the sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament (qq.v.), with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Old Testament being slightly larger because of their acceptance of certain books and parts of books considered apocryphal by Protestants. The Jewish Bible includes only the books known to Christians as the Old Testament. The arrangements of the Jewish and Christian canons differ considerably. The Protestant and Roman Catholic arrangements more nearly match one another.

Traditionally the Jews have divided their scriptures (i.e., the Old Testament) into three parts: the Torah (the “Law”), or Pentateuch; the Nevi'im (the “Prophets”); and the Ketuvim (the “Writings”), or Hagiographa. The Pentateuch, together with the book of Joshua (hence the name Hexateuch) can be seen as the account of how Israel became a nation and of how it possessed the Promised Land. The division designated as the “Prophets” continues the story of Israel in the Promised Land, describing the establishment and development of the monarchy and presenting the messages of the prophets to the people. The “Writings” include speculation on the place of evil and death in the scheme of things (Job and Ecclesiastes), the poetical works, and some additional historical books.

In the Apocrypha of the Old Testament, various types of literature are represented; the purpose of the Apocrypha seems to have been to fill in some of the gaps left by the indisputably canonical books and to carry the history of Israel to the 2nd century BC.

The New Testament is by far the shorter portion of the Christian Bible, but, through its associations with the spread of Christianity, it has wielded an influence far out of proportion to its modest size. Like the Old Testament, the New Testament is a collection of books, including a variety of early Christian literature. The four Gospels deal with the life, the person, and the teachings of Jesus, as he was remembered by the Christian community. The book of Acts carries the story of Christianity from the Resurrection of Jesus to the end of the career of Paul. The Letters, or Epistles, are correspondence by various leaders of the early Christian church, chief among them the Apostle Paul, applying the message of the church to the sundry needs and problems of early Christian congregations. The Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) is the only canonical representative of a large genre of apocalyptic literature that appeared in the early Christian movement.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)





William Blake

(b London, 28 Nov 1757; d London, 12 Aug 1827).

English printmaker, painter and poet. His reputation as a visual artist increased during the 20th century to the extent that his art is as well known as his poetry. Yet in his own mind Blake never completely separated the two, and his most original work is to be found in hand-printed books of prophecy, which developed a personal mythology of limitless intellectual ambition. In these books, text and design are completely integrated in what he called ‘illuminated’ printing. He also made many pen and watercolour drawings, prints in various media and a small number of tempera paintings, but even in these his broader aims were primarily theological and philosophical: he saw the arts in all their forms as offering insights into the metaphysical world and therefore potentially redemptive of a humanity he believed to have fallen into materialism and doubt.


William Blake

The Book of Job







Did I not weep for him who was in trouble?
Was not my Soul afflicted for the Poor

Behold he is in thy hand: but save his Life

Then went Satan forth from the presence of
the Lord

And it grieved him at his heart

Who maketh his Angels Spirits
& his Ministers a Flaming Fire





Naked came I out of my
mothers womb & Naked shall

I return thither

The Lord gave & the Lord hath

taken away, Blessed be the
Name of the Lord.

...and smote Job with sore Boils
from the sole of his foot to the crown of
his head






What! shall we recieve Good
at the hand of God & shall we not
also recieve Evil

And when they lifted up their eyes afar off
& knew him not they lifted up their voice
& wept, & they rent every Man his
mantle & sprinkled dust upon their
heads towards heaven

Ye have heard of the Patience of Job
and have seen the end of the Lord.






Lo let that night be solitary
and let no joyful voice come therein

Let the Day perish wherein I was Born

And they sat down with him upon the
ground seven days & seven
nights & none spake a word unto him

for they saw that his grief
was very great





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