Hebrew Bible 101

The number one best seller of all times, the text that has shaped, designed and influenced the history of humanity in general and the western civilization in particular – the Bible – was written originally in Hebrew.

According to the Jewish tradition, the Hebrew Bible has 24 books. Some of the books are counted as one unit and therefore referred to as a single book. The Hebrew Bible is divided into three parts: Torah {תורה} (‘first five books of Moses), ‘Nevieim’ {נביאים} (‘prophets’) and ‘Ketuvim’ {כתובים}(‘writings’ or ‘scriptures’). The three parts together are known by their Hebrew abbreviation ‘TaNaKh’ {תנ”ך} and that is the common name of the Bible in Hebrew.

From this name, ‘Tanakh,’ the name of Biblical Hebrew (in Hebrew) is derived – ‘Ivrit Tanakhit.’ {עברית תנ”כית} The Hebrew Bible begins with the creation of the world as found in the Book of Genesis (‘Bereshit’ {בראשית} in Hebrew) and ends with the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah and the rise of Cyrus the Great – King of Persia – which can be found in the Books of Chronicles (‘Diveri Ha-Yamim’ {דברי הימים} in Hebrew).