EtymologyThe English word '':wikt:Bible, Bible'' is derived from grc-x-koine, τὰ βιβλία, translit=ta biblia, meaning "the books" (singular grc-x-koine, βιβλίον, translit=biblion, label=none). The word itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book". It is the diminutive of ''byblos'', "Egyptian papyrus", possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos (also known as Gebal) from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. By the 2nd century Common Era, BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "Religious text, scriptures" and they referred to them as "Religious text, holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ (''Kitvei hakkodesh''), and Christians now commonly call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" (in Greek , ) or "the Holy Scriptures" (, ). The Greek ''ta biblia'' (lit. "little papyrus books")Frank Stagg (theologian), Stagg, Frank. ''New Testament Theology.'' Nashville: Broadman, 1962. . was "an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books" (the Septuagint). Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer (in his ''Homilies on Matthew'', delivered between 386 and 388) to use the Greek phrase ''ta biblia'' ("the books") to describe both the Old and s together. Medieval Latin is short for ''biblia sacra'' "holy book", while ''biblia'' in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural (gen. ''bibliorum''). It gradually came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun (, gen. ) in medieval Latin, and so the word was loaned as singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe. Latin ''biblia sacra'' "holy books" translates Greek ''tà biblía tà hágia'', "the holy books".
DevelopmentThe Bible is not a single book but a collection of books, whose complex development is not completely understood. The books began as songs and stories orally transmitted from generation to generation before being written down in a process that began sometime around the start of the first millennium BCE and continued for over a thousand years. The Bible was written and compiled by many people, from a variety of disparate cultures, most of whom are unknown. British biblical scholar John K. Riches wrote: Considered to be scriptures (sacred, authoritative religious texts), the books were compiled by different religious communities into various biblical canons (official collections of scriptures). The earliest compilation, containing the first five books of the Bible and called the Torah (meaning "law", "instruction", or "teaching") or Pentateuch ("five books"), was accepted as Jewish canon by the fifth century BCE. A second collection of narrative histories and prophesies, called the Nevi'im ("prophets"), was canonized in the third century BCE. A third collection called the Ketuvim ("writings"), containing psalms, proverbs, and narrative histories, was canonized sometime between the second century BCE and the second century CE. These three collections were written mostly in Hebrew, with some parts in Aramaic, and together form the Hebrew Bible or "TaNaKh" (a portmanteau of "Torah", "Nevi'im", and "Ketuvim"). Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria and elsewhere in the Jewish diaspora considered additional scriptures, composed between 200 BCE and 100 CE and not included in the Hebrew Bible, to be canon. These additional texts were included in a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek (common Greek spoken by ordinary people) known as the Septuagint (meaning "the work of the seventy"), which began as a translation of the Torah made around 250 BCE and continued to develop for several centuries. The Septuagint contained all of the books of the Hebrew Bible, re-organized and with some textual differences, with the additional scriptures interspersed throughout. During the rise of Christianity in the first century CE, new scriptures were written in Greek about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who Christians believed was the messiah prophesized in the books of the Hebrew Bible. Two collections of these new scriptures—the Pauline epistles and the Gospels—were accepted as canon by the end of the second century CE. A third collection, the catholic epistles, were canonized over the next few centuries. Christians called these new scriptures the " ", and began referring to the Septuagint as the " Old Testament". Between 385 and 405 CE, the early Christian church translated its canon into Vulgar Latin (the common Latin spoken by ordinary people), a translation known as the Vulgate, which included in its Old Testament the books that were in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. The Vulgate introduced stability to the Bible, but also began the East-West Schism between Latin-speaking Western Christianity (led by the Catholic Church) and multi-lingual Eastern Christianity (led by the Eastern Orthodox Church). Christian denominations' biblical canons varied not only in the language of the books, but also in their selection, organization, and text. Jewish rabbis began developing a standard Hebrew Bible in the first century CE, maintained since the middle of the first millennium by the Masoretes, and called the Masoretic Text. Christians have held ecumenical councils to standardize their biblical canon since the fourth century CE. The Council of Trent (1545–63), held by the Catholic Church in response to the Protestant Reformation, authorized the Vulgate as its official Latin translation of the Bible. The Church deemed the additional books in its Old Testament that were interspersed among the Hebrew Bible books to be "Deuterocanonical books, deuterocanonical" (meaning part of a second or later canon). Protestant bibles either separated these books into a separate section called the "Apocrypha" (meaning "hidden away") between the Old and New Testaments, or omitted them altogether. The 17th century Protestant King James Version was the most ubiquitous English Bible of all time, but it has largely been superseded by modern translations.
Textual historyThe books of the Bible were written and copied by hand, initially on papyrus scrolls. No originals survive, and the oldest existing scrolls are copies that were made centuries after the books were first written. The copies contained both errors and intentional changes, resulting in different versions of the books in circulation, ultimately diverging into distinct lineages, called "text families" or "text types". Over time, the individual scrolls were gathered into collections, but these collections had different scrolls, and different versions of the same scrolls, with no standard organization. By the 3rd century CE, scrolls were supplanted by early bound books called codexes, and collections of biblical books began being copied as a set. More than 220 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947, which date between 250 BC and 100 CE, are the oldest existing copies of the books of the Hebrew Bible of any considerable length. The Qumran scrolls attest to many different biblical text types. In addition to the Qumran scrolls, there are three major biblical manuscript, manuscript witnesses (historical copies) of the Hebrew Bible: the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Existing complete copies of the Septuagint, a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, date from the third to the fifth centuries CE, with fragments dating back to the second century BCE. The Masoretic Text is a standardized version of the Hebrew Bible that began to be developed in the first century CE and has been maintained by the Masoretes since the latter half of the first millennium CE. Its oldest complete copy in existence is the Leningrad Codex, dating to c. 1000 CE. The Samaritan Pentateuch is a version of the Torah maintained by the Samaritan community since antiquity and rediscovered by European scholars in the 17th century; the oldest existing copies date to c. 1100 CE. There are about 3,000 existing New Testament manuscripts, copied between the 2nd and 17th centuries. The manuscripts include papyri, over a hundred of which have been discovered in Egypt since 1890; about 300 great uncial codices, which are vellum or parchment books written in block Greek letters, mostly dating between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE; and about 2,900 New Testament minuscule, minuscules, written in a cursive style (using connected letters) that superseded uncials beginning in the 9th century. These manuscripts differ in varying degrees from one another and are grouped according to their similarities into textual families or lineages; the four most commonly recognized are Alexandrian text-type, Alexandrian, Western text-type, Western, Caesarean text-type, Caesarean, and Byzantine text-type, Byzantine.
Hebrew BibleThe Masoretic Text is the authoritative Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible. It defines the books of the Jewish canon, and also the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their niqqud, vocalization and cantillation, accentuation. The oldest extant manuscripts of the Masoretic Text date from approximately the 9th century CE, and the Aleppo Codex (once the oldest complete copy of the Masoretic Text, but now missing its Torah section) dates from the 10th century. The term "Keter" (crown, from the Arabic, ''taj'') originally referred to this particular manuscript, Over the years, the term Keter came to refer to any full text of the Hebrew Bible, or significant portion of it, bound as a codex (not a scroll) and including vowel points, cantillation marks, and Masoretic notes. Medieval handwritten manuscripts were considered extremely precise, the most authoritative documents from which to copy other texts. The name Tanakh (Hebrew language, Hebrew: ) reflects the threefold division of the Hebrew Scriptures, Torah ("Teaching"), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings").
TorahThe Torah (תּוֹרָה) is also known as the "Five Books of Moses" or the Pentateuch, meaning "five scroll-cases". Traditionally these books were considered to have been Mosaic authorship, written almost entirely by Moses himself."Pentateuch". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005 In the 19th century, Julius Wellhausen and other scholars proposed that the Torah had been compiled from earlier written documents dating from the 9th to the 5th century BCE, the "documentary hypothesis". Scholars Hermann Gunkel and Martin Noth, building on the form criticism of Gerhard von Rad, refined this hypothesis, while other scholars have proposed other ways that the Torah might have developed over the centuries. The Hebrew names of the books are derived from the Incipit, first words in the respective texts. The Torah consists of the following five books: * Book of Genesis, Genesis, ''Beresheeth'' (בראשית) * Book of Exodus, Exodus, ''Shemot'' (שמות) * Book of Leviticus, Leviticus, ''Vayikra'' (ויקרא) * Book of Numbers, Numbers, ''Bamidbar'' (במדבר) * Book of Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy, ''Devarim'' (דברים) The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide accounts of the Genesis creation narrative, creation (or ordering) of the world and the history of God's early relationship with humanity. The remaining thirty-nine chapters of Genesis provide an account of God's biblical covenant, covenant with the Patriarchs (Bible), biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel (name), Israel) and Jacob's children, the "Children of Israel", especially Joseph (Hebrew Bible), Joseph. It tells of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home in the city of Ur of the Chaldees, Ur, eventually to settle in the land of Canaan, and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt. The remaining four books of the Torah tell the story of Moses, who lived hundreds of years after the patriarchs. He leads the Children of Israel from slavery in ancient Egypt to the renewal of their covenant with God at biblical Mount Sinai and their wanderings in the desert until a new generation was ready to enter the land of Canaan. The Torah ends with the death of Moses. The commandments in the Torah provide the basis for Halakha, Jewish religious law. Tradition states that there are 613 commandments (''taryag mitzvot'').
Nevi'im''Nevi'im'' ( he, נְבִיאִים, translit=Nəḇî'îm, "Prophets") is the second main division of the Tanakh, between the ''Torah'' and ''Ketuvim.'' It contains two sub-groups, the Former Prophets ( , the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets ( , the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets). The Nevi'im tell the story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), ancient Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah, focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites, specifically, struggles between believers in "the God" (Yahweh) and believers in foreign gods, and the criticism of unethical and unjust behaviour of Israelite elites and rulers; in which prophets played a crucial and leading role. It ends with the conquest of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians followed by the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah by the Babylonians and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Former ProphetsThe Former Prophets are the books Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. They contain narratives that begin immediately after the death of Moses with the divine appointment of Joshua as his successor, who then leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land, and end with the release from imprisonment of the last king of Judah. Treating Samuel and Kings as single books, they cover: * Joshua's conquest of the land of Canaan (in the Book of Joshua), * the struggle of the people to possess the land (in the Book of Judges), * the people's request to God to give them a king so that they can occupy the land in the face of their enemies (in the Books of Samuel) * the possession of the land under the divinely appointed kings of the House of David, ending in conquest and foreign exile (Books of Kings)
Latter ProphetsThe Latter Prophets are divided into two groups, the "major" prophets, Book of Isaiah, Isaiah, Book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah, Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel, Book of Daniel, Daniel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets, collected into a single book. The collection is broken up to form twelve individual books in the Christian Old Testament, one for each of the prophets: * Book of Hosea, Hosea, ''Hoshea'' (הושע) * Book of Joel, Joel, ''Yoel'' (יואל) * Book of Amos, Amos, ''Amos'' (עמוס) * Book of Obadiah, Obadiah, ''Ovadyah'' (עבדיה) * Book of Jonah, Jonah, ''Yonah'' (יונה) * Book of Micah, Micah, ''Mikhah'' (מיכה) * Book of Nahum, Nahum, ''Nahum'' (נחום) * Book of Habakkuk, Habakkuk, ''Havakuk'' (חבקוק) * Book of Zephaniah, Zephaniah, ''Tsefanya'' (צפניה) * Book of Haggai, Haggai, ''Khagay'' (חגי) * Book of Zechariah, Zechariah, ''Zekharyah'' (זכריה) * Book of Malachi, Malachi, ''Malakhi'' (מלאכי)
Ketuvim''Ketuvim'' or ''Kəṯûḇîm'' (in hbo, כְּתוּבִים "writings") is the third and final section of the Tanakh. The Ketuvim are believed to have been written under the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) but with one level less authority than that of prophecy.
