The Old Testament

The first major division of the Christian Bible (Genesis—Malachi).

Christian Bibles are divided into two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. A “testament” is a written expression of someone’s will, and the Old and New Testaments express God’s will for people. The Old Testament used by most Protestants includes 39 books that are arranged in four categories: Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy), Historical Narrative Joshua-Esther), Psalms and Wisdom Writings (Psalms-Song of Solomon), and Prophets (Isaiah-Malachi). The Jewish or Hebrew Bible consists of these same 39 books, although they are organized in three different categories: Torah--Prophets--Writings. Roman Catholics include in the Old Testament a number of other books, which are sometimes called the Apocrypha.


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