Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Introduction to the Bible 1

The Bible was written over a period of at least 1500 years. It is composed of many different “books.” So we can speak of the Book of Genesis, which is part of the Bible. But Genesis is a kind of book by itself, too. There are 66 books in the Bible. There is great variety of kinds of books; for examples, some are historical, some are collections of poems, some are like very long sermons, and some are individual correspondence between two people. Each book is then divided into chapters. These chapters are typically much shorter than a typical chapter you’d find in a book at Barnes and Noble. The chapters are then divided into verses. Even in prose and narrative literature, the entire Bible is divided into verses. Each verse is typically about a sentence or two. With this “mapping” system, we can refer to a very specific sentence or even one word and communicate its location easily. For example, “Genesis 13:6” refers to the Book of Genesis, chapter 13, verse 6. These chapter and verse divisions were added in the 1500s after the invention of the printing press, they are not part of the original texts.

OT, NT The Bible is divided into two parts which are significantly different: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is much larger, covers much more history, and is much older than the New Testament.

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