The bishops at Vatican Council II affirm that the books of the Old Testament “give expression to a lively sense of God,… [his] sound wisdom about human life, and a wonderful treasury of prayers and in them the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way. Christians should receive them with reverence” (Dei Verbum 15).
While the above statement is true, all of us who have read parts or all of the Old Testament know that this task can be quite a challenge. We may wonder:
These are only a few of the questions or challenges facing the reader of the Old Testament.
To help readers to grow in their understanding and appreciation of the 46 books of the Old Testament, I have written 140 articles at three levels – each level drawing one more fully into God’s word as revealed in the Old Testament.
Level One: A series of short articles on each of the 46 books of the Old Testament that contains, a brief description of the book’s contents, division of chapters and suggested texts or passages to read.
Level Two: A series of 15 articles that gives a deeper introduction to the four main sections of the Hebrew Books of the Bible: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Prophetic Books and Wisdom Writings.
Level Three: A series of 80 articles that offers a commentary on each of the 46 books of the Old Testament. Some commentaries are more extensive than others. Here the reader can expect to receive some light on questions like those raised above and much more.
Click here for a sample commentary on the first chapter of Exodus.
Click here for suggestions on how to use the Level Three articles in a Bible Study Group.
Click here for Prayer to pray before studying the Bible.
Article One from Level Three. In this article you find a summary of much of the material found in introductory books on the Bible: the five stages of how the Bible came to be, an exploration of what the church means by divine revelation, divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible and how the church decided to accept certain books into the Canon of the Bible, Catholic interpretation of the Bible and how it differs from a fundamentalist approach. Finally, this article gives a summary or overview of the whole biblical story with a timeline. I suggest anyone studying the Bible at any level to read this introductory article. Click here for this article.
Fr. Eamon Tobin
|THE HISTORICAL BOOKS
1 + 2 Samuel
1 + 2 Kings
1 + 2 Chronicles
Ezra and Nehemiah
THREE HISTORICAL NOVELS
Introduction to the Prophets (same as Level 2 article)
Deutero (Second) Isaiah
Trito (Third) Isaiah
Song of Songs
Psalms (same as Level 2 article)
The Old Testament Part One: Introduction
The Old Testament Part Two: Genesis 1-11
The Old Testament Part Three: Genesis 12-25 – Abraham, Our Father in Faith
The Old Testament Part Four: Genesis 25-50 – Isaac, Jacob and Joseph
The Old Testament Part Five: The Book of Exodus
The Old Testament Part Six: Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
The Old Testament Part Seven: Books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth
The Old Testament Part Eight: First and Second Samuel
The Old Testament Part Nine: 1 and 2 Kings; 1 and 2 Chronicles
The Old Testament Part Ten: Prophets — the Conscience of Israel
The Old Testament Part Eleven: Post-Exilic Historical Books – Ezra, Nehemiah, 1-2 Maccabees and Daniel
The Old Testament Part Twelve: Three Historical Novels – Tobit, Judith and Esther
The Old Testament Part Thirteen: Wisdom Books of the Bible
The Old Testament Part Fourteen: The Book of Job – God’s Love and Man’s Suffering
The Old Testament Part Fifteen: Introduction to the Book of Psalms
Article two: Introduction to the Pentateuch (Chapters 1-2)
Article three: The Fall and the Spread of Sin (Chapters 3-11).
Article four: The Patriarchs — Abraham (Chapters 12-25)
Article five: The Patriarchs — Isaac and Jacob (Chapters 25-36)
Article six: The Patriarchs — Joseph (Chapters 37-50)
The book of Exodus is the most important book of the Old Testament because it recounts the two most important events in Israel’s history: her [or the Israelites’] liberation from Egypt and the Sinai covenant.
Article Seven: Israel’s Liberation from Slavery (Chapters 1-12)
Article Eight: Israel’s Journey into the Wilderness (Chapters 12-18)
Article Nine: The Sinai Covenant (Chapters 19-40)
Article Twelve: Preparation for Departure from the Sinai (Chapters 1-10)
Article Thirteen: Grumbling and Rebellion in the Desert (Chapters 10-21)
Article Fourteen: On the Plains of Moab (Chapters 22-36)
Article Fifteen: A Call to Choose Life through Obedience to God’s Word (Chapters 1-11)
Article Sixteen: Rules and Regulations for Daily Life (Chapters 12-28)
Article Seventeen: A Covenant Appeal — Promise of Forgiveness (Chapters 29-32)
Article Forty-four: Amos – Prophet of Social Justice
Article Forty-five: Hosea – Prophet of God’s Unconditional Love
Article Forty-six: First Isaiah – Prophet of God’s Holiness, Part One (Chapters 1-12)
Article Forty-seven: Isaiah – Prophet of God’s Holiness, Part Two (Chapters 13-39)
Article Forty-eight: Micah – Prophet of Divine Justice
Article Forty-nine: Jeremiah – The Mystic in the Marketplace (Chapters 1-25)
Article Fifty: Jeremiah, Part Two (Chapters 26-52)
Article Fifty-one: Zephaniah – Prophet of ‘Day of the Lord’
Article Fifty-two: Nahum – The Prophet of God’s Vengeance
Article Fifty-three: Habakkuk – The Prophet who Questioned God
Article Fifty-four: Obadiah
Article Fifty-five: Lamentations
Article Fifty-six: Baruch
Article Fifty-seven: Ezekiel – The Pantomime Prophet, Part One (Chapters 1-24)
Article Fifty-eight: Ezekiel, Part Two (Chapters 25-48)
Article Fifty-nine: Deutero (second) Isaiah – The Book of Consolation (Chapters 40-55)
Article Sixty: Haggai – The Reconstruction Prophet
Article Sixty-one: Zechariah
Article Sixty-two: Trito (Third) Isaiah – After the Return of the Exiles (Chapters 56-66)
Article Sixty-three: Joel
Article Sixty-four: Jonah: Prophet of God’s Universal Mercy
Article Sixty-five: Malachi
Article Sixty-nine: Job Part One: God’s Love and Man’s Suffering; Introduction (Chapters 1-2)
Article Seventy: Job Part Two: Three Cycles of Speeches (Chapters 3-37)
Article Seventy-one: Job Part Three: God Speaks (Chapters 38-40)
Article Seventy-six: Introduction
Article Seventy-seven: Book One: Psalms 1-41
Article Seventy-eight: Book Two: Psalms 42-72
Article Seventy-nine: Book Three: Psalms 73-89
Article Eighty: Psalms: Books Four (90-106) and Five (107-160)