Why is the Bible called the Bible

Why is the Bible called the Bible? And other interesting facts about the Bible

Bibles come in different sizes, formats, colors, even translations, and it is still the most important Book for every Christian.

It has many different names: Scripture, Book of Books, Word of God, and, of course, the Bible. Where did these names come from and why? Read on.

Title #1 – The Bible

About twenty kilometers north of the city of Beirut on the Mediterranean Sea is the small city of Jebel (now Arab and formerly Phoenician). The Jews called this port city Geval and the Greeks called it Byblos. The Phoenicians were first-class merchants, mediators between Greece and Egypt. Egyptian papyrus was delivered to Greece through the port of Byblos. In time the name of the Phoenician port became a common name for a book in Greek. Thus “Biblos” (or “biblion”) is translated as “book. The plural of the word “Bible” is always capitalized and went in this form into all-new European languages and is used only in reference to the Christian Scriptures.

The word “Bible” is of ancient Greek origin. In the language of the ancient Greeks “Byblos” meant “books. Nowadays we use the word to refer to one particular book consisting of several dozen separate religious works.

This is why we capitalize the word “Bible” because it is a proper name, the name of a certain book.

The word “ta Biblia” from which the name “Bible” is derived is of Greek origin. The word translated is the plural formed from the word “Biblos,” which in turn translates as the word “book. The article “ta” indicates that these books have a certain religious direction and are about Divine Revelation.

Title #2 – Sacred Scripture

The Latin phrase Biblia Sacra (“holy books”) first originated in the Middle Ages. In English, one of the first (if not the very first), the title “The Holy Bible” appeared in 1611 on the cover of the “authorized version” known as the King James Bible. The word “holy” or “holy” has several meanings.

When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush, He commanded him to take off his sandals because he was standing on “holy ground”-ground sanctified by the divine presence. Since God is holy, the words He speaks are also sacred. In the same way, the words God gave Moses on Mount Sinai are also sacred, as are all the words God gave to humanity in the Bible. Because God is perfect, his words are perfect (Psalm 18:8). God is righteous and pure, and so is His Word (Psalm 18:9).

The Bible is also sacred because it was written by men under the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit. “All Scripture is divinely inspired and useful: it helps to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct, how to live an honest life, so that the servant of God is equipped with everything and prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, RBO). The Greek word translated “god-inspired” is “theopneustos,” derived from “theos,” which means “God,” and “pneo,” which means “to breathe” or “to breathe in.” We get the word “pneumonia” from the same Greek root. So, our Holy God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, literally breathed the holy words of Scripture into the writers of each of the books of the Bible. The Divine Writer is holy, so everything He writes is also holy.

Another meaning of the word “holy” is “set apart. God set the people of Israel apart from their contemporaries to be “a kingdom of priests, a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Likewise, Christians stand apart from unbelievers walking in darkness, as described by Peter: “But you are a chosen race, a priesthood of the King, a holy nation, God’s possession, chosen to declare the great things of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). This aspect of “set apart” holiness applies to the Bible as well, because this book is set apart from all others. It is the only book written by God Himself, the only book that has the power to set people free (John 8:32), to change their lives and make them wise (Ps. 18:8), to purify them and sanctify them (John 17:17). It is the only book that gives life, peace, and hope (Psalm 118:50), and it is the only book that will last forever (Matthew 5:18).

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Title #3 – The Word of God

The Bible is called the Word of God because its authors did not express their own opinions, but wrote under the inspiration of God. Even though the Scriptures came from the pen of ordinary people, God is the primary author. That is why the prophets began their prophecies by saying, “Thus saith the Lord. That is why Christ said:

“…Your word is the truth” (John 17:17).

“…Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn.10:35).

The word God-inspired also indicates that the process of writing the Bible was guided by the Holy Spirit. He guided the writers so that they wrote down the words of God. We do not know exactly how God guided the writing of the biblical books. However, divinely inspired does not mean that God literally dictated His messages to the men who wrote the Bible. Rather, the Holy Spirit, through the hands of the biblical writers, imprinted the words of God Himself into the Bible.

Christians believe in the infallibility and infallibility of the Bible because God is its full Author. Because God cannot inspire a man to lie, His Word is true and faithful. There can be errors in any literary work written by a man. But the Bible cannot be called an ordinary human work. If the Bible is inspired by God and written under His direction, there can be no mistakes.

This, however, does not mean that the translations of the Bible we use today are completely error-free. Only the original manuscripts were absolutely infallible.

Title #4 – Book of Books

The Bible is called the “Book of Books” because it is the Word of God, and no book can equal it in this respect. But in many other ways, the Bible is superior to all other books. As we already know, it is the first “real” book in form. But it was also the first translated book, the first printed book, and finally the first book of world significance.

It remains No. 1 in several other categories:

  •  The Bible is the world’s most published book. The daily circulation of the Bible is 32,876 copies, which means that one Bible is printed every second in the world.
  •  The Bible has been popular without any advertising for almost 2,000 years, being the #1 best-selling book today.
  •  The Bible is the only book in the world written by a collective of authors who do not contradict each other in any way, even though most of them were not acquainted with each other and lived at different times. The writers of the Bible include kings (Solomon, David), a shepherd (Amos), a doctor (Luke), fishermen (Peter and John), prophets (Moses, Isaiah, Daniel), a general (Joshua), etc. – 40 authors in all. They lived in different times, had different educational and social backgrounds, belonged to different nationalities and cultures.
  •  The Bible holds the record for the length of its creation. The books that make up the Bible were written from the 15th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D., i.e., for 1600 years!
  •  The Bible is the most stolen book in stores.
  •  The Bible is the most commented upon the book. The Oxford Library alone has so many works on 1 John’s Epistle that it takes up 20 square feet of space.

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