Quick Overview of Bible Books and Divisions
STUDY REFERENCE
Seeing the Plan of God Thru His Word

 

Quick Overview of Bible Books and Divisions*


 

OLD TESTAMENT

Genesis 1:1 - Malachi 4:4
The Story of the Nation of Israel and Her Coming Messiah

 

Pentateuch (the writings of Moses)

Genesis 1:1 - Deuteronomy 34:12
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers Deuteronomy
The Revelation of The Law of God

 

Genesis 1:1 - 50:26 (written by Moses)
The Book of Beginnings

 

Creation: beginning of God's dealings with men, and with Israel
Israel: first sin, first sacrifices; first man, first family
Men: first fathers of the Jewish nation, first captivity (Egypt), first Revelation of God's names (Jehovah and Elohim)

Creation 1-2
    Adam
    Seth
The Fall into sin 3
The Flood, Government 6-10
    Noah
   Babel
    Abraham
    Isaac,
    Jacob
    Joseph
        12 Tribes of Israel (Jacob)

 

Exodus 1:1 - 40:38 (written by Moses)
Israel: Subjection, Emancipation, Departure, Revelation, Bondage 1
Birth and life of Moses
    Egyptian Prince - 40 years
    Midianite shepherd - 40 years
Jehovah calls Moses 2
Moses Objections 4
Moses, Aaron before Pharaoh (Ramses II) 5-12
Plagues 7:20-12:30
Passover 12-13
Red Sea Crossing 14:21-31
Song of Praise 15
Israel in the Wilderness 16-19
Ten Commandments and Law 20-24
Tabernacle 25-31
Golden Calf 32
Wanderings in the wilderness - until
    The setting up of the Tabernacle 33-40

 

Leviticus 1:1 - 27:34 (written by Moses)
The Way to God, The Walk with God, Law, Acceptable Worship

Offerings to God 1-7
Holiness before God 11-15
Day of Atonement 16
Seven Feasts of Jehovah 21-23
Dietary, sanitary, marital, moral, civil, and ritual laws.
The Land, the Poor, Objects and People dedicated to the Lord
Vows to God, Warnings against forgetting and forsaking the Lord.

 

Numbers 1:1 - 36:13 (written by Moses)
Sinai to Kadesh - 40 years for an 11 day journey

Numbering of the men over twenty,
set-up of the camp, priests' duties before God and men,
rules against moral defilement of the camp,
rules for solemn assemblies,
Wilderness wanderings (11-20), preparation to enter Canaan
The Promised Land (to Abraham)
Rules of inheritance and cities of refuge.

 

Deuteronomy 1:1 - 34:12 (written by Moses)
Retelling the Law of God, Ratifying the Covenant

Moses recites the Law before the Israelites enter Canaan;
Shema (6:4-5) The call to devotion to the One God, Jehovah
Blessings of obedience (28:1-14)
Penalties of disobedience, Prophecies shoot the 12 tribes (33)
Death of Moses (34)

 


Old Testament Books of History
Joshua 1:1 - Esther 10:3

Joshua 1:1 - 24:33 (written by Joshua)
Into the Land of Promise
The Faithfulness of God, The Law of God, The Holiness of God
Joshua - God's people conquer, divide and settle Canaan

 

Judges 1:1 - 21:25 (anonymous)
Apostasy: Every Man Does what is Right in His Own Eyes
Judges - Israel under 15 judges (rescuers) between the death of Joshua and the birth of Samuel.
"Every man did what was right in his own eyes."

 

Ruth 1:1 - 3:18 (anonymous)
The Complete Picture of God and His People (Israel, and The Church)
Ruth - Named for one of the women in the lineage of Jesus, this is a tender love story, taking place in Bethlehem.

 

1 Samuel 1:1 - 31:13 (portions written by Samuel, Nathan, and Gad)
Samuel the Last Judge to Saul the First King

Biographies of:
    Samuel 1-7
    Saul 8-15
    David 16-31

Samuel was the last judge;
God's people demanded a king,
so God commanded Samuel to anoint Saul.
When Saul disobeyed God, Samuel anointed David the Shepherd.

 

2 Samuel 1:1 - 24:25 (written by Samuel and others)
David the King of Israel

2 Samuel - The account of the forty year reign of David

 

1 Kings 1:1 - 22:53 (written by Jeremiah the prophet)
The making of the 2 Kingdoms of Israel and Judah

    The forty year reign of Solomon 2-11
    The civil war when the Kingdom was divided by Jeroboam's rebellion 12-16
    The ministry of Elijah

 


2 Kings 1:1 - 25:30 (written by Jeremiah the Prophet)
The Kingdoms Divided, the final curse upon Judah for Disobedience

    The history of the Divided Kingdom
        "Israel" 10 Northern Tribes
        "Judah" 2 Southern Tribes
    Elijah 1-2
    Elisha 2-9
    Northern monarchy 9-17
        Assyrian Captivity 721 BC
    Southern monarchy 18-25
        Babylonian Captivity 606 BC - 536 BC

 

1 Chronicles 1:1 - 29:30 (written by Ezra the Prophet)
Genealogies to David and His Reign as King

The books titled "Kings" were probably written by a priest or a prophet
since they attribute the downfall of the kingdoms to rebellion against God.
The chronicler books record basically the same history, but without religious comment.
I Chronicles tells about David

2 Chronicles 1:1 - 36:21 (written by Ezra the Prophet)
Solomon and the latter Kings of Judah

    Solomon's reign 1-9
    The Divided Kingdom 10
    History of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) until the captivity 11-36

Ezra 1:1 - 10:44 (written by Ezra)
The Return from Babylonian Captivity

    Zerubabel led 49,897 people back to Palestine after 70 years of captivity in Babylon (Persian control) 1-6
    They rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem 5212-516 BC.
    In 458 BC about 7,000 more people returned under Ezra's leadership 7-10

 

Nehemiah 1:1 - 13:31 (written by Nehemiah)
Rebuilding the walls of the Temple, Renewing the Covenant, Remaking the Nation of Israel

In 445 B, Nehemiah led the people in rebuilding the city walls despite opposition by God's enemies 1-7
He also led the people back into proper worship of Jehovah, by purifying the priesthood 8-13


Esther 1:1 - 10:3 (anonymous)
The Deliverance of God's People among the Persians

A Jewish girl becomes Queen of Persia, but risks her life to keep God's people from being wiped out.

Old Testament Books of Poetry and Wisdom
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon, Canticles)

Job 1:1 - 41:17 (anonymous - Oldest book in Bible)
God, a Man named Job, and Satan
A contemporary of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob), Job was afflicted by Satan; his wife and three friends blamed the losses of fields, family and flocks on Job for sinning.
God asks 77 questions of Job.

God vindicated Job. Blameless before God 1:1
Prosperity 1:2-3
Poverty, pain and persecution from Satan 1:13-2:10
Philosophies of Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar 2:11-32:1
Philosophy of Elihu 32:2-37:24
Person, power, and providence of Jehovah 38-41
Prayer of Job and prosperity restored 42

 

Psalms 1:1 - 150:6 (Authors: David - 73, Asaph - 12, Korahites - 12, Solomon - 2, Moses - 1, Ethan - 1)

These songs were used to praise God in the Temple during the prescribed feasts.
In richly poetic language, the Psalms present God as shepherd, shield, savior, etc.
Every compound name of Jehovah is to be found in the context of these songs.

Book I (Psalms 1-41)   Worship of the Ever-Becoming One
Book II (42-72)           Worship of the Miracle-Working God
Book III (73-89)          Worship of the Mighty Helper
Book IV (90-106)        Worship of the Governing King
Book V (107-150)        Worship of the Redeemer

The Keynote to the entire book is in 1:1-2
Each book book begins with a keynote to the section.
Each book ends with a prayer or a blessing to God.

