The Bible is a very old book central to the Christian faith.
The Bible is Made up of the Old and New Testaments. People of the Jewish faith generally believe the Old Testament (which they call the Tanakh) to be divinely inspired. Christians believe that both the Old and New are divinely inspired. In this way, Jews are a bit like Star Wars fans who decline to recognize the valid existence of the prequal trilogy, except that the New Testament never once records Jesus as saying that he hates sand, because it's rough and course, and gets in everywhere.
The New Testament
The New Testament contains the Gospels, or accounts or Jesus' life, followed by many books and letters written afterwards.
The four Gospel accounts vary, probably because they were written for different audiences. One was aimed at converted Jews, for example, another at Gentiles. Unfortunately, several other Gospels seem to have been lost in the sands of time, like the one aimed primarily at football fans.
Only this ancient image remains.
The Old Testament
The Old Testament starts out with the Pentateuch, known by Jews as the Torah. This is the oldest part of the Bible. It mostly contains the history of the Jewish people and a whole lot of rules. The next section of the bible contains the books of the prophets. Finally, there is a section containing the 'poetry' and 'wisdom' books, as well as a few more historical books for good measure. This last section contains the psalms and proverbs, which have been a wellspring of helpfulness for people making tough life decisions and trying to think of lyrics for their early 90's rap songs.
Large sections of the Old Testament are often overlooked as being boring. However, this section of the Bible does contain such cool things as:
For more information about badass parts of the bible, see this article.
It is hard to judge the age of the bible, because different parts of it were written centuries and even millenia apart. The actual age of the finished product is disputed.
The Bible is Made
A long time ago, whole bunch of people got together and decided which books should go in the bible. How they decided this varies according to whether or not you are Dan Brown. The bible stayed this way for many years, until...
The Protestant Revolution
Martin Luther also cut many of the books from the bible, so that to this day the Protestant Bible is shorter than the Catholic one. Luther notoriously cut one entire book because it forbade wearing funny hats.
Above: Martin Luther
When Protestants try to impress Catholics with their awesome hats, however, Catholics simply point out that Luther also removed a book entitled "Bel and the Dragon."
Artist's impression of a scene from the book. Good one, Luther.
The books of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, but were translated into Latin in the third century. This is good, because in a recent survey, only 23% of Americans ranked their Aramaic grammar knowledge as 'fair', down 8% from 1970, and a shocking 47% could not explain the difference between the Hebrew and Aramaic indefinite article.
The Bible was translated into English in the thirteenth century by John Wyclef. Unfortunately this was out of style at the time. Wyclef's body was eventually exhumed and desecrated, and one of his followers was burnt at the stake. For hundreds of years, people considered this punishment to be a bit harsh. However, in the late 20th Century, when a spate of new translations came out, many realized that maybe they had a point. Recent bible translations include:
The bible, according to television, books and movies, is mostly a clever binding instrument for the Book of Revelation.
This book explains and excuses pretty much everything, including largescale battles, the total destruction of the world, hordes of killer zombies, animated robots, Keanu Reeves, huge dudes with wings beating people up, celestial warfare, swarms of demons, and scenes where people fire two machine guns simultaneously with one in each hand.
What is actually in the Book of Revelation? Nobody knows. If you think you do, and according to your knowledge of it it doesn't actually match up with everything listed above, it is probably because the relevant sections of the book have been repressed or mistranslated by the Church, which brutally suppressed the other 600 pages and all the bits about robots.
Today's Book of Revelation