22 OT books?
Our English versions of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old
Testament) contain 39 books, while the Hebrew Scriptures themselves contain 24.
Josephus mentions 22, combining Ruth with Judges and Lamentations with Jeremiah.
This was done to correspond with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
The Jews did not divide the writings in the same manner as
today's translators divide them. For example: The minor prophets are grouped
together as the "Twelve"; Ezra and Nehemiah are taken together; Samuel, Kings
and Chronicles are each one book rather than two. These 24 (or 39) books
constitute the "Canon" of the Old Testament. The word "canon" is Greek and means
a straight rod, rule or measure; or, that which is measured by the "canon". The
canon of the Old Testament as we have it today was set in the time of Josephus;
by his time (circa 90 AD) the Apocryphal books, which had found their way into
the Septuagint, had been rejected. The Old Testament in the days of Josephus was
recognized as of ancient authority and divinely inspired.