St Teresa'sCatholic Primary School

'A welcoming family of God, growing and achieving together, with Jesus at our side.' "I am the vine and you are the branches"

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Learning Focus 3



The Books known to Christians as the ‘Old Testament’ are the ‘Hebrew Scriptures’ for Jewish people. Jesus was a Jew and would have been familiar with those Scriptures. ‘Scriptures’ means ‘writings’. The Old Testament is made up of:


  • The Pentateuch (the first five books, called the ‘Torah’ by
  • the Jewish people).
  • The Historical books (from Joshua to Maccabees).
  • The Wisdom books (from Job to Ecclesiasticus).
  • The Prophets (from Isaiah to Malachi).


They show how God gradually revealed himself to his people, as he promised to guide them and give them laws to live by. For Christians, the stories in the Old Testament tell of the events which prepared for the coming of Jesus. Usually the first reading at Mass on Sunday is from the Old Testament. At the Easter Vigil there are a number of readings from the Old Testament which tell the story of God’s loving relationship with his people.


* Watch the BBC learning zone 3666 about the Torah and 312 about the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Shepherds found these scrolls in clay jars buried in a cave near the Dead Sea. The Scrolls include fragments from every book of the Old Testament, except for the Book of Esther. The only complete book of the Hebrew Bible preserved among the scrolls is Isaiah. This copy, dated to the first century B.C., is considered the earliest Old Testament manuscript still in existence.


Recall the work done in Year 4 on Judaism, on the writing of the scrolls of the Torah.





Learning Focus 3: The Old Testament. Hebrew Scriptures


  1. Why is the Old Testament important for Christians as well as Jewish people?
  2. What is the Torah?
  3. Why is the Torah so important?


  • Research the Dead Sea scrolls. Find out about the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. Prepare a poster or powerpoint of your findings to share.