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Bible 10-Minute Summary

This page has a very short, simplistic summary of the 66 books of the Bible.  The purpose is just to provide some context for the reader as you encounter quotes, histories, or other Biblical references. 

Please refer to more qualified sources for further research.  The book introductions in any good study Bible would be an easy place to start.  Happy studying!

Old Testament


  • Creation
  • Adam and Eve
  • The Fall, and the first promise of a Messiah/Redeemer to fix things (chapter 3 verse 15)
  • Cain and Abel
  • Noah
  • Abraham – The first date we know, about 1700 BC
  • son Isaac
  • grandsons Jacob and Esau
  • great-grandson Joseph (of the “coat of many colors”)
  • Relocating from Canaan to Egypt (1600 BC)


  • Slavery in Egypt
  • Moses (“burning bush”) (1200 BC)
  • Ten plagues until Pharaoh lets them go
  • Crossing the Red Sea
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Wandering in the wilderness because they didn’t trust to go into the Promised Land
  • Reaching the Promised Land (back to Canaan!) 40 years later


  • God’s laws for the new nation
  • Instructions on how His people were to approach their holy God


  • Getting started in their new land
  • Separated into 12 tribes named for Jacob and Joseph’s sons


  • Story of faithfulness and redemption
  • Great-grandmother of King David

1  & 2 Samuel/1 & 2 Kings/1 & 2 Chronicles

  • The kings of Israel, first anointed by the prophet Samuel
    • Saul – First king, started good but turned bad when jealous of David
    • David – Greatest king, planned the temple but not allowed to build it, wrote many of the Psalms (1000 BC)
    • Solomon – Wisest king, built the temple from David’s plans
    • 200-300 years of other kings
  • At one point split with 10 of the tribes becoming “Israel” and the other two becoming “Judah”
  • Pattern of evil/judgment/repentance/forgiveness
  • Finally, no more patience and complete judgment: exile to Babylon for 70 years in about 600 BC


  • Returning to the land and rebuilding the temple after the exile to Babylon, about 500 BC


  • Story of obedience and deliverance


  • Story of trust in God

Psalms/Proverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of Solomon

  • Poems, songs, and poetic wisdom literature
  • Psalms has prophecies of the Messiah, especially Psalm 22
  • Other favorite Psalms:
    • 8 “When I consider the heavens, the work of your hands…what is man that you are mindful of him?”
    • 19 “The heavens declare the glory of God”  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight.”
    • 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd.  I shall not want.”
    • 91 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Lord will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
    • 100 “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth”


  • Major prophet, lots of predictions of Messiah, especially chapters 9, 52-53, and 60-61


  • Major prophet, predictions of the exile to Babylon


  • Major prophet predicting and during the exile


  • During the exile to Babylon
  • “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”
  • “Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego in the Fiery Furnace”
  • Lots of predictions of the end times, especially chapter 7

Minor Prophets (“minor” as in shorter than Isaiah or Jeremiah, not minor in importance):

  • Hosea – Was told to marry a prostitute who kept being unfaithful to him, as a symbol of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah – Tried to avoid God’s call to preach to the enemy town of Nineveh, ended up going there in the belly of a fish!
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi – Last of the Old Testament, written in 400 BC

New Testament

Gospels (“Good News”) eyewitness accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah predicted throughout the Old Testament, written about 50-60 AD, 30 years or less after Jesus returned to heaven

  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John


  • The start of the church
  • Jesus’ ascension to Heaven
  • Coming of the Holy Spirit
  • The first deacons
  • The apostle Paul’s conversion from persecutor “Saul” to missionary/evangelist “Paul” (lived approximately 10 A.D. to 67 A.D.)

Paul’s letters to the churches in cities around Asia Minor

  • Romans
  • 1 & 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians

Paul’s letters to individuals

  • 1 & 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon

Other Letters

  • Hebrews 
  • James
  • 1 & 2 Peter
  • 1, 2, & 3 John


  • John’s vision of the end times and Jesus’ second coming, written about 90 AD (Same “John” as the Gospel writer, one of the original 12 disciples/closest followers of Jesus)