Question: "What are the books of the Bible? What does it mean that the Bible is composed of different books?"
Answer: The Holy Bible is an anthology of writings that includes 66 books in English editions. The Bible consists of two parts, the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament includes 39 books, and the New Testament includes 27 books.
In the Old Testament, there are four major divisions of books. The first division is the Pentateuch, which comprises Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The second division is called the Historical Books and includes twelve writings: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.
The third division is called the Poetical Books (or Wisdom Books) and contains Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs).
The fourth division is called the Prophetic Books and includes five Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel) and twelve Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).
The New Testament also includes four major divisions. The first division is the Gospels, which comprises Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The second division includes the Historical Book, the book of Acts.
The third division is the Epistles. These include the thirteen Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon) and the eight General Epistles (Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude).
The fourth division includes the Prophetic Book, the book of Revelation.
These 66 books were written over approximately 1,400 years by 40 different authors in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The writings were affirmed by early church leaders (Jewish leaders in the case of the Old Testament writings). The 66 books of the Bible are the inspired words of God that are used to make disciples (Matthew 28:18–20) and develop believers today (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The Bible was not created by mere human wisdom but was inspired by God (2 Peter 1:20–21) and will last forever (Matthew 23:35).
While the Bible addresses many topics, its central message is that the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, came into the world to provide the way of salvation for all people (John 3:16). It is only through the Jesus Christ of the Bible that a person can be saved (John 14:16; Acts 4:12). “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).