Books of the Bible by Type
Song of Solomon
About the Old Testament : The Bible is not really a single book, but a collection of books and letters, almost like a library. It is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. Separating these two parts of the Bible is Jesus Christ. While all of the Bible is very old, the Old Testament refers to the testaments or covenants God made with man before Jesus Christ came, and the New Testament contains the covenants God made with man after Jesus came. The 39 books of the Old Testament can be divided into five logical groups; the books of Law, History, Poetry, Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. Knowing what type of book is being read will greatly aid in understanding the message of that book. The Old Testament was written over a period of 1,400 years by about 32 writers, covering over 3,600 years of man’s history. It was penned by men of vastly different backgrounds, living in different countries and in different ages. Many did not know each other and some did not even know what the others had written. Yet when their writings became one book, each perfectly harmonized with the others - an indication that this Book of many writers has only One Author, the Holy Ghost. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).
About the New Testament : Four hundred years separate the writing of the last book of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. John the Baptist broke the prophetic silence of these four hundred years with his bold preaching and baptism of repentance. As with the Old Testament, the 27 books of the New Testament can be divided into five logical groups; the Gospels, History, Paul’s Letters, General Letters and Prophecy. Knowing what type of book or letter is being read will greatly aid in understanding the message of that book. The New Testament was written by 8 writers over a period of only a 100 years. The early Church did not have the New Testament scriptures as we know it today. They quoted from the Old Testament scriptures, with every new teaching based on the authority of Jesus Christ as directed through the apostles. The first New Testament books to be written were actually some of Paul’s letters, which he wrote to Churches he had founded on his missionary journeys. The necessity of having a written account of Christ’s life was not urgent while the personal eye-witnesses were alive, but few were still living toward the end of the first century. Then Mark wrote his Gospel, followed by Luke, Matthew and John. The book of Revelation was the last book of the New Testament to be written.