No, it doesn’t mean, “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.”
However, even though it is a popular book, few know the origins of its name.
The English word “Bible” has at its root the Latin word biblia, which in turn is derived from the Greek biblion. Both ancient words originally meant “book.” Early on, Christians began to identify the collection of sacred writings as a single volume of inspired text. According to Douglas Harper, “The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c. 223.”
Two phrases were eventually coined to identify the scriptures, one in Latin, biblia sacra (holy books), and biblia to hagia (the holy books) in Greek.
While it may seem strange (or anti-climatic) to identify the most sacred text of Christianity with such a mundane name, the point was to identify the scriptures as the book. Think of the name as calling it is the “book of all books;” a book that nothing else can compare with. For this reason instead of calling it the “Holy Book” in English, tradition has preserved the original name and we continue to call it the “Holy Bible,” differentiating it from every other book that has been (or ever will be) published.
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