Confused? Bible Breakdown


Is this the first thought you have when you hear the term “Bible”? For many people they do not understand the basic format of the Bible. We would like to provide a quick and simple overview of this book.

What is the Bible?

The Bible contains many books totaling 66.

The Old Testament has 39 books and the New Testament has 27 books.

An easy memorization method is as follows:

Count the number of letters in “Old” and “Testament” Old = 3 Testament = 9 Place the numbers together: 39

Count the number of letters in “New” and “Testament” New = 3 Testament = 9 Multiply those numbers together: 3 x 9 = 27

Old Testament

Law (Genesis – Deuteronomy) Deal with creation, the flood, captivity of the Jewish people and their exodus from Egypt.

History (Joshua – Esther) Cover the history of Israel and God’s dealings with them.

Poetry (Job – Song of Songs) Contain poetry, songs and wisdom.

Major Prophets (Isaiah – Daniel)

Minor Prophets (Hosea – Malachi)

The Major/Minor Prophets detail prophecies regarding Israel, the messiah and the times of the end. They are termed “major” and “minor” due to their length and not their importance.

New Testament

Gospels (Matthew – John) Record the life and times of Jesus Christ.

History (Acts of the Apostles) Covering the beginning of the Church and contains the message of salvation.

Epistles (Romans – Jude) Letters written to Churches and contain instructions on Christian living.

Prophecy (Revelation) Only full book of prophecy in the New Testament with prophecies of the end times.

Who is the author of the Bible?

II Peter 1: 20-21

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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.

What does this mean?

Peter states the scriptures have a specific meaning and there is only one interpretation for the scriptures. He follows this by stating the scriptures (prophecy) didn’t come by man’s design, but rather, it came as God moved to write the words. We can use the example of a CEO having their assistant dictate a letter. The CEO is the author of the memo, yet the assistant is the one who records it as the CEO speaks. The same is with the Bible. Men wrote the words down, yet God was the author.

II Timothy 3:16-17

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

These verses confirm what we have just read. God was the inspiration of the scriptures and we can use His Word for teaching (doctrine), reprimanding (reproof), improvement (correction) and teaching (instruction) so that we may live as God desires

Why an Old and New Testament?

First, the word “testament” is the agreement between God and humanity in regards to salvation.

The “Old Testament” is the agreement of salvation prior to Jesus Christ.

The “New Testament” is the agreement of salvation after Jesus Christ. Summary

The Bible contains 66 books that are divided in two sections. The Old Testament is God’s agreement on salvation prior to Jesus Christ.

The New Testament is God’s agreement on salvation after Jesus Christ.

In our current day, we are under the New Testament plan of salvation. We can find that message in studying the book of Acts which records the Apostles spreading the gospel message.

In studying the Bible, the following is an example of which books we would study to answer various questions:

1. What Jesus taught? Gospels

2. What must one do to be saved? Acts

3. How to live as a Christian? Epistles

4. What will happen in the last days? Major/Minor Prophets, Revelation