*<big>אֶסְתֵּר</big> [[Esther]]
 
*<big>דָּנִיֵּאל</big> [[Daniel (Biblical book)|Daniel]]
 
*<big>עֶזְרָא</big> [[Ezra]], divided into the two books of <big>עֶזְרָא</big> Ezra and <big>נְחֶמְיָה</big> [[Nehemiah]] in the Christian Bible.
 
*<big>דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים א</big> <small>''and''</small> <big>דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים ב</big> [[Books of Chronicles]]
 
 
[[David]] has been named as the author of the ''Psalms''; [[Solomon]] is traditionally believed to have written ''Song of Songs'' in his youth, the ''Proverbs'' in his prime, and ''Ecclesiastes'' during his old age.  The prophet [[Jeremiah]] is thought to have written the aptly-named ''Lamentations'' at the beginning of the exile to Babylon. The ''Book of Ruth'' is the only biblical book that centers entirely on a non-Jew, a [[Moabite]] who married a Jew and became an ancestor of both David and [[Jesus Christ]]. ''Esther'' is unique as it is the only book in the Hebrew Tanakh not to mention God.  Moses is traditionally considered to be the author of ''Job''.
 
 
===The melodies of the Old Testament===
 
The Hebrew of the present day Old Testament is composed of the Hebrew consonants and, added on by the [[Masoretic Text|Masoretes]] at a later stage, the vowels. Along with these two elements, other signs were added which indicated the melodies that were sung along with the words or phrases. Some of the signs were positioned above the individual consonants, some below, and some to the side. Some of these melody signs were associated with others providing a musical pattern that corresponds with the opening of a thought, similar to the beginning of a sentence (ex. "merkha"), the continuation of a thought (ex. "munakh"), tying in one word with the following, as one melody flowed into the next, the "resting" or completion of a thought, much in "the same way that a comma (ex. "azla"), though not ending a sentence, makes for the "semi"-ending or minor completion of a thought, a major break in the run of thoughts ("etnachta"), though  the run of thought would be resumed until the major completion ("sof pasuq"), much in the same way the a period brings to a stop and a completion as a sentence ends. Thus the musical signs in the Hebrew text also provide an interpretation of the text current to the times in which the signs were incorporated as part of the text, the Masoretic vowel-pointing excluding those former tonal readings which clearly represented Christian textual interpretations. The signs that tie one word to another providing one thought are called "conjunctive" signs and the signs that separate words and the thought of them are called "disjunctive". An example of the use of these signs to interpret the Hebrew text is the well known prophesy of the One to come. The Hebrew letters can either be understood to read "His name shall be called Wonderful counsellor of (''from, sent by, representing'') the mighty God", or "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God". The melody signs (called in Hebrew "Ta'mei HaMikra) decide for the latter. After "Wonderful" there is a disjunctive, after "Counsellor" there is a disjunctive, and after "Mighty" (but adj. after the noun in Hebrew order) there is a conjunctive. It is possible to reconstruct to some extent the melody and the interpretation of the Old Testament current in the first century and therefore the melody and the interpretation used by Jesus Himself.<ref name=Steinberg>[http://www.adath-shalom.ca/history_of_hebrew2a.htm History of the Ancient and Modern Hebrew Language, By David Steinberg. Phonemic Structure of Hebrew]<br/> David.Steinberg@houseofdavid.ca. http://www.houseofdavid.ca Home page
 
http://www.adath-shalom.ca/history_of_hebrewtoc.htm</ref> This is because of the following: the present day melodies of the various dispersions of the Jews are to a great extent different one from the other. Some of these dispersions are the Ashkenazi, representing the Jews exiled from Israel by the Romans in A.D. 70 and then on to the Rhine Valley, and then onto parts of Eastern Europe, Western Europe, America, etc., the Sephardim who saw the beginnings of their dispersion from Spain in the 15th Century and then on to Greece, Turkey, North Africa. Holland, and America, the Yemenites, the Bnei Israel of India, the Jews of Ethiopia, etc. etc., Yet, with the diversity in melodies of the Scriptures, there are certain features which are either identical or strikingly similar. Musicologist, [[Joel Segal]], pointed out over 40 years ago, that this could only have been possible if these dispersions were at one time together in the same place. The only time that all these dispersions were together in the same place was prior to the great dispersion of the first century and the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
 
 
===Old Testament Apocrypha===
 
The deuterocanonical books and others that the Reformation designated [[Apocrypha]] were written during the four hundred years between the time of Ezra and Malachi and the birth of Christ (one of them, 2 Esdras, possibly in A.D. the 1st century). The term itself comes from the Greek word ''apokruphos'' ("hidden" or "concealed") which was first applied to them by Jerome according to the opinions of the Jewish sources he consulted in Palestine, and although the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, among others, have always included the deuterocanonical Apocrypha in their versions of the Bible, considering them to be canonical (and they do have an actual history and literary value) the fourteen texts (10 books and portions of 2 others) which make up the whole of the Protestant Apocrypha have been rejected as non-canonical by both the Jewish faith since the 2nd century and by most Protestant denominations of the Christian church since the 16th century due to what, according to Reformation doctrine, they consider to be "''historical, geographical, or literal inaccuracies; the teaching of doctrines which contradict inspired Scripture; and a lack of elements and structure which give genuine Scripture its unique characteristic''" (Unger, pg. 70<ref>See also the following sources for more extensive expression of this Evangelical Christian opinion:<br/>Unger, Merril F. Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, IL (1966; new edition 2006);<br/>Unger, Merril F. The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, (2006); 1416pp;<br/>Unger, Merril F. Unger's Bible Handbook, Moody Press, Chicago, IL (1967).</ref>). Three of the Apocrypha, 1 and 2 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh, although part of Jerome's Vulgate, were not included among the canonical books listed at the Council of Trent and are considered by Catholics to be apocryphal works, and as not among the accepted deuterocanonicals. See [[Biblical Canon]].
 
 
Protestants do not include Psalm 151 and 3 and 4 Maccabees among the Apocrypha, but they also do not include these in their Bibles. The Reformation did not address the question of their canonical status. The Catholic Church did not include them in the canon of the Council of Trent, and they do not appear in regular editions of the Catholic Bible. They continue to be part of the [[Orthodox Church|Orthodox Bible]].
 
 
The Apocryphal books had been used in both Israel and Egypt and (except the Latin 2 Esdras which was part of the Vulgate) are part of the Old Testament in the Greek language used by Jews all over the Greek speaking world - particularly Alexandria, Egypt. This version is called the Septuaginta. The Septuaginta after the 1st century fell into disuse among Jews for two reasons -
 
:1. Greek speaking Christians were using the Septuaginta in their efforts to bring Jews to faith in Jesus Christ
 
:2. A number of the Apocryphal books were also apocalyptic, that is, focusing on the last days, the Kingdom of God in battle against the kingdoms of this world and the downfall of this world's empires. This was considered dangerous and liable to provoke Rome against the Jews.
 
Alternative Greek translations to the Septuaginta, which was considered "loose" by the Rabbis, were adopted. These were the translations of three proselytes to Judaism, Theodosious, Aquillas, and Symmachus. The Jewish Rabbinic "Council" of Jamnia (Yavneh on the Mediterraenian coast of Israel) in A.D. 90, under the leadership of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, effectively excluded the Apocryphal books (along with the Septuaginta) from the Jewish Canon by requiring, for a book to be considered canonical, that it have been written in Hebrew (and Aramaic). This immediately excludes ''all'' of the Christian scriptures included in the entire New Testament, since they were written in Greek and in the 1st century. Actually, a number of the apocryphal books, or portions thereof, had been written originally in Hebrew, most notably, the Book of Ben Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) found in Hebrew at Qumran with the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but this was unknown to Yohanan Ben Zakkai and the Council of Jamnia in the first century. Under the impetus of Renaissance learning, Protestant scholars went directly to the Hebrew text and began to translate the Bible directly from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, instead of having to go through the Latin Vulgate. But they consulted the Hebrew text of the Talmudic rabbinical version of the synagogue (eventually to be called the "Masoretic text") of the canon of books that had been recommended by the Council of Jamnia and afterward consistently authorized by subsequent rabbinical authorities representing Judaism. They also disregarded the witness of the canonical listing of the books of the Christian Orthodox Greek Bible, which had not been determined by the Council of Trent under the Roman Pontiff but had always been the traditional Old Testament as read from the time of the apostles and the most ancient Christian Church. In this way, most Protestant churches came to not include the Apocryphal books in their Canon of Scripture. One of the reasons the Roman Catholic Church held to the Vulgate was because it had been translated by Jerome from the Hebrew text before the text had been revised and altered by the Masoretes, and today it is considered a valuable witness to the earlier Hebrew Bible.
 
:"It has also proved of primary importance as an early and excellent witness to the sacred text."
 
::—The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)<ref>[http://www.bible-researcher.com/vulgate1.html The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915) The Vulgate, by Samuel Angus.]</ref>
 
 
The following are the books which are most frequently referred to by the title ''Apocrypha'':
 
*[[1 Esdras]]
 
*[[2 Esdras]]
 
*[[1 Maccabees]]
 
*[[2 Maccabees]]
 
*[[Book of Tobit]]
 
*[[Book of Judith]]
 
*[[Book of Wisdom]]
 
*[[Book of Sirach|Ecclesiasticus]], also known as Sirach
 
*[[Book of Baruch]]
 
:*[[Epistle of Jeremiah]] is sometimes listed as separate book or the last chapter of Baruch
 
*[[Prayer of Manasseh]]
 
*Greek language additions to the [[Book of Esther]]
 
 
Additions to the book of Daniel
 
*[[The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children]]
 
*[[Story of Susanna]]
 
*[[Bel and the Dragon]]
 
 
With the exception of 1 and 2 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh, the remaining 7 books and parts of Esther and Daniel listed here are regarded as apocryphal by less than a third of Christian believers. With the exception of 1 and 2 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh, these 7 books and parts of Esther and Daniel are accepted as divinely inspired, canonical scriptures in the Holy Bible by the majority of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world.<ref>The '''Catholic Church''' is the world's largest [[Christianity|Christian]] body comprised of several distinct [https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm "Rites"]. The [[Catholic Church|Catholic Church (Latin Rite)]] is the largest religious body in the United States, with over 60 million adherents (4 times as large as the second largest church, the Orthodox).<br/>[http://www.pewforum.org/2013/02/13/the-global-catholic-population/ “The Global Catholic Population,” © 2011, Pew Research Center.]<br/>[http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_romcath.html The Largest Catholic Communities]<br/>
 
The '''Eastern Orthodox Church''', officially called the '''Orthodox Catholic Church''', and also referred to as the '''[[Orthodox Church]]''' and '''Orthodoxy''', is the second largest [[Christianity|Christian church]] in the world, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, most of whom live in [[Eastern Europe]], the [[Middle East]], and [[Russia]].<br/>{{cite web |last1=Calivas |first1=Rev. Alciviadis C. |title=The Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Church |publisher=Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America |year=1983 |url=http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7061 |accessdate=7 May 2014 |ref=none }}<br/>{{cite web |last1=Fairchild |first1=Mary |title=Christianity:Basics:Eastern Orthodox Church Denomination |publisher=about.com |url=http://christianity.about.com/od/easternorthodoxy/p/orthodoxprofile.htm |accessdate=22 May 2014 |ref=none }}<br/>{{cite web |title=Christianity |work=Major Branches of Religions Ranked by Number of Adherents |publisher=adherents.com |url=http://www.adherents.com/adh_branches.html#Christianity |accessdate=22 May 2014 |ref=none }}</ref><ref name=Prot>See [http://www.888c.com/worldChristianDenominations.htm Percentage of Christians in Protestant Denominations (29.5%)].</ref>
 
 
====The problem with rabbinical authority defining the biblical canon====
 
 
According to the ordinary reading of the New Testament and the consensus of the majority of Christians from the 1st century to this day, the authority of the kingdom of God had been wholly taken away from the Jews in the 1st century and given to the leaders of the Gentiles and Jews in Christ long before the Council of Jamnia. See:
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2015:13-14&version=KJV Matthew 15:13-14]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2016:18-19&version=KJV Matthew 16:18-19]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2018:17-18&version=KJV Matthew 18:17-18]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2021:43&version=KJV Matthew 21:43]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2028:18-20&version=KJV Matthew 28:18-20]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%201:32-33&version=KJV Luke 1:32-33]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%2010:16&version=KJV Luke 10:16]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%2022:29-30&version=KJV Luke 22:29-30]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%207:51-53&version=KJV Acts 7:51-53]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1corinthians%204:1&version=KJV 1 Corinthians 4:1]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1corinthians%206:2-3&version=KJV 1 Corinthians 6:2-3]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1timothy%203:14-15&version=KJV 1 Timothy 3:14-15]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=hebrews%2013:17&version=KJV Hebrews 13:17]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1john%204:2-6&version=KJV 1 John 4:2-6]
 
:[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2john%201:9-11&version=KJV 2 John 9-ll]
 
