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The Holy Bible: an Overview

Updated on June 8, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen was a teacher for over forty years. Degrees include School Librarianship, Psycholinguistics and Theology, and Applied Linguistics.

King James Version, 1884
King James Version, 1884 | Source

The Name: Holy Bible

The Bible

The name, 'Bible' originally came from the Greek, and then from the Latin, biblia, meaning 'papyrus' or 'paper' and hence 'books.' The Christian Bible is usually divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament, meaning the old and new covenants that were made between God and man.

The early Scriptures were written by hand on clay, stone tablets, or wood. Later, parchment, or animal skin, or paper, which was first made in egypt from papyrus reeds were used. The writing on parchment or paper was arranged in groups of four columns across long strips of paper or parchment. These strips were then rolled up into scrolls that were curled around at each end. There were no divisions of chapters and verses as we have today and the writers did not use any punctuation. All these things have been added over the centuries to make it easier for us to understand and to help us to find the sections that we want.

In Jesus' time, the Scriptures that they used were hand-written, mostly in Hebrew and copied onto scrolls and these included what we now know as the Old Testament. Put together, they made up twenty-four books. These scrolls were known as the 'Holy Scriptures' and it was not until the Old Testament began to come together as one book that the twenty-four books were arranged a little differently and expanded into thirty-nine books. This came to be known as the Hebrew Bible.

Later still, the twenty-seven books of the New Testament were added to make a total of sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible. Although the common language used by Jesus and His disciples was Aramaic, these books were written in the more formal Greek.

The number of books that different churches included in their Bibles varied according to the church that was using them; they were not all the same and that situation remains today. The Bibles of the Catholics, and this includes Anglican and Episcopal churches, incorporate the Apocrypha, which usually adds eighteen extra books; some of these are brief, but it adds up to eighty-four books. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible has eighty-one books.

The Holy Bible

The word 'Holy' was not added to the name of 'Bible' until much more recent times, although most of the books that make up the Bible have long been regarded as the inspired word of God.

Some Interesting Facts:

  • Chapters: For ease of use and reference, the books of the Bible were divided into chapters by Stephen Langton in the 1200s.
  • Verses: The chapters of the Bible were divided into verses in the 1500s by the French printer Robert Estienne.
  • Mass Printing: The Bible was the first mass printed book in the world. About one hundred and eighty copies of what became known as the Gutenberg Bible were printed.
  • The First Printed Bible: The first Bible to be printed was in Mainz, Germany. Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press in 1440 in Mainz, Germany.
  • Gutenberg's Printing Press: He introduced movable type and this remained in use for printing until late in the twentieth century.
  • Black Print Only: Gutenberg began to print the first Bibles in 1452, but they were not completed until 1455. The press only used black ink and all the red lettering and beautifully painted illuminations were added by hand later.

The final Christian Holy Bible differs for the Catholic, Orthodox and Christian churches. The Protestant Bible omits the Apocrypha and is composed of the Old Testament contained in the Jewish Bible, and the New Testament. The Catholic and Orthodox churches include the Apocrypha, or deuterocanonical books.

Grandpa's Bible, a Gift when he Migrated to Australia in 1884. It Weighs 9 lbs (4.4 kg).
Grandpa's Bible, a Gift when he Migrated to Australia in 1884. It Weighs 9 lbs (4.4 kg). | Source

Books of the Old Testament

The Books of the Old Testament tell the history - His story - of God's relationship with His people from the creation of the world, their creation and fall, the need for laws and rules, those who broke them, those who encouraged the people to mend their relationship with God and His promise of a coming Messiah.

In the Protestant Bible that many use today the Books have been arranged in the following order:

The Books of the Law:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

These books are also known by their Hebrew name, the Tora, and their Greek name, the Pentateuch. it is believed that they were written by Moses. Although they contain the Law and various rules, they also contain sermons, history and family trees. They tell how God redeemed the Israelites from being slaves in Egypt and led them to the land He had promised.

The Books of History:

  1. The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, (Ruth), 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings.
  2. The Writings: 1Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, (Esther).
  3. The Wisdom Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.

As well as being the history of Israel, the books of the Former Prophets tell the story of the relationship between God and His people over a period of about eight hundred years. The Writings describe the events in order of time. The books of poetry and songs are known as Wisdom books. They include allegory and parable and deep, useful statements to help on life's journey.

