Old Testament read and compare multiple versions of the Bible


authorship, audience, history

The Old Testament consists of 39 books that were written over a span of about 1,000 years, from approximately 1500 BC to 400 BC.

It was originally directed towards the Israelites, offering them laws, history, and guidance as God’s chosen people. However, it speaks to all people, illustrating our shared need for God’s grace and the redemption that only comes through a relationship with Him.

In Christianity, it is often divided into the following ranges:

  1. Books of the Law
  2. Historical Books
  3. Poetry and Wisdom
  4. Major Prophets
  5. Minor Prophets

While the Christian Old Testament shares the same texts as the Jewish Bible, the arrangement of books varies. In Judaism, it is referred to as the “Tanakh” and is divided into three main sections: the Law (Torah), Prophets (Nevi’im), and Writings (Ketuvim).


living in relationship with God and to His glory

The themes and principles found in the Old Testament resonate throughout the New Testament, providing the historical, cultural, and theological context for the New Covenant. This creates a unified narrative that reveals God’s love and the fulfillment of His redemptive plan through Jesus Christ, making it continue to be a vital part of Christian faith.

The Old Testament provides distinct insights into the multifaceted nature of God and His redemptive plan. It reveals God as the Creator, Sustainer, Caring Father, and Sovereign Lord, emphasizing His holiness, justice, mercy, and love. The Holy Spirit is shown to be involved with empowerment, guidance, and inspiration. The concept of the much-needed Messiah is foreshadowed through prophecies and symbols, pointing to the coming Savior and King. Through unique revelations, the consistent theme of God’s love and desire for relationship with humanity shines through.

The Old Testament lays the groundwork for understanding God’s covenant relationship with His people and His kingdom principles. It emphasizes love, faith, repentance, and the presence of God in daily living. It also teaches us about God’s holiness, our need for redemption due to inability to keep the Law, God’s faithfulness and guidance, and provides profound insights into living a life aligned with God’s wisdom. The Old Testament encourages intimacy with God, the transformative power of grace, and the importance of living a life that glorifies God.

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books included in the 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. Ezekiel
  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