 
Between A.D. 90-95, long after the descent of the Holy Spirit of God at Pentecost and the spread of Christianity and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the devastation of the city and the expulsion of the Jews, the Jewish [[Council of Jamnia]] revised the canon of the Old Testament, by ensuring that the books involved conformed to the Torah, were written in the Hebrew language, written in Palestine, and written before 400 B.C. As a result, the Apocrypha was excluded from the Hebrew canon.<ref>[https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/canon1.html The Jewish Canon and the Christian Canon] (web.cn.edu) <br/>Linguistic evidence shows that other Septuagint books which were excluded by rabbinical authority after A.D. 90 certainly had an original Hebrew or Aramaic text. See
 
*[http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/apocrypha.html Jewish Virtual Library. Jewish Holy Scriptures: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, by Michael E. Stone]
 
*[http://archive.churchsociety.org/crossway/documents/Cway_102_ApocryphaBackground.pdf BACKGROUND AND HISTORY TO THE APOCRYPHA, By David Phillips] Article reprinted from Cross†Way Issue Autumn 2006 No. 102 (archive.churchsociety.org)
 
*[http://churchsociety.org/issues_new/doctrine/misc/apocrypha/iss_doctrine_misc_apocrypha_origin.asp The Origin of the Apocrypha]
 
*[https://books.google.com/books?id=dtlDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA203&lpg=PA203&dq=apocryphal+books+having+evidence+of+hebrew+or+aramaic+origin&source=bl&ots=CkMPwQMciG&sig=y6w4tnI_wvIqyzCWqCoN3xo8mvQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VGGcVP2RH4r2yQT7toKYAw&ved=0CFMQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=apocryphal%20books%20having%20evidence%20of%20hebrew%20or%20aramaic%20origin&f=false The Apocrypha of the Old Testament: With Historical Introductions, a Revised Translation, and Notes Critical and Explanatory, by Edwin Cone Bissell. Scribner, 1890. 680 pages], page 208ff, citing evidence that the "additions to Esther" were also translated from the Hebrew. (Google eBook)</ref> The books excluded by this criteria were relatively recent Jewish contributions of the 3rd through the 1st centuries before Christ which had become part of Jewish culture. The rabbinical authorities simultaneously excluded as condemned and false the writings of the "heretics" (the ''minim'', including Christians, called nozrim, no§rim, "Nazarenes"), and cursed Christians in a synagogue service "benediction" against them and others. Palestinian texts of the Eighteen Benedictions from the Cairo Genizah <ref>[http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/treasures-in-the-wall The New Yorker: Page-Turner. March 1, 2013 Treasures in the Wall, by Emily Greenhouse] (newyorker.com)<br/>[http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Genizah.html Jewish Virtual Library: Modern Jewish History: The Cairo Genizah, by Alden Oreck]</ref> present a text of the benediction which identifies the minim:<blockquote>"''For the apostates may there be no hope unless they return to Your Torah. As for the no§rim and the minim, may they perish immediately. Speedily may they be erased from the Book of Life, and may they not be registered among the righteous.  Blessed are You, O Lord, Who subdues the wicked.''"</blockquote>While other specimens of the Palestinian liturgy show slight variation, the no§rim, (usually translated “Christians”) and minim are included in the best texts of this benediction. The fact remains that the no§rim were included with apostates and heretics and the wicked in the Genizah documents.<ref>[http://lawrenceschiffman.com/?s=the+benediction+against+the+minim Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman: The Benediction Against the Minim] (lawrenceschiffman.com)<br/>[http://www.defendingthebride.com/bb/curse.html DEFENDING  THE  BRIDE. THE  CURSE  AGAINST  CHRISTIANS  AT  JAMNIA  ABOUT  90 AD] (defendingthebride.com)<br/>[http://www.academia.edu/6811953/The_Jewish_Council_of_Jamnia_and_Its_Impact_on_the_Old_Testament_Canon_and_New_Testament_Studies The Jewish “Council” of Jamnia and Its Impact on the Old Testament Canon and New Testament Studies, Tim Gordon October 20, 2007] (academia.edu/6811953)</ref> Martin Luther and the leaders of the [[Reformation]] cite as authoritative and determinative the canon of the Hebrew Bible as defined by rabbinical authorities who excluded and condemned as false the entire New Testament scriptures and Jesus as the Messiah <ref name=Luther>Luther rejected the seven books of the Old Testament, citing the Palestinian Canon as his authority. Clearly his reasons were doctrinal. However, his decision poses serious difficulties. What authority from God would Jews have in the Christian era to determine which books of the Old Testament were or were not divinely inspired? In 1529, Luther proposed adoption of the 39-book canon of rabbinic Judaism as the Old Testament canon of the Christian Bible. He justified his decision to exclude seven books from the Old Testament canon of 46 books by an appeal to precedent, citing Jerome who, around A.D. 400 had expressed concerns also voiced by his rabbinical sources that these books in Greek had no Hebrew counterparts. Research into the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran has discovered Hebrew copies of some of the disputed books, which makes their rejection on this ground unsupportable. Luther's principal reason for opposing these Old Testament books seems to be that they contain textual support for doctrines he had rejected, such as praying for the dead (2 Maccabees 12:42-45).<br/>See [http://www.totustuus.com/luther Luther and the Canon of the Bible, by Jim Seghers]<br/>[http://www.olswahiawa.org/uploads/2/1/8/4/21845996/session_3.pdf The Canon of the Bible]<br/>[http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/07/can-protestants-rely-upon-council-of.html Wednesday, July 20, 2011. Can Protestants Rely Upon the "Council of Jamnia" for Their Bible?]</ref> because "''unto them were committed the oracles of God.''" (see [http://biblehub.com/multi/romans/3-2.htm Romans 3:2]). This is an historical fact, and it presents a serious problem, known in logic ''as [[non sequitur]]''. If the Jews have been so entrusted with the word of God that they had therefore been given the divine authority to also determine the ''canon'' of sacred scripture, as Luther and the Reformation Protestants maintain, then the whole New Testament is excluded from the canon of the holy Bible because it does not meet the four established rabbinical criteria for what is sacred inspired scripture. See [[Logical fallacy]]
 
 
===The New Testament===
 
The New Testament is a collection of twenty-seven books and letters, written by the early Christian community, and written primarily in [[Greek]]. The emphasis of the New Testament is the life, teachings, and gift of salvation from the central figure of the whole work, Jesus of Nazareth.  These books are grouped into the following:
 
 
====[[Gospels|The Gospels]]====
 
The ''Gospels'' contain the history of Jesus.  The ''Acts of the Apostles'' are a continuance of the Gospels, documenting the history of the early church, beginning immediately following Jesus' death and resurrection.  Of the authors, only Matthew and John had met Jesus; they were among His disciples during His earthly ministry. Eusebius, in his ''Ecclesiastical History'', says:<blockquote>"Matthew and John are the only ones that have left us recorded comments, and even they, tradition says, undertook it from necessity. Matthew also, having '''first proclaimed the Gospel in Hebrew''' when on the point of going also to other nations, '''committed it to writing in his native tongue''', and thus supplied the want of his presence to them by his writings. But after, when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who during all this time was proclaiming the gospel without writing, at length proceeded to write it on the following occasion. The three Gospels previously written, having been distributed among all, and also handed to him, they say that he admitted them, giving his testimony to their truth; but that there was only wanting in the narrative the account of the things done by Christ, among the first of his deeds, and at the commencement of the Gospel. And this was the truth." —Book III, Chapter XXIV.<ref>''The Ecclesiastical History Of Eusebius Pamphilus: Bishop Of Caesarea, In Palestine'', translated from the Greek, by the Rev. C. F. Crusé, A.M., assistant professor in the University of Pennsylvania. With Notes from the Edition of Valesius. London: George Bell and Sons, York Street, Covent Garden. 1874. ''Legacy Reprint Series''. Book III, Chapter XXIV The order of the Gospels. page 97</ref> (<small>''book in the public domain. Boldface emphasis added''</small>) .</blockquote> Eusebius relates the already-existing tradition in his day that Matthew wrote the first Gospel. In every manuscript of the New Testament, Matthew is always placed first, and for almost 1900 years the traditional view prevailed unchallenged that Matthew was the first Gospel written. This is called the [[Augustinian hypothesis]], which holds that Matthew was the first Gospel, written by Matthew the Evangelist. Mark, according to tradition a Roman, and a companion of Peter, was author of the second Gospel, but beginning in the 19th century [[Heinrich Julius Holtzmann]] together with other German scholars, abusing the literary tools of [[Historical-critical method (Higher criticism)|historical-critical methods]] in opposition to Christian tradition, declared on their authority as German scholars that Mark's gospel was the first to be written down, about A.D. 50. This theory is called "Marcan priority", and it was aggressively spread as part of [[Otto von Bismarck|Bismarck's]] anti-Catholic 'Kulturkampf' policy.<ref>[http://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/KULTGOS.TXT Kulturkampf and the Gospel, by John Beaumont]<br/>[http://www.churchinhistory.org/pages/booklets/farmer%28n%29.htm Church in History. The ChurchinHistory Information Centre. BISMARCK AND THE FOUR GOSPELS 1870 - 1914, by William R. Farmer (University of Dallas) Editor of A NEW CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY. The theory that Mark's Gospel was published before Matthew's is widely held in German and English speaking countries. This article shows how this theory, with little supporting evidence, came to be spread as part of Bismarck's anti-Catholic 'Kulturkampf' policy. BIBLIOTHECA EPHEMERIDUM THEOLOGICARUM LOVANIENSIUM. THE FOUR GOSPELS. 1992] (churchinhistory.org)</ref> This view is widely held by liberal biblical scholars in German and English speaking countries. In the United States acceptance of Marcan Priority has often been a test of the "academic competency" of those faculty members who teach Biblical Studies.<ref>[https://books.google.com/books?id=UYKvAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA282&lpg=PA282&dq=academic+persecution+regarding+Augustinian+hypothesis&source=bl&ots=iDysvbe5ii&sig=oNOrQku42-Tx-n-yBzhQtzAeQls&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VHKkVNa7IceiyAStsYKYAw&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=academic%20persecution%20regarding%20Augustinian%20hypothesis&f=false Mark's Gospel--Prior or Posterior?: A Reappraisal of the Phenomenon of Order, By David Neville]</ref> Luke is traditionally considered to be the author of both the third Gospel and the ''Acts''.
 
*[[Gospel of Matthew]]
 
*[[Gospel of Mark]]
 
*[[Gospel of Luke]]
 
*[[Gospel of John]]
 
*[[Acts of the Apostles]]
 
 
====[[Pauline Epistles]]====
 
The Pauline Epistles are letters (epistles) written to early Christian communities written by the [[Apostle Paul]].
 
*[[Epistle to the Romans]]
 
*[[First Epistle to the Corinthians]]
 
*[[Second Epistle to the Corinthians]]
 
*[[Galatians|Epistle to the Galatians]]
 
*[[Epistle to the Philippians]]
 
*[[Epistle to Philemon]]
 
*[[First Epistle to the Thessalonians]]
 
*[[Second Epistle to the Thessalonians]]
 
*[[Ephesians|Epistle to the Ephesians]]
 
*[[Epistle to the Colossians]]
 
*[[First Epistle to Timothy]]
 
*[[Second Epistle to Timothy]]
 
*[[Epistle to Titus]]
 
*''Possibly the [[Epistle to the Hebrews]]''
 
 
[[Liberal]] Bible scholarship over the last two centuries has denied that Paul wrote Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus; and doubted that he wrote Colossians and 2 Thessalonians.  However, all the epistles listed above except Hebrews say they are written by Paul.  As they are authoritative Scripture which "cannot lie", their claims should be believed.
 
 
There is speculation that Paul may have written the ''Epistle to the Hebrews'', which does not mention an author; however, under the pure divine power of the Holy Spirit of God the Father through Jesus Christ himself—"he has spoken through the Prophets"—it could easily have been written by any early Christian except for Timothy, who is mentioned by name in the final chapter.  The controversy, however, does not affect the genuineness of the epistle.<ref>Unger, pg. 748; Eusebius ''The History of the Church'' 3:3</ref>
 
 
The Council of Trent (1546) dogmatically affirmed that the Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the fourteen genuine epistles of Paul.
 
:—[http://www.bible-researcher.com/trent1.html 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)]
 
 
====[[General Epistles]]====
 
*[[Epistle of James]]
 
*[[First Epistle of Peter]]
 
*[[Second Epistle of Peter]]
 
*[[First Epistle of John]]
 
*[[Second Epistle of John]]
 
*[[Third Epistle of John]]
 
*[[Epistle of Jude]]
 
 
====Revelation====
 
The [[Book of Revelation]] is the last work in the New Testament as well as the whole Bible, written close to A.D. 100 by the [[Apostle John]] during his exile on the Greek island of [[Patmos]]. Revelation is concerned with the condition of the [[Seven Churches of Asia]] before going deeply into a description of the [[Last Days]] prior to the beginning of the [[Millennial Age]].
 
