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Bible

The Bible (from Koine Greek τ βιβλία ta biblia "the books") is any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the contents and the order of the individual books (Biblical canon) vary among denominations. HP Pavilion dv2-1050en Battery

The 24 texts of the Hebrew Bible are divided into 39 books in Christian Old Testaments, and complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible. The Hebrew and Christian Bibles are also important to other Abrahamic religions, including Islam[1] and the Bahá'í Faith,[2] but those religions do not regard them as central religious texts. HP Pavilion dv2-1070eg Battery

The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is divided into three parts: (1) the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), comprising the origins of the Israelite nation, its laws and its covenant with the God of Israel; (2) the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, HP Pavilion dv2-1080en Battery

and conflicts among Israelites – specifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God" and believers in foreign gods, and the criticism of unethical and unjust behavior of Israelite elites and rulers; and (3) the Ketuvim ("writings"): poetic and philosophical works such as the Psalms and the Book of Job. HP Pavilion dv2-1090eo Battery

The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the (minimum) 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books. The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Jesus and are central to theChristian faith. HP Pavilion dv2-1100 series Battery

Christian Bibles include the books of the Hebrew Bible, but arranged in a different order: Jewish Scripture ends with the people of Israel restored to Jerusalem and the temple, whereas the Christian arrangement ends with the book of the prophet Malachi. HP Pavilion dv2z Battery

The oldest surviving Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century; the oldest complete Jewish Bible is a Greek translation, also dating to the 4th century. The oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (the Masoretic text) date from the Middle Ages.[3]HP Pavilion dv2z-1100 Battery

The bible was separated into chapters in the 13th century byStephen Langton, who eventually became a Roman Catholic Archbishop, and into verses in the 16th century by Robert Estienne, a French printer.[4] HP Pavilion dv2z-1100 CTO Battery

During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospelaccounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments together are commonly referred to as "The Holy Bible" (τβιβλία τ για). HP Pavilion dv2-1100eg Battery

Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, and cite passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief. The canonical composition of the Old Testament is under dispute between Christian groups: Protestants hold only the books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonical; HP Pavilion dv2-1100eo Battery

Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox additionally consider the deuterocanonical books, a group of Jewish books, to be canonical. The New Testament is composed of the Gospels ("good news"), the Acts of the Apostles, theEpistles (letters), and the Book of Revelation. HP Pavilion dv2-1101au Battery

The Bible is the best-selling book in history with approximate sales estimates ranging from 2.5 billion to 6 billion,[5][6]and annual sales estimated at 25 million Bibles.[7] HP Pavilion dv2-1101ax Battery

The English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and ultimately from Greek τ βιβλία ta biblia "the books" (singular βιβλίονbiblion).[8] HP Pavilion dv2-1102au Battery

Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural (gen. bibliorum). It gradually came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun (biblia, gen. bibliae) in medieval Latin, and so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.[9] Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τ βιβλία τ για ta biblia ta hagia, "the holy books".[10] HP Pavilion dv2-1103au Battery

The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book". It is the diminutive of βύβλος bublos, "Egyptian papyrus", HP Pavilion dv2-1104au Battery

possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician port Byblos (also known as Gebal) from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia (lit. "little papyrus books")[11] was "an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books (the Septuagint).[12][13] Christian use of the term can be traced to ca. AD 223.[8] HP Pavilion dv2-1105ee Battery

The Torah focuses on three moments in the changing relationship between God and the Jewish people. The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide accounts of thecreation (or ordering) of the world and the history of God's early relationship with humanity. HP Pavilion dv2-1107ax Battery

The remaining thirty-nine chapters of Genesis provide an account of God's covenant with the Hebrew patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel)—and Jacob's children—the "Children of Israel"—especially Joseph. HP Pavilion dv2-1110br Battery

It tells of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home in the city of Ur, eventually to settle in the land of Canaan, and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt. The remaining four books of the Torah tell the story of Moses, HP Pavilion dv2-1110ef Battery

who lived hundreds of years after the patriarchs. He leads the Children of Israel from their liberation from slavery in Ancient Egypt, to the renewal of their covenant with God at Mount Sinai and their wanderings in the desert until a new generation was ready to enter the land of Canaan. The Torah ends with the death of Moses. HP Pavilion dv2-1110el Battery

The Torah contains the commandments of God, revealed at Mount Sinai (although there is some debate amongst traditional scholars as to whether these were all written down at one time, or over a period of time during the 40 years of the wanderings in the desert, HP Pavilion dv2-1110er Battery

while several modern Jewish movements reject the idea of a literal revelation, and critical scholars believe that many of these laws developed later in Jewish history).[14][15][16][17] These commandments provide the basis for Halakha (Jewish religious law). Tradition states that there are 613 Mitzvot or 613 commandments. There is some dispute as to how to divide these up (mainly between the rabbis Ramban and Rambam). HP Pavilion dv2-1110es Battery

The Torah is divided into fifty-four portions which in the Jewish liturgy are read on successive Sabbaths, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Deuteronomy. The cycle ends and recommences at the end of Sukkot, which is called Simchat Torah. HP Pavilion dv2-1110et Battery

Nevi'im

The Nevi'im, or "Prophets", tell the story of the rise of the Hebrew monarchy and its division into two kingdoms, the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites—specifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God"[18]HP Pavilion dv2-1110ez Battery

and believers in foreign gods,[19][20] and the criticism of unethical and unjust behavior of Israelite elites and rulers;[21][22][23] in which prophets played a crucial and leading role. It ends with the conquest of the Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians followed by the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah by the Babylonians and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. HP Pavilion dv2-1110us Battery

Portions of the prophetic books are read by Jews on the Sabbath (Shabbat). The Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur.

