The Bible

Versions of the Bible

The appropriate term to describe Judaism's scriptures is Tanakh, although the terms Bible and Old Testament are commonly used by non-Jews to describe Judaism's scriptures.[7] While there is just one Jewish Bible,[8] collected together and preserved as the sacred books of the Jewish people, the contents of each of the Christian compilations of canonical texts of the Old Testament vary between different Christian traditions. Jewish scripture was (and is) originally written in Hebrew, the Christian Old and New Testaments were originally written in Koine Greek. The Tanakh has 24 books, the various versions of the Old Testament have more and the containing original 24 books of the Tanakh in a different order.

Jewish Bible

Judaism preserves and hands down a collection of scriptures called the Tanakh or the Jewish Bible.[9][10] In a context outside of Judaism, it is more generally referred to as the Hebrew Bible.[11] This collection contains twenty-four books divided into three parts: the Torah ("teaching", "instruction"), the Nevi'im ("prophets"), and the Ketuvim ("writings"). The unifying property of the Tanakh is that all its books are originally written in Hebrew, and, to a very minor degree, in the Aramaic language.

Christian Bibles

The Christian Old Testament features more than 24 books of the original Hebrew Bible, and deliberately in a divergent order.[11] Moreover, there are a number of different versions of the Christian Bible, with different selections of books, as well as different ordering and naming of books, or incorporation of additional material into the books. The unifying property of the varying Christian Bibles is that all their books were originally written in Greek.

Christian Bibles range from the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon to the eighty-one books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon. The first part of all Christian Bibles is the Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible divided into thirty-nine books and ordered differently from the Hebrew Bible. The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches also hold certain books and passages that are excluded from the Hebrew Bible to be part of the Old Testament canon.

The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books originally written in Koine Greek, which discuss the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. The New Testament is divided into the four Canonical gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one Epistles or didactic letters, and the Book of Revelation.

Textual history

By the 2nd century BCE Jewish groups had called the Bible books the "scriptures" and referred to them as "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 (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια, tà biblía tà ágia) or "the Holy Scriptures" (η Αγία Γραφή, e Agía Graphḗ).[12] The Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne[13] and is now usually cited by book, chapter, and verse.

The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, and known as the Codex Vaticanus. The oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates to the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin (Vulgate) Bible is the Codex Amiatinus, dating from the 8th century.[14]

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