The Bible is seen as sacred, inspired and holy to Christians.
It is made up of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. It contains folk tales, detailed laws, poems, hymns, proverbs, prophecy and wise sayings. There are a wide variety of different styles of writings, but all have a similar theme, that they all believe in the same God.The earliest known Christian writings are Paul’s letters known as the epistles, thought to have been written around 200bc, but may have been earlier. They are letters that contain advice about being a Christian and how they should live. Most of the letters found in the bible are written by St Paul to groups of Christian friends.
He focuses more on what Jesus’ life, death and resurrection mean to Christians, rather than actual facts about his life. Other letters are found in the New Testament, these are thought to have been written by Peter, John and some of the other apostles. Christianity was based on oral tradition and probably separate pieces of writing, before the bible took the form of a collection of booksThe only written record of Jesus’ life is found in the four gospels of theNew Testament. It was written 30-70 years after his death, so we know Jesus did not write it.
All the writers of the gospels were either an apostle who knew Jesus, or a close friend of an apostle. Nothing is known for certain about the gospel writers, some associate the gospels of Matthew and John with Jesus’ disciples of the same name. The New Testament is divided into four gospels (gospel meaning good news). Itcontains stories of Jesus life and the things that happened, but they are nowhere near a complete biography.The bible took centuries to reach the form it is today the first known writings were written around 220bc, and the latest writings date up to about 100ad. A final collection was agreed in ad397 though there are variations.
The Roman Catholic Church includes a collection of Jewish writings called the apocrypha, but Protestants do not include this.The Bible still has relevance today for believers. They believe it is the word of God, whether fundamental, conservative or liberal.
It guides them on how to lead their lives and it still can be interpreted to suit issues today.The Old Testament demonstrates the history of Jews and is similar to Jewish scriptures because Jesus’ early followers were Jews. It shows how the Jews gradually came to know more about what God is like.
They believe it looks forward to the coming of Jesus. It shows how the covenant worked in practice and tells how God sent prophets to warn them of the consequences of their actions. If they pleased him, they would reward them, if they displeased him, he would punish them.
Out of this, hope emerged that God would one day send his Messiah to be their savior. Christians believe that Jesus was this messiah, when Jews refused to recognize him, God offered his salvation to the non-Jews. Christians see themselves as the new chosen people.The Bible plays an important part in their life and all aspects of worship, as they believe God speaks through it. They find it useful for dealing with particular issues, such as divorce, they see it as a guide as how to live their life, as the bible says: “all scripture is inspired by god and is useful for teaching the truth, resulting error, correcting faults and giving instruction for right living”(1)By 1980, at least one book of the bible had been translated into 1685 languages.
But it is difficult to convey the correct meaning, as you cannot exactly translate all dialect accurately.