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books of the old testament

Books Of  The Old Testament

Books Of  The Old Testament

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Books Of  The Old Testament
Books Of  The Old Testament

 

Old Testament

In Christianity, the Old Testament is the name of the first part of the Bible which was completed before Jesus Christ was born. Scholars prefer the term Hebrew Bible.

Tertullian was probably the first person to call these books the “Old Testament.” He used the Latin name vetus testamentum in the 2nd century.

The collection contains different texts, called “books”, about God, and the people of Israel. It can be divided into several sections: the Torah, the History of Israel, the Prophets and Wisdom books. In Judaism, this collection of books is known as Tanakh because it is divided into three parts (Torah, Nevi’im and Ketuvim). Most Jews and many Christians believe these texts to be holy. According to them, God inspired people to write them.

Different religious communities include (or exclude) certain books from the Old Testament. The Catholic Church uses Saint Jerome’s Latin translation of the Old Testament called Vulgate. The Eastern Orthodox church uses the ancient Greek translation of Jewish sacred writings called the Septuagint. The Eastern Orthodox list of sacred books has a few more books than the Roman Catholic list. Protestant Bibles stick more closely to the books in the Tanakh but list them in a different order.

Old Testament

The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon, which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, a collection of ancient religious Hebrew writings by the Israelites. The second division of Christian Bibles is the New Testament, written in the Koine Greek language.

The Old Testament consists of many distinct books by various authors produced over a period of centuries.

Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections: the first five books or Pentateuch (corresponds to the Jewish Torah); the history books telling the history of the Israelites, from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon; the poetic and “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world; and the books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God.

The books that compose the Old Testament canon and their order and names differ between various branches of Christianity. The canons of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches comprise up to 49 books; the Catholic canon comprises 46 books; and the most common Protestant canon comprise 39 books.

There are 39 books common to all the Catholic canons. They correspond to the 24 books of the Tanakh, with some differences of order, and there are some differences in text. The additional number reflects the splitting of several texts (Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra–Nehemiah, and the Twelve Minor Prophets) into separate books in Christian Bibles.

The books that are part of the Christian Old Testament but that are not part of the Hebrew canon are sometimes described as deuterocanonical. In general, Catholic and Orthodox churches include these books in the Old Testament.

Most Protestant Bibles do not include the deuterocanonical books in their canon, but some versions of Anglican and Lutheran Bibles place such books in a separate section called apocrypha. These books are ultimately derived from the earlier Greek Septuagint collection of the Hebrew scriptures and are also Jewish in origin. Some are also contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Old Testament books

Here you can find quick, 3-minute guides to every book of the Old Testament. They’re listed in the order they show up in Protestant Bibles. Just click any book’s name, and get a high-level idea of what it’s about.

But don’t stop at reading these guides. You’ll miss the best part: reading through the books of the Bible yourself!

There are 7 total books in the Old Testament, divided into five groups.

1. Genesis

The book of Genesis answers the question, “Where did all this come from?” Genesis is the story of how Israel began as a nation, but the author tells this story as a series of beginnings—starting with the creation of the universe (Gn 1:1) and narrowing down to one family: Israel’s.

2. Exodus

The book of Exodus is the story of God rescuing the children of Israel from Egypt and making them His covenant people. Exodus is where we find the stories of the Ten Plagues, the first Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments.

 

Books Of  The Old Testament
Books Of  The Old Testament

 

3. Leviticus

You could sum up the book of Leviticus with God’s repeated command: “Be holy, as I am holy.” Leviticus is a book of laws, but it’s also a book of worship. This book is filled with details on how the people of God should live, eat, sacrifice, celebrate, and more.

4. Numbers

Numbers tells the story of Israel’s wanderings through the wilderness en route to the promised land of Canaan. Numbers begins and ends with Moses counting all the people in the nation, which is how the book gets its name.

5. Deuteronomy

Israel is about to (finally) enter the promised land of Canaan. Before they do, Moses rallies the people to remind them of God’s law—and why they should obey Him. This is how the book of Deuteronomy gets its name: it’s the “second giving” of God’s law.

6. Joshua

Joshua is the story of how Israel moved into the promised land of Canaan. It details the battles and treaties between Israel and the native Canaanites, and then tells us how the tribes of Israel divvied up the land.

7. Judges

Judges is the account of how Israel behaves between the death of Joshua and the leadership of a king. Instead of remaining loyal to God and following His laws, this generation of Israelites wanders in their faith, worshiping idols and indulging in gratuitous violence.

What Are the Books of the Bible, or Ta Biblia?

The Bible is long and complicated, so it can be a bit hard to keep it all straight. The scriptures contain hundreds of stories over generations. Christian Bibles, which borrow heavily from the Hebrew Tanakh, are broken down into different books; we’ve presented the full list of books in order for your reference.

As we discuss below, different traditions count different books and order them differently. We’ve decided to present them here in the order used in most mainline Protestant Bibles, as those are the most common variety in the United States where we’re based.

See also The King James Bible, Old Testament Names, and Kings of Judah & Israel

Looking to broaden your religion reading? Check out our list of the best books on Buddhism.

What Are the 46 Books of the Old Testament in Order? 

The Hebrew Scriptures

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Samuel
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1 Kings
  • 2 Kings
  • 1 Chronicles
  • 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Job
  • Psalms
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs)
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi

What Are the Books of the New Testament in Order?

  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Acts of the Apostles
  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter
  • 1 John
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Jude
  • Revelation

The Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical Books

The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical

  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Additions to the Book of Esther
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • Ecclesiasticus
  • Baruch
  • The Letter of Jeremiah
  • The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews
  • Susanna
  • Bel and the Dragon
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees
  • 1 Esdras
  • Prayer of Manasseh
  • Psalm 151
  • 3 Maccabees
  • 2 Esdras
  • 4 Maccabees

Books Of  The Old Testament
Books Of  The Old Testament

The Hebrew Scriptures & the Old Testament

The first books in the Christian bible are the holy books of the Jewish faith, collected in the Tanakh. “Tanakh” is an acronym of the three major division of the Hebrew holy book–the Torah (“teachings,” also known to Christians by the Greek name “the Pentateuch” or “five books”), Nevi’im (“prophets”), and Ketuvim (“writings”).

In Christian traditions these books are called “the Old Testament.” The Jewish faith also adheres to the teachings in the Talmud, rabbinical commentaries on the Tanakh; unlike the Tanakh, Christian scripture does not recognize the Talmud.

Different Christian traditions acknowledge different books of the Bible as canonical. The Tanakh includes only 24 books, while mainline Protestant bibles inclue 39*, Catholics include 46, and Eastern Orthodox groups include 49. The books included in some bibles and not others are called Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical; this means either that they are not canon, or that they are less canonical than primary canon.

*Protestant bibles do not include more material than Hebrew bibles, but they divide the book of the 12 minor prophets into 12 different books, as well as dividing the book of Ezra-Nehemiah into the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and the book of Chronicles into 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. All Christian bibles, however, are ordered differently than the Tanakh.

The Five Books of Moses/the Pentateuch

The only set of books included in all forms of the Tanakh and the Old Testament, in the same order, is the Torah or Pentateuch. These five books, the five books of Moses, are the first and arguably most important books in the scripture.

 

 

 

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