Central church of Christ 

New Smyrna Beach, Fl 

Sunday Bible Study, 9:00 a.m.    Sunday Worship, 10:00 a.m.     Wednesday Bible Study, 7:00p.m.

Books Of The Bible

(Currently Under Construction)

Old Testament (5 Books of Law)


50 Chapters

As its name implies, Genesis is about beginnings. Genesis tells us that God created everything that exists. It shows that God is both the Creator and the Ruler of all creation. But it also tells of humanity’s tragic fall into sin and death, and of God’s unfolding plan of redemption through his covenant with Abraham and his descendants. 

Genesis includes some of the most memorable stories in the Bible, beginning with Adam and Eve (chs. 1–4), continuing through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and ending with the life of Joseph (chs. 37–50), who died before 1600 B.C. Moses is the author, writing after the Exodus from Egypt, commonly dated around 1440 B.C. though some prefer a date around 1260 B.C.


         I.      Primeval History (1:1–11:26)

            A.      God’s creation and ordering of heaven and earth (1:1–2:3)

            B.      Earth’s first people (2:4–4:26)

              1.      The man and woman in the sanctuary of Eden (2:4–25)

              2.      The couple rebels against God (3:1–24)

              3.      Adam and Eve’s sons (4:1–26)

            C.      Adam’s descendants (5:1–6:8)

              1.      The family line from Adam to Noah (5:1–32)

              2.      The wickedness of humanity (6:1–8)

            D.      Noah’s descendants (6:9–9:29)

              1.      Noah and the flood (6:9–9:19)

              2.      The cursing of Canaan (9:20–29)

            E.      The descendants of Noah’s sons (10:1–11:9)

              1.      The clans, languages, lands, and nations (10:1–32)

              2.      The Tower of Babel (11:1–9)

            F.      Shem’s descendants (11:10–26)

         II.      Patriarchal History (11:27–50:26)

            A.      Terah’s descendants (11:27–25:18)

              1.      A brief introduction to Terah’s family (11:27–32)

              2.      Abram’s migration to Canaan (12:1–9)

              3.      Abram in Egypt (12:10–20)

              4.      Abram and Lot separate (13:1–18)

              5.      Abram’s rescue of Lot (14:1–24)

              6.      God’s covenant with Abram (15:1–21)

              7.      The birth of Ishmael (16:1–16)

              8.      The covenant of circumcision (17:1–27)

              9.      The destruction of Sodom (18:1–19:29)

              10.      Lot’s relationship with his daughters (19:30–38)

              11.      Abimelech takes Sarah into his harem (20:1–18)

              12.      The birth of Isaac (21:1–21)

              13.      Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham (21:22–34)

              14.      The testing of Abraham (22:1–19)

              15.      Nahor’s children (22:20–24)

              16.      The death and burial of Sarah (23:1–20)

              17.      A wife for Isaac (24:1–67)

              18.      The death of Abraham (25:1–11)

              19.      The genealogy of Ishmael (25:12–18)

            B.      Isaac’s descendants (25:19–37:1)

              1.      The birth of Esau and Jacob (25:19–26)

              2.      Esau sells his birthright (25:27–34)

              3.      Isaac in Gerar (26:1–35)

              4.      Isaac blesses Jacob (27:1–45)

              5.      Jacob is sent to find a wife (27:46–28:9)

              6.      Jacob at Bethel (28:10–22)

              7.      Jacob meets Rachel and Laban (29:1–14)

              8.      Jacob marries Leah and Rachel (29:15–30)

              9.      Jacob’s children (29:31–30:24)

              10.      Jacob prepares to return to Canaan (30:25–31:18)

              11.      Laban accuses Jacob in Gilead (31:19–55)

              12.      Jacob prepares to meet Esau again (32:1–21)

              13.      Jacob encounters God at Peniel (32:22–32)

              14.      Jacob is reconciled with Esau (33:1–20)

              15.      The rape of Dinah (34:1–31)

              16.      Jacob’s onward journey to Hebron (35:1–29)

              17.      Esau’s descendants in Edom (36:1–37:1)

            C.      Jacob’s descendants (37:2–50:26)

              1.      Joseph is sold into slavery (37:2–36)

              2.      Judah and Tamar (38:1–30)

              3.      Joseph in Egypt (39:1–23)

              4.      Joseph and the king’s prisoners (40:1–23)

              5.      Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams (41:1–57)

              6.      The brothers’ first journey to Egypt (42:1–38)

              7.      Joseph’s brothers return to Egypt (43:1–34)

              8.      Benjamin is accused of stealing (44:1–34)

              9.      Joseph discloses his identity (45:1–28)

              10.      Jacob’s family relocates to Egypt (46:1–27)

              11.      Jacob’s family settles in Egypt (46:28–47:12)

              12.      Joseph oversees the famine response in Egypt (47:13–26)

              13.      Jacob requests to be buried in Canaan (47:27–31)

              14.      Jacob’s blessing of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh (48:1–22)

              15.      Jacob blesses his 12 sons (49:1–28)

              16.      The death and burial of Jacob (49:29–50:14)

              17.      Joseph reassures his brothers (50:15–21)

              18.      The death of Joseph (50:22–26)


40 Chapters

Exodus tells of God fulfilling his promise to Abraham by multiplying Abraham’s descendants into a great nation, delivering them from slavery in Egypt, leading them to the Promised Land, and then binding them to himself with a covenant at Mount Sinai. Moses, under the direct command of God and as leader of Israel, received the Ten Commandments from God, along with other laws governing Israel’s life and worship. He also led the nation in the building of the tabernacle, a place where God’s presence dwelled among his people and where they made sacrifices for sin. 


         I.      Exodus of Israel from Egypt (1:1–18:27)

            A.      Setting: Israel in Egypt (1:1–2:25)

              1.      The sons of Jacob become the people of Israel (1:1–7)

              2.      New pharaoh, new situation (1:8–2:25)

            B.      Call of Moses (3:1–4:31)

              1.      Burning bush: call of Moses (3:1–4:17)

              2.      Moses returns from Midian to Egypt (4:18–31)

            C.      Moses and Aaron: initial request (5:1–7:7)

              1.      Initial request (5:1–21)

              2.      God promises to deliver Israel from Egypt (5:22–6:9)

              3.      Moses and Aaron: narrative synopses and genealogy (6:10–30)

              4.      Moses encouraged (7:1–7)

            D.      Plagues and exodus (7:8–15:21)

              1.      Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh: initial sign (7:8–13)

              2.      First plague: water to blood (7:14–25)

              3.      Second plague: frogs (8:1–15)

              4.      Third plague: gnats (8:16–19)

              5.      Fourth plague: flies (8:20–32)

              6.      Fifth plague: Egyptian livestock are killed (9:1–7)

              7.      Sixth plague: boils (9:8–12)

              8.      Seventh plague: hail (9:13–35)

              9.      Eighth plague: locusts (10:1–20)

              10.      Ninth plague: darkness (10:21–29)

              11.      Tenth plague: final sign (11:1–15:21)

            E.      Journey (15:22–18:27)

              1.      Water problem: Marah (15:22–27)

              2.      Food problem: manna (16:1–36)

              3.      Water problem: Massah and Meribah (17:1–7)

              4.      Passage problem: Israel defeats Amalek (17:8–16)

              5.      Judgment problem: Jethro advises Moses (18:1–27)

         II.      Covenant at Sinai (19:1–40:38)

            A.      Setting: Sinai (19:1–25)

            B.      Covenant words and rules (20:1–23:33)

              1.      The Ten Commandments (20:1–21)

              2.      Worship instructions: against idols and for an altar (20:22–26)

              3.      Detailed legislation (21:1–23:19)

              4.      Commands for the conquest (23:20–33)

              5.      Covenant confirmed (24:1–18)

            C.      Instructions for the tabernacle (25:1–31:17)

              1.      Request for contributions (25:1–9)

              2.      Ark of the covenant (25:10–22)

              3.      Table for the bread of the Presence (25:23–30)

              4.      Golden lampstand (25:31–40)

              5.      Tent of the tabernacle (26:1–37)

              6.      Bronze altar (27:1–8)

              7.      Court of the tabernacle (27:9–19)

              8.      Oil for the lamp (27:20–21)

              9.      Garments for the priests (28:1–43)

              10.      Consecration of the priests (29:1–37)

              11.      Offering and promises of the tabernacle (29:38–46)

              12.      Altar of incense (30:1–10)

              13.      Census offering (30:11–16)

              14.      Bronze basin (30:17–21)

              15.      Anointing oil and incense (30:22–38)

              16.      Craftsmen (31:1–11)

              17.      Sabbath (31:12–17)

            D.      Moses receives the tablets (31:18)

            E.      Covenant breach, intercession, and renewal (32:1–34:35)

              1.      Covenant breach: the golden calf (32:1–35)

              2.      Moses intercedes for the people (33:1–23)

              3.      Covenant renewal: new tablets (34:1–35)

            F.      Tabernacle: preparation for the presence (35:1–40:38)

              1.      Moses prepares the people (35:1–36:7)

              2.      Tabernacle construction (36:8–39:43)

              3.      Tabernacle assembled (40:1–33)

              4.      The glory of the Lord (40:34–38)


27 Chapters

Leviticus begins with the people of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai. The glory of the Lord had just filled the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34–38) and God now tells Moses to instruct the Levitical priests and the people of Israel concerning sacrifices, worship, the priesthood, ceremonial cleanness, the Day of Atonement, feasts and holy days, and the Year of Jubilee. The central message is that God is holy and he requires his people to be holy. The book also shows that God graciously provides atonement for sin through the shedding of blood. 


         I.      Five Major Offerings (1:1–6:7)

            A.      The burnt offering (1:1–17)

            B.      The grain offering (2:1–16)

            C.      The peace offering (3:1–17)

            D.      The sin offering (4:1–5:13)

            E.      The guilt offering (5:14–6:7)

         II.      Handling of the Offerings (6:8–7:38)

            A.      The burnt offering (6:8–13)

            B.      The grain offering (6:14–23)

            C.      The sin offering (6:24–30)

            D.      The guilt offering (7:1–10)

            E.      The peace offering (7:11–36)

            F.      Summary (7:37–38)

         III.      The Establishment of the Priesthood (8:1–10:20)

            A.      The ordination of Aaron and his sons (8:1–36)

            B.      The first tabernacle service (9:1–24)

            C.      The Nadab and Abihu incident (10:1–20)

         IV.      The Laws on Cleanness and Uncleanness (11:1–15:33)

            A.      Clean and unclean creatures (11:1–47)

            B.      Uncleanness of a childbearing mother (12:1–8)

            C.      Leprous diseases and their purification (13:1–14:57)

            D.      Discharges from male and female reproductive organs (15:1–33)

         V.      The Day of Atonement Ritual (16:1–34)

         VI.      The Handling and Meaning of Blood (17:1–16)

         VII.      The Call to Holiness (18:1–22:33)

            A.      Prohibitions against pagan practices (18:1–30)

            B.      Call to holiness (19:1–37)

            C.      Punishment for disobedience (20:1–27)

            D.      Holiness of the priests (21:1–24)

            E.      Holiness of the offerings (22:1–33)

         VIII.      Holy Times (23:1–25:55)

            A.      Holy feasts (23:1–44)

              1.      Introduction and weekly Sabbath (23:1–3)

              2.      The Passover (23:4–8)

              3.      The Firstfruits (23:9–14)

              4.      The Weeks (23:15–22)

              5.      The Trumpets (23:23–25)

              6.      The Day of Atonement (23:26–32)

              7.      The Booths (23:33–36)

              8.      Summary of the annual feasts (23:37–44)

            B.      Oil and bread of the Presence (24:1–9)

            C.      The case of a blasphemer (24:10–23)

            D.      The sabbatical year and Jubilee (25:1–22)

            E.      Laws of redemption (25:23–55)

         IX.      Blessings and Curses (26:1–46)

            A.      Fundamental conditions (26:1–2)

            B.      Blessings for obedience (26:3–13)

            C.      The first stage (26:14–17)

            D.      The second stage (26:18–20)

            E.      The third stage (26:21–22)

            F.      The fourth stage (26:23–26)

            G.      The fifth stage (26:27–39)

            H.      Conditions and confession within the covenant (26:40–46)

         X.      Vows and Dedication (27:1–34)

            A.      The case of persons (27:1–8)

            B.      The case of animals (27:9–13)

            C.      The case of a house (27:14–15)

            D.      The case of land (27:16–25)

            E.      The case of the firstborn (27:26–27)

            F.      The case of devoted things (27:28–29)

            G.      The case of tithes (27:30–33)

            H.      Postscript (27:34)


36 Chapters

The English title “Numbers” comes from the two censuses that are central features of this book. However the Hebrew title, “In the Wilderness,” is more descriptive of the book. Numbers tells how God’s people traveled from Mount Sinai to the border of the Promised Land. But when they refused to take possession of the Land, God made them wander in the wilderness for nearly forty years. Throughout the book, God is seen as a holy God who cannot ignore rebellion or unbelief, but also as the one who faithfully keeps his covenant and patiently provides for the needs of his people. Numbers ends with a new generation preparing for the conquest of Canaan.


         I.      Israel Prepares to Enter the Land (1:1–10:10)

            A.      The first census (1:1–46)

            B.      The responsibilities of the Levites (1:47–54)

            C.      Israel in camp and on the march (2:1–34)

            D.      Two censuses of the Levites (3:1–4:49)

              1.      Census of all male Levites (3:1–51)

                a.      The sons of Aaron (3:1–4)

                b.      The duties of the Levites (3:5–10)

                c.      Reason for the Levitical census (3:11–13)

                d.      The clans’ numbers, positions, and responsibilities (3:14–39)

                e.      Redemption of the firstborn (3:40–51)

              2.      Census of mature Levites (4:1–49)

                a.      The tasks of the Kohathites (4:1–20)

                b.      The tasks of the Gershonites (4:21–28)

                c.      The tasks of the Merarites (4:29–33)

                d.      The results of the second census (4:34–49)

            E.      Cleansing the camp (5:1–6:27)

              1.      Exclusion of the unclean from the camp (5:1–4)

              2.      Atonement for perjury (5:5–10)

              3.      Test of suspected adultery (5:11–31)

              4.      Rules for Nazirites (6:1–21)

                a.      Definition of a Nazirite (6:1–6)

                b.      Nazirites and uncleanness (6:7–12)

                c.      Completion of a Nazirite vow (6:13–20)

                d.      Summary of the law (6:21)

