The Old Testament of the Protestant Bible is the best and closest we have, without going to original text. It has 39 books and comes only from the Inspired Hebrew/Aramaic Scriptures (Hebrew Bible / Tanakh), which has only 24 books. (Chart 1)
Here is how the 24 books of the Hebrew ‘Bible’ became the 39 books of the Old Testament of the Protestant Bible.
- The book of the Twelve Prophets, is split into 12 books of the individual prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. (24+11=35 books)
-Ezra-Nehemiah is split into individual books. (35+1=36 books)
-Samuel (1&2), Kings (1&2), and Chronicles (1&2) are each split into 2 books. (36+3=39 books)
Besides splitting some of the books in the Hebrew ‘Bible’ into multiple books, the Christian Old Testament books are in a different order. In the Hebrew ‘Bible’ Chronicles (1&2), is the last book.
The New Testament quotes from 29 books of the 39 books of the Old Testament. With another 5 that are referenced to. Jesus quoted from or spoke of 24 books of them. When looking at the original 24 books of the Hebrew Bible, only a few are not referred to in the New Testament. (Note 1) In all the New Testament quotes or makes reference to Old Testament Scripture almost 1000 times. http://mb-soft.com/believe/txh/ntot.htm
Jesus also made a statement in Luke 11:51 (Note 2) From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple... Genesis 4:10 speaks of the ‘blood of Abel’, and 2nd Chronicles 24:20-21 (Note 3) speaks of the killing of Zacharias. The first book of the Hebrew ‘Bible’ is Genesis and the last book is Chronicles. This statement from Jesus speaks from the first and the last of the Inspired Books.
The Apocrypha was written between 400-200 BC and it’s inspiration is questionable at best. It has never been part of the Inspired Hebrew ‘Bible’. Jesus and other New Testament writers made many references to the Inspired Text of the Hebrew ‘Bible’, but they never made any reference to the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha also contradicts the text of the Inspired Hebrew Bible. Never the less, the Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic religions consider the Apocrypha to be inspired and mix it in with their versions of the Old Testament. They also use a longer version of Esher than the Inspired Hebrew ‘Bible’.
In the service of the Most High God
Note 1 Of course the New Testament is not in any Jewish Holy Books, because they do not believe Jesus is the messiah.
Note 2 Also Matthew 23:35
Note 3 Some questioned the inspiration of Chronicles, but Jesus quoted from it just as He did other Inspired Books of the Hebrew Bible.