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The Books of the Bible: Old Testament

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The Books of the Bible: Old Testament

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Wed May 12, 2010 5:05 pm

"These are nothing but the names which ye have devised - ye and your fathers - for which God has sent down no authority whatsoever. (Qur'an 53:23)

The Books of the Bible are divided by the christians into two main parts : The Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Books of the Old Testament are claimed to have been received through prophets who was prior to Prophet Jesus, the Messiah. The books of the new testament are believed to be written through inspiration after Jesus.

All the books of the Old and the New Testaments together are called the Bible. Bible is the Greek word which means `book'. Both the testaments are further subdivided into two parts. The first part of the Old testament is believed to be authentic by almost all the ancient Christians, while the authenticity of the other part is held to be doubtful and controversial.

THE FIRST DIVISION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

This Collection comprises of 38 books:

1. GENESIS

The Book of Genesis describes the creation of the earth and the skies and gives an historical account of the Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Issac and Joseph. The book ends with the death of Prophet Joseph. This is also called the book of creation.

2. EXODUS

Exodus is mainly a description of the life of the Prophet Moses. It includes the teaching of Moses, his altercations with Paraoh, Paraoh's drowning in the sea and the Oral communication of the God with Moses. It ends with the Israelites camping in the desert of Sinai. It is called Exodus because it describes the event of Israelites exodus from Egypt.

3. LEVITICUS

Leviticus is a collection of Injunctions and laws given to the Israelites during their wanderings in the desert of Sinai. It has 27 chapters.

4. NUMBERS

The Book of Numbers includes events of the Census of the Israelites, their history before the departure to Canaan and the injunctions of Prophet Moses revealed to him by the bank of river Jordan. It contains 36 chapters.

5. DEUTERONOMY

The Book of Deutronomy is a collection of those events and injunctions which took place from after the period of the Book of Numbers to the death of Moses. It contains 34 chapters.

The collection of these five books together is called the Pentateuch or Torah. This is a Hebrew word meaning "the law". The word is occasionally used to mean Old Testament in General.

6. THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

The Book of Joshua is ascribed to the Prophet Joshua who was the son of the nun who was a reliable servant and minister of Moses. He made war on the Amalekites and was victorious over them. The book describes his life, up to the time of his death. It contains 24 chapters.

7. THE BOOK OF JUDGES

The Book of Judges covers the period after the death of the Joshua. The period is called the period of Judges, because due to their transgression and wickedness God set cruel, foreign kings over them to punish them until they returned to God and repented their sins. Then some leaders were raised up among them and came to their rescue. These Israelite leaders were known as judges. It has 21 chapters.

8. THE BOOK OF RUTH

The Book of Ruth describes the events in the life of a woman of Moab called Ruth. She was the mother of Obed, the Grandfather of David. She migrated to Bethelhem and married Boaz. They bore a child Obed. His son was Jesse who was the father of prophet David. It has only 4 chapters.

9. THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL

The first book of Samuel concerns the Prophet samuel who was the last of the Judges of Israelites. Samuel was made the king of Israelites During this period. It also Includes the killing of Goliath by David and other incidents until the death of Samuel. It has 31 chapters.

10. THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL

The second book of Samuel describes the events after the death of Saul. It includes the kingship of David and his war against the sons of Saul. It has 24 chapters.

11. THE FIRST BOOK OF KINGS

The first book of Kings begins with the old age of the David and includes the events of his death, the reign of Prophet Solomon, his death and lives of his sons until the death of Ahab. The prophet Elijah's description is also included. It has 22 chapters.

12. THE SECOND BOOK OF KINGS

The Second book of kings includes the events from the death of Ahab to the reign of Zedikiah. The Prophets Elijah and Josiah are also mentioned. It has 25 chapters.

13. CHRONICLES I

Chronicles I comprises genealogies from Adam to Solomon. It also includes short historical accounts leading up, until the time of david and gives details of David's reign over the Israelites. It contains 36 chapters.

14. CHRONICLES II

Chronicles II describes Solomon's rule in detail and also gives a short account of various kings after Solomon until the reign of zedikiah. The invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is also covered at the end.

