Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

A Bible Survey:
Bird's Eye View of Old and
New Testament

This Christian teaching about Bible survey will give you a brief, broad, overview of the entire scope of the Old and New Testament. Get your running shoes, because we will fly fast through some 2000 pages.

General Information

The one book is a collection of 66 unified individual works compiled by over 40 writers during a period of some 1,600 years. Geographically, it focuses on the general areas of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt.

It was written roughly from the years 1400 B.C. to A.D. 95. The time span covered, however, stretches from the beginning of creation to the future return of Jesus Christ.

Bible survey reveals the writers include shepherds, kings, priests, prime ministers, farmers, fishermen, prophets, and medical doctors. The central Person is Jesus Christ, and the theme is the progressive unfolding of the redemption of God’s people to the glory of God – again, through Jesus Christ.

The purpose is to bear witness of the one God who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. The witness is through Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and the Redeemer of sinful humanity.

The ultimate Author is the Holy Spirit who superintended the writing of the individual writers so that they wrote without error what God intended in the original manuscripts. Bible survey shows two main divisions: the Old Testament, and the New Testament. I will break them down for you.

The Old Testament

This first division contains 39 books, and for the most part was written in the Hebrew language. The kind of literature includes history, legal documents, diaries, sermons, genealogies, drama, hymns, wise sayings, love songs, poetry, prayers, speeches, prophecies, science, and philosophy. It covers quite a range, doesn’t it?

The Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy)

One way to conduct a Bible survey is to divide it into its major distinctive groupings of books. The first division is the Pentateuch, which was written by Moses. It includes the stories of creation and fall, the great flood, and Tower of Babel (Genesis 1-22).

Bible survey includes the history of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Esau, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Other stories include Joseph, the enslavement of Israel in Egypt, Moses, and the Exodus (Genesis 37-Exodus 15). This analysis takes us through the wilderness wanderings, Ten Commandments and the legal and religious founding of Israel, fall of Jericho, Joshua and entering the Promised Land.

Books of History (Joshua-Esther)

Next, our Bible survey covers the history of Israel from about 1390-445 B.C. One thing to note is that these books are not written in chronological order, and there is repetition and overlap in the events recorded. The history starts with the era of the judges, such as Gideon and Samuel along with the stories of Samson and Delilah.

Our birds-eye-view swings us over the era of the united kingdom (@1050-930 B.C.) where we see Kings Saul, David and Solomon. There are the great stories of Goliath, Bathsheba, David’s might men, queen of Sheba, building of the temple, and writing of Psalms and Proverbs.

The records of the divided kingdom (@931-587 B.C) are given. They show Israel’s history after the death of Solomon and go until the Jews were taken captivity under the kingdom of Babylon. They also include the later return of the Jews to Palestine.

Books of Poetry (Job-Song of Solomon)

This distinctive grouping includes probably the oldest book (Job), and the Psalms (written mostly by David), and Proverbs (written mostly by Solomon). Ecclesiastes resembles a book on philosophy, and the last in this group is a love song. These are books of inspiration, wisdom, perspective, and love.

Books of Major Prophets (isaiah-Daniel)

Our Bible survey indicates these lengthy books were written by various prophets, and are intertwined with the tumultuous history of Israel before and after the captivity. They are distinguished from the “minor” prophets simply because they are longer. The main content includes warnings from God, and prophecies of future events – some of which are yet to be fulfilled.

Books of Minor Prophets (hosea-Malachi)

Our Bible survey brings us to the final smaller books that are in the style of the Major Prophets, and were written before, during and after the captivity. Malachi is the last, written in about 450-500 B.C. They contain many prophecies and lessons about God and life. Then, there is a time span of some 400 years between the end of the Old and start of the New Testament.

Books of Poetry (Job-Song of Solomon)

This distinctive grouping includes probably the oldest book (Job), and the Psalms (written mostly by David), and Proverbs (written mostly by Solomon). Ecclesiastes resembles a book on philosophy, and the last in this group is a love song. These are books of inspiration, wisdom, perspective, and love.

Books of Major Prophets (Isaiah-Daniel)

Our Bible survey indicates these lengthy books were written by various prophets, and are intertwined with the tumultuous history of Israel before and after the captivity. They are distinguished from the “minor” prophets simply because they are longer. The main content includes warnings from God, and prophecies of future events – some of which are yet to be fulfilled.

Books of Minor Prophets (Hosea-Malachi)

Our Bible survey brings us to the final smaller books that are in the style of the Major Prophets, and were written before, during and after the captivity. Malachi is the last, written in about 450-500 B.C. They contain many prophecies and lessons about God and life. Then, there is a time span of some 400 years between the end of the Old and start of the New Testament.

The New Testament

Our Bible survey brings introduces us to the second major division. The New Testament was written between the years of about A.D. 50-95. It includes 27 individual works written by eye witnesses of Christ or by their contemporaries. It can be broken down into three general divisions: history, teachings, prophecy.

History (Matthew-Acts)

The first historical part is about the historical birth, life, ministry, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Included in the four Gospels are the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, selection and training of the Apostles, Great Commandment and Commission, and many prophecies.

The second historical work is the Acts of the Apostles, which documents Christ’s Ascension into Heaven, and the birth and expansion of the early Christian church. The two dominant figures are Peter and Paul. Paul’s conversion and missionary journeys are recorded.

Teachings (Romans-Jude)

Our Bible survey brings us to the teachings, which are also broken down into two groupings. They are also called “epistles,” or simply letters. They were written to various individuals or churches addressing various problems, and explaining the teachings of Jesus.

The 14 Pauline Epistles, written by Paul, include Romans-Philemon. The second category is known as the General Epistles, and includes Hebrews-Jude. The authors include James, Peter, John, and Jude.

Prophetic (Revelation)

Our survey of the Bible brings us hurling to the final work, Revelation, which is about the Revelation of Jesus Christ at His second coming. There are differences of opinion on how to interpret this book. But, whatever method you use, it will take you on a pretty wild ride!

The first four chapters are past history. The next portions take us into Heaven, and then through extremely traumatic conditions on earth, and finally the return of Christ. It ends with a description of the new heavens and earth.

With this very fast survey of the Bible, you now have a general, basic framework of the greatest book ever written. From here you can break it down into smaller bite sizes as you plod through your study Bible and a commentary – and also explore other studies on this web site. God bless.

Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman

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