Reformed Answers

by Third Millennium Ministries

 
 

Categorizing Biblical Books

Question
What are the sub-titles of the books of the Old Testament and New Testament? I found some of the Old Testament subtitles, like the first few are the "Law" and the next ones are the "Prophets."
Answer
Different people group the Scriptures in different ways, but there are some helpful categories that are fairly broadly accepted:

The "Pentateuch" or the "Law" consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

The "Former Prophets" consist of Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings.

The "Latter Prophets" consist of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

The Latter Prophets are often broken into two sections: the "Major Prophets" [consisting of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and also Daniel (from the "Writings")]; and the "Minor Prophets" [consisting of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi].

The "Writings" consist of Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and 1 & 2 Chronicles.

Within the "Writings" is a smaller group commonly called the "Megillot," which consists of Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations and Esther.

The "Gospels" consist of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Within the Gospels there is the subset of the "Synoptic Gospels," which refers to Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Paul's letters are frequently called the "Pauline Epistles," but there is debate as to which letters belong in this category. As conservatives in this area, we affirm Pauline authorship of Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 &2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

Within Paul's letters, there is a smaller group called the "Pastoral Epistles," which are 1 &2 Timothy and Titus.

These are followed by the "Catholic Epistles," which consist of Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude and Revelation.

Another common category is the "Johannine" works. These are writings of the apostle John, and consist of the Gospel of John, 1, 2 & 3 John and Revelation.

Yet another common category is "Lukan" works, which are the writings of Luke. These consist of Luke and Acts.


Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Creative Delivery Systems at Third Millennium Ministries.