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The Old Testament is the first section of the Christian Bible, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of religious writings by ancient Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. It is the counterpart to the New Testament, the second portion of the Christian Bible. The Old Testament canon varies between Christian Churches. Protestants have a version with 39 books. Catholics have a version with 46 books, and Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches choose the Old Testament version with 49 books.
The Old Testament consists of many distinct books by various authors over a period of centuries. It is not entirely clear at what point the parameters of the Hebrew Bible, the basis for the Christian Old Testament, were fixed. Some scholars have opined that the canon of the Hebrew Bible was established already by about the 3rd century BC,[dubious ][not in citation given] with others suggesting later dates.
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; 4) and the books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God.
- 1 Content
- 2 Composition
- 3 Themes
- 4 The formation of the Old Testament
- 5 Literary evaluations
- 6 Christian theology and the Old Testament
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
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.
The table uses the spellings and names present in modern editions of the Bible, such as the New American Bible Revised Edition, 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.[a]
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.[b]
Empty table cells indicate that a book is absent from that canon.
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|
|Prayer of Manasseh||Prayer of Manasseh|
|Psalm of David when he slew Goliath (Psalm 151)||Psalm 151|
The first five books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, book of Numbers and Deuteronomy – reached their present form in the Persian period (538–332 BC), and their authors were the elite of exilic returnees who controlled the Temple at that time. The books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings follow, forming a history of Israel from the Conquest of Canaan to the Siege of Jerusalem c. 587 BC. There is a broad consensus among scholars that these originated as a single work (the so-called "Deuteronomistic history") during the Babylonian exile of the 6th century BC. The two Books of Chronicles cover much the same material as the Pentateuch and Deuteronomistic history and probably date from the 4th century BC. Chronicles, and Ezra–Nehemiah, were probably finished during the 3rd century BC. Catholic and Orthodox Old Testaments contain two (Catholic Old Testament) to four (Orthodox) Books of Maccabees, written in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.
These history books make up around half the total content of the Old Testament. Of the remainder, the books of the various prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the twelve "minor prophets" – were written between the 8th and 6th centuries BC, with the exceptions of Jonah and Daniel, which were written much later. The "wisdom" books – Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Solomon – have various dates: Proverbs possibly was completed by the Hellenistic time (332-198 BC), though containing much older material as well; Job completed by the 6th Century BC; Ecclesiastes by the 3rd Century BC and some Psalms written as early as 1400 BC.
God is consistently depicted as the one who created or put into order the world and guides its history. Although the God of the Old Testament is not consistently presented as the only God who exists, he is always depicted as the only God whom Israel is to worship, or the one "true God", that only the Jehovah of Israel is Almighty, and both Jews and Christians have always interpreted the Bible (both the "Old" and "New" Testaments) as an affirmation of the oneness of Almighty God.
The Old Testament stresses the special relationship between God and his chosen people, Israel, but includes instructions for proselytes as well. This relationship is expressed in the biblical covenant (contract) between the two, received by Moses. The law codes in books such as Exodus and especially Deuteronomy are the terms of the contract: Israel swears faithfulness to God, and God swears to be Israel's special protector and supporter.
Further themes in the Old Testament include salvation, redemption, divine judgment, obedience and disobedience, faith and faithfulness, among others. Throughout there is a strong emphasis on ethics and ritual purity, both of which God demands, although some of the prophets and wisdom writers seem to question this, arguing that God demands social justice above purity, and perhaps does not even care about purity at all. The Old Testament's moral code enjoins fairness, intervention on behalf of the vulnerable, and the duty of those in power to administer justice righteously. It forbids murder, bribery and corruption, deceitful trading, and many sexual misdemeanors. All morality is traced back to God, who is the source of all goodness.
The problem of evil plays a large part in the Old Testament. The problem the Old Testament authors faced was that a good God must have had just reason for bringing disaster (meaning notably, but not only, the Babylonian exile) upon his people. The theme is played out, with many variations, in books as different as the histories of Kings and Chronicles, the prophets like Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and in the wisdom books like Job and Ecclesiastes.
