Due to the multiple changes it is hard to pinpoint exactly when the Bible was established. The date and time frame depends on what is considered the creation. The books that were selected for the official publication were written over thousands of years. Even at that they were not collected and approved at the same time. Originally the scriptures were handed down orally. Each generation would tell the next who would continue to pass on the information. The book of Job was written between 2000 and 1500 B.C. It is possibly the oldest book in the Bible (Trace the Complete History of the Bible). Soon after the estimated year of Jesus’s death the 27 books of the Greek New Testament are written depicting the life of Jesus. Years later Saint Jerome translated the Hebrew Bible into Latin. From here the first definite list of books was accepted for the Bible around 367 A.D (Why do some Bibles have a section called the Apocrypha?). When the first Bibles were printed there were 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books. (Trace the Complete His...
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...ry of the Bible).
Hermeneutics attempts to determine what message the author intended to convey and how it would have been understood in its original historical and cultural setting. This involves a lot of specialized knowledge of the original Bible languages, literary styles and figures of speech, as well as the history, culture, and current events and issues of the time and place where it was written. (Summary and History of the Bible)
Instead of forcing Bible interpretation to fit into a certain theological framework, hermeutics draws out the original, true meaning.
Many of the Bible stories are historically accurate. In this way it can be interpreted literally. However, just as ordinary writing goes, there are uses of allegory, parable, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and irony which are not meant to be taken literally (Should the Bible Be Interpreted Literally?).
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