THEMES OF THE
Here’s a snapshot of every book of the Bible.
The Bible is one book made up of 66 books. Each book has a major theme that emphasizes an aspect of God’s character or a way he is working to carry out his perfect plan. What follows is an attempt to capture these themes it's simplest form.
For those wanting to dig deeper into Bible Book Paragraph Summary Themes go here.
THEMES OF BIBLE BOOKS SIMPLIFIED
Simplified in One or Two Sentences
God reveals himself through his Word. When he speaks, he teaches us what he is like, how he acts, and how he desires us to respond. As a whole, the Bible is about God. It’s about God the Father displaying his glory through God the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit.
Bible: God of Jesus
- Old Testament: Anticipation
- Gospels: Manifestation
- Acts: Proclamation
- Epistles: Explanation
- Revelation: Consummation
- Genesis: God of Promise – Beginnings
Describes the creation; gives the history of the old world, and of the steps taken by God toward the formation of theocracy.
- Exodus: God of Power – Deliverance
The history of Israel's departure from Egypt; the giving of the law; the tabernacle.
- Leviticus: God of Purity - Instruction
The ceremonial law.
- Numbers: God of Perseverance – Journeys
The census of the people; the story of the wanderings in the wilderness.
- Deuteronomy: God of Preparation – Obedience
The law rehearsed; the death of Moses.
- Joshua: God of the Land – Conquest
The story of the conquest and partition of Canaan.
- Judges: God of the Rebels – Deterioration and Deliverance
The history of the nation from Joshua to Samson.
- Ruth: God of Redemption – Redemption
The story of the ancestors of the royal family of Judah
- 1 Samuel: God of the Heart – Transition
The story of the nation during the judgeship of Samuel and the reign of Saul.
- 2 Samuel: God of the Throne – Unification
Story of the reign of David.
- 1 Kings: God of Israel – Disruption
1 Kings & 2 Kings contain the history of the nation from David's death and Solomon's accession to the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and the desolation of Jerusalem.
- 2 Kings: God of Israel –Dispersion
- 1 Chronicles: God of Judah – Israel’s Spiritual History
1 & 2 Chronicles are so called as being the record made by the appointed historiographers of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel; they are the official histories of those kingdoms.
- 2 Chronicles: God of Judah – Israel’s Spiritual Heritage
- Ezra: God of the Temple – Restoration
The story of the return of the Jews from the Babylon captivity, and of the rebuilding of the temple.
- Nehemiah: God of the Wall – Reconstruction
A further account of the rebuilding of the wall and city, and of the obstacles encountered and overcome.
- Esther: God of the Gallows – Preservation
The story of a Jewess who becomes queen of Persia and saves the Jewish people from destruction.
- Job: God of Pain – Blessings Through Sufferings
The story of the trials and patience of a holy man of Edom.
- Psalms: God of Praise – Praise
A collection of sacred poems intended for use in the worship of Jehovah. David wrote half of the Psalms.
- Proverbs: God of Prudence – Practical Wisdom
The wise sayings of Solomon.
- Ecclesiastes: God of Purpose – All is Vanity Apart from God
A poem respecting the vanity of earthly things.
- Song of Solomon: God of Passion – Love and Marriage
An allegory relating to the church.
- Isaiah: God of Glory – Salvation
Prophecies respecting Christ and his kingdom.
- Jeremiah: God of Weeping – Judgment
Prophecies announcing the captivity of Judah, its sufferings, and the final overthrow of its enemies.
- Lamentations: God of Faithfulness – Lament
The utterance of Jeremiah's sorrow upon the capture of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.
- Ezekiel: God of Visions – The Glory of the Lord
Messages of warning and comfort to the Jews in their captivity.
- Daniel: God of History- The Sovereignty of God
A narrative of some of the occurrences of the captivity, and a series of prophecies concerning Christ.
- Hosea: God of the Unfaithful – Unfaithfulness
Prophecies relating to Christ and the latter days
- Joel: God of the Locusts – The Day of the Lord
Prediction of woes upon Judah, and of the favor with which God will receive the penitent people.
- Amos: God of the Oppressed – Judgment
The prediction that Israel and other neighboring nations will be punished by conquerors from the north, and of the fulfillment of the Messiah's kingdom.
- Obadiah: God of the Mountain – Righteous Judgement
Prediction of the desolation of Edom.
- Jonah: God of Compassion – God’s Grace to All People
Prophecies relating to Nineveh.
- Micah: God of Justice – Divine Judgment
Predictions relating to the invasions and the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem.
- Nahum: God of Wrath – Consolation
Prediction of the downfall of Assyria.
- Habakkuk: God of Sovereignty – Trusting a Sovereign God
A prediction of the doom of the Chaldeans.
- Zephaniah: God of Judgment – The “Great Day of the Lord”
A prediction of the overthrow of Judah for its idolatry and wickedness.
- Haggai: God of Renewal – Rebuilding the Temple
Prophecies concerning the rebuilding of the temple.
- Zechariah: God of Restoration – God’s Deliverance
Prophecies relating to the rebuilding of the temple and the Messiah.
- Malachi: God of Worship – Formalism Rebuked
Prophecies relating to the calling of the Gentiles and the coming of Christ.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
- Matthew: God of the Jews – The Kingdom of God
A brief history of the life of Christ.
- Mark: God of the Romans – The Suffering Servant
A brief history of the life of Christ, supplying some incidents omitted by St. Matthew.
- Luke: God of the Outcast – The Perfect Man
The history of the life of Christ, with a special reference to his most important acts and discourses.
