When you read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, you soon discovered that the Christian Holy Bible is not chronological. In other words, it is not presented sequentially in orderly fashion from the oldest to the newest text or records.
Instead, the Bible is “canonical”, meaning the order of the Books was as determined by the religious authorities, rather than age.
However, there are Chronological Bibles available which arrange the texts as best they can, from oldest to newest, bearing in mind, of course, that there is ongoing academic debate as to the dates of many of the 66 books of the Bible. Also, remember that some book cover very long time frames, so they overlap with other books. This means that to make a chronological compilation, many books have to be split up by chapter. See the 365-day plan at the bottom of this page to understand the complexity of the Bible in this regard.
The following are some recommended and trusted samples:
Chronological Study Bible: The Chronological Study Bible is the only study Bible that presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order – the order in which the events actually happened – with notes, articles, and full-colour graphics that connect the reader to the history and culture of Bible times and gives the reader a dramatic, “you are there” experience. Features include translators’ notes, full-colour illustrations of places, artefacts and cultural phenomena, contextual articles that connect Biblical times and world history and culture, daily life notes, time panels and charts that show the flow of Biblical history and in-text and full-colour maps.
Chronological Guide to the Bible: Explore Your Bible in Chronological Order. Readers will see the people, places, and events of the Bible come alive with this guide that will enhance your study with any Bible. The Chronological Guide to the Bible’s colourful pages guide readers step-by-step through the nine epochs of biblical history — the same ones used in the best-selling Chronological Study Bible. Customers will maximize their understanding as they experience God’s word in dynamic historical order, no matter which translation they choose to use. Dig deeper into the cultures and people of biblical times with The Chronological Guide to the Bible.
The Reader’s Guide to the Bible: A Chronological Reading Plan by George Guthrie invites readers into the world of the Bible and offers guidance for walking day-by-day through its pages. May be used as a companion to any Bible translation but is designed to complement Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible.
- Offers a daily Bible-reading plan that enables people to read through the Bible in one year
- Offers daily help coaching in how to read an assigned portion of Scripture each day
- Lays out the biblical story in 3 acts and 17 scenes to familiarize readers with the framework of the Bible’s story
- Daily commentary provides orientation for reading Scripture on a day-by-day basis
- Small-group discussion questions are provided at the end of each week for processing the week’s readings with others
- Three foldout timelines help readers keep track of their place in the biblical story
The Daily Bible: In Chronological Order 365 Daily Readings: The much-loved Daily Bible includes several helpful features. Devotional commentary provides historical and spiritual insights and helps readers grasp the flow of revelation and apply it to their lives. The arrangement of the Bible text itself is unique:
- 365 convenient daily readings guide readers through all of God’s Word in one year.
- Passages are arranged chronologically, enabling readers to understand and experience God’s unfolding plan of creation, redemption, and restoration like never before.
- Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are displayed topically in order to highlight specific aspects of God’s wisdom.
The internet has many Bible Study and Bible Reading plans which allow one read the whole Bible over the period of one year. The following is a 61-day Chronological Reading Plan as compiled by Bible Gateway whom His Kingdom Prophecy use for Bible verse references. From this plan, you can easily see how both the books of the Bible and the chapters therein, deviate from a strict chronological presentation:
|Day||Today’s Scripture Reading||Description|
|Day 1||Genesis 1-3||Creation and Fall|
|Day 2||Genesis 12, 15, and 22||Abraham, Isaac|
