The Bible

Introduction

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, "the books")[1] is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures that Jews and Christians consider to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans. With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is widely considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time.[2][3][4][5]

Many different authors contributed to the Bible. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; a number of Bible canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents.[6] The Christian Old Testament overlaps with the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Septuagint; the Hebrew Bible is known in Judaism as the Tanakh. The New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be mostly Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. These early Christian Greek writings consist of Gospels, letters, and apocalyptic writings. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about the contents of the canon, primarily the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect.

Attitudes towards the Bible also differ amongst Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone. This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, and many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only source of Christian teaching.

The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history, especially in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type.[2] According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating."[2] As of the 2000s, it sells approximately 100 million copies annually.[7][8]


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