15. THE FIRST BOOK OF EZRA

Ezra I describes the reconstruction of Jerusalem by Cyrus the King of persia after the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar. It also mentions the exile of Ezra and the return of Israelites from Babylon to their homeland. It contains 10 chapters.

16. THE SECOND BOOK OF EZRA

Ezra II is also called the Book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was a cupbearer of Artaxerxes the King of Persia. When he learn about the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, he sought the kings permission and came to Jerusalem. HE reconstructed it with the help of Ezra. This books describes all the events and the names of all those who helped in rebuilding it. These events took place in 445 BC. It contains 13 chapters.

17. THE BOOK OF JOB

The book of Job is said to be by prophet Job whose patience and forebearance are also acknowledged and praised by the Holy Quran. He was born in Uz, a city to the east of dead sea. The book mainly consists of conversations between Job and his three friends Eliphaz the Temanite, Bibdada the Shubite, Zopher the Na'amathite whoinsist that the calamities of the Job are the result of his sins while Job refuses this. This book is held to be of great Litreray merit. It contains 42 chapters.

18. THE BOOK OF PSALMS

The Book of Psalms is the corrupt form of the book of which Holy Qur'an says, "We have Given the Zaboor (Psalms) to Dawood(David)." The book is a collection of 150 Psalms, or songs of praise to God.

19. THE BOOK OF PROVERBS

The Book of Proverb is a collection of the exhortations and proverbs of Prophet Solomon. The Christians claim that the book was compiled by Solomon himself. King I says: "And he spoke three thousand proverbs." (4:32). It contains 31 chapters.

20. THE BOOK OF ECCLESIATES.

The book of Ecclessiates is also called the "Book of Preacher". It is said that the name of one of the sons of David was "the Preacher". It begins with these words: "The words of the Preacher, the son of David." (1:1). The book is a collections of exhortations and advices.

21. THE BOOK OF THE SONG OF SOLOMON

The Book of the song of Solomon is said to be a collection of songs which were composed by Solomon of which the Book of the Kings says: "He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five." It has eight chapters.

22. THE BOOK OF ISIAH

The Book of Isaiah is ascribed to the Prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, who was the adviser to Hezekiah, the king of Judah, in the 8th Century B.C. When Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, invaded Jerusalem, Isiah was of great help to Hezekiah. The book is a collection of visions and predictions of future events. The Predictions according to Christians were made in the reign of king Azariah, Jotham and Hezekiah. It has 66 chapters. The book contains many passages which are of great literary merit.

23. THE BOOK OF JERMIAH

Jermiah was an apostle and pupil of the Prophet Isaiah. God made him a prophet in the days of Joshua or Zedekiah. HE was sent to the Israelites to prevent them from their perversion. He preached to the Israelites but they did not listen to him. God revealed to him that the Israelites would soon be subjected to a punishment from God in the form of and invasion by Nebuchadnezzar. Jermiah warned them and advised them to surrender, but they mocked him. In the end Jerusalem was totally destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. The Prophet Jermiah migrated to Egypt. According to some scholars the Holy Qur'an refers to this incident in Surah 2:259. It has some 56 chapters.

24. THE BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS

The Book of Lamentations is a collection of songs of mourning which are said to have been compiled by the Prophet Jermiah after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebucchadnezzar. It has only 5 chapters.

25. THE BOOK OF EZEKEIL

The Book of Ezekiel is claimed to be by Prophet Ezekeil, the son of Buzi. He was the descendant of Levi, the son of Jacob. He fought bravely against Nebuchadnezzar. This book is also said to be a collection of his revelations which consists of predictions, exhortations and warnings to people about God's judgment on them and about the coming fall and destruction of Jerusalem.

26. THE BOOK OF DANIEL

The Prophet Daniel was among the wise people who were exiled from Judah and were taken into captivity by the Nebuchadnezzar. The interpretation of some dream of kings were made clear to him by revelations, and the king made him governer of Babylon. It also includes the dream of prophet Daniel regarding the future of Israelites. These dreams also contains a prophecy regarding the advent of Jesus, the Messiah. It has 12 chapters.

