Scriptural Divisions, Part 1

Across the two testaments of the Bible, we find that the various books are assembled not necessarily by chronology, but rather by theme. Some sections are dedicated to early history, other poetry, and so forth.

005 - Themes in Scripture

1. The Pentateuch

The first five books of the Bible make up the Pentateuch or Torah. Written by Moses himself more than three thousand years ago, these lay the groundwork for the rest of the Scripture. Also known as “The Book of the Law,” it contains:

  • The First Book of Moses, called Genesis
  • The Second Book of Moses, called Exodus
  • The Third Book of Moses, called Leviticus
  • The Fourth Book of Moses, called Numbers
  • The Fifth Book of Moses, called Deuteronomy

 

2. The Historical Narrative

The Historical Books of the Bible record Israel’s sociopolitical struggles across the generations. From the early conquest of the Promised Land, onward to the nation’s captivity at the hands of the Babylonians, and finally seeing their return from exile, the Historical Books of the Bible relate a fascinating story of ancient cultures, violent battles, and a whole range of intriguing individuals, all of which having been vindicated time and again by thorough scholarship. Included are the books of :

  • The Book of Joshua
  • The Book of Judges
  • The Book of Ruth
  • The First & Second Books of Samuel
  • The First & Second Books of Kings
  • The First & Second Books of Chronicles
  • The Book of Ezra
  • The Book of Nehemiah
  • The Book of Esther

 

3. Poetry & Wisdom Books

More than just history accounts and records of laws, the Bible offers a wealth of enlightening prose and traditional poetry. Not only are these works beautiful in their composition, they wisely shine a light on the nature of the human condition, detailing how we should love each other, how we all struggle in life, and how we should view our God. The Poetry and Wisdom books include:

  • The Book of Job
  • The Book of Psalms
  • The Book of Proverbs
  • The Book of Ecclesiastes
  • The Song of Solomon

4. The Books of the Prophets

Without a doubt, a vast majority of the Bible is composed of prophecy, and though such comes to us in every one of its books, there are two specific sections that deal with this topic. Written during the period of the Divided Kingdom, through the nation’s exile, and even in the years surrounding the return, the Prophetic Books of the Bible are subdivided into two groups: the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets:

Major Prophets

  • The Book of Isaiah
  • The Book of Jeremiah
  • The Book of Lamentations
  • The Book of Ezekiel
  • The Book of Daniel

Minor Prophets

  • The Book of Hosea
  • The Book of Joel
  • The Book of Amos
  • The Book of Obediah
  • The Book of Jonah
  • The Book of Micah
  • The Book of Nahum
  • The Book of Habakkuk
  • The Book of Zephaniah
  • The Book of Haggai
  • The Book of Zechariah
  • The Book of Malachi

 

“Scriptural Divisions” continues next time…


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