The formation of the Old Testament
Greek, Latin and Protestant Old Testaments
The process by which scriptures became canons and Bibles was a long one, and its complexities account for the many different Old Testaments which exist today. Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, identifies the Old Testament as "a collection of authoritative texts of apparently divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing." He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it literally written by God and passed to mankind. By about the 5th century BC Jews saw the five books of the Torah (the Old Testament Pentateuch) as having authoritative status; by the 2nd century BC the Prophets had a similar status, although without quite the same level of respect as the Torah; beyond that, the Jewish scriptures were fluid, with different groups seeing authority in different books.
The scriptures were first translated into Greek in Alexandria between about 280–130 BC. These early Greek translations – supposedly commissioned by Ptolemy Philadelphus – were called the Septuagint (Latin: "Seventy") from the supposed number of translators involved (hence its abbreviation "LXX"). This Septuagint remains the basis of the Old Testament in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It varies in many places from the Masoretic Text and includes numerous books no longer considered canonical in certain traditions: 1st and 2nd Esdras, Judith, Tobit, 3rd and 4th Maccabees, the Book of Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. Early modern Biblical criticism typically explained these variations as intentional or ignorant corruptions by the Alexandrian scholars, but most recent scholarship holds it is simply based on early source texts differing from those later used by the Masoretes in their work.
The Septuagint was originally used by Jews so thoroughly Hellenized that their knowledge of Greek was better than their Hebrew. The ever-increasing number of gentile converts to Christianity created a growing need for translations of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek and Latin. The three most acclaimed early interpreters were Aquila of Sinope, Symmachus the Ebionite, and Theodotion; in his Hexapla, Origen placed his edition of the Hebrew text beside its transcription in Greek letters and four parallel translations: Aquila's, Symmachus's, the Septuagint's, and Theodotion's. The so-called "fifth" and "sixth editions" were two other Greek translations supposedly miraculously discovered by students outside the towns of Jericho and Nicopolis: these were added to Origen's Octapla.
In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. Athanasius recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. For example, it is speculated that this may have provided motivation for canon lists, and that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus are examples of these Bibles. Together with the Peshitta and Codex Alexandrinus, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles. There is no evidence among the canons of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon, however, Jerome (347–420), in his Prologue to Judith, makes the claim that the Book of Judith was "found by the Nicene Council to have been counted among the number of the Sacred Scriptures".
In Western Christianity or Christianity in the Western half of the Roman Empire, Latin had displaced Greek as the common language of the early Christians, and about 400 AD Pope Damasus I commissioned Jerome, the leading scholar of the day, to produce an updated Latin bible to replace the Vetus Latina. Jerome's work is called the Vulgate (i.e. common language), and he translated most of the Old Testament of his Vulgate from Hebrew, since he argued for the superiority of the Hebrew texts in correcting the Septuagint on both philological and theological grounds. His Vulgate Old Testament became the standard bible used in the Western Church, specifically as the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate, while the Churches in the East continued, and still continue, to use the Septuagint.
Jerome, however, in the Vulgate's prologues describes some portions of books in the Septuagint that were not found in the Hebrew as being non-canonical (he called them apocrypha); for Baruch, he mentions by name in his Prologue to Jeremiah and notes that it is neither read nor held among the Hebrews, but does not explicitly call it apocryphal or "not in the canon". The Synod of Hippo (in 393), followed by the Councils of Carthage (in 397 and 419), may be the first council that explicitly accepted the first canon which includes the books that did not appear in the Hebrew Bible; the councils were under significant influence of Augustine of Hippo, who regarded the canon as already closed. In the 16th, century the Protestant reformers sided with Jerome; yet although most Protestant Bibles now have only those books that appear in the Jewish Bible, they have them in the order of the Greek Bible.
Rome then officially adopted a canon, the Canon of Trent, which is seen as following Augustine's Carthaginian Councils or the Council of Rome, and includes most, but not all, of the Septuagint (3 Ezra and 3 and 4 Maccabees are excluded); the Anglicans after the English Civil War adopted a compromise position, restoring the 39 Articles and keeping the extra books that were excluded by the Westminster Confession of Faith, but only for private study and for reading in churches, while Lutherans kept them for private study, gathered in an appendix as Biblical Apocrypha.
While the Hebrew, Greek and Latin versions of the Hebrew Bible are the best known Old Testaments, there were others. At much the same time as the Septuagint was being produced, translations were being made into Aramaic, the language of Jews living in Palestine and the Near East and likely the language of Jesus: these are called the Aramaic Targums, from a word meaning "translation", and were used to help Jewish congregations understand their scriptures.
For Aramaic Christians there was a Syriac translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Peshitta, as well as versions in Coptic (the everyday language of Egypt in the first Christian centuries, descended from ancient Egyptian), Ethiopic (for use in the Ethiopian church, one of the oldest Christian churches), Armenian (Armenia was the first to adopt Christianity as its official religion), and Arabic.
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The Old Testament is considered one of the most important and influential works of literature in world literature, and has provided inspiration for writers (both religious and secular) throughout subsequent history. In 1886, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: "In the Jewish Old Testament, there are men, things and speeches in so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature have nothing to compare to it. One stands with awe and reverence before these tremendous remnants of what man once was... The taste for the Old Testament is a touchstone of "greatness" and "smallness". To have glued this New Testament, a kind of rococo of taste in every respect, to the Old Testament to form one book... that is perhaps the greatest audacity and sin against the spirit that Europe has on its conscience."
Christian theology and the Old Testament
Christianity is based on the belief that the historical Jesus is also the Christ, as in the Confession of Peter. This belief is in turn based on Jewish understandings of the meaning of the Hebrew term messiah, which, like the Greek "Christ", means "anointed". In the Hebrew Scriptures it describes a king anointed with oil on his accession to the throne: he becomes "The LORD's anointed" or Yahweh's Anointed. By the time of Jesus, some Jews expected that a flesh and blood descendant of David (the "Son of David") would come to establish a real Jewish kingdom in Jerusalem, instead of the Roman province.
Others stressed the Son of Man, a distinctly other-worldly figure who would appear as a judge at the end of time; and some harmonised the two by expecting a this-worldly messianic kingdom which would last for a set period and be followed by the other-worldly age or World to Come. Some thought the Messiah was already present, but unrecognised due to Israel's sins; some thought that the Messiah would be announced by a fore-runner, probably Elijah (as promised by the prophet Malachi, whose book now ends the Old Testament and precedes Mark's account of John the Baptist). None predicted a Messiah who suffers and dies for the sins of all the people. The story of Jesus' death therefore involved a profound shift in meaning from the tradition of the Old Testament.
The name "Old Testament" reflects Christianity's understanding of itself as the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy of a New Covenant (which is similar to "testament" and often conflated) to replace the existing covenant between God and Israel (Jeremiah 31:31). The emphasis, however, has shifted from Judaism's understanding of the covenant as a racially or tribally-based contract between God and Jews to one between God and any person of faith who is "in Christ".
- Abrogation of Old Covenant laws
- Biblical and Quranic narratives
- Book of Job in Byzantine illuminated manuscripts
- Books of the Bible
- Covenant (biblical)
- Expounding of the Law
- Timeline of Genesis patriarchs
- Law and Gospel
- List of ancient legal codes
- List of Hebrew Bible manuscripts
- Marcion of Sinope
- Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible
- Quotations from the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament
- Generally due to derivation from transliterations of names used in the Latin Vulgate in the case of Catholicism, and from transliterations of the Greek Septuagint in the case of the Orthodox (as opposed to derivation of translations, instead of transliterations, of Hebrew titles) such Ecclesiasticus (DRC) instead of Sirach (LXX) or Ben Sira (Hebrew), Paralipomenon (Greek, meaning "things omitted") instead of Chronicles, Sophonias instead of Zephaniah, Noe instead of Noah, Henoch instead of Enoch, Messias instead of Messiah, Sion instead of Zion, etc.
- The foundational Thirty-Nine Articles of Anglicanism, in Article VI, asserts these disputed books are not used "to establish any doctrine," but "read for example of life." Although the Biblical apocrypha are still used in Anglican Liturgy, the modern trend is to not even print the Old Testament apocrypha in editions of Anglican-used Bibles.
- The 24 books of the Hebrew Bible are the same as the 39 books of the Protestant Old Testament, only divided and ordered differently: the books of the Minor Prophets are in Christian Bibles twelve different books, and in Hebrew Bibles, one book called "The Twelve". Likewise, Christian Bibles divide the Books of Kingdoms into four books, either 1–2 Samuel and 1–2 Kings or 1–4 Kings: Jewish Bibles divide these into two books. The Jews likewise keep 1–2 Chronicles/Paralipomenon as one book. Ezra and Nehemiah are likewise combined in the Jewish Bible, as they are in many Orthodox Bibles, instead of divided into two books, as per the Catholic and Protestant tradition.
- This book is part of the Ketuvim, the third section of the Jewish canon. They have a different order in Jewish canon than in Christian canon.
- The books of Samuel and Kings are often called First through Fourth Kings in the Catholic tradition, much like the Orthodox.
- Names in parentheses are the Septuagint names and are often used by the Orthodox Christians.
- One of 11 deuterocanonical books in Russian Synodal Bible.
- 2 Esdras in Russian Synodal Bible.
- Some Eastern Orthodox churches follow the Septuagint and the Hebrew bibles by considering the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as one book.
- 1 Esdras in Russian Synodal Bible.
- The Catholic and Orthodox Book of Esther includes 103 verses not in the Protestant Book of Esther.
- The Latin Vulgate, Douay-Rheims, and Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition place First and Second Maccabees after Malachi; other Catholic translations place them after Esther.
- In Greek Bibles, 4 Maccabees is found in the appendix.
- Eastern Orthodox churches include Psalm 151 and the Prayer of Manasseh, not present in all canons.
- Part of 2 Paralipomenon in Russian Synodal Bible.
- In Catholic Bibles, Baruch includes a sixth chapter called the Letter of Jeremiah. Baruch is not in the Protestant Bible or the Tanakh.
- Eastern Orthodox Bibles have the books of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah separate.
- Hebrew (minority view); see Letter of Jeremiah for details.
- In Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, Daniel includes three sections not included in Protestant Bibles. The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children are included between Daniel 3:23–24. Susanna is included as Daniel 13. Bel and the Dragon is included as Daniel 14. These are not in the Protestant Old Testament.
- Jones 2001, p. 215.
- Preface to the New Revised Standard Version Anglicised Edition
- Barton 2001, p. 3.
- Lim, Timothy H. (2005). The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 41.
- Riches, John (2000). The Bible: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-19-285343-1.
- Philip R. Davies in The Canon Debate, page 50: "With many other scholars, I conclude that the fixing of a canonical list was almost certainly the achievement of the Hasmonean dynasty."
- McDonald & Sanders, The Canon Debate, 2002, page 5, cited are Neusner's Judaism and Christianity in the Age of Constantine, pages 128–145, and Midrash in Context: Exegesis in Formative Judaism, pages 1–22.
- Boadt 1984, pp. 11, 15–16.
- The Apocrypha, Bridge of the Testaments (PDF), Orthodox Anglican,
Two of the hymns used in the American Prayer Book office of Morning Prayer, the Benedictus es and Benedicite, are taken from the Apocrypha. One of the offertory sentences in Holy Communion comes from an apocryphal book (Tob. 4: 8–9). Lessons from the Apocrypha are regularly appointed to be read in the daily, Sunday, and special services of Morning and Evening Prayer. There are altogether 111 such lessons in the latest revised American Prayer Book Lectionary [Books used are: II Esdras, Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Three Holy Children, and I Maccabees.]
- "Baruch", Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
- Blenkinsopp 1998, p. 184.
- Rogerson 2003, pp. 153–54.
- Coggins 2003, p. 282.
- Grabbe 2003, pp. 213–14.
- Miller 1987, pp. 10–11.
- Crenshaw 2010, p. 5.
- There is a major discussion in the field of theology about the meaning of the word "bara", the second word of Genesis. The meaning of "bara" is "created" (out of nothing), but others argue it was "remodelled/ordered" (something existing before), similar to the other Hebrew word "asah" (which means "show", "make", or "make visible").
- 2 Chronicles 15:3 - biblegateway.com. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- Jeremiah 10:10 - biblegateway.com. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- Barton 2001, p. 9.
- Barton 2001, p. 10.
- Brettler 2005, p. 274.
- Gentry 2008, p. 302.
- Würthwein 1995.
- Jones 2001, p. 216.
- Cave, William. A complete history of the lives, acts, and martyrdoms of the holy apostles, and the two evangelists, St. Mark and Luke, Vol. II. Wiatt (Philadelphia), 1810. Retrieved 6 Feb 2013.
- Apol. Const. 4
- The Canon Debate, pp. 414–15, for the entire paragraph
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Book of Judith". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Canonicity: "..."the Synod of Nicaea is said to have accounted it as Sacred Scripture" (Praef. in Lib.). It is true that no such declaration is to be found in the Canons of Nicaea, and it is uncertain whether St. Jerome is referring to the use made of the book in the discussions of the council, or whether he was misled by some spurious canons attributed to that council".
- Rebenich, S., Jerome (Routledge, 2013), p. 58. ISBN 9781134638444
- Würthwein 1995, pp. 91–99.
- "The Bible".
- Kevin P. Edgecomb, Jerome’s Prologue to Jeremiah
- McDonald & Sanders, editors of The Canon Debate, 2002, chapter 5: The Septuagint: The Bible of Hellenistic Judaism by Albert C. Sundberg Jr., page 72, Appendix D-2, note 19.
- Everett Ferguson, "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon," in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320; F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 230; cf. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 22.8
- Barton 1997, pp. 80–81.
- Philip Schaff, "Chapter IX. Theological Controversies, and Development of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy", History of the Christian Church, CCEL
- Lindberg (2006). A Brief History of Christianity. Blackwell Publishing. p. 15.
- F.L. Cross, E.A. Livingstone, ed. (1983), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 232
- Soggin 1987, p. 19.
- Würthwein 1995, pp. 79–90, 100–4.
- Beyond Good and Evil, translated by Walter Kaufmann, New York: Random House, 1966; reprinted in Vintage Books, and as part of Basic Writings of Nietzsche, New York: Modern Library, 2000, 1886 (52)
- Farmer 1991, pp. 570–71.
- Juel 2000, pp. 236–39.
- Herion 2000, pp. 291–92.
- Bandstra, Barry L (2004), Reading the Old Testament: an introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Wadsworth, ISBN 978-0-495-39105-0
- Barton, John (1997), How the Bible came to be, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 978-0-664-25785-9
- ——— (2001), "Introduction to the Old Testament", in Muddiman, John; Barton, John, Bible Commentary, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-875500-5
- Blenkinsopp, Joseph (1998), "The Pentateuch", in Barton, John, The Cambridge companion to biblical interpretation, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-48593-7
- Boadt, Lawrence (1984), Reading the Old Testament: an introduction, Paulist Press, ISBN 978-0-8091-2631-6
- Brettler, Marc Zvi (2005), How to read the Bible, Jewish Publication Society, ISBN 978-0-8276-1001-9
- Bultman, Christoph (2001), "Deuteronomy", in Barton, John; Muddiman, John, Oxford Bible Commentary, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-875500-5
- Coggins, Richard J (2003), "1 and 2 Chronicles", in Dunn, James DG; Rogerson, John William, Commentary on the Bible, Eerdmans, ISBN 978-0-8028-3711-0
- Crenshaw, James L (2010), Old Testament wisdom: an introduction, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 978-0-664-23459-1
- Davies, GI (1998), "Introduction to the Pentateuch", in Barton, John, Oxford Bible Commentary, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-875500-5
- Dines, Jennifer M (2004), "The Septuagint", Continuum, ISBN 978-0-567-08464-4
- Farmer, Ron (1991), "Messiah/Christ", in Mills, Watson E; Bullard, Roger Aubrey, Mercer dictionary of the Bible, Mercer University Press, ISBN 978-0-86554-373-7
- Gentry, Peter R (2008), "Old Greek and Later Revisors", in Sollamo, Raija; Voitila, Anssi; Jokiranta, Jutta, Scripture in transition, Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-16582-3
- Grabbe, Lester L (2003), "Ezra", in Dunn, James DG; Rogerson, John William, Commentary on the Bible, Eerdmans, ISBN 978-0-8028-3711-0
- Hasel, Gerhard F (1991), Old Testament theology: basic issues in the current debate, Eerdmans, ISBN 978-0-8028-0537-9
- Herion, Gary A (2000), "Covenant", in Freedman, David Noel, Dictionary of the Bible, Eerdmans, ISBN 978-90-5356-503-2