According to Jewish tradition, the Nevi'im are divided into eig HP Pavilion dv2-1111ax Battery

Ketuvim

The Ketuvim, or "Writings", may have been written or compiled during or after the Babylonian Exile. Many of the psalms in the book of Psalms are attributed toDavid; King Solomon is believed to have written Song of Songs in his youth, Proverbs at the prime of his life, and Ecclesiastes at old age; and the prophetJeremiah is thought to have written Lamentations. HP Pavilion dv2-1112au Battery

The Book of Job is the only biblical book that centers entirely on a non-Jew. The Book of Ruth is the only book to focus on a convert to Judaism. It tells the story of a Moabitess who married a Jew and continued to follow the ways of the Jews after her husband's death; HP Pavilion dv2-1113ax Battery

according to the Bible, she was the great-grandmother of King David. Five of the books, called "The Five Scrolls" (Megilot), are read on Jewish holidays: Song of Songs on Passover; the Book of Ruth on Shavuot; Lamentations on the Ninth of Av; Ecclesiastes on Sukkot; and the Book of Esther on Purim. HP Pavilion dv2-1115ea Battery

Collectively, the Ketuvim contain lyrical poetry, philosophical reflections on life, and the stories of the prophets and other Jewish leaders during the Babylonian exile. It ends with the Persian decree allowing Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. HP Pavilion dv2-1115ee Battery

The Ketuvim comprise the following eleven books, divided, in many modern translations, into twelve through the division of Ezra and Nehemiah: HP Pavilion dv2-1116ax Battery

Oral Torah

According to some Jews during the Hellenistic period, such as the Sadducees, only a minimal oral tradition of interpreting the words of the Torah existed, which did not include extended biblical interpretation. According to the Pharisees, however, God revealed both a Written Torah and an Oral Torah to Moses, HP Pavilion dv2-1117ee Battery

the Oral Torah consisting of both stories and legal traditions. In Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah is essential for understanding the Written Torah literally (as it includes neither vowels nor punctuation) and exegetically. The Oral Torah has different facets, principally Halacha (laws), HP Pavilion dv2-1118ax Battery

the Aggadah (stories), and theKabbalah (esoteric knowledge). Major portions of the Oral Law have been committed to writing, notably the Mishnah; the Tosefta; Midrash, such as Midrash Rabbah, the Sifre, the Sifra, and the Mechilta; and both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds as well. It may have even influenced early Christianity. HP Pavilion dv2-1119ax Battery

Orthodox Judaism continues to accept the Oral Torah in its totality. Masorti and Conservative Judaism state that the Oral Tradition is to some degree divinely inspired, and that rabbis today must adapt and apply its principles to changing conditions, even if this results in changes in Jewish practice. HP Pavilion dv2-1120ax Battery

Reform Judaismalso gives some credence to the Talmud containing the legal elements of the Oral Torah, but, as with the written Torah, asserts that both were inspired by, but not dictated by, God. Reconstructionist Judaism denies any connection of the Torah, Written or Oral, with God, HP Pavilion dv2-1120br Battery

viewing it instead as the nation's literary and moral genius. Karaite Judaism holds strictly to the Written Torah but not the Oral Torah, maintaining that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah, without additional Oral Law or explanation. HP Pavilion dv2-1120ed Battery

The article Jewish commentaries on the Bible discusses the Jewish understanding of the Bible, including Bible commentaries from the ancient Targums to classicalRabbinic literature, the midrash literature, the classical medieval commentators, and modern day Jewish Bible commentaries. HP Pavilion dv2-1120ef Battery

Septuagint

The Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures. The Septuagint included books and additions not found in the Hebrew Bible. Modern Jewish Bibles follow the Masoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. The Septuagint splits certain books in two, so that the book of Kings, for example, became First Kings and Second Kings. Christian Bibles maintain these divisions.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dv2-1120eg Battery

Christian canons

The Christian Bible consists of the Hebrew scriptures of Judaism, which are known as the Old Testament; and later writings recording the lives and teachings ofJesus and his followers, known as the New Testament. "Testament" is a translation of the Greek διαθηκη (diatheke), also often translated "covenant". HP Pavilion dv2-1121ax Battery

It is a legal term denoting a formal and legally binding declaration of benefits to be given by one party to another (e.g., "last will and testament" in secular use). Here it does not connote mutuality; rather, it is a unilateral covenant offered by God to individuals.[11] HP Pavilion dv2-1122ax Battery

