Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà
biblía, "the books") is a collection of
religious texts, writings, or scriptures sacred to
Muslims, and others. It appears in the form of an
anthology, a compilation of texts of a variety of forms that are all linked by the belief that they are collectively
revelations of God. These texts include theologically-focused historical accounts,
hymns, prayers, proverbs,
didactic letters, admonitions, essays, poetry, and prophecies. Believers also generally consider the Bible to be a
product of divine inspiration.
Those books that are included in the Bible by a tradition or group are called
canonical, indicating that the tradition/group views the collection as the true representation of God's word and will. A number of biblical canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents from denomination to denomination. The
Hebrew Bible shares most of its content with its ancient Greek translation, the
Septuagint, which in turn was the base for the Christian
Old Testament. The Christian
New Testament is a collection of writings by
early Christians, believed to be
Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century
Koine Greek. Among
Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon, primarily about the
biblical apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect or recognition.
Attitudes towards the Bible also differ among Christian groups.
Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of both the Bible and
sacred tradition, while many
Protestant churches focus on the idea of
sola scriptura, or scripture alone. This concept rose to prominence during the
Reformation, and many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only
infallible source of Christian teaching. Others, though, advance the concept of
prima scriptura in contrast, meaning scripture primarily or scripture mainly.
The Bible has had a profound influence on literature and history, especially in the
Western world, where the
Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using
movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of
Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over five billion copies, it is widely considered to be the
best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells approximately 100 million copies annually.