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Old Testament

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The Old Testament is the first part of the Christian Bible. While its Protestant version contains the same books as the Hebrew Bible, its arrangement is unique to the Christian community. It is also distinct from the Hebrew Bible in that it is usually bound with the New Testament. The Old Testament contains the books of the Pentateuch, books chronicling the history of the people of Israel between their establishment in the land of Canaan and their exile, writings from famous Jewish figures, and the writings of prophets.

Time frame

The Old Testament was likely composed in a time period between the 15th and 1st centuries B.C. Historically this includes the story of Israel from Creation to their return from exile in Babylon. Authorship of individual texts and time of their composition is greatly debated, and best left to their respective articles.

Books of the Old Testament

  • 1 Esdras*
  • (Tobit)
  • (Judith)
  • (1 Maccabees)
  • (2 Maccabees)
  • 3 Maccabees*
  • 4 Maccabees*
  • Odes*
  • (Wisdom)
  • (Ecclesiasticus or Sirach)
  • (Baruch, including Letter of Jeremiah)
  • ( ) books in parentheses are in only the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Canons.
  • *books with an asterisk are in only the Eastern Orthodox Canon.

For more detail on variations in contents see Books of the Bible.