Groups within Christianity include differing books as part of one or both of these "Testaments" of their sacred writings—most prominent among which are thebiblical apocrypha or deuterocanonical books. HP Pavilion dv2-1123ax Battery

Significant versions of the English Christian Bible include the Douay-Rheims, the RSV, the KJV, the ESV, the NKJV, and the NIV. For a complete list, see List of English Bible translations. HP Pavilion dv2-1124ax Battery

In Judaism, the term Christian Bible is commonly used to identify only those books like the New Testament which have been added by Christians to the Masoretic Text, and excludes any reference to an Old Testament.[25] HP Pavilion dv2-1125ax Battery

Old Testament

The books which make up the Christian Old Testament differ between Protestants and the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, the Protestant movement accepting only those books contained in the Hebrew Bible, while Catholics and Orthodox have a wider canon. The books were written in classical Hebrew, except for brief portions (Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26, Jeremiah 10:11, HP Pavilion dv2-1125ee Battery

Daniel 2:4–7:28) which are in the Aramaic language, a sister language which became the lingua franca of the Semitic world.[26] Much of the material, including many genealogies, poems and narratives, is thought to have been handed down by word of mouth for many generations. Very few manuscripts are said to have survived the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.[26] HP Pavilion dv2-1126ax Battery

The Old Testament is accepted by Christians as scripture. Broadly speaking, it contains the same material as the Hebrew Bible. However, the order of the books is not entirely the same as that found in Hebrew manuscripts and in the ancient versions and varies from Judaism in interpretation and emphasis (see for exampleIsaiah 7:14). HP Pavilion dv2-1127ea Battery

Christian denominations disagree about the incorporation of a small number of books into their canons of the Old Testament. A few groups consider particular translations to be divinely inspired, notably the Greek Septuagint, the Aramaic Peshitta, and the English King James Version. HP Pavilion dv2-1130eb Battery

Apocryphal or deuterocanonical books

The Septuagint (Greek translation, from Alexandria in Egypt under the Ptolemies) was generally abandoned in favour of the 10th century Masoretic text as the basis for translations of the Old Testament into Western languages. In Eastern Christianity, translations based on the Septuagint still prevail. HP Pavilion dv2-1130es Battery

Some modern Western translations since the 14th century make use of the Septuagint to clarify passages in the Masoretic text, where the Septuagint may preserve a variant reading of the Hebrew text. They also sometimes adopt variants that appear in other texts e.g. those discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. HP Pavilion dv2-1131ax Battery

A number of books which are part of the Peshitta or Greek Septuagint but are not found in the Hebrew (Rabbinic) Bible (i.e., among the protocanonical books) are often referred to as deuterocanonical books by Roman Catholics referring to a later secondary (i.e. deutero) canon, HP Pavilion dv2-1132ax Battery

that canon as fixed definitively by theCouncil of Trent 1545-1563.[27][28] It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if Jeremiah and Lamentations are counted as one) and 27 for the New.[29]

See Canon of Trent: List of the Canonical Scriptures. HP Pavilion dv2-1133ax Battery

But if anyone receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him beanathema. HP Pavilion dv2-1134ax Battery

Decretum de Canonicis Scripturis, Council of Trent, 8 April 1546

Most Protestants term these books as apocrypha. Evangelicals and those of the Modern Protestant traditions do not accept the deuterocanonical books as canonical, although Protestant Bibles included them in Apocrypha sections until the 1820s. However, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches include these books as part of their Old Testamen. HP Pavilion dv2-1134nr Battery

Role in Christian theology

The Old Testament has always been central to the life of the Christian church. Bible scholar N.T. Wright says "Jesus himself was profoundly shaped by the scriptures."[30]HP Pavilion dv2-1136ax Battery

He adds that the earliest Christians also searched those same scriptures in their effort to understand the earthly life of Jesus. They regarded the ancient Israelites' scriptures as having reached a climactic fulfillment in Jesus himself, generating the "new covenant" prophesied by Jeremiah.[31] HP Pavilion dv2-1137ax Battery

New Testament

Main articles: Canonical gospels and New Testament

The New Testament is a collection of 27 books, of 4 different genres of Christian literature (Gospels, one account of the Acts of the Apostles, Epistles and anApocalypse). Jesus is its central figure. The New Testament presupposes the inspiration of the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:16). Nearly all Christians recognize the New Testament (as stated below) as canonical scripture. These books can be grouped into: HP Pavilion dv2-1140ed Battery

When ancient scribes copied earlier books, they wrote notes on the margins of the page (marginal glosses) to correct their text—especially if a scribe accidentally omitted a word or line—and to comment about the text. HP Pavilion dv2-1140es Battery

When later scribes were copying the copy, they were sometimes uncertain if a note was intended to be included as part of the text. See textual criticism. Over time, different regions evolved different versions, each with its own assemblage of omissions and additions. HP Pavilion dv2-1140en Battery

The autographs, the Greek manuscripts written by the original authors, have not survived. Scholars surmise the original Greek text from the versions that do survive. HP Pavilion dv2-1140eo Battery

The three main textual traditions of the Greek New Testament are sometimes called theAlexandrian text-type (generally minimalist), the Byzantine text-type (generally maximalist), and the Western text-type(occasionally wild). Together they comprise most of the ancient manuscripts. HP Pavilion dv2-1144ca Battery

