Christian Canon



Old Testament

The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of GOD. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.

The Early Church used the Old Testament, namely the Septuagint (LXX, in Roman’s numbers means “Seventeen” from the tradition of the 72 copists that first transalted in Alexandria of Egypt the TaNaKh from Hebrew to Greek language) among Greek speakers, with a canon perhaps as found in the Bryennios List or Melito’s canon. The Apostles did not otherwise leave a defined set of new scriptures; instead, the New Testament developed over time.

Marcion of Sinope was the first Christian leader in recorded history (though later considered heretical) to propose and delineate a uniquely Christian canon (ca. AD 140). This included 10 epistles from St. Paul, as well as a version of the Gospel of Luke, which today is known as the Gospel of Marcion. In so doing, he established a particular way of looking at religious texts that persists in Christian thought today.

The books that comprise the Old Testament canon differ between Christian Churches as well as their order and names. The most common Protestant canon comprises 39 books, the Catholic canon comprises 46 books, and the canons of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches comprise up to 51 books. The 39 books in common to all the Christian canons corresponds to 24 books of the Tanakh, with some differences of order, and there are some differences in text. The additional number reflects the split of texts in the Christian Bibles into separate books, for example, Kings, Samuel and Chronicles, Ezra–Nehemiah and the minor prophets into separate books. The books which are part of a Christian Old Testament but which are not part of the Hebrew canon are sometimes described as deuterocanonical. In general, Protestant bibles do not include deuterocanonical books in their canon, but some versions of Anglican and Lutheran bibles place such books in a separate section called Apocrypha.

Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections: (1) the first five books or Pentateuch (Torah); (2) the history books telling the history of the Israelites, from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon; (3) the poetic and “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world; and (4) the books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from GOD.

Content

The Old Testament contains 39 (Protestant) or 46 (Catholic) or more (Orthodox and other) books, divided, very broadly, into the Pentateuch (Torah), the historical books, the “wisdom” Books and the Prophets.

Table

The table uses the spellings and names present in modern editions of the Christian Bible, such as the Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition and the Protestant Revised Standard Version and English Standard Version. The spelling and names in both the 1609–10 Douay Old Testament (and in the 1582 Rheims New Testament) and the 1749 revision by Bishop Challoner (the edition currently in print used by many Catholics, and the source of traditional Catholic spellings in English) and in the Septuagint differ from those spellings and names used in modern editions which are derived from the Hebrew Masoretic text.

For the Orthodox canon, Septuagint titles are provided in parentheses when these differ from those editions. For the Catholic canon, the Douaic titles are provided in parentheses when these differ from those editions. Likewise, the King James Version references some of these books by the traditional spelling when referring to them in the New Testament, such as “Esaias” (for Isaiah).

In the spirit of ecumenism more recent Catholic translations (e.g. the New American Bible, Jerusalem Bible, and ecumenical translations used by Catholics, such as the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition) use the same “standardized” (King James Version) spellings and names as Protestant Bibles (e.g. 1 Chronicles as opposed to the Douaic 1 Paralipomenon, 1–2 Samuel and 1–2 Kings instead of 1–4 Kings) in those books which are universally considered canonical, the protocanonicals.

The Talmud (the Jewish commentary on the scriptures) in Bava Batra 14b gives a different order for the books in Nevi’im and Ketuvim. This order is also cited in Mishneh Torah Hilchot Sefer Torah 7:15. The order of the books of the Torah is universal through all denominations of Judaism and Christianity.

The disputed books, included in one canon but not in others, are often called the Biblical apocrypha, a term that is sometimes used specifically to describe the books in the Catholic and Orthodox canons that are absent from the Jewish Masoretic Text and most modern Protestant Bibles. Catholics, following the Canon of Trent (1546), describe these books as deuterocanonical, while Greek Orthodox Christians, following the Synod of Jerusalem (1672), use the traditional name of anagignoskomena, meaning “that which is to be read.” They are present in a few historic Protestant versions; the German Luther Bible included such books, as did the English 1611 King James Version.

Empty table cells indicate that a book is absent from that canon.

Tanakh
(Hebrew Bible)
(24 books)
Books in bold are part of the Ketuvim
Protestant
Old Testament
(39 books)
Catholic
Old Testament
(46 books)
Eastern Orthodox
Old Testament
(50 books)
Original language
Torah
Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses
Bereishit Genesis Genesis Genesis Hebrew
Shemot Exodus Exodus Exodus Hebrew
Vayikra Leviticus Leviticus Leviticus Hebrew
Bamidbar Numbers Numbers Numbers Hebrew
Devarim Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Deuteronomy Hebrew
Nevi’im (Prophets)
Yehoshua Joshua Joshua (Josue) Joshua (Iesous) Hebrew
Shofetim Judges Judges Judges Hebrew
Rut (Ruth) Ruth Ruth Ruth Hebrew
Shemuel 1 Samuel 1 Samuel (1 Kings) 1 Samuel (1 Kingdoms) Hebrew
2 Samuel 2 Samuel (2 Kings) 2 Samuel (2 Kingdoms) Hebrew
Melakhim 1 Kings 1 Kings (3 Kings) 1 Kings (3 Kingdoms) Hebrew
2 Kings 2 Kings (4 Kings) 2 Kings (4 Kingdoms) Hebrew
Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 1 Chronicles 1 Chronicles (1 Paralipomenon) 1 Chronicles (1 Paralipomenon) Hebrew
2 Chronicles 2 Chronicles (2 Paralipomenon) 2 Chronicles (2 Paralipomenon) Hebrew
1 Esdras Hebrew
Ezra–Nehemiah Ezra Ezra (1 Esdras) Ezra (2 Esdras) Hebrew and Aramaic
Nehemiah Nehemiah (2 Esdras) Nehemiah (2 Esdras) Hebrew
Tobit (Tobias) Tobit (Tobias) Aramaic (and Hebrew?)
Judith Judith Hebrew
Esther Esther Esther Esther Hebrew
1 Maccabees (1 Machabees) 1 Maccabees Hebrew
2 Maccabees (2 Machabees) 2 Maccabees Greek
3 Maccabees Greek
3 Esdras Greek?
4 Maccabees Greek
Ketuvim (Writings) Wisdom books
Iyov (Job) Job Job Job Hebrew
Tehillim (Psalms) Psalms Psalms Psalms Hebrew
Prayer of Manasseh Greek
Mishlei (Proverbs) Proverbs Proverbs Proverbs Hebrew
Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes Hebrew
Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) Song of Solomon Song of Songs (Canticle of Canticles) Song of Songs (Aisma Aismaton) Hebrew
Wisdom Wisdom Greek
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) Sirach Hebrew
Nevi’im (Latter Prophets) Major prophets
Yeshayahu Isaiah Isaiah (Isaias) Isaiah Hebrew
Yirmeyahu Jeremiah Jeremiah (Jeremias) Jeremiah Hebrew
Eikhah (Lamentations) Lamentations Lamentations Lamentations Hebrew
Baruch Baruch Hebrew
Letter of Jeremiah Greek (majority view)
Yekhezqel Ezekiel Ezekiel (Ezechiel) Ezekiel Hebrew
Daniel Daniel Daniel Daniel Hebrew and Aramaic
Twelve Minor Prophets
The Twelve
or
Trei Asar
Hosea Hosea (Osee) Hosea Hebrew
Joel Joel Joel Hebrew
Amos Amos Amos Hebrew
Obadiah Obadiah (Abdias) Obadiah Hebrew
Jonah Jonah (Jonas) Jonah Hebrew
Micah Micah (Micheas) Micah Hebrew
Nahum Nahum Nahum Hebrew
Habakkuk Habakkuk (Habacuc) Habakkuk Hebrew
Zephaniah Zephaniah (Sophonias) Zephaniah Hebrew
Haggai Haggai (Aggeus) Haggai Hebrew
Zechariah Zechariah (Zacharias) Zechariah Hebrew
Malachi Malachi (Malachias) Malachi Hebrew

 

Several of the books in the Eastern Orthodox canon are also found in the appendix to the Latin Vulgate, formerly the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Books in the Appendix to the Vulgate Bible
Name in Vulgate Name in Eastern Orthodox use
3 Esdras 1 Esdras
4 Esdras
Prayer of Manasseh Prayer of Manasseh
Psalm of David when he slew Goliath (Psalm 151) Psalm 151


New Testament

The New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin: Novum Testamentum) is the second part of the Christian biblical canon. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as Sacred Scripture. The New Testament (in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the World. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Both extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are also incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies.

