Justin Aptaker graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee, earning a B.A. in psychology and a minor in religious studies.
Books of the Bible List
This page provides a printable list of books of the Bible (list of bible books in order of Old Testament and New Testament) and other information about the Christian Bible. Look below the list for the printable version link. Information on the books of the Apocrypha is also provided.
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
- Wisdom of Solomon
- I Esdras
- I Maccabees
- II Maccabees
- Letter of Jeremiah
- II Esdras
- Additions to Esther
- Prayer of Azariah
- Bel & the Dragon
- Prayer of Manasseh
- 1 Samuel
- 2 Samuel
- 1 Kings
- 2 Kings
- 1 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
- For a printable version of the list above, right click here, and choose to open in new window or tab
- For printable version of Old and New Testaments only, right click here, then open in new tab/window
Books of the Bible: List with Additional Information
"The Bible" can refer to a number of different things, but on this page, it will refer to the Protestant Christian Bible. The Bible, in this sense, is a collection of sixty-six texts written in different times, different places, by different people, to different audiences, in different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), for different purposes. This list of texts can be subdivided in different ways, depending upon one's religious orientation. I will group these texts into traditional Protestant Christian categories.
Torah (or "Pentateuch")
The first five books of the Christian Bible are actually the same as the first five books of the Jewish Bible. Jews refer to these books as "Torah" (Instruction), and have always held them in highest esteem. They serve as the absolute foundation for the Jewish faith, and thus, for Christianity (which began as a sect of Judaism). Christians typically refer to these five texts as the "Pentateuch", from a Greek word meaning "five books". These books have been traditionally ascribed to Moses. However, when I discuss authorship for any of the Bible texts, one must keep in mind that I'm referring to authorship as given in the Christian religious tradition. From a historical perspective, the authors of many or most of these texts are probably unknown. Also, if I give estimated dates of authorship, keep in mind that the dates I give will also be largely traditional, and are open to much debate. They are, for the most part, very rough estimates of dates that are often nearly impossible to ascertain with any kind of accuracy.
In the Christian canon (a "canon" is a list of books that a religious sect has decided is authoritative), the following books are called "historical books". In the Jewish canon, however, some of these are categorized as Nevi'im (Prophets), and some as Ketuvim (Writings). After this point, I will no longer discuss the Jewish canon, but suffice it to say that it is quite different than the Christian canon in the way it groups the texts. The Jewish Bible is called the Tanakh, which is actually an acronym for the three groupings of the Jewish Bible: Torah, Nevi'im, and Ketuvim yield "TaNaKh".
The wisdom books contain aphorisms, hymns, and miscellanea that doesn't quite fit within other categories. All but Job are traditionally attributed to Israel's two greatest kings, who ruled during the only period of a united Jewish monarchy (before Israel in the north and Judah in the south split into two separate kingdoms). These two kings were David, and his son Solomon. The Psalms were primarily attributed to David. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) were all traditionally ascribed to Solomon.
Song of Solomon
The "major prophets" are distinguished from the "minor prophets" simply due to the greater length of the texts, not because they are considered more important than the "minor prophets".
The Gospels and Acts
"Gospels"--the word "gospel" means "good news"--are biographical accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Here, the word "biography" should not call to mind the same things that one thinks of when one thinks of a modern biography. Ancient biographies were much less focused on providing factual information about their subjects' lives than are modern biographies. Authors of ancient biographies had limited and often unreliable sources to draw upon. Their books were meant to create a picture of their subjects' lives, much as a painter paints a portrait: with considerable artistic freedom. The goal was to capture the essence, as the author perceived it, of the subject's life, not the exact details.
There were many other Gospels written about Jesus of Nazareth besides the four books on this list. These four are listed because, after much deliberation at councils convened by early Christians, it was decided that only these four were to be considered authoritative for "orthodox" Christianity. The rest of the gospels, for one reason or another, did not make it into this collection of "authoritative" texts, and so have generally gone by the wayside. Presumably, there are many gospels which not only did not make it into the Bible, but which have no surviving copies, or have no surviving copies that we have yet discovered. So there are gospels which Christians accept as authoritative, gospels which are available to read but are not considered authoritative by most Christians, and gospels which have been altogether lost and forgotten.
