The Christian Bible consists of 66 books which are generally divided into the Old and New Testaments. Some editions of The Bible also include a collection of books known as The Apocrypha (from Greek, meaning “hidden”) though the acceptance of these books as part of the Bible has long been a matter of debate.
The Old Testament comprises the first 39 books of The Bible and documents the creation of the universe; the history of the founding fathers of the Jewish faith (or Patriarchs) such as Abraham and Moses; the exodus of the Jews; the formation and decline of the nation of Israel and the ‘Wisdom’ books such as Psalms and Proverbs. Jews refer to the first five books as The Pentateuch (five scrolls).
The New Testament has 27 books which appear immediately after the Old Testament, or after The Apocrypha (if present). In the New Testament are stories of the birth, ministry and death of Jesus Christ (in the Gospels); the spread of the early Christian church (in Acts) and letters of instruction to new Christian churches (in the Epistles.) The New Testament finishes with The Book of Revelation, usually attributed to the apostle John. This book describes a variety of apocalyptic events which the author claimed to have seen as visions.
Both Jews and Christians view the Bible as being the Word of God but fierce debate surrounds the writing and authorship of many of the books and their contents. However, The Bible remains the world’s bestselling book.