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I purposefully asked, "what is the storyline order of the Bible", because I don't want to know the order that the books were written in (which is chronological, I'm pretty sure.)

What I want to see is a list of the books of the Bible in order from the beginning of the Bible's story to the end. The first part of the story is obviously Genesis, and the end of the story is probably Revelation. Books that overlap stories, such as the Gospels, I think should be put on the same line. Like this:

Genesis

Etc.

Mathew, Mark, Luke, John,

Etc,

Revelation.

Thank you. The best answer would have a short overview of each book, such as,

"Genesis: an account of Creation to the death of Joseph."

  • An interesting question; but (1) not all parts of the Bible are intended to tell stories, and there are even some books that are part story and part other; (2) different groups of Christians refer to different collections of books as "The Bible". How might that affect a good answer? – Matt Gutting Apr 21 '15 at 2:43
  • @MattGutting ah yes, good point. the Bible as is the 39 books of the Bible, no apocyrphia. And for the books that don't tell a story, such as leviticus or pauls epistles, could be put near where they are likely to have been written/ made. such as Leviticus near the book where moses goes up into mount sinai, and paul's epistles in the order they were written. – Jeremy H Apr 21 '15 at 17:42
  • Then we have (e.g.) Revelation. Some denominations believe that's telling an actual story of the end times; some don't. My point is that I don't believe that there is a specific interpretation of the Bible common to all or even most Christians that allows a time line of the kind you're suggesting. I'd be interested to see otherwise though. – Matt Gutting Apr 21 '15 at 17:59
  • Basically you're asking for a chronological order of events. – ShemSeger Apr 21 '15 at 21:22
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    Check out biblehub.com/timeline it gives a complete listing of the order of events in the bible by approximate date. – ShemSeger Apr 21 '15 at 21:28
4

There are plenty of timelines of the Bible. I didn't find anything exactly matching your requirements, so here is a brief overview. Be aware that much of the Bible is not narrative, and there is not necessarily a 'historical order' to all of it. Note that I am assuming the common Protestant/Catholic ordering of the books.

Old Testament

  • Genesis - Judges History and prehistory of the Israelite nation, up until the founding of the Kingdom of Israel. Historically they are in the order they appear in the Bible
  • Ruth A side-story, contemporary with Judges
  • 1 & 2 Samuel, 1& 2 Kings. History of the Kingdoms of Israel, in the order in which they appear, up until the Exile of the Israelites
  • 1 & 2 Chronicles A retelling of the events of Samuel and Kings.
  • Esther takes place during the Exile
  • Ezra and Nehemiah are stories of the re-establishment of the Kingdoms of Israel after the Exile
  • Job is difficult to place in the timeline, and doesn't relate to the histories.
  • Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs are 'wisdom literature' and not narrative and don't really have a place in the timeline. Much of Psalms is traditionally attributed to King David, and the others to his son Solomon, which would relate them to the time of Samuel and Kings.
  • Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations are books of prophecy and not mainly narrative. They relate to the late period of the Kingdoms of Israel, before the Exile.
  • Ezekiel and Daniel are similar prophetic books relating to the Exile period.
  • The remaining books of the Old Testament are also prophetic, mainly relating to the last period of the Kingdoms of Israel.

New Testament

All New Testament events take place several hundred years after the last events recorded in the Old Testament.

  • The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are different tellings of Jesus' life story
  • Acts picks up the story after Jesus' resurrection
  • The remaining books are not narrative. They are all letters, except...
  • Revelation, which is again prophecy. It can be reasonably assumed that all the events described did/will take place after the end of Acts.
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You can purchase a Chronological Bible to see the timeline for yourself.

It even does cool things like place the Psalms in the middle of the book of 2nd Samuel (when David is mentioned) and mesh the 4 Gospels together in chronological order; all while maintaining the original book, chapter, and verse reference.

Also as ShemSeger pointed out in the comments you can see this very handy online chronological list.

  • 1
    that's cool. I will look at them. – Jeremy H Apr 22 '15 at 17:44

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