History Of The Holy Bible (Christian Scriptures).

History Of The Holy Bible (Christian Scriptures).

History Of The Holy Bible (Christian Scriptures).

The Bible (from Koine Greek) is a collection of religious books or scriptures revered by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and others. The biblical canon is a collection of texts that are considered part of the Bible by a certain religious tradition or society.

The Torah is made up of the initial letters of the three portions of the Hebrew Bible: the Torah (“Teaching”), the Nevi’im (“Prophets”), and the Ketuvim (“Ketuvim”) (“Writings”). The Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint, a Koine Greek translation from the third and second century BCE, significantly overlap. Rabbinic Judaism considers the Masoretic Text, which is written in Hebrew and Aramaic, to be the authentic text.


The English term Bible comes from the Koin Greek: romanized: ta Biblia, which means “the books.” It is the diminutive of Byblos, which means “Egyptian papyrus,” and is presumably named after the Phoenician seaport Byblos.

The term “Bible” can have several meanings:

  • The Tanakh consists of three sacred texts: the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim.
  • Additional materials include the Septuagint, an ancient Koine Greek translation of the Tanakh, and the Septuagint.
  • the Hebrew Bible, which is based on the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh.
  • The Old and New Testaments are both included in the Christian Bible.

Hellenistic Jews used the Greek phrase ta Biblia (lit. “small papyrus books”) to describe their sacred writings. In medieval Latin, the term was borrowed as a feminine singular noun (Biblia, gen. bibliae).


Christianity arose from Judaism, with the Septuagint serving as the Old Testament’s foundation. Athanasius’ Easter letter from 367 AD contains the earliest list of canonical works. The biblical canon was developed based on the list of works included in the Catholic Bible.

About half of the world’s languages have been or are being translated into the Bible. It is the best-selling publication of all time, with projected total sales of over five billion copies. Through biblical criticism, the study of the Bible has had an indirect influence on culture and history.


The first books were songs and stories passed down from generation to generation verbally. Many persons contributed to the creation of the Bible, some of whom are unknown. Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Sophocles, Caesar, Cicero, and Catullus are among the authors represented.

The Tanakh consists of three volumes that include ancient Jewish religious writings. They were gathered into numerous biblical canons by diverse religious groupings (official collections of scriptures). Around the 5th century BCE, a collection containing the first five volumes of the Torah, or Pentateuch, was created.

The Septuagint, a Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, includes various additional texts. Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria and elsewhere in the Jewish diaspora considered additional texts written between 200 BCE and 100 CE to be canon. These new texts were initially referred to as the “New Testament,” but later were known as the “Old Testament” by Christians.
The Bible has had a huge impact on literature and history, particularly in the West, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed with movable type. The Catholic Church accepted the Vulgate as its official Latin translation of the Bible during the Council of Trent (1545–63), which was conducted in reaction to the Protestant Reformation.


History of Bible text.

The Bible’s books were written and copied by hand on papyrus scrolls at first. There are no originals left, and the earliest scrolls now in existence are those recovered in the Qumran caves in 1947. The Hebrew Bible has been written with gaps between words to ease reading since the period of the Dead Sea scrolls. The Masoretes added vowel marks in the ninth century CE.

The history of the New Testament texts is very different from that of the Hebrew Bible, which was composed over a long period of time and copied by trained scribes. Copies of the gospels and Paul’s letters were made by individual Christians very soon after the originals were written. Most early copyists were not trained scribes, and most copies were produced by individuals rather than by a single authority.

More New Testament manuscripts have survived than any other ancient literature. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, unearthed in Egypt, are responsible for 54 of the 127 New Testament papyri now in existence. These manuscripts are classified into textual groups or lineages based on how different they are from one another. Alexandrian, Western, Caesarean, and Byzantine are the four most well-known.


The Qumran scrolls include a variety of biblical texts. The Rylands fragment P52 verso is the oldest known New Testament papyrus fragment. The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, has full manuscripts dating from the 3rd to 5th century CE. The Masoretic Text was created in the first century CE and has been maintained by the Masoretes since the second millennium CE.

All biblical texts have transmission defects known as variations. Any difference between the two texts is referred to as a variation. The bulk of the modifications are unintentional, such as spelling mistakes, but some are deliberate. To enhance grammar, reduce contradictions, harmonize parallel sections, integrate several alternative readings into one, and for theological reasons, intentional alterations in New Testament texts were made.


