The Old Testament

A Christian name for the Hebrew Bible.

The Old Testament is the Torah, the books of the Prophets and the books of the Writings. Within Judaism this trio is known simply as the Bible, or the Tanakh, an acronym derived from תורה/ Torah (Teaching), נביאים / Nevi’im (Prophets), and כתובים/ Ketuvim (Writings). When the term Old Testament is used, it is often in order to distinguish it from the New Testament, a collection of Christian books and letters that are not part of the Jewish faith. torah scroll

Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, but a few sections were written in Aramaic. Usually, the Old Testament refers to the English or Latin translations of the Bible.

Though the text of the Christian Old Testament is identical to the text of the Tanakh, the order and categorization of the books is different from the one that is traditional in the Jewish community. According to Jewish tradition the Tanakh is comprised of 24 books written by different authors over a period of around 850 years. It includes narratives, law codes, short stories, etiological tales, prophecies, exhortations, poetry, and wisdom writing.

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