 

Highlights include:
Psalm 19    God's power revealed in Nature and His Word
Psalm 22    Messiah, Savior - suffering servant of God
Psalm 23    Messiah, Shepherd - Sustainer of His people
Psalm 24    Messiah, Sovereign - supreme over all
Psalm 45    Passover song - Messiah, King
Psalm 72    Messiah reigning on earth
Psalm 90    Moses' praise for God's eternal care of Israel
Psalms 95-100, 103-118       Praise for God's goodness to Israel
Psalms 113-118, 136    Passover Psalms - song during and after the meal
Psalm 119                  Values of God's Word
Psalm 139                  God's care for individuals
Psalm 120-150            The Hillel Psalms - "Praise the Lord!"
The climax - "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!"

 

Proverbs 1:1 - 31:31 (written by Solomon and others)
Wisdom for living

Capsules of wisdom, written by Solomon for the education of "a wise son."

 

Ecclesiastes 1:1 - 12:14 (written by Solomon)
Futility of human wisdom, pleasure and wealth, materialism;
Designs for Life and Living

Solomon's search for satisfaction leads him to God, since all apart from Him is vanity.
This is a pessimistic view of life without God to show us the futility of every activity in life that is not under His control.

Song of Songs 1:1 - 8:14
The Winning of those who Love The Lord

 

Also called "Song of Songs," or "Canticles."
Solomon's love song picturing God's love for Israel.
(Hosea seems to show Israel's attitude toward God.)

 


Old Testament Books of Prophecy
Isaiah 1:1 - Malachi 4:4

 

Old Testament Major Prophets
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel

Isaiah 1:1 - 66:24 (written by Isaiah)
The Program of God through Judah, Jerusalem, and the Nations

Israel's rebellion against God, God's call to repent and return 1-9
Israel's commission 6
Downfall of the heathen kingdoms 13-24
    Babylon, Moab, Syria, Egypt, Tyre and Assyria
Isaiah tells the coming of Messiah, His suffering, His glory and His earthly Kingdom and the restoration of Israel

 

Jeremiah 1:1 - 52:34 (written by Jeremiah)
Prophetic Judah and the Nations

Isaiah and Jeremiah were written to the Southern Kingdom before the captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem

 

Lamentations 1:1 - 5:22 (written by Jeremiah)
Tears and Prayers for Judah and Jerusalem

 

The book of Lamentations describes the Jews in captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem. It is written by Jeremiah, and its poetic quality is beautiful.

 

Ezekiel 1:1 - 48:35 (written by Ezekiel)
The House of Israel, the Captivity in Babylon

 

Ezekiel and Daniel were written to all the Jews in Babylon during the exile to show God's judgment on Gentile world powers and His restoration of the believing remnant.
They also encouraged faithfulness to Jehovah.

 

Daniel 1:1 - 12:13 (written by Daniel)
Daniel's Vision of the Plan of God for Israel


Old Testament Minor Prophets


Group-1 - Hosea (Israel), Joel (Judah), Amos (Israel), Obadiah (Nations)

These were written to the Northern Kingdom before their exile 721 BC to warn of impending doom,
but the people, led by their kings, refused to repent. Obadiah is directed to the people of Edom to warn of punishment for sin.

 

Hosea 1:1 - 14:9 (written by Hosea)
Love, Chastisement, and Restoration of God's Prodigal People Israel

Joel 1:1 - 3:21 (written by Joel)
The Day of the Lord - The Desolation and Deliverance of Israel

 

Amos 1:1 - 9:15 (written by Amos)
Prophecies, Sermons, and Visions concerning Israel and Her Future

Obadiah 1:1-21 (written by Obadiah)
The Judgment and Destruction of Edom (Descendants of Esau, Jacob's brother)

 

Group-2 - Jonah (Nations), Micah (Judah), Nahum (Nations)

Jonah 1:1 - 4:11 (written by Jonah)
God's Evangelism is to the Whole World

 

Jonah was written to show God's people what happens to a nation who hears God's Word and repents.
It concerns the people of Nineveh, capital of Assyria.
These people repented and God spared their city for about 250 years.