              5.      The priestly blessing (6:22–27)

            F.      Offerings for the tabernacle (7:1–89)

            G.      The lampstand (8:1–4)

            H.      The dedication of the Levites (8:5–22)

            I.      The retirement of the Levites (8:23–26)

            J.      The second Passover (9:1–5)

            K.      The delayed Passover (9:6–14)

            L.      The moving cloud (9:15–23)

            M.      The silver trumpets (10:1–10)

         II.      Marching from Sinai to Kadesh (10:11–12:16)

            A.      Israel strikes camp at Sinai (10:11–28)

            B.      Request to Hobab to accompany Israel (10:29–32)

            C.      Three protests (11:1–12:16)

              1.      Taberah (11:1–3)

              2.      Kibroth-hattaavah (11:4–35)

              3.      The uniqueness of Moses (12:1–16)

         III.      Forty Years near Kadesh (13:1–19:22)

            A.      The mission of the spies and the national rebellion (13:1–14:45)

              1.      Spies sent out (13:1–16)

              2.      Mission accomplished (13:17–24)

              3.      The spies’ report of their mission (13:25–33)

              4.      The people’s reaction (14:1–12)

              5.      Moses’ plea for forgiveness (14:13–19)

              6.      God’s response to Moses’ prayer (14:20–35)

              7.      Death of the faithless spies (14:36–38)

              8.      An unsuccessful attempt at conquest (14:39–45)

            B.      The law-giving at Kadesh (15:1–41)

              1.      Meal, oil, and wine to accompany sacrifice (15:1–16)

              2.      The dough offering (15:17–21)

              3.      Sacrifices for unintentional sins (15:22–31)

              4.      A sabbathbreaker executed (15:32–36)

              5.      Tassels on clothes (15:37–41)

            C.      The rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (16:1–50)

              1.      The complaints of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (16:1–15)

              2.      The death of the Kohathite supporters of Korah (16:16–19, 35–40)

              3.      The death of the ringleaders and their families (16:20–34)

              4.      Judgment averted by Aaron (16:41–50)

            D.      Aaron’s blossoming staff (17:1–13)

            E.      Duties and privileges of priests and Levites (18:1–32)

              1.      Guard duties in and around the tabernacle (18:1–7)

              2.      The priests’ income (18:8–20)

              3.      The Levites’ income (18:21–24)

              4.      The tithe of the tithe (18:25–32)

            F.      Cleansing from death (19:1–22)

              1.      The recipe for producing the cleansing ash (19:1–10)

              2.      The cleansing procedure (19:11–22)

         IV.      Marching from Kadesh to the Plains of Moab (20:1–21:35)

            A.      Regrouping at Kadesh (20:1)

            B.      Rebellion at Meribah (20:2–13)

            C.      Encounter with Edom (20:14–21)

            D.      The death of Aaron (20:22–29)

            E.      First victory over the Canaanites (21:1–3)

            F.      The bronze snake (21:4–9)

            G.      Through Transjordan (21:10–20)

            H.      Victory over Sihon (21:21–30)

            I.      The campaign against Og, king of Bashan (21:31–35)

         V.      Israel in the Plains of Moab (22:1–36:13)

            A.      Balak, Balaam, and Israel (22:1–24:25)

              1.      Balak summons Balaam (22:1–6)

              2.      Balaam turns down Balak’s first invitation (22:7–14)

              3.      Balaam accepts Balak’s second invitation (22:15–21)

              4.      The donkey and the angel (22:22–35)

              5.      Balak greets Balaam (22:36–40)

              6.      Balaam blesses Israel three times (22:41–24:14)

                a.      The first blessing (22:41–23:12)

                b.      The second blessing (23:13–30)

                c.      The third blessing (24:1–14)

              7.      Balaam’s final oracle (24:15–19)

              8.      Three cryptic predictions (24:20–25)

            B.      Apostasy at Peor (25:1–18)

            C.      The second census (26:1–65)

            D.      Laws for the land (27:1–30:16)

              1.      The daughters of Zelophehad (27:1–11)

              2.      Joshua commissioned as Moses’ successor (27:12–23)

              3.      Calendar of public sacrifices (28:1–29:40)

                a.      The daily offering (28:1–8)

                b.      The Sabbath offerings (28:9–10)

                c.      The new moon sacrifices (28:11–15)

                d.      The Feast of Unleavened Bread (28:16–25)

                e.      The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) (28:26–31)

                f.      The first day of the seventh month (29:1–6)

                g.      The Day of Atonement (29:7–11)

                h.      The Feast of Booths (29:12–38)

                i.      Clarification and summary (29:39–40)

              4.      The obligations of vows (30:1–16)

                a.      Men and vows (30:1–2)

                b.      Women and vows (30:3–5)

                c.      Vows made by a woman before her marriage (30:6–8)

                d.      Widows and divorcees (30:9)

                e.      Vows made by a woman after her marriage (30:10–16)

            E.      Retribution on Midian (31:1–54)

              1.      The Lord’s campaign of vengeance against Midian (31:1–12)

              2.      Moses’ anger with his officers (31:13–18)

              3.      Purification for uncleanness (31:19–24)

              4.      Dividing the spoils (31:25–47)

              5.      Head count and atonement (31:48–54)

            F.      The settlement in Transjordan (32:1–42)

            G.      Summary of Israel’s journey from Egypt to Canaan (33:1–56)

            H.      The boundaries of Canaan (34:1–15)

              1.      The southern border (34:1–5)

              2.      The western border (34:6)

              3.      The northern border (34:7–9)

              4.      The eastern border (34:10–15)

              5.      The distributors of the land (34:16–29)

              6.      Cities for the Levites (35:1–8)

            I.      The cities of refuge (35:9–34)

              1.      The selection and purpose of these cities (35:9–15)

              2.      Homicide that warrants the death penalty (35:16–21)

              3.      Homicide that does not deserve death (35:22–29)

              4.      Final points (35:30–34)

              5.      Zelophehad’s daughters marry (36:1–13)


34 Chapters

Deuteronomy, which means “second law,” is a retelling by Moses of the teachings and events of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It includes an extended review of the Ten Commandments (4:44–5:33) and Moses’ farewell address to a new generation of Israelites as they stand ready to take possession of the Promised Land. Moses reminds them of God’s faithfulness and love, but also of God’s wrath on the previous generation of Israelites because of their rebellion. Repeatedly he charges Israel to keep the Law. Deuteronomy is a solemn call to love and obey the one true God. There are blessings for faithfulness and curses for unfaithfulness. The book closes with the selection of Joshua as Israel’s new leader and the death of Moses.


         I.      Prologue (1:1–5)

         II.      Moses’ First Speech: Historical Prologue (1:6–4:43)

            A.      Introduction to first speech (1:6–8)

            B.      Encouragement to trust in the land of promise (1:9–18)

            C.      Israel’s failure at Kadesh recalled (1:19–46)

            D.      Israel passes through Edom, Moab, and Ammon (2:1–23)

            E.      Israel defeats Heshbon (2:24–37)

            F.      Israel defeats Bashan (3:1–11)

            G.      Distribution of Transjordanian land (3:12–17)

            H.      Command to all Israelites to fight (3:18–22)

            I.      Reiteration of Moses being denied entry into the land (3:23–29)

            J.      Exhortation to Israel (4:1–40)

            K.      Setting apart cities of refuge (4:41–43)

         III.      Moses’ Second Speech: General Covenant Stipulations (4:44–11:32)

            A.      Introduction to Moses’ second speech (4:44–49)

            B.      The Ten Commandments (5:1–21)

            C.      Israel requests Moses to mediate God’s law (5:22–33)

            D.      The greatest commandment (6:1–25)

            E.      Exclusive relationship worked out in conquest and worship (7:1–26)

            F.      Learning the lessons of the wilderness (8:1–20)

            G.      Recounting the golden calf incident (9:1–10:11)

            H.      Exhortation (10:12–11:32)

         IV.      Moses’ Second Speech: Specific Covenant Stipulations (12:1–26:19)

            A.      Proper worship (12:1–32)

            B.      Threats of idolatry (13:1–18)

            C.      Clean and unclean foods (14:1–21)

            D.      Tithes (14:22–29)

            E.      The sabbatical year (15:1–18)

            F.      Firstborn animals (15:19–23)

            G.      Feasts (16:1–17)

            H.      Leaders (16:18–18:22)

            I.      Protecting life (19:1–21:14)

            J.      Protecting sexual morality (21:15–23:14)

            K.      Various laws protecting property (23:15–24:22)

            L.      Laws on justice, marriage, and business (25:1–16)

            M.      Amalek (25:17–19)

            N.      Firstfruits and tithes (26:1–19)

         V.      Moses’ Third Speech: Blessings and Curses (27:1–28:68)

         VI.      Moses’ Third Speech: Final Exhortation (29:1–30:20)

         VII.      Succession of Leadership (31:1–34:12)

            A.      The commissioning of Joshua and the writing of the law (31:1–29)

            B.      The Song of Moses (31:30–32:47)

            C.      The blessing of Moses (32:48–33:29)

            D.      The death of Moses (34:1–12)

Old Testament (12 Books of History)


24 Chapters

The five books of Moses anticipated the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham regarding the Promised Land. Now (either about 1400 or 1220 B.C.), through a string of military victories under Joshua, Israel conquered the land and divided it among the twelve tribes. In these battles it became evident that God fights for his people when they are “strong and courageous” (1:6, 7, 9, 18; 10:25) and put their full trust in him. At the close of the book, Joshua charged the people to remain faithful to God and to obey his commands, and the people agreed to do so. “As for me and my house,” said Joshua, “we will serve the LORD” (24:15). Although anonymous, the book appears to contain eyewitness testimony, some of which may have been written by Joshua himself.


The book of Joshua divides logically in the middle, with the first half focusing on Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan and the second half on the distribution of the conquered territories among the Israelite tribes. Better, however, is an analysis of the book as four sections, each characterized by a key Hebrew word. The sound similarities between the Hebrew words yield the following pattern:

    ‘abar Cross the Jordan into the land (chs. 1–5)
      laqakh Take the land (chs. 6–12)
      khalaq Divide the land (chs. 13–21)
    ‘abad Serve the Lord in the land (chs. 22–24)

         I.      Crossing into the Land (1:1–5:15)
            A.      Joshua’s charge (1:1–18)
            B.      Joshua, the spies, and Rahab (2:1–24)
            C.      Crossing the Jordan (3:1–4:24)
            D.      Ritual renewal and divine encounter (5:1–15)

         II.      Taking the Land (6:1–12:24)
            A.      Jericho’s fall: firstfruits of war (6:1–27)
            B.      Israel’s failure: Achan’s sin; corporate guilt (7:1–26)
            C.      Israel’s renewal: Ai’s defeat (8:1–35)
            D.      Israel’s Canaanite covenant: the Gibeonite ruse (9:1–27)
            E.      Defense of Gibeon, conquest of the south (10:1–43)
            F.      Conquest of the north and a list of defeated kings (11:1–12:24)

         III.      Dividing the Land (13:1–21:45)
            A.      It’s yours, now take it! (13:1–33)
            B.      Western territories (14:1–19:51)
            C.      A land of justice and worship (20:1–21:45)

         IV.      Serving the Lord in the Land (22:1–24:33)
            A.      One nation, under God (22:1–34)
            B.      Joshua’s charge to Israel’s leaders (23:1–16)
            C.      Covenant renewal at Shechem (24:1–33)


21 Chapters

Judges is named after an interesting collection of individuals who led Israel after Joshua’s death until the rise of the monarchy under Samuel (up to about 1050 B.C.). In this time of national decline, despite their promise to keep the covenant (Josh. 24:16–18) the people turned from the Lord and began to worship other gods. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6; 21:25). A pattern repeats throughout the book: 1) the people abandoned the Lord; 2) God punished them by raising up a foreign power to oppress them; 3) the people cried out to God for deliverance; and 4) God raised up a deliverer, or judge, for them. The author of the book is unknown, although some Jewish tradition ascribes it to Samuel.


         I.      The Roots of Israel’s Apostasy (1:1–3:6)
            A.      Prelude to apostasy: incomplete conquests (1:1–2:5)
              1.      Initial battles and the seeds of apostasy (1:1–21)
              2.      Incomplete conquests portending apostasy (1:22–36)
              3.      The angel of the Lord and Israel’s apostasy (2:1–5)
            B.      The unfolding and consequences of apostasy (2:6–3:6)
              1.      Joshua’s death and the coming apostasy (2:6–10)
              2.      The recurring pattern of Israel’s apostasy, God’s grace, and God’s anger (2:11–23)
              3.      The testing of Israel (3:1–6)

         II.      The Downward Spiral of Israel’s Apostasy (3:7–16:31)
            A.      Othniel (3:7–11)
            B.      Ehud (3:12–30)
            C.      Shamgar (3:31)
            D.      Deborah (4:1–5:31)
              1.      Victory over the Canaanites (4:1–24)
              2.      Deborah and Barak’s victory song (5:1–31)
            E.      Gideon (6:1–8:35)
              1.      Continuing apostasy (6:1–10)
              2.      Gideon’s call (6:11–40)
              3.      Gideon’s first battle (7:1–8:3)
              4.      Gideon’s second battle (8:4–21)
              5.      Gideon’s apostasy (8:22–28)
              6.      Gideon, father of Abimelech (8:29–32)
              7.      Continuing apostasy (8:33–35)
            F.      Abimelech, apostate “king” (9:1–57)
              1.      Abimelech’s sordid rise (9:1–6)
              2.      Indictment of Abimelech: Jotham’s fable (9:7–21)
              3.      Abimelech’s violent reign and end (9:22–55)
              4.      Final verdict on Abimelech (9:56–57)
              5.      Tola (10:1–2)
              6.      Jair (10:3–5)
            G.      Jephthah (10:6–12:7)
              1.      Apostasy and distress (10:6–18)
              2.      Introduction to Jephthah (11:1–3)
              3.      Jephthah’s commissioning (11:4–11)
              4.      Diplomatic discussions (11:12–28)
              5.      Victory and Jephthah’s foolish vow (11:29–40)
              6.      Jephthah’s conflict with Ephraim (12:1–7)
              7.      Ibzan (12:8–10)
              8.      Elon (12:11–12)
              9.      Abdon (12:13–15)
            H.      Samson (13:1–16:31)
              1.      The birth of Samson (13:1–25)
              2.      Samson and the Philistines, part 1 (14:1–15:20)
              3.      Samson and the Philistines, part 2 (16:1–31)

         III.      The Depths of Israel’s Apostasy (17:1–21:25)
            A.      Religious corruption (17:1–18:31)
              1.      Religious corruption of a household (17:1–6)
              2.      Religious corruption of a Levite (17:7–13)
              3.      Religious corruption of a tribe (18:1–31)
            B.      Moral and social corruption (19:1–21:24)
              1.      Moral outrage at Gibeah (19:1–30)
              2.      Civil war (20:1–48)
              3.      Chaotic aftermath (21:1–24)
            C.      Final verdict (21:25)


4 Chapters

The book of Ruth tells of a young Moabite widow who, out of love for her widowed Israelite mother-in-law, abandoned her own culture, declaring, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (1:16). Though she was destitute and needing to rely on the kindness of others, Ruth’s disposition and character captured the attention of Boaz, a close relative of her deceased husband. Boaz fulfilled the role of kinsman-redeemer and took Ruth as his wife. Ruth serves as a wonderful example of God’s providential care of his people, and of his willingness to accept Gentiles who seek him. Ruth was an ancestor of Christ. The author is unknown, but the genealogy at the end suggests that it was written during or after the time of David.


         I.      Introduction: Naomi Bereft of Family (1:1–5)

         II.      Scene 1: Naomi Returns to Bethlehem with Ruth (1:6–22)

         III.      Scene 2: Ruth Gleans in Boaz’s Field (2:1–23)

         IV.      Scene 3: Ruth, at the Threshing Floor, Asks Boaz to Marry Her (3:1–18)

         V.      Scene 4: Boaz Arranges Redemption at the Gate (4:1–12)

         VI.      Conclusion: Naomi Blessed with a New Family (4:13–17)

         VII.      Genealogy: Extended Blessing (4:18–22)

1 Samuel

31 Chapters

First Samuel records the establishment of Israel’s monarchy, about 1050 B.C. Samuel led Israel for many years in the combined roles of prophet, priest, and judge. After the people demanded a king like those of the other nations (ch. 8), God directed Samuel to anoint Saul as Israel’s first king. When Saul turned from God, David was anointed by Samuel to succeed him. After David killed the giant Goliath, he was brought to Saul’s court, eventually becoming the leader of Saul’s armies. Saul’s subsequent violent jealousy forced David to flee. The book closes with Saul’s death in battle, and looks forward to David’s reign. First Samuel’s author is unknown, but Samuel himself may have written portions of the book (see 1 Chron. 29:29).

