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Simple Bible Overview

Bible Psalms

 A simple Bible overview can set the stage for where you’re headed.   Our Bible study guides with Bible charts and helps assist in directing us to the overall message and how the stories within it connect.

To many, the Bible may seem confusing; it may seem hard to know where to begin.

I love to read books, but usually before choosing or reading a book, I read the summary on the back or inside cover, or these days, the summary on Amazon!  This introduces me to the overall story and helps me understand where the author is taking the reader.

The Bible is God's love letter to us!  It's not just for studying if to obtain knowledge, but it is our guide to knowing Him!

One Page Bible Overview

Have you ever wondered how the Bible all fits together?  All 66 books actually contain one Big story - God's story of a promise. 

The following is a very simple, one page Bible overview that sums up The Story…His Story and how it affects each and every one of us.

The Promise - A One Page Bible Story Overview

Bible overview and tools

Bible Overview Charts

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I know seeing data on a chart really helps me! (I am such a visual learner.)

One of the most helpful tools that was presented to me when learning about the Bible was the organization of the books.  Knowing that there are groups and order helps me remember where to find a certain book. 

Old Testament

The Old Testament consists of 39 books arranged:

  • the first 5 books are called the Books of the Law or The Pentateuch and written by Moses, 
  • the next 12 are books of history, 
  • then 5 books of poetry or writings, 
  • 5 major prophet books 
  • and finally 12 minor prophet books.

Anytime I hear a name of a book that doesn't sound too familiar like Zephaniah, I immediately know it is most likely in the minor prophets at the end of the Old Testament.  Just a note...calling them minor prophets is not to diminish their value; they are called minor because the books are shorter.

Everything in the Old Testament points forward to the Messiah.  There is a 400 year gap of silence between the last book in the Old Testament, Malachi. 

New Testament

The New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus Christ and consists of 27 books:

  • The first 4 are Gospels which record the life of Jesus,
  • the Book of Acts records the history of the church,
  • the next 13 are letters written by Paul, 9 to churches and 4 to individuals,
  • then there are 9 letters written by other authors, the last being Revelation which is also a book of prophecy.

Bible book chart free

Printable copy of Books of the Bible Chart

Permission to print is granted for personal or teaching use  if copyright information is included.

Another helpful tool is a Chronological Bible Overview.  It helps us  see how the books fit together along the historical timeline.  Knowing that the Book of Ruth takes place during the period of the Judges helps me understand better the time period in which she was living.  The same goes for understanding when a certain prophet was prophesying...during captivity, before, or after.

Bible book chronological chart

Printable Old Testament Books Chart

Permission to print is granted for personal or teaching use  if copyright information is included.

The same goes for the New Testament.  A Bible overview of how the New Testament books fit together chronologically helps me to better understand the context from which the Bible writers were writing.

New Testament book chart

Printable New Testament Books Chart

Permission to print is granted for personal or teaching use  if copyright information is included.

Bible Overview Videos

Every Story Casts His Shadow

The Gospel Project does a wonderful job providing Bible lessons and studies that take us through the Bible.  Following is a short video that gives a wonderful overview of the Bible and how every story points to Jesus!

5 Minute Video Overview for Kids

The Gospel Coalition also put together a wonderful Bible overview video for kids or really it's great for any age!

Bible Overview
Books & Bible Story Books

If you're like me, the Bible story books I had when I was young contained the main Bible stories told in the traditional layout of the Bible.  Although there is nothing wrong with this, I didn't "catch" how the Bible was one big story of God's rescue and salvation plan.

There are several Bible story books now which focus on presenting a complete one story Bible overview by connecting each individual story into the overall story of the Gospel.

For Toddlers & Preschoolers

The Biggest Story ABC
By Kevin DeYoung

Toddler Bible

This board book is easy for a toddler to handle and is durable for little hands.  It is also great for preschoolers beginning to learn their ABC's.  

It moves from A - "In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve," moves through the Bible chronologically to Z - "One day we will live forever in Zion, the new world God is preparing for those who love Him," and includes a complete Bible overview including the Gospel which small children can build upon as they grow and mature.

The illustrations are colorful and for any ethnic background.

God's Great Plan Storybook Bible

God storybook

This is another wonderful Bible overview picture book for younger children.  It uses rhyming text and includes Scripture references throughout.  

Following God's promised salvation plan, it begins with creation, follows the Israelites through the Old Testament and then moves through the life of Jesus to His death and resurrection.

It includes many of the familiar Bible stories, and throughout the text we are reminded God has always had a salvation plan.

Preschool on Up

The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross
By Carl Laferton / Good Book Company

Gospel picture book

This is such a wonderful Bible overview picture book for any age...even adults!

It can be used for Sunday school, youth group, adult devotionals or for families to have on hand to remind us how it all fits together.

It is a unique tool to help explain why sin is so serious or to introduce a Bible study on the tabernacle/temple.  

A phrase that is continually repeated throughout is:

"God wanted people to remember:  It is wonderful to live with Him...but because of your sin, you can't come in."

Then it explains clearly how Jesus took our sin on Himself on the cross, the curtain (temple veil) tore showing how Jesus made a way for us to come in and enjoy God's presence once again.  It ends with Jesus's resurrection and our hope of living with God forever when we trust in Jesus, His Son.

The illustrations are creative and carry the mood of text for each page by using bright colors for creation, the temple, heaven, etc. and then using dull, darker colors when it speaks of sin and then the cross.  They also include a variety of skin tones throughout.

Special note: We do preview the websites to which we link, but are unable to peruse them completely. We try to check others' faith statements and make sure they do profess Jesus Christ as God's Son and salvation is found only in Him. It must, however, be your responsibility to personally dig into God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to be your first and final teacher on all subjects.

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