The Bible refers to a collection of 66 to 80 books, usually in a single volume, understood to represent the stories and teachings about the God of the Jewish and Christian traditions. The word "bible" comes from the Greek word meaning "book." Jews and Christians (Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant) all use different collections, but for each, these books authoritatively define and inform their tradition and culture. The Bible is thus also known as "Scripture," "the word of God," "sacred," and "holy." Those who follow the words of the Bible literally, or with attention to exact details, are known as literalists or fundamentalists; those who follow them in principle, adopting the ethics to their own time and place, are known as liberals. Fundamentalists and liberals thus invest a different degree of authority in the Bible.
Different translations of the ancient manuscripts are referred to as "versions," the more familiar ones being the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh, the King James Version (KJV), the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), and the New International Version (NIV). Some versions, such as the Living Bible, are paraphrases into simplified English.
Because it has profoundly affected the development of Western culture, it is important to be familiar with the Bible in order to interpret its cultural products (film, literature, politics, history, etc.).