Hebrew Bible

The tripartite division of the Hebrew texts, Torah (Teaching), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim, is reflected in the word Tanakh (Writings). An enumeration of these three categories of scripture is not known until the Babylonian Talmud (c.550 BCE).

The Tanakh was mostly composed in Biblical Hebrew, with a few passages in Biblical Aramaic (Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26, Jeremiah 10:11, Daniel 2:4–7:28) that had become the lingua franca for most of the Semitic world.


The British Museum has a Samaritan inscription that contains a piece of the Bible in nine lines of Hebrew writing.

The Torah consists of the following five books: Traditionally these books were considered to have been dictated to Moses by God himself.

  • Genesis, Beresheeth (בראשית)
  • Exodus, Shemot (שמות)
  • Leviticus, Vayikra (ויקרא)
  • Numbers, Bamidbar (במדבר)
  • Deuteronomy, Devarim (דברים)

Genesis’ first eleven chapters tell the account of the world’s creation and God’s relationship with humans. The Torah’s remaining books chronicle the tale of Moses bringing the Children of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai, where they renewed their bond with God. Moses’ death brings the Torah to a close. The Torah’s precepts serve as the foundation for Jewish religious legislation.


Between the Torah and the Ketuvim, the Nevi’im (Hebrew: “Prophets”) is the Tanakh’s second primary division. It chronicles the emergence of the Hebrew monarchy and its subsequent separation into two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. It focuses on tensions between Israelites and other countries, as well as tensions between believers in “the LORD God” and believers in other gods.

Former Prophets

Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings are the books of the Former Prophets. They comprise storylines that begin with the divine appointment of Joshua as Moses’ successor and finish with the deliverance of the last king of Judah from captivity. If you treat Samuel and King’s as a single book, you’ll find that they cover the following topics:

  • Joshua’s conquest of Canaan’s territory (in the Book of Joshua),
  • the struggle of the people to possess the land (in the Book of Judges),
  • the people’s prayer to God for a monarch to help them occupy the country in the face of their foes (in the Books of Samuel)
  • the occupation of the land by the House of David’s divinely anointed monarchs, culminating in conquest and exile abroad (Books of Kings)

Latter Prophets

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets are grouped together as the Latter Prophets.

  • Hosea, Hoshea (הושע)
  • Joel, Yoel (יואל)
  • Amos, Amos (עמוס)
  • Obadiah, Ovadyah (עבדיה)
  • Jonah, Yonah (יונה)
  • Micah, Mikhah (מיכה)
  • Nahum, Nahum (נחום)
  • Habakkuk, Havakuk (חבקוק)
  • Zephaniah, Tsefanya (צפניה)
  • Haggai, Khagay (חגי)
  • Zechariah, Zekharyah (זכריה)
  • Malachi, Malakhi (מלאכי)



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. Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form. Hebrew cantillation is the manner of chanting ritual readings as they are written and notated in the Masoretic Text of the Bible.


The five scrolls

The Hamesh Megillot is a collection of five relatively short books: Song of Songs, Book of Ruth, Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Book of Esther. The Hamesh Megillot is a collection of small Jewish holy books that includes the Song of Songs, Ruth, and other short Jewish holy books. The books of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther are among them. These are the most recent texts in the Jewish canon to be certified as “authoritative.”

Other books

No other Hebrew literary text, biblical or extra-biblical, has a style like Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, or Chronicles. They were not written in the post-exilic period’s standard Hebrew style. For unexplained reasons, the writers of these novels must have opted to write in their own particular manner.

  • Their stories all freely mention occurrences that happened a long time ago (i.e., the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion).
  • The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them.
  • Only two of them (Daniel and Ezra) have large passages in Aramaic in the Tanakh.

Book order

The books of Ketuvim are listed here in the order they occur in most printed copies.

