24:7; Kings 22:8, 10) is alternatively styled the "Book of the Covenant" (ibid. The Wisdom of Ben Sira () actually uses the latter term βιβλως διαθήκης) parallel with Torah (νóμος), and a similar usage is found in The term as applied to the Bible designates specifically the closed nature of the corpus of sacred literature accepted as authoritative because it is believed to be divinely revealed.

The appelation is rare, however, since the increasing restriction of sefer in rabbinic Hebrew to sacred literature rendered superfluous any further description. The designation is found in tannaitic sources (Ned.

On the other hand, Kitvei ha-Kodesh (Kitve ha-Qodesh; "Holy Writings"), is fairly common in tannaitic sources as a designation for the Scriptures (Shab. 4:3; Avot ; , Ta'an, 4:2, 68a), but it may be much older, as Nehemiah 8:8suggests.

It is of interest that Miqraʾ as the Hebrew for "Bible" achieved wide popularity among Jews in the Middle Ages The acronym תנ״ך (Ta Na Kh), derived from the initial letters of the names of the three divisions of the Bible (Torah, Neviʾim, Ketuvim), became similarly popular.

Early Moves Toward Critical Study Nineteenth-Century Pentateuch Criticism and Wellhausen The Influence of Archaeology Gunkel and "Form" Criticism "Biblical Theology" Archaeological Evidence Developments in the 1970s Developments in the Late 20 There is no single designation common to all Jews and employed in all periods by which the Jewish Scriptures have been known.

The earliest and most diffused Hebrew term was Ha-Sefarim ("The Books"). The Greek speaking Jews adopted this usage and translated it into their vernacular as τἁ βιβλία.

Its antiquity is supported by its use in Daniel in reference to the prophets (Dan. This is how the sacred writings are frequently referred to in tannaitic literature (Meg. The earliest record of such is the Letter of *Aristeas (mid-second century ) similarly employs "The Books" to designate the entire Scriptures (Ecclus., prologue, v. It is from this Hellenistic Jewish usage of τἁ βιβλία, which entered European languages through its Latin form, that the English "Bible" is derived.

The term Sifrei ha-Kodesh (Sifre ha-Qodesh; "Holy Books"), although not found in Hebrew literature before the Middle Ages, seems to have been used occasionally by Jews even in pre-Christian times. Here the definition is required since the Hebrew כתב (ktb) did not develop a specialized meaning and was equally employed for secular writing (cf. The title "Holy Writings" was also current in Jewish Hellenistic and in Christian circles, appearing in Greek as αὶ ὶεραὶ γραφαὶ (Philo, Fug.

Still another expression for the Scriptures is *Torah, used in the widest sense of the term as the revelation of religion.

While it is only occasionally so employed for the Bible in rabbinic literature (cf. ), the fact that νóμος, the Greek rendering of Torah, is found in the New Testament in the same way (John , quoting Ps.