Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Old Testament

The first part of the Christian Bible, taken over from Israel. It tells the history of the nation Israel and God's dealings with them to the return from Exile in Babylon. For Jews it is the complete Bible, sometimes called Tanak for its three parts (Torah or Law, Nebiim or Prophets, Kethubim or Writings). Christians see its complement in the New Testament, which reveals Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. The Old Testament has three major divisions: Law, Prophets (Former and Latter), and Writings. The Law (Genesis—Deuteronomy) begins with the creation of the world and concludes as Israel is about to enter the Promised Land. The Prophets—Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets—continue with the nation in the land of Palestine until the Exile and includes prophetic messages delivered to the nation. The Writings (all other books) contain the account of the return from Exile, collected wisdom literature from throughout the nation's history, and selected stories about God's leading in individual lives. See Bible, Formation and Canon.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Old Testament'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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