The Prophets:

  1. The Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel.
  2. The Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, amos, Obadiah, Johan, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

The seventeen books of the prophets include sermons, visions and Jewish history. They cover several centuries from 800 - 300 BC, and extend from the prophets before the exile to during it and well after it. The books of the twelve Minor prophets are shorter but no less important.

Some Different English Translations
Some Different English Translations | Source

Books of the Apocrypha

The Books of the Apocrypha are not always accepted as the inspired word of God but there is much in them that is well worth reading. The word 'Apocrypha' means 'hidden'; the Books are outside the canon. However, most were found in the Greek Old Testament Scriptures, but not in the Hebrew, and as the early church used the more universal Greek, they used these Books along with the rest of Scripture for teaching and preaching.

It was not until the time of Martin Luther that they were omitted from the Bible. These Books were mostly written in the period after the last Old Testament Book and before New Testament times, so they fill a gap and are correctly placed between the two Testaments. The number of books included in the Apocrypha vary with different churches, but they are still used by Catholic and Orthodox churches.

  • Section a: Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus or the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach, Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah, The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees.
  • Section b: 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, 3 Maccabees.
  • Section c: 2 Esdras
  • Section d: 4 Maccabees

New Testament English Translations
New Testament English Translations | Source

Books of the New Testament

The twenty-seven Books of the New Testament have also been arranged in order. They record the coming of the promised Messiah who is the New Covenant between God and humankind, the birth and growth of the church and the future of humankind.

The Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

The History: The Acts of the Apostles

The Epistles, or Letters:

  1. The Letters Written by Paul: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 1 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
  2. The General Epistles: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude.

The Apocalypse: The Revelation to John

Translations of the Holy Bible

Today there are numerous translations of the Bible. In English, there are many versions available that can be used for different purposes, for learning, devotion, worship, study and research.

Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as The Bible Society and Wycliffe Bible Translators - and individual mission workers - the Bible has been translated into over 1,500 languages, with about the same number being worked on at present. With the aim of having the Bible in every language of the world, there is still a long way to go as there are an estimated 6,800 languages in use at the moment. Just as, in the days before the invention of printing whole Bibles were so carefully copied by hand with very few mistakes, so the work of translation today is lengthy and much care is taken to be accurate.

Did you know that more Bibles are sold in the world than any other book? The Holy Bible is the perennial World's Best Seller!

Buki Tabu: A Translation into the Dobu Language,  PNG, 1953
Buki Tabu: A Translation into the Dobu Language, PNG, 1953 | Source

Postscript

I've just heard about this new overview course of the Bible by Ridley College and it looks great. Do have a look:

http://vimeo.com/65196123

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    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, Blossom, I saw that title, and I thought . . . an overview of the whole Holy Bible? And you did it! Very well done here!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing of course!

      God bless you, Faith Reaper

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Excellent work! One other point which use to get me in trouble in bible study: the bible hold truths even if one doesn't believe in God. (I'm a believer). Try it, Take any book and take God out of the picture, there is still a valuable lesson.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wonderful hub, Blossom. I agree with both Faith and Martin. This is truly excellent work; even if one is not a beliver (I am a believer), there is much to be learned from the Bible. Bless you. :-)

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is an awesome hub Blossom. Thank you for sharing this overview with us, in this hub. Voted up, awesome and interesting, sharing!

    • melpor profile image

      Melvin Porter 3 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      You did an extraordinary job explaining the Bible. You broke it down very well and with good organization of facts. Very well written hub. Voted up and interesting.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

      This is so informative and well written, my friend. Thank you for sharing this fine work and may our God bless you and yours on this fine day. whonu

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      I would love to see the younger generation read this hub.. it may open their eyes to an old but.. a brand new concept for them.. very well written and easy to follow blossoms you are always on top of your hubs..:)

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 3 years ago from USA

      Very informative...great job, I learned a lot here today..bookmarking this hub for future reference.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very well done. Just right.

    • anoocre8ion profile image

      Amy 3 years ago from Texas

      Great job. Many people do not have the basic knowledge and you did a wonderful job of giving it to them.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Fantastic hub, Blossom! It's incredible to think that the Bible has been translated in more than 1,500 languages!

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Faith Reaper: Dear Faith, thank you so much. May God bless you richly.

      Mhatter99: That's true, but I don't think we can really take God out of anything, He is truly still there. He isn't even mentioned in the Book of Esther, but we can see Him guiding some of the events (I say 'some' because it gets a bit blood-thirsty and revengeful near the end). Bless you.

      Genna East: Thank you. God is there, even if we don't acknowledge Him, but how much better when we do!

      livingsta: Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

      melpor: Thank you. It took quite a while to organize and write!

      whonunuwhu: It's not so fine here as it's practically winter, but still a day to rejoice! May God bless you and yours, too.

      Frank Atanacio: They may, Frank. We can only hope and pray. Thank you for your lovely comments.

      faythef: I'm glad you enjoyed reading - and learning, there is always so much more that we can learn. I love the old KJ translation: 'Wist ye not that I be about my Father's business?'

      Ericdierker: Thank you so much for your comment.

      anoocre8ion: It's a privilege to be able to share. Thank you.

      kidscrafts: It is wonderful, but then, there's still so much to do and the people who do - or facilitate - the translation work often need to live in very difficult situations and climates God bless you.

    • profile image

      Marcia Ours 3 years ago

      Very well done and many interesting facts presented about the history of the Bible!

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Blossom- This Hub is a true gift for those in search of bible history. A time well spent.

      God Bless

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I needed this, so much controversy! Thank you for sharing your research with us. I am a believer in God..

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I agree with MHatter and have always wondered how anyone could be against a bible living Christian, for if there were no God and of course we know there is, going by that book would make this world a perfect place. I enjoyed your write and some facts I didn't know i will now look into. Thank you!

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

      Well written and informative hub. You provided an excellent overview of the Bible and the structure of your hub is quite easy to read.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello blossomsB.

      Many will be blessed to know more about the Bible. Glory to God for letting humanity to know , what He knew that we need to know.

      Voted up and useful.

      May the blessings of The Lord , be upon you.

    • searchinsany profile image

      Alexander Gibb 3 years ago from UK

      This is a well written, interesting, and informative Hub.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Marcia Ours: Thank you. It's important to know the background of how our most important Book came into being.

      graceinus: As it is just an overview, I've tried to keep it brief, but hopefully also helpful.

      always exploring. Thank you for your comments. It's great to believe in God because He believes in us, too.

      Jackie Lynnley: Wouldn't it be wonderful if this world were a perfect place, but then, it's made up of us humans, and we're not perfect. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      I'm so glad that it's easy to read - obtuse hubs can be annoying when trying to find out something. Bless you.

      Michael-Milec: Thank you for your blessings and words of wisdom. Glory be to God.

      searchinsany: Thank you. I'm always interested in information about the Bible, too. It's the most important Book in the world, and yet it's not really one book, but many.

    • profile image

      LadyLyell 3 years ago

      An interesting read as I have read the bible right through. I also do continual study of the scriptures.

      A pity God's name has been omitted from many translations. It does define which God one refers to as his word.

      Have a nice day!

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      LadyLyell: Thank you. Yes, an occasional year set aside to read the Bible right through is a great refresher and gives a good overview. A number of Bible reading guides and notes help us to do that over the course of three years or so and then it can be studied in more depth, too. There's always so much more to learn, isn't there?

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

      informative, interesting, and well presented article of the Word of God and its historical background. I very much enjoyed the read and most enjoyed your final fact about the Bible being a "perennial World Best Seller".

    • EphremHagos profile image

      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      The New Testament books are characterized by questionable marks of canonicity, constructed by early theologians and the church, in direct disobedience to God’s verifiably Spirit-only, Scripture-free, irrevocable terms and “seal”, a.k.a., "the kind of death Jesus suffered", bringing all men back to the starting point, i.e., Paradise or life in all its fullness.

      (Jer. 31: 31-34; Matt. 26: 26-29, 64; 27: 50-56; Luke 2: 25-35; 23: 40-43)

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Tamarajo: Thank you. I, too, find it wonderful that the Bible continues to be the World's Best Seller. May God bless you.

      Ephrem Hagos: As you see from my hub, each of the New Testament categories has a different purpose, but there is so much that we can learn from each of these Books, even the shortest of the Epistles. I'm not sure why you would want 'Scripture-free' books in the New Testament as Jesus knew the Old Testament Scriptures and quoted them very frequently. We can really only understand the full impact of the New Testament when we know the Old Testament, too. God bless you and thank you for your comments.

    • EphremHagos profile image

      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      BlossomSB: Thank you for your rebuttal.

