Studying The Old Testament

About The Old Testament

The Old Testament is the first 39 books in most Christian Bibles. The name stands for the original promise with God (to the descendants of Abraham in particular) prior to the coming of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The Old Testament contains the creation of the universe, the history of the patriarchs, the exodus from Egypt, the formation of Israel as a nation, the subsequent decline and fall of the nation, and the Prophets.

The Old Testament is divided up into five groups of books. You can select a group heading to go to more information (still on this page) about the group you select. 

Group-1 Law:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Group-2 History:

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
Group-3 Poetry:
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

Group-4 Major Prophets:

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel

Group-5 Minor Prophets:
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obediah, Jonah, Mikcah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Hagai, Zechariah, Malachi


Just below we have a menu chart divided up into Old Testament Groups of books by colors. You can select the Old Testament book of your choice to go to that book's study pages.

Index Of Old Testament Book Studies - Select the book you wish to study from this chart.

1.     Genesis 2.     Exodus 3.     Leviticus
4.     Numbers 5.     Deuteronomy 6.     Joshua
7.     Judges 8.     Ruth 9.     1 Samuel
10.   2 Samuel 11.   1 Kings 12.   2 Kings
13.   1 Chronicles 14.   2 Chronicles 15.   Ezra
16.   Nehemiah 17.   Esther 18.   Job
19.   Psalms 20.   Proverbs 21.   Ecclesiastes
22.   Song of Solomon 23.   Isaiah 24.   Jeremiah
25.   Lamentations 26.   Ezekiel 27.   Daniel
28.   Hosea 29.   Joel 30.   Amos
31.   Obediah 32.   Jonah 33.   Micah
34.   Nahum 35.   Habakkuk 36.   Zephaniah
37.   Haggai 38.   Zechariah 39.    Malachi


Book Group 1
The 5 books of The Law are: The Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

This group covers the five first books of the Old Testament, sometimes referred to from it's Hebrew beginings as the Torah, or the Five Scrolls, and from the Greek, the Pentateuch. These first books cover creation, the Fall of man, the Flood, Abraham and God's Covenant with him, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve Hebrew tribes, Joseph, and Moses. The nation of Israel in the wilderness and it's 40 year wanderings, The Law of God, The Priesthood and The Sacrifices, and ends with the death of Moses at the Jordan river.

Unger writes: "The Pentateuch is the foundation of all subsequent divine revelation. Both Christianity and Judaism rest on the inspire revelation of the Pentateuchal books. The Pentateuch describes the beginning of the cosmic universe, of man, of human sinm, of human civilization, of the nations, and of God's redemptive program in type (Gen 3:21) and prophecy (3:15)." *

In defense of the Mosaic authorship of the five books of the Pentateuch - Thiessen writes: "Allis shows that a considerable portion of the people could read and write as far back as the time of Hammurabi; that genealogical tablets and lists were known in Babylonia centuries befoere Abraham; that it is probable that Abraham carried , or at least possible, that he carried, cuneiform tablets containing such records with him from Haran to Canaan; and that in this wise Moses may have come into possession of them. [Oswald T. Allis, The Five Books of Moses, Philadelphia: the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1943]. Whether because he had access to such records, or because he had only oral tradition, or because he had only a direct revelation from God, or because of a combination of these, conservative scholarship has always held that Moses wrote Genesis." **
* Merrill F. Unger, The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, 1988
** Henry C. Thiessen, Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1971

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Book Group 2
The twelve historical books are: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

The HISTORICAL division of the Bible's books is made up of 12 individual books that tell the story of the Hebrew / Jewish people, the history of their nation's movements, and their leadership. This group covers the Nation of Israel, its entry into the land of Promise, it's first leadership, It's first kings (Saul, David, Solomon), and it's remarkable cycles of belonging to God and not belonging to God - ever the story of God's covenant people who desperately need a Savior.

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Book Group 3
The five poetical books are: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon (Song of Songs).

The POETRY division of the bible's books is made up of 5 individual books that wisdom and knowledge that was passed along as songs and poems. These four books that tell of love, hate, wisdom, and folly. Lessons to be learned and not forgotten - often pointing to the promised Messiah.

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Book Group 4
The 5 books of the Major Prophets are: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel

Five books that are only "major" because of their length. Isaiah, "The Lord Saves." Jeremiah, the book of warnings to the tribe of Judah. Lamentations, how the Lord grieves over His people and Jerusalem His city. Ezekiel, the book of the New Covenant Promises. Daniel, the book of prophetic events describing the timing of things future - The Messiah, His people, His Kingdom.

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Book Group 5
The 12 books of the Minor Prophets are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obediah, Jonah, Mikcah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Hagai, Zechariah, Malachi

Twelve prophets and Twelve prophetic books of revelations. "Minor" only becasue their books were shorter. Largely written as warnings to the Hebrew tribes because of their rejection of their God and their attachment to Idols.

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