The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews and Rastafarians. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; the Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect. Attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone.
This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history and culture than any book written, its influence on world history is unparalleled, shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells 100 million copies annually; the English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, translit. Ta biblia "the books". Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural, it came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun in medieval Latin, so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.
Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà ágia, "the holy books". The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book", it is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus" so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia was "an expression. Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together. By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "scriptures" and they referred to them as "holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, Christians now call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" or "the Holy Scriptures"; the Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and it was divided into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne and is now cited by book and verse.
The division of the Hebrew Bible into verses is based on the sof passuk cantillation mark used by the 10th-century Masoretes to record the verse divisions used in earlier oral traditions. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, it is known as the Codex Vaticanus; the oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus. Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that "the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages", "the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural and ecological – varied enormously". Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, says that the Old Testament is "a collection of authoritative texts of divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing."
He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it written by God and passed to mankind. Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon, only the Torah first and the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament. In Christian Bibles, the New Testament Gospels were derived from oral traditions in the second half of the first century CE. Riches says that: 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. This means that there was little time for oral trad
Vashti was Queen of Persia and the first wife of Persian King Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther, a book included in the Tanakh and read on the Jewish holiday of Purim. She was banished for her refusal to appear at the king's banquet to show her beauty as the king wished, Esther was chosen to succeed her as queen. In the Midrash, Vashti is described as vain, she is viewed as an independent-minded heroine in feminist interpretations of the Purim story. Attempts to identify her as one of the Persian royal consorts mentioned in other historical records remain rather speculative. In the Book of Esther, Vashti is the first wife of King Ahasuerus. While the king holds a magnificent banquet for his princes and servants, she holds a separate banquet for the women. On the seventh day of the banquet, when the king's heart was "merry with wine", the king orders his seven chamberlains to summon Vashti to come before him and his guests wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty. Vashti refuses to come, the king becomes angry.
He asks his advisers. His adviser Memucan tells him that Vashti has wronged not only the king, but all of the husbands of Persia, whose wives may be encouraged by Vashti's actions to disobey. Memucan encourages Ahasuerus to find another queen. Ahasuerus takes Memucan's advice, sends letters to all of the provinces that men should dominate in their households. Ahasuerus subsequently chooses Esther as his queen to replace Vashti. King Ahaseurus's command for the appearance of Queen Vashti is interpreted by several midrashic sources as an order to appear unclothed for the attendees of the king's banquet. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Bible commentators attempted to identify Vashti with Persian queens mentioned by the Greek historians. Traditional sources identify Ahasuerus with Artaxerxes II of Persia. Jacob Hoschander, supporting the traditional identification, suggested that Vashti may be identical to a wife of Artaxerxes mentioned by Plutarch, named Stateira. Upon the discovery of the equivalence of the names Ahasuerus and Xerxes, some Bible commentators began to identify Ahasuerus with Xerxes I and Vashti with a wife named Amestris mentioned by Herodotus.
The meaning of the name Vashti is uncertain. As a modern Persian name it is understood to mean "goodness" but most it originated from the reconstructed Old Persian *vaištī, related to the superlative adjective vahišta- "best, excellent" found in the Avesta, with the feminine termination -ī. Hoschander proposed that it originated as a shortening of an unattested vashtateira which he proposed as the origin of the name "Stateira". Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary of the 19th century, attempting to interpret the name as Hebrew, suggested the meanings "that drinks" or "thread". Critics of the historicity of the book of Esther proposed that the name may have originated from a conjectured Elamite goddess whom they called "Mashti." Vashti is one of a few proper names in the Tanakh that begins with the letter waw, by far the most prominently mentioned of them. Hebrew names that begin with waw are rare because of the etymological tendency for word-initial waw to become yodh. According to the Midrash, Vashti was the great-granddaughter of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, the granddaughter of King Amel-Marduk and the daughter of King Belshazzar.
During Vashti's father's rule, mobs of Medes and Persians attacked. They murdered Belshazzar that night. Vashti, unknowing of her father's death, ran to her father's quarters. There she was kidnapped by King Darius of Persia, but Darius gave her to his son, Ahasuerus, to marry. Based on Vashti's descent from a king, responsible for the destruction of the temple as well as on her unhappy fate, the Midrash presents Vashti as wicked and vain. Since Vashti is ordered to appear before the king on the seventh day of the feast, the rabbis argued that Vashti enslaved Jewish women and forced them to work on the Sabbath, they attribute her unwillingness to appear before the king and his drinking partners not to modesty, but rather to an affliction with a disfiguring illness. One account relates that she suffered from leprosy, while another states that the angel Gabriel came and "fixed a tail on her." The latter possibility is interpreted as "a euphemism for a miraculous transformation to male anatomy."According to the Midrashic account, Vashti was a clever politician, the ladies' banquet that she held in parallel to Ahasuerus' banquet represented an astute political maneuver.
