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Overview of the Bible

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The Bible contains two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament documents the Creation and the origins of mankind, followed by the origins and history of the Israelites. It also contains books of poetry and song, prophecy, wisdom, and laws.

The New Testament documents the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, along with many of his teachings. After this it has an account of what Jesus' followers did immediately following His Ascension, as well as letters written by the apostles to individuals and early churches. The final book, Revelation, describes a vision of what will happen at the end of the world.


Old Testament

In the Protestant Bible The Old Testament is arranged by grouping the books into four or five sections, the Pentateuch, the historical books, the poetical books, and the prophetical books, with the latter often being further divided into Major and Minor Prophets.


The Pentateuch comprises the five books attributed to Moses.

Genesis relates the creation of the world and of living things, including man, the Fall of man, the destruction of the world by flood, the origin of multiple languages and the dispersion of humanity, and the origins of the Israelites. In doing so, it lays the foundation for many biblical doctrines.

Exodus relates how the Israelites left captivity in Egypt.




Historical books

Joshua tells of the entry of the Israelites into Canaan, the land promised to them by God, and where they settled.

Judges is about the various individuals whom God appointed to guide the early nation.

Ruth tells the story of a woman from a neighbouring country who came to know God and who moved to Israel.

I Samuel and II Samuel

I Kings and II Kings continue on from 1 and 2 Samuel, giving brief or lengthier accounts of each of the kings of the united then divided nation.

I Chronicles and II Chronicles also give accounts of the kings.

Ezra and Nehemiah, originally one book in the Hebrew Scriptures, ....

Esther tells the story of a Jewess living in another country who saved the Jews living there.

Poetical books

The poetical books are collections of poetry, songs, and sayings.

Job briefly tells us about a Godly man of that name, and how he was tested by Satan. Most of the book comprises the conversations he had with a few friends, and these conversations are presented in poetical form.

Psalms is a collection of songs, mostly by King David, but also by other song-writers.

Proverbs is a collection of sayings by Solomon.


Song of Solomon

Prophetical books

The prophetical books are books by or about various prophets, men who passed on God's messages to His people. They can be further subdivided in Major Prophets and Minor Prophets, according to the length of the books.

New Testament

The books of the New Testament are arranged into several groups, although the names of the groups and precise definitions can vary.

Historical books

The historical books comprise the four Gospels and the Book of Acts.

Matthew tells the story of Jesus from just before his birth through to his death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. The book is told from a particularly-Jewish perspective, highlighting how Jesus fulfilled various prophecies recorded in the Old Testament.

Mark's account of Jesus begins with the start of Jesus' ministry and largely finishes with his resurrection, although the last few verses, which are not found on the earliest copies, briefly take the account through to Jesus' ascension.

Luke wrote his account for a Greek audience, so tells the story from that perspective. Like Matthew, he begins just before Jesus' birth, and finishes with the ascension.

John tells the story of Jesus from the start of His ministry and finishes with events following His resurrection, but concentrates more on spiritual themes than the other Gospel writers.

Acts, also written by Luke, continues on from Luke's Gospel, relating the events of the early Church.


Most of the remainder of the New Testament comprises various epistles, or letters, written to early churches or individuals. The contain teaching, and very little historical information.


The final book in the New Testament, Revelation, relates a vision given to John before he died, with instructions to various early churches and prophecies for the future.

Books of the Bible
Old Testament
Pentateuch (Torah) GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomy
History JoshuaJudgesRuthI SamuelII SamuelI KingsII KingsI ChroniclesII ChroniclesEzraNehemiahEsther
Wisdom Literature JobPsalmsProverbsEcclesiastesSong of Solomon
Major Prophets IsaiahJeremiahLamentationsEzekielDaniel
Minor Prophets HoseaJoelAmosObadiahJonahMicahNahumHabakkukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachi
New Testament
The Gospels According to MatthewAccording to MarkAccording to LukeAccording to John
History Acts of the Apostles
Pauline Epistles RomansI CorinthiansII CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippiansColossiansI ThessaloniansII ThessaloniansI TimothyII TimothyTitusPhilemon
General Epistles HebrewsJamesI PeterII PeterI JohnII JohnIII JohnJude
Prophecy The Revelation to John
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