Old Testament

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The '''Old Testament''' is first of the two divisions of [[Holy Scripture]]. According to historians, the Old Testament was composed between the 5th century BC and the 2nd century BC, though parts of it, such as the Torah, and Song of Deborah (Judges 5), date back much earlier.
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Traditionally the Old Testament is divided into the law books (the Pentateuch and historical books), the Psalms and other wisdom books, and the prophets because of what [[Jesus Christ|Christ]] said in [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:44;&version=9; Luke 24:44]:
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:And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be
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:fulfilled, which were written in the ''law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms'', concerning me.{{ref|1}}
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The term ''Old Testament'' itself is a translation of the Latin ''Vetus Testamentum'', from the Greek η Παλαια Διαθηκη (hē Palaia Diathēkē), all meaning "The Old Covenant" (or "Testament"). The Latin rendered testament in English originally came from the Latin for "witness" and from there expanded to mean "to make a will"; thus, though it is purported to be synonymous with "covenant," it has a distinct legal flavoring.  Further semantic extensions in English have made  the English term more ambiguous[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/testament].
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The Orthodox Church also numbers among the genuine books of the Old Testament the so-called ''apocryphal'' books, literally meaningthe "secret" or "hidden" writings. A less Protestant-biased term for these parts of Scripture is the ''[[deuterocanonical writings]]''.
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==Pentateuch==
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The first part of the Old Testament is called the ''[[Pentateuch]]'' which means the five books. It is also called the ''Torah'', which means the ''Law''.  These books are also called the ''Books of Moses''.
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They include:
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* [[Genesis]]
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* [[Exodus]]
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* [[Leviticus]]
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* [[Numbers]]
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* [[Deuteronomy]]
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The events described in these books, from the calling of [[Abraham]] to the death of [[Moses]], probably took place sometime in the second millennium before [[Christ]] (2000-1200 BC).
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Although scholars believe that the Law was not written by the personal hand of Moses, and that the books show evidence of being the result of a number of oral and written traditions and time periods, the Church connects the Law with Moses, the great man of [[God]] to whom "the Lord used to speak ... face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11).
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==Historical books==
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The next set of books cover the history of Israel from the settlement in the promised land of Canaan to the first centuries before Christ.
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They include: 
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*[[Book of Joshua|Joshua]] (Jesus Navi)
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*[[Judges]]
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*[[Book of Ruth|Ruth]]
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*[[I Kingdoms]] (I Samuel)
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*[[II Kingdoms]] (II Samuel)
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*[[III Kingdoms]] (I Kings)
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*[[IV Kingdoms]] (II Kings)
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*[[I Paraleipomenon]] (I Chronicles)
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*[[II Paraleipomenon]] (II Chronicles)
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*[[Book of Nehemiah|Nehemiah]]
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*[[I Esdras]]
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*[[II Esdras]] (Ezra)
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*[[Tobit]] (Tobias)
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*[[Judith]]
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*[[Book of Esther|Esther]]
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*[[I Maccabees]]
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*[[II Maccabees]]
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*[[III Maccabees]] (English bible)
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In the [[Canon (Bible)|canon]] of the Orthodox Church, which is generally that of the [[Septuagint]], the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, 1 and 2 Samuel are called 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Kings are called 3 and 4 Kings. Also, the so-called apocryphal books, listed above (I Esdras, II Esdras, Tobit, Judith, I Maccabees, II Maccabees, III Maccabees, IV Maccabees), are considered by the Orthodox as genuine parts of the Bible. The Old Testament apocrypha is a body of writings considered by the non-Orthodox to be of close association with the Bible, but not actually part of its official canonical contents.
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The historical books of the Bible were written well after the events described in them actually took place.
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==Wisdom books==
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The Wisdom books include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, as well as the Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach, also called Ecclesiasticus, and the Wisdom of Solomon from the so-called apocrypha.
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* [[Psalms]]
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* [[Prayer of Manasseh]]
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* [[Book of Job|Job]]
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* [[Proverbs]]
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* [[Ecclesiastes]]
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* [[Song of Solomon]] (Song of Songs or Canticle of Canticles)
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* [[Wisdom of Solomon]]
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* [[Wisdom of Sirach]] (Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach, also called Ecclesiasticus)
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Although not technically a ''wisdom'' book, the Prayer of Manasseh from the so-called apocrypha, is a penitential prayer of the King of Judah, which for the Orthodox is part of the Bible. (It is included in the [[Great Compline]] service of the Orthodox Church.)
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==Prophets==
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16 books in the Old Testament are called by the names of [[prophet]]s, although not necessarily written by their hands.  A prophet is one who speaks the word of God by direct divine inspiration, not just one who foretells the future.
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===Major prophets===
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Four of the prophetic books are those of the so-called ''major prophets'':
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* [[Book of Isaiah|Isaiah]]
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* [[Book of Jeremiah|Jeremiah]] includes book of [[Book of Baruch|Baruch]] and the [[Epistle of Jeremiah]]
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* [[Book of Ezekiel|Ezekiel]]
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* [[Book of Daniel|Daniel]]
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===Minor prophets===
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The books of the 12 so-called ''minor prophets'':
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* [[Book of Hosea|Hosea]]
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* [[Book of Joel|Joel]] 
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* [[Book of Amos|Amos]]
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* [[Book of Obadiah|Obadiah]]
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* [[Book of Jonah|Jonah]]
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* [[Book of Micah|Micah]]
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* [[Book of Nahum|Nahum]]
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* [[Book of Habakkuk|Habakkuk]]
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* [[Book of Zephaniah|Zephaniah]]
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* [[Book of Haggai|Haggai]] 
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* [[Book of Zechariah|Zechariah]]
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* [[Book of Malachi|Malachi]]
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==Others==
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Some Orthodox Churches include:
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* [[IV Maccabees]]
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* [[Book of Odes]]
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* [[Psalm 151]]
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==External links==
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* [http://biblicaltraining.org/classes/ots/frame.html Old Testament Survey], by Douglas Stuart (seminary class)
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* [http://207.44.232.113/%7Ebible/reference/ot_intro/intro-Index.html An Introduction to the Old Testament], by Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III
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* [http://207.44.232.113/~bible/ot/main.htm Old Testament Studies]
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* [http://st-takla.org/pub_Deuterocanon/Deuterocanon-Apocrypha_El-Asfar_El-Kanoneya_El-Tanya__0-index.html About the Deuterocanon (Second Canonical Books)]
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*{{note|1}}From the King James Version, public domain. Obtained off of [www.biblegateway.com].
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*[[w:Old Testament Wikipedia's Old Testament]]
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[[Category:Scripture]]
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[[Category:Texts]]
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[[Category:Old Testament|*]]
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[[el:Παλαιά Διαθήκη]]
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[[ro:Vechiul Testament]]
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Revision as of 04:37, June 10, 2008

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