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Difference between revisions of "Books of the Bible"

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The oldest surviving Christian lists of canonical books date from late in the second century, and the oldest actual Bibles from the fourth. For earlier times scholars must collate and interpret numerous individual references. They generally conclude that the situation was similar to that in the following centuries: the canon of scripture was fuzzy, with a grey area at the edges of both the Old Testament and the New. Both the lists and the physical Bibles vary somewhat in contents, but they contain mostly the same material.
 
The oldest surviving Christian lists of canonical books date from late in the second century, and the oldest actual Bibles from the fourth. For earlier times scholars must collate and interpret numerous individual references. They generally conclude that the situation was similar to that in the following centuries: the canon of scripture was fuzzy, with a grey area at the edges of both the Old Testament and the New. Both the lists and the physical Bibles vary somewhat in contents, but they contain mostly the same material.
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In the case of the New Testament this variation gradually disappeared. The modern canon of the New Testament is first documented in 367, in the Easter letter of Athanasius of Alexandria. It was adopted at various local Western church councils later in that century, but the church of Antioch continued to exclude several books well into the next century, and many Eastern authorities continued to exclude Revelation for several centuries thereafter. Gradually, though, over the centuries, an almost universal consensus evolved.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

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Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Jews, and Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Christians, although there is overlap. Most modern editions in English follow either the Roman Catholic or the standard Protestant canon. Some other important printed canons are covered here, but the enormous number of different canons found in manuscript Bibles and listings in various writings are not.

Old Testament (including Tanakh)

The Tanakh, or Jewish scriptures, have the following standard arrangement.

Jewish Scriptures or Tanakh
Torah
or Law
Nevi'im
or Prophets
Ketuvim
or Writings
1. Genesis
2. Exodus
3. Leviticus
4. Numbers
5. Deuteronomy

Former Prophets

6. Joshua
7. Judges
8. Samuel
9. Kings

Latter Prophets

10. Isaiah
11. Jeremiah
12. Ezekiel
13. The Twelve Prophets
a. Hosea
b. Joel
c. Amos
d. Obadiah
e. Jonah
f. Micah
g. Nahum
h. Habakkuk
i. Zephaniah
j. Haggai
k. Zechariah
l. Malachi
14. Psalms
15. Proverbs
16. Job

The Five Rolls

17. Song of Songs
18. Ruth
19. Lamentations
20. Ecclesiastes
21. Esther

22. Daniel
23. Ezra-Nehemiah
24. Chronicles

The Protestant Old Testament is identical to the Tanakh in contents, but different in arrangement. The usual Christian arrangement of both Old and New Testaments is into historical, teaching and prophetic (past, present and future). This is not usually made explicit in the tables of contents of English Bibles, though it is commoner in German and Latin ones. The Roman Catholic Old Testament includes additional books (marked here with *) and passages in other books (marked with †).

  • historical books
    • Pentateuch
      • Genesis
      • Exodus
      • Leviticus
      • Numbers
      • Deuteronomy
    • Joshua
    • Judges
    • Ruth
    • Samuel (2 books)
    • Kings (2 books)
    • Chronicles (2 books)
    • Ezra
    • Nehemiah
    • Tobit*
    • Judith*
    • Esther†
    • 1 Maccabees*
    • 2 Maccabees*
  • teaching books
    • Job
    • Psalms
    • Proverbs
    • Ecclesiastes
    • Song of Songs or Song of Solomon
    • Wisdom*
    • Ecclesiasticus or Sirach*
  • prophetic books
    • Isaiah
    • Jeremiah
    • Lamentations
    • Baruch*
    • Ezekiel
    • Daniel†
    • Hosea
    • Joel
    • Amos
    • Obadiah
    • Jonah
    • Micah
    • Nahum
    • Habakkuk
    • Zephaniah
    • Haggai
    • Zechariah
    • Malachi

The Eastern Orthodox Church has never considered it important to define a definite canon of scripture. On the whole, it theoretically recognizes only the Protestant canon of the Old Testament as fully canonical inspired scripture, but other works are regarded as part of the scriptures and in practice treated little differently. In addition to all the contents of the Roman Catholic canon, the following are regularly included in modern Eastern Orthodox printed Bibles:

  • 1 Esdras
  • 3 Maccabees
  • Psalm 151
  • Prayer of Manasseh

Many editions also include one or other of the following:

  • 2 Esdras
  • 4 Maccabees

Early Protestant Bibles and some more recent ones included the "extra" books of the Roman Catholic canon and some others in a separate section, usually between the Old and New Testaments and under the title Apocrypha, sometimes with notes explaining their inferior status. A similar practice is followed in recent ecumenical Bibles. Those usually included in addition are

  • 1 Esdras
  • 2 Esdras (the Western version here includes pasages not found in Orthodox Bibles)
  • Prayer of Manasseh

The standard printed editions of the Bible of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (which is Oriental Orthodox, not Eastern) add the following to the Tanakh:

  • Enoch
  • Jubilees
  • Wisdom
  • Prayer of Manasseh
  • 1 Esdras
  • 2 Esdras
  • additions to Esther
  • Judith
  • Tobit
  • Psalm 151
  • Ecclesiasticus
  • Baruch
  • additions to Jeremiah
  • additions to Daniel
  • 2 books of Maccabees, different from all those mentioned above

New Testament

In general, among Christian groups the New Testament canon is agreed-upon, although book order can vary. The listing here is the normal order in English Bibles.

  • historical books
    • Gospels
      • Matthew
      • Mark
      • Luke
      • John
    • Acts of the Apostles
  • teaching books: Epistles
    • ascribed to Paul
      • Romans
      • 1 Corinthians
      • 2 Corinthians
      • Galatians
      • Ephesians
      • Philippians
      • Colossians
      • 1 Thessalonians
      • 2 Thessalonians
      • Pastoral Epistles
        • 1 Timothy
        • 2 Timothy
        • Titus
      • Philemon
      • Hebrews
    • "Catholic" Epistles
      • James
      • 1 Peter
      • 2 Peter
      • 1 John
      • 2 John
      • 3 John
      • Jude
  • prophetic book: Revelation

History

The oldest surviving Christian lists of canonical books date from late in the second century, and the oldest actual Bibles from the fourth. For earlier times scholars must collate and interpret numerous individual references. They generally conclude that the situation was similar to that in the following centuries: the canon of scripture was fuzzy, with a grey area at the edges of both the Old Testament and the New. Both the lists and the physical Bibles vary somewhat in contents, but they contain mostly the same material.

In the case of the New Testament this variation gradually disappeared. The modern canon of the New Testament is first documented in 367, in the Easter letter of Athanasius of Alexandria. It was adopted at various local Western church councils later in that century, but the church of Antioch continued to exclude several books well into the next century, and many Eastern authorities continued to exclude Revelation for several centuries thereafter. Gradually, though, over the centuries, an almost universal consensus evolved.

See also

Notes

Return links: Tanakh/TanakhNew Testament

External links