The poetic booksIn Masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their Biblical poetry, poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as ''Sifrei Emet'' (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields ''Emet'' אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth"). These three books are also the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system.
The five scrolls (''Hamesh Megillot'')The five relatively short books of Song of Songs, Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Book of Esther are collectively known as the ''Hamesh Megillot'' (Five Megillot). These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon even though they were not complete until the 2nd century CE.Coogan, Michael D. ''A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: the Hebrew Bible in its Context.'' Oxford University Press. 2009; p. 5
Other booksBesides the three poetic books and the five scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim are Book of Daniel, Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics: * Their narratives all openly describe relatively late events (i.e., the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion). * The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them. * Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in the Tanakh with significant portions in Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic.
Order of the booksThe following list presents the books of Ketuvim in the order they appear in most printed editions. It also divides them into three subgroups based on the distinctiveness of ''Sifrei Emet'' and ''Hamesh Megillot''. The Three Poetic Books (''Sifrei Emet'') * ''Tehillim'' (Psalms) תְהִלִּים * ''Mishlei'' (Book of Proverbs) מִשְלֵי * ''Iyyôbh'' (Book of Job) אִיּוֹב The Five Megillot (''Hamesh Megillot'') * ''Shīr Hashshīrīm'' (Song of Songs) or (Song of Solomon) שִׁיר הַשִׁירִים (Passover) * ''Rūth'' (Book of Ruth) רוּת (Shābhû‘ôth) * ''Eikhah'' (Book of Lamentations, Lamentations) איכה (Ninth of Av) [Also called ''Kinnot'' in Hebrew.] * ''Qōheleth'' (Ecclesiastes) קהלת (Sukkôth) * ''Estēr'' (Book of Esther) אֶסְתֵר (Pûrîm) Other books * ''Dānî’ēl'' (Book of Daniel) דָּנִיֵּאל * ''‘Ezrā'' (Book of Ezra–Book of Nehemiah) עזרא * ''Divrei ha-Yamim'' (Books of Chronicles, Chronicles) דברי הימים The Jewish textual tradition never finalized the order of the books in Ketuvim. The Talmud, Babylonian Talmud (Bava Batra 14b–15a) gives their order as Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles. In Tiberian Masoretic codices, including the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, and often in old Spanish manuscripts as well, the order is Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra.
CanonizationThe Ketuvim is the last of the three portions of the Tanakh to have been accepted as biblical canon. While the Torah may have been considered canon by Israel as early as the 5th century BCE and the Former Prophets, Former and Latter Prophets were canonized by the 2nd century BCE, the Ketuvim was not a fixed canon until the 2nd century of the Common Era. Evidence suggests, however, that the people of Israel were adding what would become the Ketuvim to their holy literature shortly after the canonization of the prophets. As early as 132 BCE references suggest that the Ketuvim was starting to take shape, although it lacked a formal title. References in the four Gospels as well as other books of the New Testament indicate that many of these texts were both commonly known and counted as having some degree of religious authority early in the 1st century CE. Many scholars believe that the limits of the Ketuvim as canonized scripture were determined by the Council of Jamnia c. 90 CE. ''Against Apion'', the writing of Flavius Josephus, Josephus in 95 CE, treated the text of the Hebrew Bible as a closed canon to which "... no one has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable..." For a long time following this date the divine inspiration of Esther, the Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes was often under scrutiny.
Original languagesThe Tanakh was mainly written in biblical Hebrew, with some small portions (Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26, Jeremiah 10:11, Daniel 2:4–7:28) written in biblical Aramaic, a sister language which became the ''lingua franca'' for much of the Semitic world.Sir Godfrey Driver. "Introduction to the Old Testament of the New English Bible." Web: 30 November 2009
Samaritan PentateuchSamaritans include only the Pentateuch in their biblical canon. They do not recognize Authorship of the Bible#Divine authorship, divine authorship or Biblical inspiration, inspiration in any other book in the Jewish Tanakh. A Book of Joshua (Samaritan), Samaritan Book of Joshua partly based upon the Tanakh's Book of Joshua exists, but Samaritans regard it as a non-canonical secular historical chronicle.
