Pastor's Notes


The order and the number of the Books in the Old Testament we know are different with what Jewish people have. Actually, no one calls this collection of books as Old Testament prior to the existence of the New Testament. While the terms themselves—Old Testament and New Testament—are employed to differentiate the Jewish/Hebrew and the Christian Bibles at the beginning around the close of the second century AD. Thank God that SDA Church takes both as our sacred and instructive Scriptures.
Coming to Jewish Bible. Rabbis call these sacred ancient documents as Tanakh. It is simply a trio of Hebrew letters: T-N-K. Or, if you want their names: Taw, Nun, Kaf. They are the abbreviation of 3 clear cut blocks of the books: Torah, Nebi’im, Ketubim.
Torah contains only 5 first books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium. As the name indicates, Torah talks about Law is established and what are they.
Nebi’im literally means prophets. It contains 19 books: Joshua, Judices, Samuel, Reges, Jesaia, Jeremia, Ezechiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadia, Jona, Micha, Nahum, Habakuk, Zephania, Haggai, Sacharia, Maleachi. You may be curious about why the first four books are parts of Nebi’im. Though they look like stories, they are prophesied stories.
Ketubim simply means writings. There are 12 of them: Psalmi, Iob, Proverbial, Ruth, Canticum, Ecclesiastes, Threni, Esther, Daniel, Esra, Nehemia, Chronica. It’s interesting to know that Daniel is not part of Nebi’im, but Ketubim; and Chronica which is similar with Reges (Kings) are separated into different categories.
Counting them up we get 36 books. The reason why there are 36 books instead of 39 is because Samuel, Reges, and Chronica aren’t divided into two individual books as we have in the Old Testament.
I would like to call your attention to the first four books of Nevi’im: Joshua, Judices, Samuel, and Reges. The rest of the books we understand that all of them are prophets. But the books of Joshua, Judices, Samuel, and Reges? They are all stories, or to be precise they are all histories. Moreover, in some ways Reges and Chronica are similar. But why do they fall into different categories?
Somebody said that history is actually His story which referering to God’s story. You and I have our own stories. Many of them are so meaningful. But the stories we read in Joshua, Judices, Samuel, and Reges are selectively chosen by God for reasons. They are all prophesied stories to be connected with God’s plan for Israel. These very people are in His plan of redemption for themselves and for other nations alike. They are His story.
God through Isaiah says, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49:16).
Through faith we are saved by grace. In a sense, our own stories, including the darkened ones are taken by Jesus to be His story. The nailprints in His sacred hands are the marks of the ever great story on Golgotha. For the day we accept Him as our personal Savior and LORD, Jesus wants to write down our stories. They must be the victorious stories because He is the Great Champion for us.
Do you accept Jesus as your personal Savior and LORD?

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Pastor's Notes

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