In Christianity, Christ is a title for the saviour and redeemer who would bring salvation to the whole House of Israel. Christians believe Jesus is the Israelite messiah foretold in both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Christ, used by Christians as both a name and a title, is synonymous with Jesus; the role of the Christ in Christianity originated from the concept of the messiah in Judaism. Although the conceptions of the messiah in each religion are similar, for the most part they are distinct from one another due to the split of early Christianity and Judaism in the 1st century. Though the original followers of Jesus believed Jesus to be the Jewish messiah, e.g. in the Confession of Peter, Jesus was referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth" or "Jesus, son of Joseph". Jesus came to be called "Jesus Christ" by Christians, who believe that his crucifixion and resurrection fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament; the Pauline epistles, the earliest texts of the New Testament refer to Jesus as "Christ Jesus" or "Christ".
The word Christ was a title, but became part of the name "Jesus Christ". It is used as a title, in the reciprocal use "Christ Jesus", meaning "the Messiah Jesus", independently as "the Christ"; the followers of Jesus became known as Christians because they believed Jesus to be the Khristós or Mashiach prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. Religious Jews still await their messiah's first coming and the messianic prophecies of Jewish tradition to be accomplished. Religious Christians believe in the Second Coming of Christ, they await the rest of Christian messianic prophecies to be fulfilled. One of those prophecies, distinctive in both the Jewish and Christian concept of the messiah, is that a Jewish king from the Davidic line, who will be "anointed" with holy anointing oil, will be king of God's kingdom on earth, rule the Jewish people and mankind during the Messianic Age and World to come. Jesus is not accepted as the Jewish messiah in modern Judaism. Muslims accept Jesus as al-Masih, the messiah in Islam, believe he will come again, but don't believe that the messiah is divine or the Son of God.
The area of Christian theology called Christology is concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Christ comes from Χριστός, meaning "anointed one". In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ, meaning " anointed.", a title adopted from the term for the tradition of anointing the Egyptian pharaoh during coronation or marriage with oil drawn from the fat of messeh, the sacred crocodile or crocodile star in the spells and the same anointing ritual may be traced to earlier Mesopotamian Mušḫuššu. In coffins of Egyptian mummies the word krst is found as a blessing and anointing from Horus and Osiris, hence the word Christos is thought as loaned. Krst denoted the process of preparation of the mummy by embalming and anointing, can mean anointed, buried or covered in oil.. In the Old Testament, anointing was reserved to the Kings of Israel, to the High Priest, to the prophets; the word Christ appears in most European languages.
English-speakers now use "Christ" as if it were a name, one part of the name "Jesus Christ", though it was a title. Its usage in "Christ Jesus" emphasizes its nature as a title. Compare the usage "the Christ"; the spelling Christ in English became standardized in the 18th century, when, in the spirit of the Enlightenment, the spelling of certain words changed to fit their Greek or Latin origins. Prior to this, scribes writing in Old and Middle English used the spelling Crist - the i being pronounced either as, preserved in the names of churches such as St Katherine Cree, or as a short, preserved in the modern pronunciation of "Christmas"; the spelling "Christ" in English is attested from the 14th century. In modern and ancient usage in secular terminology, "Christ" refers to Jesus, based on the centuries-old tradition of such usage. Since the Apostolic Age, the use of the definite article before the word Christ and its gradual development into a proper name show the Christians identified the bearer with the promised Messias of the Jews.
In the Ancient Greek text of the deuterocanonical books, the term "Christ" is found in 2 Maccabees 1:10 and in the Book of Sirach 46:19, in relation to Samuel and institutor of the kingdom under Saul. At the time of Jesus, there was no single form of Second Temple Judaism, there were significant political and religious differences among the various Jewish groups. However, for centuries the Jews had used the term moshiach to refer to their expected deliverer. A large number of Old Testament passages were regarded as messianic by the Jews, many more than are considered messianic by Christians, different groups of Jews assigned varying degrees of significance to them; the Greek word messias appears only twice in the Septuagint of the promised prince. This title was used when a name was wanted for the promised one, to be at once King and Savior; the New Testament states that the long-awaited messiah had come and describes this savior as "the Christ". In Matt 16:16, the apostle Peter said, in what has become a famous proclamation of faith among Christians since the first centur
Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition which has developed from the practices and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans"; the majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares, he calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, the Anglican Consultative Council. Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognized by the Anglican Communion call themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment. Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession and the writings of the Church Fathers.
Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded to those of contemporary Protestantism; these reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, others as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism. In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism – a perspective that came to be influential in theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed".
The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services in one Book used for centuries; the Book is acknowledged as a principal tie that binds the Anglican Communion together as a liturgical rather than a confessional tradition or one possessing a magisterium as in the Roman Catholic Church. After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches in Africa and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches.
The word Anglican originates in Anglicana ecclesia libera sit, a phrase from the Magna Carta dated 15 June 1215, meaning "the Anglican Church shall be free". Adherents of Anglicanism are called Anglicans; as an adjective, "Anglican" is used to describe the people and churches, as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts developed by the Church of England. As a noun, an Anglican is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion; the word is used by followers of separated groups which have left the communion or have been founded separately from it, although this is considered as a misuse by the Anglican Communion. The word Anglicanism came into being in the 19th century; the word referred only to the teachings and rites of Christians throughout the world in communion with the see of Canterbury, but has come to sometimes be extended to any church following those traditions rather than actual membership in the modern Anglican Communion. Although the term Anglican is found referring to the Church of England as far back as the 16th century, its use did not become general until the latter half of the 19th century.
In British parliamentary legislation referring to the English Established Church, there is no need for a description. When the Union with Ireland Act created the United Church of England and Ireland, it is specified that it shall be one "Protestant Episcopal Church", thereby distinguishing its form of church government from the Presbyterian polity that prevails in the Church of Scotland; the word Episcopal is preferred in the title of the Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, though the full name of the former is The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America. Elsewhere, the term "Anglican Church" came to be preferred as it distinguished these churches from others that maintain an episcopal polity. Anglicanism, in its structures and forms of worship, is understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between what are perceived to be the extremes of the claims of 16th-century Roman Ca
In Christianity, the Apostolic Age is the period from the death of Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles. It holds special significance in Christian tradition as the age of the direct apostles of Jesus; the earliest followers of Jesus were principally from apocalyptic Jewish sects during the late Second Temple period of the 1st century. They were Jewish Christians, who adhered to the Jewish commands. Jerusalem had an early Christian community, led by James the Just and John. Paul the Apostle, a pious Jew who had persecuted the early Christians, converted c. AD 33–36 and started to proselytize among the gentiles. According to Paul, gentile converts could be allowed exemption from most Jewish commandments, arguing that all are justified by faith in Jesus; this led to a gradual split of early Christianity from Judaism, as Christianity became a predominantly gentile religion. The years following Jesus until the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles is called the Apostolic Age, after the missionary activities of the apostles.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, the Jerusalem church began at Pentecost with some 120 believers, in an "upper room," believed by some to be the Cenacle, where the apostles received the Holy Spirit and emerged from hiding following the death and resurrection of Jesus to preach and spread his message. Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus is first recorded in Acts 9:13-16. Peter baptized the Roman centurion Cornelius, traditionally considered the first gentile convert to Christianity, in Acts 10. Based on this, the Antioch church was founded. According to Acts, that it was there. After the death of Jesus, "Christianity emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine." The first Christians were all Jews, either by birth or conversion, who constituted a Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology. The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record that an early Jewish Christian community centered on Jerusalem and that its leaders included Peter, the "brother of Jesus", John the Apostle.
The Jerusalem Church "held a central place among all the churches,". The relatives of Jesus were accorded a special position within this community, as displayed by the leadership of James the Just in Jerusalem. According to a tradition recorded by Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis, the Jerusalem church fled to Pella at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Revolt. Jewish Christians were faithful religious Jews, only differing in their acceptance of Jesus as the messiah, they believed Yahweh to be the only true God, the god of Israel, considered Jesus to be the messiah, as prophesied in the Jewish scriptures, which they held to be authoritative and sacred. They held faithfully to the Torah, including acceptance of gentile converts based on a version of the Noachide laws, they employed the Septuagint or Targum translations of the Hebrew scriptures. The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.
Liturgical services were based on repeating the actions of Jesus, using the bread and wine, saying his words. The rest of the liturgical ritual is rooted in the Jewish Passover, the Passover Seder, synagogue services, including the singing of hymns and reading from the scriptures. At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus' death, Sunday was being regarded as the primary day of worship; the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. Christian missionary activity spread Christianity to cities in the predominantly Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire, throughout the Hellenistic world and beyond the Roman Empire.
Apostles and preachers traveled to Jewish communities around the Mediterranean Sea, attracted Jewish converts. Within 10 years of the death of Jesus, apostles had spread Christianity from Jerusalem to Antioch, Corinth, Cyprus, Crete and Rome. Paul was responsible for bringing Christianity to Ephesus, Corinth and Thessalonica. Over 40 churches were established by 100, most in Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia, some in Greece and Italy. Early Christian beliefs were proclaimed in kerygma [preaching), some of which are preserved in New Testament scripture; the early Gospel message spread orally originally in Aramaic, but immediately in Greek. Christian groups and congregations first organized themselves loosely. In Paul's time there were no delineated functions yet for bishops and deacons; the sources for the beliefs of the early Christians include oral traditions, the Gospels, the New Testament epistles and lost texts such as the Q source and the writings of Papias. The texts contain the earliest Christian creeds expressing belief in the risen Jesus, such as 1 Corinthians 15:3–41: For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ
Anabaptism is a Christian movement which traces its origins to the Radical Reformation. The movement is seen as an offshoot of Protestantism, although this view has been challenged by some Anabaptists. 4 million Anabaptists live in the world today with adherents scattered across all inhabited continents. In addition to a number of minor Anabaptist groups, the most numerous include the Mennonites at 2.1 million, the German Baptists at 1.5 million, the Amish at 300,000 and the Hutterites at 50,000. In the 21st century there are large cultural differences between assimilated Anabaptists, who do not differ much from evangelicals or mainline Protestants, traditional groups like the Amish, the Old Colony Mennonites, the Old Order Mennonites, the Hutterites and the Old German Baptist Brethren; the early Anabaptists formulated their beliefs in the Schleitheim Confession, in 1527. Anabaptists believe that baptism is valid only when the candidate confesses his or her faith in Christ and wants to be baptized.
This believer's baptism is opposed to baptism of infants, who are not able to make a conscious decision to be baptized. Anabaptists are those. Other Christian groups with different roots practice believer's baptism, such as Baptists, but these groups are not seen as Anabaptist; the Amish and Mennonites are direct descendants of the early Anabaptist movement. Schwarzenau Brethren and the Apostolic Christian Church are considered developments among the Anabaptists; the name Anabaptist means "one who baptizes again". Their persecutors named them this, referring to the practice of baptizing persons when they converted or declared their faith in Christ if they had been baptized as infants. Anabaptists required that baptismal candidates be able to make a confession of faith, chosen and so rejected baptism of infants; the early members of this movement did not accept the name Anabaptist, claiming that infant baptism was not part of scripture and was therefore null and void. They said that baptizing self-confessed believers was their first true baptism: I have never taught Anabaptism....
But the right baptism of Christ, preceded by teaching and oral confession of faith, I teach, say that infant baptism is a robbery of the right baptism of Christ. Anabaptists were and long persecuted starting in the 16th century by both Magisterial Protestants and Roman Catholics because of their interpretation of scripture which put them at odds with official state church interpretations and with government. Anabaptism was never established by any state and therefore never enjoyed any of the privileges that come with it. Most Anabaptists adhered to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount which precluded taking oaths, participating in military actions, participating in civil government; some groups who practiced rebaptism, now extinct, believed otherwise and complied with these requirements of civil society. They were thus technically Anabaptists though conservative Amish, Mennonites and some historians consider them outside true Anabaptism. Conrad Grebel wrote in a letter to Thomas Müntzer in 1524: True Christian believers are sheep among wolves, sheep for the slaughter...
Neither do they use worldly war, since all killing has ceased with them. Anabaptists are considered to have begun with the Radical Reformers in the 16th century, but historians classify certain people and groups as their forerunners because of a similar approach to the interpretation and application of the Bible. For instance, Petr Chelčický, a 15th-century Bohemian reformer, taught most of the beliefs considered integral to Anabaptist theology. Medieval antecedents may include the Brethren of the Common Life, the Hussites, Dutch Sacramentists, some forms of monasticism; the Waldensians represent a faith similar to the Anabaptists. Medieval dissenters and Anabaptists who held to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount share in common the following affirmations: The believer must not swear oaths or refer disputes between believers to law-courts for resolution, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6:1–11; the believer must not offer forcible resistance to wrongdoers, nor wield the sword.
