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)



Gustave Dore


born Jan. 6, 1832, Strasbourg, Fr.
died Jan. 23, 1883, Paris

French printmaker, one of the most prolific and successful book illustrators of the late 19th century, whose exuberant and bizarre fantasy created vast dreamlike scenes widely emulated by Romantic academicians.

In 1847 he went to Paris and from 1848 to 1851 produced weekly lithographic caricatures for the Journal pour Rire and several albums of lithographs (1847–54). His later fame rested on his wood-engraved book illustrations. Employing more than 40 woodcutters, he produced over 90 illustrated books. Among his finest were an edition of the Oeuvres de Rabelais (1854), Les Contes drolatiques of Balzac (1855), thelarge folio Bible (1866), and the Inferno of Dante (1861). He also painted many large compositions of a religious or historical character and had some success as a sculptor; his work in those media, however, lacks the spontaneous vivacity of his illustrations.


241 Bible Illustrations

by Gustave Dore




Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery
Joseph Sold by His Brethren
Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream
Joseph Interpreting Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers
Joseph Makes Himself Known to His Brethren
The brothers bring Jacob to Egypt
Jacob Goeth into Egypt
Moses’ mother put him in a basket in the Nile
The Child Moses on the Nile
Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses
The Finding of Moses
Moses before the Pharaoh
Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh
The plague of murrain
The Murrain of Beasts
The plague of darkness
The Plague of Darkness
The slaying of the firstborn of Egypt
The Firstborn Slain
Pharaoh expels the Israelites
The Egyptians Urge Moses to Depart
The Red Sea swallows up the Egyptians
The Egyptians Drowned in the Red Sea
Moses brings forth water from the rock
Moses Striking the Rock in Horeb
God gives the law to the Israelites
The Giving of the Law Upon Mount Sinai
Moses with the Ten Commandments
Moses Coming Down from Mount Sinai
Moses destroys the tablets
Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law
The spies return from the Promised Land
Return of the Spies from the Land of Promise
The earth opens and swallows them up
Death of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
Moses raises a brazen serpent
The Brazen Serpent

The angel appears to Balaam
The Angel Appearing to Balaam

The Israelites enter the Promised Land
The Children of Israel Crossing Jordan
The angel appears to Joshua
The Angel Appearing to Joshua
The walls of Jericho come down
The Walls of Jericho Falling Down
Joshua spares the life of Rahab
Joshua Spares Rahab
Achan is stoned to death
The Stoning of Acan


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