Development of Christian canons

Main articles: Development of the Old Testament canon and Development of the New Testament canon

The Old Testament canon entered into Christian use in the Greek Septuagint translations and original books, and their differing lists of texts. In addition to the Septuagint, Christianity subsequently added various writings that would become the New Testament. HP Pavilion dv2-1160ed Battery

Somewhat different lists of accepted works continued to develop in antiquity. In the 4th century a series of synods produced a list of texts equal to the 39, 46(51),54, or 57 book canon of the Old Testament and to the 27-book canon of the New Testament that would be subsequently used to today, HP Pavilion dv2-1199us Battery

most notably the Synod of Hippo in AD 393. Also c. 400, Jerome produced a definitive Latin edition of the Bible (see Vulgate), the canon of which, at the insistence of the Pope, HP Pavilion dv3-1000 Series Battery

was in accord with the earlier Synods. With the benefit of hindsight it can be said that this process effectively set the New Testament canon, although there are examples of other canonical lists in use after this time. A definitive list did not come from an Ecumenical Council until the Council of Trent (1545–63).[32] HP Pavilion dv3-1001TX Battery

During the Protestant Reformation, certain reformers proposed different canonical lists to those currently in use. Though not without debate, see Antilegomena, the list of New Testament books would come to remain the same; however, the Old Testament texts present in the Septuagint but not included in the Jewish canon fell out of favor. HP Pavilion dv3-1051xx Battery

In time they would come to be removed from most Protestant canons. Hence, in a Catholic context, these texts are referred to as deuterocanonical books, whereas in a Protestant context they are referred to as the Apocrypha, the label applied to all texts excluded from the biblical canon but which were in the Septuagint. It should also be noted that Catholics and Protestants both describe certain other books, such as the Acts of Peter, asapocryphal. HP Pavilion dv3-1073cl Battery

Thus, the Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canon—the number of books (though not the content) varies from the Tanakh because of a different method of division—while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books(51 books with some books combined into 46 books) as the canonical Old Testament. The Orthodox Churches recognise 3 Maccabees, HP Pavilion dv3-1075ca Battery

1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151 in addition to the Catholic canon. Some include 2 Esdras. The Anglican Church also recognises a longer canon. The term "Hebrew Scriptures" is often used as being synonymous with the Protestant Old Testament, since the surviving scriptures in Hebrew include only those books, HP Pavilion dv3-1075us Battery

while Catholics and Orthodox include additional texts that have not survived in Hebrew. Both Catholics and Protestants have the same 27-book New Testament Canon. HP Pavilion dv3-1077ca Battery

The New Testament writers assumed the inspiration of the Old Testament, probably earliest stated in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God".[11] HP Pavilion dv3z-1000 Battery

Ethiopian Orthodox canon

Main article: Ethiopian Biblical canon

The Canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is wider than the canons used by most other Christian churches. There are 81 books in the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible.[33] The Ethiopian Old Testament Canon includes the books found in the Septuagint accepted by other Orthodox Christians, HP Pavilion dv3-2000 Battery

in addition to Enoch and Jubileeswhich are ancient Jewish books that only survived in Ge'ez but are quoted in the New Testament[citation needed], also Greek Ezra First and the Apocalypse of Ezra, 3 books of Meqabyan, and Psalm 151 at the end of the Psalter. HP Pavilion dv3-2001tu Battery

The three books of Meqabyan are not to be confused with the books of Maccabees. The order of the other books is somewhat different from other groups', as well. The Old Testament follows the Septuagint order for the Minor Prophets rather than the Jewish order. HP Pavilion dv3-2001TX Battery

Divine inspiration

The Bible itself says that "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God". (2 Timothy 3:16-3:17) [34] Christians believe that the Bible consists of the inspired word of God, where God intervened and influenced the words of the Bible. For many Christians the Bible is also infallible, in that it is incapable of error within matters of faith and practice. HP Pavilion dv3-2001xx Battery

For example, that the Bible is free from error in spiritual but not necessarily in historic or scientific matters. A related, but distinguishable belief is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, without error in any aspect, spoken by God and written down in its perfect form by humans. Within these broad beliefs there are many schools of hermeneutics. HP Pavilion dv3-2002tu Battery

"Bible scholars claim that discussions about the Bible must be put into its context within church history and then into the context of contemporary culture."[31] Fundamentalist Christians are associated with the doctrine of biblical literalism, where the Bible is not only inerrant, but the meaning of the text is clear to the average reader.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dv3-2002tx Battery

Belief in sacred texts is attested to in Jewish antiquity,[35][36] and this belief can also be seen in the earliest of Christian writings. Various texts of the Bible mention Divine agency in relation to its writings.[37] In their book A General Introduction to the Bible, Norman Geisler and William Nix wrote: HP Pavilion dv3-2003tu Battery

