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is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures that Jews and Christians consider to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; a number of Bible canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents.The Christian Old Testament overlaps with the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Septuagint; the Hebrew Bible is known in Judaism as the Tanakh.Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon (c.3rd century BCE), only the Torah first and then the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament.Scholars have attempted to reconstruct something of the history of the oral traditions behind the Gospels, but the results have not been too encouraging.The period of transmission is short: less than 40 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark's Gospel.The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, and it is known as the Codex Vaticanus.The oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE.
The remaining four books of the Torah tell the story of Moses, who lived hundreds of years after the patriarchs.The Bibles of the Eastern Churches vary considerably: the Ethiopic Orthodox canon includes 81 books and contains many apocalyptic texts, such as were found at Qumran and subsequently excluded from the Jewish canon.As a general rule, one can say that the Orthodox Churches generally follow the Septuagint in including more books in their Old Testaments than are in the Jewish canon.In Masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry.Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth").
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh.