Divisions of the Old and New Testaments (All Nations Leadership Institute)
OLD & NEW
Organization of the internetmonk.com
Bible Part 2
Have confidence in the authority of the biblical
canon as God’s inspired message
You better can understand THE BIG STORY by
knowing the old and new testament divisions.
When you have familiarity with Scripture’s
divisions, you become more comfortable
reading, studying and applying it.
Inspired by God
Accepted as Scripture
“It is a mistake to say that the church
determines, forms, or judges the canon. Rather,
God determines the canon” (Bernard, 2005. p.
The 39 Old & 27 New Testament books
form the biblical canon.
Inspired Authoritative Accepted
THE BIG STORY
“The Bible tells one Big Story. The Old
Testament introduces the Hero ─
Yahweh. The New Testament tells how
Yahweh became a man. Not two
stories. One; God is the Hero in both
Testaments”(Norris, 2010, p. 8).
Learning about the Bible’s groups
has 27 books
has 39 books.
into 4 groups, too.
The 4 OT groups are
Law (5 books),
History (12), Poetry
(5) & Prophecy (17).
The 4 NT groups
are Gospels (4
books), History (1)
Letters (21) &
OLD TESTAMENT (4):
Did you know?
The New Testament did not exist at the
formation of the early church, rather the
Apostles relied on their knowledge of the Old
Testament and first-hand, eye witness accounts
of Jesus’ teaching as they taught and preached
under the anointing of His Spirit.
(Also, the Torah or Pentateuch)
God reveals Himself as the Creator, a loving
and patient Father, Provider and just Judge
Who wants to bless His creation (Root, 1998, p. 20)
Contains categories of corporate blessings for
covenant faithfulness and curses for
disobedience (Fee & Stuart, 2003, p. 187)
Provides the setting in which God gave the
Hebrews His redemptive plan and divine law
(Coogan, 2009; Halley, 2000; Root, 1998)
Relates a connected history of Israel from
Moses’ death to its restoration after Babylonian
Tells the effects of following God’s law and
Deals primarily with the Hebrews, from whom
the Christ would come; and records
preparation for the coming Messiah
1 & 2 Samuel
1 & 2 Kings
1 & 2 Chronicles
The writing spanned from Abraham through the
Old Testament’s end
Highlights godly choices—Fee & Stuart say that
within the inspired biblical wisdom, good choices
are godly choices (2003, p. 288).
Was a medium prophets used to give their
message because of its appeal. One can read,
for example, of the coming Messiah in the royal
psalms (Johnson, 2005; Root, 1998)
Song of Solomon
Prophets were covenant enforcement mediators
who delivered God's word. Their inspired
message would be an example for generations.
Prophecy exists as two elements: Forthtelling and
foretelling. Forthtelling: Prophets addressed the
issues, people and nations of their day.
Foretelling: Prophets delivered God's will for the
future regarding Israel, nations and the 1st & 2nd
comings of the Messiah.
Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,
Jonah, Micah, Nahum,
Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
NEW TESTAMENT (4):
Did you know?
Marcion, in AD 140, dismissed the Old
Testament and books that favored Jewish
readers like Matthew, Mark, Acts and
“This nudged the church into thinking
about forming a New Testament” (Shelley, 2008,
p. 64) for an authoritative list of inspired
Gives the good news of salvation through the
teachings of Jesus and stories about Him (Fee &
Stuart, 2003, p. 127)
Provides the “testimony of Jesus Christ, the
Son of God (God manifested in flesh) from four
perspectives: Matthew (Jesus, the King of
Israel), Mark (Jesus, the Servant), Luke (Jesus,
the Man) and John (Jesus, the Almighty God)”
Containing the Book of Acts, it records the early
church’s history, tells how people become
Christians, chronicles the early missionary
movement from Jerusalem to Rome and the way
the Church grew upon the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit under the New Covenant
Bridges the gospels with the letters in the New
Testament canon (Shelley, 2008; Tenney, 2005; Root,
(Also, the Epistles)
Gives Paul’s and other writers’ correspondence
to churches and/or individuals for teaching and
Provides clarity and encouragement for
application of the Gospel message
(Tenney, 2009; Root, 1998)
1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians,
1 & 2 Thessalonians,
1 & 2 Timothy, Titus,
Philemon, Hebrews, James,
1 & 2 Peter,
1,2 & 3 John, Jude
Contains both prophetic and apocalyptic
Records the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Shows conflict between good and evil, as well as
the final victory of Christ and His people
(Coogan, 2009; Root, 1998)
canon is inspired,
The group (or division) from each testament gives you
a road map around the Bible
All groups within each
testament fill in the roads
that lead to understanding
the fullness of Scripture
“The scriptures are not merely catalogues
of beliefs, although they certainly include
such lists, propositions, and assertions.
Rather, the scriptures are inspired by
God─with inspiration usually connected to
the Holy Spirit─for specific purposes
related to Christian practices, life, and,
ultimately, salvation” (Amos Yong, 2008, p.
• Bernard, D. (2000). God’s infallible Word. Florissant, MO: Word Aflame
• Bernard, D. (2005). Understanding God’s Word. Florissant, MO: Word
• Coogan, M. (2009). A brief introduction to the Old Testament. New York,
NY: Oxford University Press.
• Cox, D. (2013). The gospels. Cited on February 21, 2014, from
• Duvall, J. S. & Hays, J. D. (2005). Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids,
• Eichenberger, J. (2011). Training for service: A Basic Overview for every
Christian. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing.
• Fee, G. & Stuart, D. (2003). How to read the Bible for all its worth. Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
• Green, J. (2007). Seized by truth: Reading the Bible as Scripture.
Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
• Halley, H. (2000). Halley’s Bible handbook. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Norris, D. (2010). Big ideas. Florissant, MO: Apostolic Teaching
• Root, O. (1998). Survey of the Bible: Training for service student book.
Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing.
• Pfeiffer, C. F., Vos, H. & Rea, J. (Eds.). (2005). Wycliffe Bible dictionary.
Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing.
• Shelley, B. (2008). Church history in plain language (3rd ed). Nashville,
TN: Thomas Nelson.
• Williams, D.H. (2014). How the New Testament canon was formed. Cited
on February 22, 2014, from http://www.churchhistory101.com/newtestament-canon.php
• Yong, A. (2008).) Hospitality & the other. Mary Knoll, NY: Orbis Books.
Walking Through the Word
Online Supplemental Resources
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