1 Samuel Outline

         I.      The Story of Samuel (1:1–7:17)

            A.      Rise of Samuel as prophet (1:1–4:1a)

              1.      Birth and dedication of Samuel (1:1–28)

              2.      Hannah’s song (2:1–10)

              3.      Samuel, and Eli’s two sons (2:11–36)

              4.      Call of Samuel as a prophet (3:1–4:1a)

            B.      Story of the ark of God (4:1b–7:1)

              1.      Capture of the ark (4:1b–22)

              2.      The ark in Philistia (5:1–12)

              3.      Return of the ark (6:1–7:1)

            C.      Judgeship of Samuel (7:2–17)

         II.      Transition to the Monarchy (8:1–22)

         III.      The Story of Saul (9:1–15:35)

            A.      Saul made king (9:1–11:15)

              1.      Saul’s meeting with Samuel (9:1–27)

              2.      Anointing of Saul and his election (10:1–27)

              3.      Making Saul king (11:1–15)

            B.      Samuel’s address to Israel (12:1–25)

            C.      Reign of Saul (13:1–15:35)

              1.      Saul and the Philistines—first rejection of Saul (13:1–23)

              2.      Saul and Jonathan (14:1–52)

              3.      Saul and the Amalekites—second rejection of Saul (15:1–35)

         IV.      The Story of Saul and David (16:1–31:13)

            A.      Introduction of David (16:1–23)

              1.      Anointing of David (16:1–13)

              2.      David at Saul’s court (16:14–23)

            B.      David and Goliath: battle at the Valley of Elah (17:1–54)

            C.      Saul, Jonathan, and David (17:55–18:5)

            D.      Saul becomes David’s enemy (18:6–30)

            E.      Saul’s attempts to kill David (19:1–20:42)

            F.      David’s escapes from Saul (21:1–26:25)

              1.      David’s escapes (21:1–23:29)

              2.      David spares Saul at Engedi (24:1–25:1)

              3.      David marries Abigail (25:2–44)

              4.      David spares Saul at the hill of Hachilah (26:1–25)

            G.      David in Philistia (27:1–30:31)

              1.      David and Achish (27:1–12)

              2.      The Philistines gather for war (28:1–2)

              3.      The medium of En-dor (28:3–25)

              4.      The Philistine rulers reject David (29:1–11)

              5.      Amalekite raid on Ziklag and David’s victory (30:1–31)

              6.      Deaths of Saul and Jonathan (31:1–13)

2 Samuel

24 Chapters

Second Samuel recounts David’s reign as king of Israel (about 1010–970 B.C.). As promised to Abraham, during David’s reign Israel’s borders were extended roughly from Egypt to the Euphrates. While David had many successes, after his sin against Bathsheba and Uriah (ch. 11) both his kingdom and his own family fell into chaos. His son Absalom led a bloody rebellion against him. Nevertheless David, author of many of the Psalms, was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), a model of deep, heartfelt prayer and repentance. The Davidic Covenant of chapter 7 establishes the eternal rule of David’s line, with its ultimate fulfillment in the coming of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:26-33). The author of 2 Samuel is unknown.


         I.      Story of King David (1:1–20:26)
            A.      David and the death of Saul (1:1–27)
            B.      David becomes king (2:1–5:5)
            C.      Jerusalem, the city of David (5:6–25)
            D.      Zion, the place of worship (6:1–23)
            E.      Davidic covenant: eternal throne (7:1–29)
            F.      Catalog of David’s military activities (8:1–18)
            G.      Mephibosheth (9:1–13)
            H.      Israel-Ammon war (10:1–12:31)
              1.      Beginning of Israel-Ammon war (10:1–19)
              2.      David and Bathsheba (11:1–12:25)
              3.      End of Israel-Ammon war (12:26–31)
            I.      Absalom’s banishment and reinstatement (13:1–14:33)
            J.      Absalom’s rebellion (15:1–19:43)
              1.      Absalom’s conspiracy (15:1–12)
              2.      David’s escape from Absalom (15:13–16:14)
              3.      Ahithophel and Hushai (16:15–17:23)
              4.      David arrives at Mahanaim (17:24–29)
              5.      Death of Absalom (18:1–19:8a)
              6.      David’s return to Jerusalem (19:8b–43)
              7.      Sheba’s rebellion (20:1–26)

         II.      Epilogue (21:1–24:25)
            A.      Famine and the death of Saul’s sons (21:1–14)
            B.      Philistine wars (21:15–22)
            C.      Song of David (22:1–51)
            D.      Last words of David (23:1–7)
            E.      David’s heroes (23:8–39)
            F.      The census and the threshing floor (24:1–25)

1 Kings

22 Chapters

First Kings begins with the death of King David (about 970 B.C.) and the reign of his son, Solomon, who “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom” (10:23). Solomon’s unfaithfulness later in life set the stage for general apostasy among the people. The harsh policies of his son Rehoboam led to the revolt of the northern tribes and the division of Israel. The northern tribes would subsequently be called Israel, while the southern tribes would be called Judah. First Kings describes the construction of the temple in Jerusalem and shows the importance of proper worship. God’s faithfulness to his people is shown as he sent prophets, most notably Elijah, to warn them not to serve other gods. The author of 1 Kings is unknown.


         I.      The Reign of King Solomon (1:1–11:43)
            A.      Solomon becomes king (1:1–2:46)
            B.      More on Solomon and wisdom (3:1–28)
            C.      Solomon’s rule over Israel (4:1–20)
            D.      Solomon and the nations (4:21–34)
            E.      Preparations for building the temple (5:1–18)
            F.      Solomon builds the temple and his palace (6:1–7:51)
            G.      The ark brought to the temple (8:1–21)
            H.      Solomon’s prayer (8:22–53)
            I.      The temple narrative ended (8:54–9:9)
            J.      Glory under a cloud (9:10–10:29)
            K.      Solomon’s apostasy, opponents, and death (11:1–43)

         II.      The Kingdom Is Divided (12:1–14:31)
            A.      The kingdom torn away (12:1–33)
            B.      The man of God from Judah (13:1–34)
            C.      The end of Jeroboam (14:1–20)
            D.      The end of Rehoboam (14:21–31)
            E.      Abijam and Asa (15:1–24)

         III.      From Nadab to Ahab (15:25–16:34)

         IV.      Elijah and Ahab (17:1–22:40)
            A.      Elijah and the drought (17:1–24)
            B.      Elijah and the prophets of Baal (18:1–46)
            C.      Elijah and the Lord (19:1–21)
            D.      Ahab’s war against Syria (20:1–43)
            E.      Naboth’s vineyard (21:1–29)
            F.      Ahab killed in battle (22:1–40)

         V.      Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah (22:41–53)


2 Kings

25 Chapters

Second Kings continues the saga of disobedience begun in 1 Kings, opening about 850 B.C. with the conclusion of Elijah’s prophetic ministry in Israel and the beginning of the work of his successor, Elisha. Israel spiraled downward in faithlessness, ultimately being defeated and dispersed by the Assyrians in 722. Judah, the southern kingdom, had several kings who trusted God and attempted reforms. But after many years of God’s warnings through Isaiah and other prophets, Judah’s sins were punished by Babylonian conquest starting in 605 and ultimately in the fall of Jerusalem in 586. The people were exiled to Babylon for seventy years, as prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:10). 

God remained faithful to his covenant despite his people’s faithlessness. The author of 2 Kings is unknown.


         I.      The Death of Ahaziah (1:1–18)

         II.      Elisha and Israel (2:1–10:36)

            A.      Elijah gives way to Elisha (2:1–25)

            B.      Elisha and the conquest of Moab (3:1–27)

            C.      Elisha’s miracles (4:1–44)

            D.      A Syrian is healed (5:1–27)

            E.      Elisha and Syria (6:1–23)

            F.      The siege of Samaria (6:24–7:20)

            G.      The Shunammite’s land restored (8:1–6)

            H.      Hazael murders Ben-hadad (8:7–15)

            I.      Jehoram and Ahaziah (8:16–29)

            J.      The end of Ahab’s house (9:1–10:17)

            K.      Jehu destroys Baal worship (10:18–36)

         III.      Joash (11:1–12:21)

         IV.      Jehoahaz and Jehoash (13:1–25)

         V.      Amaziah, Jeroboam II, and Azariah (14:1–15:7)

         VI.      Israel’s Last Days (15:8–31)

         VII.      Jotham and Ahaz (15:32–16:20)

         VIII.      The End of Israel (17:1–41)

         IX.      Hezekiah (18:1–20:21)

         X.      Manasseh and Amon (21:1–26)

         XI.      Josiah (22:1–23:30)

         XII.      The End of Judah (23:31–25:30)

1 & 2 Chronicles

1 Chronicles: 29 Chapters

2 Chronicles: 36 Chapters

First and Second Chronicles, originally one book, was written sometime after Judah began to return from the Babylonian exile in 538 B.C. (1 Chron. 9:1–2; 2 Chron. 36:23). It focuses primarily on the history of Judah, the southern kingdom of divided Israel. First Chronicles begins with several genealogies, with special emphasis on David and Solomon. The “chronicler” moves next to the history of the kingdom under David, stressing David’s deep interest in worship and his detailed plans for the construction of the temple—which would be built by his son Solomon. First Chronicles was probably written to reassure the returned exiles of God’s faithfulness toward his people. Its author is unknown, although many have thought that Ezra was the principal writer.

Second Chronicles, which extends 1 Chronicles’ history of Judah, was written sometime after the people began to return from the Babylonian exile in 538 B.C. (36:23). The “chronicler,” perhaps trying to encourage the returned exiles, recalls the greatness of Solomon’s reign. Most of the book, however, focuses on Judah’s fall into sin which had led to the exile. Judah had several godly kings, especially Hezekiah and Josiah, but it still declined into sin. Still, God remained faithful to his covenant people, and as the book closes it jumps ahead several years, recording the decree of Cyrus that allowed the Jewish exiles to return to their Promised Land. The author is unknown, although many have thought that Ezra was the principal writer.

Outline for 1–2 Chronicles

Chronicles is a carefully constructed work with a clearly directed narrative. Its material falls into three major sections that overlap their present division into two books. Each of these sections has in turn a number of more or less discrete units. In greater detail, these units are as follows:

         I.      A Genealogical Presentation of the Tribes of Israel (1 Chron. 1:1–9:44)
            A.      Adam to Esau (1:1–54)
            B.      The sons of Israel (2:1–2)
            C.      The tribe of Judah (2:3–4:23)
            D.      The tribe of Simeon (4:24–43)
            E.      The Transjordanian tribes (5:1–26)
            F.      The tribe of Levi (6:1–81)
            G.      Other northern tribes (7:1–40)
            H.      The tribe of Benjamin (8:1–40)
            I.      The resettlement of Jerusalem (9:1–34)
            J.      The genealogy of Saul (9:35–44)

         II.      The United Kingdom of David and Solomon (1 Chron. 10:1–2 Chron. 9:31)
            A.      David’s rise to power over Israel (1 Chron. 10:1–12:40)
            B.      David’s transfer of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (13:1–16:43)
            C.      The dynastic promise to David (17:1–27)
            D.      David’s wars (18:1–20:8)
            E.      David’s census and preparation for the temple (21:1–29:30)
            F.      Solomon’s temple preparations (2 Chron. 1:1–2:18)
            G.      Solomon’s building of the temple (3:1–5:1)
            H.      The dedication of the temple (5:2–7:22)
            I.      Solomon’s other accomplishments (8:1–16)
            J.      Solomon’s international relations and renown (8:17–9:31)

         III.      The Kingdom of Judah down to the Exile (2 Chron. 10:1–36:23)
            A.      Rehoboam (10:1–12:16)
            B.      Abijah (13:1–14:1)
            C.      Asa (14:2–16:14)
            D.      Jehoshaphat (17:1–21:1)
            E.      Jehoram and Ahaziah (21:2–22:12)
            F.      Joash (23:1–24:27)
            G.      Amaziah (25:1–28)
            H.      Uzziah (26:1–23)
            I.      Jotham (27:1–9)
            J.      Ahaz (28:1–27)
            K.      Hezekiah (29:1–32:33)
            L.      Manasseh (33:1–20)
            M.      Amon (33:21–25)
            N.      Josiah (34:1–35:27)
            O.      The last four kings (36:1–21)
            P.      Restoration (36:22–23)


10 Chapters

The book of Ezra begins where 2 Chronicles ends. As prophesied by Isaiah (Isa. 44:28), the Persian King Cyrus had sent exiles led by Zerubbabel back to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. (Persia had defeated Babylon in 539.) Despite opposition from the non-Jewish inhabitants of Judea, and after encouragement by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the temple was rebuilt (515). Then in 458, Ezra led the second of three waves of returning exiles. By the time Ezra arrived, the people had again fallen into sin. Ezra preached God’s word and the people repented (10:9–17). Ezra succeeded because God’s hand was upon him (7:6, 9, 28; 8:18, 22, 31). This book, perhaps written by Ezra, shows God’s power in covenant faithfulness, moving even pagan kings to accomplish his redemptive purposes.


         I.      Cyrus’s Decree and the Return of Exiles from Babylon (1:1–2:70)

            A.      The decree (1:1–4)

            B.      The exiles respond to the decree (1:5–11)

            C.      The exiles live again in their ancestral homes (2:1–70)

         II.      The Returned Exiles Rebuild the Temple on Its Original Site (3:1–6:22)

            A.      The foundations of the temple are laid (3:1–13)

            B.      Enemies stall the project by conspiring against it (4:1–24)

            C.      The work is resumed, and local officials seek confirmation of Cyrus’s decree (5:1–17)

            D.      King Darius discovers and reaffirms Cyrus’s decree, and the work is completed (6:1–22)

         III.      Ezra the Priest Comes to Jerusalem to Establish the Law of Moses (7:1–8:36)

            A.      King Artaxerxes gives Ezra authority to establish the Mosaic law (7:1–28)

            B.      Ezra journeys to Jerusalem with a new wave of returnees, bearing royal gifts for the temple (8:1–36)

         IV.      Ezra Discovers and Confronts the Problem of Intermarriage (9:1–10:44)

            A.      Ezra discovers the problem of marriage to idolaters, and prays (9:1–15)

            B.      The people agree to dissolve the marriages (10:1–17)

            C.      List of those who were implicated (10:18–44)


13 Chapters

In 445 B.C. the Persian King Artaxerxes sent Nehemiah, an Israelite who was a trusted official, to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. With Nehemiah went the third wave of returning Jewish exiles. There was intense opposition from the other peoples in the land and disunity within Jerusalem. Despite this opposition, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls. He overcame these threats by taking wise defensive measures, by personal example, and by his obvious courage. Nehemiah did what God had put into his heart (2:12; 7:5) and found that the joy of the Lord was his strength (8:10). When the people began once again to fall into sin, Nehemiah had Ezra read to them from the Law. Nehemiah served twice as governor. The author is unknown, although parts come from Nehemiah’s own writings


         I.      Nehemiah Returns to Jerusalem to Rebuild Its Walls (1:1–2:20)
            A.      Nehemiah learns of Jerusalem’s dilapidation (1:1–11)
            B.      Nehemiah gains permission to return and inspects Jerusalem’s walls (2:1–16)
            C.      First signs of opposition (2:17–20)

         II.      The Wall Is Built, Despite Difficulties (3:1–7:4)
            A.      The people work systematically on the walls (3:1–32)
            B.      Opposition intensifies, but the people continue watchfully (4:1–23)
            C.      Nehemiah deals with injustices in the community; Nehemiah’s personal contribution to the project 
            D.      A conspiracy against Nehemiah, but the wall is finished (6:1–7:4)
            E.      A Record of Those Who Returned from Exile (7:5–73)

         III.      The Reading of the Law, and Covenant Renewal (8:1–10:39)
            A.      The law is read (8:1–8)
            B.      The people are to be joyful (8:9–12)
            C.      The people keep the Feast of Booths (8:13–18)
            D.      A prayer of confession, penitence, and covenant commitment (9:1–38)
            E.      Signatories and specific commitments (10:1–39)

         IV.      The Population of Jerusalem and the Villages; Priests and Levites (11:1–12:43)
            A.      Those who lived in Jerusalem and the villages of Judah (11:1–36)
            B.      High priests and leading Levites since the time of Zerubbabel (12:1–26)
            C.      Dedication of the walls (12:27–43)

         V.      Nehemiah Deals with Problems in the Community (12:44–13:31)
            A.      The administration of offerings for the temple (12:44–47)
            B.      Ejection of Tobiah the Ammonite from the temple (13:1–9)
            C.      Dealing with neglect of the offerings (13:10–14)
            D.      Dealing with Sabbath breaking (13:15–22)
            E.      The problem of intermarriage again (13:23–29)
            F.      Summary of Nehemiah’s temple reforms (13:30–31)



10 Chapters

The book of Esther never mentions God’s name, yet God clearly orchestrated all of its events. Esther, a Jew living among the exiles in Persia, became queen of the empire in about 480 B.C. Haman, a Persian official, sought to eradicate the Jewish minority, but God had prepared Esther “for such a time as this” (4:14) to save his covenant people. The book was written some decades later to document the origins of the Jewish observance of Purim, which celebrates Israel’s survival and God’s faithfulness. The author is unknown, but some believe it could have been Esther’s cousin Mordecai, who is a key person in the book. Throughout the book we see God’s sovereign hand preserving his people, showing that everything is under his control.


