The books of Galatians and James are thought to be the oldest in the New Testament Canon, written by 49 A.D.Have you ever thought about which books of the New Testament were written first? The 27 books do not appear in sequential order. For example, Matthew, the first Gospel, is actually the 20th book, written between 60 and 69 A.D.
One of the earliest Epistles is James, written in 49 A.D. To some people, Jamess emphasis on good works contradicts the all important Christian doctrine of Justification by Faith alone. Now that you know where it fits in the chronology, you can avoid this confusion by understanding that its doctrines are more fully elaborated by later Scriptures.
The miraculous gift of Tongues is another important doctrine made more clear through recognition of the chronological order of the New Testament books.
The following chart is based on conservative scholarship and archaeological findings, and is intended as a guideline.
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Lots Of Reading Options
When considering which chronological Bible reading plan you want to use, one important thing you want to consider is what reading tools accompany it. Bible Study Together offers the broadest set of accompanied resources keyed specifically toward their plan. They have high-quality glossy booklets with the whole reading plan, about each days reading, and an impressive Bible reading app. The app is more than just a Bible reading tool with a built-in audio Bible, it also features prayer tools for daily prayer, and a whole social private groups feature so you can pray and read the Bible with your friends. No matter how you like to read, Bible Study Together has you covered.
Maccabees : 1012 Aristobulus Ii 6663 Bce
Know Your Bible – Part 1: Chronological order of Old Testament books
|Before the Common Era||Bible texts|
|66â63||“…To Aristobulus, who is of the family of the anointed priests, teacher of Ptolemy the king…Having been saved by God out of grave dangers we thank him greatly for taking our side against the king. For he drove out those who fought against the holy city.”|
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How To Read The Bible In Chronological Order
Apart from flashbacks, its best to watch a video or read a story in chronological order from the beginning to the end. Did you know that some of the books of the Bible are not listed in chronological order? The message of the Bible was revealed progressively over a period of about 1,500 years. Some time ago I prepared a calendar to help read the whole Bible in one year, the Bible in one year calendar, which was based on the order of the books in our Bibles. Lets look at the events described in the Bible in the sequence they occurred historically.
The books of most Bibles are arranged according to categories:
- Pentateuch Genesis to Deuteronomy
- History Joshua to Esther
- Poetry Job to Song of Songs
- Prophetic Isaiah to Malachi
- History Acts
- Letters Romans to Revelation
As the poets, prophets and letter writers wrote at particular times in history, the events they relate to may be recorded elsewhere in the Bible. A chronological Bible moves these writings nearer to their place in the historical account.
When were they written?
Biblical events in historical order
The Biblical writers describe events both before and after they occurred historically. Sometimes an event is predicted and sometimes an event is described afterwards or the record may be edited some time afterwards.
A chronological Bible reading calendar
How Is The Bible Organized
The books of the Bible are organized by what type of literature they arehistorical, poetic, prophetic, or letters of instruction. Then within those categories, they are in chronological order.
For example, Genesis through Esther are primarily historical; they tells us what events happened among God’s people during a period of time. Yet Job, which may have been written as early as Moses’ time, is placed much later in the Old Testament because it is considered poetry and thus gets grouped in with Psalms and Proverbs.
Books of the Bible with Categories
- Genesis through Esther: Historical
- Job through Song of Solomon: Poetry
- Isaiah through Malachi: Prophecy
After Malachi, we flip the page and get into the New Testament. Between the events of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament, there were 400 years of silence during which God did not speak to the Jewish people. So everything in the New Testament does take place after the events of the Old Testament. With everything included in the New Testament, the authors assumed that the audience was already familiar with the Scriptures we find in the Old Testament.
- Matthew through Acts: Historical
- Romans through Jude: Letters to churches or individuals
- Revelation: Prophecy
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A Chronological New Testament
A chronological New Testament is different from and yet the same as the New Testament familiar to Christians. It contains the same 27 documents, but sequences them in the chronological order in which they were written.
The familiar New Testament begins with the Gospels and concludes with Revelation for obvious reasons. Jesus is the central figure of Christianity and so the New Testament begins with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Revelation is about “the last things” and the second coming of Jesus, so it makes sense that it comes at the end. Revelation and the Gospels function as bookends for the New Testament. Everything else comes between: Acts, 13 letters attributed to Paul, and eight attributed to other early Christian figures.
A chronological New Testament sequences the documents very differently. Its order is based on contemporary mainstream biblical scholarship. Though there is uncertainty about dating some of the documents, there is a scholarly consensus about the basic framework.
It begins with seven letters attributed to Paul, all from the 50s. The first Gospel is Mark , written around 70. Revelation is not last, but almost in the middle, written in the 90s. Twelve documents follow Revelation, with II Peter the last, written as late as near the middle of the second century.
