|OPEN UNITARIAN BAPTIST BIBLE ACADEMY
|© ERIC MICHEL MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
251 Laurier Avenue West Unit 900, Ottawa, Ontario - K1P 5J6 - 613.317.1945 - An Unitarian Baptist Fellowship Institution (Canada)
Copyright 1987- Present Day Eric Michel Ministries International. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or utilized in any
Form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system
Without permission in writing from the author.
|"The Bible is a set of instructions on how to behave in society" ~ Bishop Spong
|Rev. Marie and Joyce in a Bible Study Group at Jeddore Baptist Church, Nova Scotia
|Rev. Marie holding
The NIV translation
Of the Bible
At EMMI Trois-Rivières, Qc.
The New Testament is the name given to the second and final portion of the Christian Bible. Jesus is its
The term "New Testament" came into use in the second century during a controversy among Christians over
whether or not the Hebrew Bible should be included with the Christian writings as sacred scripture. The New
Testament presupposes the inspiration of the Old Testament. Some other works which were widely read by
early churches were excluded from the New Testament and relegated to the collections known as the
Apostolic Fathers (generally considered orthodox) and the New Testament Apocrypha (including both
orthodox and heretical works). Most Christians consider the New Testament to be an infallible source of
doctrine, while others go even farther to affirm that it is also inerrant, or completely correct in historical and
factual details as well as theologically. In recent times, however, the authority of the New Testament books has
been challenged. The school of historical criticism has exposed various apparent contradictions within the
texts, as well as questions of authorship and dating.
The New Testament is a collection of 27 books of 4 different genres of Christian literature (Gospels, one
account of the Acts of the Apostles, Epistles and an Apocalypse). These books can be grouped into:
Gospel According to Matthew
Gospel According to Mark
Gospel According to Luke
Gospel According to John
Narrative literature, account and history of the Apostolic age
Acts of the Apostles
Epistle to the Romans
First Epistle to the Corinthians
Second Epistle to the Corinthians
Epistle to the Galatians
Epistle to the Ephesians
Epistle to the Philippians
Epistle to the Colossians
First Epistle to the Thessalonians
Second Epistle to the Thessalonians
First Epistle to Timothy
Second Epistle to Timothy
Epistle to Titus
Epistle to Philemon
Epistle to the Hebrews
General epistles, also called catholic epistles
Epistle of James
First Epistle of Peter
Second Epistle of Peter
First Epistle of John
Second Epistle of John
Third Epistle of John
Epistle of Jude
Apocalyptic literature, also called Prophetical
Revelation, or the Apocalypse
The New Testament books are ordered differently in the Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant tradition, the Slavonic
tradition, the Syriac tradition and the Ethiopian tradition.
See also: Language of the New Testament
The mainstream consensus is that the New Testament was written in a form of Koine Greek, which was the
common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BCE)
until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600).
A Christian Bible is a set of books that a Christian denomination
regards as divinely inspired and thus constituting scripture. Although
the Early Church primarily used the Septuagint or the Targums among
Aramaic speakers, the apostles did not leave a defined set of new
scriptures; instead the canon of the New Testament developed over time.
Groups within Christianity include differing books as part of their sacred
writings, most prominent among which are the biblical apocrypha or
Significant versions of the English Christian Bible include
- the Douay-Rheims Bible,
- the Authorized King James Version,
- the English Revised Version,
- the American Standard Version,
- the Revised Standard Version,
- the New American Standard Version,
- the New King James Version,
- the New International Version, and
- the English Standard Version.
The books which make up the Christian Old Testament differ between
the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches, with the Protestant
movement accepting only those books contained in the Hebrew Bible,
while Catholics and Orthodox have wider canons. A few groups consider
particular translations to be divinely inspired, notably the Greek Septuagint
and the Aramaic Peshitta
The Bible from Koine Greek tà biblía, "the books" 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.
Many different authors contributed to the Bible. And what is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; a number of Bible canons have evolved, with overlapping
and diverging contents. 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 narratives,
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, Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred
tradition, while Protestant churches 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.