         I.      Introduction (1:1–2:23)
            A.      Queen Vashti’s downfall (1:1–22)
            B.      Esther’s rise to the throne (2:1–18)
            C.      Mordecai’s success in foiling a plot against the king (2:19–23)

         II.      Main Action (3:1–9:19)
            A.      Haman plots to kill the Jews (3:1–15)
            B.      Mordecai and Esther plan to save their people (4:1–17)
            C.      Esther is favorably received by the king and prepares to expose Haman (5:1–8)
            D.      Haman prepares to hang Mordecai (5:9–14)
            E.      Mordecai is honored and Haman is humiliated (6:1–13)
            F.      Esther brings about Haman’s destruction (6:14–7:10)
            G.      Esther wins the right of the Jews to defend themselves (8:1–17)
            H.      The Jews completely destroy their enemies (9:1–19)

         III.      Conclusion (9:20–10:3)
            A.      The establishment of the Feast of Purim (9:20–32)
            B.      Mordecai’s high rank and beneficent rule (10:1–3)

Old Testament (5 Books of Wisdom & Poetry)


42 Chapters

The book of Job is an honest portrayal of God allowing a good man to suffer. The test of Job’s faith, allowed by God in response to a challenge from Satan, revealed God’s loving sovereignty and the supremacy of divine wisdom over human wisdom (personified by Job’s friends). Job maintained his integrity and trust in God. In the depths of agony he could still proclaim, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (19:25). In the end God silenced all discussion with the truth that he alone is wise (chs. 38–41). Yet he vindicated Job’s trust in him (ch. 42), proving that genuine faith cannot be destroyed. The unknown author was probably an Israelite writing sometime between 1500 and 500 B.C.


         I.      Prologue: Job’s Character and the Circumstances of His Test (1:1–2:13)

            A.      The integrity of Job (1:1–5)

            B.      The first test (1:6–22)

              1.      The challenge in heaven (1:6–12)

              2.      The loss of family and possessions (1:13–19)

              3.      Job’s confession and confidence (1:20–22)

            C.      The second test (2:1–10)

              1.      The challenge in heaven (2:1–6)

              2.      Job’s affliction and confession (2:7–10)

              3.      Job’s comforters (2:11–13)

         II.      Dialogue: Job, His Suffering, and His Standing before God (3:1–42:6)

            A.      Job: despair for the day of his birth (3:1–26)

              1.      Introduction (3:1–2)

              2.      Job curses his birth (3:3–10)

              3.      Job longs for rest (3:11–19)

              4.      Job laments his suffering (3:20–26)

            B.      The friends and Job: can Job be right before God? (4:1–25:6)

              1.      First cycle (4:1–14:22)

                a.      Eliphaz: can mortal man be in the right before God? (4:1–5:27)

                b.      Job: life is futile (6:1–7:21)

                c.      Bildad: the wisdom of the sages (8:1–22)

                d.      Job: how can a mortal be just before God? (9:1–10:22)

                e.      Zophar: repent (11:1–20)

                f.      Job: a challenge to the “wisdom” of his friends (12:1–14:22)

              2.      Second cycle (15:1–21:34)

                a.      Eliphaz: Job’s words condemn him (15:1–35)

                b.      Job: hope for a sufferer (16:1–17:16)

                c.      Bildad: punishment for the wicked (18:1–21)

                d.      Job: my Redeemer lives (19:1–29)

                e.      Zophar: the wicked will die (20:1–29)

                f.      Job: the wicked prosper (21:1–34)

              3.      Third cycle (22:1–25:6)

                a.      Eliphaz: Job is guilty (22:1–30)

                b.      Job: God is hidden (23:1–24:25)

                c.      Bildad: an unanswered question (25:1–6)

            C.      Job: the power of God, place of wisdom, and path of integrity (26:1–31:40)

              1.      The mystery and majesty of God’s ways (26:1–14)

              2.      A claim to integrity and a wish for vindication (27:1–23)

              3.      Where is wisdom found? (28:1–28)

              4.      The path of Job’s life (29:1–31:40)

            D.      Elihu: suffering as a discipline (32:1–37:24)

              1.      Introduction: Elihu and his anger (32:1–5)

              2.      The voice of youth (32:6–22)

              3.      An arbiter for Job (33:1–33)

              4.      An appeal to the wise (34:1–37)

              5.      What right does Job have before God? (35:1–16)

              6.      The mercy and majesty of God (36:1–37:24)

            E.      Challenge: the Lord answers Job (38:1–42:6)

              1.      The first challenge: understanding the universe (38:1–40:2)

              2.      Job’s response: silence (40:3–5)

              3.      The second challenge: understanding justice and power (40:6–41:34)

              4.      Job’s response: submission (42:1–6)

         III.      Epilogue: The Vindication, Intercession, and Restoration of Job (42:7–17)

            A.      The Lord rebukes the three friends (42:7–9)

            B.      The Lord restores Job (42:10–17)



150 Chapters

The book of Psalms is filled with the songs and prayers offered to God by the nation of Israel. Their expressions of praise, faith, sorrow, and frustration cover the range of human emotions. Some of the Psalms dwell on the treasure of wisdom and God’s Word. Others reveal the troubled heart of a mourner. Still others explode with praise to God and invite others to join in song. This diversity is unified by one element: they are centered upon the one and only living God. This Creator God is King of all the earth and a refuge to all who trust in him. Many of the Psalms are attributed to King David. The writing and collection of the Psalms into their present form spans the fifteenth to the third centuries B.C.


Book 1 Psalms 1–41 
Psalms 1–2 have no titles that attribute authorship (but see Acts 4:25 for Psalm 2); they provide an introduction to the Psalms as a whole. The remainder of Book 1 is made up almost entirely of psalms of David: only Psalms 10 and 33 lack a Davidic superscription. Prayers issuing from a situation of distress dominate, punctuated by statements of confidence in the God who alone can save (e.g., 9; 11; 16; 18), striking the note that concludes the book (40–41). Reflections on ethics and worship with integrity are found in Psalms 1; 14–15; 19; 24; and Psalm 26. 

Book 2 Psalms 42–72 
From the Davidic voice of Book 1, Book 2 introduces the first Korah collection (42–49, although 43 lacks a superscription), with a single Asaph psalm at Psalm 50. A further Davidic collection is found in Psalms 51–65 and 68–69, including the bulk of the “historical” superscriptions (51–52; 54; 56–57; 59–60; 63). Once again, lament and distress dominate the content of these prayers, which now also include a communal voice (e.g., Psalm 44; cf. Psalms 67; 68). The lone psalm attributed to Solomon concludes Book 2 with the Psalms’ pinnacle of royal theology (72; cf. 45).

Book 3 Psalms 73–89 
The tone darkens further in Book 3. The opening Psalm 73 starkly questions the justice of God before seeing light in God’s presence; that light has almost escaped the psalmist in Psalm 88, the bleakest of all psalms. Book 2 ended with the high point of royal aspirations; Book 3 concludes in Psalm 89 with these expectations badly threatened. Sharp rays of hope occasionally pierce the darkness (e.g., Psalms 75; 85; 87). The brief third book contains most of the psalms of Asaph (Psalms 73–83), as well as another set of Korah psalms (Psalms 84–85; 87–88).

Book 4 Psalms 90–106 
Psalm 90 opens the fourth book of the psalms. It may be seen as the first response to the problems raised by the third book (Psalms 73–89). Psalm 90, attributed to Moses, reminds the worshiper that God was active on Israel’s behalf long before David. This theme is taken up in Psalms 103–106, which summarize God’s dealings with his people before any kings reigned. In between there is a group of psalms (93–100) characterized by the refrain “The Lord reigns.” This truth refutes the doubts of Psalm 89.

Book 5 Psalms 107–150 
The structure of Book 5 reflects the closing petition of Book 4 in 106:47. It declares that God does answer prayer (Psalm 107) and concludes with five Hallelujah psalms (146–150). In between there are several psalms affirming the validity of the promises to David (Psalms 110; 132; 144), two collections of Davidic psalms (108–110; 138–145); the longest psalm, celebrating the value of the law (Psalm 119); and 15 psalms of ascent for use by pilgrims to Jerusalem (Psalms 120–134).


31 Chapters

Practical wisdom for living is the central concern of the book of Proverbs. We are told that the beginning and essence of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (1:7; 9:10). Proverbs often contrasts the benefits of seeking wisdom and the pitfalls of living a fool’s life. While the wicked stumble in “deep darkness” (4:19), “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (v. 18). Proverbs is a collection of Israelite wisdom literature, including an introductory section (chs. 1–9) that gives readers a framework for understanding the rest of the book. The book includes the work of various authors, but much of it is attributed to King Solomon. It dates from between the tenth and sixth centuries B.C.


         I.      Title, Goal, and Motto (1:1–7)

         II.      A Father’s Invitation to Wisdom (1:8–9:18)

            A.      First paternal appeal: do not join those greedy for unjust gain (1:8–19)

            B.      First wisdom appeal (1:20–33)

            C.      Second paternal appeal: get wisdom (2:1–22)

            D.      Third paternal appeal: fear the Lord (3:1–12)

            E.      A hymn to wisdom (3:13–20)

            F.      Fourth paternal appeal: walk securely in wisdom (3:21–35)

            G.      Fifth paternal appeal: wisdom is a tradition worth maintaining (4:1–9)

            H.      Sixth paternal appeal: the two ways (4:10–19)

            I.      Seventh paternal appeal: maintain a heart of wisdom (4:20–27)

            J.      Eighth paternal appeal: sexuality (5:1–23)

            K.      Warnings relating to securing debt, sloth, and sowing discord (6:1–19)

            L.      Ninth paternal appeal: adultery leads to ruin (6:20–35)

            M.      Tenth paternal appeal: keep away from temptations to adultery (7:1–27)

            N.      Second wisdom appeal (8:1–36)

            O.      Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly (9:1–18)

         III.      Proverbs of Solomon (10:1–22:16)

         IV.      The Thirty Sayings of “the Wise” (22:17–24:22)

         V.      Further Sayings of “the Wise” (24:23–34)

         VI.      Hezekiah’s Collection of Solomonic Proverbs (25:1–29:27)

         VII.      The Sayings of Agur (30:1–33)

         VIII.      The Sayings of King Lemuel (31:1–9)

         IX.      An Alphabet of Womanly Excellence (31:10–31)


12 Chapters

Ecclesiastes contains reflections of an old man, the “Preacher,” as he considered the question of meaning in life. He looked back and saw the futility (“vanity”) of chasing after even the good things this life can offer, including wisdom, work, pleasure, and wealth. Even if such things are satisfying for a time, death is certain to end this satisfaction. Yet the person who lives in the fear of the Lord can enjoy God’s good gifts. Young people, especially, should remember their Creator while they still have their whole lives before them (12:1). Traditionally interpreters of Ecclesiastes have identified the “Preacher,” who is also called “the son of David, king in Jerusalem” (1:1), as Solomon (tenth century B.C.).


         I.      Introduction and Theme (1:1–3)

         II.      First Catalog of “Vanities” (1:4–2:26)

            A.      The “vanity” of the natural world (1:4–11)

            B.      The “vanity” of wisdom and knowledge (1:12–18)

            C.      The “vanity” of pleasures, possessions, and accomplishments (2:1–11)

            D.      More on the “vanity” of wisdom (2:12–17)

            E.      The “vanity” of labor (2:18–26)

         III.      Poem: A Time for Everything (3:1–8)

         IV.      Fear God, the Sovereign One (3:9–15)

         V.      Second Catalog of “Vanities” (3:16–4:16)

            A.      The “vanity” of mortal life (3:16–4:3)

            B.      More on the “vanity” of labor (4:4–12)

            C.      More on the “vanity” of wisdom (4:13–16)

         VI.      Fear God, the Holy and Righteous One (5:1–7)

         VII.      Life “Under the Sun” (5:8–7:24)

            A.      Injustice (5:8–9)

            B.      Greed vs. contentment (5:10–6:9)

            C.      Wisdom for living “under the sun” (6:10–7:24)

         VIII.      The Heart of the Problem: Sin (7:25–29)

         IX.      More on Life “Under the Sun” (8:1–12:7)

            A.      Wisdom in dealing with foolish authorities (8:1–9)

            B.      The importance of fearing God (8:10–13)

            C.      The limits of human knowledge (8:14–17)

            D.      The unpredictability of life and certainty of death (9:1–6)

            E.      Finding enjoyment as circumstances allow (9:7–10)

            F.      More on the unpredictability of life (9:11–12)

            G.      The paths of wisdom and foolishness (9:13–11:6)

              1.      The power of wisdom (9:13–18)

              2.      Proverbs concerning wisdom and foolishness (10:1–20)

              3.      Wise practices in light of the unpredictability of life (11:1–6)

            H.      Aging and the “vanity” of mortal life (11:7–12:7)

         X.      Final Conclusion and Epilogue (12:8–14)

Song Of Solomon

8 Chapters

According to the most common interpretation, the Song of Solomon is a collection of love poems between a man and a woman, celebrating the sexual relationship God intended for marriage. God established marriage, including the physical union of a husband and wife (Gen. 2:18–25), and Israelite wisdom literature treasures this aspect of marriage as the appropriate expression of human sexuality (Prov. 5:15–20). It is possible that Solomon (tenth century B.C.) is the author (1:1). However, this verse could mean that the Song was dedicated to Solomon or was written about him, and therefore many scholars regard the book as anonymous.


         I.      Title: The Best of Songs (1:1)

         II.      The Lovers Yearn for Each Other (1:2–2:17)

         III.      The Shepherdess Dreams (3:1–6:3)

         IV.      The Lovers Yearn for Each Other Again (6:4–8:4)

         V.      The Lovers Join in Marriage (8:5–14)

Old Testament (5 Major Prophets)


66 Chapters

Isaiah lived during the decline of Israel in the shadow of Assyria. He spoke the word of God to a people who were “deaf and blind” (see 6:10), who refused to listen to his warnings of looming disaster. He warned that the sin of the people of Judah would bring God’s judgment, yet he also declared that God is sovereign and would use Cyrus the Persian to return them from exile. The book speaks of a “servant,” a “man of sorrows,” who would be “pierced for our transgressions,” accomplishing God’s purposes of salvation (52:13–53:12). The final chapters give a beautiful description of a new creation in which God will rule as King, judging the wicked and establishing eternal peace. Isaiah prophesied about 740–700 B.C. (possibly till the 680s).


