BURTON BEYOND

THE BIBLE

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The Truth is in Here

The book that is at the center of Christian life is the Bible. It is a collection of both Jewish and Christian writings that form the sacred text of a mojor world religion--Christianity. Surrounded by contraversy, and an inspiration to millions, the Bible is a book that merits attention from numerous academic disciplines and garners the respect of a myriad of readers.

More than just a collection of symbolisms and allegories, the Bible is a record and has a historical integrity. Often, it holds up to historical scrutiny. Many of the events that are recorded in the Bible are actual historical events--they can be measured in space and time.

Tradition bears out that the initial books of the Old Testament date back to Moses, appoximately 1400 years before the birth of Christ. The rest of the books were written over the next 1000 years, ending with the last book Malachi, in 400 BCE. Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with scant portions being written in Aramaic during the Persian Period (ca. 586-322 BCE). Books of Law, Prophecy, Poetry, and History all comprise the Old Testament. Around 200 BCE, the Old Testament was translated into Greek for the Jews who were then living throughout the Mediterranean world. The translation was called the Septuagint, abbreviated LXX, and contained the additional writings we now know as the Apocrypha.

The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, the common dialect spoken by most of the Roman Empire in the first century CE. It deals with a period that is tremendously smaller than the historical span of the Old Testament. The New Testament was written in the time between Christ's resurrection and the years around the end of the first century CE. It chronicles the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and the activities of the early church, forming the basis for Christianity. The authors of the books were the apostles of Jesus, Paul, and close associates. The 27 books of the New Testament were officially accepted at the Councils at Hippo and Carthage in 400 CE. The books are divided into the Gospels, History, Epistles, and the Revelation.

The purpose of this page is twofold. The academic study of the Bible--that is the study of the history and literature of the Bible--is the first focus. The second emphasizes the Bible as the inspired word of God. I will add readings and findings to this page from time to time.

SITES OF BIBLICAL INTEREST:

Anchorstones

Associates for Biblical Research

Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute

Biblical Archaeology Society

RECOMMENDED READINGS:

Asimov, Isaac. Asimov's Guide to The Bible. New York: Wing Books, 1981.

DeVries, LaMoine F. Cities of the Biblical World. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1997.

Lance, H. Darrell. The Old Testament and the Archaeologist. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981.

Moorey, P.R.S. A Century of Biblical Archaeology. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1991.

copyright Burton Beyond, 2005-2016