To understand the divisions of the books of the Bible a person must understand the term "canon." The canon of Scripture refers to the list of books that are officially accepted as "divinely inspired" and thus rightfully belonging in the Bible. Only the canonical books are considered the authoritative Word of God. The process of determining the biblical canon was begun by Jewish scholars and rabbis and later finalized by the early Christian church toward the end of the fourth century.
Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Protestant, Catholic, Syriac, Slavonic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap.