The Human Truth Foundation

Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Holy Bibles Across Different Traditions

By Vexen Crabtree 2012

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There are many versions of the Christian Bible and edits have continued with every new production. One source of continual change comes from archaeological discoveries of ancient texts, which are often used to correct modern version of the Bibles, as we otherwise we have very few original documents to which we can compare later translations. Aside from textual edits, over the centuries entire books have been rejected or included by various traditions. Different churches and denominations have different ideas about what books are holy and biblical, which are man-made, and which are despicable. The Jewish Tanakh was organized into the 24 scrolls familiar to us today by the second century BCE1. Christianity now calls this the Old Testament but major Christian traditions have accepted different books, organized into different divisions, as the final holy word of God. The Protestant Bible has 66 books, the Catholic one has 73, and the Eastern Orthodox one has 76. The table below compares major traditions' Bibles.


1. Quick Facts

Shortest books in the Bible:
3 John has only 299 words, in 14 verses
2 John has 303 words across just 13 verses
Philemon has 445 words over 25 verses
Jude also 613 words, also over 25 verses

Longest book in the Bible:
Psalms is a collection of songs and poems, covering 150 chapters, 2461 verses in total, and 42,659 words

2. Comparison Table of Which Books are Included in Bibles of the Most Popular Christian Traditions?

#christianity #ethiopia #judaism

Background colours of Jewish books indicate where in the canon they were moved to by Christians, and the background colours of Christian bible books represent their original place in the Jewish holy scriptures.

Jewish
Tanakh
Protestant
Bible
Catholic
Bible
Eastern Orthodox
Bible
The "TaNaKh" is named after the consonants of the 3 portions of scripture - Torah2, Nevi'im and Ketuvim3, totalling 24 books.

Books: 66
OT: 39
NT: 27

Total Books: 73
OT: 46
NT: 27

Total Books: 76
OT: 49
NT: 27

Torah2Pentateuch

Bereishit
Shemot
Vayikra
Bamidbar
Devarim

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

Nevi'im
(Prophets - 8 books)
History Books

Yehoshua
Shofetim (Judges)

Shemuel
Shemuel
Melakhim (1 Kings)
Melakhim (2 Kings)
Yeshayahu (Isaiah)
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah)
Yekhezqel (Ezekiel)

8th book: Trei Asar (the 12)
Hoshea
Yo´el
′Amos
′Obhadhyah
Yonah
Mikhayah
Nahum
Habhaqquq
Zephanyah
Zekharyah
Haggai
Mal´akhi

Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
Ezra

Nehemiah


Esther
(shorter ed.)

Josue
Judges
Ruth
1 Kings
2 Kings
3 Kings
4 Kings
1 Paralipomenon
2 Paralipomenon
1 Esdras
2 Esdras

Tobit
Judith
Esther
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees

Lesous
Judges
Ruth
1 Kindgoms
2 Kingdoms
3 Kingdoms
4 Kingdoms
1 Paralipomenon
2 Paralipomenon
1 Esdras_EO
Ezra (2 Esdras)
Nehemiah (2 Esdras)
Tobit
Judith
Esther
1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
4 Maccabees

JewishProtestantCatholicEastern Orthodox
Ketuvim (11 books)Wisdom Books

Sifrei Emet (Book of Truth)
Tehillim (Psalms)

Mishlei (Proverbs)
Iyyobh (Job)

Next 8 books
Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs)


Rut
Eikhah (Lamentations)
Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes)
Esther

Daniel
Ezra-Nehemiah
Chronicles

Job
Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs

Job
Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes
Canticle of Canticles
Wisdom of Solomon
Ecclesiasticus (Sirach)

Job
Psalms
Prayer of Manasseh
Proverbs

Ecclesiastes
Aisma Aismaton
Wisdom of Solomon
Sirach

Major Prophets

Taken from Nevi'im > >
Taken from Nevi'im > >
Taken from Ketuvim > >


Taken from Nevi'im > >
Taken from Ketuvim > >

Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations


Ezekiel
Daniel
(shorter ed.)

Isaiah
Jeremias
Lamentations
Baruch
Baruch
Ezechiel
Daniel

Isaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Baruch_EO
Letter of Jeremiah
Ezekiel
Daniel

Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets
collection was
taken from the
Trei Asar (the 12),
the 8th book
of the Nevi'im. > >

Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

Osee
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonas
Micheas
Nahum
Habacuc
Sophonias
Aggeus
Zacharias
Malachias

Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi

New Testament: The Gospels

Matthew,  Mark,  Luke and John

New Testament Books

Ethiopian New Testaments are notably longer, including books that were not accepted by other branches of Christianity. Other Christian churches also have various odd books in their bibles, but, in general, the canon is more stable and better defined than the Old Testament:

Acts
Romans
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Galatians
Ephesians
Philippians
Colossians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Titus
Philemon
Hebrews
James
1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John
Jude
Book of Revelation

This table of books reflects some of the most popular collections of books. Some traditions consider some books as holy, divine and inspired. Others reject them. There is a lot of overlap between these major traditions. Nearly all geographic areas have distinct ideas of what they accept in the Bible, and what they reject. Here I only attempt to document the biggest traditions.

