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Chapter 5: The Bible – A Hyper-dimensional Document
The Christian Bible, as we know it today, was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
It contains 66 books written over a period of about 1,600 years and had at least 40 authors.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and also contains some books that had sections
written in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek and although the New Testament
is rejected by the Jewish faith, it forms the crux of Christian belief.1 Most Christians believe that
both the Old and New Testaments were verbally inspired by God. Some Jews, after studying
specific aspects in the Old Testament, have also come to accept the New Testament as being
supernaturally inspired, based on similarities that are found in the design of both these texts.
The Old Testament of the Christian Bible is similar to the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) except that the
order of the books differs. You may wonder why I am specifically referring to the Christian Bible
here and not just the Jewish Tanakh (which excludes the Christian New Testament), or the
Roman Catholic Bible (which has additional books as part of the canonical structure) or any
other version of the Bible. The reasons for this will become evident as we progress.
The Christian Bible today consists of the 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New. It
was written between 1,500 BC and 90 AD.2 When considering the structure of the Tanakh in its
original Hebrew form, it is divided into three parts: It starts off with the “Pentateuch” or Torah.
These first five books are known as the “teaching" or the "law”. It comprises of the creation of
heaven and Earth, the Flood and the origins of the Israelite nation and God's covenant with
them. It is traditionally believed that the Torah was given to Moses letter-by-letter during the
wanderings of the nation Israel in the Sinai Desert. Many scholars today dispute this fact and
speculate that the Torah was written by various different people and that it could not have been
written by Moses alone. One of the reasons for this is that Deuteronomy contains information of
Moses' death. The next section is the Nevi'i or "prophets" containing the historic account of
ancient Israel and Judah and the works of prophecy that are today known in the Christian Bible
as the Major and Minor prophets. The last section in the Jewish Bible is the Ketuvim or
"writings" and contains the poetic and philosophical works such as Psalms, Proverbs and Songs
of Solomon. These three sections also make up the Old Testament in the Christian Bible and
the first 3 letters of these sections as given above (T,N,K) make up the Jewish word Tanakh.