Introducing the Bible

The Jesus Memoirs

What is the Bible?

  • Biblia (βιβλία): the plural Greek term for “books”
  • Includes a variety of types of literature: historiography, biography, law codes, prophecy, proverbs, parables, songs, love poetry, letters, apocalyptic writings, and more!
  • The Hebrew Bible or Old Testament was mainly written in Hebrew with parts in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Koine (“common”) Greek.
  • Testament is an older term for a “covenant” or an agreement between two parties.
  • John 3:16 = “John” is the name of the book, 3 is the chapter number, and 16 is the verse number. Chapter and verses are a later addition to the biblical texts.
  • See Larry Hurtado’s video on “Scrolls and the Early Codex.”

What does the term “canon” mean?

  • A kanōn reed was used as a standard of measurement.
  • The rule or criterion used to make a judgment (“rule of faith”) or a list of authoritative writings…

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