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What Is the Hebrew Bible?

Learn what the Hebrew Bible is in this Howcast 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 Hebrew Bible is what Christians often referred to as the Old Testament, but for all times together we will just referred to as the Hebrew Bible. It begins with the first five books, The Torah, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. After this we come to historical books that tell the story of the people. Now what kind of confuses this is that all of these books were written at different times with the stories are very much layered in different centuries even sometimes even within the same book like the story of Noah. There is two different stories of Noah we have together and other books like Ruth. Though they are written about a time of when the people lived in tribes, it is actually a story that existed a long time later. After we have these historical books there is the poetry, the wisdom literature, Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes again all written in different types and then beyond the wisdom literature, the poetry, we come to the prophets. Some other prophets existed at the time of the kings of Israel and Judah, other prophets are proclaiming out of the exile period and then there are some about the time afterwards. Some other leader stories are Esther and Daniel and even Jonah after the people returned from the exile. So the Hebrew scriptures is a collection of books and writings of old stories that were concocted or developed over centuries by different people over the time that exist as one Great Covenant for all of us to enjoy.

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