The Hebrew Bible

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me (Luke 24:44 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ opens the minds of His apostles so that they understand what happened to Him on Calvary (His suffering, death, burial, and resurrection, as foretold by the Old Testament prophets; cf. Acts 8:26-35 and 1 Peter 1:10,11). Notice how He made specific reference to the organization of the Old Testament Scriptures.

The Hebrew Bible that exists today in Judaism is identical to the one of which Jesus spoke in today’s Scripture. Like in Jesus’ day, it is divided into three elements: “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms.” Basically, it is the text of our Old Testament, just with combined books and a different book order. For instance, Chronicles is the last book in the Hebrew Bible, whereas the last book of our Old Testament is Malachi.

Moreover, there are 24 books in the Hebrew Bible compared to our 39 Old Testament books. (This is because 1&2 Samuel was originally one book; same with Kings and Chronicles.) (Ezra and Nehemiah comprise one book, not two like in our Old Testament.) (Hosea to Malachi is one giant book.)

These 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, as Jesus indicated, are divided into three sections:

  1. The Torah/the Law/Chumash—Moses’ five books of Genesis to Deuteronomy
  2. The Prophets/Nabum—Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets of Hosea to Malachi
  3. The Writings/Psalms/Kethubim—Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles

Notice how the above list correlates with today’s Scripture: “(1) in the law of Moses, and (2) in the prophets, and (3) in the psalms.” What is missing? The apocryphal books! According to Jesus Christ, and today’s Hebrew Bible, Rome’s seven to thirteen apocryphal books were never part of the Old Testament.