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When Was The Word Bible First Used?

The word Bible comes from the Latin Biblia.

It refers to a collection of books rather than just one book. That’s what The Bible is; a collection of books written by various authors over hundreds of years.

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‘Frontispiece to the King James’ Bible, 1611, shows the Twelve Apostles at the top. Moses and Aaron flank the central text. In the four corners sit Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, authors of the four gospels, with their symbolic animals. At the top, over the Holy Spirit in a form of a dove, is the Tetragrammaton.’

Biblia is the root of such words as the bibliography in English or Biblioteca, the Spanish word for library.

Check out the Online Etymology Dictionary for a nice long history of the word bible taking us right back to the Greek word for Egyptian papyrus and the town from which it was exported.

According to a PBS program on The Bible, Ta Biblia was used to refer to the Greek version of the Jewish scriptures (The Septuagint) centuries before Christ.

As for the Christian Bible, it was being used as early as 223 AD.


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6 thoughts on “When Was The Word Bible First Used?

  1. You didn’t really answer the question. You said that the Christian Bible was being used as early as 223 AD, although that’s unlikely as the Canon was not fixed until later. But the question is not when was the Bible first used but when was the word Bible first used.

  2. When was the word Bible first used

  3. Since it is Latin it must be after turtillian as he never used it. I’m guessing not until close to 400 ad

  4. In the book of Mormon, Nephi’s prophecy from around 600BC mentions the word Bible. 2 Nephi 29:6 “Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.”

    My Spidey-senses are telling me that the words of Nephi are more likely the words of someone from the 1800’s. Perhaps Joseph Smith?

  5. Who Made the Bible? — Fun Facts
    1) In 382 AD, Pope Saint Damascus presided over the Council of Rome that determined the Canon — or official list of Sacred Scripture. He chose the Scriptures which he divinely considered genuine, ordered, and divinely revealed.
    2) Between 397 and 467 AD, St. Jerome — aided by the Holy Spirit — translated holy Scripture for thirty years in a cave in Bethlehem. It was called the “Latin Vulgate.“
    3) When St. Jerome had finished his works, he presented it to Pope Saint Siricius who called it the “Bible,” — which means ‘collection of books.’
    4) In 200 AD, Tertullian — a prolific early Christian writer — gave the term ‘New Testament’ to the New Testament of the Holy Bible. Tertullian is also the oldest extant Latin writer to use the term “trinitas” or “Trinity.”
    5) Archbishop Stephen Langton and Cardinal Hugo De Caro are both credited for creating Chapters and Verses in the Holy Bible.

  6. Isn’t it significant that the cannon and related names all came from the Catholic traditions and never from first century believers or the succeeding second and most of the third century called out ones. Why do we reject much of the Catholic practices but cleave inordinately to all the rest of what early Catholicism had thrust upon us?

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