  • Tehillim (Psalms) תְהִלִּים
  • Mishlei (Book of Proverbs) מִשְלֵי
  • Iyyôbh (Book of Job) אִיּוֹב
  • Shīr Hashshīrīm (Song of Songs) or (Song of Solomon) שִׁיר הַשִׁירִים (Passover)
  • Rūth (Book of Ruth) רוּת (Shābhû‘ôth)
  • Eikhah (Lamentations) איכה (Ninth of Av) [Also called Kinnot in Hebrew.]
  • Qōheleth (Ecclesiastes) קהלת (Sukkôth)
  • Estēr (Book of Esther) אֶסְתֵר (Pûrîm)
  • Dānî’ēl (Book of Daniel) דָּנִיֵּאל
  • ‘Ezrā (Book of Ezra–Book of Nehemiah) עזרא
  • Divrei ha-Yamim (Chronicles) דברי הימים

Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Jeremiah’s Lamentations, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles, according to the Babylonian Talmud. In the Tiberian tradition, 1 Chronicle begins the Ketuvim portion, but in the Babylonian tradition, it ends it. Because Isaiah comes after Ezekiel, the sequence of the great prophets differs from that of the Masoretic.


The Ketuvim is the third and last part of the Tanakh to be recognized as canonical. Israel may have considered the Torah to be canonical as early as the 5th century BCE, and the Former and Latter Prophets by the 2nd century BCE. Many historians think that the Council of Jamnia, which took place about 90 CE, set the bounds of the Ketuvims as canonical scripture. The Isaiah scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, contains almost the whole Book of Isaiah. It was built in the 2nd century BCE.

Masoretic Text


The Masoretic Text is the Hebrew Bible’s authoritative Hebrew text. It specifies the Jewish canon’s books as well as the exact letter-text of these biblical texts. A section of a pre-Masoretic Read, especially the Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael prayer, can be found in the Nash Papyrus (2nd century BCE). Variants include lexical equivalent substitutions, semantic and grammatical variations, and larger-scale alterations in order, as well as some massive Masoretic text modifications that must have been deliberate.


Samaritan Pentateuch

Only the Pentateuch (Torah) is included in the Samaritan biblical canon. In any other book in the Jewish Tanakh, they do not acknowledge divine authorship or inspiration. Although there is a Samaritan Book of Joshua that is based in part on Tanakh’s Book of Joshua, Samaritans consider it to be a non-canonical secular historical chronicle.


The Septuagint, or LXX, is a Koine Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures and some related texts that began in the late third century BCE and were completed by 132 BCE, initially in Alexandria; a revised version was produced in the second century CE by Jewish scholars Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus. It’s unclear when and where certain pieces were translated; some may have been translated twice, in various forms, and then corrected. The translation that became the Septuagint was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence in the ancient world since it was the first translation of any biblical text. This translation was made feasible by a shared Mediterranean culture in which Semitism played a central role in Greek culture. Although Greek is the sole language permitted for translation in the Talmud, flaws and inconsistencies between the two versions have been noted.

The Septuagint’s canon grew as the translation process continued. The Torah always had primacy as the foundation of the canon, although the collection of prophetic literature founded on the Nevi’im included diverse hagiographical works. In addition, the Septuagint incorporated several newer pieces of literature, such as the Books of the Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach. Since ancient Hebrew manuscripts were recovered in contemporary times, the book of Sirach is now known to have existed in a Hebrew translation. Some biblical books, like Daniel’s and Esther’s, are longer in the Septuagint translation than in the Jewish canon.

Mainstream Rabbinic Judaism has rejected the Septuagint as a legitimate Jewish biblical source from Late Antiquity, which was formerly given to a mythical late 1st-century Council of Jamnia. There have been several explanations proposed for this. First, there were some claims of mistranslations. Second, it was argued that the Hebrew source texts for the Septuagint differed from the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts. Third, the rabbis desired to set themselves apart from the newly formed Christian tradition.

The Old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian, and Coptic translations of the Christian Old Testament are all based on the Septuagint. Many of these old versions date from before the introduction of the alphabet and the emergence of vernacular literature in those languages. The King James Version of the Bible includes the Apocrypha under a distinct category. Following the Protestant Reformation, many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon and eliminate the so-called apocryphal writings.


Theodotion’s Incorporations

The 12-chapter Masoretic Text, as well as two lengthier Greek versions, exist for the Book of Daniel. Three new additions to Daniel include Azariah’s Prayer and the Song of the Three Holy Children. Theodotion’s translation was so widely copied in the Early Christian church that it eventually took the place of the Septuagint. The Hexapla featured notations, according to Jerome’s introduction, showing numerous notable discrepancies in substance between the Theodotion Daniel and previous Greek and Hebrew versions.

Daniel by Theodotion is closest to the preserved Hebrew Masoretic Text version, which is the foundation for most current translations. Theodotion’s Daniel is likewise the one incorporated in Sixtus V’s approved Septuagint version issued in 1587.

