Talk:Bible

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Divine inspiration section: "the Bible" vs "their Bible"[edit]

This section says "Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God", given that Christians do not share a common biblical canon for the old testament the use of the singular "the" is incorrect (it implicitly assumes there is only one such Bible). Even changing it to "their Bible" would still be odd, perhaps "their denomination's Bible"? 86.26.236.107 (talk) 16:52, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

My proposal to use the Westminster confession of Faith as a secondary source to verify this point was rejected by an editor. Are there any other creeds that can be added as an acceptable resource to fill the citation needed void? Possible choices are: the Nicene Creed and the London Baptist confession of faith. We can also use a combination of creeds to represent a larger cross-section of Bible believers. Since this article is part of the English Wikipedia, I propose that we only consider supporting English-speaking Christians when choosing citations. None of the 66 books of the Bible can be used as a citations since they are all primary sources. Edwardjones2320 (talk) 13:38, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Jesus of Nazareth[edit]

(request transferred from Portal talk:Contents/People and self) --Stfg (talk) 21:05, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Change this line from : Jesus is its central figure. Plz, change this to Jesus of Nazareth is its central figure. There a lot of people named Jesus we want to make sure it is the one from the Bible. Put here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible just under New Testament 68.230.32.148 (talk) 21:30, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

This seems rather unnecessary, as the name is wikilinked directly to Jesus so there is no risk of ambiguity. Anyone else have an opinion? -- LWG talk 22:31, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree. (I just transferred it here without closing so that editors who have worked on this article could have a say.) --Stfg (talk) 23:50, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Not done: we need to close this, and there doesn't seem to be any consensus to change. Most people would understand "Jesus" to refer to J of N unless some other qualifier is present, especially in the context of an article about the Bible. --Stfg (talk) 14:29, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Late to this, but it might be instructive for the future. There is some controversy over whether Jesus was a fictional character. Within peice of literature "the Bible", there is a section concerned with a character, "Jesus". "Jesus of Nazareth" is a specific person understood by most historians to have existed. There is argument about whether or not Jesus of the bible and that historical figure are usefully conflated. The most neutral, and equally accurate, and only slightly less precise result for this article is to refer to "Jesus", unadorned.--Tznkai (talk) 20:15, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Need section on dating of composition[edit]

It is very difficult to find information in this article, or in the connected article Historicity of the Bible, concerning the dates of composition or redaction of the different parts of the Bible. Surely an article of this level of detail should provide that information!Wwallacee (talk) 12:28, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

See Biblical criticism. The dating of various parts of the Bible, and of the final editing of individual Bible books, especially the Pentateuch (the Books of Moses), the Prophets and the NT gospels, is a scientific field of its own with widely differing asessments and theories on just about any issue. And many confessional scholars who believe in divine inspiration of the word plainly reject the idea that these books were ever really edited or put together from earlier source writings. 83.254.151.33 (talk) 16:44, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Most scholars date the composition of the Old Testament between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century BC, and the composition of the NT between 50 and 130. This should be said somewhere in the article. ChercheTrouve (talk) 08:14, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
True, especially if we're talking of the final editing of entire books - and in any case, few academically respected Biblical scholars and exegetes after WW2 would have contested that much the larger part of the OT, even a major share of the Pentateuch, is later than 750 BC. There's a sizable (and outspoken) bunch of post-seventies scholars who claim that very little of any part of the OT as we know it was written or composed before 600, not even as oral traditional sources.
The trouble is, if we add a section with general and fairly sweeping statements about when the OT (its books in general) was written, then it could soon become an invitation to edit warring. You'll get on the one hand people who want to add in that the scholars they trust consider most Biblical books as close to the actual events as they can have it (adding citations and quotes from those scholars and no one else), and on the other hand people who have read outspoken recent scholars and who will want the article to say that "it is now recognized by the consensus of science that nearly all of the Old Testament was composed sometime between the 6th and the 2nd century BC by people with little or no knowledge of actual pre-exile Judaic history". That kind of late-dating was certainly not accepted a couple of decades ago and it's still quite controversial.
The vogue of overall downdating of much of the actual writing and editing of the OT until after the Babylonian Exile (van Seters, Lemche and others), or even after 400 BC, is a recent phenomenon and exegetics as a scientific field is populated by scholars who often tend to be guided as much by (or more by) ideological presuppositions and by methods and theory tools that are in fashion within human sciences and archeology in general as by the scientific data they're working on, by looking at those data themselves and putting them in context (and this is true irrespective of what kind of relationship the scholars in question have to any confession, or being linked to no confession at all). It's not like in physics or chemistry where you can often basically take it for granted that "the latest consensus results are best, the most reliable": Old Testament exegetics and Biblical criticism form a heavily politicized and "research fashion"-injected field littered with big and brash egos and careers supported by this or that "new school". Sure, the article could well point out that current scholars most often tend to see the editing and a large part of the writing of the Old Testament as occurring sometime between 800 and 250 (excluding the OT deuterocanonic/"apocryphal" books, which are somewhat later, mostly 4th to late 2nd century BC), and that it's a long-established consensus that almost no single book of the OT as we know it existed in anything like its present form before at least 720 BC - but it should also point out how many books and pre-existing sources and traditions are still controversial in terms of date and origin, and that the whole field is constantly geting racked by conflicts relating both to scientific results and to circumstances outside of science. 83.254.151.33 (talk) 23:48, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Reverting recent changes to wp:Lead section[edit]