 
Most [[Fundamentalism|Fundamentalists]] hold to "[[Dispensationalism]]", an interpretive theory of the meaning of Revelation and other prophecies that was developed in the 19th century by British theologian [[John Nelson Darby]] (1800–82) and the [[Plymouth Brethren]], and is summarized in the ''[[Scofield Reference Bible]]'' edited and [[Christian Zionism#Dispensationalism|annotated]] by [http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/files/cyrus/scofield.htm Cyrus I. Scofield] (1909, 1917).  See [http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/scofield-reference-notes/ Scofield's Reference Notes]
 
 
==Non-uniformity of language and style of original Scriptures==
 
 
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament, in the original languages of Hebrew (and Aramaic) and Greek, exhibit a non uniformity of style and language. This is in sharp contrast to most modern translations which treat the Scriptures throughout as if they are one book instead of the many books they are. Modern translations can be erudite, dignified, folksy and common, clear and geared for the "common man", or replete with language resonant with literary associations for the "accomplished" reader. But they are that way throughout. The Biblical originals, on the other hand, for example, embedded in the Hebrew within the narrative of the deeds of the prophetess Debora, have in the Song of Deborah (Judges chapter 5) a much more ancient and even archaic Hebrew than that of the main text of the book, probably emanating from a chant from the time of Deborah herself, plainly evident to any person who has studied Hebrew language. The same with the narrative and poetic portions concerning Moses. The human authors, inspired by God, were careful to preserve the integrity of the original inspired songs which they had faithfully recorded or otherwise copied and included in their narratives. There are even different Hebrew languages (rather dialects) from the same historical period but from different authors living during the same time, having come from different origins and cultural levels.<ref name=Steinberg/>
 
 
For the New Testament, an example of non-uniformity can be found in the stark differences of language in the Gospel of Luke, written by Luke the physician. The early accounts, those concerning the birth of Jesus and early life, are written in a stilted and often crude Greek while the rest of the Gospel is written in fine Greek befitting of the background and ability of a learned physician. But when the stilted and crude Greek is retranslated, word for word and phrase for phrase, into the Hebrew current in the first century in most parts of Israel (a technique called "back translation"), it becomes excellent Hebrew - Mishnaic Hebrew. This is because of the intent and fastidiousness of Luke, who derived his material, as he says, from people that had been "on the scene", and his success in transmitting it faithfully as he had received it. Both the Old and New Testaments, for various reasons, exhibit little or no concern to "level through" or override the content of what they are saying by stylistic considerations.
 
 
===Inspiration===
 
Although the Old Testament is written by many [[homo sapiens|human]] authors, New Testament authors know that these men were writing under the inspiration of God.
 
 
The apostle [[Paul]] wrote that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
 
Similarly the apostle [[Saint Peter|Peter]] wrote, "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:20-21).
 
 
====Formation of New Testament and Jewish technical transmission====
 
In the first century and prior, the ear was more important than the eye, as far as retaining in memory. Jews would receive orally, that is, from hearing, the laws that they believed originated with Moses and then passed them on to others, down through the generations. It was important to link the present rabbis by names who taught it with the rabbis by name who had passed it on to them, on back as far as possible to Moses on Mt. Sinai. This was the startling difference of Jesus. By saying "You have heard it said, but I say unto you...", He was by-passing Moses and the others after and getting His teaching direct from the Father.
 
 
This Jewish way of receiving (QBL) and handing on (MSR) is summed up in the lead saying of the "Ethics of the Fathers" tractate of the [[Mishna]], "Moses received Torah from God at Sinai. He transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, the elders to the prophets, the prophets to the members of the Great Assembly [Sanhedrin] (1:1)."  The teaching thus transmitted was memorized word for word by groups of disciples (Talmidim) together, thereby minimizing, by the common knowledge and public repetitions, all innovations and errors, though there might well have been "stylizing" for ease of retention and recall, receiving and handing on (transmission).
 
 
This methodology, with its technical Hebrew terminology appears in the New Testament with the same technical meaning and purpose, for how the earliest Christian teaching was carried on prior to the formation of the New Testament and during the time of its formation. This ensured the validity of the teaching and its authenticity going back, not to Moses, but to the time of Jesus Himself. "For I handed over (Gk. pare'doka, Heb. MSR) to you at the first what I also received (Gk. pare'labon, Heb. QBL) that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures..." l Cor. 15:3. Paul knew all of the "deposit of faith" three ways, in the usual "collaborative" way of God - from Scriptures (the Old Testament), from experience (seeing the living Christ on the road to Damascas), and from authenticated oral tradition/transmission involving "receiving" and "handing on".
 
 
==Authority of Bible in religious communities==
 
The role of the Bible in the life of differing communities varies widely by both the inner tenents of the community and the outer influences bearing on the community.
 
===Judaism===
 
Orthodox Judaism through the centuries, while it was only marginally affected by growing secularization and modern learning, held to a "differing levels of authority" understanding of the authority of the Hebrew Bible. This did not imply different levels of inspiration, but rather that importance to the regulation of life was prime for the Torah of Moses, the 5 books of the Law. But the Pharasaic teaching also posited an Oral Law given to Moses by God that was passed on through the centuries through Joshua, the prophets, pairs of Rabbis, until this day. The Oral law is found in the Talmud (Mishna and the Gemara together). The oral law became the decisive interpreter, teacher and regulator of the Written Law and determined the course of Jewish Orthodox life. The second section of the Old Testament, the Prophets, is known to the Jewish Community primarily through the synagogue readings of the prophets, the Haftorah, that are assigned to conclude the weekly reading of the Law. The Psalms, the most formative of all the Writings, besides being common throughout the synagogue services, are used in various devotional prayer contexts. Orthodox Judaism has little been affected by modern Higher Criticism of the Bible. Reformed Judaism, originally developed in Germany, and Conservative Judaism, to a lesser extent, have been greatly affected.
 
 
===Mainline Protestants===
 
Mainline Protestantism, represented in the major Protestant churches, denominations, sects and their seminaries, has greatly been affected by "modernism" based on advanced scholarly research, especially from Germany in the 19th century. Those who abused the legitimate tools "Higher Criticism" chose as a fundamental liberal [[premise]] to ignore God's participation in the production of Scripture. Prime among these theories is the Documentary theory of Penteteuch  origins (Wellhausen-Graff) that posits that Moses wrote little or nothing. Instead, they propose that the Bible originated in four unknown hypothetical sources coming from various periods. These four sources are termed J (for the use of "Jehovah" for the name of God), E (for the use of "Elohim"), P (priestly), and D (Deuteronomic). The "spirit" of the New Testament (according to their understanding of what they think is the probable main attitude of the writers, derived from the overall impression gained from a generally humanist religious point of view) is far more important than the text of either Testament for modern Protestant theology.
 
 
====Orthodox Jewish critique of Documentary theory==== 
 
Jewish Orthodox scholars have pointed to flaws in the Documentary Hypothesis. For instance, Orthodox Jewish Scholar Cassuto  has pointed out that rather than the names for God varying according to author and period, they vary according to emphasis from the same period, that of Moses - "Jehovah" being used for God in his dealing with His covenental people Israel, and "Elohim" being used when His dealings with mankind are emphasized. Likewise the two terms usually translated "making a covenant", ''lkhrot brit'' (to "cut" a covenant) and ''lehaqim brit'' (to "raise" a covenenat) are not from two sources but mean two different things - to initiate a covenant and to fulfill a covenant.
 
 
===Evangelical Protestants===
 
Evangelical Protestantism believes strongly in the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the whole Bible and has been the most receptive of the doctrine of the full sufficiency of Biblical Authority. Believing in full inspiration of the whole of Scripture does not mean to evangelicalism the equal importance of all Scriptures for the healthy growth of the Christian community. This is because Evangelicalism, following Scripture's own self-disclosure, believes in progressive revelation throughout Biblical time, culminating in Jesus Christ, and no further (thus obviating the role of Tradition). Thus Evangelicalism, does not hold to the application of Mosaic Legislation, and other biblical elements that Orthodox Judaism holds to. This applies to faith and to morals. The Mosaic regulation on executing a rebellious child does not present a problem for evangelical thought as, according to Paul and Hebrews, the Law has been rendered obsolete by the New Covenant. The Destruction of the Temple and of the place for sacrifice of all kinds, present no problem for evangelicalism, as they did for Judasim, as Christ's sacrifice on the cross has now "fulfilled" the prescriptions of the Law and the ceremonials attached. Thus there is a sort of "levels of authority" understanding for evangelicalism similar to the levels of authority of Judaism (but for different reasons).
 
 
Evangelical Churches vigorously promote the reading of Scripture through Sunday sermons and Bible study programs. Emphasis is placed on "each one understanding". Coupled with American individualism, and lack of traditional vehicles of authority, this sometimes leads to splintering of worshiping communities and the insistence that each man's interpretation "is as good as any other". Nevertheless, "The Fundamentals" defined in 1910 are strongly retained by the Evangelical Churches - the divinity of Christ, His death for sins and Resurrection from the dead, His second coming.<ref>''[http://web.archive.org/web/20030101082327/http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6528/fundcont.htm The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth'', 1910–1915, 4 Vol.] [http://www.biola.edu/about/history/ Bible Institute of Los Angeles,] ed. [http://www.dbts.edu/journals/1996_1/ACDIXON.PDF A. C. Dixon], [[Reuben Archer Torrey]].</ref>
 
 
===Eastern Orthodox===
 
The Orthodox Churches throughout the world, whether Greek, Russian, Romanian, the various middle eastern varieties, emphasize the role of the synod (Council) of Bishops, based on the example of the "Council" of Jerusalem in the book of Acts, as the divinely authorized agent of interpretation and application of the Scriptures. Understanding that Jesus' words, "He (the Holy Spirit) will lead you into all truth", Orthodoxy believes that the synod of bishops, no one of whom is held to be individually infallible, are given guidance from the Holy Spirit so that the Scriptures are rightly applied to the Christian Community, enabling the Church to never stray from Christ, that is, the Church is given "indefectability". A minority of Orthodox Church thought holds to "infallibility" in synodal decision rather than, or instead of, "indefectability". The Scriptures in the Orthodox churches are buttressed by creedal formulations, the decisions of belief of past synods, and are less susceptible to the liberalist abuses of the legitimate methods of modern Higher Criticism. The Resurrection of Christ, virgin birth, return of Christ from Heaven to Earth, are all part and parcel of these churches. Individual interpretation of Scripture and manner of life are limited, then, by the teaching authority (the magisterium) granted to the Episcopate - the Synod of bishops.
 
 
===Roman Catholic===
 
The Roman Catholic Church, like the Orthodox Churches, has a strong sense of the Authority ([[Magisterium]]) given to the Bishops by Christ to teach, interpret, defend the Faith and therefore to exercise the responsibility to interpret to the Faithful both Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. But since Vatican II, there has been an increased effort to bring Scriptural knowledge to the laity, and now there has been an increase of Scripture reading and study programs throughout most sections of the Church. This as been abetted by the Catholic Charismatic movement which has had the effect of promoting individual appropriation of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, and with that, the correlate devotional and intellectual use of Holy Scriptures. However, the role of "Magisterium", that is the Teaching Authority, sets firm limits to individual interpretation. The Roman Catholic church understands that, though Magisterial authority is given to all the bishops, the definitive exercise of the Magisterium is limited to one bishop - the bishop of Rome, the Pope, and to the bishops in communion together with him. Further, Catholicism teaches that the Pope, when he declares dogma (teaching) ''[[Ex cathedra|ex-Cathedra]]'' (from the chair), he speaks infallibly (on matters of faith and morals). The first time the Pope promulgated dogma ''ex-cathedra'' formally was to promulgate the doctrine itself of Papal Infallibility, based on Scripture, history, and reason.<ref>[http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum20.htm Papal Encyclicals Online. Decrees of the First Vatican Council]<br/>[http://www.catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility Catholic Answers. Papal Infallibility]</ref> The Pope, through the Vatican prelates and all the bishops can regulate much of Catholic community life, and some of the regulation is based on the interpretation of Scripture or the application of the traditional interpretation of Scripture. An example of this is the prohibition of abortion. The Church has accepted in a fundamentally modified form most of the legitimate modern [[Historical-critical method (Higher criticism)|Higher Critical methodology]] of studying Scripture, including the [[Documentary Hypothesis]] of origins first developed within German Protestantism. But the effects of this on the tenets of the Christian Faith are profoundly mitigated due to the creedal affirmations of the Church developed centuries ago and to the discernment of Papal authority. Thus the Roman Catholic Church does not waver on the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, the death and resurrection of Christ, and the Second Coming.
 
 
==Evangelical Understanding of the History of the Bible==
 
Rejecting the "Higher Criticism" accepted by the mainline Protestant denominations, Evangelicals and many Catholics hold to a more traditional history of the Bible.  This section summarizes their views.
 
