Appendix A Books of the Bible

All the words in the Bible were written by people who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is composed of 73 books. It is split into two main divisions called Testaments. Another word for Testament is covenant, or promise.  The entire Bible is the Word of God. It is proclaimed (read authoritatively) during mass and it is good to read to understand our God and our faith. The Old Testament contains 46 books and the New Testament contains 27 books. Saint Jerome says that ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ.

The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. There is much in the Old Testament which prefigures and prophecies happenings in the New Testament. These prefigurements are called 'types'. The New Testament 'reality' is always greater than the Old Testament 'type'. All of Holy Scripture, including both testaments, is one continuous story. It is the story of GOD's Salvation History.

Old Testament

The Old Testament, or Jewish Scripture, tells us about creation, the fall of mankind and the course of salvation history. It also gives us lessons to live by. The Old Testament books used in the Catholic Church come from a Greek translation of the Jewish Scripture that was written a few hundred years before the time of Jesus. The translation is called the Septuagint, from a Greek word for the 70. This was a reference to the tradition that 70 Jewish Scripture scholars each translated the Scripture and then it was put together from their effort. 

Type of Books Books
Pentatuch, Law, Torah Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
History Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles,, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees
Wisdom Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), Wisdom, Sirach
Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel
Minor Prophets Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Zechariah, Malachi

New Testament

The New Testament tells us about the Life and Teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ, especially in the Gospels. The epistles give us further understanding of our Lord's teachings (as he promised to the apostles). The Church decided on the New Testament by using writings that were read during the masses (just like our epistles and gospels today). The books were pretty much decided by the end of the third century.
Type of Book Books
Gospels. Story
 of Jesus Christ
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Acts Acts of the Apostles.
Epistles of Paul
Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,
1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
Other Epistles Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, Jude
Apocalyptic The Apocalypse or Revelation of St John