No Christian has the jus gladii. Matthew 5:39 Civil government belongs to the world; the believer belongs to God's kingdom, so must not fill any office nor hold any rank under government, to be passively obeyed. John 18:36 Romans 13:1–7 Sinners or unfaithful ones are to be excommunicated, excluded from the sacraments and from intercourse with believers unless they repent, according to 1 Corinthians 5:9–13 and Matthew 18:15 seq. but no force is to be used towards them. On December 27, 1521, three "prophets" appeared in Wittenberg from Zwickau who were influenced by Thomas Müntzer—Thomas Dreschel, Nicholas Storch, Mark Thomas Stübner, they preached an radical alternative to Lutheranism. Their preaching helped to stir the feelings concerning the social crisis which erupted in the German Peasants' War in southern Germany in 1525 as a revolt against feudal oppression. Under the leadership of Müntzer, it became a war against all constituted authorities and an attempt to establish by revolution an ideal Christian commonwealth, with absolute equality among persons and the community of goods.
The Zwickau prophets were not Anabaptists.
Christian symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, artwork or events, by Christianity. It invests actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas; the symbolism of the early Church was characterized by being understood by initiates only, while after the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire during the 4th-century more recognizable symbols entered in use. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Christianity has not practiced Aniconism, or the avoidance or prohibition of types of images if the early Jewish Christians sects, as well as some modern denominations, preferred to some extent not to use figures in their symbols, by invoking the Decalogue's prohibition of idolatry; the shape of the cross, as represented by the letter T, came to be used as a "seal" or symbol of Early Christianity by the 2nd century. At the end of the 2nd century, it is mentioned in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, rejecting the claim by detractors that Christians worship the cross.
The cross in this period was represented by the letter T. Clement of Alexandria in the early 3rd century calls it τὸ κυριακὸν σημεῖον he repeats the idea, current as early as the Epistle of Barnabas, that the number 318 in Genesis 14:14 was a foreshadowing of the cross and of Jesus. Clement's contemporary Tertullian rejects the accusation that Christians are crucis religiosi, returns the accusation by likening the worship of pagan idols to the worship of poles or stakes. In his book De Corona, written in 204, Tertullian tells how it was a tradition for Christians to trace on their foreheads the sign of the cross. While early Christians used the T-shape to represent the cross in writing and gesture, the use of the Greek cross and Latin cross, i.e. crosses with intersecting beams, appears in Christian art towards the end of Late Antiquity. An early example of the cruciform halo, used to identify Christ in paintings, is found in the Miracles of the Loaves and Fishes mosaic of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna.
Instances of the St Thomas cross, a Greek cross with clover leaf edges, popular in southern India, date to about the 6th century. The Patriarchal cross, a Latin cross with an additional horizontal bar, first appears in the 10th century; the Celtic cross, now characterized by the presence of the outline of a circle upon which a cross, stylized in a pre-Medieval Celtic fashion, appears superimposed. The Celtic cross bears strong resemblance to the Christian cross, it appears in the form of sculpted, vertically oriented, ancient monoliths which survive in the present day, in various locations on the island of Ireland. A few of the ancient monuments were evidently relocated to stand in some of Ireland's earliest churchyards between 400 CE and 600 CE, as Christianity was popularized throughout much of the island; the heavily-worn stone sculptures owe their continued survival to their sheer size and solid rock construction, which coordinate in scale, in composition, with Ireland's ancient megalith arrangements.
Unlike the Christian cross iconography associated with the shape of a crucifix, the Celtic cross' design origins are not clear. The Celtic cross has been repeated in statuary, as a dominant feature of the anthropogenic Irish landscape, for at least 5,000 years; the Celtic cross and the Christian cross are similar enough in shape, that the former was adopted by Irish Catholic culture, following the Christianization of Ireland. The Celtic cross is described as an ancient symbol of cultural significance in pre-Christian, Druidic Ireland, it is used as a symbolic icon of the interpretation of Christianity, unique to Irish culture in that pre-Christian Celtic tradition and Irish Druidic iconography are hybridized with Christian traditions and iconography. Although the cross was used as a symbol by early Christians, the crucifix, i.e. depictions of the crucifixion scene, were rare prior to the 5th century. The purported discovery of the True Cross by Constantine's mother and the development of Golgotha as a site for pilgrimage led to a change of attitude.