27. THE BOOK OF HOSEA

Hosea was one of the prophets of the Israelites. He is said to live in the period of Jotham, Azariah and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah. The book is said to have been revealed to him during the period of their reigns. The book consists mostly of his admonitions to the Israelites against their perversion. His revelations are mostly in the form of proverbs in symbolic language. It consists of 14 chapters.

28. THE BOOK OF JOEL

The Torah (Pentateuch) claims that Joel was a prophet of God. This book which has only three chapters consists of his revelations and includes injunctions about fasting and warnings against evil deeds of the Israelites.

29. THE BOOK OF AMOS

Amos is also said to be a prophet. In the beginning he was a sheoherd in the city of Tekoa. HE was made a prophet by God in c. 783 B.C. The nine chapters of this book are said to have been revealed to him in the reign of King Azariah. This book comprises his admonitions to Israelites on account of their evil deeds. This book also predicts the invasion of Jerusalem by King of Assyria as a punishment from God, which is mentioned in Genesis (29:15).

30. THE BOOK OF OBADIAH

This small scripture consists of only 21 verses and includes a dream of Obadiah the Prophet. There are some predictions regarding the defeat of Adom , the enemy of Judah.

31. THE BOOK OF JONAH

This book is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Jonah. HE was sent to the people of Ninevah. The story given in Torah is a little different from the one known by Muslims.

32. THE BOOK OF MICAH

This Book is said to be from Prophet Micah, the Morashite, who was the Prophet in the period of the king Hezekiah c. 900 BC. He warned the Israelites of God's wrath on account of their perversion. The king, Hezekiah, acknowledged his prophethood and abstained from Evil deeds (Kings 32:26).

33. THE BOOK OF NAHUM

Nahum is also regarded as a prophet by the Torah. Very little is known about his lifetime. This book contains of three chapters, which describe the dream of Nahum which includes predictions of the downfall of city of Ninevah.

34. THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK

Habakkuk is also claimed to be a prophet by Torah. We are not definite about the period. The Torah seems to put him in the period of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Jerusalem. This books mentions one of the dreams which adminishes the Israelites on their evil deeds and predicts the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. It has 3 chapters.

35. THE BOOK OF ZEPHANIAH

Zephaniah is also supposed to be a prophet who was ordained by God to Prophethood in the Period of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah. This script of 3 chapters warns the people of Israel against the invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

36. THE BOOK OF HAGGAI

This Script of 2 chapters is attributed to prophet Haggai who lived in the time of Darius, the king of Persia, in 500 B.C., after the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar. He urged the Israelites to rebuild Jerusalem and warned those who obstructed it.

37. THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH

Zechariah was also a prophet. It should be noted that this Zechariah is not the one mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. He is said to be a companion of the Prophet Haggai at the time of rebuilding of the Jerusalem. This book consists mostly of the dreams which include prophecies regarding the future of the Israelites and the coming of Prophet Jesus. It has fourteen chapters.

38. THE BOOK OF MALACHI

The book of Malachi is attributed to the Prophet Malachi. He is the last prophet of the Old Testament. The Book of 4 chapters describes the thanklessness of the Israelites. The Prophet Malachi lived 420 years before Prophet Jesus, the Messiah.

These thirty eight books are believed to be genuine and authentic by almost all the Christians. The Samaritans, however a sect of Jews, believed in only seven of them, ie., the first five books and the Book of Joshua, the son of Nun and the book of Judges. Their name refers to the city of Samaria in Palestine. They differ from the Jews in two points, the acknowledged number of Books and what constitutes a place of worship.

THE SECOND DIVISION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

There are nine books in this part. The authenticity of these books has been a point of great controversy among Christians. The Protestant faith, for instance, does not acknowledge the divine origin of these books, and they have discarded from the bible. They do not form part of the King James Version of the Bible. The collection of these nine books and other five books together are called Apocrypha.

1. THE BOOK OF ESTHER

Esther was a Jewish woman who was among the captives from Jerusalem to Babylon. Ahasuerus, the king of Persia, was unhappy with his first wife and he married Esther. Aman, a minister of King had some differences with Mardochaeus, the father of Queen Esther. He plotted to destroy Jews. Esther convinced the king to combat this plot and saved the Jews. This book describes this event in 10 chapters.