 
[[Image:Gospel of Luke in Arab.gif|thumb|This tenth-century Egyptian codex was donated to Pope Eugenius IV by the Coptic delegates at the Council of Ferrara-Florence. Translated from a Coptic original, it is one of the earliest Arabic versions of any part of the New Testament, none of which can be dated before the late eighth or ninth centuries.]]
 
 
Traditionally, the oldest books of the Bible are certainly the five books of the Torah and the Book of Job.  In 1st Kings 6:1, Solomon is stated to have begun building the Temple "''in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come up out of the land of Egypt''".  It has been established by a majority of conservative scholars and historians that Solomon had begun building the Temple in the fourth year of his reign, apparently in 961 B.C., making the probable [[date of the Exodus]] under Moses 1441 B.C. During the following forty years Moses wrote the Torah and the Book of Job, completing them before his death at [[Mt. Nebo]] about 1400 B.C.  According to Biblical scholar and historian Robert D. Wilson the Torah as it stands dates from the time of Moses, the five books constitute one continuous work, and was written by a single individual, Moses himself (Wilson, pg 11).<ref>Wilson, Robert D. ''A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament'', Sunday School Times, Inc, Philadelphia, PA (1926)</ref>
 
 
The remaining books of the Old Testament were written at various times since the death of Moses, with ''Malachi'', the last Hebrew Old Testament book, being written about 455 B.C. During this period each of the books was written and re-written on parchment or papyrus, with editors taking great care in their work; a single Biblical book hand-written today can take weeks to complete.  The older scrolls were disposed of by burial or storage in a ''Geniza'' room when worn from normal usage (the Cairo Geniza is famous for the antiquity of the scrolls discovered within it) because the Jews have a devout horror of destroying the sacred script containing the transmitted revelation of God; as a result, the oldest surviving examples of Biblical manuscripts are those which have been carefully preserved either by direct actions of people (such as monasteries), or by removal from forces of decay.  Currently, the oldest surviving manuscripts are those found carefully stored in clay jars within the caves of Qumran in 1948 and known as the [[Dead Sea Scrolls]], dating between 250 B.C. to A.D. 70; the complete ''Isaiah'' scroll of this collection dates to 150 B.C.
 
 
Around 200 B.C. the Septuagint, a Greek-language version of the Old Testament, was completed.  This was due to the Hellenization of large areas of the Middle East after the conquest of Alexander the Great, making Greek the de facto language for everyday communications and business.  The Septuagint marks the first time in history that the Bible was translated into a foreign language. An ancient fragment of the Septuagint containing the Tetragrammaton (Greek, "four letters", that is, of the name of God, YHWH) has been dated between 50 B.C. and A.D. 50.<ref>[http://www.eliyah.com/lxx.html Tetragrammaton Found in Earliest Copies of the Septuagint]</ref>
 
 
See [[Literalist Bible chronology]].
 
 
===Early New Testament history===
 
In 1st Timothy 5:8, Paul quoted as scripture ''"the laborer is worthy of his hire."''  This line is found nowhere else in the Bible except Matthew 10:10 and Luke 5:7.  In 2nd Peter 3:15-16, Peter classes Paul's letters with "other scriptures".  Both lines are indicative of the writing down and general use of the New Testament prior to A.D. 60 (Halley, pg. 741-742).<ref>Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI (1965)</ref>  Spurious "gospels" which are known to have appeared by A.D. 100, make references to the New Testament.  [[Clement of Rome]], writing in his own letter to the Corinthians in A.D. 95, refers to ''Matthew'', ''Luke'', ''Corinthians'', ''Hebrews'', ''1st Timothy'', and ''1st Peter'' (Halley, pg. 743).
 
 
The oldest surviving New Testament fragment of which there is a reliable date is the [[John Rylands Fragment]] (P52) of the ''Gospel of John'', dating from 117-138 A.D., just decades from when the Gospel was first written.<ref>[http://www.biblefacts.org/history/oldtext.html N.T. Ancient Manuscripts]</ref> The time span between the writing of the New Testament and the oldest surviving fragments are well under two hundred years.  By comparison, Greek classics such as [[Herodotus]], [[Plato]], [[Euripides]], and [[Homer]] have a time span well over a thousand years each between the date of the oldest known fragment of writing and the time period they were first written.
 
 
==Translations==
 
===The Peshitta===
 
The second translated version of the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament (after the Greek Septuaginta) was in the Aramaic language, the Peshitta (Aram. "''simple, common''").  In A.D. 36, both the Queen of Adiabene (the last existing Province of that Assyrian Empire hated and feared by the Jews), known in Greek as Queen Helena (not the mother of Constantine), and known to the Jews as Queen Shlom Zion ("Peace of Zion"), and her son King Ezad were converted to Judaism. Queen Helena's conversion, as well as others of the Kingdom, furthered the already developing translation of the Hebrew Scriptures in her Kingdom's language -Aramaic. That developing translation came to be known as the Peshitta - meaning simple or common speech, in much the same way as the Hebrew Bible would be translated into Latin by Jerome, with extensive help from a Rabbi, and the resultant translation would be called the Vulgate - meaning simple or common speech. The Peshitta, retaining elements of the then Jewish "[[Targum]]ic" (interpretive) and other Jewish understandings of the Hebrew Bible (see [[Midrash]]), is primarily based on the Pre-Masoretic Hebrew Scriptures - though certain books, such as the Prophet Isaiah, are translations primarily from the Septuagint. The development of the Old Testament Peshitta translation is held by some to have taken place alternatively in Adiabene's nearby neighbor Edessa.
 
 
As Thomas and his followers went to India, others (possibly Adai [Thaddeus] among them, the Galilean from Caesarea Phillipi) arrived in [[Adiabene]]. Having gone probably to the synagogues first, as did the Apostle Paul, they found already there, if not a populous citizenry, then an elite governmental element, conversant with the Biblical message in Aramaic. From these people, hearing the preaching of the messengers from Israel, came believers in Jesus Christ, and soon after, came the translation of the Greek New Testament Scriptures into Aramaic, and so the Peshitta was increased by inclusion of the New Testament in Aramaic. Most of the deuterocanonical and apocryphal books of the Old Testament are found in the Syriac, held to have been translated from the Hebrew and not from the Septuagint. The rest of the Old Testament known to the early Syrian church was substantially that of the Palestinian Jews but it arranged them in a different order. First there was the Pentateuch, then Job, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Book of Sirach and most of the deuterocanonical and apocryphal books of the Old Testament, Ruth, Canticles, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah followed by the Twelve Minor Prophets, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezekiel, and lastly Daniel. Unlike the Greek canon of the New Testament Scriptures, the Peshitta originally did not include the following books: the Second Epistle of Peter, the Second Epistle of John, the Third Epistle of John, the Epistle of Jude and the Book of Revelation. But these books translated into the Syriac (as Christian Aramaic is known) are now part of the Peshitta and used by the Aramaic-based churches today, primarily in India and the Middle East - the Syrian Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East (Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East), the Indian Orthodox Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, the Syro-Malabar Church and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.<ref>See the following articles and resources:
 
*[http://www.bible-researcher.com/syriac-isbe.html International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915) Article: Syriac Versions. Thomas Nicol]
 
*[http://www.peshitta.org/initial/peshitta.html History of the Peshitta]
 
*[http://www.peshitta.org/ Aramaic/English Interlinear New Testament]
 
*[http://scrollandscreen.com/syriac/index.htm Biblical Studies and Technological Tools. Syriac Tools and Resources] ''access to Syriac Old and New Testaments''
 
*[http://aramaicnt.org/articles/problems-with-peshitta-primacy/ Problems with Peshitta Primacy]
 
*[http://madenkha.net/holy_bible/ Index of Holy Bible] ''online access to Aramaic Text of Old and New Testaments of Peshitta''</ref>
 
 
Adiabene and its surroundings then became the sending center for a mission to the East that would eventually take advantage of the newly rediscovered monsoon winds blowing for months across the Arabian sea, making it possible for ships' pilots to no longer hug the coasts. And taking advantage of the "[[Silk Road]]" all the way from Antioch in Syria to China, they took the message of Jesus Christ to India (bringing about the Aramaic [Syriac] language churches of Kerala) and even to China itself. And so, the Peshitta, written in the Middle East, for a while became the Scriptures of the Far East Churches of Jesus Christ, particularly in India.
 
 
See [[Monophysite]]
 
 
===The Vulgate===
 
[[Jerome]], a Latin scholar deeply interested in the study of the Scriptures, completed the second edition of the Bible in the Latin language.  The ''[[Vulgate]]'' was meant to replace the inaccuracies of the earlier ''[[Vetus Latina]]'' (the Old Latin version), the standard Bible of the early Catholic Church in Latin. Jerome had moved to [[Jerusalem]] in 382, and set to work on what eventually became a fresh Latin translation of the Old Testament from the Greek of the ''Septuagint'' and a translation of the Greek New Testament into Latin; then from 390-405 he decided to re-translate his Old Testament directly from the Hebrew text then in use by the Jewish community, which pre-dated the revision of the [[Masoretic Text|Hebrew text]] later written by the Masoretic Hebrew scholars of Judaism between the 7th and 10th centuries. The ''Vulgate'' Bible of 76 books (49 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books) had a marked influence in church history, and it remained the standard Latin Bible in the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. After the Council of Trent defined the canon of the holy Bible as 73 books of scripture "with all their parts", and 1 and 2 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh had been placed in an appendix to the definitive Clementine Vulgate critical edition, the Vulgate was henceforth the dogmatically defined canonical Bible of the Catholic Church. After 1450 years of use the Vulgate was finally replaced by the ''[[Nova Vulgata]]'' in 1979. The earliest surviving complete manuscript of the entire Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus, produced in eighth century England at the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow.<ref>The Codex Amiatinus is the most celebrated manuscript of the Latin Vulgate Bible, remarkable as the best witness to the true text of St. Jerome and as a fine specimen of medieval calligraphy. [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04081a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Codex Amiatinus]<br/>[http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-27372773 BBC News Tyne and Wear. 15 May 2014. Codex Amiatinus Bible returns to its home in Jarrow]<br/>[http://www.facsimilefinder.com/facsimiles/codex-amiatinus-facsimile Codex Amiatinus Facsimile Edition]</ref>
 
 
===Early English translations authorized by Rome===
 
 
Vernacular translations into English and other languages have been authorized by the [[Holy See]] since as early as A.D. 600. Partial translations of the Bible into languages of the English people can be traced back to the end of the 7th century, including translations into Old English and Middle English.<ref>[http://www.bible-researcher.com/anglosaxon.html Anglo-Saxon Versions of Scripture (A.D. 600–1150)] (bible-researcher.com)</ref> A number of Old English Bible translations survive, as do many instances of glosses in the vernacular, especially in the Gospels and the Psalms.<ref>See Roberts, Jane (2011). “Some Psalter Glosses in Their Immediate Context”, in ''Palimpsests and the Literary Imagination of Medieval England'', eds. Leo Carruthers, Raeleen Chai-Elsholz, Tatjana Silec. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 61-79, which looks at three Anglo-Saxon glossed psalters and how layers of gloss and text, language and layout, speak to the meditative reader.<br/>See Marsden, Richard (2011), "The Bible in English in the Middle Ages", in The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception and Performance in Western Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), pp. 272-295.</ref>
 
 
The age of Middle English (1066-1500) beginning with the Norman conquest and ending about 1500 covers the period of authorized and unauthorized Middle English Bible translations.
 
 
===Heresies based on abusive use of vernacular translations===
 
 
The abuse of vernacular translations of Sacred Scripture made available to the common people was a prominent feature of heresies during the roughly 400-year period from 1100 to 1500.
 
