Basic Division of the Bible
The Old Testament contains 39 books:
- The Law – 5
- History – 12
- Poetry and wisdom – 6
- Prophets – 16 (big – 4, small – 12)
In the Old Testament, there are seven additional books added in the Catholic Bible: Tobit, Judith, Books 1 and 2 of the Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and some parts of Esther and Daniel. Since these books have never been included in the Bible accepted by the Jews, and even their originals in the Hebrew language are unknown, they are considered as apocryphal books.
The New Testament contains 27 books.
The Bible canon contains 66 books or 73 with apocryphal books (in the Catholic tradition still known as deuterocanonical or “second-canonical” books)
The Bible books are not arranged in an arbitrary order.
The Old Testament contains books divided into four basic, thematic groups.
Moses’ Pentateuch (the Torah):
- The Book of Genesis
- The Book of Exodus
- The Book of Leviticus
- The Book of Numbers
- The Book of Deuteronomy
In these first five books, there is a basic overview of the world’s history and the history of the Jewish people. Particularly here is the law of Moses, the covenant of God with the Israeli people.
- The Book of Joshua
- The Book of Judges
- The Book of Ruth
- The First Book of Samuel
- The Second Book of Samuel
- The Book of Kings
- The Second Book of Kings
- The First Book of Chronicles
- The Second Book of Chronicles
- The Book of Ezra
- The Book of Nehemiah
- The Book of Ester
These twelve books talk about the fate of the Jewish people after coming to the promised land of Canaan.
Psalms and Wisdom books:
- The Book of Psalms
- The Book of Job
- The Book of Proverbs
- The Song of Songs
In these books, we find the spirit of Jewish worship, which is particularly pronounced in the Jewish poem – the book of Psalms. In it we find a multitude of wonderful prayers and hymns.
- The Book of Isaiah
- The Book of Jeremiah
- The Book of Ezekiel
- The Book of Daniel
- The Book of Hosea
- The Book of Joel
- The Book of Amos
- The Book of Obadiah
- The Book of Jonah
- The Book of Micah
- The Book of Nahum
- The Book of Habakkuk
- The Book of Zephaniah
- The Book of Haggai
- The Book of Zachariah
- The Book of Malachi
In these sixteen books we find the words of prophets (inspired by the God’s Word) which God has, from time to time, sent to his people. Here, in a vivid series, warnings, consolations, controversies, promises and threats alternate and thus witness the dynamic history of a nation.
The New Testament is also made on the basis of a specific plan. Knowing this plan is of special importance.
The first four books of the New Testament represent some kind of descriptions of Jesus’ life. They provide evidence of its divine power and origin. About the Gospel, the Apostle John declares so:
“But these are written that you may believe[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20,31)
Acts of the Apostles: the fifth book of the New Testament describes the birth and history of the Church of Christ and shows the path and the way how someone can become a Christian. Many conversions are described here. From this book we find out how did the people at the beginning of the Christian era were on the path to Jesus Christ and his Church. The Acts of the Apostles give an answer to the question: How can a man be saved??
Epistles: after the Acts of the Apostles follows 21 epistles to Christian communities and some believers. In these letters (scriptures) it is explained how to live the Christian life and how to organize worship and community life.
- The Epistle to the Romans (Romans)
- The First Epistle to the Corinthians (1st Corinthians)
- The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2nd Corinthians)
- The Epistle to the Galatians (Galatians)
- The Epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians)
- The Epistle to the Philippians (Philippians)
- The Epistle to the Colossians (Colossians)
- The First Epistle to the Thessalonians (1st Thessalonians)
- The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (2nd Thessalonians)
- The First Epistle to Timothy (1st Timothy)
- The Second Epistle to Timothy (2nd Timothy)
- The Epistle to Titus (Titus)
- The Epistle to Philemon (Philemon)
- The Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews)
- James’s Epistle (James)
- The First Peter’s Epistle (1st Peter)
- The Second Peter’s Epistle (2nd Peter)
- The First John’s Epistle (1st John)
- The Second John’s Epistle (2nd John)
- The Third John’s Epistle (3rd John)
- The Epistle of Jude (Jude)
The Book of Revelation: the last book in the Bible has a prophetic character. It tells the Christian about his future homeland, about “the new heaven and the new earth.” The book contains the most wonderful promises to all who obey God’s Word and persevere in the faith to the end.