The Bible is a compilation of works by more than 40 authors, written during a period of about 1,600 years, yet it is unified in spirit, outlook and inspiration.


The earliest parts of the Bible were written in approximately 1500 B.C.; the most recent around A.D.100


The original languages of the Bible were Hebrew (Old Testament), Aramaic (a few scattered parts of the Old Testament), and Koine Greek (New Testament). 


The word Bible is derived from a Greek word (biblos) referring to papyrus (in later Latin, biblia), and the word Testament from a Latin word (testari) meaning to witness.


At key points in early church history, church leaders met and tested the writings to determine which should be considered truly authoritative.  These books came to be called canonical, from the Greek word for a measuring stick (kanon); they later became what we today know as the Bible.  For most Protestants the core of the Bible is composed of 66 books (39 Old Testament, 27 New Testament) which they view as the complete Bible.  Roman Catholics include eight additional books as part of the Bible. These eight are collectively known as the Apocrypha or the Deuterocanonical Books.  Orthodox churches have the largest canon of all, which varies as well from group to group of Orthodox believers.