 
For example, the Albigensians (also called Cathari "''the pure''"), prevalent during the 12th and 13th centuries in western Europe, particularly in southern France and northern Italy, rejected the authority of Church and State. They appealed to the Scriptures as authority for their doctrines, mostly the New Testament, because the Old Law was regarded by them according to their teaching as mainly a demoniacal creation. Like [[Marcion]] in the 2nd century, they taught the [[Manichaeanism|Manichaean]] doctrine of two Gods, and that the evil God created matter and the whole physical universe to entrap and enslave divine spirits of light, and was the God of the Old Testament and the God of the Jews. They forbade marriage, sexual relations between spouses, condemned the begetting of children, and praised those who chose to starve themselves to death.<ref>[http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Heresies_Heretics/Heresies_Heretics_006.htm Albigensianism, by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.]<br/>[http://www.stisidore-yubacity.org/faqalbigenses.html What is the Albigenses/Albigensian Heresy? Albigenses]<br/>[http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=31727 Dictionary: Albigensians] (catholicculture.org)</ref>
 
 
Another example is Waldo (Valdo), from the city of Lyons, also variously referred to as Valdes, Valdesius, Valdensius. References to the movement he founded call his disciples "Waldensians", "the poor of Lyons", "the Leonese", "the Poor of Lombardy", or simply "the Poor". He arranged for the Gospels and some other books of the Bible to be translated into common speech which he read very often, but without understanding their real meaning. The translations produced were full of mistakes and mistranslations which changed the meaning of the scriptures. Infatuated with his own interpretation of these defective scriptures he usurped authority by presuming to preach the Gospel in the streets, where he made many disciples, and involved them, both men and women, in a similar act of presumption by sending them out, in turn, to preach. These people, ignorant and illiterate, went about through the towns, entering houses and even churches, disturbing families, disrupting worship services, ignoring civil statutes and laws, and spreading many errors. The principal heresy of the Waldensians was contempt for (ignoring of) ecclesiastical power and rejection of governmental authority. They capitalized on the fact that the common people were scandalized by evident corruption and abuses of legitimate authority by individuals in Church and in secular government who, like [[Balaam]] and [[Judas]], betrayed Christ for the sake of gain, in direct and indifferent disobedience to the teaching of the Church. And they opportunistically misrepresented these clearly [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/aberration aberrent] scandals as if they were authentically representative of the actual teaching and doctrine of the Church (thereby committing what has been defined as sins of [[calumny]] and [[detraction]], fueled by actual [[scandal]]). The Waldensian dispute then, centered on the issue of authority. The fact that they translated the scriptures badly, studied these translations, drew their own conclusions as to what they meant, and "presumed" to preach whatever they believed, without reference to the clergy, was unacceptable.<ref>[http://www.xenos.org/essays/waldensian-movement-waldo-reformation Xenos Christian Fellowship. The Waldensian Movement From Waldo to the Reformation, by Dennis McCallum] (xenos.org)</ref>
 
 
A similar phenomenon has animated movements in the 20th and 21st centuries, "[[cult]]s" which claim authority from their founders' particular interpretations of the Bible, doctrines which have resulted in bizarre and self-destructive behavior, all "''based on the Word of God''", such as [[Jonestown]], the [[Branch Davidians]] of [[David Koresh]], and the [[Heaven's Gate]] U.F.O. group. In the 21st century in the United States, the extremist teaching of [[Fred Phelps]] and the [[Westboro Baptist Church]] presents a milder example, claiming the authority of the Bible for their disruptive activities.
 
 
In the late Middle Ages, because of the evident, ongoing, and repeated "''[[clear and present danger]]''" to society and to the mental, moral and physical health of the people, so consistently resulting from the direct and apparent association of heretical movements with the act of translating the Bible into the vernacular for anyone to read and interpret as he or she pleased, the Catholic Church began to severely curtail authorization for new translations into the vernacular and subsequently rarely granted permission to anyone who desired to undertake the task during that troubled period, in an attempt to avoid contributing to the problem by providing additional material which, in those days, would certainly give only more occasion for abuse of the meaning of the ''Holy Scriptures'', added to contempt for the authority of the office of the leaders of the Church and the stability of society under the legitimate authority of the office of duly appointed governors, princes and kings.
 
 
See [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%207:6&version=NABRE Matthew 7:6], also [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2corinthians%202:17&version=NABRE 2 Corinthians 2:17] and [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2corinthians%2011:2-20&version=NABRE 11:2-20], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians%201:6-9&version=NABRE Galatians 1:6-9], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=colossians%202:18-19&version=NABRE Colossians 2:18-19], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2peter%201:20-2:3&version=NABRE 2 Peter 1:20-2:3] and [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2peter%203:14-17&version=NABRE 3:14-17]. —See also [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2022:27&version=NABRE Exodus 22:27( <small>KJV</small> 22:28 )], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%2016:1-11&version=NABRE Numbers 16:1-11],[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%2013:1-5&version=NABRE Romans 13:1-5], and [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jude%201:8&version=NABRE Jude 8], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jude%201:11&version=NABRE 11], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jude%201:17-19&version=NABRE 17-19]. Compare [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%202:17-24&version=NABRE Romans 2:17-24]
 
 
See [[Cafeteria Christianity]] and [[Cafeteria Catholic]].
 
 
''For a more detailed treatment, see '''[http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-great-heresies The Great Heresies''']''
 
 
==Printing==
 
[[Image:Gutenburg1.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Printers copy of a page from a Gutenberg Bible, printed in Germany about 1469.]]
 
[[Johannes Gutenberg]] of [[Mainz]], [[Germany]] invented the first mechanical printing press in 1448.  His machine consisted of a large press which when cranked down, pressed a sheet of paper upon a platform in which were set thousands of inked metal letter typefaces (called "movable type"), set in place to read for a particular page.  The first book in history printed by this method was the [[Gutenberg Bible]], in the ''Vulgate'' Latin version, of which 180 were printed, and approximately 50 survive today in varying conditions around the world. 
 
 
The Gutenberg Bible marked another first: printed Bibles could be mass-produced to get them into the hands of many people at a low cost. They first had to be translated out of Latin into a common language, and [[Martin Luther]] made the great German translation, 1522-1534.  The Protestant Reformers emphasized that laymen should study the Bible, and printing made it possible for them to go beyond the interpretations shown in [[stained glass windows]] (the "Bible of the illiterate") to the actual text.
 
 
==English language versions of the Bible==
 
 
===Wycliff's Bible===
 
The first translation of the whole Latin Bible into English by dissident scholars in the English Catholic Church was made under the supervision of the English cleric [[John Wyclif]] in the 1380s, with the assistance of Nicholas Hereford and John Purvey. Wyclif held that the Bible should be placed directly in the hands of the people, but was this was opposed by the English Church hierarchy of his day; indeed, one of Wyclif's opponents, Henry Knighton, compared giving the Bible to the people in English to "casting pearls before swine".  Archbishop Arundel of Canterbury promulgated a ban on all English Bibles in 1407, and possession of one was considered evidence of [[heresy]].
 
 
Wyclif's was a scholarly translation, based on the [[Latin]], [[Greek]], and [[Hebrew]] texts, but was found to be unwieldy due to its adherence to Latin grammar (in which, for instance, verbs tend to be at the end of sentences). A second Wycliffite translation was prepared late in this period, which avoided this problem, but due to the fact that it could only be distributed in manuscript form, it was an expensive volume. Outside of the nobility and gentry, it was more common to see only a single [[The Gospels|Gospel]], or a copy of the Psalms, rather than an entire Bible, which cost more than the average working person could earn in a year.
 
 
Over the next century, its form of English gradually became antiquated, leading English Protestants such as [[William Tyndale]] to feel that an entirely new translation was needed.
 
 
===Tyndale===
 
During the middle of the 16th century there was a renewed sense of the need to get the Bible directly into the hands of the common man; prior to that the Bible was restricted to readings in the Church alone. The Reformers were a group of people who were shocked at the differences between what the Roman Catholic Church was practicing as opposed to their readings (interpretations) of what the Bible stated can or cannot be done (this was one of the causes of the [[Reformation]]). At great cost to themselves, the Reformers began the work of translating the Bible in the various languages of Europe; the printing press would ensure the newly translated Bibles would be mass-produced. 
 
 
[[William Tyndale]] was committed to getting the Bible into the hands of his English countrymen.  Expressing open defiance of the Pope, Tyndale declared that if God would spare his life he would make it possible for even an ordinary farmer to know more about the Scriptures than the Pope.<ref>[http://creationwiki.org/Biblical_canon#Tyndale CreationWiki. Bible Canon#Tyndale] (creationwiki.org)</ref> Tyndale's translation of the New Testament was completed on the Continent by 1525. By April, 1526, 6,000 copies were printed and delivered to England. Official opposition led to the destruction of most of them, not because of the translation of the Biblical text itself, but because Tyndale also held and published views which were considered heretical, first by the Catholic Church, and later by the Church of England, which was established by King [[Henry VIII]] in 1536.<ref>Act of Supremacy, (1534) English act of Parliament that recognized Henry VIII as the “Supreme Head of the Church of England.” [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/574743/Act-of-Supremacy Encyclopedia Britannica. Act of Supremacy: England (1534)]<br/>[http://www.britainexpress.com/History/tudor/supremacy-henry-text.htm Henry VIII 's Act of Supremacy (1534) - original text]</ref> His Bible translation also included notes and commentary promoting these views.<ref>[http://www.tyndale-bible.com/tyndale-bible-history.html TYNDALE BIBLE HISTORY. William Tyndale (1494-1536). The History of William Tyndale and his Bibles]<br/>[http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4749&CFID=4143742&CFTOKEN=81204680 Tyndale's Heresy, by Matthew A. C. Newsome]<br/>[http://www.bible-researcher.com/tyndale4.html Tyndale] (bible-researcher.com)<br/> [http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/william-tyndale.html English Bible History. William Tyndale] (greatsite.com)<br/>[http://wesley.nnu.edu/sermons-essays-books/william-tyndales-translation/ The Wesley Center Online: '''William Tyndale's Translation'''] ''online access to the text of Tyndale's Bible''.</ref> Tyndale's translation was banned by the authorities. Even King Henry VIII in 1531 condemned the Tyndale Bible as a corruption of Scripture. In the words of King Henry's advisors: "the translation of the Scripture corrupted by William Tyndale should be utterly expelled, rejected, and put away out of the hands of the people, and not be suffered to go abroad among his subjects." <ref>Henry Grey Graham, Where we got the Bible: Our debt to the Catholic Church © 1977 Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. 153 pages. ASIN: B0006YDQ5Q p. 128-130.</ref> Bishop [[Tunstall]] of London <ref>[http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/tunstall.htm Cuthbert Tunstall]</ref> declared that there were upwards of 2,000 errors in Tyndale's Bible.<ref>[http://catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/general/charge.htm The Charge of Burning Bibles]</ref> The following year Tyndale himself, at the instigation of agents of Henry VIII and the Anglican Church, was arrested and, for his efforts, charged with heresy, and, on May 21, 1536, was executed, burned at the stake. Nevertheless, the printing press rendered it impossible to completely suppress such a book, and new copies were printed on the Continent and smuggled into [[England]]. His efforts at translating the Bible led to the [[Matthews Bible]] (1537) and the [[Bishop's Bible]] (1568), but with many of his notes radically edited by censors or editors, or entirely removed, and these versions led to the [[Geneva Bible]] (1599), and finally to the [[King James Bible|King James Version]], where ninety percent of the text closely follows Tyndale's translation.
 
 
===Authorised or King James Version===
 
[[Image:E-sword.jpg|thumb|200px|right|The internet has increased the availability of the Bible worldwide.  Shown here is a screenshot to [[E-Sword]], a freely-downloadable Bible study program.<ref>[http://www.e-sword.net E-Sword]</ref> (Rick Meyers, 2007)]]
 
In 1601 King [[James I]] selected forty-seven of the ablest scholars in [[England]] to undertake the creation of a standard Bible in English, based upon careful translations of the [[Masoretic Text]] used by the Jewish community, and the best Greek translations (especially the ''[[Textus Receptus]]'') then available.  The scholars were divided into six committees in [[Oxford]], [[Westminster]], and [[Cambridge]], with each scholar dedicating himself to doing a portion of the Bible, often consulting each other to check the flow and harmony of the work in progress.  The result was the 1611 Authorised Version, known in [[United States of America|America]] as the [[King James Bible|King James Version]].
 
 
In its early days, the KJV was heavily criticized; but in time, with official pressure, it won the field and became "the Bible" for English-reading people—a position it held for almost 400 years.<ref>''Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary''. "Bible Translations", Jack P. Lewis and Charles W. Draper. p. 214.</ref>
 
 
The effects of the Authorised Version were profound.  Using less than 2,500 different words in its vocabulary, this Bible was written in a poetic style matched by few.  The work influenced the writings of [[Shakespeare]].  [[John Milton]] has numerous images taken from this Bible in his ''[[Paradise Lost]]''.  The direct style of writing caused it to be easily available to the common man.  Poets and writers, such as [[Herman Melville]], [[Walt Whitman]], [[Emily Dickinson]] and many others were deeply inspired by it.  It altered the course of English history, with England growing to a world power since the book's publication. When asked by a visiting dignitary what made England great, [[Queen Victoria]] pulled out her copy of the Bible and declared "This is the secret of England's greatness."
 
 
====Problems with the King James Version====
 
 
{{main|Badger skins (Bible)}}
 
 
Beginning in the 17th century, the same century in which it was published, Protestant scholars, orientalists, hebraists and linguists began pointing out defects in the [[King James Bible|Authorized King James Version]].<ref>[[Isaac H. Hall]]. [http://www.bible-researcher.com/kjvdefects.html ''The Revised New Testament and History of Revision'' (1881) "Defects of the King James Version"]
 
:"Our translators of the seventeenth century, in a great many instances, misunderstood the sense."</ref> One of these was the translation of 'orot tachashim as "badgers' skins", because it so plainly violates the biblical context of [[Leviticus]] [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:4-8&version=KJV chapter 11:4-8], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:24-28&version=KJV 24-29], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:42-45&version=KJV 42-45], and [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%205&version=KJV Leviticus chapter 5]. "Badgers' skins" is the King James Version (AV) translation of the Hebrew word '''תחשׁ''' '''''taḥash''''', and of the Hebrew term (singular) '''עור תחשׁ''' '''''uwr taḥash / 'or taḥash''' "skin taḥash"'', and of the plural form '''ערת תחשׁים''' '''''uwr't taḥashim / 'orot taḥashim''' "skins taḥashim"''. [[Adam Clarke]] himself ([http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/exodus/25.htm ''Adam Clarke's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible'' (1831) Exodus 25]) has pointed out the substantial inaccuracy of the KJV interpretive translation:
 
:"badgers' skins, (rather violet-coloured skins)...Badgers' skins — ערת תחשים oroth techashim. Few terms have afforded greater perplexity to critics and commentators than this."
 