         I.      Introduction: “Ah, Sinful Nation!” (1:1–5:30)
            A.      Judah’s sins confronted (1:1–31)
            B.      Judah’s hope, guilt, hope (2:1–4:6)
              1.      Hope (2:1–5)
              2.      Guilt (2:6–4:1)
              3.      Hope (4:2–6)
            C.      Judah’s sins condemned (5:1–30)

         II.      God Redefines the Future of His People: “Your Guilt Is Taken Away” (6:1–12:6)
            A.      Grace—through judgment—for Isaiah (6:1–13)
            B.      Grace—through judgment—for Judah (7:1–9:7)
            C.      Grace—through judgment—for Israel (9:8–11:16)
            D.      The enjoyment of God’s grace (12:1–6)

         III.      God’s Judgment and Grace for the World: “We Have a Strong City” (13:1–27:13)
            A.      First series of oracles: the here and now (13:1–20:6)
              1.      Babylon (13:1–14:27)
              2.      Philistia (14:28–32)
              3.      Moab (15:1–16:14)
              4.      The Syria-Israel alliance (17:1–18:7)
              5.      Egypt (19:1–20:6)
            B.      Second series of oracles: the deeper truth (21:1–23:18)
              1.      Babylon (21:1–10)
              2.      Edom (21:11–12)
              3.      Arabia (21:13–17)
              4.      Jerusalem (22:1–25)
              5.      Tyre (23:1–18)
            C.      Third series of oracles: the final end (24:1–27:13)
              1.      The wasted city (24:1–20)
              2.      The Lord will punish (24:21–23)
              3.      He will swallow up death forever (25:1–12)
              4.      He will ordain peace (26:1–21)
              5.      The whole world will be fruitful (27:1–13)

         IV.      God’s Sovereign Word Spoken into the World: “Ah!” (28:1–35:10)
            A.      Six laments, with assurances (28:1–33:24)
              1.      The proud crown of Ephraim (28:1–29)
              2.      The city where David encamped (29:1–14)
              3.      Those who turn things upside down (29:15–24)
              4.      Stubborn children with their own plans (30:1–33)
              5.      Those who go down to Egypt for help (31:1–32:20)
              6.      The destroyer who has not been destroyed (33:1–24)
              7.      Two final outcomes: judgment or salvation (34:1–35:10)

         V.      Historical Transition: “In Whom Do You Now Trust?” (36:1–39:8)
            A.      Practical trust in God vindicated (36:1–37:38)
            B.      Human inconstancy sent into exile (38:1–39:8)

         VI.      Comfort for God’s Exiles: “The Glory of the Lord Shall Be Revealed” (40:1–55:13)
            A.      The God of glory: his coming, exclusivity, power (40:1–31)
            B.      The one true God moving history for his people (41:1–20)
            C.      False hopes, the Lord’s servant, a new song (41:21–42:17)
            D.      God reclaims his people for his glory (42:18–43:21)
            E.      God revives his people for his glory (43:22–44:23)
            F.      God predicts his use of Cyrus (44:24–45:25)
            G.      The gods and pride of Babylon doomed (46:1–47:15)
            H.      God will free his people from Babylon for his own sake (48:1–22)
            I.      The Lord’s servant displayed, his people assured (49:1–50:3)
            J.      The Lord’s servant taught, his people attentive (50:4–51:8)
            K.      Encouragements to a responsive faith (51:9–52:12)
            L.      The Lord’s servant: the exalted sin-bearer (52:13–53:12)
            M.      Compassion for God’s people, offered to all (54:1–55:13)

         VII.      How to Prepare for the Coming Glory: “Hold Fast My Covenant” (56:1–66:24)
            A.      The true people of God redefined (56:1–8)
            B.      The false people of God exposed (56:9–57:13)
            C.      The true people of God invited (57:14–21)
            D.      The path to blessing: ritual vs. responsibility (58:1–59:13)
            E.      Present failure, eternal covenant, future glory (59:14–60:22)
            F.      The anointed Preacher renewing the world (61:1–62:12)
            G.      The coming Victor; his past faithfulness (63:1–14)
            H.      Praying for the power of God (63:15–64:12)
            I.      The eagerness of God for his people’s eternal joy (65:1–25)
            J.      True worship now and forever (66:1–24)


52 Chapters

Jeremiah, often called the “weeping prophet” because of his sorrow over the persistent message of God’s judgment, prophesied to the nation of Judah from the reign of King Josiah in 627 B.C. until sometime after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586. He dictated his prophecies to a scribe named Baruch (36:4, 32). Jeremiah’s task as a prophet was to declare the coming judgment of God. However, throughout the book we also see God’s concern for repentance and righteousness in individuals as well as nations. This dual focus is seen in God’s instructions to Jeremiah: he was “to pluck up and to break down” but also “to build and to plant” (1:10). Jeremiah sees a future day when God will write his law on human hearts, and “they shall all know me,” and “I will remember their sin no more” (31:33–34).


         I.      Introduction (1:1–19)
            A.      Jeremiah’s historical setting (1:1–3)
            B.      Jeremiah’s call and message (1:4–16)
            C.      God’s promised protection of Jeremiah (1:17–19)

         II.      Israel’s Covenantal Adultery (2:1–6:30)
            A.      Israel has been a faithless spouse (2:1–3:5)
            B.      Israel can and should repent (3:6–4:4)
            C.      Disaster is coming (4:5–31)
            D.      Judah’s unwillingness to repent and its consequences (5:1–31)
            E.      God has rejected his people (6:1–30)

         III.      False Religion and an Idolatrous People (7:1–10:25)
            A.      Judah’s improper reliance on the temple (7:1–8:3)
            B.      Judah rejects God’s Torah (8:4–17)
            C.      Judah lives deceitfully (8:18–9:9)
            D.      Judah grieves Jeremiah (9:10–26)
            E.      Judah engages in idolatry (10:1–16)
            F.      Judah will go into exile (10:17–25)

         IV.      Jeremiah’s Struggles with God and Judah (11:1–20:18)
            A.      Jeremiah surprised by opposition (11:1–12:17)
            B.      Jeremiah feels betrayed by God (13:1–15:21)
            C.      Jeremiah renewed by God (16:1–17:18)
            D.      Jeremiah burdened by constant opposition (17:19–18:23)
            E.      Jeremiah endures suffering and questions his calling (19:1–20:18)

         V.      Jeremiah’s Confrontations (21:1–29:32)
            A.      Jeremiah opposes Judah’s kings (21:1–23:8)
            B.      Jeremiah confronts false prophets (23:9–40)
            C.      Jeremiah opposes Judah’s people (24:1–25:38)
            D.      Jeremiah opposes false belief (26:1–29:32)

         VI.      Restoration for Judah and Israel (30:1–33:26)
            A.      God will restore the nation (30:1–24)
            B.      God will make a new covenant with Israel (31:1–40)
            C.      God will bring Israel back to the Promised Land (32:1–44)
            D.      God will honor the Davidic covenant (33:1–26)

         VII.      God Judges Judah (34:1–45:5)
            A.      God’s faithfulness and Judah’s infidelity (34:1–35:19)
            B.      Judah rejects God’s word (36:1–32)
            C.      Jerusalem’s last days (37:1–39:18)
            D.      Judah’s futile rebellion against Babylon (40:1–41:18)
            E.      Judah’s futile rebellion against God (42:1–45:5)

         VIII.      God’s Judgment on the Nations (46:1–51:64)
            A.      God will judge Egypt (46:1–28)
            B.      God will judge Philistia (47:1–7)
            C.      God will judge Moab (48:1–47)
            D.      God will judge many nations (49:1–39)
            E.      God will judge Babylon (50:1–51:64)

         IX.      Conclusion: The Fall of Jerusalem (52:1–34)
            A.      Jerusalem’s fall and Zedekiah’s blinding (52:1–11)
            B.      The destruction of the temple (52:12–23)
            C.      The exiling of the people (52:24–30)
            D.      The continuation of the Davidic lineage (52:31–34)


5 Chapters

The book of Lamentations is made up of five poems, each an expression of grief over the fall of Jerusalem. Like a eulogy at a funeral, these laments are intended to mourn a loss—in this case, the loss of a nation. The latter half of chapter 3 implies that the purpose behind the book’s graphic depictions of sorrow and suffering was to produce hope in the God whose compassion is “new every morning” (v. 23) and whose faithfulness is great even to a people who have been condemned for their own unfaithfulness. The author, while not identified in the book itself, may have been the prophet Jeremiah, who was said to have “uttered a lament for Josiah” (2 Chron. 35:25). Lamentations was probably written shortly after Jerusalem’s fall in 586 B.C.


         I.      How Lonely Sits the City (1:1–22)
            A.      Jerusalem’s devastation (1:1–11)
            B.      Jerusalem’s call for help (1:12–22)

         II.      God Has Set Zion under a Cloud (2:1–22)
            A.      The effects of God’s punishment (2:1–10)
            B.      The need to cry out to God (2:11–19)
            C.      Jerusalem asks God to see and act (2:20–22)

         III.      I Am the Man Who Has Seen Affliction (3:1–66)
            A.      Enduring suffering, experiencing faithfulness (3:1–24)
            B.      Responding to God’s goodness and sovereignty (3:25–39)
            C.      Praying for renewal (3:40–47)
            D.      Maintaining confidence in God (3:48–66)

         IV.      How the Gold Has Grown Dim (4:1–22)
            A.      The suffering of Jerusalem’s children (4:1–10)
            B.      God’s punishing of Jerusalem’s religious leaders (4:11–16)
            C.      The power of Jerusalem’s enemies (4:17–20)
            D.      The end of Jerusalem’s suffering (4:21–22)

         V.      Restore Us to Yourself, O Lord (5:1–22)
            A.      Opening petition (5:1)
            B.      The woes Jerusalem has faced (5:2–18)
            C.      A concluding prayer for restoration (5:19–22)


48 Chapters

Ezekiel, a prophet and priest, was exiled to Babylon in 597 B.C. His ministry extended over at least twenty-three years. The book opens with his first dramatic vision of the “likeness” of the Lord himself. Ezekiel was keenly aware of God’s presence and power in human affairs. He addressed both the exiles and the people left in Judah with messages of warning and judgment, predicting the fall of Jerusalem. After Jerusalem’s fall (in 586), Ezekiel prophesied hope and reassurance for the people of Judah, who had then lost the focus of God’s covenant, the temple in Jerusalem. His vision of the valley of dry bones (ch. 37) is a classic picture of God’s ability to renew his people.


         I.      Inaugural Vision (1:1–3:27)
            A.      Setting (1:1–3)
            B.      Inaugural vision (1:4–3:15)
              1.      The throne of the Lord approaches (1:4–28)
              2.      The prophet commissioned (2:1–3:11)
              3.      The throne of the Lord withdraws (3:12–13)
              4.      The vision concludes (3:14–15)
            C.      The watchman (3:16–21) [cf. 33:1–9]
            D.      Inaugural vision reprise (3:22–27)

         II.      Judgment on Jerusalem and Judah (4:1–24:27)
            A.      God against Jerusalem (4:1–5:17)
              1.      God against Jerusalem enacted (4:1–5:4)
              2.      God against Jerusalem explained (5:5–17)
            B.      Oracles against the “land” (6:1–7:27)
              1.      Against the mountains of Israel (6:1–14)
              2.      Against the land of Israel (7:1–27)
            C.      Ezekiel’s temple vision (8:1–11:25)
              1.      Transportation and abominations (8:1–18)
              2.      Slaughter in Jerusalem (9:1–11)
              3.      The fire and the glory (10:1–22)
              4.      Punishment for civic authorities (11:1–13)
              5.      Promise of a new heart, spirit (11:14–21)
              6.      The glory of the Lord departs (11:22–25)
            D.      Anticipating exile (12:1–28)
              1.      Exile predicted (12:1–20)
              2.      Exile confirmed (12:21–28)
            E.      False prophecy, true prophecy (13:1–14:11)
              1.      False prophets (13:1–23)
              2.      False inquirers (14:1–11)
            F.      The consequences of infidelity (14:12–15:8)
              1.      Noah, Daniel, Job (14:12–23)
              2.      The useless vine (15:1–8)
            G.      The faithless bride (16:1–63)
              1.      Jerusalem, the foundling bride (16:1–43)
              2.      Jerusalem and her sisters (16:44–58)
              3.      The everlasting covenant (16:59–63)
            H.      The parable of the eagles and the vine (17:1–24)
              1.      The parable narrated (17:1–10)
              2.      The parable explained (17:11–18)
              3.      The parable interpreted (17:19–21)
              4.      A new parable (17:22–24)
            I.      Moral responsibility (18:1–32)
              1.      The one who sins dies (18:1–4)
              2.      Three case studies (18:5–18)
              3.      Two objections (18:19–29)
              4.      Conclusion: repent! (18:30–32)
            J.      Lament for the princes of Israel (19:1–14)
              1.      A lioness and her cubs (19:1–9)
              2.      A vine and its stem(s) (19:10–14)
            K.      Learning from history (20:1–44)
              1.      Looking to the past (20:1–31)
              2.      Unthinkable idolatry (20:32)
              3.      Looking to the future (20:33–44)
            L.      Fire and sword (20:45–21:32)
              1.      The parable of the fire (20:45–49)
              2.      The drawn sword (21:1–7)
              3.      The sharpened sword (21:8–17)
              4.      The sword of Nebuchadnezzar (21:18–29)
              5.      The sword sheathed and judged (21:30–32)
            M.      A city defiled (22:1–31)
              1.      The bloody city (22:1–16)
              2.      The city of dross (22:17–22)
              3.      Systemic failure (22:23–31)
            N.      Two sisters (23:1–49)
              1.      The sisters and politics (23:1–35)
              2.      The sisters and religion (23:36–49)
            O.      Two losses (24:1–27)
              1.      Jerusalem, the bloody pot (24:1–14)
              2.      No mourning for Ezekiel’s wife (24:15–24)
              3.      Fugitive news (24:25–27)

         III.      Oracles against Foreign Nations (25:1–32:32)
            A.      Against Judah’s neighbors (25:1–17)
              1.      Against Ammon (25:1–7)
              2.      Against Moab (25:8–11)
              3.      Against Edom (25:12–14)
              4.      Against Philistia (25:15–17)
            B.      Oracles against Tyre (26:1–28:19)
              1.      Against Tyre (26:1–21)
              2.      A lament against Tyre (27:1–36)
              3.      Against Tyre’s king (28:1–19)
              4.      Oracle against Sidon (28:20–23)
              5.      Israel gathered in security (28:24–26)
            C.      Oracles against Egypt (29:1–32:32)
              1.      Against Pharaoh (29:1–16)
              2.      Nebuchadnezzar and Egypt (29:17–21)
              3.      Lament for Egypt (30:1–19)
              4.      The kings of Egypt and Babylon (30:20–26)
              5.      The fall of Pharaoh (31:1–18)
              6.      Lament over Pharaoh (32:1–16)
              7.      Egypt’s descent to the pit (32:17–32)

         IV.      After the Fall of Jerusalem (33:1–39:29)
            A.      Reminders (33:1–20)
              1.      The watchman (reprise) (33:1–9) [cf. 3:16–21]
              2.      Moral responsibility (reprise) (33:10–20) [cf. 18:21–29]
              3.      The fall of Jerusalem (33:21–22)
            B.      Culpability (33:23–33)
              1.      A word for the homelanders (33:23–29)
              2.      A word for the exiles (33:30–33)
            C.      Shepherds and sheep (34:1–31)
              1.      Wicked shepherds and the good shepherd (34:1–16)
              2.      The flock: problems and prospects (34:17–31)
            D.      The mountains of Edom and Israel (35:1–36:15)
              1.      Against Mount Seir (35:1–15)
              2.      The mountains of Israel restored (36:1–15)
            E.      Restoration for the sake of God’s name (36:16–38)
              1.      State of impurity (36:16–21)
              2.      Divine intervention: a new spirit (36:22–32)
              3.      Land renewed (36:33–36)
              4.      Populace increased (36:37–38)
              5.      The vision of dry bones (37:1–14)
              6.      The houses of Israel and Judah (37:15–28)
              7.      Gog of Magog (38:1–39:29)

         V.      Vision of Restoration (40:1–48:35)
            A.      Vision of the new temple (40:1–42:20)
              1.      The vision begins (40:1–4)
              2.      The outer court and its gates (40:5–27)
              3.      The inner court, gates, and chambers (40:28–49)
              4.      The temple interior (41:1–26)
              5.      Chambers of the outer court (42:1–14)
              6.      Exterior measurements (42:15–20)
            B.      The return of God’s glory (43:1–5)
            C.      Regulations for renewed Israel (43:6–46:18)
              1.      New people for new temple (43:6–12)
              2.      The altar regulations (43:13–27)
              3.      The prince’s gate (44:1–3)
              4.      Temple access and rules for priests (44:4–31)
              5.      The temple districts (45:1–8)
              6.      Legal measurements (45:9–12)
              7.      Offerings and gatherings (45:13–46:15)
              8.      Rules for inheritance of the prince (46:16–18)
            D.      The river flowing from the temple (46:19–47:12)
              1.      The temple kitchens (46:19–24)
              2.      The temple’s river (47:1–12)
            E.      Dividing the land: allotment and access (47:13–48:35)
              1.      The outer boundaries (47:13–23)
              2.      Territories of the northern tribes (48:1–7)
              3.      The central territories (48:8–22)
              4.      Territories of the southern tribes (48:23–29)
              5.      Access to the city (48:30–35)


12 Chapters

Exiled to Babylon in 605 B.C., Daniel was one of several young men chosen to serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. When Persia conquered Babylon in 539, Daniel was again given a position of power. He remained faithful to God in both of these hostile environments. From the interpretation of dreams, to the familiar stories of the fiery furnace, the lions’ den, and the handwriting on the wall, to the prophetic visions, the recurrent theme is God’s sovereignty over human affairs. In the historical sections (chs. 1–6) God supernaturally rescued Daniel and his friends. The rest of the book consists of visions of future judgment and deliverance by the Messiah. Some of Daniel’s prophetic themes are echoed in the New Testament, especially in Revelation.