      As referenced, I am merely obeying the terms and seal of the "new covenant", based on personal "visions" of God and teaching by "revelations". We have suppressed the knowledge of God by our unauthorized canon of the New Testament books which have their historical value anyway!

      God bless you too!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      Wow or Hubwow - I must admit the title caught my eye and it's a pretty heavyweight overview too but as handled by you dear kind lady from down under I must say you wrote this introduction with the labor of your unconditional love and world class journalistic approach. Thank you for your research here and I've been enlightening by one of the greatest books of all time (other than my new one at Kindle direct, lol) by someone as lovely and talented as you.

      Sending you warm wishes from Colin and his cats at lake erie time ontario canada 4:45pm

      p.s. - sharing this with a link on my Facebook page

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      EphremHagos: Thank you.

      epigramman: How lovely! Thank you for your warm wishes and for sharing. Yes, it does take quite a bit of research to write a hub like this, but one can learn so much in the process, too. Hope your cats are enjoying the warmer weather over your way. Even with his coat on it takes a bit to coax my little dog out sometimes in our wintry weather. Blessings.

    • cynthtggt profile image

      cynthtggt 3 years ago from New York, NY

      This is a wonderful reference hub that should be a "bookmark" on everybody's browser. Thanks, B. Going to share.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      cynthtggt: What a lovely thing to say! Thank you and God bless you.

    • thost profile image

      thost 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      A very good article. The bible is well worth reading, you will always find an answer there.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 3 years ago from USA

      Blossom,

      It was a pleasure hearing from you today, and your uplifting comments. You are truly a lovely person and this hub was delightful to read, I have not known this information till now and it is good to know. Thank you very much. It's interesting how you explained that (all) the books are the bible are valuable, so any version, Catholic or KJV, etc are good? I've been reading the KJV. What version do you think is the best?

      The book are fascinating, as you describe them in their categories, from Paul's epistles to Job, and the Psalms, there's something for every mood, distress, feeling, and need of advice, is why always we come to God's word for comfort, wisdom, consolation, etc.

      Lovely hub, hope to see more of you. Thanks

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 3 years ago from The Shire

      This is a good overview, Blossom! And the last photo really caught my eye. The Bible is a taboo bookie in a lot of places these days, but I read banned books! :-)

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      thost: It certainly is worth reading. My Mother wrote in the front of my first Bible that in it I would find all the answers to life's problems. So true.

      schoolgirlforreal: Thank you for your lovely comments. I think it's best to use the version that you are most comfortable with, or the one that your church uses. Personally, I love the language of the KJV, as that is what I was brought up on; I mostly use the NRSV for devotions and several different ones for research, including the new (2012) ESV Global Study Bible, which I find very helpful.

      mollymeadows: Ha! How true - and clever of you, it's a sad fact. However, it's still the world's number one seller. In the Dobu language of PNG the word, 'taboo' means 'holy', which helps it to make the title more sense.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Great overview... one thing I tell the beginners class is to use the the table of contents, do not be ashamed that you do not know where a book is located.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      FSlovenec: Yes, the Table of Contents is there to be used, and there's no shame in that. However, it's better still if they learn the list of Books off by heart. Perhaps you could offer a small text bookmark as a prize for the first to recite it correctly. It's so useful to know where to find each Book. Have fun!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 3 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Blossom, you did a wonderful job with this Hub. A new Bible reader can use this advice to find his or her way around it. Additionally, I was surprised and thrilled to see it it HOD.

    • profile image

      Beth37 3 years ago

      What an impressive offering. Thank you for the great effort. :)

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Interesting hub, very informative. Congrats on HOTD also!

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 3 years ago from Scandinavia

      A fantastic, insightful overview. Very impressive and well worth the HOTD. Congrats and thank you so much for sharing. Sharing and voted.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great job. This is one hub that deserves to have won - hands down! Voted up and away. Thanks you!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      A well researched and insightful article regarding the Bible, "the greatest story ever told". Your explanations were thorough and interesting. This was a pleasure to read. Congratulations on HOTD! Thanks for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • shofarcall profile image

      shofarcall 3 years ago

      Congratulations Blossom on being HOTD on a truly worthwhile subject!

