How Is The Old Testament Organized

The earliest section of the Christian Bible, known as the Old Testament, was written over a number of centuries by numerous authors. The Law (which consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus), The Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel), and The Writings make up its three main divisions (Psalms, Proverbs and Lamentations).

The Septuagint version of the Old Testament was composed in Hebrew with some sections afterwards translated into Greek. In this article, you will learn about – How Is The Old Testament Organized. Also available on our website are other resources such as; how is the new testament organized and 4 types of books in the old testament

Many people are unaware that the 66 books of the Old Testament are regarded as scripture by both Christians and Jews. Christians believe that all 66 writings were inspired by God and should be read as such, whereas Jews see the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) as sacred.

How Is The Old Testament Organized


The Old Testament is a library of many books, each with its own unique story, theme and purpose. If you’re going to read the whole thing, you need a map — or five — to guide you through.

The Organization of the Old Testament

The absence of chapter and verse numbers in the biblical text didn’t cause any problems in ancient times. For instance, when Jesus stated in Matthew 5:21–22, “You have heard that it was spoken to those of old… but I say unto you,” he wasn’t quoting from two distinct locations in the law; rather, he was quoting from one place and explaining what it meant. Because of this, we cannot simply use our chapter/verse system to grasp how the Old Testament is structured; rather, we must view it through the perspective of the ancients.

The Old Testament is divided into five parts.

The Old Testament is divided into five parts: Pentateuch, history books, poetry and wisdom literature, major prophets and minor prophets.

The first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis-Deuteronomy) are called the Pentateuch. These books tell us about God’s creation of the world and His covenant with Noah after the Flood. They also tell us about Moses and how God delivered His people from Egypt through Moses to the promised land where they would be free from everyone else in the world except God Himself.

The remaining 39 books fall into one of three categories: History; Poetry/Wisdom Literature; Prophets.

The Pentateuch

The Pentateuch is a collective name for the first five books of the Old Testament. These books are also known as the Books of Moses and contain some of the most important stories in Judaism.

The first five books of the Bible are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

These books explain how Israel became a nation, teach us about the laws God gave to govern that nation, and record the experiences of some of Israel’s most illustrious leaders, like Moses, who led his people out of Egypt into Canaan where they encountered giants called “Rephaim” living there before being defeated by them, after which God gave victory over other Canaanite nations, including nations like the Canaanites.

History books

The history books tell about the history of the people of Israel. These are the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

These books are also called “Torah”, which means “instruction”. In this section we will see how each book contains important lessons for us today as Christians who follow Jesus Christ.

Poetry and Wisdom Literature

Poetry and wisdom literature are both genres of writing that have been in use for centuries. Poetic works have a rhythm to them, and often tell stories. Wisdom literature has a more prosaic style, but it also teaches about life and how to live well. Some examples of this genre include:

  • The book of Psalms
  • The book of Proverbs
  • The book of Job
  • The book of Ecclesiastes (also known as Qoheleth)
  • Song of Solomon (also known as Canticles)
  • Lamentations
  • Ruth
  • Esther

Major Prophets

The major prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. These books were written during the Babylonian exile (and they were also people who prophesied about the coming of Jesus). This means that they wrote their books in an attempt to encourage their people to turn away from sin and return to God. The prophets relied on many types of messages in order to accomplish this goal: warnings about judgment, promises of restoration and hope for a better future if you repent now!

Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets are divided into two groups: the first group consists of the Minor Prophets, while the second group is made up of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

The first group is also known as “the twelve prophets”.

the old testament is like a library with 5 different subgroups

The Old Testament is divided into five parts: the Law (the first five books), the History Books, the Wisdom and Poetry Books, the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. The Law, or Pentateuch as it’s called in Greek (meaning “five scrolls”), is really one book that tells about God’s relationship with His people from beginning to end. Its main theme is God’s promise to bless His people if they choose to follow Him by keeping His laws and commands.

The other four divisions contain history written mostly from a human point of view rather than from God’s viewpoint as seen in Genesis through Deuteronomy. There are also many poems called wisdom literature like Psalms and Proverbs; some of these poems were written by Solomon while others were written by unknown authors who lived during Israel’s golden age under King David during 1000 BC – 900 BC known as “Solomonic” times when Israel experienced great prosperity


The Old Testament is an important part of the Christian Bible. It tells the story of God’s dealings with Israel, a nation that he chose to be his representatives to the world. The Old Testament contains many accounts that demonstrate God’s love and justice, his mercy and forgiveness, and his desire for us to know him as our loving Father.

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