|Day 3||Job 1-3 and 38-42||Story of Job|
|Day 4||Exodus 1-5, 12-14, and 20||Moses and the Law|
|Day 5||Leviticus 1, 10-11, 16, and 25-26||Instructions|
|Day 6||Numbers 3-4, 6, and 11-14||Journey to the Promised Land|
|Day 7||Deuteronomy 5-8, 28-31, and 34||Moses’ last message to the Israelites|
|Day 8||Joshua 1-6 and 23-24||Joshua, Israelites enter the Promised Land|
|Day 9||Judges 1-4 and 13-16||Period of the Judges|
|Day 10||Ruth 1-4||Story of Ruth|
|Day 11||1 Samuel 7-10, 12||King Saul|
|Day 12||1 Samuel 15-20, 28, and 31||King Saul|
|Day 13||2 Samuel 5-8, 1 Chronicles 15-17||King David|
|Day 14||2 Samuel 11-13, 15, and 18||King David|
|Day 15||1 Chronicles 21-22, and 28-29||King David|
|Day 16||Psalms 1, 8, 19, 23, 51, 100, 103 and 139||Psalms of King David|
|Day 17||1 Kings 3, 6-12||King Solomon|
|Day 18||2 Chronicles 5-10||King Solomon|
|Day 19||Ecclesiastes 1-5 and 12||King Solomon|
|Day 20||Song of Songs 1-2, Proverbs 1-3||King Solomon|
|Day 21||2 Chronicles 14-16||King Asa|
|Day 22||1 Kings 17-19, and 21||Elijah|
|Day 23||2 Kings 1-2, 6-7, 11-12||Elijah, Elisha, Kings|
|Day 24||2 Chronicles 24-26||Kings|
|Day 25||Joel 2, Jonah 1, Amos 3, Micah 1-2||Prophecies|
|Day 26||Isaiah 1-2, 6, Hosea 1-4||Prophecies|
|Day 27||2 Kings 17-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32||Hezekiah|
|Day 28||Isaiah 40 and 52-55||Consolation of Israel|
|Day 29||2 Kings 21-23, 2 Chronicles 33-35||Manasseh, Josiah|
|Day 30||Nahum 1, Zephaniah 3, Jeremiah 1-5, Habakkuk 1||Prophecies|
|Day 31||Ezekiel 1-3, 18, and 33, Lamentations 3, Obadiah||Fall of Jerusalem|
|Day 32||Daniel 1-2, 4-6||Daniel|
|Day 33||Ezra 3, 6-7, Haggai, Zechariah 1-2||Return, rebuilding of Jerusalem|
|Day 34||Esther 1-4, 7-8||Story of Esther|
|Day 35||Nehemiah 1-2, 4, and 6||Rebuilding the wall|
|Day 36||Malachi||Last Old Testament prophecies|
|Day 37||Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2||Birth of Jesus|
|Day 38||John 1, Mark 1, John 3-4||Early ministry of Jesus|
|Day 39||Luke 4-6, Mark 2-4||Teachings of Jesus|
|Day 40||Matthew 5-7||Sermon on the Mount|
|Day 41||Mark 10, Luke 8-12, Matthew 17-18||More teachings of Jesus|
|Day 42||John 13-17||Jesus’ upper room discourse|
|Day 43||Matthew 26-28, Mark 15-16||Death and resurrection of Jesus|
|Day 44||Luke 22-24, John 19-21||Death and resurrection of Jesus|
|Day 45||Acts 1-4, 8-10, 12-14||The Church starts, scatters, expands|
|Day 46||Galatians 3-6||Paul’s warnings about true vs. false religion|
|Day 47||James 1-3, Acts 15||Teachings and ministry of James|
|Day 48||1 Thessalonians 2 and 4; 2 Thessalonians 3||Paul’s letters on adversity and persecution|
|Day 49||1 Corinthians 1-2 and 13||Paul’s writings on living, loving like Jesus|
|Day 50||2 Corinthians 4-5 and 8-9||Paul’s writings on authentic Christianity|
|Day 51||Romans 5-8 and 12||Paul’s letter on Christian doctrine, practice|
|Day 52||Philemon; Ephesians 4-6||Paul’s writings on practical Christian living|
|Day 53||Colossians 1 and 3; Philippians 2 and 4||Paul’s writings on growing in Christ|
|Day 54||1 Peter 1 and 4-5||Peter’s first letter to the Church|
|Day 55||1 Timothy 1-3; Titus 2||Paul’s teaching on Church leadership|
|Day 56||Jude; 2 Peter 1||Jude and Peter’s writings on true vs. false religion|
|Day 57||2 Timothy 3-4||Paul’s example, encouragement to Timothy|
|Day 58||Hebrews 10-13||Teachings about living for Jesus Christ|
|Day 59||1 John 1-3||John’s letter on loving Christ, each other|
|Day 60||2 John; 3 John||John’s postcard letters to friends|
|Day 61||Revelation 1-4, 19-22||Jesus Christ’s revelation to John|
Finally, there is the Read the Bible in a Year website which hosts many reading plans, many bible versions and many languages. The following are the plan structures offered:
Beginning to End: Read the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.
Chronological: Read the Bible as its events occurred in real time. For example, Job lived sometime after the beginning of creation (Genesis 1) but before Abraham was born (Genesis 12). As a result, the Book of Job is integrated into the Book of Genesis.
Historical: Read the books of the Bible as they were written historically, according to the estimated date of their writing.
New then Old: A BibleYear.com exclusive! Read through the New Testament first, then read through the Old Testament.
Old and New: Each day includes a passage from both the Old Testament and New Testament.
Their 365 day Chronological plan, based on the New King James Bible lists as follows: