About the Old Testament
The Old Testament (OT) is the part of the Bible extending from Genesis to Malachi. This portion of revealed truth consists of thirty-nine books, which make up about 8/13 of the content of the whole Bible. The thirty-nine books of the Protestant canon are identical with the ancient Hebrew canon. The OT bears a vital and inseparable relation to the New Testament (NT). It is fundamental and preparatory. The NT is enfolded in the OT, and the OT is unfolded by the NT.
Open my eyes so that I may see wonderful things in Your law. – Psalm 119:18Technically speaking, it is a mistake to separate the two testaments. The terms Old Testament and New Testamant were popularized by the Latin Fathers and did not come into vogue until the Christian Scriptures were complete. The term Old Testament was used as a device to distinguish the Christian Scriptures from the “Jewish Scriptures.”
So in one sense, the terms Old Testament and New Testament are inaccurate, since the Old or Mosaic Covenant overlaps and was in force until the crucifixion of Christ and the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. But in another sense, the term has validity since the New Covenant does away with the blood sacrifice of animals. These animal sacrifices foreshadowed and foretold the ultimate sacrifice that Christ Jesus would one day pay on the cross for our sins. The New Covenant is therefore based upon the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. All may now enjoy salvation by coming to “a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20), that is, Christ (John 14:6).
(Information Sources: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary and Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s Bible Commentary)
Divisions of the Old Testament Bible
- Pentateuch: Genesis through Deuteronomy
- History: Joshua through Esther
- Poetry: Job through Song of Solomon
- Major Prophets: Isaiah through Daniel
- Minor Prophets: Hosea through Malachi