Theological formation: what is the origin of Sacred Scripture?

Find out which books gave rise to the Bible

The theological formation of the Christian, in the light of faith, is built on a deep knowledge of Catholic doctrine, which is based on divine revelation through Sacred Scripture. Studying the Word of God allows us to participate intimately in the plan of salvation, to understand the history of God’s people and to witness the life of Jesus Christ. And this is the way in which the faithful can cultivate their human and Christian virtues, through dedicated reading and intimate meditation on the Holy Bible.

Illustrative Photo: Wesley Almeida /

How is the Bible formed?

The Bible begins with the set of five books that make up the Pentateuch, namely: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The content of these books is presented in their titles: Genesis tells the origin of the world, of man and of the people of Israel; Exodus reports the Israelites’ departure from Egypt; Leviticus deals with the laws on holiness and worship; Numbers brings a list of people who left Egypt and walked through the desert; and Deuteronomy is the second law given by Moses before the promised land. In reading the book of Exodus (34,28), we see that Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights in the presence of God when he wrote the clauses of the covenant, the ten commandments. Then, in the book of Nehemiah (8: 1-8), we read that Ezra, doctor of the Law, read the so-called “book of the Law of Moses” for all the people, while some Levites translated and explained, so that all the people would understand. These passages led us to believe that the authorship of the books of the Pentateuch is due to Moses himself, which was later confirmed by the various references that we find in the New Testament. However, studies concluded that the Pentateuch received its current form only after the exile of Babylon, around the 6th and 5th centuries BC Still in studies carried out from the 17th century AD, it was concluded that, for the final writing of the Pentateuch, materials were collected from different eras that constituted the sacred books as delivered to the Jewish people and then the Church. It is not known for sure the paths that followed until the formation of the Pentateuch, but it is certain that its content followed the traditions of the patriarch Moses, the Alliance, the Laws and the cults, represented in each of the books.

What are Historical, Poetic and Sapiential Books?

After the Pentateuch, the so-called Historical Books begin, which tell the history of the chosen people, from the conquest of Canaan to the battles fought during the 2nd century BC, so that the Israelites could preserve their identity in the face of the attacks of the Greeks. In view of the Christian faith, it is understood that each of the books takes us to the fullness of Revelation, and can only be understood deeply when interpreted in the face of the great manifestation of God through Jesus Christ. The revelations that were made to the authors of the Historical Books occurred at different times, not intending to delve into each of these moments, it is convenient to mention only the historical lines of the time, which are the kingdom of Israel, the kingdom of Judah, the Persian period and the Hellenistic period. These books are presented in the Bible, in the order of the Greek Bible,

Read more:
.: How to read the Bible?
.: Reading and meditating on the Bible
.: What are apocryphal books?
.: Why study the Old Testament

Then, we find the Poetic and Sapiential Books, whose names are presented under the influence of the Greek and Latin versions. These books are arranged in the Bible by the time the protagonists lived, from the oldest to the most recent, with Job being the first book, after Psalms, whose authorship is attributed to King David, followed by the books of Solomon’s story and, finally, the book of Ecclesiastes, written by Jesus Ben Siraque, a great Jewish scholar of the beginning of the second century BC

The Old Testament ends with the Prophetic Books, which are sixteen books that are divided into larger ones (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) and smaller ones. This distinction between major and minor is due, exclusively, by its extension, behold, the major books were found each on their own parchment, while the others met in the “Book of the Twelve”. In the organization of these books, in the Bible, the story of salvation follows, with each prophet getting closer to the prophecies that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The reports of the prophetic writings take place between the 8th century BC until around the year 165 BC Thus, the books of the Old Testament close in the organization of the Bible, with the words of the prophets that send us to continue our reading and to know the New Covenant and the life and history of Jesus Christ


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