SeptuagintThe Septuagint, or the LXX, is a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures and some related texts into Koine Greek, begun in the late 3rd century BCE and completed by 132 BCE, initially in Alexandria, but in time it was completed elsewhere as well. It is not altogether clear which was translated when, or where; some may even have been translated twice, into different versions, and then revised. As the work of translation progressed, the canon of the Septuagint expanded. The Torah always maintained its pre-eminence as the basis of the canon but the collection of prophetic writings, based on the ''Nevi'im'', had various hagiographa, hagiographical works incorporated into it. In addition, some newer books were included in the Septuagint, among these are the Books of the Maccabees, Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach. However, the book of Sirach, is now known to have existed in a Hebrew version, since ancient Hebrew manuscripts of it were rediscovered in modern times. The Septuagint version of some Biblical books, like Book of Daniel, Daniel and Book of Esther, Esther, are longer than those in the Jewish canon. Some of these deuterocanonical books (e.g. the Book of Wisdom, Wisdom of Solomon, and the 2 Maccabees, second book of Maccabees) were not translated, but composed directly in Greek. Since Late Antiquity, once attributed to a hypothetical late 1st-century Council of Jamnia#Developments attributed to Jamnia, Council of Jamnia, mainstream Rabbinic Judaism rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts. Several reasons have been given for this. First, some mistranslations were claimed. Second, the Hebrew source texts used for the Septuagint differed from the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts, which was chosen as canonical by the Jewish rabbis. Third, the rabbis wanted to distinguish their tradition from the newly emerging tradition of Christianity."[...] die griechische Bibelübersetzung, die einem innerjüdischen Bedürfnis entsprang [...] [von den] Rabbinen zuerst gerühmt (.) Später jedoch, als manche ungenaue Übertragung des hebräischen Textes in der Septuaginta und Übersetzungsfehler die Grundlage für hellenistische Irrlehren abgaben, lehte man die Septuaginta ab." Verband der Deutschen Juden (Hrsg.), neu hrsg. von Walter Homolka, Walter Jacob, Tovia Ben Chorin: Die Lehren des Judentums nach den Quellen; München, Knesebeck, 1999, Bd.3, S. 43ff Finally, the rabbis claimed a divine authority for the Hebrew language, in contrast to Aramaic or Greek – even though these languages were the ''lingua franca'' of Jews during this period (and Aramaic would eventually be given a holy language status comparable to Hebrew). The Septuagint is the basis for the Vetus Latina, Old Latin, Old Church Slavonic language, Slavonic, Syro-hexaplar version, Syriac, Old Armenian language, Armenian, Old Georgian language, Georgian and Coptic language, Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament.Ernst Würthwein, ''The Text of the Old Testament'', trans. Errol F. Rhodes, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. Eerdmans, 1995. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches use most of the books of the Septuagint, while Protestant churches usually do not. After the Protestant Reformation, many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon and exclude the additional texts, which came to be called biblical apocrypha. The Apocrypha are included under a separate heading in the Authorized King James Version, King James Version of the Bible, the basis for the Revised Standard Version.
Incorporations from TheodotionIn most ancient copies of the Bible which contain the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, the Book of Daniel is not the original Septuagint version, but instead is a copy of Theodotion's translation from the Hebrew, which more closely resembles the Masoretic Text. The original Septuagint version was discarded in favour of Theodotion's version in the 2nd to 3rd centuries CE. In Greek-speaking areas, this happened near the end of the 2nd century, and in Latin-speaking areas (at least in North Africa), it occurred in the middle of the 3rd century. History does not record the reason for this, and St. Jerome reports, in the preface to the Vulgate version of Daniel, "This thing 'just' happened." One of two Old Greek texts of the Book of Daniel has been recently rediscovered and work is ongoing in reconstructing the original form of the book.Jennifer M. Dines, ''The Septuagint'', Michael A. Knibb, Ed., London: T&T Clark, 2004. The canonical Ezra–Nehemiah is known in the Septuagint as "Esdras B", and 1 Esdras is "Esdras A". 1 Esdras is a very similar text to the books of Ezra–Nehemiah, and the two are widely thought by scholars to be derived from the same original text. It has been proposed, and is thought highly likely by scholars, that "Esdras B" – the canonical Ezra–Nehemiah – is Theodotion's version of this material, and "Esdras A" is the version which was previously in the Septuagint on its own.
Final formSome texts are found in the Septuagint but are not present in the Hebrew. These additional books are Book of Tobit, Tobit, Judith, Book of Wisdom, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach, Book of Baruch, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah (which later became chapter 6 of Baruch in the Vulgate), additions to Daniel (The Prayer of Azariah, The Prayer of Azarias, the The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children, Song of the Three Children, Susanna (Book of Daniel), Susanna and Bel and the Dragon), additions to Book of Esther, Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Book of Odes (Bible), Odes, including the Prayer of Manasseh, the Psalms of Solomon, and Psalm 151. Some books that are set apart in the Masoretic Text are grouped together. For example, the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings are in the LXX one book in four parts called Βασιλειῶν ("Of Reigns"). In LXX, the Books of Chronicles supplement Reigns and it is called ''Paralipomenon'' (Παραλειπομένων – things left out). The Septuagint organizes the minor prophets as twelve parts of one Book of Twelve.
Christian BiblesA Christian Bible is a set of books that a Christian denomination regards as Biblical inspiration, divinely inspired and thus constituting Religious text, scripture. Although the Early Christianity, Early Church primarily used the Septuagint or the Targums among Aramaic speakers, the Apostles in Christianity, apostles did not leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead the canon of the New Testament Development of the New Testament canon, developed over time. Groups within Christianity include differing books as part of their sacred writings, most prominent among which are the biblical apocrypha or deuterocanonical books. Significant versions of the Christian Bible in English language, English include the Douay-Rheims Bible, the Authorized King James Version, the Revised Version, the American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the New King James Version, the New International Version, the New American Bible, and the English Standard Version.
