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What are the books of the Old Testament?

What are the books of the Old Testament?

What are the books of the Old Testament?

The books of the old testament are 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, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,

Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. We encourage you to read them and learn the lessons that they teach. For example, Isaiah 11: 6–9 describes the conditions we will experience under God’s Kingdom rule.

The Old Testament with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books listed afterward

The Hebrew Bible (“Old Testament”)

  • 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

The Apocrypha (typically considered less authoritative, but often, some or all of these are included in different versions of the Bible. Most Protestant Bibles exclude the Apocrypha.)

  • 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

The Protestant Old Testament has 39 books. The Catholic and Orthodox Old Testaments have more books based on the older version of Hebrew Scriptures, translated into Greek in the 2nd-4th centuries BC and called the Septuagint.

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Here are the 39 books of the Protestant Old Testament:

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy
  6. Joshua
  7. Judges
  8. Ruth
  9. 1 Samuel
  10. 2 Samuel
  11. 1 Kings
  12. 2 Kings
  13. 1 Chronicles
  14. 2 Chronicles
  15. Ezra
  16. Nehemiah
  17. Esther
  18. Job
  19. Psalms
  20. Proverbs
  21. Ecclesiastes
  22. Song of Solomon
  23. Isaiah
  24. Jeremiah
  25. Lamentations
  26. Ezekial
  27. Daniel
  28. Hosea
  29. Joel
  30. Amos
  31. Obadiah
  32. Jonah
  33. Micah
  34. Nahum
  35. Habakkuk
  36. Zephaniah
  37. Haggai
  38. Zechariah
  39. Malachi

The Old Testament, or the Hebrew Bible, is a collection of sacred texts in Judaism and Christianity. It is divided into several books, categorized into genres such as historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, and law. The specific books of the Old Testament can vary slightly between other religious traditions. Still, the following is a general list based on the standard structure found in many Christian denominations:

Pentateuch (Torah):

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy

Historical Books: 6. Joshua

  1. Judges
  2. Ruth
  3. 1 Samuel
  4. 2 Samuel
  5. 1 Kings
  6. 2 Kings
  7. 1 Chronicles
  8. 2 Chronicles
  9. Ezra
  10. Nehemiah
  11. Esther

Wisdom and Poetry: 18. Job

  1. Psalms
  2. Proverbs
  3. Ecclesiastes
  4. Song of Solomon (Song of Songs)

Major Prophets: 23. Isaiah

  1. Jeremiah
  2. Lamentations
  3. Ezekiel
  4. Daniel

Minor Prophets: 28. Hosea

  1. Joel
  2. Amos
  3. Obadiah
  4. Jonah
  5. Micah
  6. Nahum
  7. Habakkuk
  8. Zephaniah
  9. Haggai
  10. Zechariah
  11. Malachi

The order of the books can vary slightly in different Christian traditions. Additionally, the arrangement of the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible is other, with the books grouped into three sections: Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). The Christian Old Testament follows a different organization, combining the books into historical, wisdom, and prophetic sections.

How is the Old Testament divided?

Many people accuse the Bible of being an unorganized book of fables. The Bible is truly a miracle; one can see God’s hand in its makeup and symmetry.

The OT is divided accordingly: It is comprised of 39 books. There are 17 books of history, five books of poetry & wisdom, and 17 books written by the prophets.

The first 17 books can be broken down further into five books written before the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, nine books with them in the land, and 3 written after their expulsion from their land.

The five poetical/wisdom books are written for all people. Job shows the importance of loss to worldly living. Psalms demonstrate worship of God; Proverbs shows how to live according to His will; Ecclesiastes shows how futile life is without God; and Song of Solomon illustrates a relationship with Christ.

The following 17 are prophetical books and can be broken down into the five significant prophets dealing with God’s plan for Israel. Then there are 12 books of the minor prophets, which can be broken down into 9 and 3. Nine were written before Israel’s captivity, and the last three were reported to the remnant of Jews that returned to the land after their captivity.

This is a brief description. The Bible is divided in other ways, but it is too much to learn in one post. It’s important to understand that without a firm knowledge of the OT, one cannot fully understand the NT.

The Old Testament is the first part of the Christian Bible, containing a treasure trove of ancient wisdom, poetry, history, and laws that also form part of the Hebrew Bible. It’s a collection of texts that provide the backdrop for the New Testament and isit’s critical to both the Jewish and Christian faiths.

There are many books in the Old Testament, and they vary depending on which version of the Bible you’re referencing. The Protestant Bible includes 39 books in the Old Testament, while the Catholic Bible includes several additional books, known as the Deuterocanonical books, making it 46. Meanwhile, the Eastern Orthodox Church consists of a few more, bringing their total to 49.