      I am sure all of us here that know you and the quality of your work and your love of Jesus were mightily happy when we saw this as it is the Lords name being glorified.

      well done hub+++++God Bless

    • bluebird profile image

      bluebird 3 years ago

      Congrats Blossom! You provided a lot of information on the most read, yet most misunderstood book in the world. What a paradox!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Blossom: Congratulations on being HOTD! This is so deserving of that accolade. You are HP's expert on the Bible that is for sure. I am coming to you with any questions I might have. This is a wonderful overview and explanation of the Bible. I knew some of this but not all of this. This is such a wonderful reference and I am bookmarking this. Again, congratulations on a well earned accolade, HOTD.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 3 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Interesting Hub..thank you...the Old Testament points toward the Cross and the new Testament points back at the cross...thanks for the Hub

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image

      Marsha Musselman 3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Great hub, I too voted it up. It looks like you did a lot of research to state all the facts for each section that you wrote.

      What an inspiration to what can be written in a hub!

    • Augustus Samuel profile image

      chukwunonso samuel 3 years ago

      great hub, no doubt. thanks for the work, but maybe i was expecting a little bite more history on the origin of the bible, like who oversaw the compilation of the many separate books that made up the bible as we know it today, what criteria was used in the selection of both the Jewish scripture and the christian testament and the date. but all the same the hub was informative. congrats on your hub of the day. i voted it up.

    • profile image

      lemmyc 3 years ago

      Great piece of work. Thanks.

    • lemmyC profile image

      Ben 3 years ago from UK

      Great piece of work. Thanks and God bless you.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      A very well written overview of the Holy Bible. Clear and concise. Will be a great tool for anyone trying to know the history and books of the Bible.

      Congrats on the HOTD award.

    • yankeeintexas profile image

      yankeeintexas 3 years ago from Lubbock, Texas

      You appear to have a great amount of knowledge when to the Bible. Great Hub!

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 3 years ago

      Hi BlossomSB, If you choose to respond, do you know why Martin Luther excluded some books? Also, if I may ask, do you know which version of the Bible is most respected by Biblical scholars and why? I am currently involved in a Bible study. Are there some translations pretty much rejected out of hand by scholars? If you don't have time to answer, it's OK. Thought I'd ask anyway! :)

      Awesome overview of the Bible. Congratulations on your hub!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Neat breakdown of the Bible. Well done. Congrats on HOTD! Well done!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      What I would like to know, respectfully speaking, if anyone on this page has an answer or the author of this page - There was Adam and Eve, right. And they had Cain and Abel. Where did all of the other people come from?

      Thank you for clearing this up for me.

    • Nancy C Moores profile image

      Nancy C Moores 3 years ago

      Blossom I really liked the way you introduced the Bible without committing yourself to any certain religion. The Bible is the most purchased book and the least read hahahhaaaa to bad right should be read all the time. You did a good historical over view thank you.

      In answer to epigramman, which I am taking the liberty too answer lol Adam and Eve had lots of children, and with all being in as close to perfection as could be even after they had eaten of the fruit and sinned they could marry and not have to problems that we have today because of so far from perfection leads to abnormalties that are seen today in inter marrying. That is the only way mankind could procreate. God told them to go and fill the earth, so how else could this happen. There were no other people at that time. Hope that helps.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      Thank you Nancy for your answer and that seems to be make sense in the way you explained it with intelligence, heart and articulate passion.

    • EphremHagos profile image

      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      There is the greatest risk in overlooking the following CHALLENGE.

      The missing link today is the consistent testimony of the Holy Bible itself, viz.: the sovereign authority of Jesus Christ, i.e., his perpetual self-revelations as “source of life”, a.k.a., “the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead” both to baptize with the Holy Spirit and make more disciples.

    • Oscarlites profile image

      Oscar Jones 3 years ago from Alabama

      Many many people use this book to live by. Its amazing. the gospel was first referred to as "godspel". It is alive. there are revelations of truth for every searcher. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. He is the God of Heaven and of the whole earth.. He is without beginning and without ending. His Word standeth Forever.

    • EphremHagos profile image

      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      Oscarlites: I do hope we agree that the "godspel" is something that underlies the book rather than the book itself.

      The alternative is nothing less than bibliomancy or fortune-telling!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      @savvydating - If I may, and I hope blossomsb doesn't mind me answering your question, I believe, and I've read somewhere that Martin Luther excluded some books in putting the Bible together because the integrity of those text in comparison to other known ancients accounts was questionable.