See [[Badger skins (Bible)#Protestant commentaries 17th through 19th centuries|Protestant commentaries 17th through 19th centuries]]
 
 
The original meaning of ''' תחשׁ ''t'''<small>a</small>'''ḥ'''<small>a</small>'''š / taḥash / tachash / techash / t'khesh''''' has been debated for centuries. According to ''Encyclopaedia Judaica'' the AV and JPS 1917 translation ''[[badger]]'' has no basis in fact.<ref name=Enc.Jud.>''Encyclopaedia Judaica'' 2nd Edition Volume 19:435. TAḤASH.</ref><ref>''Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary'' page 161. Badger Skins</ref> Translating ערת תחשׁים ''skins taḥashim'' as "badgers' skins" also presents a [[contradiction]]. The Book of Leviticus, chapter 11, forbids touching the carcasses of all animals that walk on '''paws''', because they are '''טָמֵא''' ''tame'' [[Taboo|unclean]]. This is no trivial matter, as [[God]] Himself is thus represented in the KJV as commanding the handling and use of skins of carcasses He forbids the Israelites to touch, and as commanding them to cover the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant with unclean skins and then commanding them to remove from the camp all that is unclean so that nothing unclean will be seen by Him in the camp ([http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%205:2-3&version=KJV Numbers 5:2-3]; [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=deuteronomy%2023:14&version=KJV Deuteronomy 23:14]). They are forbidden to defile the tabernacle, the sanctuary of the L<small>ORD</small> ([http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2020:2-3&version=KJV Leviticus 20:2-3]; [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2021:10-12&version=KJV 21:10-12]), and they are commanded to cover it with '''טָמֵא''' ''tame'' [http://bibleapps.com/hebrew/2931.htm unclean/polluting/defiling "badgers' skins" (KJV).] Even on the sole [[hermeneutics|hermeneutical principle]] of "Scripture interprets Scripture" this is not accurate, and it presents a serious difficulty. [[John Grigg Hewlett]], D.D. (''Bible difficulties explained'' 1860) says:<blockquote>"It would involve a great inconsistency, that the ark of the covenant, which was considered so holy, that no human hand could touch it with impunity, except the hands of those who had been consecrated to God, that it should constantly be covered with the skins of unclean animals...Therefore the coverings of purple, or blue, which our translators have called 'badgers' skins', were of a material that was accounted pure, and could not impart any impurity to those who prepared them, or to those whose office it was to adjust them amidst the vicissitudes of the camp of Israel."<ref>[http://books.google.com/books?id=J5kCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA159&SOURCE=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q=badger&f=false ''Bible difficulties explained'' (1860) "Badgers' skins" pages 159–163].</ref></blockquote>
 
 
The KJV was first published in 1611, a year after the [[Douay-Rheims|Douay-Rheims Bible]]. The later KJV revision of 1769 <ref>[http://www.bible-researcher.com/canon10.html Changes in the King James Version]</ref> is the version generally published today as the King James Bible, and is the form of the text cited here:
 
 
[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%205:2&version=KJV Leviticus 5:2] "if a soul touch any unclean thing...he also shall be unclean and guilty"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%205:5-6&version=KJV Leviticus 5:5-6] "he shall confess that he hath sinned"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:5-8&version=KJV Leviticus 11:5-8] "and their carcase shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:24-28&version=KJV Leviticus 11:24-28] "and whatsoever goeth upon his paws...those are unclean unto you"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:43-44&version=KJV Leviticus 11:43-44] "Ye shall not make yourselves abominable...neither shall ye make yourselves unclean...neither shall ye defile yourselves"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2022&version=KJV Leviticus 22] "Say unto them, Whosoever ''he be'' of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the L<small>ORD</small>, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I ''am'' the L<small>ORD</small>."
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%204:15-20&version=KJV Numbers 4:15-20] "but they shall not touch ''any'' holy thing, lest they die"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=deuteronomy%2023:14&version=KJV Deuteronomy 23:14] "For the L<small>ORD</small> thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."
 
 
The Committee appointed by [[James I of England]] that was tasked with the translation of the Bible was made of men who had read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek and Latin and knew these passages. Yet they chose to translate ''tachashim'' as unclean badgers "''that goeth upon paws''" whose carcasses the Israelites were forbidden to touch.
 
 
[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2025:1-8&version=KJV Exodus 25:1-8] "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering...rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2026:14&version=KJV Exodus 26:14] "and a covering above of badgers' skins"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2035:7&version=KJV Exodus 35:7] "and rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2035:23&version=KJV Exodus 35:23] "and red skins of rams, and badger skins"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2036:19&version=KJV Exodus 36:19] "and a covering of badgers' skins above that"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2039:34&version=KJV Exodus 39:34] "And the covering of rams' skins dyed red, and the covering of badgers' skins"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%204:6-25&version=KJV Numbers 4:6-25] "a covering of badgers' skins...the covering of badgers' skins"
 
<br/>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ezekiel%2016:10&version=KJV Ezekiel 16:10] "and shod thee with badgers' skin"
 
 
Readers of the KJV saw a grave difficulty here because of the apparently great inconsistency that the holy ark of the covenant and the Tabernacle of the L<small>ORD</small> should be constantly covered with skins of unclean animals which made unclean anyone who touched them. The Douay-Rheims Bible had translated the skins as [[Badger skins (Bible)#Douay-Rheims Bible|"''violet skins''"]].
 
 
The ''[[motivation]]'' for interpreting and translating ''tachash skins'' in the Bible as being skins of creatures the Israelites are clearly forbidden to touch is unclear, and a mystery, what is known in [[Logic]] as a [[non sequiter]] (Lat. "''it does not follow''"). The ''[[purpose]]'' being served by a deliberate translation of תחשׁ as badger and of ערת תחשׁים as badgers' skins, by scholars who have a thorough knowledge of the whole of the Bible, and of the history of the Hebrew language and of the ''fauna'' and varied customs of the ancient Middle East, is also a ''non sequiter'' mystery, involving an [[Evidence|evident]] contradiction of the context of the Bible. Alternate word choices, harmoniously consistent with the biblical context, and attested by the ancient sources as cited in scholarly published commentaries both technical and general, were available to the translators, who chose not to use them. Their translation covers the tabernacle, the ark and the sacred vessels with the equivalent of ''' טָמֵא ''' ''tame''  unclean [[Pig|swine]]s' skins ([http://biblehub.com/multi/leviticus/11-8.htm Leviticus 11:3-8], [http://biblehub.com/multi/leviticus/11-27.htm 11:24-28]). The inconsistency is not in the ancient biblical text, but in the interpretations of translators which violate its context.<blockquote>"A text without a context is a pretext for a [[Cafeteria Christianity#Proof texts|proof text]]." Donald A. Carson, ''Exegetical Fallacies''.<ref>Carson, Donald A., Ph.D. ''Exegetical Fallacies'', Nov. 30, 1983, 2nd edition Mar. 1, 1996. Baker Publishing Group. 160 pages. ISBN 978-0801020865.</ref></blockquote>
 
 
Study Bible footnotes, along with published articles, Bible dictionaries, commentaries, encyclopedias, and books on the Bible, and a multitude of internet online blogs and pages, which strongly support the translation of ערת תחשׁים as badgers' skins or as the skins of any kind of sea mammal, often omit the fact that within the context of the Bible these creatures are classified as unclean, defiling  '''שִׁקַּץ ''' ''sheqats'' abominations, as loathsome, abhorrent, detestible, filthy and disgusting for the people of Israel. Those that do mention it offer various speculative [[Excuse|rationale]]s, [[debate]]s and [[Editorial|discussions]] to explain why in their [[opinion]] God would command the Israelites to cover the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant and the sacred vessels for worship with skins of unclean animals and abominations they are explicitly forbidden to touch, skins and hides that according to the word of the L<small>ORD</small> defile any Israelites who touch them. Many of them assert that the prohibitions in Leviticus 11 are ''dietary'' rules only ([http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:2&version=KJV Lev. 11:2], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%2011:46-47&version=KJV 11:46-47]), and declare that touching and wearing skins and leather of unclean animals is permitted as long as their flesh is not eaten.<ref name=opinion>Eight examples:
 
*[http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9912/jewish/Chapter-11.htm#showrashi=true Chabad.ORG —Rashi's commentary Vayikra-Leviticus-Chapter 11],
 
*[http://ravkooktorah.org/TRUMA61.htm Terumah: Tachash Skins in the Tabernacle, Rabbi Chaim Morrison],
 
*[http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/681556/jewish/Can-I-wear-pigskin-shoes.htm Can I wear pigskin shoes? By Shmuel Kogan],
 
*[http://www.jewishtreats.org/2012/11/picking-up-pigskin.html Jewish Treats: Juicy Bits of Judaism, Daily: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2012 —Picking Up Pigskin],
 
*[http://www.jewsingreen.com/2005/08/pigskin-boots Jews in Green: Jews serving proudly:—News: Pigskin Boots, Posted by Lt Joe Friedman on 03 Aug 2005],
 
*[http://www.jewfaq.org/animals.htm Judaism 101. Treatment of Animals. Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim <big>'''צער בעלי החיים'''</big>: Cruelty to Animals © Copyright 5756-5771 (1995-2011), Tracey R Rich],
 
*[http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003867 Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY: Insight, Volume 2 it-2 pp. 883-884 Sealskin. Copyright © 2014 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania], 
 
*[http://www.kjvtoday.com/home/badgers-skin-or-another-type-of-leather-in-exodus-255-et-al KJV Today: "Badgers' skin" or another type of leather in Exodus 25:5 et al.?]<br/>—''compare multiple commentaries on:'' [http://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/5-2.htm Leviticus 5:2]; [http://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/11-8.htm 11:8] and [http://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/11-27.htm 11:27]</ref> These commentaries say that touching the carcass of these animals is only a minor offense which did not require an atoning sacrifice, and that it applied only to ''kohanim'' (priests) and applied to the laity only during the three feasts of Passover/Unleavened Bread, Weeks/Pentecost, and Booths/Tabernacles (Deut. 16). And some cite the ''Talmud'' as their authority, for example, Tractate ''Rosh Hashana'' 16b,<ref>[http://halakhah.com/pdf/moed/Rosh_HaShanah.pdf Babylonian Talmud, Seder ''Mo'ed'', Tractate ''Rosh Hashana'', Folio 16b] —''scroll down to page'' 40</ref> and the ''Sifra'', ''Torath Kohanim'' 11:74,<ref>'''Sifra''' (Aramaic <big>'''סִפְרָא'''</big>, "book" or "The Book"), a ''midrash halakhah'' from the school of R. Akiva on the Book of Leviticus.<br/>See [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13646-sifra ''Jewish Encyclopedia'': Sifra];<br/> ''Encyclopaedia Judaica'' Vol 18 San-Sol 18:560-562 SIFRA;<br/>See [http://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%A1%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%90 Sifra Hebrew text, ed. I. H. Weiss 1862 Vienna.]</ref> and Rashi's commentary,<ref name=opinion/> providing us with an example of what the prophet Jeremiah said, <blockquote>"How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the L<small>ORD</small> is with us'? But behold, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie" ([http://biblehub.com/multi/jeremiah/8-8.htm Jeremiah 8:8]).</blockquote> They omit any reference to that part of Leviticus which decrees that wilfully touching the carcasses of unclean animals (which must be done to harvest their skins) is a '''sin''', which even Rashi's commentary confirms. No mention is made by them of the law in the Torah which says: "Ye shall not make yourselves abominable...neither shall ye make yourselves unclean...neither shall ye defile yourselves" (Leviticus 11:43-44) <ref>See: '''Exodus''' 31:14; '''Leviticus''' 7:19, 21; 10:10; 11:43-44; 18:20, 24, 30; 20:25; 21:4, 11; 22:8; '''Numbers''' 5:3; 6:7; 19:13, 20; 35:33-34; '''Deuteronomy''' 23:14; 27:26.</ref> and that anyone who wilfully does this will be cut off.<ref>see [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%205:2-6&version=KJV Leviticus 5:2-6], [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=leviticus%205:17-19&version=KJV 5:17-19]; [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%2015:29-31&version=KJV Numbers 15:29-31]; [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers%2019:20&version=KJV 19:20.]</ref> Some commentaries on the Old Testament supporting ''badgers' skins'' and ''sea mammals' skins'' as the covering of the tabernacle cite the New Testament example of [[Saint Paul]] working with Simon the tanner (Acts 9:43; 10:6, 32), as if both of them were examples of Jews wilfully working with the skins of ''non-kosher'' beasts. Some cite Pliny's ''Natural History'' 2:56,<ref>previously cited in the 19th century: [http://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/B/badger.html ''McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature'' (1887) B: badger]; [http://biblehub.com/commentaries/clarke/exodus/25.htm ''Adam Clarke's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible'' (1831) Exodus 25]</ref> which says that [pagan] temples had roofs of sealskin, as if this applied to the Israelites under the Law of Moses, and cite Eduard Rüppell's short-lived ''taxonomic'' designation of the dugong as ''Halicore tabernaculi'' "dugong of the tabernacle" as an additional support for their opinion.<ref>While travelling the Middle East around the Red Sea and the [[Arabian Peninsula]], Rüppell observed a variety of [[dugong]] which he subsequently designated ''[[Taxonomy|taxonomically]]'' as ''Halicore tabernaculi'' (1843) according to his view that the skin of this animal was certainly used as the outer covering of the tabernacle of the Hebrews, because the Bedouin harvested its skin for tent-curtains and for shoes and called it ''tukhesh, duchash''. His taxonomic designation ''Halicore tabernaculi'' did not last long (1843-1847) and has since been recombined several times, more recently as ''Dugong dugon'' (1963-1998).<br/>Three sources:
 
*[http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/512932/Eduard-Ruppell ''Encyclopaedia Britannica''. "Eduard Rüppell"]
 
*[http://www.probertencyclopedia.com/B_DUGONG.HTM The Probert Encyclopedia of Nature. "Dugong".] "A variety [of dugong] was discovered in the Red Sea by Ruppell, and called Halicore tabernaculi."
 
