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Bible 圣经(1)

(2012-09-15 11:09:14)
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Bible 圣经(1)

 

The Bible  is any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the contents and the order of the individual books (Biblical canon) vary among denominations. The 24 texts of the Hebrew Bible are divided into 39 books in Christian Old Testaments, and complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible. Much of the Bible is written in narrative form where "in the biblical story God is the protagonist, Satan (or evil people/powers) are the antagonists, and God’s people are the agonists".

 

The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is divided into three parts: (1) the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), comprising the origins of the Israelite nation, its laws and its covenant with the God of Israel; (2) the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of 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 behavior of Israelite elites and rulers; and (3) the Ketuvim ("writings"): poetic and philosophical works such as the Psalms and the Book of Job.

 

The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the (at minimum) 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books. The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Jesus and are central to the Christian faith. Christian Bibles include the books of the Hebrew Bible, but arranged in a different order: Jewish Scripture ends with the people of Israel restored to Jerusalem and the temple, whereas the Christian arrangement ends with the book of the prophet Malachi. The oldest surviving complete Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century; the oldest complete Jewish Bible in Hebrew and Aramaic is a manuscript dating from the 10th century CE, but the full text of the Septuagint translation of the Jewish Bible is contained within older extant manuscripts, such as the 4th-century Codex Vaticanus. The bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton, who eventually became a Roman Catholic Archbishop, and into verses in the 16th century by Robert Estienne, a French printer.

 

During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospel accounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments together are commonly referred to as "The Holy Bible". Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, and cite passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief. The canonical composition of the Old Testament is under dispute between Christian groups: Protestants hold only the books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonical; Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox additionally consider the deuteron canonical books, a group of Jewish books, to be canonical. The New Testament comprises the Gospels ("good news"), the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles (letters), and the Book of Revelation. The Bible has approximate sales annually estimated at 25 million Bibles.

 

 

Etymology

The English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and ultimately from Greek τ βιβλία ta biblia "the books" (singular βιβλίον biblion).

 

Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural (gen. bibliorum). It gradually came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun (biblia, gen. bibliae) in medieval Latin, and so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe. Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τ βιβλία τ για ta biblia ta hagia, "the holy books".

 

The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book". It is the diminutive of βύβλοςbublos, "Egyptian papyrus", possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician port Byblos (also known as Gebal) from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia (lit. "little papyrus books") was "an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books (theSeptuagint). Christian use of the term can be traced to ca. AD 223.

 

 

Jewish canon

Development of the Jewish canon

Tanakh (Hebrew: תנ"ך) reflects the threefold division of the Hebrew Bible, Torah ("Teaching"), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings").

 

Torah

The Torah, or "Instruction", is also known as the "Five Books" of Moses, thus Chumash from Hebrew meaning "five some", and Pentateuch from Greek meaning "five scroll-cases". The Hebrew book titles come from some of the first words in the respective texts.

 

The Torah comprises the following five books:

1.    Genesis, Ge—Bereshith (בראשית)

2.    Exodus, Ex—Shemot (שמות)

3.    Leviticus, Le—Vayikra (ויקרא)

4.    Numbers, Nu—Bamidbar (במדבר)

5.    Deuteronomy, Dt—Devarim (דברים)

 

The Torah focuses on three moments in the changing relationship between God and the Jewish people. 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 Hebrew 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 their liberation 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 amongst 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 Halakha (Jewish religious law). Tradition states that there are 613 Mitzvotor 613 commandments. There is some dispute as to how to divide these up (mainly between the rabbis Ramban and Rambam).

 

The Torah is divided into fifty-four portions which in the Jewish liturgy are read on successive Sabbaths, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy. The cycle ends and recommences at the end of Sukkot, which is called Simchat Torah.

 

Nevi'im

The Nevi'im, or "Prophets", tell the story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of 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 behavior 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. Portions of the prophetic books are read by Jews on the Sabbath (Shabbat). The Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur.

