Perhaps THE MOST controversial book there is in the history of mankind is the book everybody today knows as "The Bible." Amazingly, it remains to be the number one all-time bestseller at 6-Billion copies and counting! This book was also the reason for many a million souls martyred throughout history. Many died upholding the facts that it contains and many were brutally slain for the dedication they've given this one thick compilation of writings. So, there has to come a time in an individual's life that they would have to ask the question as to why this book is so interestingly changing the course of human history.
The most controversial issue there is attached to the Bible is that it claims to be the revelation of God to man. This revelation is claimed to be contained in the sixty-six books compiled and bound altogether to form just one book we now call "The Bible," since it has in reality just One Author--God, with a singular purpose and plan. This revelation develops into one scheme and one scheme only--that is, the redemption of man!
I'd like to share the names that have been given to the sixty-six bound compilation:
(1) The Bible , i.e. The Book , from the Greek "ta biblia," the books. The word is derived from a root designating the inner bark of the linden tree, on which the ancients wrote their books. It is the book as being superior to all other books. But the application of the word BIBLE to the collected books of the Old and New Testaments is not to be traced farther back than the fifth century of our era. (2) The Scriptures , i.e. the writings, as recording what was spoken by God. (3) The Oracles , i.e. the things spoken, because the Bible is what God spoke to man, and hence also called (4) The Word. (5) The Testaments or Covenants , because it is the testimony of God to man, the truths to which God bears witness; and is also the covenant or agreement of God with man for his salvation. (6) The Law , to express that it contains God's commands to men.
(Bible. www.biblos.com, http://topicalbible.org/b/bible.htm; emphasis mine)
Now as mentioned above, the word "Bible" has not been applied to the collection of books of the OT and NT until somewhere in the 4th or 5th century. The Online Etymology Dictionary shows this origin of this word as follows:
The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c.223. Bible replaced O.E. biblioðece (see bibliothek) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804.
The sixty-six books of the Bible didn't fall down from the sky at one time. Various "inspired" individuals, numbering to about 40 plus, wrote the different books at different timelines that stretched to about 1500 years! The magnificent thing about this fact is that ALL 40+ writers (coming from different cultural, geographical and professional backgrounds), over the span of 1500 years, managed to come up with ONE UNIFIED theme. There is no other book in the history of mankind that has been written in such a way where there is precise unity and cohesiveness all throughout the sixty-six books. The only reason behind this is that these writers were inspired by God Himself, who was the ONLY Author of this entire collection.
Aside from its cohesive theme all throughout, there is one other fact about the Bible that brings its credibility to the utmost level. The Bible as a compilation of historical and philosophical books have specifically prophesied events in human history including that of the life (and death) of the person of Jesus Christ Himself. That itself shows us the supernatural behind the Bible.
The books that belong to the OT (Old Testament) portion of the Bible came from the Hebrew Bible itself, which was the compilation of writings of the revelation of God to the Jews. This has been handed down from Moses to the generations thereafter. It is known as the "Tanakh." The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh. (Tanakh, Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh)
The books of the NT (New Testament) were compiled years after the death of Jesus Christ and his apostles. There were various Councils (an assembly of persons called together for consultation, deliberation, or discussion. Specifically for the christian world, an assembly of church officials and theologians convened for regulating matters of doctrine and discipline) that were convened involving the bishops or overseers of each christian region.
I'd like to share this documentary on the history of the Bible and I'm hoping that you will spend time to watch it with your family.
The Bible tells us that God's Word is true (Psalm 119:160) and that it IS Truth (John 17:17). The Word of the Lord endures forever and it is the way in which the gospel will be preached to us! (1 Peter 1:25). Those who are of God's will HEAR His Word and not any other man's words (John 8:47). Therefore, today DO NOT harden your heart for the Word of the LORD is the only Truth there ever will be and it is through HIS WORD that He reveals Himself to us (1 Samuel 3:21).