Old TestamentThe books which make up the Christian Old Testament differ between the Catholic (see Catholic Bible), Orthodox, and Protestant (see Protestant Bible) churches, with the Protestant movement accepting only those books contained in the Hebrew Bible, while Catholic and Orthodox traditions have wider canons. A few groups consider particular translations to be divinely inspired, notably the Greek Septuagint and the Aramaic Peshitta. The Old Testament consists of many distinct books produced over a period of centuries: The first five books – Book of Genesis, Genesis, Book of Exodus, Exodus, Leviticus, book of Numbers and Deuteronomy – reached their present form in the Yehud Medinata, Persian period (538–332 BC), and their authors were the elite of exilic returnees who controlled the Second Temple, Temple at that time. The books of Book of Joshua, Joshua, Book of Judges, Judges, Books of Samuel, Samuel and Books of Kings, Kings follow, forming a history of Israel from the Conquest of Canaan to the Siege of Jerusalem (587 BC), Siege of Jerusalem c. 587 BC. These history books make up around half the total content of the Old Testament. Of the remainder, the books of the various prophets – Book of Isaiah, Isaiah, Book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah, Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel, and the twelve "minor prophets" – were written between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, with the exceptions of Book of Jonah, Jonah and Book of Daniel, Daniel, which were written much later. The "wisdom" books – Book of Job, Job, Book of Proverbs, Proverbs, Book of Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes, Book of Psalms, Psalms, Book of Song of Solomon, Song of Solomon – have various dates: Proverbs possibly was completed by the Hellenistic time (332–198 BC), though containing much older material as well; Job completed by the 6th century BC; Ecclesiastes by the 3rd century BC.
Apocryphal or deuterocanonical booksIn Eastern Christianity, translations based on the Septuagint still prevail. The Septuagint was generally abandoned in favour of the 10th-century Masoretic Text as the basis for translations of the Old Testament into Western world, Western languages. Some modern Western translations since the Wycliffe's Bible, 14th century make use of the Septuagint to clarify passages in the Masoretic Text, where the Septuagint may preserve a variant reading of the Hebrew text. They also sometimes adopt variants that appear in other texts, e.g., those discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. A number of books which are part of the Syriac versions of the Bible, Peshitta or the Greek Septuagint but are not found in the Hebrew Bible (i.e., among the protocanonical books) are often referred to as deuterocanonical books by Roman Catholics referring to a later secondary (i.e., deutero) canon, that canon as fixed definitively by the Council of Trent 1545–1563. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if Jeremiah and Lamentations are counted as one) and 27 for the New. Most Protestants term these books as apocrypha. Modern Protestantism, Protestant traditions do not accept the deuterocanonical books as canonical, although Protestant Bibles included them in Apocrypha sections until the 1820s. However, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches include these books as part of their Old Testament. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes: * Book of Tobit, Tobit * Book of Judith, Judith * 1 Maccabees * 2 Maccabees * Book of Wisdom, Wisdom * Wisdom of Sirach, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus) * Book of Baruch, Baruch * The Letter of Jeremiah (Book of Baruch, Baruch Chapter 6) * Additions to Esther, Greek Additions to Esther (Book of Esther, chapters 10:4–12:6) * The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children ''verses 1–68'' (Book of Daniel, chapter 3, verses 24–90) * Susanna (Book of Daniel), Susanna (Book of Daniel, chapter 13) * Bel and the Dragon (Book of Daniel, chapter 14) In addition to those, the Greek Orthodox Church, Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches recognize the following: * 3 Maccabees * 1 Esdras * Prayer of Manasseh * Psalm 151 Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches include: * 2 Esdras i.e., Latin Esdras in the Russian and Georgian Bibles There is also 4 Maccabees which is only accepted as canonical in the Georgian Orthodox Church, Georgian Church, but was included by St. Jerome in an appendix to the Vulgate, and is an appendix to the Greek Orthodox Bible, and it is therefore sometimes included in collections of the Apocrypha. The Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Orthodox tradition includes: * Psalms 152–155, Psalms 151–155 * The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, Apocalypse of Baruch * 2 Baruch#The Letter of Baruch, The Letter of Baruch The Ethiopian Biblical canon includes: * Jubilees * Book of Enoch, Enoch * Meqabyan, 1–3 Meqabyan and some other books. The Anglican Church uses some of the Deuterocanonical books, Apocryphal books liturgically, though rarely and with alternative reading available. Therefore, editions of the Bible intended for use in the Anglican Church may include the Deuterocanonical books accepted by the Catholic Church, plus 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh, which were in the Vulgate appendix.
Pseudepigraphal booksThe term pseudepigrapha commonly describes numerous works of Jewish religious literature written from about 300 BCE to 300 CE. Not all of these works are actually pseudepigraphical. It also refers to books of the New Testament canon whose authorship is misrepresented. The Old Testament pseudepigraphal works include the following:Stephen L Harris, Harris, Stephen L., ''Understanding the Bible''. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. * 3 Maccabees * 4 Maccabees * Assumption of Moses * Ethiopic Book of Enoch (1 Enoch) * Slavonic Second Book of Enoch, Book of Enoch (2 Enoch) * Hebrew 3 Enoch, Book of Enoch (3 Enoch) (also known as "The Revelation of Metatron" or "The Book of Rabbi Ishmael the High Priest") * Book of Jubilees * Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (2 Baruch) * Letter of Aristeas (Letter to Philocrates regarding the translating of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek) * Life of Adam and Eve * Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah * Psalms of Solomon * Sibylline Oracles * Greek Apocalypse of Baruch (3 Baruch) * Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
= Book of Enoch= Notable pseudepigraphal works include the Books of Enoch (such as 1 Enoch, Second Book of Enoch, 2 Enoch, surviving only in Old Church Slavonic, Old Slavonic, and 3 Enoch, surviving in Hebrew language, Hebrew, c. 5th to 6th century CE). These are ancient Jewish religious works, traditionally ascribed to the prophet Enoch (Biblical figure), Enoch, the great-grandfather of the patriarch Noah. They are not part of the biblical canon used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel. Most Christian denominations and traditions may accept the Books of Enoch as having some historical or theological interest or significance. It has been observed that part of the Book of Enoch is quoted in the Epistle of Jude (part of the New Testament) but Christian denominations generally regard the Books of Enoch as non-canonical or non-inspired. However, the Enoch books are treated as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) are estimated to date from about 300 BCE, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably was composed at the end of the 1st century BCE.
