Jan 9, 2023 3:15 AM
Literary DevicesAnthology
Bible References
Table of Contents


An anthology is a collection of works.[1] The most common type of anthology is a poetry anthology, but there can also be short story anthologies, even music or art anthologies. In some cases an anthology consists of several pieces by the same author (also known as a collection), but in many cases an editor brings pieces from many authors together to highlight a specific theme.

Pop Culture Examples

The first anthology I ever experienced is called The People Could Fly. It’s a collection of folk tales so each tale probably has a different author, but since they were passed down orally, the retellings in the collection were written by the same author, Virginia Hamilton. Similar anthologies that many of us likely experienced in childhood are Grimm’s fairytales—I actually have quite a few fairytale anthologies.

One of the most popular anthology series I can think of is the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The original book contains an assortment of motivational short stories, with the primary theme being motivation and overcoming. Subsequent books focus on a particular demographic, such as the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul book, which focuses on stories that are especially relatable to teens. Other collections in the series focus on religion (Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul), culture (Chicken Soup for the African American Soul), career (Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul) and many other things.

The Federalist Papers, written by several of U.S. founding fathers is an example of a non-fiction anthology that had historic significance.

Biblical Examples

Despite most people thinking of the Bible as a singular book, it is actually an anthology. The protestant canon contains 66 individual books, authored by approximately 35 different people over several centuries![2][3] Originally, these “books” were written on scrolls and eventually combined into a singular book, first by Jewish Rabbis, and again by the early church.

One of my first study Bibles explained the different “sections” or “categories” that Bible scholars divide the books into. Judaism divides our shared text (the Old Testament) in a slightly different manner, but the rationale behind these division is the same.

This information is extremely useful because it tells us something about the overall theme of each book. For instance, letters are written from an apostle to a church being mentored—they contain information for all of us, but are also specific to the audience written to. Similarly, the books of wisdom or poetry are full of life advice and experiences.

Christian Division of the Bible

Below I have listed the books by division along side the assumed author in parenthesis. The authors listed are the authors as majority beliefs hold.[2]


  • Genesis (Moses)
  • Exodus (Moses)
  • Leviticus (Moses)
  • Numbers (Moses)
  • Deuteronomy (Moses)


  • Joshua (Unknown)
  • Judges (Unknown)
  • Ruth (Unknown)
  • 1 & 2 Samuel (Unknown)
  • 1 & 2 Kings (Unknown)
  • 1 & 2 Chronicles (Ezra)
  • Ezra (Ezra)
  • Nehemiah (Nehemiah)
  • Esther (Unknown)


  • Job (Unknown)
  • Psalms (Various, predominately David)
  • Proverbs (Various, predominately Solomon)
  • Ecclesiastes (Solomon)
  • Song of Solomon (Solomon)

Major Prophets

  • Isaiah (Isaiah)
  • Jeremiah (Jeremiah)
  • Lamentations (Jeremiah)
  • Ezekiel (Ezekiel)
  • Daniel (Daniel)

Minor Prophets

  • Hosea (Hosea)
  • Joel (Joel)
  • Amos (Amos)
  • Obadiah (Obadiah)
  • Jonah (Jonah)
  • Micah (Micah)
  • Nahum (Nahum)
  • Habakkuk (Habakkuk)
  • Zephaniah (Zephaniah)
  • Haggai (Haggai)
  • Zechariah (Zechariah)
  • Malachi (Malachi)


  • Matthew (Matthew)
  • Mark (John Mark)
  • Luke (Luke)
  • John (John)

Church History

  • Acts (Luke)

Paul’s Letters

  • Romans (Paul)
  • 1 & 2 Corinthians (Paul)
  • Galatians (Paul)
  • Ephesians (Paul)
  • Philippians (Paul)
  • Colossians (Paul)
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Paul)
  • 1 & 2 Timothy (Paul)
  • Titus (Paul)
  • Philemon (Paul)

General Letters

  • Hebrews (Unknown)
  • James (James, brother of Jesus)
  • 1 & 2 Peter (Peter)
  • 1, 2 & 3 John (John)
  • Jude (Jude)


  • Revelation (John)

Original Divisions of the Old Testament

These divisions and ordering were taken from the Complete Jewish Study Bible.

The Law (Torah)

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy

The Prophets (Nevi’im)

  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Samuel
  • Kings
  • Jeremiah
  • Ezekiel
  • Isaiah
  • the Twelve (the Minor Prophets)

The Writings (K’tuvim)

  • Psalms
  • Proverbs
  • Job
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Ruth
  • Lamentations
  • Daniel
  • Esther
  • Ezra-Nehemiah
  • Chronicles

References and Footnotes

  1. "Anthology". Merriam Webster Dictionary; visited February 2022
  2. Jeffrey Kranz. “The 35 Authors Who Wrote the Bible [Chart + Illustrations]”. Overview Bible. August 9, 2018; visited September 2022
  3. Of course if you believe the scriptures are inspired (as I do) then there is really only one author (the Holy Spirit) who used 35 different people to write the messages.
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