They might be called minor because their books are shorter, but their impact isn’t tiny. They’ve got plenty to say about how people should live and what’s coming in the future.

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Each book has its style and context – Isaiah won’t sound like Leviticus, which isn’t read like Esther. You’ve got laws, history, poems, aphorisms, and even apocalyptic literature.

Remember, regardless of religious beliefs, reading the Old Testament is like taking a master’s class in literature and ancient Near Eastern history. Few texts have had a massive impact on the world, in part or whole. Plus, you’ll finally get where all those Western art and literature references are coming from.

What are the names of Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) books?

Most of the Hebrew names are equivalents of their English names (or vice versa since the Hebrew names came first) so for example, Joshua is Yehoshua, and Kings is Melakhim (which means Kings). There are some exceptions to this. The Five Books of Moses are named after the first few words of each book in Hebrew.

  • Genesis – Bereshit – In the Beginning
  • Exodus – Shemot – Names
  • Leviticus – Vayikra – And He (God) Called
  • Numbers – Bemidbar – In the Desert
  • Deuteronomy – Devarim – Words

Another book that follows this convention is Lamentations, which uses the first word, Eikha, meaning Alas! or How (is this possible)?

In Hebrew, the Song of Solomon is known by its other name (which is also the first few words of the book), Shir HaShirim – Song of Songs.

Ecclesiastes is an odd situation. The Hebrew name of the book is Kohelet, which is the name or title of the person to whom the book is attributed. What’s odd about this is that Ecclesiastes translates Kohelet into Greek as if it were a title. But it does not get translated into English from Greek (in most editions) but is transliterated as if it were a name.

More complicating things is that in the actual attribution that appears in the book, the word does get translated to English, often as a teacher or preacher. Because of this, those unfamiliar with Hebrew or Greek wouldn’t realize that this word is the same as Ecclesiastes unless they’re reading Duay Rheims, the Wycliffe Bible, or the Evangelical Heritage Version, which leaves the attribution as Ecclesiastes as well.

There are also some books the Christians have divided into parts that are not divided into parts in the Hebrew canon. This includes all books divided into two: Shmuel (Samuel), Melakhim (Kings), and Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles).

Ezra and Nehemiah are also a single book in Hebrew, called Ezra (Though nowadays, Ezra – Nehemiah is used for the combined book to avoid confusion). Also, the twelve books of the minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) are considered a single book, called Trei Asar (the Twelve). This name is in Aramaic rather than Hebrew.

In practice, the Christian divisions and names of the above books (translated back into Hebrew) are marked in most Hebrew Bibles in use today (and the Christian chapters and verses are marked, though with a few modifications) to make citations easier since no numbering system predates the Christian one.

I like The Books of the Bible, according to its Preface, uses features such as “changes in subject matter, movement in place or time, or transitions from one type of writing to another” to identify natural ones. Literary division within the books of the Bible.

It also relies on authors’ tendency to repeat “certain phrases… whenever they make a transition from one section to another.” The placement of these phrases “reinforces a structure that can be clearly distinguished from other characteristics.”

The Books of the Bible use lines of varying widths to mark the natural, literary sections at various levels. It still gives a chapter and verse column in faded type at the bottom of each page. The Books of the Bible was the first presentation of an unedited translation by the Bible committee to remove chapter and verse numbers entirely and instead present the books of the Bible according to their natural literary structures. This edition of the Bible is also notable for the way it combines traditionally divided books and for the way, it puts the books of the Bible in a different order.

“Old Testament” is a slight way of referring to the Hebrew Bible. It implies that God had a covenant with the Jewish people, which has been replaced by a “New Testament”—a doctrine that many Christian scholars now reject. It would be better to use the term Hebrew Bible, and please know that Jews call it Tanach (a Hebrew acronym for Torah, N’vi’im, Ch’tuvim, or “Teaching, Prophets, and other Writings”).

What are the names of the first five books of the Old Testament?

The first five books are known as Torah, the books of the law. The first book, Genesis, or “Beginnings,” is about the Patriarchs, the founding fathers of Judaism: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The following four books, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, are the books of Moses, the Lawgiver.

Exodus deals with the escape from slavery with Passover, the key, the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the covenant that created a tent of worship, the forerunner of the Temple and the priestly ceremonies. Leviticus are laws of daily living, Numbers tales of wandering 40 years, and Deuteronomy Moses’ last advice as his people prepare to go, without him, into the promised land.

How many books are in the Old Testament, and how many are in the New Testament?

There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. Some people have difficulty remembering, so here is a trick to help. There are three letters in the word “Old.” And there are nine letters in the word Testament.”

To remember how many books there are in the Old Testament, you only have to write the number of letters in each word together like this: 39. So 3 and 9, side by side, give you 39 books in the Old Testament.

To remember how many books are in the New Testament, you only have to multiply 3 x 9 = 27. That is 27 books in the New Testament.

How many books are there in the Old Testament?

The Catholic Old Testament has 46 books, plus two in the Latin Appendix, 3 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh.

The Orthodox Old Testament has 51 books, including the following: 1 Esdras, 3 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151, and 3 Maccabees, plus one more in the Greek Appendix, 4 Maccabees.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Old Testament has 58 books, which include the following additional books: Jubilees, Enoch, Synodicon, Diddascalia Apostolorum, Testament of the Lord, Qalementus, and 4 Barach.

The Protestant Old Testament has 39 books. The seven books it removed were Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch. In addition, the Protestants removed several chapters from the books of Esther and Daniel.

The New Testament in all major Christian traditions is the same, with 27 books.

How many books are there in the Septuagint Old Testament?

There were 51 books in the Septuagint:





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1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

1 Ezra/Esdras




Esther (long)

1 Maccabees

2 Maccabees

3 Maccabees

Psalms (with 151)

Prayer of Manasseh




Song of Songs

Wisdom of Solomon

Wisdom of Ben Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus)

Psalms of Solomon

















Letter of Jeremiah


Daniel (long – with Prayer of Azariah, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon)

4 Maccabees

I notice other answers seem to feel it is necessary to rebuke the oldest canon of Scripture on the planet (most aged alongside the DSS) for its inclusion of what we call the Apocrypha (which the DSS and EVERY canon did until the latter half of the first MILLENIUM AD), instead of just relaying the facts that they included them. This is unnecessary and beside the point.

What are the five books of the Old Testament about?

I assume you mean the first five books, often called the Pentateuch. There are 39 books in the Old Testament.

The first two books of the Pentateuch, Genesis and Exodus, tell the beginning of the Jewish people’s story. The story starts with the world’s creation and proceeds through the lives of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his sons, rounding out with the story of Moses and the Jewish flight from Egypt and settlement in the Holy Land.

The remaining three books, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, are mainly about the laws and genealogies of the Jewish people at that time, with the occasional story thrown in.

What are the two parts of the Old Testament?

Sometimes people refer to the “Old Testament” as two parts, saying “the Law and the Prophets,”… but the Jews today more often refer to 3 parts of the Hebrew “Holy Scriptures” as “The Law (Torah) and the Prophets (Nevíim) and the Writings (Khethuvim).”

The Jews have created a nice little acronym to identify the entire collection of the Scriptures as “Tanakh” using the letter from Torah, the letter from Nevíim, and the Hebrew Kh from Khethuvim.

The invented term “Tanakh” is not in the Scriptures, similar to the word “Bible,”” which is not written in the Bible itself. The word “Bible” is related to a root word as’ books in a library’ in another language. Thus, the word “Bible” refers to ‘a collection of sacred books.’

The reference to the Jewish “writings” included alongside “the Law and the Prophets” in the Tanakh are… > the Proverbs, the many Songs, Ecclesiastes, and histories, etc., … of God’s chosen people

However, the promise to Abraham is being fulfilled today that ‘people of all the nations will be blessed”…not just one nation anymore. Genesis 22:10-18. See also Amos 9:11-12, and note that the new blessings come through the “New Covenant” foretold in Jeremiah 31:31–33. See also Malachi 1:11 and 3:16–18.

What are the shortest and longest books in the Old Testament?

Shortest is Obadiah – no contest. Only one chapter with 21 verses; only a single page in most Bibles.

The longest depends on how you measure it:

  • Psalms has most chapters and often takes up most pages because it’s printed as poetry. However, some of those chapters are very short. For example, Ps 117 is only two verses.
  • Jeremiah has the most words (in both Hebrew and English), so it is the best answer.
  • Isaiah has more chapters than Jeremiah and more words than Psalms, but it only comes second on any sensible measure.

What is the third book of the Old Testament?

Wow, Rosemary. You claim to be a “Famous Tried Tested Trusted Psychic” but cannot find this answer yourself.

Hold on: I’ll check…

Ah, you are using a script. That’s a little naughty.

“If I went to x ditched my passport, phone and computer and took to begging how would I do?” where x is a variable.

“What are the best and worst things about x?” where x is a variable.

“What is something that most x want but most y are not willing to do?” where both x and y are variables.

And that’s just in the space of ten minutes.

So, I’m presuming you are using the same script to generate the posted question here, and we can expect high-quality questions from you, such as “What is the fourth book of the Old Testament?” and “What is the fourth book of the Old Testament?” et cetera.

What is the most essential book in the Old Testament?