User:Tznkai has requested on my talk page why I reverted his recent changes.

Old text:

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, "the books") is a canonical collection of texts that are considered sacred. The term "Bible" is shared between Judaism and Christianity, but the collection of texts each considers canonical is not the same. Different religious groups include different sub-sets of books within their Biblical canons, in different orders, and sometimes divide or combine books, or incorporate additional material into canonical books.[1]

The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, contains twenty-four books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), the Nevi'im ("prophets"), and the Ketuvim ("writings").

Christian Bibles range from the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon to the eighty-one books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon. The first part of Christian Bibles is the Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible divided into thirty-nine books and ordered differently from the Hebrew Bible. The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches also hold certain deuterocanonical books and passages to be part of the Old Testament canon. The second part is the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books: the four Canonical gospels, Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one Epistles or letters, and the Book of Revelation.

By the 2nd century BCE Jewish groups had called the Bible books "holy," and Christians now commonly call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια, tà biblía tà ágia) or "the Holy Scriptures" (η Αγία Γραφή, e Agía Graphḗ). Many Christians consider the whole canonical text of the Bible to be divinely inspired. The oldest surviving complete Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century. The oldest Tanakh manuscript in Hebrew and Aramaic dates to the 10th century CE,[2] but an early 4th-century Septuagint translation is found in the Codex Vaticanus. The Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne[3] and is now usually cited by book, chapter, and verse.

The Bible is widely considered to be the best selling book of all time,[4] has estimated annual sales of 100 million copies,[5][6] and has been a major influence on literature and history, especially in the West where it was the first mass-printed book. The Gutenberg Bible was the first Bible ever printed using movable type.

Revised version:

A bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, "the books") the canonical collection of sacred texts with a religion. "The Bible" is a term shared within Judaism and Christianity to refer to one of several competing canons of texts. Some version of the Bible is also held sacred by Samaritanism, Islam and the B'ahai faith. Different religious groups and sects have different sub-sets of books within their Biblical canons, in different orders, and sometimes divide or combine books, or incorporate additional material into these books.[1]

The Hebrew Bible, called the Tanakh within Judiasm, contains twenty-four books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), the Nevi'im ("prophets"), and the Ketuvim ("writings"). The Christian Biblical canons range from the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon to the eighty-one books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon. Christian Bibles are divided into two parts. The first is the Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible divided into thirty-nine books and ordered differently from the Tanakh. The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches also hold certain deuterocanonical books and passages to be part of the Old Testament canon. The second part is the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books: the four Canonical gospels, Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one Epistles or letters, and the Book of Revelation.

By the 2nd century BCE Jewish groups had called the Bible books "holy," and Christians now commonly call the Old and New Testaments together "The Holy Bible" (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια, tà biblía tà ágia) or "the Holy Scriptures" (η Αγία Γραφή, e Agía Graphḗ). Many Christians consider the whole canonical text of the Bible to be divinely inspired. The oldest surviving complete Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century. The oldest Tanakh manuscript in Hebrew and Aramaic dates to the 10th century CE,[2] but an early 4th-century Septuagint translation is found in the Codex Vaticanus. The Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne[3] and is now usually cited by book, chapter, and verse.