"The process of inspiration is a mystery of the providence of God, but the result of this process is a verbal, plenary, inerrant, and authoritative record."[38] Most evangelical biblical scholars[39][40][41] associate inspiration with only the original text; HP Pavilion dv3-2003tx Battery

for example some American Protestants adhere to the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy which asserted that inspiration applied only to the autographic text of Scripture.[42] A minority even within adherents of Biblical literalism extend the claim of inerrancy to a particular translation, e.g. the King-James-Only Movement. HP Pavilion dv3-2004tu Battery

Versions and translations

The original texts of the Tanakh were in Hebrew, although some portions were in Aramaic. In addition to the authoritative Masoretic Text, Jews still refer to the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and the Targum Onkelos, an Aramaic version of the Bible. HP Pavilion dv3-2004tx Battery

There are several different ancient versions of the Tanakh in Hebrew, mostly differing by spelling, and the traditional Jewish version is based on the version known as Aleppo Codex. Even in this version by itself, there are words which are traditionally read differently from written (sometimes one word is written and another is read), HP Pavilion dv3-2005ee Battery

because the oral tradition is considered more fundamental than the written one, and presumably mistakes had been made in copying the text over the generations. HP Pavilion dv3-2005tu Battery

The primary biblical text for early Christians was the Septuagint or (LXX). In addition, they translated the Hebrew Bible into several other languages. Translations were made into Syriac, Coptic, Ge'ez 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 translations of the Old Testament and had no need to translate the New Testament. HP Pavilion dv3-2005tx Battery

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. HP Pavilion dv3-2006tu Battery

Pope Damasus I assembled the first list of books of the Bible at the Council of Rome in AD 382. He commissioned Saint Jerome to produce a reliable and consistent text by translating the original Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin. This translation became known as the Latin Vulgate Bible and in 1546 at theCouncil of Trent was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only authentic and official Bible in the Latin Rite. HP Pavilion dv3-2006tx Battery

Since the Protestant Reformation, Bible translations for many languages have been made. The Bible has seen hundreds of English language translations. HP Pavilion dv3-2007ee Battery

Biblical criticism

Main articles: Biblical criticism and Criticism of the Bible

Biblical criticism refers to the investigation of the Bible as a text, and addresses questions such as authorship, dates of composition, and authorial intention. It is not the same as criticism of the Bible, which is an assertion against the Bible being a source of information or ethical guidance, or observations that the Bible may have translation errors.[44] HP Pavilion dv3-2007tu Battery

In the 17th century Thomas Hobbes collected the current evidence to conclude outright that Moses could not have written the bulk of the Torah. Shortly afterwards the philosopher Baruch Spinoza published a unified critical analysis, arguing that the problematic passages were not isolated cases that could be explained away one by one, HP Pavilion dv3-2007tx Battery

HP Pavilion dv3-2008tu Battery

but pervasive throughout the five books, concluding that it was "clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses . . ." Despite determined opposition from Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, the views of Hobbes and Spinoza gained increasing acceptance amongst scholars. HP Pavilion dv3-2008tx Battery

Archaeological and historical research

Main articles: Biblical archaeology school and The Bible and history

Biblical archaeology is the archaeology that relates to and sheds light upon the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. It is used to help determine the lifestyle and practices of people living in biblical times. There are a wide range of interpretations in the field of biblical archaeology. HP Pavilion dv3-2009tx Battery

One broad division includes biblical maximalism which generally takes the view that most of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible is based on history although it is presented through the religious viewpoint of its time. It is considered the opposite of biblical minimalism which considers the Bible a purely post-exilic (5th century BC and later) composition. HP Pavilion dv3-2010el Battery

Even among those scholars who adhere to biblical minimalism, the Bible

is a historical document containing first-hand information on theHellenistic and Roman eras, and there is universal scholarly consensus that the events of the Babylonian captivity of the 6th century BC have a basis in history. HP Pavilion dv3-2010et Battery

The historicity of the biblical account of the history of ancient Israel and Judah of the 10th to 7th centuries BC is disputed in scholarship. The biblical account of the 8th to 7th centuries BC is widely, but not universally, accepted as historical, while the verdict on the earliest period of the United Monarchy(10th century BC) and the historicity of David is unclear. HP Pavilion dv3-2010tx Battery

Archaeological evidence providing information on this period, such as the Tel Dan Stele, can potentially be decisive. The biblical account of events of the Exodus from Egypt in the Torah, and the migration to the Promised Land and the period of Judgesare not considered historical in scholarship.[45][46]HP Pavilion dv3-2011tx Battery

Regarding the New Testament, the setting being the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD, the historical context is well established. There has been some debate on the historicity of Jesus, but the mainstream opinion is that Jesus was one of several known historical itinerant preachers in 1st-century Roman Judea, teaching in the context of the religious upheavals and sectarianism of Second Temple Judaism.[citation needed] HP Pavilion dv3-2012tx Battery

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is a charity in Britain that promotes animal welfare. In 2011, the RSPCA investigated 159,759 cruelty complaints and collected and rescued 119,126 animals.[1] It is the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world[2] and is one of the largest charities in the UK, with 1,505 employees (as of 2008).[3] HP Pavilion dv3-2013tx Battery