The Final form

Some of the Septuagint’s texts aren’t found in the Hebrew Bible. The Septuagint was based on a Hebrew text that differed from the contemporary version. The Books of Samuel and Kings, for example, are divided into four sections and designated Bv (“Of Reigns”) in the Septuagint. The minor prophets are divided into twelve sections in the Septuagint’s Book of Twelve. The Septuagint was translated from a Hebrew text that differed from the Masoretic text in that it was not similar to the present text.

Pseudepigraphal books

Apocryphal and pseudepigraphic works are not the same. Apocrypha includes all writings claiming to be sacred that are outside the canon. Pseudepigrapha is a literary category of all writings whether they are canonical or apocryphal. A written work can be pseudepigraphical and not be a forgery, as forgeries are intentionally deceptive.

The term “pseudepigrapha” refers to a collection of Jewish religious texts produced between 300 BCE and 300 CE. Some of the New Testament canon’s authorship is questioned, therefore not all of these writings are pseudepigraphical. The following are examples of Old Testament pseudepigraphical works:

  • 3 Maccabees
  • 4 Maccabees
  • Assumption of Moses
  • Ethiopic Book of Enoch (1 Enoch)
  • Slavonic Book of Enoch (2 Enoch)
  • Hebrew 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

The Books of Enoch are ancient Jewish theological texts attributed to Enoch, the patriarch Noah’s great-grandfather. 1 Enoch and 2 Enoch, which remain solely in Old Slavonic, and 3 Enoch, which survives in Hebrew from the c. 5th to 6th century CE, are notable pseudepigraphical writings.

Enoch is not part of the biblical canon used by most Jews, apart from Beta Israel. Most Christian denominations and traditions may accept the Books of Enoch as having some historical or theological significance. The exceptions to this view are the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church.

The Ethiopian Bible is not based on the Greek Bible, and the Ethiopian Church has a slightly different understanding of canon than other Christian traditions. Ethiopia’s Christian Church has a different understanding of canon than other Christian traditions. The official Ethiopian Bible is not based on the Greek Bible, but on Enoch. Current evidence confirms Enoch as canonical in both Ethiopia and in Eritrea. There are 81 books in the official Ethiopian canon, but that number is reached in different ways.

Christian Bible

A Christian Bible is a collection of writings separated into the Old and New Testaments that a Christian denomination has recognized as divinely inspired scripture at some point in the past or present. Because the Septuagint was written in Greek, the Early Church generally employed it, or the Targums among Aramaic speakers. The Masoretic Text is used in modern English translations of the Old Testament segment of the Christian Bible. The Standard Works of the Latter-day Saints movement and Divine Principle in the Unification Church, for example, include extra-canonical books outside the Bible.

Old Testament

The Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canon, which differs from the Jewish Tanakh mainly in terms of the number of books (not content) due to a different manner of division. The Roman Catholic Church accepts 46 books as the Old Testament, whereas Eastern Orthodox Churches acknowledge six more. The same 27-book New Testament Canon is used by Catholics and Protestants. The phrase “Hebrew scriptures” is sometimes used interchangeably with the Protestant Old Testament, because the surviving Hebrew scriptures only contain those books, but the Roman Catholic Church counts 46 volumes as its Old Testament, and the Eastern Orthodox Churches accept 6 more.


The Old Testament has always played a significant role in the Christian church’s activities. According to Bible scholar N.T. Wright, “the texts deeply formed Jesus himself.” In order to comprehend Jesus’ earthly existence, the first Christians explored those same Hebrew sources, according to Wright. They saw the Israelites’ “holy scriptures” as vital and instructional for Christians, as demonstrated in Paul’s remarks to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:15), as pointing to the Messiah, and as having come to a climax in Jesus’ generation of the “new covenant” foretold by Jeremiah.

Deuterocanon and apocryphal

The Septuagint and Syriac translations of the Bible are not considered part of the Hebrew canon. They’re also known as Deuterocanon or Apocrypha. Their origins are unknown; they might have come from Israel, Syria, Egypt, or Persia.

Ethiopian Jews have an expanded canon of the Hebrew Bible, which includes some Apocryphal books. The Apocrypha were used in New Testament times, but “they are never quoted as Scripture”. Philo, a Jewish philosopher who quotes from the Pentateuch over a thousand times, never once quotes from them. Flavius Josephus affirms the Hebrew canon and says nothing of any Apocrypha books.

