"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any
two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and
spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts
and intentions of the heart,"
The Bible is
the literary source of the Christian religion. It is the inspired
and inerrant word of God, a collection of 66 books (39 in the OT and 27
in the new), written by over 40 different authors, from 1500 B.C. to
about 100 A.D., on three continents, and in three languages:
Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. These men
wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2
Pet. 1:21). They wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words
taught by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.
The Bible has
played an important role in the history of civilization, especially in
Western Europe. It's truths have shaped countless millions and
helped to form nations by influencing lawmakers. It has been quoted in literature, has
inspired movies, and been the subject of intense debate. It is the
world's best selling book.
The Bible describes God's creative work of both the earth
and mankind, the fall of man, the expansion of the nations, the
formation of laws, and the rise and fall of many nations. But the
Bible is particularly about God's dealings with the nation of Israel,
His covenantal promises to them, the prophecies and fulfillment of the
Messiah. In particular,
the New Testament is the inspired revelation of God, through the
apostles, concerning the work and Ministry of Jesus, as well as the
growth of the church. In short, the Bible is about Jesus (John 5:39).
Within the pages of the Bible is great wisdom and truths.
It is not a scientific book, nor is it intended to be.
Instead, it claims to be the revelation of God to his people. It
claims to record the past and predict the future. It claims to
tell us what the distant future will be and that the ultimate destiny of
people will end in either eternal salvation or eternal damnation.
Protestant Christian Canon
Pentateuch - 5 books
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Historical Books - 12 books
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First
Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles, Ezra,
- 5 books
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
Prophetical - 17 books
Major Prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,
Minor Prophets - Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah,
Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Historical Books - 5 books
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts
- 13 books
Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians,
Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians. 1
Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
Epistles - 9 books
Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John,
Note: Some authors
attribute Hebrews to Paul.
There are other books mentioned in the Bible that are not part of
The Book of Wars -
The Book of Jasher -
The Chronicles of David -
The Book of the Kings of
Israel and Judah -
The Book of the Kings of
Israel - 1
2 Chron. 20:34.
The Words of the Kings of
Israel - 2 Chron.
The Decree of David the King
of Israel -
The Chronicles of Samuel the
Seer - 1
The Chronicles of Nathan the
1 Chron. 29:29
The Book of Gad -
1 Chron. 29:29
The Book of the Prophet Iddo -
The Words of Shemaiah the
2 Chron. 12:15
The Deeds of Uzziah by Isaiah
the Prophet -
2 Chron. 26:22;
The Book of Jehu -
2 Chron. 20:34
The Record book of Ahasuerus -
The Book of Remembrance -
The Book of Life -
The Book of Judgment -
The seven-sealed book -
An angel's book -
These other books are not Scripture. They were never intended to
be included in the Bible. The Jewish and the Christian community
has never recognized these books as being parts of the Bible. Their
existence does not mean that the Bible is not complete, nor does it mean
that they were taken out of the Bible. The fact is that they never
were part of the Bible to begin with.
When was the Bible formed?
The Bible was fully gathered and recognized by the end of the fourth
century. Church councils convened to establish what the accepted
books of the Bible would be.
“no canonical lists
appear before around A.D. 150…The inclusion of Revelation was a
matter of considerable disagreement. The second and third Letters of
John, 2 Peter, and Jude were often not included, and Hebrews was
sometimes omitted. At the same time, writings not found presently in
our canon of twenty-seven were sometimes cited. The
twenty-seven-book Latin Vulgate (Vg.) of Jerome (late fourth
century) exerted considerable influence upon what books were
generally recognized; moreover, provincial church councils held at
Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) recognized a twenty-seven-book NT
used the councils of men to establish His canon of scripture. It
was the Christian church that recognized God's word, not determined it.
Five years after
establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Puritans started in
Boston the first elementary school supported by tax money. In 1647,
they passed an ordinance which marked the beginning of the US Public
School system. Among other things, the ordinance required at
least 1 qualified teacher for every 50 householders, and a grammar
school in every town of more than 100 families. It also put the
Bible in the center of its curriculum, asserting that it is “one
chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the
knowledge of the Scriptures.
Achtemeier, Paul J., Publishers Harper & Row, and Society of Biblical
Literature. Harper's Bible Dictionary. electronic ed. San
Francisco: Harper & Row, 1996, c1985