      As for the bible version that is preferred, the King James Version (or the New King James) of the bible is the most preferred version as it is the one closest to the original Hebrew and Greek text account (though a lot more difficult to understand for some, due to the use of old English). Plus, some of the other version have been drastically changed that the interpretation are sometimes so far removed from what was originally intended in the ancient written texts.

      Another thing to consider is some latest bible version employed scholars whose religious and political affiliations and views are reflected in their interpretation of the bible version, thus distorting the true meaning of the texts.

      As you study the bible, pray that God, the Holy Spirit will give you understanding, and the grace to do as He will. Stay blessed.

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 3 years ago

      ComfortB, I really appreciate your having taken the time to answer my questions. It means a great deal to me. Now I have a better idea of how to research these questions even more fully. Blossom is probably busy playing "catch up," so I didn't necessarily expect an answer. Thank you!!

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      Oscar Jones 3 years ago from Alabama

      Ephram; thanks. yes I agree the "Word" is not just dependent on the "book ". Scripture says that Jesus was the "living Word that came down from Heaven". It says not one jot nor tittle shall change/end until all its ( prophecies) come to pass. Also that these truths are protected by God himself; we are not to add to or take away from its truths; from its words; from its meanings; God meant what he meant and meant what he said. grave responsibiity goes along with our possession of these divine things. the book itself is a "written record" of a far more indelible and Living Word. Word that He can prompt into our hearts by the holy spirit. Word that will never change; But yet a word that will be fulfilled, all the way to our entrance into eternal life: I agree with this post, and comfortb you are correct ; men and politics try to alter subtly, each translation. But the Word of the Lord standeth sure; having this seal; "The Lord knoweth them that are His". thanks BlossomSB!

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      Brianna Stuart 3 years ago

      Awesome. You did such a great job. I really enjoyed this Hub. :)

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Hyphenbird: Thank you, it was a delightful surprise for me, too. Sorry I've taken so long to reply. A relative sent two big family tree lists and my inbox got too full so I couldn't receive my emails!

      Beth37: Thank you and bless you.

      Thief12: Thank you for your comments and congrats. I'm thrilled.

      starbright: Thank you, and for your vote.

      John Sarkis: Thank you so much.

      rose-the-planner: It certainly is the best story ever told. Thank you for your comments and vote.

      shofarcall: To God be the glory and bless you for your lovely comments.

      bluebird: It is a paradox. That is why we need to keep studying the Word. Thank you.

      suzettenaples: We are all still learning and it's great when we can share and do it together. I certainly don't have all the answers! Bless you for your lovely comments. I am delighted and surprised, too, with the HOD.

      FSlovenic: That is so true. Thank you for your lovely comments.

      Marsha Musselman1: It is interesting that we can write on such a variety of topics and that is what helps HubPages to be so good. Thank you for your vote.

      Augustus Samuel: Thank you for a great idea. I might take you up on that one of these days.

      Lemmyc: Thank you, it's good to hear from you.

      LemmyC: Thank you and God bless you, too.

      ComfortB: Thank you for the congrats. That was a lovely surprise. I do hope that it will be helpful to others. I know I learned a lot from writing it.

      yankeeintexas: Thank you. It's the best book in the world to learn about.

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      Debbie E. Lomba 3 years ago from Massachusettes

      Thank you for your work...I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece and grabbed some gold nuggets along the way. I was blessed.

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      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      Oscarlites: Thanks God for our agreement!

      From the beginning, the Bible also draws a secure distinction between the written word and the living word, a.k.a., "life-giving Spirit", now found again in the least expected of times and places, viz.: Christ's death on the cross! Amen!

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      savvydating: I see that ComfortB has already given an excellent reply, which was lovely of her. I've been overwhelmed with all the responses and am slowly working my way through them. For myself, I don't like the Good News Bible, I like the language of the New King James, but for study I prefer the Global Study Bible which uses the English Standard Version. Happy Bible Study and God bless.

      Victoria Lynne: Thank you for your comment and congratulations. That is very kind.

      Epigramman: I see that Nancy C. Moores has given you a good reply, which is very kind of her. Again, I've been too slow, but blessings.

      Nancy C. Moores: Thank you for your lovely comments - and for replying to Epigramman - with the same reply that I would have given, so I'm very grateful for you filling in.

