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The word “bible” is the English form of the Greek word βιβλία transliterated as biblia, meaning “books,” the name which in the 5th century began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books, the “Library of Divine Revelation.” The name “Bible” was adopted by translator and theologian John Wycliffe (Wickliffe), and came gradually into use in our English language.
The Holy Bible consists of 66 different books, composed by many different writers, in 3 different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet, after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man’s redemption.
The names given to the Old Testament in the writings of the New Testament are…
The Old Testament is divided into 3 parts—
The New Testament consists of…
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference to it.
The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced by Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro about the middle of the 13th century (he died 1263 A.D.).
The system of verses for the New Testament was introduced by the scholar and printer Robert Estienne (aka Robert Stephanus and Robert Stephens), a Protestant (ex-Catholic) in 1551, and generally adopted, although neither Tyndale’s nor Coverdale’s English translation of the Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it is very useful. (See VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE.)
Article Version: September 4, 2017