A Guide to the Books of the Bible

When trying to understand the books that make up the Bible, it is important to note that the Catholic and Protestant Bibles have different numbers of books.

The Catholic Bible has 73 books whereas the Protestant Bible has 66. This doesn't mean that the Catholic Church added books to the Bibles. On the contrary, the Catholic Bible was put together long before the Protestant one. The Protestant Bible has fewer books because Martin Luther dropped them when he and his followers broke away from Catholicism to form the Protestant religion.

The Two Parts of the Bible
The Bible is comprised of two parts, the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament is comprised of 39 books and appears in the first part of the Bible. The New Testament follows and is comprised of 34.

The Old Testament
The Old Testament describes the creation of the world and the history of the Jewish people. Its chronicles include the story of creation, the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and how Israel became a nation. Additionally, the Old Testament documents the lives of the prophets, who are God's messengers.

Important Books from the Old Testament
The Old Testament starts with the creation story when God created the world. It describes God's relationship with human beings. It follows with chronicling the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt. The Old Testament follows by tracing the Jewish people's journey from Egypt to the promised land of Israel. It highlights Moses' relationship with God. The secondary story is Moses' relationship with the Jewish people. He presented them with God's 10 Commandments. The Old Testament also highlights the Jewish people's life in Israel. It speaks of prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and how they brought God's word to the people. Throughout the Old Testament there are many stories of heroic Jewish people and how they helped promote and perpetuate the faith.

The New Testament
The New Testament describes the covenant of God with His people through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The New Testament lets people know about the life and ministry of Jesus. It describes how his life, death and Resurrection helped shape the early church. The apostles helped carry out His ministry. The New Testament additionally contains letters, or epistles, by St. Paul, St. Peter and Jesus Christs' other apostles.

Important Books From the New Testament
The New Testament contains the books by the Gospel writers and evangelists. These evangelists are known as Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Gospel literally means good news. The main good news in the New Testament is Jesus Christ's birth. The Gospels describe how Jesus Christ saved humanity by His birth, life, death and resurrection. These Gospels tell much the same story with some slight differences. After the life and death of Jesus Christ, the New Testament chronicles the acts of the apostles. This is followed by many letters from St. Paul to the new societies of the early Church. The New Testament, moreover, contains letters from St. Peter and books by John, James and Jude. The last part of the New Testament is the Revelation written by St. John.