         I.      Daniel and the Three Friends at the Babylonian Court (1:1–6:28)
            A.      Prologue (1:1–21)
              1.      Daniel and his friends taken into exile (1:1–7)
              2.      Daniel and his friends remain undefiled (1:8–16)
              3.      Daniel and his friends promoted and preserved (1:17–21)
            B.      Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great statue (2:1–49)
              1.      The dream and Nebuchadnezzar’s threat (2:1–13)
              2.      Daniel’s response and prayer (2:14–24)
              3.      Daniel interprets the dream (2:25–45)
              4.      Nebuchadnezzar promotes Daniel (2:46–49)
            C.      Nebuchadnezzar builds a great statue (3:1–30)
              1.      The nations worship Nebuchadnezzar’s statue (3:1–7)
              2.      Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego preserved in the fiery furnace (3:8–29)
              3.      Nebuchadnezzar promotes Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (3:30)
            D.      Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a toppled tree (4:1–37)
              1.      Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation (4:1–27)
              2.      Nebuchadnezzar’s humbling (4:28–33)
              3.      Nebuchadnezzar’s exaltation (4:34–37)
            E.      Belshazzar’s feast (5:1–31)
              1.      An idolatrous feast (5:1–4)
              2.      An unreadable message (5:5–9)
              3.      A forgotten interpreter (5:10–12)
              4.      A message of judgment (5:13–31)
            F.      The lions’ den (6:1–28)
              1.      Daniel promoted (6:1–3)
              2.      The administrators plot to remove Daniel (6:4–15)
              3.      Daniel preserved in the lions’ den (6:16–24)
              4.      Darius acknowledges the power of Daniel’s God (6:25–27)
              5.      Daniel preserved until the end of the exile (6:28)

         II.      The Visions of Daniel (7:1–12:13)
            A.      The vision of four great beasts and the heavenly court (7:1–28)
              1.      The four great beasts (7:1–8)
              2.      The Ancient of Days judges the beasts (7:9–12)
              3.      The coming of the Son of Man (7:13–14)
              4.      The interpretation of the vision (7:15–27)
              5.      Daniel’s response (7:28)
            B.      The vision of the ram, the goat, and the little horn (8:1–27)
              1.      The vision of the ram and the goat (8:1–14)
              2.      The interpretation of the vision (8:15–26)
              3.      Daniel’s response (8:27)
            C.      Daniel’s prayer and its answer (9:1–27)
              1.      Daniel’s prayer concerning the 70 years (9:1–19)
              2.      Gabriel’s answer: 70 sevens before the promised redemption (9:20–27)
            D.      Daniel’s vision of the final conflict (10:1–12:13)
              1.      A heavenly messenger brings news of heavenly conflict (10:1–11:1)
              2.      A detailed vision of future earthly conflicts among nations (11:2–45)
              3.      The promise of resurrection to glory or shame (12:1–4)
              4.      How long until the end? (12:5–13)


Old Testament (12 Minor Prophets)


14 Chapters

Hosea has been called the “death-bed prophet of Israel” because he was the last to prophesy before the northern kingdom fell to Assyria (about 722 B.C.). His ministry followed a golden age in the northern kingdom, with a peace and prosperity not seen since the days of Solomon. Unfortunately, with this prosperity came moral decay, and Israel forsook God to worship idols. So God instructed Hosea to marry a “wife of whoredom” (1:2), whose unfaithfulness to her husband would serve as an example of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God. Hosea then explained God’s complaint against Israel and warned of the punishment that would come unless the people returned to the Lord and remained faithful to him. The book shows the depth of God’s love for his people, a love that tolerates no rivals.


The book of Hosea does not lend itself easily to an outline, except in the broadest way. Chapters 1–3 use Hosea’s own marriage as a parable for the relationship between God and Israel—with the dominant image of Israel as an unfaithful wife. Then chapters 4–14 spell out the details of the parable, with its series of accusations, warnings, appeals, and enticements for God’s people to return. These occur in a maze of various literary forms that do not lend themselves to simple categories.

         I.      Biographical: Hosea’s Family (1:1–3:5)
            A.      Introduction (1:1)
            B.      Command to marry (1:2)
            C.      Birth of children (1:3–9)
            D.      Covenant renewal at Jezreel (1:10–11)
            E.      Legal proceedings against the wayward wife (2:1–13)
            F.      Covenant relationship reestablished (2:14–23)
            G.      Command to remarry, with the expectation of a king like David (3:1–5)

         II.      Hosea Spells Out His Parable with Accusations, Warnings, and Promises (4:1–14:9)
            A.      Legal proceedings continued (4:1–19)
            B.      Adultery in high places (5:1–14)
            C.      Appeal: return and be raised (5:15–6:3)
            D.      Transgressors of the covenant (6:4–7:3)
            E.      Four similes for unfaithful Israel: oven, cake, dove, treacherous bow (7:4–16)
            F.      Israel’s hypocrisy (8:1–14)
            G.      Warnings: no worship in a foreign land (9:1–9)
            H.      More similes for unfaithful Israel: grapes, vine, calf, toddler (9:10–11:11)
            I.      Dependence on alliances (11:12–12:1)
            J.      Further indictment based on historical review (12:2–14)
            K.      Worship of man-made gods (13:1–8)
            L.      Rejecting the only hope they have (13:9–16)
            M.      Closing appeals (14:1–9)


3 Chapters

Little is known about the prophet Joel, although his concern for Judah and Jerusalem suggests that he ministered in Judah. Joel told of a locust plague that had struck Israel and which, he said, foreshadowed the “day of the Lord.” The day of the Lord was a time greatly anticipated by the Israelites because they believed that God would then judge the nations and restore Israel to her former glory. Yet, said Joel, God would punish not only the nations but unfaithful Israel as well. Joel urged everyone to repent, and told of a day when God would “pour out [his] Spirit on all flesh” (2:28). That day arrived on the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:17). While the date of the book is uncertain (ninth to sixth century B.C.), its message is valid for all time.


         I.      The Judgment against Judah and the Day of the Lord (1:1–2:17)
            A.      Locust invasion: forerunner of the day of the Lord (1:1–20)
            B.      Army invasion: the arrival of the day of the Lord (2:1–17)

         II.      The Mercy of the Lord and Judgment against the Nations (2:18–3:21)
            A.      Mercy: the Lord responds by restoring his people (2:18–32)
            B.      Judgment: the Lord’s judgment against the nations and his dwelling with his people (3:1–21)


9 Chapters

Amos, possibly the first of the writing prophets, was a shepherd and farmer called to prophesy during the reigns of Uzziah (792–740 b.c.) in the southern kingdom and Jeroboam II (793–753) in the north. During this time both kingdoms enjoyed political stability, which in turn brought prosperity. It was also a time of idolatry, extravagance, and corruption. The rich and powerful were oppressing the poor. Amos denounced the people of Israel for their apostasy and social injustice and warned them that disaster would fall upon them for breaking the covenant. He urged them to leave the hypocrisy of their “solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21) and instead to “let justice roll down like waters” (v.24). Nevertheless, said Amos, God would remember his covenant with Israel and would restore a faithful remnant.


I. Superscription (1:1)

II. Oracles of Judgment (1:2–6:14)

    A. Judgments on Israel’s neighbors (1:2–2:5)

    B. Judgments on Israel (2:6–6:14)

        1. Introductory announcement of judgment on Israel (2:6–16)

        2. Detailed announcements of judgment on Israel (3:1–6:14)

            a. An oracle of warning (3:1–15)

            b. An oracle of doom (4:1–13)

            c. An oracle of entreaty (5:1–17)

            d. An oracle of woe (5:18–6:14)

III. Visions of Judgment (7:1–9:15)

     A. A vision of inescapable judgment (7:1–17)

         1. The vision itself (7:1–9)

         2. An experience reinforcing the vision (7:10–17)

    B. A vision of the terrible end (8:1–14)

    C. A vision of the Lord standing beside the altar (9:1–15)

        1. The thresholds shaken (9:1–10)

        2. The booth of David restored (9:11–15)


1 Chapter

Obadiah wrote this shortest book of the Old Testament probably soon after the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem (586 b.c.). During this conquest, the people of Edom helped capture fleeing Israelites and turn them over to the Babylonians. They even took up residence in some Judean villages. This angered the Lord, for the Edomites, as descendants of Esau, were related to the Israelites (Gen. 25:21–26, 30) and therefore should have helped them. Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be repaid for mistreating God’s people. Obadiah also asserted that God is sovereign over the nations and that the house of Jacob would be restored because of God’s covenant love for his people.


I. First Announcement of Judgment to Edom (vv. 1–4)

II. Second Announcement of Judgment to Edom (vv.5–7)

III. Announcement of Judgment, Accusation, and Warning to Edom (vv. 8–15)

IV. Promise of Restoration and Victory to Israel (vv.16–18)

V. Promise of Restoration and Yahweh’s Kingship (vv. 19–21)


4 Chapters

Because it tells of a fish swallowing a man, many have dismissed the book of Jonah as fiction. But 2 Kings 14:25 mentions Jonah as living during the time of Jeroboam II (about 793–753 b.c.), and Jesus referred to Jonah as a historical person (Matt. 12:39–41). Unlike other prophetic books, Jonah focuses on the prophet himself rather than on his message. When God sent Jonah to Nineveh he rebelled, was swallowed by a fish, repented, and fulfilled his mission after all. When Nineveh repented, the reason for Jonah’s rebellion became clear: he had feared that God would forgive the Ninevites; and when God did forgive them, Jonah resented it (4:1–3). The book lists no author, but only Jonah himself could have known all the facts it records.


A. Jonah’s commissioning and flight (1:1–3)

B. Jonah and the pagan sailors (1:4–16)

C. Jonah’s grateful prayer (1:17–2:10)

D. Jonah’s recommissioning and compliance (3:1–3a)

E. Jonah and the pagan Ninevites (3:3b–10)

F. Jonah’s angry prayer (4:1–4)

G. Jonah’s lesson about compassion (4:5–11)


7 Chapters

Micah prophesied in Judah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (about 750–700 b.c.), at about the same time as Isaiah. It was a time of prosperity, and Micah denounced the wealthy, who were oppressing the poor, and warned of impending judgment. The northern kingdom actually fell during Micah’s ministry, in 722, and Judah almost fell in 701 (2 Kings 18–20). The book contains three sections, which alternate between words of warning and messages of hope. Micah told of a day when there would be peace among all nations, who would then be able to “beat their swords into plowshares” (4:3), and of a royal deliverer who would save God’s people from all her enemies. This deliverer would be born in Bethlehem (5:2).


I. Superscription (1:1)

II. The Announcement of Judgment on Israel and Judah (1:2–2:13)

   A. God’s punishment of Samaria and Judah (1:2–16)

        1. Judgment on Samaria (1:2–7)

        2. Judgment on Judah (1:8–16)

   B. Abuses and abusers of Yahweh’s land (2:1–11)

       1. Indictment and future punishment (2:1–5)

       2. Rejection of the prophetic word (2:6–11)

   C. The divine promise to gather Jacob (2:12–13)

III. The Present Injustice and the Future Prospect of Just Rule in Jerusalem (3:1–5:15)

    A. Present leaders denounced (3:1–12)

        1. Judgment against the heads of Jacob (3:1–4)

        2. Judgment against the prophets (3:5–8)

        3. Judgment against the heads of Jacob (3:9–12)

   B. Jerusalem’s restoration among the nations—promised (4:1–7)

       1. Nations approach Zion in peace (4:1–5)

       2. Divine promise to gather Zion (4:6–7)

   C. Jerusalem’s restoration among the nations—accomplished (4:8–5:15)

       1. Restoration of Zion’s dominion (4:8)

       2. Nations approach Zion for battle (4:9–13)

       3. The Shepherd-King arrives and the remnant is restored (5:1–15)

IV. The Lord’s Indictment and Restoration of His People (6:1–7:20)

     A. Israel accused: covenant violation (6:1–8)

         1. The prophetic summons (6:1–2)

         2. Divine interrogation and saving acts (6:3–5)

         3. People’s response and prophetic reply (6:6–8)

    B. Crisis in relationship (6:9–7:7)

        1. Divine indictment of treachery (6:9–12)

        2. Divine sentence for treachery (6:13–16)

        3. Consequences of disobedience: social upheaval (7:1–7)

        4. Zion’s repentance and renewed faith in Yahweh’s help (7:8–13)

        5. Restoration of the relationship between Israel and Yahweh (7:14–20)


3 Chapters

When Jonah preached repentance on the streets of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, the people responded and were spared. A century later, sometime between 663 and 612 b.c., Nahum preached in a time when Nineveh would not repent. Nineveh, which had destroyed Israel’s northern kingdom in 722, itself fell to Babylon in 612—just a few years after Nahum’s warning. The Assyrians were notorious for the brutality of their treatment of other nations. Nahum declared, however, that God is sovereign: he punishes whom he will, and they are powerless to stop him. Much of Nahum’s prophecy was directed to the people of Judah, who could rejoice at the good news (1:15) of Nineveh’s impending fall.


I. Introduction (1:1)

II. A Psalm Descriptively Praising the Lord (1:2–8)

   A. The Lord takes vengeance on his guilty adversaries (1:2–3a)

   B. The Lord rules creation in majesty, and no one can stand before his wrath (1:3b–6)

   C. The Lord delivers those who take refuge in him (1:7)

   D. The Lord destroys his adversaries (1:8)

III. The Lord’s Coming Judgment on Nineveh and Deliverance of Judah (1:9–15)

     A. The destruction of wicked, plotting Nineveh (1:9–12a)

     B. Judah, having been afflicted by the Lord, is freed from Assyrian bondage (1:12b–13)

     C. The termination of vile, idolatrous Nineveh (1:14)

     D. Peace and deliverance for Judah (1:15)

IV. Focus on Nineveh: The Lord’s Coming Judgment (2:1–13)

     A. The beginning of the attack on Nineveh (2:1)

     B. Reasons for judgment: the Assyrians’ plundering of Judah, though Judah’s restoration by God is planned 


     C. Attacking soldiers and military action at Nineveh (2:3–5)

     D. The fall and plundering of Nineveh (2:6–9)

     E. A taunting song portraying Nineveh’s destruction because of the city’s lust for conquest (2:10–12)

     F. The Lord speaks a word of judgment (2:13)

     G. Again, Focus on Nineveh: More concerning the Lord’s Coming Judgment (3:1–19)

     H. Reasons for judgment: the violence, lying, and greed of Nineveh (3:1)

     I. Military action at Nineveh and the ensuing slaughter of the Assyrians (3:2–3)

    J. Reasons for judgment: the wickedness of Nineveh (3:4)

    K. The Lord speaks a word of judgment (3:5–7)

    L. Comparison with the conquest of Thebes (3:8–11)

    M. A taunting song presenting Nineveh’s inevitable destruction because of the city’s incessant evil (3:12–19)


3 Chapters

Habakkuk was probably written about 640–615 B.C., just before the fall of Assyria and the rise of Babylon (Chaldea). God used Assyria to punish Israel (722); now he would use Babylon to punish Assyria and Judah. This prophecy would be fulfilled several decades after Habakkuk, in 586. The “theme question” of Habakkuk is, how can God use a wicked nation such as Babylon for his divine purpose? God judges all nations, said Habakkuk, and even Babylon would eventually be judged (Babylon fell to Persia in 539). Though God’s ways are sometimes mysterious, “the righteous shall live by his faith” (2:4) while awaiting salvation. These words are quoted three times in the New Testament (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).


         I.      Superscription (1:1)

         II.      First Cycle (1:2–11)

            A.      Habakkuk’s lament (1:2–4)

            B.      God’s response (1:5–11)

         III.      Second Cycle (1:12–2:20)

            A.      Habakkuk’s lament (1:12–2:1)

            B.      God’s response (2:2–20)

            C.      Habakkuk’s Prayer (3:1–19)


3 Chapters

Zephaniah prophesied during the reforms of King Josiah (640–609 B.C.), who brought spiritual revival to Judah after the long and disastrous reign of Manasseh. Zephaniah pronounced God’s judgment on corruption and wickedness ("At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent..." -1:12), but also his plan to restore Judah. He spoke of the coming “day of the Lord,” when sin would be punished, justice would prevail, and a “remnant” of the faithful would be saved. The term “day of the Lord” occurs throughout the Bible referring both to impending historical judgments from God and to his final judgment at the end of time. Though Zephaniah does not give details about this day, he speaks of its fearsome consequences (1:18) and calls people to seek the Lord (2:3).