*[http://paleodb.org/cgi-bin/bridge.pl?action=checkTaxonInfo&taxon_no65051&is_real_user=0 The Paleobiology Database:] —''when the page comes up, at'' "You must enter a taxon name" ''move cursor to'' "Full search"—''menu will appear; select'' "classifications of taxa in groups" ''and click—when'' "Taxonomic classification search form" ''appears enter '''''Halicore tabernaculi''''' in the top search field (ignore the rest), click'' [Show classification]—''page will display "Halicore tabernaculi'' Rüppell 1843"—''click highlighted link'' "Halicore tabernaculi"–''page will show list "Dugong dugon'' Illiger 1811: Classification of '''Trichechus dugon''' (''Halicore tabernaculi'' Ruppell/Rupell 1843):<br/>the listing of the zoological taxonomic nomenclature of the dugong on that page is here rearranged in chronological order:
 
:'''''Trichechus dugung''''' Erxleben 1777 (this nomenclature lasted 22 years)
 
:'''''Dugong indicus''''' Lacépède 1799 (this nomenclature lasted 12 years)
 
:'''''Dugong dugong''''' Illiger 1811 (this nomenclature lasted 21 years)
 
:'''''Halicore hemprichii''''' and '''''Halicore lottum''''' Ehrenberg 1832 (this nomenclature lasted 11 years)
 
:'''''Halicore tabernaculi''''' Rüppell 1843 (4 years)
 
:'''''Halicore australis''''' Owen 1847 (this nomenclature lasted 51 years)
 
:'''''Halicore cetacea''''' Heuglin, recombined as '''''Halicore dugung''''' Trouessart 1898 (this nomenclature lasted 65 years)
 
:It was recombined as "'''''Dugong dugon'''''" Scheffer and Rice 1963<br/>also Husar 1978, Domning 1994, 1996, and Rice 1998 (this nomenclature has lasted for 35 years+).</ref> The 1843 published ''scientific'' nomen ''Halicore tabernaculi'', expressing as it did the personal opinion of a ''professional zoologist'', Eduard Rüppell, was soon discarded by the scientific community, but it has nevertheless persuaded many to this day that science has established that the ''dugong'' was indeed the animal whose skins were used to cover the tabernacle. However, it has no fins or scales. According to the Bible this creature is an abomination to the Jews (loathsome / abhorrent / detestible / filthy / disgusting) (Leviticus 11:10-12).<ref>[http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003867?q=Bible&p=sen Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY: Insight, Volume 2 it-2 pp. 883-884 Sealskin.]</ref> [[Jesus]] himself commented on the practice of constantly seeking pretexts for making exceptions to the ''[[Torah]]:''<blockquote>"You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition!" (Mark 7:9 RSV).<ref>[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark%207:9-13&version=KJV Mark 7:9-13]; [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2015:1-9&version=KJV Matthew 15:1-9]; [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2023:16-22&version=KJV 23:16-22]</ref></blockquote>
 
 
====King James Only====
 
 
Advocates of the [[King James Only]] movement are fully persuaded that the translators of the King James Version of the Bible always chose the correct reading [interpretation] of the biblical text, under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit Himself, and that therefore the translation ''badgers' skins'' is the most accurate possible English translation of the Hebrew ערת תחשׁים and עור תחשׁ and תחשׁ . They declare without reservation that the King James Bible is the divinely preserved, infallible Word of God, and that it is the only and final authority on all matters of faith and morals and practice for the whole of the English-speaking world.<ref>James D. Price. [http://www.truth.sg/resources/KJV%20Onlyism%20-%20a%20New%20Sect%20-%20Introduction%20-%20Dr%20J%20Price.pdf ''King James Onlyism: A New Sect.'' Introduction: The King James Only Doctrine Is a New Idea].</ref>
 
:–See the [http://www.kjvbibles.com/kjpreface.htm '''''Preface to the King James Version of 1611'''''].<blockquote>"...wee affirme and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee have seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, '''is the word of God'''..."</blockquote>
 
 
::::—<small>''from the'' Preface to the King James Version of 1611: The Translators to the Reader. (''boldface emphasis added'')</small>
 
 
See '''[[Logical fallacy]]'''.
 
 
=== Other versions ===
 
 
Today, the Bible is available in many versions across the English-speaking world, and has been translated into languages spoken by the vast majority of people on Earth, and even portions into a recently created language from the fictional world of [[Star Trek]], [[Klingon]].<ref>[http://www.kli.org/wiki/index.php?Klingon%20Bible%20Translation%20Project Klingon Bible Translation Project]</ref>  The past two decades saw the emergence of [[Internet]] use; the creation of the Bible as a software program was inevitable, and several, such as [[E-Sword]] and Theophilos, are available at no cost with a wealth of Bible-study material as well.
 
 
==Bible Scientific Foreknowledge==
 
[[Bible scientific foreknowledge]] holds that the Bible shows an understanding of scientific knowledge beyond that believed to exist at the time the Bible was composed.  Many Christian scientists and apologists such as the Christian scientists and apologists at [[Creation Ministries International]], [[Answers in Genesis]],  and [[CreationWiki]] assert that the [http://creationwiki.org/index.php/Bible_scientific_foreknowledge Bible contains knowledge that shows an understanding of scientific knowledge beyond that believed to exist at the time the Bible was composed].<ref>[http://creationwiki.org/index.php/Bible_scientific_foreknowledge  Bible Scientific Foreknowledge]</ref><ref>[http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/science.shtml Clarifying Christianity. Science and the Bible] (clarifyingchristianity.com)</ref><ref>[http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v17/i1/medicine.asp Modern medicine? It's not so modern! by David A. Wise] (answersingenesis.org)</ref>
 
 
==Humor in the Bible==
 
 
{{main|Humor in the Bible}}
 
 
The Bible, especially the Old Testament, contains irony, puns, sarcasm, etc. It may be noted that the sense of what is humorous varies from people to people and from nation to nation, as well as varying from age to age. What caused a chuckle, smile, or laughter in the biblical "genre" was more connected with ''satisfaction'' at the vindication of righteousness among men. Thus to our day and age, and the commonality of people, for believers and non believers, the meaning of the spewing up of Jonah on the shores (even the great fish could not stomach him!) might be viewed as God working out His original will in history. Jonah's flight from responsibility being aborted, for the people in the "days and ages" of the Bible, there was the added satisfaction derived from the understanding that God was not mocked by the rebellion of Jonah. Likewise that the "many cattle" also found repentance and acceptance by God, would not have brought the smile of glee, mingled with doubt, but the smile of satisfaction that God's wide heart found its exultant victory over the measly, narrow perspective of the renagade prophet. There was no shame to stifle the Biblical chuckle at the "hows" of the vindication of God's justice. Yet, what we consider humorous also appears:
 
 
For example:
 
 
*After noticing that his father-in-law Laban was not treating him as in the past, Jacob decided to flee with his family. Rachel, one of Jacob’s wives, stole her father Laban’s teraphim (statues used for idolatry and/or divination). Laban pursued them and intercepted them in the Gilead mountains (Genesis 31:30): "Why have you stolen my gods?" Laban said to Jacob. The Midrash comments that it cannot be much of a god if it can be stolen (Midrash Genesis Rabbah 74:8). Jonsson (1985, 44-45) suggests that there is humor (albeit "rough" humor) in the fact that, not only was Laban deceived, but his idols were actually underneath his daughter Rachel’s posterior while she claimed that the "manner of women" was upon her. This idol did not get much respect. [http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/economic/friedman/bibhumor.htm]
 
 
*In the Orthodox Bible, in the Epistle of Jeremiah, the prophet declares with delightful contempt the stupidity of the idols of Babylon. Their faces have to be wiped to get the dust off them. They have weapons in their hands but cannot punish anyone who offends them. They are as useless as a broken dish. Their eyes are clogged with dust from the feet of the worshippers entering to adore them. Their priests lock them up like a man who has offended the king and has been sentenced to death. Bats, swallows and birds perch on their heads, and so do cats. If they are tipped over, they cannot get up. Their priests howl and shout before them as some do at a funeral feast for a man who has died. When fire breaks out in their temples the priests run away and the idols are burned in two like logs. Robbers strip them naked and they cannot help themselves. The door of a house that protects its contents, or a wooden pillar in a palace holding up the roof is better than these useless gods. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch guarding nothing, so are these gods.
 
 
*In the book of Esther, Haman, the prime minister of King Ahasuerus of Persia who hates Mordecai the Jew and has built a gallows 50 cubits high to hang him on it, has entered the court to ask for Mordecai's death. The king, meanwhile, not being able to sleep, hears in the reading of the records that Mordecai once saved the king from assassination, and that Mordecai received no reward. The king seeks an opinion from one of his court and asks who is immediately available. Haman enters, and the king asks him what should be done to honor the man who pleases the king, and Haman thinks to himself, "Who should the king wish to honor more than me?" So he makes his recommendation, to dress the man in the king's own robes, to set a crown on his head, to set him on the king's own horse, and have the king's most noble prince conduct him throughout the city proclaiming, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor." The king then told Haman, "Quickly! Take the robes and the horse, as you said, and do it to Mordecai the Jew. Omit nothing you mentioned." When he had obeyed the king, he ran home, mourning, with his head covered.
 
 
*In the [[Acts of the Apostles]] is a serious incident which has some wonderfully slapstick comedic overtones (19:11-16). God had been doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, and even cloths that he had touched were applied to the sick and to possessed persons and they were completely cured. So some traveling Jewish [[Exorcism|exorcists]] decided to use the Name of Jesus as a ''word of power'' over people who were possessed, by saying, "I ''adjure'' you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches".<ref>[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/adjure "adjure"] (oxforddictionaries.com). See [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01142c.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: adjuration].<br/>[http://www.stubbornthings.org/authority-justice-law/ Authority, Justice, Law] (stubbornthings.org) ''the authority required to legitimately adjure''.</ref> When the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, did this, the evil spirit said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know: ''but who are you?''", and he leaped on them and beat them so badly they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
 
 
==Bible Translations==
 
The Bible has been translated many times and in many ways so anyone, from the youngest child to the most learned scholar, can read the entire scripture in their own language and at their own reading level. Early versions in the languages of their people include the Septuagint, Syriac [http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/syriacbib.html Peshitta] and [[Vulgate]], also the [http://archive.org/details/rosettaproject_arb_gen-1 Arabic], the [http://lexicity.com/coptic-biblical-texts.html Coptic], and Persic [http://www.wordproject.org/bibles/parallel/g/farsi.htm Farsi].  Here are some common English versions:
 
 
*[[American Standard Version]]
 
*[[Amplified Bible]]
 
*[[Douay-Rheims]]
 
*[[English Standard Version]]
 
*[[Good News Version]]
 
*[[King James Version]]
 
*[[Living Bible]]
 
*[[New American Standard Version]]
 
*[[New English Bible]]
 
*[[New International Version]]
 
*[[New King James Version]]
 
*[[Revised Standard Version]]
 
*[[Revised Version]]
 
*[[Septuagint]]
 
*[[Wycliffe Bible]]
 
*[[Conservative Bible]] - still a work-in-progress here at Conservapedia
 
 
==Bible versions==
 
Apart from Bibles that include the Apocrypha, ''The [[New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures]]'' is a distinct version that was produced to justify many of the unique doctrines of [[Jehovah's Witnesses]].
 