 

Micah 1:1 - 7:20 (written by Micah)
Destruction to Samaria and Judah, but promised Blessing to come

 

Micah preached to the Southern Kingdom, Judah, but especially to Samaria about God's hatred of their sin.
He is a Pre-Captivity prophet.

 

Nahum 1:1 - 3:19 (written by Nahum)
The Majesty and Judgment of God

 

Nahum wrote about 150 years after Jonah, again warning the people of Nineveh to turn to God.
Everything he predicted about the city happened as foretold about one hundred years earlier.

 

Group-3 - Habakkuk (Judah), Zephaniah (Judah)

 

Habakkuk 1:1 - 3:19 (written by Habakkuk)
"The Lord is in His Temple, let ALL be silent before Him"

 

Habakkuk was written to the people of Judah before their captivity.
It forewarns of the invasion of Judah, but also foretells the doom of the Chaldeans (Babylonians).

 

Zephaniah 1:1 - 3:20 (written by Zephaniah)
Judgment and Blessing - even through Babylon

 

Zephaniah (Pre-Exile) tells about the coming invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.
The fall of several Gentile nations surrounding Israel is told about twenty years before it took place.

 

Group-4 - Haggai (Post Captivity), Zechariah (Post Captivity), Malachi (Post Captivity)
These were written to all the Jews who returned from the captivities to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.

 

Haggai 1:1 - 2:23 (written by Haggai)
The Construction of the Temple and Confidence in the Future

 

Haggai's message was encouragement to finish rebuilding the Temple.

 

Zechariah 1:1 - 14:21 (written by Zechariah)
Consolation and Hope in the 2nd Coming of Christ

 

Zechariah deals with God's plans for the Gentile nations in the future, and with His plans for His own people under their Messiah (1000 year reign).

 

Malachi 1:1 - 4:6 (written by Malachi)
Rebuke for the neglect of True Worship – Repent

 

Malachi wrote after the Temple had been rebuilt and worship had been re-established.
God calls His priests and His people to pure worship, and encourages them with assurances of His love and care.

 


400 YEARS OF PROPHETIC SILENCE FROM GOD



NEW TESTAMENT
Matthew 1:1 - Revelation 22:21

The Gospels
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

 

Matthew 1:1 - (written by Matthew)
Christ as KING, written to the JEWS (The King and His Kingdom)

 

His Person, preaching and passion are presented
The Tax gather for the Roman Government
Matthew's familiarity with government shows through.
We find him sensitively selecting details about the government of the Messiah

 

Mark 1:1 - (written by Mark)
Christ as SAVIOR, written to the ROMANS (The Man and His Mission)

 

His sanctification, His service and His Sacrifice are presented by John Mark, the close associate of Peter

 

Luke 1:1 - (written by Luke)
Christ as MAN, written to the GREEKS

 

His being, birth, baptism
His temptation, teaching, transfiguration,
His Cross, His commission, His coming again,
Luke, the Greek medical doctor.
Luke, the careful researcher and historian.
Luke gives us a good picture of the human personality of the Messiah.

 

John 1:1 - (written by John, the Disciple that Jesus Loved)
Christ as the WORD OF GOD, written to ALL MEN (The Son and His Salvation)

 

John selects seven miracles and teachings of Jesus to lead men to faith in Him.
Jesus is the eternal incarnate, saving Son of God.
John presents the Messiah's claims in Jesus' own words:
I AM Messiah
I AM Jehovah
I AM The Bread of Life
I AM The Light of the world
I AM The Door
I AM The Good Shepherd
I AM The Resurrection and the Life
I AM The Way, The Truth, and the Life
I AM The Vine
I AM The King
In figurative language, Jesus claims to be all that men need in every situation of life.

