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The Holy Bible

The Bible - also called - The Holy Bible, The Book, Word of God, The Word Scripture, Scripture, is the name used by Jews and Christians for their (differing but overlapping) canons of sacred texts. It refers to the combination of Hebrew Scripture (known to Christians as the "Old Testament" or "First" Testament), and the "New Testament," describing the life and message of Jesus.

Both Christians and Jews regard the Bible as the revealed word of God, with widespread variation on what this means or to what extent (or what books) it applies.

Early Christians produced translations of the Hebrew Bible into several languages; their primary Biblical text was the Septuagint. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic and Latin, among other languages. The Latin translations were historically the most important for the Church in the West, while the Greek-speaking East continued to use the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament and had no need to translate the New Testament.

The earliest Latin translation was the Old Latin text, or Vetus Latina, which, from internal evidence, seems to have been made by several authors over a period of time. It was based on the Septuagint, and thus included books not in the Hebrew Bible.

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The ever-increasing number of variants in Latin manuscripts induced Pope Damasus, in 382, to commission his secretary, Saint Jerome, to produce a reliable and consistent text. Jerome later took it on himself to make a completely new translation directly from the Hebrew of the Tanakh. This translation became the basis of the Vulgate Latin translation. Though he also translated Psalms from Hebrew, the earlier Septuagint-based version, slightly revised by him, is the text that was actually used in Church and is included in editions of the Vulgate. This includes the deuterocanonical books, also revised by Jerome, and became the official translation of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Bible is the most widely distributed book in the world. Both Hebrew Scripture and the Christian Bible have been translated more times and into more languages (more than 2,100 languages) than any other book. It is said that more than five billion copies of the Bible have been sold since 1815, making it the best-selling book of all-time.


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