Although the following thirteen epistles (from the Greek word for "letters") each purport to have been written by the apostle Paul, many Bible scholars think that as few as 7 of them actually were. These are Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Most scholars believe that Ephesians and Colossians were written by someone pretending to be Paul, and many think that 2 Thessalonians and several other "Pauline" letters were probably also forgeries in Paul's name.
General Epistles and The Revelation (also called The Apocalypse)
Like the Pauline epistles, many of the general epistles are likely to have been penned by people other than those whose names have been associated with them in one way or another. For example, the styles of Greek vocabulary and grammar in 1 Peter and 2 Peter are so different that it is unlikely that the same author wrote both letters. Therefore, if Peter did, in fact, write one of the letters that bears his name, he almost certainly did not author the other.
The texts of the so-called "apocrypha" (from a Greek word meaning "hidden away") were written throughout the period spanning between about 150 BCE and 150 CE. Protestants generally do not accept them as divinely inspired, so the Protestant Bibles which do include these books usually include them as a separate appendage, rather than weaving them into the rest of the Bible.
Wisdom of Solomon
Letter of Jeremiah
Additions to Esther
Prayer of Azariah
Bel & the Dragon
Prayer of Manasseh
Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on March 16, 2016:
This is a very interesting article and I have questions.
The Book of Mormon is not included, so is Mormonism Christian?
Is Judaism the basis for Christianity or is Christianity completely separate?
Hindu writings exist documenting the life of Jesus in India, ages 13-30. What is the authenticity of the Hindu writings?
GetFactsnotHype on March 16, 2016:
I have a similar page here on Hubpages and I noticed you have not listed all of the books of the Apocrypha. I have a family Bible that actually contains the Apocrypha and have taken pictures and posted them on my page. "The Song of the Three Holy Children" are missing for one, and that one you mentioned as Suzanna is actually "The History of Susanna" and the book "Wisdom of Solomon" is NOT the 1st book of the Apocrypha, but instead Esdras is. This is not to pick at you for any mistakes you have made, but simply to point out that even the Apocrypha itself cannot be agreed upon, which is a very good reason why these books are uncanonical, and not readily accepted by most Christian religions. Just food for thought. The page is called "Bible Secret Writings and Lost Gospels."
Nixdushnnn on December 06, 2012:
Justin Aptaker (author) from United States on February 18, 2011:
According to a scholarly article I turned up recently (don't remember the name of the author), Enoch is a pseudepigraphal work written sometime in the intertestamental period (about 200 BCE - 100 CE), and falsely attributed to Enoch. A friend of mine who teaches Sunday school, however, disagreed, saying that we have no way of asserting that Enoch couldn't have been passed down from the real Enoch in some way or another. Personally, I think such a position probably requires a certain leap of faith, and wouldn't be the natural thing to assume unless one wanted to defend the accuracy of Jude (say, in order to defend the idea of Biblical inerrency in general). However, I'll admit that I am far from knowledgeable on the subject, so any assumptions that I make are likely to be just that: assumptions. Having read Enoch, I must say I am glad it didn't make it into the canon. I seems to me to encapsulate a rather primitive understanding of the cosmos and a savage sort of eschatology. As to why I didn't make it into the canon, I can only guess that many early Christians were suspect of its origins and authorship. But I haven't really researched it. Thanks for your questions!
graceomalley on February 18, 2011:
Where does the Book of Enoch fit in? I have heard it was widely known at the time of Jesus, appears to be referenced in Jude, and fell out of favor in the early years of the church. Do you know why? If it is mentioned in the canon, why didn't it make it at least to the appochrypha? Any idea when it was written?
safiq ali patel from United States Of America on February 17, 2011:
Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Revaltion, Corinthians, The Pslams. These are just some of the books of the bible that I can recall.
Justin Aptaker (author) from United States on February 17, 2011:
Thank you, H P Roychoudhury!
H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on February 17, 2011:
It is extremely beautiful with beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.