The Forty-Nine Bible Books
There are numerous Jewish authorities going back to the first century who testify to the original number of Old Testament books as being 22 and that this number was selected to equal each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Also, the 22nd creation in Genesis chapter one was Adam (God’s object in completing creation), and the 22nd generation from Adam was Jacob whose name was changed to Israel (which group of people became the ideal and complete nation).
The New Testament has 27 books to make the whole Bible to equal 49 (7 times 7) which is the number signifying supreme completeness in biblical symbolism. But the number 27 is also 9 plus 9 plus 9. The number "9" is associated with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. There are 9 administrations of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:5-10), and 9 gifts of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), and around the throne of the Father there is Christ and the Seven Angels which make a complete group of 9 "Spirits" (Revelation 1:4,5).
If one puts all of the Hebrew and Greek books of the Bible in their original order in a schematic way, there would be 22 books on the left side of the 5 central books of the Bible which are the 5 historical books of the New Testament and 22 books on the right side of the central 5. This is the Hebrew way of looking at the complete Bible with the feature being the Hebrew alphabet which has 22 letters. If, on the other hand, one looks at it from the Greek (or Gentile) point of view, then there are 24 books on the left side of the central book of the whole Bible (the Gospel of Luke – which is a Gospel designed specifically for the Gentiles) and there would be 24 books on the right side of that central Gentile Gospel of Luke. This is the Greek or Gentile way of looking at the complete Bible with the feature being the Greek alphabet which has 24 letters.
Thus the Hebrew way of looking at the whole Bible is to see the 5 central books being the Gospels/Acts (the historical books of the Bible about Christ Jesus both on earth and in heaven). This would make sense to Jews because they looked on Moses as giving them the Torah which was the first 5 books of the Bible and the Messiah (the Prophet to come of Moses’ prophecy) as giving them the central 5 books of the New Testament Torah because Jesus was the second Moses.
But the Gentiles were prone to look on one central book which was not an emphasis on the Torah (the Torah of the Old Testament did not pertain to Gentiles), so their central book becomes the Gospel of Luke which was specifically designed to be the Gentile Gospel (written by Luke but inspired by the apostle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles). So, which ever way one looks at the 49 books of the complete Bible (the Hebrew or the Gentile way), the center is still on Christ Jesus and his central role in all the Holy Scriptures.
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