 
[[Joseph Smith]], founder of [[The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints]] also produced his own version of the Bible which was published after his death: see [http://www.help4rlds.com/pwtu/PWTUChap9.pdf Joseph Smith’s ''Inspired Version'' of the Bible pdf]
 
 
Online multiple versions are also available for comparison by entering '''Bibles online''' in the search-engine window of the computer.
 
:Simultaneous multiple versions of any one Bible verse are available at biblehub.com.
 
:A drop-down menu of a multiple selection of Bible translations and versions is available on the biblegateway.com site.
 
 
:For example: See a sample of the biblehub.com site with multilingual versions and translations of [http://biblehub.com/multi/john/3-16.htm '''John 3:16'''].
 
 
:For example: See a sample of the biblegateway.com site with drop-down menu feature: [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%203:16&version=NABRE '''John 3:16 NABRE''']
 
 
Below at External links is featured online access to several versions of the Bible in English: '''[[Bible#English]]'''
 
 
===Greek Bible online===
 
 
'''''Greek/English Bible''''' [http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/ Greek original according to the text used by the Church of Greece. English translation by L.C.L. Brenton, published side by side] Greek Septuagint and Greek New Testament
 
 
===Clementine Vulgate online===
 
 
'''''The Clementine Vulgate''''' [http://www.saintsbooks.net/books/The%20Clementine%20Vulgate%20-%20%28vulsearch.sourceforge.net%29.pdf BIBLIA SACRA JUXTA VULGATAM CLEMENTINAM EDITIO ELECTRONICA PLURIMIS CONSULTIS EDITIONIBUS DILIGENTER PRÆPARATA A MICHAELE TVVEEDALE .pdf]
 
 
===1611 Authorized Version online===
 
 
'''''Authorized Version''''' [http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/ Official King James Bible Online. original 1611 King James Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, Apocrypha]
 
 
== See also ==
 
*[[Bible exegesis]]
 
*[[Biblical Canon]]
 
*[[Christian apologetics|Evidence supporting the Bible]]
 
*[[Bible apologetics website resources]]
 
*[[Bible prophecy]]
 
*[[Biblical accuracy]]
 
*[[Famous Bible paintings]]
 
*[[Gematria]]
 
*[[Midrash]]
 
*[[Targum]]
 
*[[Pseudepigrapha]]
 
*[[Aramaic Church]]
 
*[[Judaism]]
 
*[[Essay: The Way of Salvation]]
 
*[[Essay: How to choose a Bible]]
 
*[[Conservative Bible Project]]
 
*[[Inspiration of Holy Scripture: An Eastern Christian and Jewish Perspective]]
 
*[[New Testament understanding through the Jewish perspective]]
 
*[[Messianic Prophecies]]
 
*[[Gospel reading in the Church: the Turgama]]
 
*[[Wicked Bible]]
 
*[[Badger skins (Bible)]]
 
*[[Biblical timeline]]
 
*[[Literalist Bible chronology]]
 
*[[Harmony of the Gospel (Conservative Version)]]
 
*[[Revelation, Book of (historical exegesis)]]
 
 
==External links==
 
===Bible societies ===
 
*[http://www.americanbible.org/ American Bible Society]
 
*[http://www.biblesociety.org/ United Bible Society]
 
*[http://www.ibs.org/ The International Bible Society (New York/Colorado Springs)]
 
*[http://www.wbtc.com/site/PageServer World Bible Translation Center]
 
*[http://www.wycliffe.org/home.htm Wycliffe Bible Translators]
 
*[http://www.labibliaweb.com/ La Biblia] In Spanish.
 
 
===Online, internet, and downloadable Bibles===
 
====Hebrew====
 
* [http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0.htm Hebrew-English Bible] ([[Jewish Publication Society of America|JPS]] 1917 translation; includes Hebrew audio)
 
* [http://tanakhml2.alacartejava.net/cocoon/tanakhml/d13.php2xml?sfr=1&prq=1&pnt=tru&acc=tru&dia=tru&enc=heb XML Hebrew-English (KJV) Bible]
 
* [http://www.spcm.org/english/Hebrew_OT/ Old Testament in Hebrew]
 
 
====Greek====
 
* [http://www.ccel.org/w/westcott/gnt/toc.htm Koine Greek New Testament]
 
* [http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/moderngreek/ Modern Greek Bible]
 
 
====Latin====
 
* [http://www.LatinVulgate.com/ Latin Vulgate] — Latin Vulgate with parallel Douay-Rheims and King James English translations
 
* [http://www.sacredbible.org/ SacredBible.org] — Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
 
* [http://www.spcm.org/english/Vulgate/ Jerome's Latin Vulgate (405 A.D.)]
 
 
====English====
 
* [http://www.audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html AudioBible] — Audio version of the King James Version.
 
* [http://www.blueletterbible.org/ 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.
 
* [http://www.e-sword.net E-sword] — Downloadable Bible for Windows.
 
* [http://www.onlinebible.net/ The Online Bible North America] — Downloadable Bible for Windows.
 
* [http://www.theophilos.sk/ Theophilos Bible program]
 
* [http://www.spcm.org/english/ASB/ American Standard Version].
 
* [http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/ English Standard Version] from Good News/Crossway (the publisher).
 
* [http://www.verselink.org/ King James Version with dictionary].
 
* [http://www.spcm.org/english/KJV/ King James Version].
 
* [http://www.newlivingtranslation.com New Living Translation]
 
* [http://bible.oremus.org/ New Revised Standard Version].
 
* [http://www.europepourchrist.org/biblesite/WEB/ World English Bible].
 
* [http://www.dynamicbible.com/ King James Version built using AJAX technologies], with Strongs and Greek Morphological Codes by Robinson.
 
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/index.htm#index The Hypertext Bible] with side-by-side translations in English, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew at the [[Internet Sacred Text Archive]]
 
* [http://www.biblegateway.com/ Bible Gateway at GospelCom.net] text search in any one of many translations in numerous languages.
 
* [http://www.biblereadthrough.com/ Bible Read-Through] — read through the Bible in a year aid.
 
* [http://www.TheFreeBible.com/ TheFreeBible.com] Bible software downloads
 
* [http://www.scripture4all.org/ Interlinear (word-by-word) translation of the Christian Bible] Hebrew and Koine Greek
 
* [http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/aramaic_nt_resources.htm Aramaic New Testament resources]
 
* [http://www.spcm.org/en/versions.php Over 40 versions of the Bible]
 
* [http://www.armenianchurchlibrary.com/Bibletranslationsandstudies.html Eastern and Western Armenian Bible]
 
* [http://www.bible9.com/ Online Bible (King James Version & Old Testament)]
 
* [http://www.spcm.org/LSG_FR/ Bible — Louis Segond de 1910]
 
* [http://www.latinvulgate.com/christverse.aspx Complete Sayings of Christ]
 
* [http://bible.crosswalk.com/ParallelBible/ Crosswalk.com Parallel Bible]
 
* [http://www.blueletterbible.org/search.html#verse Blue Letter Bible]
 
* [http://recoveryversion.org/ Recovery Version Bible]
 
 
====Spanish====
 
 
* [http://www.wbtc.com/site/PageServer?pagename=downloads_spanish Spanish Bible] PDT version
 
* [http://www.labibliaweb.com/cid/1 Versiones de la Biblia] In Spanish.
 
 
====Turkish====
 
* [http://www.incil.info Turkish Bible] (Turkish Old and New Testament)
 
 
====Finnish====
 
* [http://www.raamattu-kirja.com Finnish Bible] (Finnish Old and New Testament)
 
* [http://vastaus.net Raamattu] (Study Finnish Bible)
 
 
====Japanese====
 
*[http://www.ibsstl.org/bibles/japanese/index.php On-line version hosted by the International Bible Society]
 
*[http://www.bible.or.jp/e/index.html Japan Bible Society]
 
 
====Others====
 
* [http://agards-bible-timeline.com/q2_bible_english.html Bible Timeline]
 
* [http://www.myjewishlearning.com/texts/bible/TO_Torah_880.htm?OVRAW=Torah&OVKEY=torah&OVMTC=standard My Jewish Learning.com]
 
* [http://search.americanbible.org/ American Bible Society] to search NASB, KJV, CEV, ASV and others.
 
* [http://etext.virginia.edu/kjv.browse.html University of Virginia Library] KJV word proximity search.
 
* [http://www.1enormousidea.com/Default.aspx?tabid=42 Many translations in English, verse by verse]
 
* [http://www.bible-marathi.com Nava Karar] NT Translation from Greek to Marathi
 
* [http://www.bible-researcher.com/links12.html Gender-neutral Bible translations].
 
* [http://www.evangelicalbible.com/why.htm Word-for-Word vs.Thought-for-Thought translation] Outlines the difference between formal and dynamic equivalent translation philosopy.
 
* [http://www.kli.org/wiki/index.php?Klingon%20Bible%20Translation%20Project  Klingon Bible].
 
 
===Commentaries and analysis===
 
 
* [http://bibleseo.com/ Bible study topics] - Bible studies and exposition online
 
* [http://www.ldolphin.org/icc-am.html Biblical chronology] by Alan Montgomery, B.Sc.(Hon)
 
* [http://www.dinur.org/resources/resourceCategoryDisplay.aspx?categoryID=411&rsid=478 Biblical History], The Jewish History Resource Center — Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
 
* [http://www.chabad.org/article.asp?aid=63255 Judaica Press Translation] — online Jewish translation of the Tanakh.
 
* [http://www.angdatingdaan.org/biblicaltopics/bib_bible_1.htm Reading and Understanding the Bible].
 
* [http://en.bibleinfo.com/ Source for Bible Answers].
 
* [http://www.amazingfacts.org/school/af_logon.asp Amazing Facts Bible Studies].
 
* [http://www.iishj.org/images/Bible.pdf Learning Bible Today] — a historical approach the Bible.
 
* [http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/gill/ John Gill's Exposition of the Bible] — verse by verse commentary.
 
* [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc.i.html/ Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible] — unabridged.
 
*[http://www.verselink.org/ Topical References]
 
*[http://www.verselink.org/ Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedia]
 
*[http://bible.wikia.com/wiki/Bible_Wiki Bible Wiki], a database covering the people, places, books, doctrine and history of the Bible.
 
 
==Bibliography==
 
* Achtemeier, Paul J., ed. ''Harper's Bible Dictionary'' (1985), 1190pp;  mainstream scholarship
 
* Ackroyd, P.R., ed. ''The Cambridge History of the Bible: From the Beginnings to Jerome; the West from the Fathers to the Reformation; the West from the Reformation to the Present Day'' (3 vol 1978), standard summary of scholarship; [http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-History-Bible-Beginnings-Jerome/dp/0521099730/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243248143&sr=8-1 excerpt and text search vol 1]; [http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-History-Bible-Fathers-Reformation/dp/0521290171/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243248143&sr=8-2 excerpt and text search vol 2]; [http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-History-Bible-Reformation-Present/dp/0521290163/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243248143&sr=8-3 excerpt and text search vol 3]
 
* Coggins, R.J. ''Introducing the Old Testament'' (Oxford University Press: 1990), 172pp. [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=22765464 online edition]
 
* Morgan, Robert, and John Barton. ''Biblical Interpretation'' (Oxford University Press: 1988), 342 pp [http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=74356941 online edition]
 
* Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob, ed.  ''The New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible'' ('''NIDB''') (5 vol 2009), the latest mainstream scholarship
 
*Unger, Merril F. ''Unger's Bible Dictionary'', Moody Press, Chicago, IL (1966; new edition 2006); Evangelical
 
**Unger, Merril F. ''The New Unger's Bible Dictionary'', (2006); 1416pp; Evangelical
 
*Unger, Merril F. ''Unger's Bible Handbook'', Moody Press, Chicago, IL (1967);  Evangelical.
 
*Halley, Henry H. ''Halley's Bible Handbook'', Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI (1965); Evangelical
 
* Sandys-Wunsch, John. ''What Have They Done to the Bible: A History of Modern Biblical Interpretation'' (2005) Scholarly history of transations and interpretations to 1900; [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0814650287 excerpt and text search]
 
* Williamspn, Peter. ''Catholic principles for interpreting scripture: a study of the Pontifical Biblical Commission's The interpretation of the Bible in the Church'' (2001); Catholic; [http://books.google.com/books?id=kooFtFGQsfsC&dq=intitle:bible+intitle:interpretation&lr=&as_drrb_is=b&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=2000&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=30&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES excerpts and text search]
 
*Wilson, Robert D. ''A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament'', Sunday School Times, Inc, Philadelphia, PA (1926).
 
 
===Language===
 
*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.
 
*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.
 
*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.
 
 
==References==
 
<references/>
 
 
[[Category:Bible| ]]
 
[[Category:Religion]]
 
[[Category:Book of Worship]]
 
[[Category:Featured articles]]
 

Revision as of 16:49, 21 September 2017