Old Testament Introduction
What's the story?
Many people see the Old Testament as one of the greatest collections of books, 39 in all, ever written.
As well as making up the largest part of the Christian Bible, the Old Testament also holds special authority for Jews and Muslims. The amazing stories of the Old Testament heroes, such as Moses, Joseph and David have even been made into films.
The first five books of the Old Testament are known as the Pentateuch. These books are also the most important writings of Judaism, where they are known as Torah. One ancient tradition claims that Moses wrote these books and they are seen as a guide to how God wants His people to live.
The Old Testament includes several different kinds of writing – history, law, poetry, proverbs, drama and prophecy. They show how great God is and how important God’s people are to Him. They describe the covenant relationship he has with them – that He would be their God, providing prosperity and protection, as they lived by His good laws and showed the rest of the world how to live fully and fairly. As a result, the Old Testament is full of wisdom and instruction on how people should live a life that honours God. It was mostly written in the Hebrew language, the language of the original Jewish audience, though a small portion was written in Aramaic.Bookmark