Is the Bible Written in Chronological Order?
The Bible – known as the Holy Scriptures for Christianity – is often read from first to the last chapter within a specific book. Sometimes Christians will even read the whole Bible from cover to cover. While reading the Bible from cover to cover is a great discipline to have, it makes one wonder: is the Bible written in chronological order?
In short, the answer is no; the Bible is not written in chronological order. Rather, the Bible is composed of various genres, such as stories, letters, poems and more. Each book of the Bible is written by one or more people. The books of the Bible are not necessarily in chronological order, nor are the chapters within the books. You may be thinking, why is that? In order to answer that question, let us take a look at how the Bible was composed.
Just as there are four thousand years of stories contained in the Bible, the time span of which it was written spans similar amounts of time. Although, around the 5th century A.D. the canon was created. The canon is the set of Scriptures that were chosen to make up the Bible. A group of religious people and theologians debated which Scriptures were to be included in the Old and New Testament combined. After meeting, praying and debating, the theologians came back with the 66 books of the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation.
At first glance, this may seem strange. A group of men debating what is Holy Scripture? Although, all of the written material that makes up the Bible was never intended to be used as Scripture. Many of the authors wrote stories down in letters or as written traditions. Through thousands of years, people kept or found those pieces of written work. Therefore, a group of people went through all the materials that were written about the history of God and the first church and put together what they were led to call the Scriptures of the Bible.
For someone just learning about the true chronology of the Bible, there may be some worry about its accuracy. That is where faith comes in; we must cling to the fact that the Holy Spirit had guided those who put the canon together hundreds of years before us. The Bible is still God’s breathed words written for us – chronological or not.