Anthony, it would be Genesis. This book has been called the seedbed of the Bible.

In its revelation, we discover the reason for the human predicament: humanity is disconnected from the life of God and tied to sin and Death.

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From where we sit, this predicament seems irrevocable in the 21st century after Christ.

But in Genesis, we also discover that the Creator God, Who set this whole thing up, is not willing to let Death wipe it all away without making a reversal.

From the rest of the biblical record, we know that having made humanity in His image and likeness to present His glory and majesty to the powers, He will provide a way to defeat the evil ranged against Him and His creation, and no opposition will thwart His purposes.

We see that in redemption in Genesis through:

  • There is a hint of the ‘seed of the woman’ (3:15) crushing the serpent’s head.
    • The murder of a seed by another seed (Cain & Abel)
    • God’s protection of Cain
    • Cain’s predilection for resentment, violence, and revenge also in his descendants
  • The deterioration of humankind through the interference in the genome by the sons of God with the daughters of men
  • The accounts of
    • the flood… redemption!
    • The Tower of Babel… redemption!
  • The narratives of
    • Abraham… redemption!
    • Isaac… redemption!
    • Jacob… redemption!
    • Joseph… mega redemption! And through Joseph, the world was saved from starvation!

In all these accounts, God’s purposes are never ultimately thwarted. He turns seemingly impossible circumstances into redemption for his image-bearing people.

Which book of the Old Testament was written last?

The latest history of Israel is found in Ezra and Nehemiah; these could not be written earlier than the last half of the 5th century BC. The prophet Malachi lived during the same era, so his book would fit in the same time frame; of course, that book is prophetic. If Esther was written sometime after the fact, that one may qualify as the last. Her history precedes Ezra and Nehemiah, but it may have been written decades later.

If one were to include the Apocrypha of the Old Testament – found in Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox bibles – then the books of the Maccabees would be some of the latest. Neither Judaism nor Protestantism accepts those as inspired.

Does the order of books in The Holy Bible follow a pattern, or is it just based on when they were written?

The books of the Old Testament are placed in chronological order. The Pentateuch is ordered how it has always been, and that’s chronologically. The historical books are mostly chronologically ordered, starting with Joshua, under the Lord’s guidance, leading the people into Canaan, and ending with Esther, which takes place in the early to middle 5th century B.C.

However, Nehemiah (placed just before Esther) is in the mid to late 5th century B.C. Catholic canon for the historical books ends with the first two books of the Maccabees that cover the Maccabean revolt in the second century B.C. The wisdom books have no chronology to follow.

The prophetic books are chronological, with the first four books being Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Isaiah prophesied in the 8th century B.C., Jeremiah in the very late 7th century B.C. (at the earliest), and the Babylonian Exile of 586 B.C. In the Exile, Ezekiel began in the 590s-580s B.C. and continued past Jeremiah’s last recorded prophecy. Daniel is set around the same time as Ezekiel and extends extended later. The remaining prophetic books are not strictly chronological.

The Jewish canon organizes the books categorically. The Torah (Pentateuch) is first, the Nevi’im (“Prophets”) are the second category (which contain most of the prophetic and historical books), and the Kethuvim (“Writings”) are the third and last category, including the remaining books (Wisdom books, Psalms, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, Ruth, Daniel, Esther). The placement of each category is not based on authority but on when each category is found, at least in a roughly final form, with the Torah being established first, then the Prophets, and finally, the Writings.

The New Testament is not ordered chronologically. Different traditions ordered them in different ways. The gospels and Acts are contained in the way of the prevailing tradition. As an example of another ancient tradition, called the “Western type,” they were ordered as such: Matthew, John, Luke, Mark, and Acts. The Pauline Epistles are roughly ordered from longest to shortest (Thessalonians and Timothy throw this off), and the rest loosely categorically: the anonymously authored Hebrews, then James, Peter Epistles, John Epistles, Jude, and finally Revelation, placed at the end to signify one of its central themes; the end times.

Contrary to what some seem to think, there is no “correct” way to order the books, and the many varying traditions in antiquity, both widespread and personal, attest to that. Before the Latin Vulgate (the original Latin Bible, late fourth century A.D.),

codices containing both the Greek Septuagint (Containing the books of what would later be the “Old Testament” in the Latin Vulgate) and books of what would be the “New Testament” would not divide them as Old/New Testament, as that method of division did not yet exist.

The terminology did books of the “Old Covenant” and “New Covenant.” They would often contain books that never made it into the Bible at all, such as the famous “Shepherd of Hermas” and “Epistle of Barnabas,” which would be considered “New Testament.” New Covenant books would be placed in order after Old Covenant books, but not in a separate division. Different ways of ordering the canon have existed since antiquity and well past antiquity.

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