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Christianity, like other religions, has adherents whose beliefs and biblical interpretations vary. Christianity regards the Biblical canon, the Old Testament and New Testament, as the inspired word of God. The traditional view of inspiration is that God worked through human authors so that, what they produced was what God wished to communicate. The Greek word referring to inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16 is Theopneustos, which literally means "God-breathed".Some believe that divine inspiration makes our present Bibles "inerrant". Others claim inerrancy for the Bible in its original manuscripts, though none of those are extant. Still others maintain that only a particular translation is inerrant, such as the King James Version. Another view closely related is Biblical infallibility or Limited inerrancy, which affirms that the Bible is free of error as a guide to salvation, but may include errors on matters such as history, geography, or science.

The Gutenberg Bible, the first printed Bible

The Books of the Bible, considered to be inspired, among Judaism, and the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches vary, thus each define the canon differently, although there is substantial overlap. These variations are a reflection of the range of traditions and councils that have convened on the subject. Every version of the Bible always includes books of the Tanakh, the canon of the Hebrew Bible. This makes up what Christians regard as the Old Testament. The Catholic and Orthodox canons, in addition to the Tanakh, also include the Deuterocanonical Books, as part of the Old Testament. These Books appear in the Septuagint, but are regarded by Protestants to be apocryphal. However, they are considered to be important historical documents which help to inform the understanding of words, grammar and syntax used in the historical period of their conception. Some versions of the Bible include a separate Apocrypha section between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament, originally written in Koine Greek, contains 27 books which are agreed upon by all churches.Modern scholarship has raised many issues with the Bible. While the Authorized King James Version is held to by many because of its striking English prose, in fact it was translated from the Erasmus Greek Bible which in turn "was based on a single 12th Century manuscript that is one of the worst manuscripts we have available to us".Much scholarship in the past several hundred years has gone into comparing different manuscripts in order to reconstruct the original text. Another issue is that several books are considered to be forgeries. The injunction that women "be silent and submissive" in 1 Timothy 12 is thought by many to be a forgery by a follower of Paul, a similar phrase in 1 Corinthians 14, which is thought to be by Paul, appears in different places in different manuscripts and is thought to originally be a margin note by a copyist.Other verses in 1 Corinthians contradict this verse such as 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 where women are instructed to wear a covering over their hair "when they pray or prophesies". Clearly when they are not silent! A final issue with the Bible is the selection of which books were included in the New Testament. Other texts have been recovered, such as the Gnostic Gospels of Nag Hammadi. While some of these texts are quite different to what modern Christians are used to, it should be understood that they existed simultaneously in early Christianity with those later selected as canon. The Gospel of Thomas contains much that is familiar with existing Gospels, while it has a gnostic twist so that rather than being completely different there is an element of overlap. The Gospel of John, described as the "gnostic Gospel", is believed to have been a response to the Gospel of Thomas which makes it closer to the original events. And while the Gospel of Thomas verse 113 states: "the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it" the same verse can be found in Luke 17:20-21.