BIBLE BOOKS OUT OF ORDER

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Creation starts the Bible, in the book of Genesis

The end of the world finishes it, in Revelation. That could lead us to think the Bible is printed in chronological order. But it’s not. If it were, Job would likely come after Genesis. That’s because Job seems to have lived in about the time of Abraham, whose story appears in Genesis. Instead, Job’s story comes after Esther, though this Persian queen wasn’t born for at least 1,500 years after Abraham and Job. The Bible is a library of 66 books written in many genres and over a span of more than a thousand years. How

the books ended up in the order we find them in our Bibles today is complicated-so complicated that it leaves Bible experts guessing. In Old Testament times, the books in the Jewish Bible were divided into several sections: Law, Prophets, and Writings. And the first section-the first five books in the Bible-seems to have been the earliest material the Jews considered sacred. Next came the Prophets. And then the Writings, which include books like Psalms, Job, and Esther. The New Testament also falls into several categories. There are the four Gospels about Jesus. Next comes the story of how the church got started (Acts). Then There’s a stack of letters, generally arranged from the longest to the shortest. That’s why Paul’s 16-chapter letter to the Romans comes first and Jude’s one-chapter letter comes last. The prophecy in Revelation wraps up the Bible, turning all eyes to the future that God has in store for his people.

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