The Bible is a book of books, 66 books* altogether, written over a period of hundreds of years by many different authors. These 66 books are divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament contains 39 books** and addresses the formation, existence, and demise of the nation of Israel, the time frame prior to the life of Jesus. The Old Testament books are categorized as follows:
- The books of Moses (the first five books of the Bible)
- Historical books (focusing on the nation of Israel)
- Wisdom literature (books of poetry, good advice, and wise sayings)
- The Prophets (the life and messages of some of God‘s key spokesmen)
For a good summary of the Old Testament, see Acts 7:2-46; Acts 13:17-23 is even more concise. Also, see the overview of books in the Old Testament.
Here is a list of the books in the Old Testament:
- First & Second Samuel
- First & Second Kings
- First & Second Chronicles
- First Maccabees*
- Second Maccabees*
- Song of Solomon
- Sirach (aka Ecclesiasticus)*
* The Roman Catholic Church includes additional books in their Old Testament. See Apocrypha for more information.
**The Hebrew Bible includes the same writings of the 39 Old Testament books but combine some books together, resulting in 24 books.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.