A Concise Outline of the Bible
The Bible Brief is a summary or overview of the complete Bible, listing all 66 books in the Old and the New Testament combined. Intended as a quick guide or reference book to the scriptures, it is in no way intended to replace the Bible – God forbid! – but rather it has been written to give an outline of the complete Bible as a general Bible Summary and aid to Bible study for both group and individual use.
It is a response to the argument that many have these days, the fact that for all our time-saving appliances, there seems to be even less time for ‘me time.’ Even with the best intentions, sometimes it is just difficult to sit down to a full-blown Bible study.
Here is where This book plays it’s part, as it lays out the main points within each book in a summary of around 500 words or so. This enables the reader to get a quick ‘flavour’ of the book, allowing a more in-depth study of God’s Word when time or circumstance permits.
Bible summaries have certainly gained more attention in recent times, and the author James Paris certainly seems to have his ‘finger on the pulse’ with this particular overview. Never intended as an in-depth theological work, this outline of the Bible has been written in an easy to grasp format, that covers some of the main issues involved.
Whether you want a quick preview of John’s gospel message, or perhaps a look into the Old Testament prophets, The book covers both Old and New testaments in an easy to read and understand fashion.
It has to be said that to attempt an in-depth overview of books such as Deuteronomy or Joshua or Jeremiah et al, in 500 words would be an exercise in futility!
That said, this is an honest attempt to bring a ‘quick flavour’ of the main issues involved, whilst leaving limitless scope for more indepth studies into the characters and the messages contained within the pages of the Bible.
The format of every Book or indeed Epistle, in both the Old and New Testaments, is laid out as follows:
- When: The date of the book was written or the time period covered.
- Who: The author or presumed author of the book.
- People & Places: The ‘main players’ & places involved or referred to.
- Sound-bites: Memorable quotes, sayings or verses from the book.
- The Messianic Link: The coming Messiah is mentioned throughout – and ties together – the 66 books. These are just some of the scriptures that allude to or name the Messiah directly.
- The Book: An outline of the book or letter.
- Notes & Quotes: General thoughts & comments on the preceding book.
Why A Bible Summary?
The fact is that as you probably know, the Bible is a big book! yes indeed. With over 600,000 words spread between 66 books (in the protestant bible) and documents/letters, this is no light-weight in the world of publishing.
The written works within the bible cover everything from the ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ and others, in the book of Proverbs, to the equally down-to-earth practical advice in Apostle Paul’s letters to the early church.
Every aspect of human nature is explored and revealed in this book – warts and all. Even the ‘saints’ are exposed when they ‘step over the line’, and everything from miracles to murder to incest, to adultery and skulduggery, extreme bravery and cowardice, is revealed and dealt with. No stone is left unturned and no evil (or good) deed not exposed to the light of The Lords Holiness and justice.
This Bible summary book aims to highlight parts of each book or letter (as in the list above), in such a fashion that creates a concise overview of the wisdom contained within the whole.
This overview of the scriptures is done in such a fashion that it leaves the door open for further Bible study, encouraging a deeper investigation leading to a proper understanding of the plans and purposes of God in and through our daily lives.
Many people believe that the Bible is just a collection of wise sayings and stories, a guidebook to be read and put on the shelf or simply to be kept as a reference manual. All this is true – The Bible is full of wise sayings, and it makes an excellent reference manual – but to use it in this limited way is to miss the complete story.
In a nutshell the Bible is ‘Gods plan for man’ it describes how God has dealt with the human race in the past – and how he continues to do so now and in the future.
This massive work which covers 39 books in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament is a collection of works made up by the early church and regarded as uniquely inspired by God. Written by human hands it is true – but nevertheless divinely inspired. The Bible Brief makes no such claim!
This is a concise Bible summary that aims to cover the basic points, (and points of especial or noteworthy interest to the author). Hopefully though at least some of the comments and observations have the Holy Spirit stamp of approval 🙂
Not only is this massive work divided into Old and New Testaments, they encompass 2 unique dispensations. This is of massive importance to both Christian teachers and individuals alike. The Bible is in effect a ‘book of books’ that are listed and summarised in the Bible Brief summary book.
The Old Testament covers (in the main) a time when the LAW was paramount. Every aspect of life was wrapped up in obeying this Law, and offering blood sacrifice when needed or required. The New Testament is all about GRACE.
God’s grace in the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. To mix together LAW and GRACE is to create a ‘mongrel’ gospel that is inaccurate at best and downright dangerous and powerless at worst. Some have accurately summed up the difference between Law and Grace thus…“The Law demands whilst Grace supplies.” Whilst the message of the Old Testament offered ‘salvation’ by blood sacrifice and adherence to the Law of Moses, the New Testament emphasises salvation by Grace though Faith in Christ (Eph 2:8).
New Testament Summary
looking for a quick summary of the New Testament only? Then maybe this spin-off from The Bible Brief will fit your needs. This does exactly what it says on the cover – it summarises the New Testament only.
To be clear – This is extracted from The Bible Brief in full and includes all the information within this book, with a few alterations only.
‘In Brief’ Includes all the 27 books and letters in the New Testament, with the accompanying summary of each book making it a quick read whilst on the train or bus, or even plane, journey 🙂
12 Minor Prophets Summary
Quite apart from the full Bible Summary book, is the summary of the 12 Minor Prophets. This again aims to summarise in a concise manner each of these books and letters in a ‘bite-sized’ fashion, which it is hope will act as an aid to further bible study and like The Bible Brief itself can be used for individual or group “study.
An often misunderstood aspect of these Bible Prophets is that they are not ‘Menial’ or lacking in importance in any way. This belief by many is a misunderstanding of the word ‘Minor.’ In the case of these prophets this word is simply aimed at the brevity or conciseness of their works in the Bible.
They are not ‘weighty tomes’ like for instance the Prophets Daniel, Isaiah, or Jeremiah, but rather are shorter in length – but not by any means lacking in importance. We have to bear in mind that the Minor Prophet Jonah was one of only 4 prophets mentioned by Jesus himself.
This misapprehension has led to the lamentable fact that they are often overlooked by the readers, or even Bible teachers. This in turn has resulted in them being oft described as the great ‘un-thumbed’ works of the Bible.
It is the hope of the author that this outline or overview of the Minor Prophets will help address this situation and lead to more folks reading and learning from them.
And the real good news? The 12 Minor Prophets summaries are being uploaded in their entirety onto this blog – meaning that you can read through the whole book free-gratis! The material itself is of course covered by copyright, and cannot be used for commercial purposes without the authors consent.
However if you wish to re-use any of the material for your blog or bible study then this permission is granted freely – as long as proper credit is given to www.thebiblebrief.com in the form of a link-back or other means.
The Bible In A Nutshell
The Holy Bible is a collection of books and letters split into Old and New Testaments or Covenants. Written by human hand with divine inspiration, between 1200 BC and 100 AD. Often referred to as “Gods plan for Man”, It begins with Genesis in the Old Testament, and finishes with the book of Revelations in the New.
Material on this site extracted from The Bible Brief and other works including The 12 Minor Prophets by James Paris, is re-used with the express permission of the author and in accordance with copyright law.