Read the Bible Chronologically

Have you ever read the Bible chronologically? I have started this year and I’m absolutely loving it! Reading the Bible in the order of events that took place brings the scriptures to life in a new way. 

When we think about why and how to read the Bible in chronological order there are some other questions we should consider.

  • What is the correct chronological order to read the Bible?
  • Is it a good idea to read the Bible chronologically?

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Why Read the Bible Chronologically?

Why should I read the Bible in Chronological order? 

When we watch a movie or read a novel, we want to start at the beginning and read through to the end. Reading the Bible chronologically places the Biblical events in a way that causes the text to read like a story.

Typically, most Bible versions arrange the books of the Bible by theme. 

  • Historical – ex: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles
  • Poetic – ex: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes 
  • Prophetic – ex: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Revelation
  • Gospel – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
  • Epistle: – ex: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Timothy

Reading the Bible chronologically helps us to understand more of the historical context because we are reading each book of the Bible according to the timeline of events that took place throughout history.

What is the Chronological Reading List of the Bible?

Many of the psalms and prophecies spread through multiple historical books. If you were to truly read the Bible chronologically, these books would be sprinkled in with the books of history. However, here is a general idea of the books of the Bible in chronological order.

The dates are approximate.

Chronological Order of the Old Testament

Genesis–1445-1405 B.C.
Exodus–1445-1405 B.C.
Leviticus–1445-1405 B.C.
Numbers–1445-1405 B.C.
Deuteronomy–1445-1405 B.C.
Psalms–1410-450 B.C.
Joshua–1405-1385 B.C.
Judges–ca. 1043 B.C.
Ruth–ca. 1030-1010 B.C.
Song of Solomon–971-965 B.C.
Proverbs–ca. 971-686 B.C.
Ecclesiastes–940-931 B.C.
1 Samuel–931-722 B.C.
2 Samuel–931-722 B.C.
Obadiah–850-840 B.C.
Joel–835-796 B.C.
Jonah–ca. 775 B.C.
Amos–ca. 750 B.C.
Hosea–750-710 B.C.
Micah–735-710 B.C.
Isaiah–700-681 B.C.
Nahum–ca. 650 B.C.
Zephaniah–635-625 B.C.
Habakkuk–615-605 B.C.
Ezekiel–590-570 B.C.
Lamentations–586 B.C.
Jeremiah–586-570 B.C.
1 Kings–561-538 B.C.
2 Kings–561-538 B.C.
Daniel 536-530 B.C.
Haggai–ca. 520 B.C.
Zechariah–480-470 B.C.
Ezra–457-444 B.C.
1 Chronicles–450-430 B.C.
2 Chronicles–450-430 B.C.
Esther–450-331 B.C.
Malachi–433-424 B.C.
Nehemiah–424-400 B.C

Chronological Order of the New Testament

James–A.D. 44-49
Galatians–A.D. 49-50
Matthew–A.D. 50-60
Mark–A.D. 50-60
1 Thessalonians–A.D. 51
2 Thessalonians–A.D. 51-52
1 Corinthians–A.D. 55
2 Corinthians–A.D. 55-56
Romans– A.D. 56
Luke–A.D. 60-61
Ephesians–A.D. 60-62
Philippians–A.D. 60-62
Philemon–A.D. 60-62
Colossians–A.D. 60-62
Acts–A.D. 62
1 Timothy–A.D. 62-64
Titus–A.D. 62-64
1 Peter–A.D. 64-65
2 Timothy–A.D. 66-67
2 Peter–A.D. 67-68
Hebrews–A.D. 67-69
Jude–A.D. 68-70
John–A.D. 80-90
1 John–A.D. 90-95
2 John–A.D. 90-95
3 John–A.D. 90-95
Revelation–A.D. 94-96

Get the Monthly Bible Reading Plan

Monthly Bible Reading Plan PDF

Get the Monthly Bible Reading Plan

Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year

There are some great resources available to you if you would like to read through the Bible in chronological order. Most of these will get you through the entire Bible in a year. If you are like me, you may want an option that will take 2 or 3 years. 

Best Chronological Bible

Here are a few Bibles that are organized to take you through the books in chronological order.

Accurate Chronological Bible Reading Plan Online

There are a couple of great chronological Bible apps that have chronological Bible reading plans built in.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan PDF

Teresa at Ladies Drawing Nigh has a one-year Chronological Bible Study Journal that includes a reading plan, beautiful worksheets, and lots of great resources.

read the bible chronologically

Read the Bible Chronologically in Two or Three Years

If you’d rather go through the Bible at a slower pace, here are some other options for you.

  • Bible Hub has a great printable 2-Year Chronological Bible reading plan
  • Ambleside is a site for homeschoolers, but they also have a 3-Year chronological Bible reading plan that you can print out.

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