Since the noble women of the kingdom would be present at her banquet, she would have control of a valuable group of hostages in case a coup d'état occurred during the king's feast. Vashti's refusal to obey the summons of her drunken husband has been admired as heroic in many feminist interpretations of the Book of Esther. Early feminists admired Vashti's courage. Harriet Beecher Stowe called Vashti's disobedience the "first stand for woman's rights." Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote that Vashti "added new glory to day and generation...by her disobedience. Michele Landsberg, a Canadian Jewish feminist, writes: "Saving the Jewish people was important, but at the same time whole submissive, secretive way of being was the absolute archetype of 1950s womanhood, it repelled me. I thought,'Hey, what's wrong with Vashti? She had dignity, she had self-respect. She said:'I'm
Haman is the main antagonist in the Book of Esther, according to the Hebrew Bible, was a vizier in the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, traditionally identified as Xerxes I. As his name indicates, Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites, a people who were wiped out in certain areas by King Saul and David. Haman cannot be related to any figures recorded in Persian or other sources outside the bible or Hebrew tradition; as described in the Book of Esther, Haman was the son of Hammedatha the Agagite. After Haman was appointed the principle minister of the king Ahasuerus, all of the king's servants were required to bow down to Haman, but Mordechai refused to. Angered by this, knowing of Mordechai's Jewish nationality, Haman convinced Ahasuerus to allow him to have all of the Jews in the Persian empire killed; the plot was foiled by Queen Esther, the king's recent wife, herself a Jew. Esther invited the king to two banquets. In the second banquet, she informed the king; this enraged the king, further angered when he discovered Haman had fallen on Esther's couch - intending to beg mercy from Esther, but which the king interpreted as a sexual advance.
On the king's orders, Haman was hanged from the 50-cubit-high gallows, built by Haman himself, on the advice of his wife Zeresh, in order to hang Mordechai. The bodies of Haman's ten sons were hanged, after they died in battle against the Jews; the apparent purpose of this unusually high gallows can be understood from the geography of Shushan: Haman's house was in the city of Shushan, while the royal citadel and palace were located on a mound about 15 meters higher than the city. Such a tall pole would have allowed Haman to observe Mordechai's corpse while dining in the royal palace, had his plans worked as intended. According to midrash, his mother was named Amathlai daughter of Orvati. In Rabbinical tradition, Haman is considered to be an archetype of persecutor of the Jews. Having attempted to exterminate the Jews of Persia, rendering himself thereby their worst enemy, Haman became the center of many Talmudic legends. Being at one time poor, he sold himself as a slave to Mordechai, he was a barber at Kefar Karzum for the space of twenty-two years.
Haman had an idolatrous image embroidered on his garments, so that those who bowed to him at command of the king bowed to the image. Haman was an astrologer, when he was about to fix the time for the genocide of the Jews he first cast lots to ascertain, the most auspicious day of the week for that purpose; each day, proved to be under some influence favorable to the Jews. He sought to fix the month, but found that the same was true of each month, but when he arrived at Adar he found that its zodiacal sign was Pisces, he said, "Now I shall be able to swallow them as fish which swallow one another". Haman had 365 counselors, she induced Haman to build a gallows for Mordechai, assuring him that this was the only way in which he would be able to prevail over his enemy, for hitherto the just had always been rescued from every other kind of death. As God foresaw that Haman himself would be hanged on the gallows, He asked which tree would volunteer to serve as the instrument of death; each tree, declaring that it was used for some holy purpose, objected to being soiled by the unclean body of Haman.
Only the thorn-tree could find no excuse, therefore offered itself for a gallows. Haman's lineage is given in the Targum Sheni as follows: "Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, son of Srach, son of Buza, son of Iphlotas, son of Dyosef, son of Dyosim, son of Prome, son of Ma'dei, son of Bla'akan, son of Intimros, son of Haridom, son of Sh'gar, son of Nigar, son of Farmashta, son of Vayezatha, son of Amalek, son of the concubine of Eliphaz, firstborn son of Esau". There are several generations omitted between Agag, executed by Samuel the prophet in the time of King Saul, Amalek, who lived several hundred years earlier. Haman is mentioned by Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews. Josephus' account of the story is drawn from the Septuagint translation of the Book of Esther and from other Greek and Jewish sources, some no longer extant. In the LXX, Haman is called a "Macedonian" by Xerxes. Scholars have had two different explanations for this naming. 1. Macedonian was used to replace the word "Mede", emphasises this when he says that there was no Persian blood in him.
2. Another opinion is that Xerxes was calling him a Macedonian Spy, due to his insistence on causing civil war within Persia between the Jews and the Persians; the Jewish holiday of Purim commemorates the story of the deliverance of the Jews and the defeat of Haman. On that day, the Book of Esther is read publicly and much noise and tumult is raised at every mention of Haman′s name. A type of ratchet noisemaker called. Pastry known as Oznei Haman are traditionally eaten on this day; the name h