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Books of the Bible and Summary of Each

Old Testament - 39 Books Total:

Pentateuch - 5 books
Genesis Creation, the Fall, the Flood, spread of the nations, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Enslavement in Egypt.
Exodus Enslavement, Moses, 10 plagues, Passover, Leave Egypt, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai and the 10 Commandments
Leviticus Instructions on sacrificial system and the priesthood. Instructions on moral purity.
Numbers Still at Mt. Sinai, people make false idol, punishment, 40-years wandering begins.
Deuteronomy Moses' discourses on God's Acts for Israel the Decalogue, the ceremonial, civil, and social Laws, and covenant ratification.

Historical Books - 12 books
Joshua First half of Joshua describes the 7-year conquest of the Land of Promise. The last half deals with partitioning the lands to the people.
Judges Time of Judges. This was a bad time period. The Israelites did not drive out all the inhabitants of Canaan and began to take part in their idolatry. 7 cycles of foreign oppression, repentance, and deliverance. In the end, the people failed to learn their lesson.
Ruth Kinsman redeemer in Boaz, redeeming Ruth, a Moabitess. Speaks of righteousness, love, and faithfulness to the Lord.
1 Samuel Samuel carries Israel from judges to King Saul
2 Samuel David as King, adultery, and murder.
1 Kings Solomon, Israel is powerful. Solomon dies, then division of tribes: 10 to the north and 2 to the south.
2 Kings The Divided Kingdom. All 19 kings of Israel were bad, therefore, captivity in Assyria (722 B.C.). In Judah, 8 of 20 rulers were good but went into exile, too.
1 Chronicles A recounting of the history of Israel to the time of Solomon.
2 Chronicles Continued recounting of the life of Solomon, building of temple, to the captivity. History of Judah only.
Ezra Cyrus let most of the Jews return to their land of Israel. Zerubbabel led the people (539 B.C.). Ezra returned later with more Jews (458 B.C.) Built the temple.
Nehemiah Building the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah got permission from the king of Persia to rebuild the walls (444 B.C.). Revival in the land.
Esther Took place during chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra. Mordecai. Plot to kill the Jewish people.

Poetic Books - 5 books
Job A righteous man tested by God. Deals with God's sovereignty.
Psalms Consists of 5 divisions. Worship in song. Large variety of subjects.
Proverbs Practical wisdom in everyday affairs.
Ecclesiastes All is vanity. The wisdom of man is futility.
Song of Solomon A song (between Solomon and his Shulammite bride) displaying the love between a man and a woman.

Prophetic Books - 17 books
Isaiah Looks at the sin of Judah and proclaims God's judgment. Hezekiah. Coming restoration and blessing.
Jeremiah Called by God to proclaim the news of judgment to Judah, which came. God establishes a New Covenant.
Lamentations 5 lament poems. Description of defeat and fall of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel He ministered to the Jews in Captivity in Babylon. Description of the end of times.
Daniel Many visions of the future for the Gentiles and the Jews.
Hosea Story of Hosea and his unfaithful wife, Gomer. Represents God's love and faithfulness and Israel's spiritual adultery. Israel will be judged and restored.
Joel Proclaims a terrifying future using the imagery of locusts. Judgment will come, but blessing will follow.
Amos He warned Israel of its coming judgment. Israel rejects God's warning.
Obadiah A proclamation against Edom, a neighboring nation of Israel that gloated over Jerusalem's judgments. Prophecy of its utter destruction.
Jonah Jonah proclaims a coming judgment upon Nineveh's people, but they repented and judgment was spared.
Micah Description of the complete moral decay in all levels of Israel. God will judge but will forgive and restore.
Nahum Nineveh has gone into apostasy (approx. 125 years after Jonah) and will be destroyed.
Habakkuk Near the end of the kingdom of Judah, Habakkuk asks God why He is not dealing with Judah's sins. God says He will use the Babylonians. Habakkuk asks how God can use a nation that is even worse than Judah.
Zephaniah The theme is developed of the Day of the Lord and His judgment with a coming blessing. Judah will not repent except for a remnant, which will be restored.
Haggai The people failed to put God first by building their houses before they finished God's temple. Therefore, they had no prosperity.
Zechariah Zechariah encourages the Jews to complete the temple. Many messianic prophecies.
Malachi God's people are lax in their duty to God. Growing distant from God. Moral compromise. Proclamation of coming judgment.

*Source: Matt Slick via  

New Testament - 27 Books Total:

Historical Books - 5 books
Matthew Presents Jesus as the Messiah.  Genealogy of Jesus through Joseph.  Fulfillment of O.T. prophecy.
Mark Presents Jesus as the Servant.  1/3 of the gospel deals with the last week of His life.
Luke Presents Jesus as the Son of Man to seek and save the lost.  Genealogy of Jesus through Mary.  Largest of the gospels.
John Presents Jesus as God in flesh, the Christ, so that you might believe.
Acts Historical account from Jesus’ ascension to travels of Paul in his missionary journeys.

Pauline Epistles - 13 books
Romans A systematic examination of justification, sanctification, and glorification.  Examines God’s plan for the Jews and the Gentiles.
1 Corinthians This letter deals with factions and corrections due to immorality, lawsuits, and abuse of the Lord’s Supper.   Also mentions idols, marriage, and the resurrection.
2 Corinthians Paul’s defense of his apostolic position.
Galatians Paul refutes the errors of legalism and examines the proper place of grace in the Christian’s life.
Ephesians The believer’s position in Christ and information on Spiritual warfare.
Philippians Paul speaks of his imprisonment and his love for the Philippians.  He exhorts them to godliness and warns them of legalism.
Colossians Paul focuses on the preeminence of Jesus in creation, redemption, and godliness.
1 Thessalonians Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians.  Teachings on purity and mention of the return of Christ.
2 Thessalonians Corrections on the Day of the Lord.
1 Timothy Instructions to Timothy on proper leadership and dealings with false teachers, the role of women, prayer, and requirements of elders and deacons.
2 Timothy A letter of encouragement to Timothy to be strong.
Titus Paul left Titus in Crete to care for the churches there. Requirements for elders.
Philemon A letter to the owner of a runaway slave.  Paul appeals to Philemon to forgive Onesimus.

Non-Pauline Epistles - 9 books
Hebrews A letter to the Hebrew Christians in danger of returning to Judaism.  It demonstrates the superiority of Jesus over the O.T. system. Mentions the Melchizedek priesthood.  (Hebrews may be of Pauline origin.  There is much debate on its authorship).
James A practical exhortation of believers to live a Christian life evidencing regeneration.  It urges self-examination of the evidence of the changed life.
1 Peter Peter wrote this letter to encourage its recipients in the light of their suffering and be humble in it.  Mentions baptism.
2 Peter Deals with the person on an inward level, warnings against false teachers, and mentions the Day of the Lord.
1 John John describes true fellowship of the believers with other believers and with God. God as light and love.  Encourages a holy Christian walk before the Lord.  Much mention of Christian love.
2 John Praise for walking in Christ and a reminder to walk in God’s love.
3 John John thanks Gaius for his kindness to God’s people and rebukes Diotrephes.
Jude Exposing false teachers and uses O.T. allusions to demonstrate the judgment upon them. Contends for the faith.
Revelation A highly symbolic vision of the future rebellion, judgment, and consummation of all things.

*Source: Matt Slick via


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