A modern printed edition of the Tanakh.

Tanakh (תנ״ך) (also Tanach, Tenakh or Tenak) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. The acronym is formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Tanakh's three traditional subdivisions:

  1. Torah (תורה), meaning "teaching" or "law," includes the Five Books of Moses. The printed form of the Torah is called "the Chumash" (חומש), meaning "five-part." The Torah is also known by its Greek name, "the Pentateuch," which similarly means "five scrolls."
  2. Nevi'im (נביאים), meaning "Prophets." This division includes the books which, as a whole, cover the chronological era from the entrance of the Israelites into the Land until the Babylonian captivity of Judah (the "period of prophecy"). However, they exclude Chronicles, which covers the same period. The Nevi'im are often divided into the Earlier Prophets, which are generally historical, and the Later Prophets, which contain more exhortational prophecies.
  3. Ketuvim (כתובים), meaning "Writings," are sometimes also known by the Greek title "Hagiographa." These encompass all the remaining books, and include the Five Scrolls. They are sometimes also divided into such categories as the "wisdom books" of Job, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs, the "poetry books" of Psalms, Lamentations and Song of Solomon, and the "historical books" of Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles.

The Tanakh is the equivalent of the Protestant Old Testament. The Catholic and Orthodox Old Testaments both contain material that the Tanakh and Protestant Old Testament do not. The name Old Testament is not used by Jews because, according to Judaism, there is no New Testament. In academic writing the Tanakh is often referred to as the "Hebrew Bible", to avoid using terms that are specific to either Christians or Jews.

Books of the Tanakh[]

Torah (Law)[]

Nevi'im (Prophets)[]

Nevi'im Rishonim (Former Prophets)[]

  • Yehoshua (Joshua)
  • Shophtim (Judges)
  • Shmu'el (I Samuel & II Samuel)
  • Mlak'him (I Kings & II Kings)

Nevi'im Aharonim (Latter Prophets)[]

  • Yesha'ayahu (Isaiah)
  • Yirmyahu (Jeremiah)
  • Yekhezqiel (Ezekiel)

Trei Asar (The Twelve)[]

  • Hoshea (Hosea)
  • Yo'el (Joel)
  • Amos (Amos)
  • Ovadhaya (Obadiah)
  • Yonah (Jonah)
  • Mikhah (Micah)
  • Nakhum (Nahum)
  • Khavhakuk (Habakkuk)
  • Tsephanyah (Zephaniah)
  • Khaggai (Haggai)
  • Zkharyah (Zechariah)
  • Mal'akhi (Malachi)

Ketuvim (Writings)[]

Sifrei Emet[]

  • Tehillim (Psalms)
  • Mishlei (Proverbs)
  • Iyyobh (Job)

Hamesh Megillot[]

  • Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs)
  • Ruth (Ruth)
  • Eikhah (Lamentations)
  • Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes)
  • Ester (Esther)


  • Dani'el (Daniel)
  • Ezra (Ezra and Nehemiah)
  • Divrei ha-Yamim (I Chronicles and II Chronicles)

It needs to be understood that the Beta Israel Canon contains material that isn't in the standard Tanakh and the Protestant Old Testament. Some of this material is also in the Catholic and/or Orthodox Old Testament(s).

Some of the material of the Catholic and Orthodox Old Testaments and Beta Israel Canon is in some Protestant Bibles in a section called the Apocrypha.

See also[]

External links[]