Christopher Chelpka

Brief Outlines of the Books of the Bible

Outlines of the Old Testament Books

Outlines of the New Testament Books (available in 2019)

Introduction

To help you remember the content of the Bible, I’ve put together a collection of outlines and subtitles for every book of the Bible. Your goal should be to memorize these.

I’ve done my best to make each outline and subtitle as easy to memorize as possible, while also serving as meaningful keys for the rest of the book they describe. In the case of some books, I’ve only provided a single verse. The verse was chosen for its general importance and ability to help the student remember the rest of the book.

Each outline and subtitle is the most helpful and most easily memorized when learned alongside a larger introduction to their corresponding book and a reading of the book itself. For my Bible survey class, I introduce each book in a lecture and have students watch the corresponding video created by The Bible Project. Reading a book’s introduction in a reliable study Bible or Bible dictionary would also help.

I created some of these outlines and subtitles, but not all. The the following were drawn or adapted from William Henriksen’s Survey of the Bible: Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Amos, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Ruth, and Chronicles. The structure for Leviticus comes from L. Michale Morales’s Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus. The structure for Psalms comes from W. Robert Godfrey’s Learning to Love the Psalms. The structure for Daniel comes from James M. Hamilton’s With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology. And the structure for Ezra-Nehmiah comes from H. G. M. Williamson’s commentary on those books in the New Bible Commentary.

As suggested by Hendriksen, the order for learning the Old Testament books follows the order of the Hebrew Bible: Law, Prophets, Writings. And within these three sections, the books are reordered according to chronology.

It is also a good idea to learn the common order found in today’s English Bibles. When I was young, I learned the order of the books of the Bible with these songs for the Old Testament and the New Testament. Perhaps they’ll help you too.