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Ministry of the Word - OT & NT BOOKS
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Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets:
 
CATHOLIC BIBLE
 
PROTESTANT BIBLE
46      Old Testament Books
 
39                 Old testament Books
27     New Testament Books
 
27               New testament Books
 
 
They omit (7 books) Tobit, Judith,Wisdom,
 
 
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
Ist. & IInd. Maccabees
 
 
Baruch, & parts of Daniel & Esther.
    73    Books in total
 
66                            Books in total
 
è Catholics call these 7 books Deuterocanonical works, 
è Protestants call them the Apocrypha.
 
What’s so special about the Deuterocanonical books?
Deuterocanonical', which means 'secondary canon.'
The deuterocanonical books are special since they include discussions of important segments of Jewish history.
 
The Palestinian Jews recognized only those 39 books which were preserved in Hebrew or Aramaic, whereas the Jewish Diaspora who had their main centre in Alexandria and who did not know Hebrew, for them the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek in the 3rd Century BC by 70 Jewish Scholars living in Alexandria called the Septuagint (LXX). They included an additional 7 books which were written only in Greek or preserved in Greek and not in Hebrew i.e. TOBIT, JUDITH, 1-2 MACCABEES, WISDOM, SIRACH, BARUCH.
The Catholics call the 39 books as PROTO CANONICAL
And the 7 books as DEUTEROCANONICAL
 
“Why are these writings omitted from Protestant Old Testament?”
To understand why Protestants omit these Deutro Canonical books, we must consider how the Jewish Scriptures were used in the early Church. Around the first century A.D., there were two Jewish Bibles in widespread use. One was called the Hebrew Bible. The other was called the Septuagint Bible; it was a Greek translation of the Jewish Scripture and it included these Deutro Canonical books. Both the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint Bible were used by the early Christians
 
Septuagint version of the Hebrew scriptures was created at least 2 centuries before Christ. The Jewish leadership at the time recognized a need to provide a Greek translation for the Jews. (Jews in the Diaspora). They commissioned 70 Jewish scripture scholars who gathered in Alexandria, Egypt and spent 70 months on the task. The resulting translation was named the Septuagint (70 x 70) and contained the 7 additional books that had come to be accepted by the Jewish community as divinely inspired sacred works LXX
 
In the 300’s, after Christianity became legal, St. Jerome was commissioned to translate the Bible into the common language of the people - Latin. He moved to the Holy Land and spent the rest of his life working on the project which became known as the Vulgate or “common language” Bible. For his translation, he chose to use the longer Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Old Testament.

Martin Luther and other scholars began a new translation of the Bible and they decided to use the shorter Hebrew Bible as the basis for their Old Testament in the Protestant version of the OT, in German.
Luther proposed that a new German translation be created that omitted the 7 additional books. This decision became the foundation for all future
Protestant translations of the Bible.

STRUCTURE OF THE CHRISTIAN OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE:
The Christian Old Testament Scripture is divided into 4 Sections namely;
 
 The PENTATEUCH (consisting of 5 books) 
          Pentateuch is a Greek word and it means “five scrolls”. 
                    Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
 
The HISTORICAL Books (consisting of 16 books)
        I         Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings
                    (Deuteronomistic History)
        ii)     1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah (Chroniclers History)
                Chronicles means “things left our” (from the parallel books                      
                     Samuel and Kings)
        iii)    Tobit, Judith, Esther.
        iv)    1 & 2 Maccabees (Maccabean History)
 
 
The WISDOM Books (consisting 7 books)
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Sirach.
 
The PROPHETS (consisting of 18 books)
MAJOR     (6)   -----   Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel
MAJOR    (12) ----   Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
 
Minor Prophets:
Beginning with Hosea and concluding with Malachi, there are twelve short prophecies called the Minor Prophets. They are so called because of the size of the books and not because of their content. The Minor Prophets all deal with the same major issues of the Major Prophets. They are actually quoted by the Major Prophets.. There were to be no godless alliances with other nations, but they were warned of an isolationism from God. They were extremely patriotic and denounced political and moral corruption. This has given rise to the modern emphasis on the social message of the prophets.
 
STRUCTURE OF THE HEBREW SCRIPTURE:
The Hebrew Scripture consists of 39 books
The three major sections i.e Torah + Nebiim + Ketubim in Hebrew is known as TaNaK (Hebrew), or Tanakh, is an acronym for the Hebrew Bible consisting of the initial Hebrew letters (T + N + K) of each of the text's three major parts. Since the ancient Hebrew language had no clear vowels, subsequent vowel sounds were added to the consonants resulting in the word TaNaK. The major portions of the Hebrew Bible represented by these three letters are:
The TORAH: The Law (law of Moses) (consisting of 5 books) Also called the "Pentateuch." The Torah is often referred to as the law of the Jewish people.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
 
The NEBIIM: The Prophets – (‘Nabi’ in Hindi) (consisting of 21 books)
"Prophets” = which means ‘to call’ , ‘to proclaim’
The Former Prophets (6) Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings
The Latter Prophets  (3 + 12)    (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel)
(Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum,       
                        Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)
The KETUBIM: The Writings (‘Kitab’ – book in Hindi) (consisting of 13 books)   
Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Lamentations, Esther, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Daniel.
 
The Tanakh is further separated into different sections including a group of history books, wisdom books, poetry books and psalms.
 
Here we will deal with the books of ‘Neviim’ = prophets.
Meaning of the word ‘Prophet’
We understand the word prophet as a messenger or a fortune teller.
But according to the Biblical understanding he is more merely a messenger.
Biblical scholars have pointed differences between these two:
 
                MESSENGER                                   PROPHET
èHe is a representative of a king, He is the representative of the divine 
                                                  assembly.
èCarries information                  Prophet delivers legal verdict & divine word.
èHe is not actively involved in     but the prophet follows up his message.
carrying out the messages
                                                -A prophet has received a an irresistible
                                                 divine call, & was chosen as Gods envoy.
PROPHET:
-The divine message comes to them in various ways, by visions, by hearing, but most often by internal inspiration.
èHe is only a mouth piece, no more, his words though his own are, are not his own.
èThe prophet rarely addresses his message to a single person, his message is for the whole nation, accept when he is addressing a king, because the king is responsible for the whole nation.
èThe prophets message relates to both present & future. His mission is to the men of his time, to them he communicates the will of God. But in so far he declares the mind of God he stands beyond time. At times he predicts some events of the future, punishment to come, the prosperity in rewards for repentance for which he pleads.
His message may remain veiled in mystery until the future explains its significance by fulfilling it.
 
There are 2 aspects to the message. In Gods dealing with people, pardon & punishment is complimentary.
è They spoke on monotheism, the existence of one unique God. Describing YHWH as God.
Therefore the definition of a prophet would be: A prophet is the channel through which divine messages reach the ordinary words & through which human beings can get direct access to the divine.
 
The Bible uses 5 words to explain the prophet:
Nabi; The most used word, meaning a called one, God’s spokes person or One who speaks for God.
Roch: means seer.       ---------------     Hozer: means seer
Koshem: means fortune teller.-----------Ish-Elohim: Means man of God
                                                        eg. Moses, Elijah, Samuel.
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