 

The History of the Transition from the Synagogue to the Church

Acts (written by Luke)
The First 30 Years of the Church

 

 

The History of the early church after the ascension of its founder.
Continuation of St. Luke's account in the Book of Luke.
Basically it is in two parts:
    The Gospel to the Jews first, and the Gospel to the Church at Jerusalem, Peter, James and John, apostles
    The Gospel also to the Greeks, the church as Antioch, Syria, introducing Paul and Barnabas.
Peter - Acts 1-14
Paul - Acts 15-28
The Gospel is preached in:
    Jerusalem,
    All Judaea,
    Samaria,
    and to the uttermost part of the earth.

The Pauline Epistles
Romans, 1+2 Corinthians, Galatians
Paul's Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon)
Paul's Pastoral Epistles (1+2 Timothy, Titus)

The Pauline General Epistles
Romans, 1+2 Corinthians, Galatians

 

Romans (written by Paul)
The Righteousness of God Explained

 

St Paul's letter to the church at Rome is a logical presentation of doctrine covering:

Man's sinful condition
God's merciful provision
Paul's desire for the Jews
The Christian's faith-walk with God

 

1 Corinthians (written by Paul)
Spiritual and Moral Problems Faced

 

1 + 2 Corinthians are St. Paul's letters to the believers in Corinth and is his longest.
Because of their pagan surroundings, the Christians had to fight immorality, idolatry, and worldliness.

 

They had many questions about the Christian's life.
St. Paul patiently answers these questions.
Topics covered include:
    Paul's calling
    Their sinful divisive spirit
    Their unity in Christ
    The proper use of a Christian's body
    Marriage
    Spiritual gifts
    Love
    The resurrection and
    The Second Coming

 

2 Corinthians (written by Paul)
Joy for the Corinthian changes, Encouragement toward Holiness

 

In 2 Corinthians, he deals with:
    The Christians ministry to the lost world
    The fellowship of believers
    The believer's giving
    God's Grace, and
    His final encouragements

 

Galatians (written by Paul)
Justification by Faith Explained

Legalizers and Judaizers crept into the church shortly after Paul set it up.
They taught that in order to become a Christian, a person first had to become a Jew.
They said Christian men had to be circumcised, all Christians had to obey the Law, and had to observe the Sabbath.
Paul's letter shows that the Law was meant only to bring men to freedom in Christ.
He cogently sets forth his case in 3:24-29

The Prison Epistles (written by Paul)
(Written While Paul was Imprisoned in Rome)
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon

Ephesians (written by Paul, from prison)
The Establishment of the Body of Christ

This letter, probably meant for the churches of Laodicea and Ephesus, very clearly shows the Christian's position In Christ.
Paul shows how this doctrine (chapters 1-3) affects our behavior (chapters 4-6).
Christ is presented as the head of the Church.

 

Philippians (written by Paul, from prison)
Christ and the Christian Life

 

Paul's letter, written from prison in Rome, is a song of joy.
His main plea is "Let the mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
It shows:
    the single mind,
    the submissive mind,
    the satisfied mind, and
    the serving mind.

 

Colossians (written by Paul, from prison)
Warning Against Using the Mosaic Law to find Righteousness

Paul directs this letter against mystics (Gnostics) and ascetics.

 

He seeks to correct errors which have been brought into the Church by false prophets.
He shows the exalted position of Christ as Creator and Savior, and
Shows that our response to Him should be "Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord."

 

1 Thessalonians (written by Paul - General Pauline Epistles)
Encouragement in Persecution and teaching about The Day of the Lord

 

Paul explains the second coming of Jesus and what happens to the believers [dead and alive] when Jesus comes.
In chapters 4-5, Paul stresses the importance of holiness in light of Christ's return.

 

2 Thessalonians (written by Paul - General Pauline Epistles)
Encouragement in Persecution and teaching about The Day of the Lord

Paul deals with the apostasy or falling away in the end times.
Paul's closing plea is for the Thessalonians to imitate his faith.