They are considered part of the Old Testament by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Apocrypha is a distinct part of Protestant Bibles. These books are occasionally scattered throughout the Catholic and Orthodox Old Testaments as supplementary chapters, or they are attached to canonical books as appendices.

The content of the canon is unique to each religious community, and the list varies. The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Book of Daniel, chapter 3, verses 24–90) are included in all listings of Apocryphal books. For Roman Catholics, that canon was fixed definitively by the Council of Trent 1545–1563. Tobit, Judith, Greek Additions to Esther (Book of Esther, chapters 10:4–12:6), The Wisdom of Soloman, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah (also called the Baruch Chapter 6), the Greek Additions to Daniel: (The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Book of Daniel, chapter 3, verses 24–90), Susanna (Book of Daniel, chapter 13), and Bel and the Dragon (Book of Daniel, chapter 14) along with 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, are included in all listings of Apocryphal books.

New Testament

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian Bible. Koine Greek was the language of Jesus, the Apostles and the ancient Near East while Aramaic was that of the Jews. The term “New Testament” came into use in the 2nd century during a controversy over whether the Hebrew Bible should be included with the Christian writings as sacred scripture.


If one adopts Albert C. Sundberg’s perspective that “canon” and “scripture” are two independent entities, with “scripture” having been recognized by ancient Christians long before “canon” was, the first step was finished astonishingly early. The perspective of Albert C. Sundberg that scripture was acknowledged by early Christians long before the term ‘canon’ was used. According to Barton, Theodor Zahn determined that “before the end of the first century, there was already a Christian canon,” but this is not the canon of succeeding centuries. Sundberg claims that there was no criterion for inclusion in the “holy literature” in the early centuries other than inspiration.

In reaction to publications that questioned orthodoxy, a Christian canon comparable to the present version was established in the second century. A succession of synods marked the third stage of growth as the final canon in the fourth century. The Synods of Hippo in 393 CE and c. Jerome, in particular, created a definitive Latin version of the Bible (the Vulgate).

Even in its formative period, most of the books of the NT that were seen as holy Scripture were already agreed upon. New Testament books already had considerable authority in the late first and early second centuries. By the time the fourth century Fathers were approving the “canon”, they were doing little more than codifying what was already universally accepted.

The New Testament is a collection of 27 books of Christian literature written between the Acts of the Apostles and the Revelation of Jesus. These books can be grouped into four distinct categories, each consisting of a number of different genres (Gospels, Epistles, Acts and Proverbs).

The Gospels

  • Synoptic Gospels
    • Gospel of Matthew
    • Gospel of Mark
    • Gospel of Luke
  • Gospel of John

Narrative literature, account and history of the Apostolic age

  • Acts of the Apostles

The 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

The Pastoral epistles

  • First Epistle to Timothy
  • Second Epistle to Timothy
  • Epistle to Titus
  • Epistle to Philemon
  • Epistle to the Hebrews

Catholic epistles also called the 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

Apocalyptic literature

  • Book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse


Canon variations (Peshitta).

The Peshitta is the Syriac church’s canonical Bible translation. The Peshitta was most likely translated into Syriac from biblical Hebrew in the second century AD, according to biblical scholarship. By the early fifth century, this New Testament had established a standard, despite the inclusion of a few contested books (2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation). The five books that were previously removed were added to Thomas of Harqel’s Harklean Version (616 AD).


Ethiopian Orthodox canon

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church’s canon is more expansive than that of most other Christian denominations. This contains writings like Enoch and Jubilees, as well as the Apocalypse of Ezra, which only remained in Ge’ez but are mentioned in the New Testament. The Ethiopian Old Testament differs from the Jewish Old Testament in that the Minor Prophets are ordered according to the Septuagint rather than the Jewish order. The Ethiopian Old Testament Canon uses Enoch and Jubilees (old Jewish texts that only remained in Ge’ez but are mentioned in the New Testament), in addition to the books contained in the Septuagint recognized by other Orthodox Christians.

Divine inspiration

Various related but distinguishable views on divine inspiration exist, some of which can be found in the works of Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and others.

  • the belief that the Bible is God’s inspired word: the idea that God intervened and affected the wording, message, and compilation of the Bible through the Holy Spirit
  • the belief that the Bible is infallible and error-free in questions of religion and practice, but not necessarily in matters of history or science
  • the belief that the Bible is God’s inerrant word, without any flaws, spoken by God and written down in its flawless form by humans

Many schools of hermeneutics work under these basic concepts. The theory of biblical literalism is linked with fundamentalist Christians, who believe that the Bible is not only inerrant but also that the meaning of the book is plain to the average reader.