- John: God of the World – The Son of God
The life of Christ, giving important discourses not related by the other evangelists.
- Acts: God of Power – The Spread of the Gospel
The history of the labors of the apostles and of the foundation of the Christian Church.
- Romans: God of Righteousness – The Righteousness of God
On the doctrine of justification by Christ.
- 1 Corinthians: God of Holiness – Christian Conduct
A letter from St. Paul to the Corinthians, correcting errors into which they had fallen.
- 2 Corinthians: God of Weakness – Paul’s Defense of his Apostleship
Paul confirms his disciples in their faith and vindicates his own character.
- Galatians: God of Justification – Freedom in Christ
Paul maintains that we are justified by faith, and not by rites.
- Ephesians: God of Unity – Blessings in Christ
On the power of divine grace.
- Philippians: God of Joy – The Joy Filled Life
The beauty of Christian kindness.
- Colossians: God of Preeminence – The Supremacy of Christ
Paul warns his disciples against errors and exhorts to certain duties.
- 1 Thessalonians: God of Encouragement – Concern for the Church
Paul exhorts his disciples to continue in the faith and in holy conversation.
- 2 Thessalonians: God of Admonishment – Living in Hope
Paul corrects an error concerning the speedy coming of Christ the second time.
- 1 Timothy: God of Godliness – Instructions for a Young Disciple
Paul instructs Timothy in the duty of a pastor and encourages him in the work of the ministry in 1 & 2 Timothy.
- 2 Timothy: God of Endurance – A Charge to Faithful Ministry
- Titus: God of Works – A Manual of Conduct
Paul encourages Titus in the performance of his ministerial duties.
- Philemon: God of Reconciliation – Forgiveness
An appeal to a converted master to receive a converted escaped slave with kindness.
- Hebrews: God of Fulfillment – The Superiority of Christ
Paul maintains that Christ is the substance of the ceremonial law.
- James: God of Trials – Genuine Faith
A treatise on the efficacy of faith united with good works.
- 1 Peter: God of the Persecuted – Responding to Suffering
Exhortations to a Christian life, with various warnings and predictions in 1 & 2 Peter.
- 2 Peter: God of Patience – Warning Against False Teachers
- 1 John: God of Love – Fellowship with God
Respecting the person of our Lord, and an exhortation to Christian love and conduct.
- 2 John: God of Truth – Christian Discernment
John warns a converted lady against false teachers.
- 3 John: God of Discernment – Christian Hospitality
A letter to Gaius, praising him for his hospitality.
- Jude: God of Protection – Contending for the Faith
Warnings against deceivers.
- Revelation: God of Eternity – The Unveiling of Jesus Christ
The future of the Church foretold.
For those wanting to dig deeper in Bible Books Themes recommend Paragraph Summary Themes here.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is not just one big book, but a collection of 66 smaller books written over a period of at least 1600 years by about 40 different authors. Everything they wrote was inspired by God. In the front of your Bible is a Table of Contents which lists the names of all the books in the Bible. The Bible is divided into two sections: the first section which contains three-fourths of the Bible is called the Old Testament, the second section is called the New Testament.
What do the numbers mean? There is a handy abbreviation that Christians use to specify verses in the Bible. They list the name of the book first, followed by the chapter number, and then the verse number. For example: John 3:16 means the book of John, chapter 3, verse 16. This way you can quickly and easily locate scriptures.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Old Testament reveals to us how God dealt with the nation of Israel. It looks forward to the coming Savior of the world, Jesus. It begins with the book of Genesis and ends with Malachi. It is also divided into four general areas:
The first five books (Genesis to Deuteronomy) tell us the beginning of man and the establishment of the nation of Israel with the promise of the Savior of the world coming from this chosen people. It not only contains the early history of Israel, but also the Law of God as revealed through Moses. For example, Exodus chapter 20 records the Ten Commandments.
The next twelve books (Joshua to Esther) are the historical books of the nation of Israel after it became a kingdom in Canaan. Two short books in this section which reveal God's hand on the life of believers, which new Christians may enjoy, are the books of Ruth, and Esther.
The next five books (Job to Song of Solomon) are the books of poetry and wisdom in the Bible. Especially helpful to new believers are the book of Psalms, which was the hymnal or songbook of the nation of Israel; and Proverbs, which contains the sayings and advice of the wisest king Israel had.
The last seventeen books (Isaiah to Malachi) are the books of the prophets of Israel who God sent to warn, admonish, and encourage his people toward the end of the history of Israel as a nation. A short book in this section which is good for new believers is the book of Jonah.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament reveals to us Jesus and the plan of salvation. It begins with the book of Matthew and ends with the book of Revelation. It is divided into four general areas:
The first four books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us the story of Jesus when he was on this earth.
The book of Acts tells us the history of the early church after Jesus' death and resurrection.
The letters (from Romans to Jude) are correspondence from early Christian leaders to other churches or individuals. Some short letters (also called epistles) which are helpful to new believers are the books of Ephesians, Philippians, James, and 1 John.
The book of Revelation tells us the future story of the end time when Jesus will come back to this world and reign on earth.
A new believer should always start reading the Bible in the first four books of the New Testament, called the Gospels. The book of John is especially easy to understand. A good place for a new believer to start is the "Gospel of John." If you're looking to take the first step in reading God's Word, our 5 minute 21-day Book of John Challenge is for you here. Or we recommend our Gospel of John 15 minute 21 day Book of John Challenge sent once a day by email learn more here.
Pray and ask God to speak to you before you start... and read it as though God will speak to you through it and He will!!
For those wanting to dig deeper into Bible Books Themes recommend Paragraph Summary Themes here.