2. THE BOOK OF BARUCH

Baruch was a deciple and scribe of Prophet Jermiah (Jer. 32:13-36, 36:4-32, 43:3-16,45:1-3) The Protestant Bible does not include this book.

3. PART OF THE BOOK OF DANIEL

4. THE BOOK OF TOBIAS

Tobias was a Jew who had been taken to Assyria in the Period of Exile. The book describes a dangerous journey made by him and his son. It also includes the event of marriage with a strange woman named Sarah. This book has great literary merit.

5. THE BOOK OF JUDITH

This book is ascribed to very brave Jewish woman named Judith. She saved and delivered her people from the oppression of the king of Assyria. It also includes the story of her Love.

6. WISDOM OF SOLOMON

This book is ascribed to the Prophet Solomon. It contains wise sayings of the Prophet and is similar in many ways to the Book of Proverbs.

7. ECCLESIASTICUS

This is a collection of preachings and exhortations. It is attributed to Masiah, a preacher of 200 B.C. This book is also of great Literary merit.

8. THE FIRST BOOK OF MACCABEES

This book describes the rebellion of the tribe of the Macabees.

9. THE SECOND BOOK OF MACABEES

This book describes the history of a short period of time and contains some Unbelievable and corrupt reports.

THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

THE FIRST DIVISION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

There are twenty books in the first part of the New Testament. These twenty books are believed to be genuine and authentic by the Christians.

1. THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

Matthew was one of the Twelve Disciples of the Prophet Jesus. This book is considered to be one of the oldest gospels. The book begins with the genealogy of Prophet Jesus and describes his life and teachings up until his ascension to the heavens.

2. THE GOSPEL OF MARK

Mark was a Pupil of Peter, the Disciple of Prophet Jesus. This gospel begins with the prophecies made by previous Prophets regarding the coming of Prophet Jesus. It describes the life of Jesus up until his ascension to heaven. It consists of 16 chapters.

3. THE GOSPEL OF LUKE

Luke was a physician and was a companion of Paul and traveled with him on the Journeys (Col. 4:14, Acts 16) He died in 70 AD. His Gospel begins with the birth of the Prophet Jhon the Baptist (whose Qur'anic name is Yahya) and covers the life of Jesus up until his ascension to heaven. It has 24 chapters.

4. THE GOSPEL OF JHON

This book also begins with the birth of John the Baptist and describes the events from birth of Prophet John to the ascension of Prophet Jesus. It consists of 21 chapters.

It should be noted here that John the son of Zebedee, the disciple of Jesus is certainly not the author of the book. Some of the christians claim that the author of this book may be John the Elder, but this claim is also not supported by historical evidence.

These four books are also called the four Evangels. Sometimes the word Evangel is also used for all the books of the new Testament. The word is of Greek origin and means good tidings and teachings.

5. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

It is said that this script was written by Luke to Theopheus. It includes the acts and achievements of the disciples of the Prophet Jesus after his ascension. It particularly describes the Journey of Paul until his arrival in Rome in 22 AD. It has 28 chapters.

6. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS

This is a letter written by Paul to some of his Roman followers. Paul was a Jew and an enemy of the followers of the Jesus in the beginning. Some time after the ascension of Jesus to heaven he suddenly appeared and claimed to have received instructions from Jesus.

7. FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS

This is Paul's first letter to Corinthians and it consists of mostly of teachings and injunctions regarding unity among the Christians. At that time they were involved in various disputes. Chapter 7 includes some injunctions concerning matrimonial relations. In chapter 8 the evils of paganism and the Christians attitude towards the pagan society are discussed. The last few chapters includes a discussion on atonement and the Hereafter. Chapter 16 describes the blessings of alms givings and donations for christianity.

8. SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS

This letter is also written to the Corinthians by Paul and contains 16 chapters. These chapters includes religious instructions, guidance and suggestions regarding the discipline of the church. From chapter 10 to end Paul speaks of his ministterial Journeys.

9. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS.

Galatia was a province of Rome in the North of Asia Minor. This letter was written to the churches of Galatia in early 57 AD. Paul had heard that the people of Galatia were being influenced by another religion. In this letter he tries to prevent them from conversion.

10. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS.

Ephesus was an important trading centre in Asia Minor. There was a great house of worship to goddess Diana. Paul turned it into great centre of Christianity in three years of great effort (Acts 10:19). In this letter he gives some moral instructions to the people.

11. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE PHILLIPIANS

This letter of Paul is addressed to the people of Phillipi, a city of macedonia. This is the first city in Europe where Paul preached Christianity. He was arrested there. This letter includes his moral teachings and exhortations for unity among the Christians.

12. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE COLOSSIANS

This letter of Paul was written to the people of Colossae, a city in Asia Minor. Paul is encouraging them to remain Christians and calls upon them to abstain from evil deeds.

13. FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE THESSALONIANS

This letter of Paul is addressed to the people of Thessalonica, a city of the province of Macedonia which is a part of Greece today. He discusses, in this letter, the principles which bring about the God's pleasure. It also speaks of other subjects. It has 5 chapters.

14. SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE THESSALONIANS

This letter, containing only 3 chapters, offers Paul's encouragement to the Thessalonians on their good deeds and some instructions regarding the general behavior.

15. FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY

Timothy was a pupil and disciple of Paul. (Acts 14: 17,16:1-3). Paul had great trust and admiration for him (Cor. 16:10 and Phil. 2:19). This letter contains descriptions regarding rituals and ethics.

16. SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY

This second letter to timothy speaks of certain people who had converted to other religions and also includes instructions to timothy about preaching and also some predictions of the last ags. It has 4 chapters.

17. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TITUS.

Titus was also a companion of Paul on some of his journeys (Cal. 2:1). Paul had great love for him (Cor. 2:13). Paul left him in Crete so that he could preach there. This letter has 3 chapters and it gives preaching instructions and details of the prerequisites of bishops.

18. EPISTLE OF PAUL TO PHILEMON

Philemon was also a companion of Paul and had traveled with him. This letter was written by Paul when he sent Onesimus to Philemon (Phil 1:10).

19. FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER

Peter was one of the closest apostles of Jesus. The study of the New Testament shows that paul had some differences with him in the later years. This letter was addressed to the Christians who were scattered throughout the northern part of Asia Minor i.e., the people of Poutus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Bithynia. The main purpose of the letter was to encourage the readers who were facing persecution and suffering from their faith.

20. FIRST LETTER OF JOHN

SECOND DIVISION OF NEW TESTAMENT

In this division of the New Testament there are seven books. The genuineness and divinity of these books is doubted and debated by christians. Some lines from the first letter of John are also not believed to be Authentic.

21. THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE HEBREWS

The Jews are also called the Hebrews. The word has an association with 'Aber' a title given to the prophet Jacob. Hebrews is also used for Christians. The letter was addressed to a group of christians who were on the way of abondaning the Christian faith. The writer encourages them in their faith.

22. THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER

This letter from Peter is addressed to the early Christians. Its main concern is to combat the work of false teachers and false prophets. It also speaks of the final return of Messiah.

23. THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN

The second letter of John was written by John to the "dear lady and her children". According to the Christians the "Lady" probably stands for Local Church.

24. THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN

This letter is addressed to Gaius, one of the pupils of John and a church leader. The writer praises the reader for his help to other christians, and warns them against a man called Diotrephes.

25. THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES

This James is not the apostle James, the son of Zebedee and the Brother of John. The writer James, the son of Joseph the carpenter. He is frequently mentioned in the Book of Acts. The letter is a collection of practicul instructions and empasizes the importance of actions guided by faith.

26. THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JUDE.

Jude is a brother of the James who was one of the 12 apostles. He is mentioned in John 14:22. The letter was written to warn against false teachers who claimed to be believers. Jude is not Judas who betrayed Jesus.

27. THE REVELATION

The Revelation of John is a collection of visions and revelations written in symbolic language. Its main concern is to give its readers hope and encouragement in their suffering for their faith.
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