The charity's work has inspired the creation of similar groups in other jurisdictions, starting with the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (founded in 1836), and including the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1839), HP Pavilion dv3-2014tx Battery

the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1840), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1866), the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1882), and various groups which eventually came together as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia (1981). HP Pavilion dv3-2015ee Battery

The RSPCA is funded entirely by voluntary donations.[4] No state or lottery funding is received. In 2008, total income was £119,926,000, total expenditure was £114,090,000, and reserves were £70,656,000.[3] Its patron is Queen Elizabeth II. HP Pavilion dv3-2015tx Battery

The organisation was founded in 1824 (without the "royal" prefix) as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; it was established by a group of 22 reformers led by Richard Martin MP .William Wilberforce MP and the ReverendArthur Broome in a London coffee shop. A woman named Heather Robertson was the founder of the organisation. HP Pavilion dv3-2016tx Battery

The society was the first animal welfare charity to be founded in the world.[citation needed] In 1824 it brought sixty three offenders before the courts.[5] It was granted its royal status by Queen Victoria in 1840 to become the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as it is today.[6] In the late 1830s the society began the tradition of the RSPCA inspector, which is the image best known of the organisation today. HP Pavilion dv3-2017ee Battery

The RSPCA lobbied the British parliament throughout the nineteenth century resulting in a number of new laws. The Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 amended Martin's Act and outlawed baiting. In 1876 the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed to control animal experimentation. In 1911 Parliament passed Sir George Greenwood's Animal Protection Act. HP Pavilion dv3-2017tx Battery

Since that time the RSPCA has continued to play an active role, both in the creation of animal welfare legislation and in its enforcement. An important recent new law has been the Animal Welfare Act 2006.[7][8] HP Pavilion dv3-2018tx Battery

Mission statement and charitable status

The RSPCA is a registered charity (no. 219099) that receives no lottery or state aid. The RSPCA states that its mission as a charity is, by all lawful means, to prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of animals. HP Pavilion dv3-2019tx Battery

On account of the opportunities it provides for the personal development of young people, the RSPCA is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).[14] HP Pavilion dv3-2020ei Battery

RSPCA inspectors respond to calls from the public to investigate alleged mistreatment of animals. They offer advice and assistance to improve animal welfare, and in some cases prosecute under laws such as the Animal Welfare Act 2006. HP Pavilion dv3-2020el Battery

Animals rescued by the RSPCA are treated, rehabilitated and rehomed or released wherever possible.[15] Where it is not possible to rehome or release an animal the RSPCA may consider humanely euthanaising the animal. HP Pavilion dv3-2020et Battery

The RSPCA brings private prosecution (a right available to any civilian) against those it believes, based on independent veterinary opinion, have caused neglect to an animal under laws such as the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The Society has its own legal department and veterinary surgeons amongst the resources which facilitate such private prosecutions. All prosecutions are brought via independent solicitors acting for the RSPCA. HP Pavilion dv3-2020tx Battery

Lack of statutory powers and allegations of police impersonation

The RSPCA rank names and rank insignia share similarity with British police ranks, which has led some critics (such as Chris Newman, chairman of the Federation of Companion Animal Societies)[16] to suggest an attempt to "adopt" police powers in the public imagination. When Richard Girling of The Times asked about their lack of powers, a spokesman for the RSPCA said "We would prefer you didn’t publish that, but of course its up to you".[16]HP Pavilion dv3-2021tx Battery

Chris Newman claimed that the RSPCA "impersonate police officers and commit trespass. People do believe they have powers of entry";[16] however, he did not produce any evidence of such impersonation of police officers, and the Society strongly deny the charge. HP Pavilion dv3-2022tx Battery

Sally Case, head of prosecutions, insists that RSPCA inspectors are trained specifically to make clear to pet-owners that they have no such right. They act without an owner’s permission, she says, “only if an animal is suffering in a dire emergency. If the court feels evidence has been wrongly obtained, it can refuse to admit it”.[16] The RSPCA logo is clearly visible on the uniform worn by RSPCA officers, all carry RSPCA ID cards, and their vans are clearly liveried with the RSPCA logo. HP Pavilion dv3-2023tx Battery

While the Protection of Animals Act 1911 does provide a power of arrest for police, the British courts have determined that Parliament did not intend any other organisation such as the RSPCA to be empowered under the act and that the RSPCA therefore does not possess police-like powers of arrest, of entry or of search (Line v RSPCA, 1902). HP Pavilion dv3-2024tx Battery

Like any other person or organisation that the law deems to have a duty to investigate – such as HM Customs and Excise and Local Authority Trading Standards – the RSPCA is expected to conform to the rules in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 so far as they relate to matters of investigation. RSPCA officers are t HP Pavilion dv3-2025ee Battery

rained to state, following giving the caution, that the person is "not under arrest and can leave at any time".