         I.      Heading (1:1)

         II.      Judgment Coming Against Judah (1:2–6)

         III.      The Day of the Lord (1:7–3:20)
            A.      Day of sacrifice and punishment (1:7–9)
            B.      The coming wrath (1:10–18)
              1.      Against God’s people (1:10–16)
              2.      Against all humanity (1:17–18)
            C.      Repentance is still possible (2:1–3)
            D.      Nations warned (2:4–3:8)
              1.      Philistines (2:4–7)
              2.      Moab and Ammon (2:8–11)
              3.      Cush (2:12)
              4.      Assyria (2:13–15)
              5.      Jerusalem (3:1–7)
              6.      Summary (3:8)
            E.      Anticipation of hope (3:9–20)
              1.      Conversion of the nations (3:9–10)
              2.      Judah’s return (3:11–13)
              3.      Joyful song (3:14–17)
              4.      God’s promised restoration (3:18–20)


2 Chapters

When the first wave of Jewish exiles returned from Babylon to Jerusalem in 538 B.C., they began to rebuild the temple but soon gave up. Inspired by the prophetic ministries of Haggai and Zechariah, they finally completed the task in 516. Haggai rebuked the people for living in “paneled houses” while the house of God remained in ruins (1:4). He warned that, despite their best efforts, their wealth would never suffice, because the Lord was not pleased with their neglect of his temple (see Lev. 26:2–20). He called them to repent and renew their covenant with the God of their fathers. He assured them that God would achieve his purposes for his people and for all other nations. The rebuilding of the temple symbolized God’s restored presence among his people.


         I.      Introduction: Reluctant Rebuilders (1:1–2)

            A.      Characters (1:1)

            B.      Context (1:2)

         II.      Consider Your Ways: Fruitless Prosperity (1:3–12)

            A.      Work without satisfaction (1:3–11)

            B.      General response: obedience and fear (1:12)

         III.      Promise and Progress (1:13–15a)

            A.      God’s promise (1:13)

            B.      Specific response: work begins (1:14–15a)

         IV.      The Former and Latter Glory of This House (1:15b–2:9)

            A.      Comparing past and present (1:15b–2:3)

            B.      Acting based on the past (2:4–5)

            C.      An image of God’s house restored (2:6–9)

         V.      Consider Your Ways: Holiness and Defilement; Repentance and Blessing (2:10–19)

            A.      Analogy: holiness and defilement (2:10–14)

            B.      Consider life before restoration began: you did not turn (2:15–17)

            C.      Consider life since restoration began: I will bless (2:18–19)

         VI.      Zerubbabel: The Signet Ring (2:20–23)

            A.      Destruction upon kingdoms (2:20–22)

            B.      An image of David’s house restored (2:23)


14 Chapters

As Haggai encouraged the returned Jewish exiles to rebuild the temple, Zechariah encouraged them to repent and renew their covenant with God. Such spiritual renewal would be necessary for the people to be ready to worship God once the temple was rebuilt (about 516 B.C.). He accused them of doing the very things their ancestors had done before the exile. He was concerned about social justice for widows, orphans, and foreigners. But as the people endured opposition from the non-Jewish inhabitants of Judea, Zechariah reassured them of God’s abiding comfort and care. God would continue his covenant with Israel. Messianic hope was rekindled during Zechariah’s ministry, and the book ends with the promise that the Lord would establish his rule over all the earth (14:9).


         I.      Oracles and Visions (1:1–8:23)
            A.      Introduction: return to me and I will return to you (1:1–6)
            B.      Eight night visions and a sign-act (1:7–6:15)
              1.      Vision one: the Lord’s hidden horsemen (1:7–17)
              2.      Vision two: Judah’s oppressors oppressed (1:18–21)
              3.      Vision three: Jerusalem unwalled (2:1–13)
              4.      Vision four: the reclothing of Joshua (3:1–10)
              5.      Vision five: the olive trees and the lampstand (4:1–14)
              6.      Vision six: the flying scroll—wickedness judged (5:1–4)
              7.      Vision seven: the flying ephah—wickedness removed (5:5–11)
              8.      Vision eight: the Lord’s army on the move (6:1–8)
              9.      A sign-act: the crowning of Joshua (6:9–15)
            C.      From fasts to feasts (7:1–8:23)
              1.      Ritual or reality (7:1–14)
              2.      The promise of the future (8:1–23)

         II.      The Return of the King (9:1–14:21)
            A.      The first burden: leaders and their people (9:1–11:17)
              1.      The return of the king (9:1–17)
                a.      The divine warrior comes (9:1–8)
                b.      The king enters Jerusalem (9:9–11)
                c.      The king’s enemies destroyed and his people redeemed (9:12–17)
              2.      The shepherds and the flock (10:1–11:17)
                a.      Judgment on Judah’s shepherds (10:1–5)
                b.      The restoration of the flock (10:6–12)
              3.      The shepherds and one shepherd (11:1–17)
                a.      Judgment on Judah’s shepherds (11:1–3)
                b.      A sign-act: the shepherd rescues his flock but is rejected (11:4–17)
            B.      The second burden: the people and their leaders (12:1–14:21)
              1.      The restoration and renewal of God’s people (12:1–13:6)
                a.      Jerusalem’s triumph and the nations’ doom (12:1–9)
                b.      Mourning for sin (12:10–14)
                c.      Cleansing from sin and idolatry (13:1–6)
              2.      Judgment and transformation (13:7–14:21)
                a.      The shepherd struck and the flock scattered (13:7–9)
                b.      Jerusalem’s judgment, deliverance, and exaltation (14:1–11)
                c.      The nations humbled and brought into submission (14:12–21)


4 Chapters

Although the urging of Haggai and Zechariah had brought the completion of the temple (516 B.C.), this had not produced the messianic age many expected. The warm response to Zechariah’s call to repentance had grown cold, because God apparently had not restored the covenant blessings. Malachi, writing a short time later, called the people to repentance with respect to: the priesthood, which had become corrupt; worship, which had become routine; divorce, which was widespread; social justice, which was being ignored; and tithing, which was neglected. “Will man rob God?” the Lord asked through Malachi (3:8), and he promised to “open the windows of heaven” (v. 10) for those who pay their full tithe. Malachi predicted the coming of both John the Baptist and Jesus, referring to each as a “messenger” of God (3:1).


Israel is to remember the Law of Moses (Chapters 1-2:16)

Malachi 1:2-5. 
Malachi begins by defending the reality of God’s love for Israel, a love which calls for robust covenantal obedience and sincere worship as its proper response. Instead, the people were dishonoring God by their worthless offerings and the hypocritical formalism of their worship. 

Malachi 1:6-2:9. 
Malachi exposes these offenses and rebukes the priests for condoning them and thereby violating the Lord’s covenant with Levi.

Malachi 2:10-16. 
Malachi condemns marriage to an idolater as infidelity against Israel’s covenant with the Lord, and he condemns unauthorized divorce as infidelity against the marriage covenant between a husband and his wife, to which the Lord is witness.

Israel is to remember the promise of Elijah and the coming day of the Lord. (Chapters 2:17-4:1-6)

Malachi 2:17-3:5. 
Malachi broadens his indictment as he promises that the Lord will vindicate his justice. This will take place when “the messenger of the covenant” comes to judge the wicked (when the Lord will function as a witness not only against adulterers, as in 2:10–16, but also against other offenders) and to purify his people so that their offerings will be acceptable at last.

Malachi 3:6-12. 
Malachi returns to the subject of Israel’s begrudging offerings. The people experienced material adversity and were under a curse—not in spite of their behavior, but because of it. Accordingly, Malachi challenges them to conscientious tithing, which will be rewarded with divine blessing.

Malachi 3:13-4:3. 
Malachi assures his grumbling contemporaries that evildoers, who seem to escape divine justice because of their prosperity, will yet be judged, while the Lord will deliver those who fear him.

Malachi 4:4-6. 
Malachi summarizes the main points of his prophecy: remember the Law of Moses (the focus of disputations Mal. 1–3), and remember the promise of Elijah and the coming day of the Lord (the focus of disputations Mal. 4–6). 

New Testament (4 Gospels)


28 Chapters

The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. The account alternates between Jesus’ activities of healing and casting out demons, and major blocks of his teaching, including the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5–7), the Parables of the Kingdom (ch. 13), and the Olivet Discourse (chs. 24–25). The Sermon on the Mount includes the Beatitudes (5:3–12) and the Lord’s Prayer (6:5–15). The book closes with the Great Commission (28:18–20). A recurring theme is the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders, culminating in his pronouncement of “seven woes” upon them (ch. 23). As do all four Gospel accounts, Matthew focuses on Christ’s three-year ministry and his death and resurrection. Matthew probably wrote his Gospel in the 50s or 60s A.D.


         I.      The Arrival in History of Jesus the Messiah (1:1–2:23)
            A.      The genealogy of Jesus the Messiah (1:1–17)
            B.      The angelic announcement of the conception of Jesus the Messiah (1:18–25)
            C.      Magi report the star-sign of the birth of “the King of the Jews” (2:1–12)
            D.      OT prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah (2:13–23)

         II.      John the Baptist Prepares for the Appearance of the Messianic Kingdom (3:1–17)

         III.      Jesus the Messiah Begins to Advance the Messianic Kingdom (4:1–25)
            A.      Temptations of the Messiah (4:1–11)
            B.      Jesus the Messiah begins his Galilean ministry (4:12–25)

         IV.      The Authoritative Message of the Messiah: Kingdom Life for His Disciples (5:1–7:29) (First Discourse)
            A.      Setting, Beatitudes, and witness of the kingdom of heaven (5:1–16)
            B.      The messianic kingdom in relation to the law (5:17–48)
            C.      The development of kingdom life in the real world (6:1–7:12)
            D.      Warning! With Jesus or against him? (7:13–29)

         V.      The Authoritative Power of the Messiah: Kingdom Power Demonstrated (8:1–9:38)
            A.      Healings, discipleship, and overpowering Satan’s strongholds (8:1–9:8)
            B.      Unexpected discipleship, miracles, and workers (9:9–38)

         VI.      The Authoritative Mission of the Messiah’s Messengers (10:1–42) (Second Discourse)
            A.      Commissioning and instructions for the short-term mission to Israel (10:1–15)
            B.      Instructions for the long-term mission to the world (10:16–23)
            C.      Characteristics of missionary disciples (10:24–42)

         VII.      Opposition to the Messiah Emerges (11:1–12:50)
            A.      Jesus, John the Baptist, and ministry in Galilee (11:1–30)
            B.      Confrontations with the Pharisees (12:1–45)
            C.      Jesus’ disciples are his true family (12:46–50)

         VIII.      Mysteries of the Messianic Kingdom Revealed in Parables (13:1–53) (Third Discourse)
            A.      The opening of the Parabolic Discourse (13:1–23)
            B.      Further parables told to the crowds (13:24–35)
            C.      Explanations and parables told to the disciples (13:36–53)

         IX.      The Identity of the Messiah Revealed (13:54–16:20)
            A.      Prophet(s) without honor (13:54–14:12)
            B.      Compassionate healer and supplier for Israel (14:13–21)
            C.      The Son of God worshiped (14:22–36)
            D.      Teacher of the Word of God and compassionate healer (15:1–39)
            E.      Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God (16:1–20)

         X.      The Suffering of the Messiah Revealed (16:21–17:27)
            A.      The suffering sacrifice (16:21–28)
            B.      The beloved, transfigured Son (17:1–13)
            C.      Sons of the kingdom (17:14–27)

         XI.      The Community of the Messiah Revealed (18:1–20:34) (Fourth Discourse)
            A.      Characteristics of life in the kingdom community (18:1–35)
            B.      Valuing the kingdom community (19:1–20:34)

         XII.      The Messiah Asserts His Authority over Jerusalem (21:1–23:39)
            A.      The triumphal entry into Jerusalem: Jesus’ authority as Messiah (21:1–11)
            B.      The temple actions: Jesus’ pronouncement on the temple establishment (21:12–17)
            C.      Cursing the fig tree: Jesus’ judgment of the nation (21:18–22)
            D.      Controversies in the temple court over Jesus’ authority (21:23–22:46)
            E.      Warnings against the teachers of the law and the Pharisees (23:1–12)
            F.      Woes of judgment against the teachers of the law and the Pharisees (23:13–36)
            G.      Lament over Jerusalem (23:37–39)

         XIII.      The Delay, Return, and Judgment of Messiah (24:1–25:46) (Fifth [Olivet] Discourse)
            A.      The beginning of birth pains (24:1–14)
            B.      “Great tribulation” and the coming of the Son of Man (24:15–31)
            C.      The nearness and time of Jesus’ coming (24:32–41)
            D.      Parabolic exhortations to watch and be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man (24:42–25:30)
            E.      Judgment at the end (25:31–46)

         XIV.      The Crucified Messiah (26:1–27:66)
            A.      Plot, anointing, and betrayal to the religious leaders (26:1–16)
            B.      The Passover and the Lord’s Supper (26:17–35)
            C.      Gethsemane: Jesus’ agonizing prayers (26:36–46)
            D.      Jesus arrested (26:47–56)
            E.      The Jewish trial of Jesus (26:57–27:10)
            F.      The Roman trial of Jesus (27:11–26)
            G.      Jesus the Messiah crucified (27:27–44)
            H.      The death of Jesus the Messiah (27:45–50)
            I.       Testimonies, women followers, and burial (27:51–66)

         XV.      The Resurrection and Commission of the Messiah (28:1–20)
            A.      An empty tomb and the risen Jesus (28:1–10)
            B.      The conspiracy to deny the truth of Jesus’ resurrection (28:11–15)
            C.      The risen Jesus’ Great Commission (28:16–20)


16 Chapters

The Gospel of Mark emphasizes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus announced the Kingdom of God, healed the sick, and died as a ransom for sinners. In addition to Jesus, Mark features three main groups of people: the disciples, the crowds, and the religious leaders, none of whom understood Jesus. When the time came for Jesus to go to the cross, the religious leaders arrested him, the disciples abandoned him, and the crowds jeered him. Only when he died alone on the cross did a Roman centurion recognize that he was the Son of God. Though the book is anonymous, tradition identifies John Mark (Acts 12:12) as the author. He may have based his Gospel on Peter’s preaching, writing sometime in the 50s or 60s A.D.


         I.      Introduction (1:1–15)

         II.      Demonstration of Jesus’ Authority (1:16–8:26)
            A.      Jesus’ early Galilean ministry (1:16–3:12)
            B.      Jesus’ later Galilean ministry (3:13–6:6)
              1.      Calling of the Twelve (3:13–35)
              2.      Parables (4:1–34)
              3.      Nature miracle, exorcism, and healing (4:35–5:43)
              4.      Rejection at Nazareth (6:1–6)
            C.      Work beyond Galilee (6:7–8:26)
              1.      Sending of the Twelve (6:7–13)
              2.      Death of John the Baptist (6:14–56)
              3.      Teachings on moral defilement (7:1–23)
              4.      Opening to Gentiles (7:24–30)
              5.      Additional miracles in Decapolis and Bethsaida (7:31–8:26)

         III.      Testing Jesus’ Authority in Suffering (8:27–16:8)
            A.      Journey to Jerusalem (8:27–10:52)
              1.      Peter’s confession (8:27–33)
              2.      Call to discipleship (8:34–9:1)
              3.      Transfiguration and healing (9:2–29)
              4.      Instruction on discipleship: putting others first (9:30–50)
              5.      Instruction on discipleship: divorce, wealth, humility (10:1–52)
            B.      Entering and judging Jerusalem (11:1–13:37)
              1.      Triumphal entry to Jerusalem (11:1–11)
              2.      Jesus’ judgment on religious leaders (11:12–12:44)
              3.      Jesus and the coming judgment (13:1–37)
            C.      Death and resurrection in Jerusalem (14:1–16:8)
              1.      Betrayal (14:1–52)
              2.      Trial (14:53–15:20)
              3.      Crucifixion and resurrection (15:21–16:1-15)
              4.      The Great Commission and Ascension (16:16–20)


24 Chapters

The Gospel of Luke is in the form of a letter to a man named Theophilus. Luke wrote after having carefully investigated all the facts about Christ (1:1–4). Luke documents Christ’s life from before his birth through his ministry, death, and resurrection. Jesus carried out his ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit, announcing the good news of salvation. He showed numerous times his compassion for the poor and the outcast. He fulfilled prophecy and carried out his purpose: to seek and save the lost. Luke gives the fullest account of Christ’s birth, and only Luke records the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. Luke, a physician and a colleague of Paul, probably wrote this account in the early 60s A.D. He also wrote Acts.