The Bible is widely considered to be the best selling book of all time,[4] has estimated annual sales of 100 million copies,[5][6] and has been a major influence on literature and history, especially in the West where it was the first mass-printed book. The Gutenberg Bible was the first Bible ever printed using movable type.

The tone of the introduction just seems so wrong like "A bible" makes it seem like it's fiction. I'm pretty sure that the B in Bible is always uppercased since the Bible is a title of a book, and the Wiki article is called Bible. This "the collection of sacred texts with a religion", is also unusual because is sounds like a non-reglious person added this which sounds like a pushing move. The worst part of this section is "Many Christians consider the whole canonical text of the Bible to be divinely inspired" which I find that really violates WP:NPOV. Overall, this change done by Tznkai does nothing but causes issues such as how the article is introduced and the tone of the section entirely via violation of WP:IMPARTIAL and WP:WORDS using WP:WEASEL. -- ♣Jerm♣729 05:21, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
First off, the section you have a problem with is in the original as well. Since global numbers are impossible to get, we appear to be stuck with the vague fact, but it needs rewriting. As a matter of fact, "bible" is used in the English language in two ways, in lower-cased type. 1) to refer to the sacred writings of any religion, as in "the Pali canon is the Hindu bible", 2) to refer to any authoritative book even in non-religious contexts, as in "Le Guide Culinaire is the bible of French cookery". Capitalized, it usually referred to just the Christian Bible, but now it also refers to the Hebrew Bible/Tanakh. The new lead was a bit unwieldy, but reality is considerably more unwieldy.
My writing POV here is neutral, and what I mean by that is academic, historical, and comparative. In that context the "Bible" is not a book, it is a canon of books. There is no grouping of texts that is universally agreed to be the canonical Bible across all notable religious groups, which include the diversity reflected in the paragraphs. It is not our job to decide which of those groups are right, or whether or not they are arguing over fiction or history.--Tznkai (talk) 15:44, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
You have a point there. I didn't know the original had the same context so sorry about the violations. The introduction needs some work such as removing WP:WEASEL texts etc. -- ♣Jerm♣729 16:38, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd like it shorter (1 paragraph lead, move majority to body), or at least more logically organized, but my start on that was reverted, so here we are.--Tznkai (talk) 17:18, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
"A bible" is still wrong because the article is called Bible, and the article is talking about "the Bible" specifically. -- ♣Jerm♣729 18:15, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
As previously discussed, there are conflicting definitions, and the article may be titled "bible". All article pages have capitalized first letters. A naive reader will have some confusion because of the differing . Now, it might be worth starting up an etymology section or just a disambiguation for the lower cased sense, but we still have two different religions which refer to their scriptures as "the Bible" and these are related, but significantly different volumes. So when any believer refers to "the" Bible, the outside observer has to respond "which one?" the same way "the nation" or "Korea" can be ambiguous. I'm open to other ways of writing it, but I'm not convinced the old text captures the very real linguistic ambiguity.--Tznkai (talk) 18:33, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Many words have more than one meaning, but Wikipedia is not a dictionary and articles concentrate on only one concept. This article is about the Bible. If you would like to create a page about (lower case ) bible, you are more than welcome to do so, but it is more probably more appropriate to use wiktionary ( See wikt:bible and wikt:Bible). Editor2020 20:49, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Even ignoring the lower-cased sense of bible, as it stands the article refers to both the Christian and Hebrew Bibles. So which "the Bible" do you mean?--Tznkai (talk) 21:21, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
As the article says "The term Bible is shared between Judaism and Christianity, although the contents of each of their collections of canonical texts is not the same." The usage has been extended to cover the Tanakh, calling it the Hebrew Bible. Editor2020 23:40, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Map deletions[edit]

There's a discussion at Tuqu' talk, and Halhul talk, and Dura talk that may interest some of you.

In short, the 3 articles discuss the history of the locations from Biblical times.

But when a map reflecting the text was added, the map was deleted (e.g., here) on the basis that the map was: a) not related to archeological evidence; b) undue; and c) "probably" a "myth".

Similarly here the views expressed by a professor were deleted, as "mythology".

Views of the community might be helpful. Epeefleche (talk) 02:03, 8 July 2014 (UTC)