The word Bible comes from the Greek word biblos. The plural form of biblos is biblia, a term used by Christians to refer to their writings in the second century CE.
From biblia came the Latin word biblia with the same spelling, which was transliterated into Old French biblia by the same process.
The current English word Bible is derived from Old French, with an Englishized ending. In other words, the word Bible has gone through four stages of transliteration and endings.
The Meaning of the Testament
Although the Bible is referred to under one name, biblos, it is divided into two parts called the Testament. The word for covenant is be-rith, which means “a contract, arrangement, or agreement between two parties.” The Greek word for covenant is diatheke.
The Greek word diatheke is often translated as ‘testament’ in the King James Version, but this is a clumsy translation, so the ASU version corrects it to the covenant, and the RSU version retains the term.
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, translates the Hebrew word berith as diatheke, showing the derivation of the Greek term.
In the time of Moses, the Old Testament was first called a covenant, but later Jeremiah declared that God would establish a new covenant with his people, and Jesus spoke of establishing a new covenant at the Last Supper. Christians therefore refer to the first half of the Bible as the Old Testament and the second half as the New Testament.
St. Augustine’s words summarize the relationship between the two covenants.
The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament, and the New Testament is hidden in the Old
Another said, “The New Testament is contained in the Old, and the Old is explained by the New. For Christians, the subject of both covenants is Christ.
In the Old Testament, Christ is revealed as a shadow, a description, a type, a ritual, a prophecy, and an implication. But in the New Testament, Christ is revealed explicitly as a substance, as a person, as an archetype, as a reality, as a presence.
The Bible have a Christ-Centered Content Structure
Because the center of redemption and revelation is the person of Jesus Christ, we know that some parts of the Bible have a Christ-centered content structure. As mentioned earlier, Christ is not only the theme of the Bible but is revealed as the theme at each stage of the eight parts of the Bible.
If the Law lays the foundation for Christ, and the historical books are rooted in the preparation of the nation of Israel for Christ, the Psalms wait for Christ to come.
The law illuminates Israel’s moral life, the history records their national life, the Psalms reveal their spiritual life, and the prophets describe their prophetic messianic life and hope.
Thus, we see that the classification of the Bible is not arbitrary, but rather meaningful and deliberate and that it progressively unfolds the themes of the Bible in the person of Christ.