      Ephrem Hagos and Oscarlites: I've read your comments with interest and agree that the Word of the Lord does stand sure although all through history we have interpreted it as it relates to our own situations, even Jesus did that. God bless you both and thank you for your comments.

      ComfortB: Thank you for your thoughtful replies. You are right, I have been so busy with many things - as they say, it never rains but it pours! I do so appreciate your responses, you have said it so much better than I could have. May God bless you richly.

      Brianna Stuart: Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      delomba: Thank you - and I have been blessed with so many encouraging and affirmative comments. There are some lovely people of God on these HubPages and I appreciate their friendship greatly.

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      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      Blossom SB,

      I cannot over-emphasize what Christianity has lost today by forfeit, viz.: the unprecedented benefits of being in tune with the development in the Holy Bible, a.k.a., "life in all its fullness" in Paradise, by virtue of God's personal presence among mankind as literally defined in the kind of death Christ suffered.

      Some POINTERS are the following. (John 12: 30-32; Luke 23: 40-43)

      The real PROOF is verifiable only by "People looking at him whom they pierced". (John 19: 34-37)

      God bless you.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Blossom, I can't believe I missed this. Special blessing on you for this excellent piece of work! Congratulations on the HOD award.

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Ephrem Hagos: Sorry I missed this, I've been on holiday. Thank you for your helpful comments. May God bless you, too.

      MsDora: Thank you so much - on both counts. Having been away I haven't done much this month, so don't feel I deserve it. God bless.

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      EphremHagos 3 years ago from Addis Ababa

      BlossomSB, God bless you!

      It is a rare pleasure to take part in a hub most constructively hosted in the "complete freedom" characterized by the " new and living way" into the house of God through the death of Jesus! Thank you.

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      EphremHagos: Thank you so much for your lovely comments. May God bless you, too.

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      EphremHagos 2 years ago

      The "final authority" of the Bible is not in tact since "God's home is now with mankind" according to the terms in the "new covenant" sealed in Christ's diacritical death.

      Any objections?

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      EphremHagos 2 years ago from Addis Ababa

      P.S. Since God is literally with us, who needs the Bible except for secondary reference?

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      EphremHagos: The Bible remains the Holy Bible. It contains God's word and the Holy Spirit can speak to us and guide our lives through it. If we did not have the Bible how would we learn about how God has worked in the lives of His people through the ages under the old covenants? Nor would we know about Jesus' life, example and sacrifice for our sins, explained in the new covenant, known as the New Testament section of the Holy Bible.

      In answer to your second question: God is only with us when we invite Him, the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, into our hearts, but we are human and we continue to sin. This separates us from our holy God. We need the Bible to remind us of how we can gain His forgiveness through Jesus, and then be brought back to fellowship with Him. I think the question, rather than God being 'literally with us' is are we literally with God? He is the centre, the great I AM, not us.

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      EphremHagos 2 years ago from Addis Ababa

      The "Holy Bible" is a publisher’s misnomer which has famously suppressed God’s last defining moment of holiness, i.e., His direct and personal revelation, based on but independent of the Bible, e.g., Christ’s death on the cross.

      Being vital, the distinction is integrated into the knowledge of God centered terms and seal of the “new covenant” to inspire people rather than more books which retain their historical values.

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      EphremHagos 2 years ago from Addis Ababa

      According to the terms of the "new covenant", the primary CHOICE faced by today's Christian is between personally revealed knowledge of God himself and the Bible.

      I choose the former!

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      EphremHagos: Thank you for your interesting and revealing comments.

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      Taiwo Kareem 2 years ago from Salford

      Great and informative hub. I had to bookmark for future reference

    • EphremHagos profile image

      EphremHagos 2 years ago from Addis Ababa

      BlossomSB Thank you. Discussion FOR and AGAINST my comments will be more refreshing and welcome even if long overdue. Help!

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      taiwokareem: Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      EphremHagos: Discussion would be interesting and thank you for the suggestion, but I have my nose completely immersed in my next book at the moment, so, sorry, I'll have to forgo that pleasure.

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      EphremHagos 2 years ago from Addis Ababa

      BlossomSB, Allow me then to invite comments from others who are concerned.

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      EphremHagos: That's an interesting idea. I'll look forward to hearing the comments if ever my computer gets fixed - I don't seem to be receiving my emails any more and the man who helps is not responding to my phone calls as yet.

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      EphremHagos 2 years ago from Addis Ababa

      Thank you. I shall wait.

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