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The Council of Carthage, on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra, 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John." The Catholic Church had this list ever since.
Since the inspired Scriptures are commonly referred to as the Bible, it is of interest to inquire into the origin and meaning of the word “Bible.” It is derived from the Greek word bi·bliʹa, which means “little books.” This, in turn, is derived from biʹblos, a word describing the inner part of the papyrus plant from which, in ancient times, a “paper” for writing was produced. (The Phoenician port of Gebal, through which papyrus was imported from Egypt, came to be called Byblos by the Greeks. See Joshua 13:5, footnote.) Various written communications upon this type of material became known by the word bi·bliʹa. Thus, bi·bliʹa came to describe any writings, scrolls, books, documents, or scriptures or even a library collection of little books. Surprisingly, the word “Bible” itself generally is not found in the text of English or other-language translations of the Holy Scriptures. However, by the second century B.C.E., the collection of the inspired books of the Hebrew Scriptures was referred to as ta bi·bliʹa in the Greek language. At Daniel 9:2 the prophet wrote: “I myself, Daniel, discerned by the books . . . ” Here the Septuagint has biʹblois, the dative plural form of biʹblos. At 2 Timothy 4:13, Paul wrote: “When you come, bring. . . the scrolls [Greek, bi·bliʹa].” In their several grammatical forms, the Greek words bi·bliʹon and biʹblos occur more than 40 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures and are usually translated “scroll(s)” or “book(s).” Bi·bliʹa was later used in Latin as a singular word, and from the Latin, the word “Bible” came into the English language.
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