How The Bible Is Organized by Leon Brashear

The Bible may be divided into two basic parts which are the Old Testament and the New Testament.  It is a unique collection of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.  In the accurate translations of the Bible you will not find any contradictions or false teaching.  Although written by some 40 men over a period of some 1500 years we still find unity within the Scriptures.  Nothing in the Old Testament contradicts anything in the New Testament and visa versa.  The books of the Bible do not appear in the order they were written but they are arranged in a logical sequence. The Bible is meant to be read and understood.  We need to have a basic understanding of how the Bible is organized in order to understand the divine message.

The Old Testament

1. The Law of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy)-5 books

2. History of Israel (Joshua through Esther)-12 books

3. The books of Poetry (Job through the Song of Solomon)-5 books

4. The Major Prophets (Isaiah through Daniel)-5 books

5. The Minor Prophets (Hosea through Malachi) -12 books

The New Testament

1. Gospels or Life of Christ (Matthew through John)- 4 books

2. Beginning of and history of the church (Acts)- 1 book

3. Special Letters – so called because they are written to specific churches or

individuals (Romans through Hebrews) – 14 books

4. General Letters – not written to a specific congregation or person but just as

important as the special letters (James through Jude) – 7 books

5. Prophecy (Revelation) –  1 book

The gospels when read and understood produce faith in Christ.  The book of Acts tells us how to become a Christian, that is, how to be saved.  The letters tell us how to live the Christian life; how to remain faithful in Christ.  Revelation tells us about the final victory of God’s people.

God wants us to read, understand and obey His Word.  Jesus emphasizes the importance of understanding His word in the Parable of the Two Builders (Mt. 7:24-29).  In John 8:32 Jesus assures us that we can know the Truth.  As Alan E. Highers wrote in the July 1999 Spiritual Sword, “Many people seem to read, however, without understanding what they read. Did God give a book that cannot be understood?  Some seem to think this is the case, and they conclude the Bible means whatever each individual wants it to mean.” He continues, “But the Bible itself clearly teaches that honest and earnest students of the word can know and understand what God has revealed.” (Emphasis his)

Please read and study the following verses (2 Tim. 2:15; Jn. 8:32; Eph. 5:17; Acts 17:11; Rev. 20:12-15).

Leon Brashear

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