The Hebrew Bible or Old Testament

Questions raised and answered by Old Testament writings

We say the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) is "God's Word." Through these ancient writings God reveals Himself. So, conversation about the Hebrew Bible needs to move beyond How many books in the Old Testament?' to the important questions raised and answered by the 39 documents (24 in the Jewish canon because several are combined). Among the questions raised and answered by the Old Testament are:

  • Historical books
    • Pentateuch - basic law
      • Where did the universe come from?
      • What makes human beings special?
      • Why do people do wrong and evil things?
      • Does God care what happens to us?
      • How can I know what God expects of us?
    • Pre-exile and post-exile history
      • What is God's plan for the world?
      • Does God control what happens in history?
      • Does it pay a nation to honor God?
  • Wisdom literature
    • Can I find meaning in life apart from God?
    • How do I communicate with God?
    • How can we survive suffering?
    • What guidelines help me make wise choices?
  • Prophetic writings
    • Basic prophecy - major prophets
      • Does God ever reveal the future?
      • What prophecies have already come true?
      • What sins is God sure to judge?
      • How will the world end?
    • "Minor prophets" - pre-exile and post-exile
      • How much does God love us?
      • Do people really "get away with" being wicked?
      • What kind of society will God bless?
      • What kind of society is God sure to punish?
      • Is our country in danger today?

From The Bible - God's Word for the Biblically-Inept by Larry Richards. © 1988 by Starburst Publishers. Used under the educational provisions of the "fair use" provisions of U.S. copyright laws.

"Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens" -- Psalm 119:89

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