The Bible

30/4/19

The Bible is a collection of books, fables, stories, letters and historical texts gathered together in one volume, and has formed the key basis for almost all sects of Christian religions for almost 1600 years. It is split into 2 testaments - the old one basically telling the story of the Jewish people and the new one detailing the life of Jesus and his followers. There is no one definitive group of texts, the version used by Catholics differs from that used by most Protestants. The Jewish version ignores the New Testament completely. The various versions overlap as certain books within the collection are ignored or included. The original works were written in Hebrew and Greek, translated into Latin and only in the 15th Century into English and more modern languages.

Various fragments and scrolls from the early Dark ages have survived but much of what we have is copies of copies of copies of translations of oral traditions. As these went on, stories were embellished, added to, changed, omitted and amended by authors to tell versions of the stories they wanted to tell. Because so many versions were floating about causing heresies and conflicts, it was not until the late 4th Century that an established version of a bible as we know it was largely agreed on; basically by committee.

For believers the book is revered and even sacred, somehow inspired, or even written, by their God and is an essential part of their religion. Its impact on history cannot be underestimated. Followers have used the myriad stories, fables and passages to justify everything from socialism to capitalism, from slavery to emancipation and from equality to bigotry. But it is a book, written by men (we know of no women authors) and should be treated as any book.

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