Bible Overview in 3 Minutes

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1), and God created man and woman (Gen. 1:26-27). Creation was good (Gen. 1:31). Then Adam & Eve rebelled & fell from God (Gen. 2.27 & Gen. 3). Wickedness increased and judgment came in the flood on all but Noah and those in the ark (Gen. 6-7). Noah’s descendants  were dispersed at the tower of Babel (Gen.11), and God chose Abram and his seed to: a.) receive the promised land; b.) to become a nation; and c.) to bless all nations (Gen. 12:1-3). The promise continued through Abraham’s son Isaac (Gen. 21, 26:1-4) & his son Jacob, also known as Israel (Gen. 25-28; 35:9-15). Jacob had 12 sons (Gen. 35:23-26), one of which would rise to the right hand of power in Egypt (Gen. 37 & 39-41).  The Israelites came down to live in Egypt (Gen. 42-47), but later became enslaved for about 400 years (Gen. 15:13; Exod. 1).  Through Moses (Exod. 2-3:10), God delivered them (Exod. 5-14) and made a covenant with them at Sinai (Exod. 19) where they received the Law (Exod. 20 & ff.) and instructions for his tabernacle (Exod. 25-31:11). But being unfaithful (Exod. 32; Num.11; Num.13-14:4), they were detained in the wilderness for forty years (Exod. 14:26-38), and the next generation (Deut. 1:34-39) took the promised land under Joshua (Josh. 1 & ff.). Judges (Judges 1&ff) then led the people till Samuel’s day (1 Sam.1 & ff) when Saul was appointed the first king of Israel (1 Sam. 8-10). After Saul’s rejection (1 Sam. 15), God chose David to be king (1 Sam. 16:1-13), and promised that his seed would would be: a.) a son to God; b.) would build a house to God; and c.) his kingdom would be established forever (2 Sam. 7:12-14). David’s immediate son Solomon did build the temple (1 Kings 6), but the promise of a kingdom forever would be part of the messianic hope in Israel.  After Solomon’s death, the nation divided into northern and southern kingdoms (1 Kings 11:9-13; 11: 29-38; 11:43-12:20), both largely unfaithful and ignoring the prophets calling for repentance (Amos 2: 4-14; Micah 1; 2Chron. 36:15-16). As prophesied, both nations fell; Israel to Assyria in 722 B.C. (2Kings 17:1-18), and Judah to Babylon (a. Dan. 1:1-4; b. 2 Chron. 36:10), along with the destruction of the temple in 586 (c. 2 Chron. 36:17-20; 2 Kings 25:1-15).  After the Babylonian captivity (2 Chron. 36:17-21; see also Ezekiel & Daniel), many returned to the land with Zerubbabel (Ezra 1:1-2:1) and Ezra (Ezra 7:1ff) and rebuilt the temple, followed by Nehemiah who rebuilt the city walls (Neh. 1-6).
Four hundred years pass, and Israel looks for the promised Messiah to come (Luke 3:15; John 1:41; 4:25; Jn. 7:26-31). The New Testament brings us to the first century with John the baptist announcing “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matt. 3:1-2) and he identifies Jesus of Nazareth as the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29) that takes away the sin of the world! The four gospels (Mark, Matt., Luke, John) record the teachings of Jesus, his work with the apostles, and the miracles that identify Jesus as the Messiah (or “Christ”) (Matt. 11:4-5; John 7:31; John 11).
At the end of his life, he establishes the Lord’s supper, (Matt. 26:26-31) surrenders to his enemies (John 18:1-12), and his disciples flee (Mark 14:50). In fulfillment of of Psalm 22 (6-18, esp. vs. 16) and Isaiah 53 he is tortured, crucified, and buried … but on the third day, the tomb is found empty (John 20:1-10), and he appears to the apostles (John 20:19-31)! He tells them to wait for the Holy Spirit, and he ascends to the Father (Luke 24:44-51; Acts 1:8).  Acts 2 records the day of Pentecost when the Spirit falls upon them and Peter preaches Jesus as the risen Christ (Acts 2:22-36)! Three thousand Jews are baptized that day in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:37-38; 41)!
The church grows quickly (Acts 4:4; 6:7)… but soon faces intense persecution (Acts 7:57-8:1) from opponents like Saul (Acts 8:3), later known as  Paul (Acts 13:9). But after an encounter with Jesus (Acts 9; 22; 1 Cor. 15:8), Paul himself is converted (Acts 22:16) and begins preaching Christ (Acts 9:20-22), helping to spread the gospel far beyond Israel (Acts 9:15; Acts 13-28). The letters of Paul, along with texts from James, Peter, John, etc., round out the rest of the New Testament. That’s your three minute overview of Old Testament and New Testament history.
—Scott Smelser;

Read more

Search Articles


Related Articles

Do you feel something is missing?



Tough Questions About the Bible
(November 2-5, 2023)

You have questions about the Bible, but when was the last time you looked for the answers?

Join us November 2-5 for answers to some of the Bible’s toughest questions! More info can be found here.

santa clara church of Christ