In addition to entire books being included or omitted, many books have (sometimes hundreds) of verses that are included in some tradition's copies of the book, but not included in others. Historians and researchers very frequently know with some accuracy when edits, additions, re-orderings, mistranslations and intentional re-wordings have taken place. Fundamentalists and church organisations going through authoritarian phases have often resorted to violence, murder, book-burning and aggressive rhetoric in asserting that their canon is exclusively accepted.

In the English Bible the books of the Old Testament are arranged, not in the order in which they appear in the Hebrew Bible, but in that assigned to them by the Greek translation. In this translation the various books are grouped according to their contents - first the historical books, then the poetic, and lastly the prophetic. This order has its advantages, but it obscures many important facts of which the Hebrew order preserves a reminiscence. [...] It would somewhat simplify the scientific study even of the English Bible, if the Hebrew order could be restored, for it is in many ways instructive and important. [... T]he order of the divisions represents the order in which they respectively attained canonical importance - the law before 400 B.C., the prophets about 200 B.C., the writings about 100 B.C. - and, generally speaking, the latest books are in the last division. Thus we are led to suspect a relatively late origin for the Song and Ecclesiastes, and Chronicles, being late, will not be so important a historical authority as Kings.

"Introduction to the Old Testament" by John Edgar McFadyen (1905)4

3. Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphia Comparison Table

#armenia #ethiopia #russia #syria

The word apocrypha comes from a Greek word meaning "hidden". It is applied to all the books of scripture which are not included in the Protestant Bible, but particularly to the Old Testament books which are included in Roman Catholic versions. There are many other apocryphal books of both Old and New Testaments, which have been rejected as spurious or doubtful authenticity, and these are now usually referred to as pseudepigraphia.

"Bible Facts" by Jenny Roberts (1997)6

The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures included many books that have not been universally accepted by different Christian churches. They are collectively called the apocrypha. Their presence has caused much controversy and debate between different Christian Churches. This table indicates which institutions accept or reject these books. Some of them may "partially accept" some of these books but give them less value than other books, whilst some "partially reject" them; they are not in the canon but they are valued and given religious value.

 Jew
ish
Prote
stant
Roman
Catholic
Greek
E O
Russian
E O
Armenian
O O
Coptic
O O
Ethiopian
O O
Syrian
O O
Additions to Esther RPRAAPAPARAPR
Prayer of Azariah & Song of Three Young MenRPRAAPAPARAPR
2 additions to the Book of DanielRPRAAPAPARAPR
Susanna RPRAAPAPARAPR
Bel and the DragonRPRAAPAPARAPR
1 Baruch RPRAAPAPARAPR
Letter of JeremiahRPRAAPAPARAPR
Tobit RPRAAPAPARAPR
Judith RPRAAPAPARAPR
2 Ezra RPRPRAPAPARAPR
Ben Sira RPRAAPAPARRPR
Wisdom of Solomon RPRAAPAPARRPR
1 Maccabees RPRAAPAPARAPR
2 Maccabees RPRAAPAPARAPR
1 Enoch RRRRRRRAR
Jubilees RRRRRRRAR

Key: R=rejected, PR=rejected but given value, PA=partially accepted (lesser value than other books), A=considered part of the canon. E O = Eastern Orthodox, O O = Oriental Orthodox.

Table Source: ,3

Notes:

Current edition: 2012 Jul 14
Last Modified: 2015 Oct 23
http://www.holybooks.info/bible.html
Parent page: Single God Religions (Monotheism)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#armenia #christianity #ethiopia #judaism #russia #syria

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. Book Review.

Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer
(1997) Religions of the World. Hardback book. Subtitled: "The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals". Published by Lionheart Books. By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien & Martin Palmer. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books.

Ehrman, Bart
(2003) Lost Christianities. Hardback book. Published by Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Eliade, Mircea
(1987, Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Religion. Hardback book. Published by Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, USA. 16 huge volumes. Eliade is editor-in-chief. Entries are alphabetical, so, no page numbers are given in references, just article titles.

McFadyen, John Edgar. (1870-1933)
(1905) Introduction to the Old Testament. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition.

Roberts, Jenny
(1997) Bible Facts. Hardback book. Originally published 1990. Current version published by Grange Books, London.

Footnotes

  1. Roberts (1997) p10.^
  2. The word "Torah" is used (wrongly) by some people to refer to the whole of the Hebrew bible, when it should only really be used for the first 5 books. See "Religions of the World" by Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer (1997) p28.^
  3. Eliade (1987) volume 2 entry "Biblical Literature".^^
  4. McFadyen (1905) p3.^
  5. Roberts (1997) .^
  6. Roberts (1997) p13.^

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