= Denominational views of pseudepigrapha= There arose in some Protestant biblical scholarship an extended use of the term ''pseudepigrapha'' for works that appeared as though they ought to be part of the biblical canon, because of the authorship ascribed to them, but which stood outside both the biblical canons recognized by Protestants and Catholics. These works were also outside the particular set of books that Roman Catholics called ''deuterocanonical'' and to which Protestants had generally applied the term Apocryphal. Accordingly, the term ''pseudepigraphical'', as now used often among both Protestants and Roman Catholics (allegedly for the clarity it brings to the discussion), may make it difficult to discuss questions of pseudepigraphical authorship of canonical books dispassionately with a lay audience. To confuse the matter further, Eastern Orthodox Christians accept books as canonical that Roman Catholics and most Protestant denominations consider pseudepigraphical or at best of much less authority. There exist also churches that reject some of the books that Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants accept. The same is true of some Jewish denominations, Jewish sects. Many works that are apocryphal are otherwise considered genuine.
Role of the Old Testament in Christian theologyThe Old Testament has always been central to the life of the Christian church. Bible scholar N.T. Wright says "Jesus himself was profoundly shaped by the scriptures." He adds that the earliest Christians also searched those same Hebrew scriptures in their effort to understand the earthly life of Jesus. They regarded the "holy writings" of the Israelites as necessary and instructive for the Christian, as seen from Paul's words to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:15), and as pointing to the Messiah, and as having reached a climactic fulfilment in Jesus himself, generating the "new covenant" prophesied by Jeremiah.
New TestamentThe New Testament is the name given to the second and final portion of the Christian Bible. Jesus in Christianity, Jesus is its central figure. The term "New Testament" came into use in the second century during a controversy among Christians over whether the Hebrew Bible should be included with the Christian writings as sacred scripture. The New Testament presupposes the inspiration of the Old Testament. Some other works which were widely read by early churches were excluded from the New Testament and relegated to the collections known as the Apostolic Fathers (generally considered orthodox) and the New Testament Apocrypha (including both orthodox and heretical works). The New Testament is a collection of 27 books of 4 different genres of Christian literature (Gospels, one account of the Acts of the Apostles, Epistles and an Apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse). These books can be grouped into: Gospel, The Gospels * Synoptic Gospels ** Gospel of Matthew, Gospel According to Matthew ** Gospel of Mark, Gospel According to Mark ** Gospel of Luke, Gospel According to Luke * Gospel of John, Gospel According to John Acts of the Apostles (genre), Narrative literature, account and history of the Apostolic age * Acts of the Apostles Pauline Epistles * Epistle to the Romans * First Epistle to the Corinthians * Second Epistle to the Corinthians * Epistle to the Galatians * Epistle to the Ephesians * Epistle to the Philippians * Epistle to the Colossians * First Epistle to the Thessalonians * Second Epistle to the Thessalonians Pastoral epistles * First Epistle to Timothy * Second Epistle to Timothy * Epistle to Titus * Epistle to Philemon * Epistle to the Hebrews General epistles, also called catholic 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 Apocalyptic literature, also called Prophetical * Book of Revelation, Revelation, or the Apocalypse The New Testament books are ordered differently in the Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant tradition, the Slavonic translations of the Bible, Slavonic tradition, the Syriac versions of the Bible, Syriac tradition and the Ethiopian tradition.
Original languageThe mainstream consensus is that the New Testament was written in a form of Koine Greek, which was the lingua franca, common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BCE) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600).
Historic editionsThe original autographs, that is, the original Greek writings and Biblical manuscript, manuscripts written by the original authors of the New Testament, have not survived. But historically ''copies'' exist of those original autographs, transmitted and preserved in a number of Bible manuscript#Textual criticism, manuscript traditions. There have been some minor variations, additions or omissions, in some of the texts. When ancient scribes copied earlier books, they sometimes wrote notes on the margins of the page (''Glosses to the Bible#Glosses as marginal notes, marginal glosses'') to correct their text – especially if a scribe accidentally omitted a word or line – and to comment about the text. When later scribes were copying the copy, they were sometimes uncertain if a note was intended to be included as part of the text. The three main textual traditions of the Greek New Testament are sometimes called the Alexandrian text-type (generally biblical minimalism, minimalist), the Byzantine text-type (generally biblical maximalism, maximalist), and the Western text-type (occasionally wild). Together they comprise most of the ancient manuscripts.