Seeing and reading the New Testament in chronological sequence matters for historical reasons. It illuminates Christian origins. Much becomes apparent:
What Is A Chronological Study Bible
If you have used an Olive Tree study Bible before, you know that study Bibles come with two texts: the notes and the Bible text. But a chronological study Bible is the exception to this rule. Why? Because the main reason to own a chronological Bible is so that you can read through the Bible in chronological order!
So, when you open this resource in the app, youll see the Bible text and still be able to use the verse chooser. The only difference is that, this time, youll navigate through different epochs or eras of time to read sections of corresponding Scripture.
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Benefits Of Reading The Bible Chronologically
1. We understand the story better.
The Bible is a huge and rather complicated book, and it holds a lot of information. How does one even begin? This is where the concept of reading the Bible chronologically comes in. The Bible is made up of 66 different books that are grouped mainly by genre. Some books are primarily narrative, others poetry, others personal letters, others prophecy, etc. So just reading the it from cover to cover will not be the same as reading the Bible chronologically, or in the order the events actually happened or were written. Purchasing and reading through a Bible that is specifically chronological, in other words, a Bible where the books have been arranged in the order that the events took place, or taking classes where the Bible is being taught in chronological order, will help you;immensely in your journey of understanding the Word.
2. We have a clearer and broader picture of the main character of the story, God Himself.
Gods character is revealed progressively throughout the story of the Bible. Just as we do not fully know someone upon meeting them for the first time, nor do we fully understand the Lord when we only read bits and pieces of His story. Studying or reading;the Bible chronologically will help bring clarity to His character, and provide a more full comprehension of who God is.
3. We avoid major gaps in our understanding of Gods plan for mankind.
Chronological Order Of The Bible
Chronological Order versus Canonical Order
All of Gods word is inspired , but the order of books in the Bible is not. The order of the books in the Bible is man-made. There is no divinely inspired order of Bible books. In fact, the order of Bible books differs between the Bible of the Hebrew, the Catholic, the Protestant, and the Eastern Orthodox. If one were to use a standard Bible and start reading in Genesis and read book-by-book in order to Revelation, he would be reading the Bible in canonical order.
The Bible not being in chronological order can sometimes make studying the Bible more difficult than is necessary. The standard order of books in most Bibles today is the canonical order: Genesis to Malachi and Matthew to Revelation. The canonical order of books does not follow a chronological order all the way through the Bible. Rather, it follows the order of books found in the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate translated by Jerome in the 4th century A.D.The canonical order groups books together according to their type of literature: law, history, poetry, and prophecy in the Old Testament; gospel, history, and epistle in the New Testament.The chronological order groups books or portions of books together according to their historical date and content.
Benefits of Chronological Bible Reading
Tools for Chronological Bible Reading
There are three types of helps available to anyone interested in reading the Bible chronologically.
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How Literary Genre Works In The Bible
The Bible is the most read and studied text in the world, and 3.9 billion copies have been sold over the last 50 years alone.
The Books of the Bible are based upon the literary genre along the following lines:
- The books of Moses
- The books of history
- The books of wisdom
- The prophets
- The Gospels
- The epistles
- Final prophecy
In our podcast“The Bible is the Greatest Leadership Book,” Sally Burke tells us why we should read stories about leaders in the Bible and how it can inform our lives.
Another interesting section of the Old Testament is the Book of Psalms, which are essentially 150 Hebrew poems, including Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” The Psalms teach us to offer praise to God.
A Word About A Biblical Timeline
Daily Chronological Bible Reading Plan: Intro, Day 1 Genesis 1-3
This chronology of the Bible represents the best estimates in conservative scholarship for the events of biblical history.
Even so, there is no universal agreement on the dating of certain biblical events. Thus, you may find differing chronologies when consulting other bible timelines within various biblical / theological resources.
In addition, there is a debate on the dating of the creation account, even within evangelical circles.
We do not wish to engender polemic on this issue, thus we will simply assign a date of pre-2,000 B.C. for all of the events in Genesis 1-11.
You are free to modify this portion of the bible timeline in a way that best fits your theological tradition.
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What Are The First Five In The Bible
Pentateuch means five rolls, from Greek pénte, five, and teuchos, rolls. It is formed by the first five books of the Old Testament:
- Genesis: the origins.
- Exodus: the departure from Egypt.
- Leviticus: the Levites, priests of the tribe of Levi.
- Numbers:the censuses of the people of Israel.
- Deuteronomy: the second law.
The Pentateuch is the key to understanding the whole Bible, because it presents the beginnings of the revelation of God to the chosen people, and in it we find the first experiences and reflections on Gods plan of love with humanity.
Only by knowing the Pentateuch can we understand the richness of Gods revelation and the extraordinary history of salvation throughout the word of god until it reaches its fullness in Jesus, God and man, the only savior of all humanity.