Books of the Bible and Summary of Each

Old Testament – 39 Books Total:

Pentateuch – 5 books
GenesisCreation, the Fall, the Flood, spread of the nations, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Enslavement in Egypt.
ExodusEnslavement, Moses, 10 plagues, Passover, Leave Egypt, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai and the 10 Commandments
LeviticusInstructions on sacrificial system and the priesthood. Instructions on moral purity.
NumbersStill at Mt. Sinai, people make false idol, punishment, 40-years wandering begins.
DeuteronomyMoses’ discourses on God’s Acts for Israel the Decalogue, the ceremonial, civil, and social Laws, and covenant ratification.
Historical Books – 12 books
JoshuaFirst half of Joshua describes the 7-year conquest of the Land of Promise. The last half deals with partitioning the lands to the people.
JudgesTime 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.
RuthKinsman redeemer in Boaz, redeeming Ruth, a Moabitess. Speaks of righteousness, love, and faithfulness to the Lord.
1 SamuelSamuel carries Israel from judges to King Saul
2 SamuelDavid as King, adultery, and murder.
1 KingsSolomon, Israel is powerful. Solomon dies, then division of tribes: 10 to the north and 2 to the south.
2 KingsThe 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 ChroniclesA recounting of the history of Israel to the time of Solomon.
2 ChroniclesContinued recounting of the life of Solomon, building of temple, to the captivity. History of Judah only.
EzraCyrus 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.
NehemiahBuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah got permission from the king of Persia to rebuild the walls (444 B.C.). Revival in the land.
EstherTook place during chapters 6 and 7 of Ezra. Mordecai. Plot to kill the Jewish people.
Poetic Books – 5 books
JobA righteous man tested by God. Deals with God’s sovereignty.
PsalmsConsists of 5 divisions. Worship in song. Large variety of subjects.
ProverbsPractical wisdom in everyday affairs.
EcclesiastesAll is vanity. The wisdom of man is futility.
Song of SolomonA song (between Solomon and his Shulammite bride) displaying the love between a man and a woman.
Prophetic Books – 17 books
IsaiahLooks at the sin of Judah and proclaims God’s judgment. Hezekiah. Coming restoration and blessing.
JeremiahCalled by God to proclaim the news of judgment to Judah, which came. God establishes a New Covenant.
Lamentations5 lament poems. Description of defeat and fall of Jerusalem.
EzekielHe ministered to the Jews in Captivity in Babylon. Description of the end of times.
DanielMany visions of the future for the Gentiles and the Jews.
HoseaStory of Hosea and his unfaithful wife, Gomer. Represents God’s love and faithfulness and Israel’s spiritual adultery. Israel will be judged and restored.
JoelProclaims a terrifying future using the imagery of locusts. Judgment will come, but blessing will follow.
AmosHe warned Israel of its coming judgment. Israel rejects God’s warning.
ObadiahA proclamation against Edom, a neighboring nation of Israel that gloated over Jerusalem’s judgments. Prophecy of its utter destruction.
JonahJonah proclaims a coming judgment upon Nineveh’s people, but they repented and judgment was spared.
MicahDescription of the complete moral decay in all levels of Israel. God will judge but will forgive and restore.
NahumNineveh has gone into apostasy (approx. 125 years after Jonah) and will be destroyed.
HabakkukNear 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.
ZephaniahThe 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.
HaggaiThe people failed to put God first by building their houses before they finished God’s temple. Therefore, they had no prosperity.
ZechariahZechariah encourages the Jews to complete the temple. Many messianic prophecies.
MalachiGod’s people are lax in their duty to God. Growing distant from God. Moral compromise. Proclamation of coming judgment.

New Testament – 27 Books Total:

Historical Books – 5 books
MatthewPresents Jesus as the Messiah.  Genealogy of Jesus through Joseph.  Fulfillment of O.T. prophecy.
MarkPresents Jesus as the Servant.  1/3 of the gospel deals with the last week of His life.
LukePresents Jesus as the Son of Man to seek and save the lost.  Genealogy of Jesus through Mary.  Largest of the gospels.
JohnPresents Jesus as God in flesh, the Christ, so that you might believe.
ActsHistorical account from Jesus’ ascension to travels of Paul in his missionary journeys.
Pauline Epistles – 13 books
RomansA systematic examination of justification, sanctification, and glorification.  Examines God’s plan for the Jews and the Gentiles.
1 CorinthiansThis 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 CorinthiansPaul’s defense of his apostolic position.
GalatiansPaul refutes the errors of legalism and examines the proper place of grace in the Christian’s life.
EphesiansThe believer’s position in Christ and information on Spiritual warfare.
PhilippiansPaul speaks of his imprisonment and his love for the Philippians.  He exhorts them to godliness and warns them of legalism.
ColossiansPaul focuses on the preeminence of Jesus in creation, redemption, and godliness.
1 ThessaloniansPaul’s ministry to the Thessalonians.  Teachings on purity and mention of the return of Christ.
2 ThessaloniansCorrections on the Day of the Lord.
1 TimothyInstructions to Timothy on proper leadership and dealings with false teachers, the role of women, prayer, and requirements of elders and deacons.
2 TimothyA letter of encouragement to Timothy to be strong.
TitusPaul left Titus in Crete to care for the churches there. Requirements for elders.
PhilemonA letter to the owner of a runaway slave.  Paul appeals to Philemon to forgive Onesimus.
Non-Pauline Epistles – 9 books
HebrewsA 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).
JamesA practical exhortation of believers to live a Christian life evidencing regeneration.  It urges self-examination of the evidence of the changed life.
1 PeterPeter wrote this letter to encourage its recipients in the light of their suffering and be humble in it.  Mentions baptism.
2 PeterDeals with the person on an inward level, warnings against false teachers, and mentions the Day of the Lord.
1 JohnJohn 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 JohnPraise for walking in Christ and a reminder to walk in God’s love.
3 JohnJohn thanks Gaius for his kindness to God’s people and rebukes Diotrephes.
JudeExposing false teachers and uses O.T. allusions to demonstrate the judgment upon them. Contends for the faith.
RevelationA highly symbolic vision of the future rebellion, judgment, and consummation of all things.

Bible Versions List & Source Manuscripts