The Bible that Jews and Christians share is not the same in all respects. The order of the Hebrew scriptures—what Christians often call the Old Testament—varies in Jewish and Christians Bibles. The chart at right shows the differences. The Jewish Bible consists of three major sections: the Torah, or Pentateuch (the Five Books of Moses). Nevi’im the Prophets; and Ketuvim, the, Writing. The Prophets (Nevi’im) are divided into Former Prophets, consisting of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings; and the Latter Prophets (the literary prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets).
Bible scholar David Noel Freed-man calls the books of the Hebrew Bible from Genesis through Kings the Primary History. It tells the story of God’s promise of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people, their conquest of that land and their subsequent loss of it.
The Christian Bible basically follows the same order as the Jewish Bible from the beginning (Genesis) through the end of the Primary History (through the Former Prophets, i.e. Kings, in Jewish tradition). The only difference up to this point is that in Christian Bibles, Ruth is inserted after Judges.
After the Primary History, however, there are major differences. The most important is that the literary prophets (the Latter Prophets in Jewish tradition) are placed at the end of the Old Testament in Christian Bibles.