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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Bible, a name supposed to have been first applied in the fifth century to denote the collective volume of the sacred writings. The word occurs in the Prologue to Sirach, 'the Law, the Prophets, and the rest of the books,' and 2 Timothy 4:13, 'and the books.' Before the adoption of this name the more usual terms in the Christian Church by which the sacred books were denominated were, the Scripture or Writing, the Scriptures, the Sacred Writings, and the Sacred Letters. The term in question was first applied to the entire collection of sacred writings by St. Chrysostom. In the course of time it superseded all others both in the Eastern and Western Church, and is now everywhere the popular appellation.

The Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. The name Old Testament is applied to the books of Moses by St. Paul (2 Corinthians 3:14), inasmuch as the former covenant comprised the whole scheme of the Mosaic revelation, and the history of this is contained in them. The names given to the Old Testament were, the Scriptures (Matthew 21:42); Scripture (2 Peter 1:20); the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2); the sacred letters (2 Timothy 3:15); the holy books, the law (John 12:34); the law, the prophets, and the psalms (Luke 24:44); the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17); the law, the prophets, and the other books (Prologue of Sirach); the books of the old covenant (Nehemiah 8:8); the book of the covenant (1 Maccabees 1:57; 2 Kings 23:2).

The other books (not in the canon) were called apocryphal, ecclesiastical, and deuterocanonical. The term New Testament has been in common use since the third century, and is employed by Eusebius in the same sense in which it is now commonly applied. Tertullian employs the same phrase, and also that of 'the Divine Instrument' in the same signification. For detailed information on subjects connected with Bible, see Scripture.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Bible'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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