Genesis to Revelation
The word Bible means "the book". The Bible is one book, but it is also a collection of books. Sixty-six were written over 1,600 years by at least 40 different authors. The Bible was the first book printed on a printing press, and it still outsells all other books in the marketplace.
The Bible is divided into two main sections - the Old Testament and the New Testament.The word testament means "treaty or convenant," an agreement made between two people.
The first and longest major division of the Bible is called the Old Testament by Christians (Jewish people refer to it as the Hebrew Bible). Thirty-nine individual books are included in the Old Testament.
Originally the Old Testament was written in two languages. Most of it was written in Hebrew. Small sections of a few books were written in a language related to Hebrew called Aramaic.
Hebrew is read from right to left. The large blocky letters are the consonants (22 in the Hebrew alphabet). The dots and small marks above or below the consonants are vowels or vowel "points." When the Old Testament was first composed, Hebrew was written with no vowels and no word divisions.
The New Testament was originally written in Greek. When the story of the New Testament opened, Rome ruled the world of Europe and North Africa, but the universal language of the Roman Empire was Greek, not Latin. Greek is read from left to right just like English. While Hebrew is a very poetic language, Greek is a very precise language.
Chapter and Verse
The books of the Bible were not divided into chapters until the year 1214. Verse divisions did not appear until 1551.
Down through the centuries, the Bible has been translated from Hebrew and Greek into other languages. A translation of the Bible is usually called a version of the Bible. The Authorized Version (AV) also called the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is one of the most famous English translations. It was completed in 1611 and was the main version of the Bible used by Protestant English-speaking Christians for more than 300 years. But the English language has hanged in the past four centuries, and so several contemporary language English versions of the Bible were produced.
***The Apocrypha**** WARNING
Some Bibles have more than 66 books, Catholic Bibles, for example, have more than 39 books in the Old Testament. Some Protestant Bibles include a separate section between the Old and New Testaments called the Apocrypha.
The 14 or 15 books of the Apocrypha (the word means hidden) were written between 300 BC and AD100. Jews and Protestant Christians do not accept these books as part of the Bible. The books are not connected to a prophet (authorized spokesperson for God), nor are the books quoted by the New Testament writers. The Roman Catholic Church does view the books of the Apocrypha as part of the Bible.
Words in Red
Divisions in Old Testament
I Samuel and II Samuel
I and II Kings
I and II Chronicles
Song of Solomon
Jensen Old Testament Survey
Jensen New Testament Survey
Hall, Terry How the Bible Became a Book
Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? A defense on the reliability of the New Testament as an accurate record of real events.
Connelly, The Bible