IMPORTANT BOOKS OF CHRISTIANITY
Most Important Christian Books of All Times
THE SACRED TEXTS OF CHRISTIANITY
The main book of Christianity is the Bible. Name derived from Latin word “Biblia”, which means Book. Bible has two parts the first part is called the Old Testament, which is almost the same as of the Jewish Bible while the second part is called New Testament that includes biographies of Jesus Christ and the apostles and teachings and writings of various Apostles.
The Old Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language with a few sections written in the Aramaic language. A Greek translation of the OT, called the Septuagint, was produced between 200 and 100 B.C. for the benefit of Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria, Egypt.
There are 39 Books in the Old Testament and 27 Books in the New Testament. OT and NT are further categorized into various sections, detail of which is given below. For reading interesting facts and figures about the Bible see Bible Statistics & Facts. For more information on each individual book of the Bible, please see Bible Summary.
Then Comes “The Apocrypha” name derived from Latin apocryphus, “secret, or non-canonical. These are a group of fifteen OT books, written during the period 170 B.C. to 70 A.D. Biblical Apocrypha is a set of texts included in the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. Apocryphal writings are a class of documents rejected as unworthy to be properly called Scripture. The books of the Apocrypha are included in Catholic versions of the OT, but not in most Protestant versions.
Didache. Also known as the Doctrine of the 12 Apostles. Didache is a first-century text and a brief work, shorter than Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The first line of this is “The teaching of the Lord to the Gentile. It has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization. It begins with moral instructions, organized in terms of “Two Ways” the Way of Life and the Way of Death. The Didache concludes with warnings to be vigilant in light of Christ’s imminent second coming.
NON SACRED, MOST READ POPULAR BOOKS
Written by Augustine of Hippo (354-430). Augustine was one of the earliest and most influential Christian writers and thinkers. Augustine’s Confessions is his spiritual autobiography. In this intensely personal narrative, Augustine tells the story of his sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. He describes his ascent from a humble farm in North Africa to a prestigious post in the Roman Imperial capital of Milan.
Book of Martyrs:
Written by John Foxe and published in 20 March 1563. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland.
Written by British-born Canadian Christian theologian J. I. Packer born in 1926-present. Packer is a evangelical writer and teacher in the Anglican tradition. Originally written as a series of articles for the Evangelical Magazine, it was first published as a book in 1973, having sold over 1,000,000 copies in North America alone and has been reprinted several times. Knowing God is an extended study on the character of God. The chapters explore various facets of His identity, including his wisdom, wrath, love, and grace.
Written by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) a Christian writer and apologist, best known for his series The Chronicles of Narnia. This book is adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1941 and 1944. It is considered a classic of Christian apologetics and describes the basics of the Christian faith. Lewis first explains the situation of the entire universe, then explains doctrine-by-doctrine what actually is Christians belief.
Written by John Piper. Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.
NON SACRED, MOST READ POPULAR BOOKS
The Pilgrim’s Progress:
Written by John Bunyan (1628-1688). It is a Christian allegory and is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature. It has been translated into more than 200 languages. The story revolves around a man named Christian. His problem is the huge burden on his back (the weight of sin). Christian embarks on a dangerous journey to seek relief from his burden and to find the Celestial City.
The Cost of Discipleship:
Written by a German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945). In his context of Nazi Germany, to follow Christ meant to resist the forces of evil and to preach Christ by living and speaking. The original German title was simply Nachfolge means “following”. It is centered on an exposition of the Sermon on the Mount first published in 1937, when the rise of the Nazi regime was underway in Germany and it was against this background that Bonhoeffer’s theology of costly discipleship developed, which ultimately led to his death.
Written by G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936). The book was written when Chesterton was an Anglican. He converted to Catholicism 14 years later. The title, Orthodoxy, is meant to avoid such sectarian questions. Orthodoxy is a thinking person’s search for meaning. This book has become a classic of Christian apologetics. Chesterton states the purpose is to “attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it.
Written by John Milton (1608–1674). Paradise Lost is an epic poem first published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse and describes the Fall of Man (Genesis 3) and all the events that preceded and followed this epochal event. Milton stated its purpose is to “justify the ways of God to men.”
The Divine Comedy:
Written by Dante Alighieri (1235-1321) an Italian poet of the late Middle Ages. The Divine Comedy is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem is an imaginative vision of the afterlife. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The narrative describes Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven. Allegorically the poem represents the soul’s journey towards God.
(The Law Books)
- Samuel 1
- Samuel 2
- Kings 1
- Kings 2
- Chronicles 1
- Chronicles 2
(The Wisdom Books)
- Songs of Solomon