What is the Bible?

Season 2
Episode Number
Release Date
May 6, 2020
HistoryStudy the WordDoctrine
Table of Contents
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:


Why do we call it "the Bible?" How many books are included in Scripture? Well, that depends on if you ask a Protestant, a Catholic, or a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Yet this never seems to come up in Church conversations... Let's bring it up now.

Deep Dive

  • The Bible, though often thought of as one book, is actually many books by many authors, inspired by one Holy Spirit.[8]
  • What does “Bible” even mean?[6]
    • "Bible" is from the Greek biblio
    • It means "The Book"
  • How many books are in the Bible?
  • It depends on who you ask...
    • Protestant: 66
    • Eastern Orthodox: 79
    • Catholic: 73
  • What is the difference between Dueterocannical and Apochyrpha?

apocrypha [1]


  1. : writings or statements of dubious authenticity
  2. capitalized a: books included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but excluded from the Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament b: early Christian writings not included in the New Testament


deuterocanonical [2]


  1. : of, relating to, or constituting the books of Scripture contained in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew canon

  • Why aren't these books in the "standard" Bible?
    • There are lots of references online containing the arguments for or against the apocrypha.[3][4][5] Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox Bibles are all slightly different because of this.
    • The primary arguments against them is their exclusion from Hebrew Scriptures and errors found within the texts (suggesting that they are not inspired by the Holy Spirit)
    • Allow the Holy Spirit to discern where they belong in your heart
  • There are lots of books about Biblical times that are not canon
  • There are books that may be in the Catholic Bible but not in the Protestant Bible (i.e., 1 Maccabees), but there are also books that are not in anyone's Bible (i.e., The Book of Enoch).[4]
  • Those that fall in to the latter are considered false writings by most scholars. Since I have neither read them in full nor done extensive research on the matter, I cannot say which side of the argument I fall on.

How did we get chapters and verses?

  • The original scriptures didn't have verses or chapters
  • The first Bible with both the modern chapters and verses in each book was printed in the 1500s![7]
  • Even though it is convenient, we should be steadfast in countering scriptures quoted out of context. We should try to quote in context and when studying or being presented with a particular verse, we should always check the context.

Bible verses often taken out of context

  • "It's not what goes in your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out" (Matthew 5)
  • "Slaves obey your master"
  • Relationship between wives and husband (Ephesians 5:22-23)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

References and Footnotes

  1. "Apocrypha". Merriam-Webster; visited May 5, 2020
  2. "Deuterocanonical". Merriam-Webster; visited May 5, 2020
  3. Matt Slick. "Errors in the Apocrypha". Christian Apologetics Research Ministry. February 27, 2018
  4. "What are the Apocrypha and Deuterocanonical Books?American Bible Society; visited May 5, 2020
  5. "What are the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books?". GotQuestions.org; visited May 5, 2020
  6. Jason Soroski. "What Does "Bible" Mean and How Did it Get That Name?". Bible Study Tools. May 31, 2019
  7. Don Stewart. "Why Is the Bible Divided into Chapters and Verses?". Blue Letter Bible; visited May 5, 2020
  8. I have a whole episode on this concept now!
    Reading the Bible as An Anthology
PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.