Old And New Testament Review


The first five books of the Bible are known as the Books of the law. Sometimes these are called ‘the Pentateuch’ meaning ‘five-volumed book’.

Genesis: is the ‘why’book. It tells us where we came from and why we are here. It is the book of beginnings. It traces the origins of the people of Israel from creation through to people like Abraham, Jacob and Isaac. It also tells of God’s promises or covenants with his people. Genesis is one of the most important books of the Bible because it introduces all the major themes that fill the rest of the Bible- creation, sin and rebellion, love, grace and mercy.

Exodus: meaning ‘exit’ and the book deals with the rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.The book ends with Moses receiving the instructions for the building of the tabernacle.

Leviticus: takes its name from the tribe of Levites which supplied all the priests for Israel. It is mainly about the laws the Israelites were supposed to follow to show that they were true followers of God.

Numbers: is so called because its full on numbers. It is a book of statistics and accounts, a list of the tribes of Israel and the number of people in each tribe.

Deuteronomy: is a kind of summary of the other four books. It’s Moses’ farewell speech, given just before his death and before the Israelites’ entry to the Promised Land. Indeed, the name Deuteronomy means ‘repetition of the Law’.

They are specifically about the history of Israel. They take on the story on from the conquest of the Promised land, through the decline of the monarchy, into exile under foreign powers and finally to the return from exile of the Jewish nation.

Joshua: takes its name from the successor to Moses called Joshua. Moses never got to enter Promised Land. It was Joshua who led the Israelites across the Jordan. This book tells of the invasion and conquest of the land, and the division of the territory between the twelve tribes of Israel.

Judges: its title comes from the phrase ‘from time to time the Lord would choose special leaders known as judges..” (Judges 2:16). It is one of the bleakest books of the Bible. It tells of the dark, anarchic era that followed the conquest, when every man acted as he thought fit, and violence and barbarism ruled.

Ruth: is a small book telling the moving story of Ruth who, despite being a ‘foreigner’ from Moab, shows great faithfulness and love and is rewarded. It is a book about family duty, affection and friendship.

1 & 2 Samuel: 1 & 2 Samuel is actually one book, which originally divided into two parts for the simple reason that couldn’t fit the whole thing on one scroll. It tells the story of the first kings of Israel: Saul and David. The title of the books comes from Samuel, the prophet who anointed both kings.

1 & 2 Kings: 1 & 2 Kings is also one book, divided into two parts for the simple reason that it couldn’t fit the whole thing on one scroll. It starts with the reign of Solomon and then goes downhill as the kingdom splits in two, with ‘Israel’ in the north and ‘Judah’ in the south. Kings tell of the downfall of Israel, as a succession of bad kings get their hands on the thrones.

1 & 2 Chronicles: aims to answer a simple question: ‘Does God still care about Israel?’. Chronicles aim is to express the continuity of God’s relationship with His people.

Ezra & Nehemiah: are two books telling the return of the Jews from exile in Babylon, their struggles to rebuild the shattered city of Jerusalem, the re-establishment of the Temple and the rediscovery of the books of the Law.

Esther: is the story of Queen Esther, a Jew who became Queen of Persia and saved her people from extermination at the hands of their enemies. It is a book about liberation and rescue.

The Hebrew word for wisdom has a meaning similar to ‘life skills.’  They are focused on God, on His relationship with humanity and how all wisdom and knowledge is based on a proper respect for Him and His works.

Job: deals with one of the most profound of all human problems-why do good people suffer?

Psalms: is a collection of 150 poems or songs written by different authors, Psalms is a kind of spiritual journal, reflecting on all the ups and downs of a believer’s life.

Proverbs: is a collection of wise and insightful sayings to help you live your life right. It is full of nuggets of wisdom to make us think.

Ecclesiastes: recognizes God’s greatness but the mood is pretty sombre and bleak.

Song of Solomon: is a love poem, about how good it is to fall in love. It’s about men and women and the joys of a physical relationship.

This section of the Bible called “The Prophets” consists of the major prophets and the minor prophets.

This section consists of five books. The phrase ‘major prophets’ refers not to their importance, but to their length.

