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The Bible was a collection of diverse documents written over a period of several hundred years, in two languages, Hebrew and Greek, rather than a single, uniform text. It includes a wide range of literary genres:
History: Much of the Old Testament is a history of the Jewish people. The historical books are told in chronological order and recount major events of importance to the community. Some of the most typical history books of the Old Testament are Joshua, Kings, and Chronicles.
Poetry: Several books in the Old Testament are poems, including Lamentations, Psalms, and Song of Songs. Although ancient Hebrew poetry is quite different from modern poetry, it is still aesthetically quite different from prose. This is why the Psalms were traditionally sung or chanted rather than spoken in many liturgical traditions.
Letters: The majority of books of the New Testament are actually letters written within the community of the early church, including the letters of St. Paul and of James, the brother of Jesus.
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