Structure of the Bible


The structure of the bible means what the bible is all about the chapters, books, notable events, notable prophets, writings and the rest of all.

The Bible contains sixty-six (66) books in the Protestant version and seventy-three (73) books in the Catholic version.
The Bible has two main parts: The old Testament and the New Testament. A testament means a covenant or an agreement. The old covenant was made between God and the Israelites on Mount Sinai in the time of Moses. The New covenant was made through Jesus Christ. The promise made un the Old Testament is fulfilled in New Testament.

In the Old Testament, there are thirty-nine (39) books according to the Protestant version, and forry-six (46) books according to the Catholic version.

Structure of the bible

The New Testament contains twenty-seven (27) books in all. With each book of the Bible is divided into chapters and each chapter is subdivided into verses. This makes for easy reference when we want to trace any information given in a particular book in the Bible.

The Old Testament
The Old Testament books can be divided into three sections. These are; the Law, the Prophets and the Writings.

The Law — The Law refers to the first five books of the Old Testament. They are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are called the ‘Pentateuch’, from the Greek word for ‘five books’. They are referred to as the books of Moses because it was believed that Moses wrote all of them. Now, it is known that Moses did not write all of them.

Moses wrote some of the laws after he received the Ten commandments from God. After the Israelites settled in Canaan, other laws were added. The Law consist of all the religious and moral laws of the Jews. The law talks about how Jews were to behave towards God and each other.

The Prophets — The books on the Prophets are divided into two groups: These are the Former Prophets and the Latter Prophets.

The books of the former Prophets are Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel and I & II, Kings. These books are described as books of the Prophets, because they teach a valuable lesson about God’s relationship with man. The lesson is that obedience to God brings about success in life while disobedience to God brings about failure in life.

The books of the Latter Prophets bear the names of the individual prophets. These are Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The rest are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Baruch is another latter prophet recognized in the Catholic version. These Prophets were called by God to teach his people to obey his commandments. The prophets encouraged the people to be of good behavior and warned them of the consequences of disobeying the Commandments of God.

The Writings – The rest of the books in the Old Testament are called the Writings. They are the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Songs of Solomon, Ruth and Lamentations. The rest are Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and I & II Chronicles. Other Writings recognized in the Catholic version are: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, I Maccabees and II Maccabees. These books are called Writings because much of the materials in them are in the form of poetry. The Writings teach us valuable things about God and His relationship with man. For example, the Psalms show us how we are to trust God by calling upon him to help us in times of trouble. The Psalms also teach us to show gratitude to God by praising him and Thanking Him for all the wonderful things he has done for us and will do for us.

The New Testament
The twenty-seven (27) books in the New Testament are divided into four (4) sections, these are:

  1. Gospels.
  2. Acts of the Apostles.
  3. Epistles or Letters.
  4. The books of Revelation.

The Gospels: The Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The word Gospel means good news. The good news is that God has come down in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ to teach us the final means of salvation. This means salvation is seen in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

The Acts of the Apostles: This is the book about the history of the early church. It describes how apostles were able to continue with the work of Jesus Christ through the help of the Holy Spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were able to establish a Church in Jerusalem and to extend it to all parts of Judea, Samaria and the rest if the World known to them. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were able to overcome all the problems that faced them in their attempt to spread the Gospel.

The Epistle or Letters: These were written by the apostles especially Paul, to the elders of the various Churches which were established by Paul and his companions on their missionary Journeys. Some of these Churches were in Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi and Thessalonica. The letters were to help them establish good relationship with God and with one another.

Revelation: This is a book about prophecy it warms of the difficulties that Christians will face in the world. It also tells of the victory that will be ours if we follow Jesus Christ faithfully to the very end of our lives on earth.

The Old Testament Books
The Law:

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy

The prophets (Former prophets)

  1. Joshua
  2. Judges
  3. I Samuel
  4. II Samuel
  5. I Kings
  6. II Kings

(Latter Prophets)

  1. Isaiah
  2. Jeremiah
  3. Ezekiel
  4. Hosea
  5. Joel
  6. Amos
  7. Obadiah
  8. Jonah
  9. Micah
  10. Nahum
  11. Habakkuk
  12. Zephaniah
  13. Haggai
  14. Zechariah
  15. Malachi

The Writings:

  1. Psalms
  2. Proverbs
  3. Job
  4. Songs of Solomon
  5. Ruth
  6. Ecclesiastes
  7. Esther
  8. Lamentations
  9. Daniel
  10. Ezra
  11. Nehemiah
  12. I Chronicles
  13. II Chronicles

Other books found only in the Catholic bible

  1. Tobit
  2. Judith
  3. Wisdom
  4. Sirach
  5. I Mecacaees
  6. II Meccabees

The New Testament

The Gospel;

  1. Matthew
  2. Mark
  3. Luke
  4. John
  5. Acts of the apostle

The Epistles

  1. Romans
  2. I Corinthians
  3. II Corinthians
  4. Galatians
  5. Ephesians
  6. Philippians
  7. Colossians
  8. I Thessalonians
  9. II Thessalonians
  10. I Timothy
  11. II Timothy
  12. Titus
  13. Philemon
  14. Hebrews
  15. James
  16. I Peter
  17. II Peter
  18. I John
  19. II John
  20. III John
  21. Jude
  22. Book of Revelation
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