The New Testament is a collection of Christian texts originally written in the Koine Greek language, at different times by various different authors. While the Old Testament canon varies somewhat between different Christian denominations, the 27-book canon of the New Testament has been almost universally recognized within Christianity since at least Late Antiquity. The earliest known complete list of the 27 books of the New Testament is found in a letter written by Athanasius, a 4th-century bishop of Alexandria. The 27-book New Testament was first formally canonized during the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) in North Africa. Pope Innocent I ratified the same canon in 405, but it is probable that a Council in Rome in 382 under Pope Damasus I gave the same list first. These councils also provided the canon of the Old Testament, which included the apocryphal books.

 

Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant,
and most Oriental Orthodox
Original language
(Koine Greek)
Canonical Gospels
Matthew
Mark Greek
Luke Greek
John Greek
Apostolic History
Acts Greek
Pauline Epistles
Romans Greek
1 Corinthians Greek
2 Corinthians Greek
Galatians Greek
Ephesians Greek
Philippians Greek
Colossians Greek
1 Thessalonians Greek
2 Thessalonians Greek
1 Timothy Greek
2 Timothy Greek
Titus Greek
Philemon Greek
Hebrews Greek
General Epistles
James Greek
1 Peter Greek
2 Peter Greek
1 John Greek
2 John Greek
3 John Greek
Jude Greek
Apocalypse
Revelation Greek

 

The New Testament is a collection of Christian works written in the common (Koine) Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, and the modern consensus is that it also provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the first century AD. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first and perhaps the second centuries of the Christian Era, in Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that eventually became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no later than around 150 AD.

Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul (a major collection of which must have been made already by the early 2nd century) and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (asserted by Irenaeus of Lyon in the late-2nd century as the Four Gospels) gradually were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament. The Old Testament canon is not completely uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, Protestants, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, and the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity (see Development of the New Testament canon).

The New Testament consists of:

  • Four narratives of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus called “gospel” or the good news.
  • A narrative of the Apostle ministries in the early church, called the “Acts of the Apostles”, and probably written by the same writer as the Gospel of Luke, which it continues;
  • Twenty-one letters, often called “epistles” from Greek “epistole”, written by various authors, and consisting of Christian doctrine, counsel, instruction, and conflict resolution; and
  • An Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, which is a book of prophecy, containing some instructions to seven local congregations of Asia Minor, but mostly containing prophetical symbology, about the end times.

More info on Gospel

The Gospel is an account describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Nazarene. The most widely known examples are the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which are included in the New Testament, but the term is also used to refer to apocryphal Gospels, non-canonical gospels, Jewish-Christian gospels, and gnostic gospels.

Christianity places a high value on the four canonical gospels, which it considers to be a revelation from GOD and central to its belief system. Christianity traditionally teaches that the four canonical Gospels are an accurate and authoritative representation of the life of Jesus, but many scholars and historians, as well as some liberal Christians, believe that much of that which is contained in the gospels is not historically reliable.This position however, requires a liberal view of Biblical inerrancy. For example, professor of religion Linda Woodhead notes some scholarship reinforces the claim that “the Gospels’ birth and resurrection narratives can be explained as attempts to fit Jesus’s life into the logic of Jewish expectation”. However, New Testament scholar N. T. Wright holds firmly to the historical authenticity of the death and resurrection of Jesus, stating that of the whole Bible, this is the story with the most overwhelming historical evidence.

 

 


Apocryphal Scriptures


LINKS:
Bible Hebrew Interlinear (OT)

Bible Hebrew-English

Bible Septuaginta LXX Old Greek-English

Bible Vulgate Latin-English

Holy Quran Arab-English

Holy Quran Trasliterated-Arab-English
Download CEI Bible (Italian Roman Catholic Traslation) Bibbia-CEI-2008.PDF