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Old Testament

The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by many Christians and by all religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. Its counterpart is the New Testament, the second part of the Christian Bible. The books that comprise the Old Testament canon differ between Christian Churches as well as their order and names. The most common Protestant canon comprises 39 books, the Catholic canon comprises 46 books, and the canons of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches comprise up to 51 books. The 39 books in common to all the Christian canons correspond to the 24 books of the Tanakh, with some differences of order, and there are some differences in text. The additional number reflects the splitting of several texts (Kings, Samuel and Chronicles, Ezra–Nehemiah and the minor prophets) into separate books in Christian bibles. The books which are part of a Christian Old Testament but which are not part of the Hebrew canon are sometimes described as deuterocanonical. In general, Protestant bibles do not include deuterocanonical books in their canon, but some versions of Anglican and Lutheran bibles place such books in a separate section called Apocrypha.

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