Development of the Christian canonsThe Old Testament canon entered into Christian use in the Greek Septuagint translations and original books, and their differing lists of texts. In addition to the Septuagint, Christianity subsequently added various writings that would become the New Testament. Somewhat different lists of accepted works continued to develop in antiquity. In the 4th century a series of synods produced a list of texts equal to the 39, 46, 51, or 54-book canon of the Old Testament and to the 27-book canon of the New Testament that would be subsequently used to today, most notably the Synod of Hippo in 393 CE. Also ''c''. 400, Jerome produced a definitive Latin edition of the Bible (see Vulgate), the canon of which, at the insistence of the Pope, was in accord with the earlier Synods. With the benefit of hindsight, it can be said that this process effectively set the New Testament canon, although there are examples of other canonical lists in use after this time. The Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canon – the number of books (though not the content) varies from the Jewish Tanakh only because of a different method of division – while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books (51 books with some books combined into 46 books) as the canonical Old Testament. The Eastern Orthodox Churches recognize 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151 in addition to the Catholic canon. Some include 2 Esdras. The Anglican Church also recognizes a longer canon. The term "Hebrew Scriptures" is often used as being synonymous with the Protestant Old Testament, since the surviving scriptures in Hebrew include only those books, while Catholics and Orthodox include additional texts that have not survived in Hebrew. Both Catholics and Protestants (as well as Greek Orthodox) have the same 27-book New Testament Canon. The New Testament writers assumed the inspiration of the Old Testament, probably earliest stated in , "All scripture is given by inspiration of God". Some denominations have Religious text#Additional scriptures, additional canonical holy scriptures beyond the Bible, including the standard works of the Latter Day Saints movement and ''Divine Principle'' in the Unification Church.
Ethiopian Orthodox canonThe Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is wider than the canons used by most other Christian churches. There are 81 books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. The Ethiopian Old Testament Canon includes the books found in the Septuagint accepted by other Orthodox Christians, in addition to Book of Enoch, Enoch and Jubilees which are ancient Jewish books that only survived in Ge'ez language, Ge'ez but are quoted in the New Testament, also Greek Ezra 1 Esdras, First and the Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra, Apocalypse of Ezra, 3 books of Meqabyan, and Psalm 151 at the end of the Psalter. The three books of Meqabyan are not to be confused with the books of Maccabees. The order of the other books is somewhat different from other groups', as well. The Old Testament follows the Septuagint order for the Minor Prophets rather than the Jewish order.
PeshittaThe Peshitta ( syc, ܦܫܺܝܛܬܳܐ ''or'' ') is the standard version of the Bible for churches in the Syriac Christianity, Syriac tradition. The consensus within biblical scholarship, although not universal, is that the Old Testament of the Peshitta was translated into Syriac language, Syriac from biblical Hebrew, probably in the 2nd century AD, and that the of the Peshitta was translated from the Greek. This New Testament, originally excluding certain Antilegomena, disputed books (2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Epistle of Jude, Jude, Book of Revelation, Revelation), had become a standard by the early 5th century. The five excluded books were added in the Harklean Version (616 AD) of Thomas of Harqel.
Divine inspirationThe Second Epistle to Timothy says that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". () Various related but distinguishable views on divine inspiration include: * the view of the Bible as the inspired word of God: the belief that God, through the Holy Spirit, intervened and influenced the words, message, and collation of the Bible * the view that the Bible is also Biblical infallibility, infallible, and incapable of error in matters of faith and practice, but not necessarily in historic or scientific matters * the view that the Bible represents the biblical inerrancy, inerrant word of God, without error in any aspect, spoken by God and written down in its perfect form by humans Within these broad beliefs many schools of hermeneutics operate. "Bible scholars claim that discussions about the Bible must be put into its context within church history and then into the context of contemporary culture." Christian fundamentalism, Fundamentalist Christians are associated with the doctrine of biblical literalism, where the Bible is not only inerrant, but the meaning of the text is clear to the average reader. Jewish antiquity attests to belief in sacred texts,Josephus, ''Contra Apion'' 1.8. and a similar belief emerges in the earliest of Christian writings. Various texts of the Bible mention divine agency in relation to its writings. In their book ''A General Introduction to the Bible'', Norman Geisler and William Nix write: "The process of inspiration is a mystery of the providence of God, but the result of this process is a verbal, plenary, inerrant, and authoritative record." Most evangelical biblical scholars associate inspiration with only the original text; for example some American Protestants adhere to the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy which asserted that inspiration applied only to the autographic text of Scripture. Among adherents of Biblical literalism, a minority, such as followers of the King-James-Only Movement, extend the claim of inerrancy only to a particular version.
Versions and translationsThe original texts of the Tanakh were almost entirely written in Hebrew; about one per cent is written in Aramaic. In addition to the authoritative Masoretic Text, Jews still refer to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and the Targum Onkelos, an Aramaic version of the Bible. There are several different ancient versions of the Tanakh in Hebrew, mostly differing by spelling, and the traditional Jewish version is based on the version known as Aleppo Codex. Even in this version there are words which are traditionally read differently from written, because the oral tradition is considered more fundamental than the written one, and presumably mistakes had been made in copying the text over the generations. The primary biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint. In addition, they translated the Hebrew Bible into several other languages. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic language, Coptic, Ge'ez language, Ethiopic, and Latin, among other languages. The Latin translations were historically the most important for the Church in the West, while the Greek-speaking East continued to use the Septuagint translations of the Old Testament and had no need to translate the New Testament. The earliest Latin translation was the Old Latin text, or ''Vetus Latina'', which, from internal evidence, seems to have been made by several authors over a period of time. It was based on the Septuagint, and thus included books not in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Latin Decretum Gelasianum (also known as the Gelasian Decree), thought to be of a 6th-century document of uncertain authorship and of pseudepigraphal papal authority (variously ascribed to Pope Gelasius I, Pope Damasus I, or Pope Hormisdas) but reflecting the views of the Roman Church by that period, the Council of Rome in 382 AD under Pope Damasus I (366–383) assembled a list of books of the Bible. Damasus commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Vulgate, Latin Vulgate Bible, in the fourth century AD (although Jerome expressed in his prologues to most Biblical apocrypha, ''deuterocanonical'' books that they were non- canonical). In 1546, at the Council of Trent, Jerome's Vulgate translation was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only authentic and official Bible in the Latin Church. Since the Protestant Reformation, Bible translations for many languages have been made. The Bible continues to be translated to new languages, largely by Christian organizations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, New Tribes Mission and Bible society, Bible societies.
