The Bible was penned in 3 different languages by 40 different men from various walks of life spanning 1600 years. From Genesis to Revelation one general theme is present. God’s plan of redemption for mankind is carefully worked out through God’s providence across centuries and recorded in the 66 books that compose the Bible. The mind and the nature of God is revealed to us in the pages of scripture. The Old Testament accounts for 39 of the 66 books that make up the Bible. Although, we a Christians today no longer live under the law of the Old Testament, the principles of righteousness are carried forward into the New Testament.
Christ said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The Old Testament is pointing forward to Christ Jesus throughout the scriptures. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies and promises.
And since, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
It is profitable for us to study the Old Testament to learn more about the redemption of man and to understand God’s plan for reconciliation with him.
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.”
The 39 Old Testament books are broken down into 5 categories:
5 Books of Law
12 Books of History
- I Samuel
- II Samuel
- I Kings
- II Kings
- I Chronicles
- II Chronicles
5 Books of Poetry
- Song of Solomon
5 Major Prophets
12 Minor Prophets
A word about the Major and Minor Prophets
These category titles are not implying any of the prophets in the minor category are any less important than those in the major category. The terms major and minor are only used in reference to the physical written length of the books.