What is the Old Testament (and What is it About)

Old Testament is the name that Christians give to the first part of the Bible. It collects the set of historical, prophetic, wisdom and poetic books of the Jewish religion, as well as the set of Mosaic laws.

This part of the Bible is complemented by the New Testament, which revolves around the person and teachings of Jesus, as well as around the formation and expansion of Christians. From the Christian point of view, the Old Testament explains the creation story and the New Testament explains the salvation history.

Although the Old Testament is common to all denominations of Christianity, the compilation accepted by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches differs from the compilation accepted by Protestants.

The canon used by the Catholic Churches corresponds to the so-called Alexandrian Canon either 1970s version, written in Greek. The seventy canon contains the books not recognized by the Protestant tradition, which are: Tobias, Judith, I book of Maccabees, II book of Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiastical Y Baruch.

The Protestant canon corresponds to the so-called Hebrew Canon either Palestinian Canonwritten in Hebrew, which is made up of a total of 39 books.

Both compilations were used interchangeably at the time of Jesus, without this implying deep doctrinal differences between the Jews of that generation.

There is evidence that the apostles used the version of the seventies because two thirds of their quotations are referred to books not included in the Hebrew canon.

See Bible.

Parts of the Old Testament

The Old Testament is structured in the following parts:

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Pentateuch or Torah:

It is a set of five books or five rolls, according to ancient tradition, which narrate the creation of the world and the origin of the Jewish faith and the Mosaic law from the cosmogony of Judaism. It is made up of the books:

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Levitical
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy

See also: The 10 commandments

Historical books

These books recount the history of the Jewish people from the death of Moses to the rebellion of the Maccabees against the Hellenes.

  • Josue
  • judges
  • ruth
  • I Samuel
  • II Samuel
  • I Kings
  • II Kings
  • I Chronicles
  • II Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Tobias (Catholic version)
  • Judith (Catholic version)
  • Ester
  • I Maccabees (Catholic version)
  • II Maccabees (Catholic version)

See also Hanukkah.

wisdom books

It is a series of sapiential, poetic and wisdom books that range from stories for education in the faith to the expression of the personal and community relationship with God through songs and prayers.

  • job
  • Psalms (150)
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes (Rocohelet)
  • Song of songs
  • Wisdom (Catholic version)
  • Ecclesiasticus (Siracid) (Catholic version)

prophetic books

The prophetic books are those where the arrival of the Messiah is prophesied that would fulfill the kingdom of God on earth and hope is proclaimed. They are subdivided into major prophets and minor prophets, a distinction established based on the length of the texts.

major prophets

  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Wailing
  • Baruch (Catholic version)
  • Letter of Jeremiah 3
  • Ezequiel
  • Daniel

minor prophets

  • hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zacharias
  • Malachi

See also:

  • New Testament
  • Sodoma and Gomorra
  • Leviathan