ViewsJohn Riches, professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, provides the following view of the diverse historical influences of the Bible:
Other religionsIn Islam, the Bible is held to reflect true unfolding revelation from God in Islam, God; but revelation which had been corrupted or distorted (in Arabic: ''tahrif''); which necessitated the giving of the Qur'an to the Prophets of Islam, Islamic prophet, Muhammad, to correct this deviation. Members of other religions may also seek inspiration from the Bible. For example, Rastafaris view the Bible as essential to their religion and Unitarian Universalism, Unitarian Universalists view it as "one of many important religious texts".
Biblical studiesBiblical criticism refers to the investigation of the Bible as a text, and addresses questions such as authorship, dates of composition, and authorial intention. It is not the same as criticism of the Bible, which is an assertion against the Bible being a source of information or ethical guidance, or observations that the Bible may have translation errors.
Higher criticismIn the 17th century, Thomas Hobbes collected the current evidence to conclude outright that Moses could not have written the bulk of the Torah. Shortly afterwards the philosopher Baruch Spinoza published a unified critical analysis, arguing that the problematic passages were not isolated cases that could be explained away one by one, but pervasive throughout the five books, concluding that it was "clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses ..."
Archaeological and historical researchBiblical archaeology is the archaeology that relates to and sheds light upon the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Greek Scriptures (or the New Testament). It is used to help determine the lifestyle and practices of people living in biblical times. There are a wide range of interpretations in the field of biblical archaeology. One broad division includes biblical maximalism which generally takes the view that most of the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible is based on history although it is presented through the religious viewpoint of its time. It is considered to be the opposite of biblical minimalism which considers the Bible to be a purely post-exilic (5th century BCE and later) composition. Even among those scholars who adhere to biblical minimalism, the Bible is a historical document containing first-hand information on the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic and Roman eras, and there is universal scholarly consensus that the events of the 6th century BCE Babylonian captivity have a basis in history. The historicity of the biblical account of the history of ancient Israel and Judah of the 10th to 7th centuries BCE is disputed in scholarship. The biblical account of the 8th to 7th centuries BCE is widely, but not universally, accepted as historical, while the verdict on the earliest period of the United Monarchy (10th century BCE) and the historicity of David is unclear. Archaeological evidence providing information on this period, such as the Tel Dan Stele, can potentially be decisive. The biblical account of events of the Exodus from Egypt in the Torah, and the migration to the Promised Land and the period of Biblical judges, Judges are not considered historical in scholarship.
Bible museums* The Dunham Bible Museum is located in Houston, Texas, Houston, Texas. It is known for its collection of rare Bibles from around the world and for having many different Bibles of various languages. * The Museum of the Bible opened in Washington, D.C. in November 2017. The museum states that its intent is to "share the historical relevance and significance of the sacred scriptures in a nonsectarian way", but this has been questioned. * The Bible Museum in St Arnaud, Victoria, Australia opened in 2009. As of 2020, it is closed for relocation. * There is a Bible Museum at ''Passion Play#United States, The Great Passion Play'' in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. * The Bible Museum on the Square in Collierville, Tennessee opened in 1997. * Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe, Louisiana includes a Bible Museum.
IllustrationsThe grandest medieval Bibles were illuminated manuscripts in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders (marginalia) and Miniature (illuminated manuscript), miniature illustrations. Up to the twelfth century, most manuscripts were produced in monasteries in order to add to the library or after receiving a Commission (art), commission from a wealthy patron. Larger monasteries often contained separate areas for the monks who specialized in the production of manuscripts called a scriptorium, where "separate little rooms were assigned to book copying; they were situated in such a way that each scribe had to himself a window open to the cloister walk."Putnam A.M., Geo. Haven. Books and Their Makers During The Middle Ages. Vol. 1. New York: Hillary House, 1962. Print. By the fourteenth century, the cloisters of monks writing in the scriptorium started to employ laybrothers from the urban scriptoria, especially in Paris, Rome and the Netherlands. Demand for manuscripts grew to an extent that the Monastic libraries were unable to meet with the demand, and began employing secular scribes and illuminators. These individuals often lived close to the monastery and, in certain instances, dressed as monks whenever they entered the monastery, but were allowed to leave at the end of the day. The manuscript was "sent to the rubricator, who added (in red or other colours) the titles, headlines, the initials of chapters and sections, the notes and so on; and then – if the book was to be illustrated – it was sent to the illuminator." In the case of manuscripts that were sold commercially, the writing would "undoubtedly have been discussed initially between the patron and the scribe (or the scribe's agent,) but by the time that the written gathering were sent off to the illuminator there was no longer any scope for innovation."
See also* * Bible box * Bible case * Bible paper * Biblical software * Code of Hammurabi * Family Bible (book) * International Bible Contest * List of major biblical figures * List of nations mentioned in the Bible * Outline of Bible-related topics * Theodicy and the Bible * Typology (theology), Typology – incorporating approaches to Biblical symbolism
Works cited* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Further reading* Bernhard Anderson, Anderson, Bernhard W. ''Understanding the Old Testament''. . * Isaac Asimov, Asimov, Isaac. ''Asimov's Guide to the Bible''. New York: Avenel Books, 1981. . * Adele Berlin, Berlin, Adele, Marc Zvi Brettler and Michael Fishbane