It was in Palestine that the image developed, many of the earliest depictions are on the Monza ampullae, small metal flasks for holy oil, that were pilgrim's souvenirs from the Holy Land, as well as 5th century ivory reliefs from Italy. In the early medieval period, the plain cross became depicted as the crux gemmata, covered with jewels, as many real early medieval processional crosses in goldsmith work were; the first depictions of crucifixion displaying suffering are believed to have arisen in Byzantine art, where the "S"-shaped slumped body type was developed. Early Western examples include the Gero Cross and the reverse of the Cross of Lothair, both from the end of the 10th century. Marie-Madeleine Davy described in great detail Romanesque Symbolism as it developed in the Midd
Prayer is an important activity in Christianity, there are several different forms of Christian prayer. Christian prayers are diverse: they can be spontaneous, or read from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer; the most common prayer among Christians is the "Lord's Prayer", which according to the gospel accounts is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. "The Lord's Prayer" is a model for prayers of adoration and petition in Christianity. A broad, three stage characterization of prayer begins with vocal prayer moves on to a more structured form in terms of meditation reaches the multiple layers of contemplation, or intercession. There are two basic settings for Christian prayer: private. Corporate prayer includes prayer shared within other public places; these prayers can be informal extemporaneous prayers. Private prayer occurs with the individual praying either silently or aloud within a private setting. Prayer may be structured differently; these types of contexts may include: Liturgical: Often seen within the Catholic Church.
This is a orthodox service, according to Catholics. Within a Catholic Mass, an example of a liturgical form of worship, there are bible readings and a sermon is read. Seen within the Holy Orthodox Church; the Holy Bible is read and a sermon is read. Non-Liturgical: Often seen within Evangelical church, this prayer is not scripted and would be more informal in structure. Most of these prayers would be extemporaneous. Charismatic: Often seen within gospel churches, it is the main form of worship in Pentecostal churches. It includes song and dance, may include other artistic expressions. There may be no apparent structure, but the worshippers will be "led by the Holy Spirit". Prayer in the New Testament is presented as a positive command; the people of God are challenged to include prayer in their everyday life in the busy struggles of marriage as it is thought to bring the faithful closer to God. Throughout the New Testament, prayer is shown to be God's appointed method by which the faithful obtain what he has to bestow.
Prayer, according to the Book of Acts, can be seen at the first moments of the church. The apostles regarded prayer as an essential part of their lives; as such, the apostles incorporated verses from Psalms into their writings. Romans 3:10-18 for example is borrowed from other psalms. Thus, due to this emphasis on prayer in the early church. Lengthy passages of the New Testament are prayers or canticles, such as the Prayer for forgiveness, the Lord's Prayer, the Magnificat, the Benedictus, Jesus' prayer to the one true God, exclamations such as, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ", the Believers' Prayer, "may this cup be taken from me", "Pray that you will not fall into temptation", Saint Stephen's Prayer, Simon Magus' Prayer, "pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men", Maranatha. Elements of the oldest Christian prayers may be found in liturgies such as the Roman Catholic Mass, the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, the Lutheran Book of Worship.
Many denominations that adhere to a liturgical tradition use specific prayers geared to the season of the Liturgical Year, such as Advent, Christmas and Easter. Some of these prayers are found in the Roman Breviary, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Orthodox Book of Needs and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer; the ancient church, in both Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity, developed a tradition of asking for the intercession of saints, this remains the practice of most Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, some Anglican churches. Churches of the Protestant Reformation however rejected prayer to the saints on the basis of the sole mediatorship of Christ; the reformer Huldrych Zwingli admitted that he had offered prayers to the saints until his reading of the Bible convinced him that this was idolatrous. Christian meditation is a structured attempt to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God; the word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study and to practice.
Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God. Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion. At times there may be no clear-cut boundary between Christian meditation and Christian contemplation, they overlap. Meditation serves as a foundation on which the contemplative life stands, the practice by which someone begins the state of contemplation. In contemplative prayer, this activity is curtailed, so that contemplation has been described as "a gaze of faith", "a silent love". Meditation and contemplation are components of the Rosary, encouraged by the Magisterium; this kind of prayer involves the believer taking the role of an intercessor, praying on behalf of another individual, group or community, or a nation. Ejaculatory prayer is the use of brief exclamations. Saint Augustine remarked that the Egyptian Christians who withdrew to a solitary life "are said to sa
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