What is The Old Testament?
Discover the books of The Old Testament. But first, learn the different ways Christians, Jews, and critical scholars view this ancient library.
The below canonical lists represent the most well-known and widely recognized Old Testament canons within Judaism and Christianity.
The Septuagint (LXX): The Septuagint is an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible that was widely used in the Hellenistic Jewish community and early Christian Church. The Septuagint includes the same books as the Hebrew Bible, but in a different order, and also contains additional books known as the Deuterocanonicals or Apocrypha, such as Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach, which are accepted as canonical by some Christian traditions.
The Catholic Old Testament Canon: The Catholic Old Testament includes the books found in the Septuagint, embracing the Deuterocanonicals as part of the canon. The order of books is different from the Jewish Canon and the Septuagint, with the Deuterocanonicals integrated into the historical and wisdom books.
The Eastern Orthodox Old Testament Canon: The Eastern Orthodox Church's Old Testament Canon includes the same books as the Catholic Canon, with a few additional texts, such as 3 Maccabees, Psalm 151, and the Prayer of Manasseh. The exact list of canonical books may vary slightly between different Orthodox traditions.
The Protestant Old Testament Canon: The Protestant Old Testament follows the Jewish Canon's structure and content, excluding the Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. The books are organized similarly to the Hebrew Bible, but with some variations in the order of the books.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Old Testament Canon: The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has a unique Old Testament canon that includes the books found in the Septuagint, as well as other texts not found in other canons, such as the Book of Enoch, Jubilees, and additional books of Ezra and Maccabees. The Ethiopian Canon has a total of 81 books, making it the largest Old Testament Canon among Christian traditions.
The Jewish Canon (Hebrew Bible or Tanakh): The Jewish Canon consists of three main divisions: the Torah (Law), Nevi'im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). The Torah comprises the first five books of Moses, the Nevi'im consists of both the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings) and Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets), and the Ketuvim includes various historical, poetic, and wisdom literature (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, etc.).