Isaiah: is a long book warning of the judgment of God, but also looking to the Messiah and the World that is to come. Isaiah’s core themes are judgment and redemption. God would judge His people for their sins, but would also rescue them from captivity.

Jeremiah: prophesied during the final days of the doomed county of Judah.

Lamentations: is a short, sad poem about the fall of Jerusalem.

Ezekiel: contains a series of powerful visions warning the people in Jerusalem to change their ways and urging them to stay faithful in exile.

Daniel: is part prophecy, part the story of a Babylonian exile who refused to compromise his faith.

This section consists of twelve books. The phrase ‘minor prophets’ refers not to the contents of these books, but to their length; some of these books are only one chapter long.

Hosea: is a tale of one man’s love for his unfaithful wife. A love which mirrors the merciful, forgiving love of God.

Joel: is a short book that tries to explain who Judah has been laid waste by a huge plague of locusts.

Amos: is a powerful book that condemns the hypocrisy, idolatry, corruption and injustice in Israel.

Obadiah: is only one chapter long and deals with the destruction of Edom.

Jonah: contains one of the most famous stories of the Bible where Jonah was swallowed by a big fish for disobeying God. It is more a story than a book of prophecy. It deals with God’s offer of forgiveness to the hated, evil Assyrians.

Micah: moves between condemnation of Israel’s unjust conduct and prophecies of a great future hope.

Nahum: theme of the book is the destruction of Nineveh and by Nineveh, Nahum means the entire Assyrian empire.

Habakkuk: is a kind of mini book of Job, and asks why God is allowing bad things to happen to his people.

Zephaniah: warns that those who follow false gods will face the judgment of God.

Haggai & Zechariah: are associated with the return to Jerusalem after the exile. Zechariah talks of a king who will one day return to Jerusalem.

Malachi: is the last book of the Old Testament. Malachi reminds people of their obligations to God and their purpose in his plan.


The New Testament is probably the most influential book in the world. It starts with biographies of Jesus including His birth, life on earth, death and resurrection to the letters of Paul and ends with a vision of the future. The Books in the New Testament include:

The Gospels and Acts are the biographies of Jesus and the story of what happened immediately after His death and resurrection.

Matthew: The Gospel of Matthew testifies that Jesus is the King.

Mark: The Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus is the servant of God.

Luke: The Gospel of Luke testifies that Jesus is the saviour of mankind.

John: The Gospel of John unveils Jesus as the Son of God.

Acts: Jesus promised His followers that He would send them the Holy Spirit. This book tells that story and what happens next.

This section contains letters written by Paul to churches and individuals in the very early years of Christianity.

Romans: is written by Paul to introduce himself to the church at Rome and to share some of his core beliefs.

1 & 2 Corinthians: were written to challenge and correct the sinful behaviour of the church at Corinth.

Galatians: was written to a group to churches planted by Paul on his missionary journey.

Ephesians: emphasizes the need for unity and summarizes Paul’s ideas and beliefs.

Philippians: is a thank-you letter from Paul. He encourages the church at Philippi to keep going.

Colossians: was written to a church that Paul had heard about from a friend. He encourages the church to focus on Jesus.

1 & 2 Thessalonians: are early letters written to encourage new converts to Christianity.

1 & 2 Timothy: are letters written to Paul’s helper Timothy, dealing with practical issues of running a church.

Titus: was written to one of Paul’s most trusted associates and deals with practical church matters, leadership, holiness and honesty.

Philemon: is a short letter written on behalf of a runaway slave.

The general letters were written by other Apostles, and by one unnamed writer to churches and individuals.

Hebrews: deals with the relationship of Christianity to the Old Testament Law.

James: is a practical guide on how to live as a Christian.

1 & 2 Peter: challenges false teachers and encourage those facing persecution.

1,2 & 3 John: deal with false teaching and the need for Christians to live right.

Jude: was written to encourage Christians to stay strong in the faith and to reject false teaching.

Revelation: is a massive, powerful, vision of the future, filled with mystery imagery and symbolic numbers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

shofar horn