A Torah scroll recovered from Glockengasse Synagogue in Cologne.
The Torah is also known as the "Five Books of Moses" or the Pentateuch, meaning "five scroll-cases".
The Hebrew names of the books are derived from the first words in the respective texts. The Torah consists of the following five books:
The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide accounts of the creation (or ordering) of the world and the history of God's early relationship with humanity. The remaining thirty-nine chapters
of Genesis provide an account of God's covenant with the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel) and Jacob's children, the "Children of Israel", especially Joseph.
It tells of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home in the city of Ur, eventually to settle in the land of Canaan, and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt. The
remaining four books of the Torah tell the story of Moses, who lived hundreds of years after the patriarchs. He leads the Children of Israel from slavery in Ancient Egypt to the renewal of
their covenant with God at Mount Sinai and their wanderings in the desert until a new generation was ready to enter the land of Canaan. The Torah ends with the death of Moses.
The Torah contains the commandments of God, revealed at Mount Sinai (although there is some debate among traditional scholars as to whether these were all written down at one time,
or over a period of time during the 40 years of the wanderings in the desert, while several modern Jewish movements reject the idea of a literal revelation, and critical scholars believe
that many of these laws developed later in Jewish history). These commandments provide the basis for Jewish religious law. Tradition states that there are 613 commandments.
Nevi'im (Hebrew "Prophets") is the second main division of the Tanakh, between the Torah and Ketuvim. It contains two sub-groups, the Former Prophets (Nevi'im Rishonim, the narrative
books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets.
The Nevi'im tell the story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, ancient Israel and Judah, focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations,
and conflicts among Israelites, specifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God" and believers in foreign gods, and the criticism of unethical and unjust behaviour of Israelite
elites and rulers; in which prophets played a crucial and leading role. It ends with the conquest of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians followed by the conquest of the Kingdom of
Judah by the Babylonians and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The Former Prophets are the books Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. They contain narratives that begin immediately after the death of Moses with the divine appointment of Joshua as
his successor, who then leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land, and end with the release from imprisonment of the last king of Judah. Treating Samuel and Kings as single books,
Joshua's conquest of the land of Canaan (in the Book of Joshua),
the struggle of the people to possess the land (in the Book of Judges),
the people's request to God to give them a king so that they can occupy the land in the face of their enemies (in the Books of Samuel)
the possession of the land under the divinely appointed kings of the House of David, ending in conquest and foreign exile (Books of Kings)
The Latter Prophets are divided into two groups, the "major" prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets, collected into a single book.
The collection is broken up to form twelve individual books in the Christian Old Testament, one for each of the prophets:
Ketuvim or Kəṯûḇîm in Biblical Hebrew: "writings", is the third and final section of the Tanakh. The Ketuvim are believed to have been written under the Holy Spirit) but with one level less
authority than that of prophecy.
The poetic books
Hebrew text of Psalm 1:1-2
In Masoretic manuscripts, Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry.
Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet which is the Hebrew for "truth".
These three books are also the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning
and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system.
The five scrolls
The five relatively short books of Song of Songs, Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Book of Esther are collectively known as the Hamesh Megillot (Five Megillot).
These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon even though they were not complete until the 2nd century CE.
Besides the three poetic books and the five scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim are Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the
Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics:
Their narratives all openly describe relatively late events (i.e., the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion).
The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them.
Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in the Tanakh with significant portions in Aramaic.
Order of the books
The following list presents the books of Ketuvim in the order they appear in most printed editions. It also divides them into three subgroups based on the distinctiveness of Sifrei Emet and
The Three Poetic Books
- Tehillim (Psalms)
- Mishlei (Book of Proverbs)
- Iyyôbh (Book of Job)
The Five Megillot
- Shīr Hashshīrīm (Song of Songs) (Passover)
- Rūth (Book of Ruth)
- Eikhah (Lamentations)
- Qōheleth (Ecclesiastes)
- Estēr (Book of Esther)
Divrei ha-Yamim (Chronicles)
- Dānî’ēl (Book of Daniel)
- ‘Ezrā (Book of Ezra-Book of Nehemiah)