What is the Bible?
The Bible is a small collection of 66 holy books. It was written over 1600 years by some 36 authors. The Bible is not a text book, a history book, or a set of lessons laid out in a simple easy to read fashion. Instead, the Bible contains "Salvation History" or records of God working through His people to do His will---for their best good. In short, the Bible is about Jesus the coming Messiah of the Old Testament and Jesus the Savior in the New Testament.
The Old Testament
The 39 books of the Old Testament are the earlier ones and the 27 books of the New Testament are the later ones. The Old Testament books are divided into three basic divisions. Jesus referred to them as, "...the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." Luke 24:44. "The law of Moses" was a common Jewish expression for the first five books of the Old Testament. The books of the Old Testament included in "the prophets," and are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and the twelve smaller prophetic books. "The psalms" included all the remaining books. The book Genesis is thought to have been written about 1500 B.C. and Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, about 425 B.C.
Today we arrange the books of the Old Testament into four groups: The five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers). The 12 Historical books from Joshua to Ester. The five books written in the form of poetry; from Job to the Song of Solomon. The five Major Prophets from Isaiah to Daniel and the 12 Minor Prophets (smaller books) from Hosea to Malachi.
The New Testament
The New Testament is a collection of books about the life and times of Jesus and the events that happened to His early followers. The time of the writing of the New Testament books dates from after the crucifixion of Jesus to around the end of the first century, perhaps 45 to 95 A.D. The first four books are called the Gospels. The four authors take entirely...