The Old Testament is the first section of the Christian Bible, written before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Christianity shares this scripture with Judaism, as the contents of the Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible differ in canonical structure and on the emphasis the community bestows upon the text. For example, most Christians consider the Old Testament written by human beings but inspired by the Holy Spirit, while most Jews consider the Pentateuch revelatory scripture. The Old Testament contains the Judeo-Christian creation story, the religious history of the Hebrew people, legal codes, prophetic writings, and psalms. The books of the Old Testament were canonized between the fifth century BCE and the first century CE, and the early Christian community preserved the text after splitting off from Judaism.
In the Christian tradition, the Old Testament is often interpreted as the prophetic text that portends the emergence of Jesus of Nazareth. Because of its sacred and revelatory position in the Jewish tradition, the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, is the theological basis for the conception that Christianity and Judaism share a common sacred history. Various Christian denominations disagree about the extent of the applicability of Old Testament moral and ethical codes in light of the teachings of the New Testament of the Bible. Some Christians argue that the New Testament supersedes the Old Testament and do not consider the laws therein as binding. However, for most mainstream Christians, the Old Testament provides the foundational structure of the biblical story and is the moral foundation of the Christian tradition.