- Jobes, Karen H; Silva, Moises (2005), Invitation to the Septuagint, Baker Academic
- Jones, Barry A (2000), "Canon of the Old Testament", in Freedman, David Noel, Dictionary of the Bible, William B Eerdmans, ISBN 978-90-5356-503-2
- Juel, Donald (2000), "Christ", in Freedman, David Noel, Dictionary of the Bible, William B Eerdmans, ISBN 978-90-5356-503-2
- Lim, Timothy H. (2005). The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- McLay, Tim (2003), The use of the Septuagint in New Testament research, Eerdmans, ISBN 978-0-8028-6091-0
- Miller, John W (2004), How the Bible came to be, Paulist Press, ISBN 978-0-8091-4183-8
- Miller, John W (1987), Meet the prophets: a beginner's guide to the books of the biblical prophets, Paulist Press, ISBN 978-0-8091-2899-0
- Miller, Stephen R. (1994), Daniel, B&H Publishing Group, ISBN 0-8054-0118-0
- Rogerson, John W (2003), "Deuteronomy", in Dunn, James DG; Rogerson, John William, Commentary on the Bible, Eerdmans, ISBN 978-0-8028-3711-0
- Sailhamer, John H. (1992), The Pentateuch As Narrative, Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-57421-8
- Schniedewind, William M (2004), How the Bible Became a Book, Cambridge, ISBN 978-0-521-53622-6
- Soggin, J. Alberto (1987), Introduction to the Old Testament, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 978-0-664-22156-0
- Stuart, Douglas (1987), Hosea-Jonah, Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-8499-0230-4
- Würthwein, Ernst (1995), The text of the Old Testament: an introduction to the Biblia Hebraica, William B Eerdmans, ISBN 978-0-8028-0788-5
- Anderson, Bernhard. Understanding the Old Testament. ISBN 0-13-948399-3
- Bahnsen, Greg, et al., Five Views on Law and Gospel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993).
- Berkowitz, Ariel; Berkowitz, D'vorah (2004), Torah Rediscovered (4th ed.), Shoreshim, ISBN 0-9752914-0-8.
- Dever, William G. (2003), Who Were the Early Israelites?, Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-0975-8.
- von Rad, Gerhard (1982–1984), Theologie des Alten Testaments [Theology of the Old Testament] (in German), Band 1–2, Munich: Auflage.
- Hill, Andrew; Walton, John (2000), A Survey of the Old Testament (2nd ed.), Grand Rapids: Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-22903-0.
- Kuntz, John Kenneth (1974), The People of Ancient Israel: an introduction to Old Testament Literature, History, and Thought, Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-043822-3.
- Lancaster, D Thomas (2005), Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus, Littleton \: First Fruits of Zion.
- Papadaki-Oekland, Stella, Byzantine Illuminated Manuscripts of the Book of Job, ISBN 978-2-503-53232-5.
- Rouvière, Jean-Marc (2006), Brèves méditations sur la Création du monde [Brief meditations on the creation of the World] (in French), Paris: L'Harmattan.
- Salibi, Kamal (1985), The Bible Came from Arabia, London: Jonathan Cape, ISBN 0-224-02830-8.
- Schmid, Konrad (2012), The Old Testament: A Literary History, Minneapolis: Fortress, ISBN 978-0-8006-9775-4.
- Silberman, Neil A; et al. (2003), The Bible Unearthed (hardback), New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-86912-8, ISBN 0-684-86913-6 (paperback).
- Sprinkle, Joseph ‘Joe’ M (2006), Biblical Law and Its Relevance: A Christian Understanding and Ethical Application for Today of the Mosaic Regulations (clothbound), Lanham, MD: University Press of America, ISBN 0-7618-3371-4 and ISBN 0-7618-3372-2 (paperback).
- "The Old Testament Canon", Scripture & tradition, Church Fathers.
- Bible gateway. Full texts of the Old (and New) Testaments including the full Roman and Orthodox Catholic canons.
- "Old Testament", Écritures, La feuille d’Olivier. Protestant Old Testament on a single page.
- "Old Testament", Reading Room, CA: Tyndale Seminary. Extensive online OT resources (incl. commentaries).
- "Old Testament", Religious studies (video) (lectures), Yale University, 2011-11-30.
- Bible, X10 host: Old Testament stories and commentary.
- Old Testament Timeline (PDF), LDS.
- Tanakh ML (parallel Bible) – Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the King James Version.