Norman Geisler and William Nix wrote in their book A General Introduction to the Bible, “The process of inspiration is a mystery of God’s providence, but the result of this process is a verbal, plenary, inerrant, and authoritative record.” The belief in holy books may be found in Jewish history, and a comparable idea can be found in the earliest Christian literature.

Versions and translations

The earliest translation of any Bible text is the Septuagint which translated Hebrew into Greek. The Targum Onkelos is the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible believed to have been written in the second century CE. A standardized test was not available until the 9th century.


There are different ancient versions of the Tanakh in Hebrew, mostly differing by spelling, and the standardized traditional Jewish version is based on the Aleppo Codex. The Masoretic Bible is a codex of the complete Tiberian Hebrew Bible found in the cave of Elijah, the “Cave of Elijah” (the synagogue of Aleppo in the Judean desert) that may be 1,000 years old. The Codex was used as the source for all modern Jewish and Christian translations. Even in this version, there are words which are read differently from written ones because the oral tradition is considered more fundamental than the written one. Some modern Western translations since the 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.

By 367AD, Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, had established the Greek content of the New Testament. For the Church in the West, the Latin translations were traditionally the most significant. The Old Latin text, or Vetus Latina, was the first Latin translation, and it was based on the Septuagint and includes books not found in the Hebrew Bible. The Latin translations were historically the most essential for the Church in the West, whilst the Greek-speaking East continued to utilize the Septuagint Old Testament translations and didn’t need to translate the New Testament. It was composed in the first century AD in Koine Greek.”

According to the Latin Decretum Gelasianum (also known as the Gelasian Decree), thought to be a 6th-century document of uncertain authorship and pseudepigraphical papal authority (variously ascribed to Pope Gelasius I, Pope Damasus I, or Pope Hormisdas) The Council of Rome in 382 CE under Pope Damasus I (366–383) gives a complete list of the canonical books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Damasus commissioned Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible, in the 4th century CE.

The Toledo School of Translators worked in the 12th and 13th centuries, as did Roger Bacon (1220–1292), an English Franciscan friar of the 13th century, and a number of Renaissance authors. The Wycliffite Bible, which comes from the late Middle English period, is “one of the most crucial in the creation of a written standard.” The Polish Jakub Wujek Bible (Biblia Jakuba Wujka) and the English King James/ Authorized Version (1604–1611) are two important translations from this time period.

The Leningrad Codex is a complete example of the Masoretic Text. Copied about 925 CE, part of it was lost, so it must rely on additional manuscripts. The Aleppo Codex contains the most comprehensive collection of variant readings. It is the basis of the Hebrew University Bible Project in Jerusalem.

Bible translations have been created into the ordinary vernacular of numerous languages since the Reformation era. Christian groups such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, New Tribes Mission, and Bible societies continue to translate the Bible into new languages. According to Lammin Sanneh, tracking the influence of Bible translation on local cultures has resulted in “movements of indigenization and cultural emancipation.”

The Story of Salvation

The notion of salvation is based on Israel’s escape from Egypt in the Old Testament. The source of salvation is revealed in the New Testament: Jesus Christ. The Bible’s core message or topic is God’s plan of redemption. Believers are rescued from sin and spiritual death via trust in Jesus.


The Bible is a collection of ancient books that Christians see as God’s revelation to mankind. It has affected many western countries’ laws and politics, as well as language, music, and art. The Bible claims that its authors were ‘inspired’ by God and that their words were ‘God-breathed.’ The writers were inspired by God as they recorded his teachings, according to most Christians.

All Christian Bibles have the same books in the Old Testament and the New Testament. The list of books that make up the Bible is called the canon. However, the canon is different for different Christian churches. Catholics include seven more books in their Old Testament (commonly referred to as the Deuterocanonicals). Orthodox Christians also recognise some other books in their canons.

The New Testament is made up of four Gospels, one history book, 21 letters and one prophetic book. Some of the writers were kings, royal officials, poets and even a doctor. There are also some parts of the Bible where scholars and historians are unsure of authorship. The Old Testament is made up of historical books, law, poetry, wisdom and prophetic books. The Bible is foundational to the Christian faith.



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