The Pastoral Epistles (written by Paul)
(Instructions for young pastors)
1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus

1 Timothy (written by Paul, Pastoral)
The Behavior of the Body of Christ

 

2 Timothy (written by Paul, Pastoral)
The Behavior of the Body Concerning the Future

 

1 + 2 Timothy - Paul's letter to a young pastor (elder) on how to:
    Administer the Church at Ephesus
    The importance of correct doctrine, and
    Reliance on the Word of God
Warning is given about the Last Days.

 

Titus (written by Paul, Pastoral)
The Behavior of the Body of Christ Concerning the Holy Spirit

 

Paul's letter to another young pastor-teacher on how to administer the Church in Crete.

 

Philemon (written by Paul, written from prison - Prison Epistles)
The Value of the Individual

 

Paul's letter on behalf of a runaway slave who has accepted Christ as his Savior, and who is returning from Rom to his master, Philemon.
Paul plays on the name, Philemon, which in Greek means "Loving."

 

Hebrews (author uncertain)
The Superiority of Christ

A letter to Jewish Christians showing the New Covenant superior to the Old Covenant [The Law].

Jesus is shown as better:
    Than the angels, because He is the Son of God
    Than Moses and the O.T. prophets, because He is the Son of God
    Than the Sacrifices, because He is the Son of God in the flesh
The obedience, submission and faithfulness of Jesus as a man is seen very clearly. Since He, Himself: entered flesh, He is the understanding High Priest, who "once for all" offered Himself for our sins, and having thoroughly purged us from our sins, He has sat down on the right hand of His Father in majesty.

The General Epistles
James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

James (written by James the Apostle, half brother of Jesus)
Practical Christianity

James, the half-brother of Jesus, shows that faith in Christ produces good works.

This manual on Christian living is believed to be the first N.T. book written.

 

1 Peter (written by the Apostle Peter)
The Believer and The Grace of God

 

2 Peter (written by the Apostle Peter)
Christianity VS Heresy


In books 1+2, Peter wrote about:
    Patience in suffering
    The Christian's blessings in Christ,
    The cost of salvation,
    The authority of God's Word,
    The doom of false teachers, and
    The Lord's coming in Judgment.

 

1 John (written by the Apostle John, the one whom Jesus Loved)
Contrasts in the Life of a Christian

 

2 John (written by the Apostle John, the one whom Jesus Loved)
Walking in the Commandments of Christ

 

3 John (written by the Apostle John, the one whom Jesus Loved)
Traveling Ministers and two contrasting lives

 

John 1-2-3 were written to combat first-Century Gnosticism.
John's letters deal with knowing God through His incarnate Son and not by mystical Gnosis.
He also writes concerning understanding love, and enjoying Christian fellowship.
Gnostics taught that the body was sinful... the spirit was good... therefore, Jesus could not have had a body of flesh, and that
knowledge of God comes through the mind or spirit, not through eye-witness contact.

 

Jude (written by the half-brother of Jesus and full brother of James)
The Problem of False Teachers

 

Jude, another of Jesus' half brothers, wrote this very short letter.
It warns early Christians to contend for the true faith, the faith taught by the Apostles.
He warns of certain doom to false teachers (using good O.T. examples).
He exhorts Christians to "build yourselves up in the Most Holy Faith.


The Revelation of Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, to the Apostle John (written by the Apostle John, son of Zebedee)
The Day of the Lord - The Tribulation, The Millennium, The Eternal State

 

In a category by itself, John writes concerning the Unveiling of Jesus as the Omega.
Only in human history does Jesus become the Alpha and the Omega - the Alpha in Genesis, and the Omega in Revelation.
John writes what God showed him of the consummation of human history.
God controls human history.
God is the beginner of it, the sustainer of it, and the end of it.
Jesus Christ 1:1-8
Church 1:9-3:22
Tribulation 4:1-19:21
Chapters about the Jews 7:1-17; 10:1-11:14; 14:1-3; 16:13-16; 20:1-22:21
There are SEVEN messages to Churches represented by the seven-fold Lampstand of the Tabernacle:
    Seals
    Trumpets
    Personages
    Vials
    Seven Dooms
    Seven "New" Things


 

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