 

According to Jewish tradition, the Nevi'im are divided into eight books. Contemporary translations subdivide these into twenty-one books.

 

The Nevi'im comprise the following eight books:

6.    Joshua, Js—Yehoshua (יהושע)

7.    Judges, Jg—Shoftim (שופטים)

8.    Samuel, includes First and Second 1Sa–2Sa—Sh'muel (שמואל)

9.    Kings, includes First and Second, 1Ki–2Ki—Melakhim (מלכים)

10.  Isaiah, Is—Yeshayahu (ישעיהו)

11.  Jeremiah, Je—Yirmiyahu (ירמיהו)

12.  Ezekiel, Ez—Yekhezkel (יחזקאל)

13.  Twelve, Tre Asar (תרי עשר), comprising what some call the Minor Prophets

   A. Hosea, Ho—Hoshea (הושע)

   B. Joel, Jl—Yoel (יואל)

   C. Amos, Am—Amos (עמוס)

   D. Obadiah, Ob—Ovadyah (עבדיה)

   E. Jonah, Jh—Yonah (יונה)

   F. Micah, Mi—Mikhah (מיכה)

   G. Nahum, Na—Nahum (נחום)

   H. Habakkuk, Hb—Havakuk (חבקוק)

   I. Zephaniah, Zp—Tsefanya (צפניה)

   J. Haggai, Hg—Khagay (חגי)

   K. Zechariah, Zc—Zekharyah (זכריה)

   L. Malachi, Ml—Malakhi (מלאכי)

 

Ketuvim

The Ketuvim, or "Writings", may have been written or compiled during or after the Babylonian Exile. Many of the psalms in the book of Psalms are attributed to David; King Solomon is believed to have written Song of Songs in his youth, Proverbs at the prime of his life, and Ecclesiastes at old age; and the prophet Jeremiah is thought to have written Lamentations. The Book of Job is the only biblical book that centers entirely on a non-Jew. The Book of Ruth is the only book to focus on a convert to Judaism. It tells the story of a Moabitess who married a Jew and continued to follow the ways of the Jews after her husband's death; according to the Bible, she was the great-grandmother of King David. Five of the books, called "The Five Scrolls" (Megilot), are read on Jewish holidays: Song of Songs on Passover; the Book of Ruth on Shavuot; Lamentations on the Ninth of Av; Ecclesiastes on Sukkot; and the Book of Esther on Purim. Collectively, the Ketuvim contain lyrical poetry, philosophical reflections on life, and the stories of the prophets and other Jewish leaders during the Babylonian exile. It ends with the Persian decree allowing Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.

 

The Ketuvim comprise the following eleven books, divided, in many modern translations, into twelve through the division of Ezra and Nehemiah:

14.  Psalms, Ps—Tehillim (תהלים)

15.  Proverbs, Pr—Mishlei (משלי)

16.  Job, Jb—Iyyov (איוב)

17.  Song of Songs, So—Shir ha-Shirim (שיר השירים)

18.  Ruth, Ru—Rut (רות)

19.  Lamentations, La—Eikhah (איכה), also called Kinot (קינות)

20.  Ecclesiastes, Ec—Kohelet (קהלת)

21.  Esther, Es—Ester (אסתר)

22.  Daniel, Dn—Daniel (דניאל)

23.  Ezra, Ea, includes Nehemiah, Ne—Ezra (עזרא), includes Nehemiah (נחמיה)

24.  Chronicles, includes First and Second, 1Ch–2Ch—Divrei ha-Yamim (דברי הימים), also called Divrei (דברי)

 

Hebrew Bible translations and editions

The Tanakh was mainly written in biblical Hebrew, with some portions (notably in Daniel and Ezra) in biblical Aramaic.

 

Oral Torah

According to some Jews during the Hellenistic period, such as the Sadducees, only a minimal oral tradition of interpreting the words of the Torah existed, which did not include extended biblical interpretation. According to the Pharisees, however, God revealed both a Written Torah and an Oral Torah to Moses, the Oral Torah consisting of both stories and legal traditions. In Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah is essential for understanding the Written Torah literally (as it includes neither vowels nor punctuation) and exegetically. The Oral Torah has different facets, principally Halacha (laws), the Aggadah (stories), and the Kabbalah (esoteric knowledge). Major portions of the Oral Law have been committed to writing, notably the Mishnah; theTosefta; Midrash, such as Midrash Rabbah, the Sifre, the Sifra, and the Mechilta; and both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds as well. It may have even influenced early Christianity.

 

Orthodox Judaism continues to accept the Oral Torah in its totality. Masorti and Conservative Judaism state that the Oral Tradition is to some degree divinely inspired, and that rabbis today must adapt and apply its principles to changing conditions, even if this results in changes in Jewish practice. Reform Judaism also gives some credence to the Talmud containing the legal elements of the Oral Torah, but, as with the written Torah, asserts that both were inspired by, but not dictated by, God. Reconstructionist Judaism denies any connection of the Torah, Written or Oral, with God, viewing it instead as the nation's literary and moral genius. Karaite Judaism holds strictly to the Written Torah but not the Oral Torah, maintaining that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah, without additional Oral Law or explanation.

 

The article Jewish commentaries on the Bible discusses the Jewish understanding of the Bible, including Bible commentaries from the ancient Targums to classical Rabbinic literature, themidrash literature, the classical medieval commentators, and modern day Jewish Bible commentaries.

 

Septuagint

The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures. The Septuagint included books and additions not found in the Hebrew Bible. Modern Jewish Bibles follow the Masoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. The Septuagint splits certain books in two, so that the book of Kings, for example, became First Kings and Second Kings. Christian Bibles maintain these divisions.

 

 

Christian canons

The Christian Bible consists of the Hebrew scriptures of Judaism, which are known as the Old Testament; and later writings recording the lives and teachings of Jesus and his followers, known as the New Testament. "Testament" is a translation of the Greek διαθηκη (diatheke), also often translated "covenant". It is a legal term denoting a formal and legally binding declaration of benefits to be given by one party to another (e.g., "last will and testament" in secular use). Here it does not connote mutuality; rather, it is a unilateral covenant offered by God to individuals.

 

Groups within Christianity include differing books as part of one or both of these "Testaments" of their sacred writings—most prominent among which are the biblical apocrypha or deuteron canonical books.

 

Significant versions of the English Christian Bible include the Douay-Rheims, the RSV, the KJV, the ESV, the NKJV, and the NIV. For a complete list, see List of English Bible translations.

 

In Judaism, the term Christian Bible is commonly used to identify only those books like the New Testament which have been added by Christians to the Masoretic Text, and excludes any reference to an Old Testament.

 

Old Testament

The books which make up the Christian Old Testament differ between Protestants and the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the Protestant movement accepting only those books contained in the Hebrew Bible, while Catholics and Orthodox have a wider canon. The books were written in classical Hebrew, except for brief portions (Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26,Jeremiah 10:11, Daniel 2:4–7:28) which are in the Aramaic language, a sister language which became the lingua franca of the Semitic world. Much of the material, including many genealogies, poems and narratives, is thought to have been handed down by word of mouth for many generations. Very few manuscripts are said to have survived the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

 

The Old Testament is accepted by Christians as scripture. Broadly speaking, it contains the same material as the Hebrew Bible. However, the order of the books is not entirely the same as that found in Hebrew manuscripts and in the ancient versions and varies from Judaism in interpretation and emphasis (see for example Isaiah 7:14). Christian denominations disagree about the incorporation of a small number of books into their canons of the Old Testament. A few groups consider particular translations to be divinely inspired, notably the GreekSeptuagint, the Aramaic Peshitta, and the English King James Version.

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