How Do You Read the Bible in Chronological or Historical Order?

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While there is more than one way to read the Bible in chronological order, most methods begin with the books written by Moses and end with the letters of John and the book of Revelation. While the first and last book of the Bible are in correct chronological position, some books require a shuffling of order so that they follow the historical timeline.

The first major difference in reading the Bible chronologically as opposed to its normal order is the placement of the book of Job. In most Bibles, Job appears before the book of Psalms. Bible scholars generally place the events of the book of Job in the antediluvian era. Therefore, to read the Bible chronologically, Job is read after reading Genesis chapters 8 through 11, the account of the flood.

After Job is inserted into the order, the Bible can be read in its normal order. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the other poetic books have no fixed historical setting, so different methods use different placements. However, these are usually grouped by writer; that is, the psalms written by David are read during the accounts of David in 1 and 2 Samuel, while the proverbs of Solomon are read during either 1 Kings or 2 Chronicles.

Another major difference in reading the Bible chronologically is the placement of the books of Ezra, Esther and Nehemiah. While in the Bible’s normal order, these books appear before Job and Psalms, reading the Bible chronologically requires these books to be among the last Old Testament books read.