Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reference Post: Bible Books and Bible Order

There's not much commentary here, this post is being created to sit in the background and be a reference link for certain other posts when necessary:

English books of the Bible with their somewhat traditional divisions:

Old Testament:

Pentateuch/Law/Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

History: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

Poetry/Wisdom: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (or of Solomon)

Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations (can go in Poetry), Ezekiel, Daniel

Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Note: The difference in Major Prophets and Minor Prophets is primarily one of length. It is not really one of importance.

New Testament:

Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

History: Acts

Pauline Epistles: Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

General Epistles: Hebrews (some consider this one Pauline, I do not), James, 1&2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude

Prophecy: Revelation

The Christian Old Testament bears much similarity of content with the Jewish Scriptures. However, the order used is different. At the time of writing the New Testament, the books of the Jewish Scriptures were divided in this manner (this is also the order they would have been known to the people of the New Testament and early church):

Torah (or Law): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Nevi'im (or Prophets): Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve (consisting of: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)

Ketuvim (or Writings): Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah (together), 1&2 Chronicles.

The New Testament codified in the order that we have. Not much else to discuss there.

Critical points:

The Book of the Twelve: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. We separate these, but this was one big batch of prophetic writings originally.

Law and the Prophets: that's the whole of the Torah and Nevi'im sections, which is most of the Old Testament.

Order: Traditional order is semi-chronological. Genesis is first, Malachi  last. Traditional Hebrew order is Genesis-Chronicles.

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