Back in May 2015, I decided to go back and really read the Bible. I wanted to study it the way I studied papers for my graduate seminars or how we studied “the classics” back in AP Lit. Since then I have made through the whole Bible and learned quite a lot! Not all of it has been put to paper (or screen, I guess I should say), but I will continue to update as I can.
The Old Testament covers the time period from Creation through the return from Babylonian captivity. It is the part of Christianity that we share with Judaism, and is the foundation of understanding context and symbolism throughout the Word. Depending on your denomination, the number of books vary (and in Judaism the order of the books is different). Because I was raised in a Protestant denomination and own protestant Bibles, this section only contains the 39 books included in the Protestant Old Testament
The Apocrypha (or Deuterocanon) is a name given to debated books relating to Judaism and Christianity. Acceptance of each book varies among denominations. Protestant denominations generally reject the Apocrypha as inspired, though some churches may include references in their discussions. The Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Ethiopian Churches each recognize some subset of these books. (There are also apocryphal chapters of Esther, Psalms, and Daniel; these are marked and included in the respective pages for each of these books.)
The New Testament is concerned with the first coming of the Messiah, the spreading of the Gospel, and the prophecy of His second coming. It begins between 7 and 4 BCE at the birth of Christ and relays events through the formation of the early church in the first century CE, along with a glimpse into the apocalyptic future. These books are the foundation of Christianity and most frequently read and preached about in mainstream churches.