         I.      The Prologue (1:1–4)

         II.      The Infancy Narrative (1:5–2:52)
            A.      The birth of John the Baptist foretold (1:5–25)
            B.      The birth of Jesus foretold (1:26–38)
            C.      Mary visits Elizabeth (1:39–56)
            D.      The birth of John the Baptist (1:57–80)
            E.      The birth of Jesus Christ (2:1–52)
              1.      Jesus is born (2:1–20)
              2.      Jesus presented in the temple (2:21–40)
              3.      The boy Jesus in the temple (2:41–52)

         III.      Preparation for the Ministry of Jesus (3:1–4:15)
            A.      John the Baptist prepares the way (3:1–20)
            B.      Jesus’ baptism, genealogy, and temptation (3:21–4:15)
              1.      Jesus’ baptism (3:21–22)
              2.      The genealogy of Jesus Christ (3:23–38)
              3.      The temptation of Jesus (4:1–15)

         IV.      The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee (4:16–9:50)
            A.      The beginning (4:16–5:16)
              1.      Jesus rejected at Nazareth (4:16–30)
              2.      Jesus begins his healing ministry (4:31–41)
              3.      Jesus preaches in synagogues (4:42–44)
              4.      Jesus calls the first disciples (5:1–11)
              5.      Jesus cleanses a leper (5:12–16)
            B.      The beginning of controversy (5:17–6:11)
              1.      Jesus heals a paralytic (5:17–26)
              2.      Jesus calls Levi (5:27–32)
              3.      A question about fasting (5:33–39)
              4.      Jesus is lord of the Sabbath (6:1–5)
              5.      A man with a withered hand (6:6–11)
            C.      Jesus teaches the disciples (6:12–49)
              1.      Jesus appoints twelve apostles (6:12–16)
              2.      Jesus ministers to a great multitude (6:17–19)
              3.      The Beatitudes (6:20–23)
              4.      Jesus pronounces woes (6:24–26)
              5.      Love your enemies (6:27–36)
              6.      Judging others (6:37–42)
              7.      A tree and its fruit (6:43–45)
              8.      Build your house on the rock (6:46–49)
            D.      Who is this Jesus? (7:1–50)
              1.      Jesus heals a centurion’s servant (7:1–10)
              2.      Jesus raises a widow’s son (7:11–17)
              3.      Messengers from John the Baptist (7:18–35)
              4.      A sinful woman forgiven (7:36–50)
            E.      Jesus teaches in parables (8:1–21)
              1.      Women accompanying Jesus (8:1–3)
              2.      The parable of the sower (8:4–8)
              3.      The purpose of the parables (8:9–15)
              4.      A lamp under a jar (8:16–18)
              5.      Jesus’ mother and brothers (8:19–21)
            F.      Jesus, Lord of nature, demons, disease, and death (8:22–56)
              1.      Jesus calms a storm (8:22–25)
              2.      Jesus heals a demon-possessed man (8:26–39)
              3.      Jesus heals a woman and Jairus’s daughter (8:40–56)
            G.      Jesus and the Twelve (9:1–50)
              1.      Jesus sends out the Twelve (9:1–6)
              2.      Herod Antipas is perplexed by Jesus (9:7–9)
              3.      Jesus feeds the 5,000 (9:10–17)
              4.      Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ (9:18–20)
              5.      Jesus foretells his death (9:21–22)
              6.      Jesus teaches the disciples (9:23–27)
              7.      The transfiguration (9:28–36)
              8.      The healing of a boy with an unclean spirit (9:37–43a)
              9.      Jesus again foretells his death (9:43b–45)
              10.      Who is the greatest? (9:46–48)
              11.      Anyone not against us is for us (9:49–50)

         V.      The Journey to Jerusalem (9:51–19:27)
            A.      The first mention of the journey to Jerusalem (9:51–13:21)
              1.      The mission to Samaria (9:51–56)
              2.      The cost of following Jesus (9:57–62)
              3.      The mission of the seventy-two (10:1–24)
              4.      The parable of the good Samaritan (10:25–37)
              5.      Martha and Mary (10:38–42)
              6.      The Lord’s Prayer (11:1–13)
              7.      Jesus and Beelzebul (11:14–23)
              8.      The return of an unclean spirit (11:24–26)
              9.      Various warnings and teachings (11:27–13:9)
              10.      Jesus heals on the Sabbath (13:10–17)
              11.      The parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (13:18–21)
            B.      The second mention of the journey to Jerusalem (13:22–17:10)
              1.      The narrow door (13:22–30)
              2.      Lament over Jerusalem (13:31–35)
              3.      The healing of a man on the Sabbath (14:1–6)
              4.      Various teachings and parables (14:7–17:10)
            C.      The third mention of the journey to Jerusalem (17:11–19:27)
              1.      Jesus cleanses ten lepers (17:11–19)
              2.      The coming of the kingdom (17:20–37)
              3.      The parable of the persistent widow (18:1–8)
              4.      The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (18:9–14)
              5.      Jesus blesses the children (18:15–17)
              6.      The rich ruler (18:18–30)
              7.      Jesus foretells his death a third time (18:31–34)
              8.      Jesus heals a blind beggar (18:35–43)
              9.      Jesus and Zacchaeus (19:1–10)
              10.      The parable of the ten minas (19:11–27)
            D.      The Ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem (19:28–21:38)
              1.      The Triumphal Entry (19:28–40)
              2.      Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (19:41–44)
              3.      Jesus cleanses the temple (19:45–48)
              4.      The authority of Jesus challenged (20:1–8)
              5.      The parable of the wicked tenants (20:9–18)
              6.      Paying taxes to Caesar (20:19–26)
              7.      Sadducees ask about the resurrection (20:27–40)
              8.      Whose son is the Christ? (20:41–44)
              9.      Beware of the scribes (20:45–47)
              10.      The widow’s offering (21:1–4)
              11.      Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem (21:5–24)
                a.      Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple (21:5–6)
                b.      Signs before the destruction (21:7–9)
                c.      Nation will rise against nation (21:10–19)
                d.      Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem (21:20–24)
              12.      Jesus foretells the coming of the Son of Man (21:25–38)
                a.      The coming of the Son of Man (21:25–28)
                b.      The lesson of the fig tree (21:29–33)
                c.      Watch yourselves (21:34–38)

         VI.      The Suffering and Death of Jesus (22:1–23:56)
            A.      The plot to kill Jesus and the Passover meal (22:1–38)
              1.      The plot to kill Jesus (22:1–6)
              2.      Preparations for the Passover meal (22:7–13)
              3.      The Passover meal and the institution of the Lord’s Supper (22:14–23)
              4.      Who is the greatest? (22:24–30)
              5.      Jesus foretells Peter’s denial (22:31–34)
              6.      Scripture must be fulfilled in Jesus (22:35–38)
            B.      The arrest and trial (22:39–23:56)
              1.      Jesus prays on the Mount of Olives (22:39–46)
              2.      The betrayal and arrest of Jesus (22:47–53)
              3.      Peter denies Jesus (22:54–62)
              4.      Jesus is mocked (22:63–65)
              5.      Jesus before the council (22:66–71)
              6.      Jesus before Pilate (23:1–5)
              7.      Jesus before Herod Antipas (23:6–16)
              8.      Pilate delivers Jesus to be crucified (23:18–25)
              9.      The crucifixion (23:26–43)
              10.      The death of Jesus (23:44–49)
              11.      Jesus is buried (23:50–56)

         VII.      The Resurrection of Jesus (24:1–53)
            A.      The empty tomb (24:1–12)
            B.      Jesus’ appearance on the road to Emmaus (24:13–35)
            C.      Jesus appears to his disciples (24:36–49)
            D.      The ascension of Jesus (24:50–53)


21 Chapters

The Gospel of John was written to persuade people to believe in Jesus (20:30–31). The opening verses declare that Jesus is God, stressing his unique relationship with God the Father. The book focuses on seven of Jesus’ signs (miracles), to show his divinity. Jesus called people to believe in him, promising eternal life. He proved he could give life by raising Lazarus (ch. 11) and by his own death and resurrection. John features Christ’s seven “I am” statements, his encounters with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, his Upper Room teachings and washing of the disciples’ feet (chs. 13–16), and his high priestly prayer (ch. 17). It includes the most well-known summary of the gospel (3:16). The author was probably the apostle John, writing around 80s or 90s A.D.


         I.      Prologue: The Incarnate Word (1:1–18)

         II.      The Signs of the Messiah (1:19–12:50)
            A.      John the Baptist’s witness and the first week of Jesus’ ministry (1:19–2:11)
            B.      Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to Gentiles (2:12–4:54)
            C.      Mounting Jewish opposition, additional signs (5:1–10:42)
            D.      The final Passover: the ultimate sign and the aftermath (11:1–12:19)
            E.      The approaching Gentiles and the Messiah’s rejection by the Jews (12:20–50)

         III.      The Farewell Discourse and the Passion Narrative (13:1–20:31)
            A.      The cleansing and instruction of the new messianic community and Jesus’ final prayer (13:1–17:26)
            B.      Jesus’ arrest, trials, death, and burial (18:1–19:42)
            C.      Jesus’ resurrection, appearances, and sending of his disciples (20:1–29)
            D.      Purpose statement: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God (20:30–31)
            E.      Epilogue: The Roles of Peter and of the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved (21:1–25)

1 Book Of The History Of The 1st Century Christians 


28 Chapters

Acts picks up where Luke’s Gospel leaves off, recording the early progress of the gospel as Jesus’ disciples took it from Jerusalem throughout Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the Mediterranean world. The story begins with Christ’s ascension and the events of Pentecost. As Gentiles begin responding to the gospel, the focus shifts to Paul and his missionary journeys. Acts forms a bridge between the four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, showing how the apostles carried on Christ’s work and providing a historical background for Romans through Revelation. The Acts of the Apostles is the second of two New Testament books written by Luke. Like his Gospel, Acts was a letter to Luke’s friend Theophilus, probably written in A.D. 62.


         I.      Preparation for Witness (1:1–2:13)
            A.      Jesus prepares the disciples (1:1–5)
            B.      Jesus ascends (1:6–11)
            C.      Matthias replaces Judas (1:12–26)
            D.      The Holy Spirit descends at Pentecost (2:1–13)

         II.      The Witness in Jerusalem (2:14–5:42)
            A.      Peter preaches at Pentecost (2:14–41)
            B.      The Christian community shares a life in common (2:42–47)
            C.      Peter heals a lame man (3:1–10)
            D.      Peter preaches in the temple square (3:11–26)
            E.      Peter and John witness before the Jewish council (4:1–22)
            F.      The Christian community prays for boldness in witness (4:23–31)
            G.      The community shares together (4:32–5:16)
            H.      The apostles appear before the council (5:17–42)

         III.      The Witness beyond Jerusalem (6:1–12:25)
            A.      Seven chosen to serve the Hellenist widows (6:1–7)
            B.      Stephen bears the ultimate witness (6:8–8:3)
              1.      The arrest of Stephen (6:8–15)
              2.      Stephen’s address before the Sanhedrin (7:1–53)
              3.      The martyrdom of Stephen (7:54–8:3)
            C.      Philip witnesses beyond Jerusalem (8:4–40)
              1.      Witness to the Samaritans (8:4–25)
              2.      Witness to an Ethiopian eunuch (8:26–40)
            D.      The conversion of Saul (9:1–31)
              1.      Saul’s encounter with Christ (9:1–9)
              2.      Saul’s encounter with Ananias (9:10–19a)
              3.      Saul’s witness in Damascus and Jerusalem (9:19b–31)
            E.      Peter preaches in the coastal towns (9:32–11:18)
              1.      Healing of Aeneas and Dorcas (9:32–43)
              2.      Conversion of Cornelius (10:1–48)
              3.      Peter’s testimony in Jerusalem (11:1–18)
            F.      The Antioch church witnesses to Gentiles (11:19–26)
            G.      The offering for Jerusalem (11:27–30)
            H.      The Jerusalem church is persecuted (12:1–25)
              1.      The death of James (12:1–5)
              2.      Peter’s deliverance from prison (12:6–19)
              3.      The death of Herod Agrippa I (12:20–25)

         IV.      The Witness in Cyprus and Southern Galatia (13:1–14:28)
            A.      The Antioch church commissions Paul and Barnabas (13:1–3)
            B.      Paul and Barnabas witness on Cyprus (13:4–12)
            C.      Paul preaches in the synagogue of Pisidian Antioch (13:13–41)
            D.      Paul turns to the Gentiles (13:42–52)
            E.      Paul and Barnabas are rejected at Iconium (14:1–7)
            F.      The two missionaries witness in Lystra (14:8–23)
            G.      Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch (14:24–28)

         V.      The Jerusalem Council (15:1–35)
            A.      The circumcision party criticizes the Gentile mission (15:1–5)
            B.      Peter defends Paul (15:6–11)
            C.      James proposes a solution (15:12–21)
            D.      A letter is sent to Antioch (15:22–35)

         VI.      The Witness in Greece (15:36–18:22)
            A.      Paul and Barnabas differ over Mark (15:36–41)
            B.      Timothy joins Paul and is circumcised (16:1–5)
            C.      Paul is called to Macedonia (16:6–10)
            D.      Paul witnesses in Philippi (16:11–40)
              1.      Conversion of Lydia (16:11–15)
              2.      Imprisonment of Paul and Silas (16:16–24)
              3.      Conversion of the jailer (16:25–34)
              4.      Release of Paul and Silas (16:35–40)
            E.      Paul witnesses in Thessalonica (17:1–9)
            F.      Paul witnesses in Berea (17:10–15)
            G.      Paul witnesses in Athens (17:16–34)
              1.      Witness in the marketplace (17:16–21)
              2.      Witness before the Areopagus (17:22–34)
            H.      Paul witnesses in Corinth (18:1–22)

         VII.      The Witness in Ephesus (18:23–21:16)
            A.      Priscilla and Aquila instruct Apollos (18:23–28)
            B.      Paul encounters disciples of John (19:1–10)
            C.      Paul encounters false religion at Ephesus (19:11–22)
            D.      Paul experiences violent opposition at Ephesus (19:23–41)
            E.      Paul completes his ministry in Greece (20:1–6)
            F.      Paul travels to Miletus (20:7–16)
            G.      Paul addresses the Ephesian elders at Miletus (20:17–35)
            H.      Paul journeys to Jerusalem (20:36–21:16)

         VIII.      The Arrest in Jerusalem (21:17–23:35)
            A.      Paul participates in a Nazirite ceremony (21:17–26)
            B.      An angry mob attacks Paul (21:27–39)
            C.      Paul addresses the Jewish crowd (21:40–22:21)
            D.      Paul reveals his Roman citizenship (22:22–29)
            E.      Paul appears before the Sanhedrin (22:30–23:11)
            F.      Zealous Jews plot against Paul (23:12–22)
            G.      Paul is delivered to the governor Felix (23:23–35)

         IX.      The Witness in Caesarea (24:1–26:32)
            A.      Paul appears before Felix (24:1–27)
            B.      Paul appeals to Caesar (25:1–12)
            C.      Festus presents the case to King Agrippa II (25:13–22)
            D.      Paul witnesses to Agrippa II (25:23–26:32)

         X.      The Witness in Rome (27:1–28:31)
            A.      Paul journeys to Rome by sea (27:1–44)
            B.      Paul witnesses on Malta (28:1–10)
            C.      Paul arrives in Rome (28:11–16)
            D.      Paul witnesses to the Jews in Rome (28:17–31)