An Outline of the Books of the Bible

By James H. Brookes



This little book had its origin in a desire to be helpful to young Christians, and to others who wish to know more of God's word. It is believed that there have been only two methods adopted of presenting a synopsis of that word. One Is to give the leading thought of each chapter, section, or paragraph, which in fact is to write a commentary or exposition. While this is unquestionably the best plan if intelligently executed, it is open to the grave objection that it requires the production of so large a book, it is practically placed beyond the reach of many poor believers, who have no time for extended study.

The other plan seeks to embody in a single phrase the general meaning of each book, as when it is said that Genesis sets forth election, Exodus redemption, Leviticus priestly service and worship, Numbers our wilderness walk and warfare. But while these words may be suggestive as keynotes, it is obvious that they convey little instruction as to the real character and distinctive teachings of the various books.

An attempt is here made to avoid the two extremes, and to exhibit in outline in brief and cheap form the principal design of the books, viewed especially in the light of our Lord's declaration, " Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me," (John v. 39); and also in the light of the Holy Spirit's statement, " Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope," (Rom. xv. 4).

It will be observed that the early books are treated quite briefly; but when the prophets were reached, it became absolutely necessary for the sake of clearness to enter a little more into detail. It is to be regretted that the same amount of space given to the prophets, and to the New Testament writers, was not assigned to the first books; and no one can be so painfully conscious as the writer of the utter failure of these outlines to show in an adequate manner the wonderful testimonies of the blessed Bible. But such as they are, they are sent forth with the prayer that they may be used in some little measure of loving service to exalt the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord.