Monday, February 7, 2011

The Judeo-Christian Bible - Some Basic Facts about the Bible

The Facts about the Judeo-Christian Bible

TITLE: The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh (Judaism), The Holy Bible (Christianity)

NAMES: Word of God, Scriptures, Holy Writ

DEFINITION: The term 'Bible' comes from the Greek and Latin word biblia meaning 'books'

DESCRIPTION: Official religious text of both Judaism (for 3,500 years) and Christianity (for 2,000 years)

AUTHORS: Written by over 40 different male authors, some of whom remain unknown

DATES: Written between 1,450 BC to 100 AD

LANGUAGES: Hebrew (Old Testament), Greek (New Testament)

TRANSLATIONS: Available in 1,100 to 2,000 different languages and dialects

CANON: Accepted as a Divinely inspired, sacred text by Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism, along with Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Christianity

ORGANIZATION: Includes two major sections called the Old Testament (ranging from 24 to 46 Books), and the New Testament (27 Books)

SECTIONS: Jewish Bible contains 24 separate Books, while different Christian Bibles include between 66 to 81 Books.

SUMMARY: Over the course of approximately 1,400 years, a group of over 40 different male authors managed to write a collection of between 24 to 81 books known today as the Judeo-Christian Bible.

OLD TESTAMENT: Includes the Book of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles,Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus / Sirach, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah ,Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi

NEW TESTAMENT: Includes the Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts of Apostles, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation

The Bible of Judaism
Judaism divides the Bible into 24 different sections called books. All of them are from what Christianity calls the Old Testament. Furthermore, these books are then grouped into three distinctive categories known as the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. In contrast to Christianity, who founded their Old Testament upon the Greek translation called the Septugint (LXXII), the entire Jewish Bible was originally written in Hebrew. Interestingly enough, the actual authors of some of Jewish Scriptures, such as the Book of Job, remain unknown unto this very day. The precise method of organization found in the Jewish Bible, commonly known as the Tanakh, can be seen in the following manner:

The Three Parts of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)

I. The Law (Torah): The first five books of Jewish Scriptures written by Moses (5 books in both Judaism and Christianity)

II. The Prophets (Neviim): The books of prophecy written by the Israelite prophets who came after Moses (8 books in Judaism and 21 books in Christianity).

III. The Writings (Ketuvim): The writings of different Israelite kings and prophets descended from the 12 tribes of Israel who escaped Egypt (11 books in Judaism and 13 books in Christianity).

The Bible of Christianity
From the beginning, Christianity made a deliberate decision to use the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, called the Septugint, as their official religious text. This particular document contained writings that had not been officially accepted as holy Scripture by the leaders of Judaism. Because of this, Christianity continues to use an Old Testament which contains more books than the original 24 books of the official Jewish Bible called the Tanakh. As of now, the Catholic Church recognizes 46 books of the Old Testament, while nearly all of Protestant Christianity accept only 39 books as official Scripture. Unlike Judaism, Christianity also features an entirely different section of the Bible called the New Testament, which contains 27 different texts about a Jew named Rabbi Joshua ben Joseph, the Nazarene (Jesus Christ). Unlike Judaism, who continued to read, study, and recite their Scriptures in its oriignal language of Hebrew, Christianity has managed to translate and publish the Holy Bible in over 1,400 different languages (some 2,000). Here are just a few numerical facts about the Christian Holy Bible, including both the Old and New Testament as it appears in the English language:

Various Judeo-Christian Bible Statistics
- The most popular English-language version of the Judeo-Christian Bible, known as the King James Version, contains 12,143 different English words
- The basic 66 books of the Judeo-Christian Bible contain 1189 chapters composed of 31,071 different verses with a total of 783,137 words.
- Using the original languages, the Judeo-Christian uses over 8,674 different Hebrew words and 5,624 different Greek words.
- The Judeo-Christian Bible has been translated into over 2,000 languages.
- The longest book is the Book of Psalms (Old Testament) and the shortest is 2 John (New Testament).
- The longest Biblical verse is Esther 8:9 and the shortest is John 11:35.
- The longest book in the Bible is Psalms and the shortest is 2 John.
- The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 and the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35.
- The longest Biblical chapter is Psalm 119 and the shortest is Psalm 117.
- The Judeo-Christian Bible has over 1189 chapters with 929 Old Testament Chapters and 260 New Testament chapters.
- The word 'God' is mentioned 3,358 different times, while the word 'LORD' is used on 7,736 separate occasions.
- Starting in 1,400 BC, it took over 40 individuals writing over the course of 40 different generations, or around 1,500 years, to complete the entire Bible.
- The standard Judeo-Christian Old Testament contains 17 books of history, 5 books of poetry, and 17 books of prophecy.
- It has been estimated that the Judeo-Christian Bible can be read out loud in just 70 hours time.
- The Bible was the first book to be printed, in 1454.
- Miles Coverdale published the first English translation of the entire Bible in 1535.
- The Old Testament Book is Esther does not contain a single reference to either God or the LORD God.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

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