The RSPCA has been criticised by the Scottish SPCA for fund-raising in Scotland and thereby "stealing food from the mouths of animals north of the border by taking donations intended for Scotland."[17]HP Pavilion dv3-2025eg Battery

The RSPCA insists that it does not deliberately advertise in Scotland but that many satellite channels only enabled the organisation to purchase UK-wide advertising. In a statement, the RSPCA said it went "to great lengths" to ensure wherever possible that adverts were not distributed outside England and Wales. HP Pavilion dv3-2025tx Battery

It said: "Every piece of printed literature, television advertising and internet banner advertising always features the wording 'The RSPCA is a charity registered in England and Wales'". "All Scottish donors, who contact us via RSPCA fundraising campaigns, are directed to the Scottish SPCA so that they can donate to them if they so wish." [17]HP Pavilion dv3-2026tx Battery

The Scottish SPCA changed its logo in 2005 to make a clearer distinction between itself and the RSPCA in an attempt to prevent legacies being left to its English equivalent by mistake when the Scottish charity was intended.[18] HP Pavilion dv3-2027ee Battery

The Society for the Suppression of Vice was a nineteenth-century English society established in 1802. The society is not to be confused with its later namesake, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. HP Pavilion dv3-2027tx Battery

M.J.D. Roberts writes that the Jacobin ideas, from the French Revolution, raised fears of atheism, which led establishment people to set up organizations like the Society for the Suppression of Vice, to campaign for tough application of the law against indiscipline by the radicals.[1] One who suffered from the attentions of the Society for the Suppression of Vice was the campaigner for free speech Richard Carlile.[2] HP Pavilion dv3-2028tx Battery

The "News Ltd" website remarks on the role of the SSV in enforcing the stamp duty on newspapers. The campaign to abolish the stamp duty was led by the radical press. Other more establishment figures like Lord Brougham, the Lord Chancellor, 1834, also argued against it. The stamp duty was reduced to 1d in 1836 and abolished in 1855.[3] HP Pavilion dv3-2029tx Battery

The Obscene Publications Act was introduced in September 1857 (superseding the 1787 Proclamation). One effect of the Act was to forbid the distribution of information about contraception and human biology to the working classes.[4] HP Pavilion dv3-2030ef Battery

The Society for the Suppression of Vice was still in operation in the 1870s. It was the means of suppressing "low and vicious periodicals", and of bringing the dealers to punishment, by imprisonment, hard labor and fines. The article reproduced on the Victorian London site records a list of items seized and destroyed. This included "large quantities of infidel and blasphemous publications."[5] HP Pavilion dv3-2030ei Battery

Macmillan gave a speech in Cape Town, South Africa in February 1960 where he spoke of "the wind of change blowing through this continent."[189] Macmillan wished to avoid the same kind of colonial war that France was fighting in Algeria, and under his premiership decolonisation proceeded rapidly.[190] HP Pavilion dv3-2030ek Battery

To the three colonies that had been granted independence in the 1950s—Sudan, the Gold Coast and Malaya—were added nearly ten times that number during the 1960s.[191] HP Pavilion dv3-2030eo Battery

Britain's remaining colonies in Africa, except for self-governing Southern Rhodesia, were all granted independence by 1968. British withdrawal from the southern and eastern parts of Africa was not a peaceful process. Kenyan independence was preceded by the eight-year Mau Mau Uprising. HP Pavilion dv3-2030ez Battery

In Rhodesia, the 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the white minority resulted in a civil war that lasted until the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979, which set the terms for recognised independence in 1980, as the new nation of Zimbabwe.[192] HP Pavilion dv3-2030tx Battery

In the Mediterranean, a guerrilla war waged by Greek Cypriots ended (1960) in an independent Cyprus, with the UK retaining the military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo were amicably granted independence from the UK in 1964, though the idea had been raised in 1955 of integration with Britain.[193] HP Pavilion dv3-2032tx Battery

Most of the UK's West Indies territories achieved independence after the departure in 1961 and 1962 of Jamaica and Trinidadfrom the West Indies Federation, established in 1958 in an attempt to unite the British Caribbean colonies under one government, HP Pavilion dv3-2033eg Battery

but which collapsed following the loss of its two by far largest members.[194] Barbados achieved independence in 1966 and the remainder of the eastern Caribbean islands in the 1970s and 1980s,[194] but Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands opted to revert to British rule after they had already started on the path to independence.[195] The British Virgin Islands,[196]HP Pavilion dv3-2033tx Battery

Cayman Islands and Montserrat opted to retain ties with Britain.[197] Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966. Britain's last colony on the American mainland, British Honduras, became a self-governing colony in 1964 and was renamed Belize in 1973, achieving full independence in 1981. A dispute with Guatemala over claims to Belize was left unresolved.[198] HP Pavilion dv3-2034tx Battery

British territories in the Pacific acquired independence between 1970 (Fiji) and 1980 (Vanuatu), the latter's independence having been delayed due to political conflict between English and French-speaking communities, as the islands had been jointly administered as a condominium with France.[199] Fiji, Tuvalu, theSolomon Islands and Papua New Guinea chose to become Commonwealth realms. HP Pavilion dv3-2036tx Battery

End of empire

See also: Falklands War and Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong

The granting of independence to Rhodesia (as Zimbabwe), the New Hebrides (as Vanuatu) in 1980, and Belize in 1981 meant that, aside from a scattering of islands and outposts (and the acquisition in 1955 of an uninhabited rock in the Atlantic Ocean, Rockall),[200] the process of decolonisation that had begun after the Second World War was largely complete. In 1982, HP Pavilion dv3-2050ea Battery

