The books of the Old Testament, showing their positions in both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible, shown with their names in Hebrew) and Christian Bibles. The Deuterocanon or Apocrypha are colored differently from the Protocanon (the Hebrew Bible books which are considered canonical by all). click on image to enlarge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Bob Barney
It's finally done! Actually, I finished on Penetecost week (May 29), after three long years of work. What did I finish? I finish a complete fresh translation of the Holy Bible, in modern language and as close to the original meaning as possible. The thing that sets this Bible different than any other one you will ever read is that every word of Jesus Christ is in red - IN BOTH the New and Old Testament. Many do not understand the Plain Truth that Jesus Christ is the LORD (Yahweh) of the Old Testament. He is the God of Noah, Abraham and Jacob. He is the God who said, "Let there be light." He is the same one who wrote the TenCommandments with His own finger! It is easily proven, and I will not go deeply into this now, except to point out that Jesus said that no human had ever seen the Father (Ixquick <a better Google search engine> these phrases for proof). Jesus also said that He was before Abraham and that, in fact, he was the "I AM" of Exodus 3! "I AM" is the personal name of Yahweh who spoke to Moses. So in this truly revolutionary Bible, I have every word of GOD in RED, in both the Old and New Testaments. This will make the Bible come alive as you have never experienced it, when you realize it is the God that would become Jesus Christ who said, "I change not, therefore, you are not destroyed." Most scholars say that Christ came to change the Law. Christ says in the Old Testament that He never changes! My brother in Christ, Joe Kovacs' new book, the "Divine Secret" uses this technique, and it makes the scriptures come alive!
The other really important difference that you will notice in this Bible, is that the Old Testament will be put in its exact order as God commanded it to be done, and as Jesus read it, as a human being! Today's Bibles are NOT in the accurate order or number of Books that God intended. There are not 39 books of the Old Testament, but 22 (or possibly 24). That is because in today's Bible, we have books cut in half! There isn't I Kings and II Kings, or 1st Samuel and 2nd Samuel, they were never intended to be two books at all. All "39" books are in this new translation, but will be in the original order and comprise only 22 books.
The Old Testament as read by Jesus:
[reckoned as two separate books by the Jews after the 2nd century]
7) The Book of Kingdoms (Samuel and Kings)
[reckoned as two separate books by the Jews after the 2nd century]
11) The Twelve (Hosea to Malachi)
[always reckoned as one book by the Jews]
first book in the collection in this "Royal Division")
13) The Proverbs
15) Song of Songs
21) Ezra-Nehemiah [reckoned as one book by the Jews]
22) The Book of Chronicles [reckoned as one book by the Jews]
These 22 books of the Old Testament (and their arrangement as indicated above) should be the standard canon followed by every version of the Bible today. They represent the exact number presently in our King James Version but as one can observe, they are arranged and enumerated differently. Again, it was Jerome who gave us our present enumeration of 39 books for the Old Testament rather than the original 22 enumeration (which agreed on the number of letters to the Hebrew alphabet). It was Ezra, the second "Moses" who edited the Old Testament and canonized it. It was the LORD JESUS who affirmed that canonization! If you are a Christian, then you must accept the order above!
Ezra (עֶזְרָא, Standard Hebrew ʿEzra, Tiberian Hebrew ʿEzrâ: short for עַזְרִיאֵל "My help/court is God", Standard Hebrew ʿAzriʾel, Tiberian Hebrew ʿAzrîʾēl) was the "scribe" who led the second body of exiled Israelites that returned from Babylon to Jerusalem in 459 BCE, and is probably the author of the Book of Ezra and the Book of 1 Chronicles in the Bible... He was the son, or perhaps grandson, of Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). All we know of his personal history is contained in the last four chapters of his book, and in Nehemiah 8 and 12:26.
In the seventh year during the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see also Darius I of Persia), he obtained leave to go up to Jerusalem and to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes manifested great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him "all his requests," and loading him with gifts to the house of God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles, probably about 5,000 in all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem, on the banks of the Ahava, where they rested for three days, and were put into order for their march across the desert, which was completed in four months. His activities in Jerusalem following his arrival are recorded in his book.
For about fourteen years, (i.e., until 445 BCE), we have no record of what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order the ecclesiastical and civil affairs throughout the nation. In that year, another distinguished personage, Nehemiah, appears upon the scene. After the ruined wall around the city had been built by Nehemiah, there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day, the whole population assembled, and the Torah was read aloud to them by Ezra and his assistants (Neh. 8:3). The remarkable scene is described in detail. There was a great religious awakening. For successive days, beginning on Rosh Hashanah (the first day of the seventh month) they rejoiced in the holy days during the month of Tishri. Ezra read to them the entire scroll of the Torah and he, and various scholars and Levites explained and interpreted the deeper meanings and applications of the Torah to the assembled crowd. These festivities culminated in a very enthusiastic and joyous seven-day celebration of the Festival of Sukkot, concluding on the eighth day with the holiday of Shemini Atzeret. On the twenty-fourth day, immediately following the holidays, they held a solemn assembly, fasting and confessing their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. Then, they renewed their national covenant to follow God's Torah, given through the hand of Moses, and to observe and fulfill all the Lord's commandments, laws and decrees. (Neh. 10:30). Abuses were rectified, and arrangements in the temple service completed, and now nothing remained but the dedication of the walls around the city (Neh. 12).
Ezra - Relation to the Book of Ruth
According to some scholars, the Book of Ruth was originally a part of the Book of Judges, but it was later separated from that book and made into an independent book. Its opening verse explicitly places it during the time period of the Judges, and its language and description seem to make the authorship contemporary with that period. On the other hand, the message from the book, which shows acceptance of marrying converts to Judaism, has been used to suggest that the book was written during the early days of the Persian period. At that time, Ezra condemned intermarriages and, according to his eponymous book, forced the Israelites to abandon their non-Jewish wives who did not convert. According to this theory, the Book of Ruth was written in response to Ezra's reform and in defense of these marriages. More likely, the book was a response to critics of King David, who contested his qualifications as a Jew due to his Moabite ancestry. In that context, the book uses the precedent set by a Jewish court, led by Boaz, to demonstrate that a Moabitess could convert and be a member of the Children of Israel.
Ezra - Place in editing the Torah and Bible....According to Rabbinic Jewish tradition, Ezra collected and arranged the canon of the Hebrew Bible.
It was probably Ezra, who footnoted the entire scripture, added needed endings to stories, or additional information for the reader. Thus, we see "and it is named to this day..." Terms like this found in the Torah would not be written by Moses, but by someone some 500-1,000 years later! Also, who wrote the account of the death of Moses? Maybe Joshua, but most believe Ezra did it.
The new Plain Truth RED LETTER Bible will be online for review by October (The Feast of Tabernacles), but I will have some chapters on The Plain Truth thoughout the summer! Someday, as income allows, I plain to publish this Bible as well in print! That will cost about $25,000.00