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What Is the Old Testament?

Learn what the Old Testament is in this Howcast Bible study video with Reverend Dr. Timothy Coombs.


Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to

The Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures are found in the beginning of most Bibles, which also include the New Testament. It is made up of a series of books. The first five are called the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These are also called the five books of Moses. They are followed by a series of what we might call historical books that tell the story of the people of God and the land that God had given to them. It leads through all the stories of the kings of Judah and Israel. And then, it includes poetry books like the Psalms and Song of Solomon, wisdom literature like proverbs and Ecclesiastes. And then begins a whole section of the prophets, three of the better known prophets, the longer prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel. And, all of these books together make up what is called the Old Testament. As Christians read them they see them as pointing towards the story of Jesus. But others read them as just as what they are. Speaking about the situation of God interacting with God's people in their own time, however you read them — that is what makes up the Old Testament.

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