Britain's resolve to defend its remaining overseas territories was tested when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, acting on a long-standing claim that dated back to the Spanish Empire.[201] Britain's ultimately successful military response to retake the islands during the ensuing Falklands War was viewed by many to have contributed to reversing the downward trend in the UK's status as a world power.[202]HP Pavilion dv3-2050ec Battery

The same year, the Canadian government severed its last legal link with Britain by patriating the Canadian constitution from Britain. The 1982 Canada Act passed by the British parliament ended the need for British involvement in changes to the Canadian constitution.[203] Equivalent acts were passed for Australia and New Zealand in 1986.[204] HP Pavilion dv3-2050ep Battery

In September 1982, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher travelled to Beijing to negotiate with the Chinese government on the future of Britain's last major and most populous overseas territory, Hong Kong.[205] Under the terms of the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, Hong Kong Island itself had been ceded to Britain "in perpetuity", HP Pavilion dv3-2050es Battery

but the vast majority of the colony was constituted by the New Territories, which had been acquired under a 99-year lease in 1898, due to expire in 1997.[206][207] Thatcher, seeing parallels with the Falkland Islands, initially wished to hold Hong Kong and proposed British administration with Chinese sovereignty, HP Pavilion dv3-2051ea Battery

though this was rejected by China.[208] A deal was reached in 1984—under the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong would become aspecial administrative region of the People's Republic of China, maintaining its way of life for at least 50 years.[209] The handover ceremony in 1997 marked for many,[210] including Charles, Prince of Wales,[211] who was in attendance, "the end of Empire".[203][212] HP Pavilion dv3-2055ea Battery

Legacy

Britain retains sovereignty over 14 territories outside the British Isles, which were renamed the British Overseas Territories in 2002.[213] Some are uninhabited except for transient military or scientific personnel; the remainder are self-governing to varying degrees and are reliant on the UK for foreign relations and defence. HP Pavilion dv3-2080eo Battery

The British government has stated its willingness to assist any Overseas Territory that wishes to proceed to independence, where that is an option.[214]British sovereignty of several of the overseas territories is disputed by their geographical neighbours: Gibraltar is claimed by Spain, HP Pavilion dv3-2090ej Battery

the Falkland Islands andSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are claimed by Argentina, and the British Indian Ocean Territory is claimed by Mauritius and Seychelles.[215] TheBritish Antarctic Territory is subject to overlapping claims by Argentina and Chile, while many countries do not recognise any territorial claims to Antarctica.[216] HP Pavilion dv3-2090en Battery

Most former British colonies are members of the Commonwealth, a non-political, voluntary association of equal members. Fifteen members of the Commonwealth continue to share their head of state with the UK, the Commonwealth realms.[217] HP Pavilion dv3-2100 Battery

Decades, and in some cases centuries, of British rule and emigration have left their mark on the independent nations that arose from the British Empire. The empire established the use of English in regions around the world. Today it is the primary language of up to 400 million people and is spoken by about one and a half billion as a first, HP Pavilion dv3-2101tu Battery

second or foreign language.[218] The spread of English from the latter half of the 20th century has been helped in part by the cultural influence of the United States, itself originally formed from British colonies. The English parliamentary system served as the template for the governments for many former colonies, and English common law for legal systems.[219HP Pavilion dv3-2101tx Battery

]The British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council still serves as the highest court of appeal for several former colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific. British Protestant missionaries who fanned out across the globe often in advance of soldiers and civil servantsspread the Anglican Communion to all continents. HP Pavilion dv3-2102tu Battery

British colonial architecture, such as in churches, railway stations and government buildings, continues to stand in many cities that were once part of the British Empire.[220] Individual and team sports developed in Britain—particularly football, cricket, lawn tennis and golf—were exported.[221] HP Pavilion dv3-2102tx Battery

The British choice of system of measurement, the imperial system, continues to be used in some countries in various ways. The convention of driving on the left hand side of the road has been retained in much of the former empire.[222] HP Pavilion dv3-2103tx Battery

Political boundaries drawn by the British did not always reflect homogeneous ethnicities or religions, contributing to conflicts in formerly colonised areas. The British Empire was also responsible for large migrations of peoples. Millions left the British Isles, with the founding settler populations of the United States, HP Pavilion dv3-2105ee Battery

Canada, Australia and New Zealand coming mainly from Britain and Ireland. Tensions remain between the white settler populations of these countries and their indigenous minorities, and between settler minorities and indigenous majorities in South Africa and Zimbabwe. HP Pavilion dv3-2105tu Battery

Settlers in Ireland from Great Britain have left their mark in the form of divided nationalist and unionist communities in Northern Ireland. Millions of people moved to and from British colonies, with large numbers of Indians emigrating to other parts of the empire, such as Malaysia and Fiji. HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Battery

Chinese emigration, primarily from Southern China, led to the creation of Chinese-majority Singapore and small Chinese minorities in the Caribbean. The demographics of Britain itself was changed after the Second World War owing to immigration to Britain from its former colonies.[223] HP Pavilion dv3-2107tu Battery

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