Types of Literature in the Bible

OT - History
The historical books of the Old Testament reveal how God is involved in human history. He created the world. He chose a people (the nation of Israel) to convey His Word to the world, and through whom the promised Savior would come into the world. God's promises & purposes for Israel provide the foundation for understanding the NT message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
- - The first five books of the OT were written by Moses, and are referred to as 'the Pentateuch' (meaning 'the five books') or 'the Torah' (meaning 'the Law').
An example of essential history: Gen 12:1-3
References for study of these books:
OT - Poetry & Wisdom
These books express the range of human emotions confronted with the tensions of life, and the character of God. Love, joy, anger, despair and faith are voiced in song, prayer, proverb and riddle.
Examples: Eccl 3:1-9; Psa 124
OT - Prophecy
During times when Israel wandered from the Lord, He profoundly impressed certain men to make His message emphatically clear to His people. The prophets reminded them of God's Law and of the consequences of disobedience. They spoke of impending judgment and also of future blessing when the Messiah would come to restore right relationship between God & man.
Examples: Amos 5:21-27; Isa 53:1-12
References for study of these books:
NT - History
The four Gospels are based on the accounts of eyewitnesses who heard and saw Jesus of Nazareth. They identify Him as the Messiah who fulfills the Old Testament prophecies.
The book of Acts goes on to show what took place after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and how the church of Christ grew within the Jewish and Gentile worlds.
Examples: Luk 1:1-4; Joh 20:30,31; Acts 1:1-3
NT - Letters (or, Epistles)
These letters were written by leaders of the early church, to answer questions of doctrine (teaching) and practice, and to provide correction & guidance for christian living. A few letters were addressed to individual believers. Most were sent to churches, or regional groups of churches. They provide believers today with practical insight into what it means to live for Christ.
Examples: Titus 3:3-8; Rom 12:1,2; 1Joh 3:1-3
NT - Prophecy
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ" is the last book of the Bible. In it, Christ reveals Himself to us in His present & future glory; He warns the church of its drift into apostasy; He foretells the terrible conditions which will exist on the earth just before His return, and He assures His people that He (and they with Him) will overcome the powers of evil.
Examples: Rev 1:8,17-19; 12:7-12; 22:12-17

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