In the books that I have found for Bible English translation versions, I found summarizing titles for sections, but not for chapters. Is it correct that no Bible version provides titles for chapters that can somehow summarize the chapters? Is it possible to find summaries/synopsis for chapters? Thanks.

2 Answers 2


You might find a Study Bible helpful in this regard. Small sections within each chapter are explained at the bottom of each page. Although not exactly a summary or synopsis for each chapter, Study Bibles also provide invaluable information about the background to the authour, and circumstances surrounding the people, the time, and the place. Here are three Study Bibles that I use:

  • New International Version Study Bible
  • New Living Translation Study Bible
  • English Standard Version Study Bible

Another way of obtaining a summary of each Bible book/letter is to go online. Try What is a quick summary of each of the 66 books of the Bible?.

More detailed information on each book of the Bible is given at Got Questions: Search Results for "summary of".

I hope that is helpful to you.

  • 1
    @ Tim-of the best Bibles that exists is the Thompson Chain Reference Bible! It not only has chapter summaries at the beginning of each chapter, it provides scriptural references for stories repeated in the Synoptic Gospels. Plus it gives a summary of each book in the Bible at the back section of the Bible...plus so much more information, maps, and charts that makes studying the Bible easy. (You might check out the Naves Study Bible, as well.)
    – ray grant
    Oct 17, 2023 at 22:14
  • Thanks. Which study bible is the best across the translation versions?
    – Tim
    Oct 23, 2023 at 14:12
  • @Tim - Is your question directed at Ray Grant or at me?
    – Lesley
    Oct 23, 2023 at 14:15
  • sorry, at you @Lesley
    – Tim
    Oct 23, 2023 at 16:38
  • No problem, Tim. My preference is the English Standard Version Study Bible. They offer a free Online Study Bible when a print edition is purchased. Go to: www.esvstudybible.org
    – Lesley
    Oct 24, 2023 at 6:33

You seem to be aware that many Bibles provide summaries of sections, but you are looking for a bible that provides summaries of chapters.

The reason that you aren't finding these is that the chapter separations were not always chosen to indicate passages with a common theme together. The chapters were added long after the text of the Bible was written, by fallible humans. While they are almost universally agreed on they are not infallible. The original books were certainly not written with chapter divisions in mind.

This means that chapters sometimes contain multiple passages with unconnected meanings in them. A header for Romans chapter 1 would have to say something like "Introduction and greetings, Paul's longing to visit Rome, and the nature of God's Wrath". A bit long for a chapter heading. It's much better to have three separate sections within the chapter.

It also means that passages which are clearly talking about a single theme sometimes span chapters. The last few verses of Romans 9 share a theme with Romans 10. Any header to chapter 10 is going to have to say "Israel's unbelief continued" which also isn't helpful. Single-theme passages are also sometimes a matter of opinion, which is why different translations have different sections.

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