by Luke Wayne
The Bible is a collection of 66 books. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. These books are as follows:
|Old Testament||New Testament|
|13||1 Chronicles||1 Thessalonians|
|14||2 Chronicles||2 Thessalonians|
|22||Song of Solomon||2 Peter|
Why do Jewish Bibles have Fewer Books than the Christian Old Testament?
The Jewish Scriptures are organized differently, but consist of the same books. The Jewish Bible lists only 24 books rather than the 39 we list in the Old Testament, but that is because some of the books that Christians list separately are combined into one book in the Jewish Canon. Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles are each one book rather than two. Ezra and Nehemiah are also combined into one book. The prophets Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are grouped together as "The Twelve." Thus, though we number them differently, we are actually describing the same set of Scriptures, as can be seen in the chart below:
|Jewish Scriptures||Old Testament|
|18||Song of Solomon||Song of Solomon||22|
Why do Roman Catholic Bibles have More Books in the Old Testament?
Roman Catholic Bibles have 73 books rather than 66. This is because Roman Catholics have 7 additional books in their Old Testament: Tobit, Judith, 1-2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and Baruch. They also contain additional material that was added to the books of Daniel and Esther by later Greek interpreters. All of this together is what Catholics call "the Deuterocanonicals," and is more popularly known as the Apocrypha. Eastern Orthodox Bibles have even more Apocryphal books like 3 Maccabees, 2 Esdras, and the Prayer of Manasseh. The Ethiopian Orthodox utilize still others like Enoch and Jubilees. These are all ancient Jewish writings from well after the time of the Old Testament which the Jews never intented or accepted as Scripture but which some ancient Gentile Christians mistook for part of the Jewish Canon. While some of this material has historical and cultural value for researchers, the Apocrypha are not genuine, inspired Scripture and should not be included in the Bible. [See our articles on the Catholic Apocrypha HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE]