12 Steps To Understanding The Bible

One of the keys to understanding the Bible is to see the big picture- which is presented below in 12 steps designed to help you understand the broad sweep of biblical history. Each step has four sub sections, a quick summary of important events, main actors and general physical location.

This work is based upon several works and sources including:

12 Step Biblical Overview

A description of the Bible's big story through history in 12 steps.
NameEventsPeopleSummary
CreationCreation
Fall
Flood
Tower
Adam
Eve
Noah
God creates everything, including humans, who rebel against God and destroy God's perfect creation (Genesis 1 - 11)
PatriarchsAbraham
Isaac
Jacob
Joseph
Abraham
Isaac
Jacob
Joseph
God chooses Abraham to start a family that would make God known to the world (Genesis 12 - 50)
ExodusDeliverance
The Law
Rebellion (Kardesh Barnea)
40 Years Wandering
Moses
Aaron
God chooses Moses to rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt and gives them the law (Exodus)
ConquestJordan
Jericho
Conquest
Dominion
Joshua
Rahab
Joshua leads the Hebrew people into the promised land and conquers it. (Joshua)
JudgesJudgement
Rebellion
Cycles of sin
Ruth
Sampson
Ruth
Deborah
Gideon
Samuel
Samson and others were chosen as judges to govern the people for four hundred rebellious years. (Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel)
KingdomUnited
Divided
Northern
Southern
David
Solomon
Rehoboam
Josiah

A monarchy is started, where David, the greatest king, is followed by mostly unrighteous kings. The kingdom splits and God eventually judges Israel sending her into captivity. (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings)
CaptivityProphets
Prophecies
Exile
Power Change
Daniel
Shadrach
Meshach
Abednego
Daniel gives leadership and encourages faithfulness amongst the exiles for the next 70 years
ReturnDisrepair
Temple
People
Wall
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Ezra leads the people back from exile to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther )
SilenceThe Changing Guard
Political Sect
Religious Sect
Messianic Hope
Pharisees
Sadducee
Maccabeans
Zealots
Pharisees and others entomb the Israelites in legalism for the next four hundred years.
JesusEarly Life
Early Ministry
Later Ministry
Death and Resurrection
Jesus
John
Disciples
Jesus comes in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies of a savior and offers salvation and the true kingdom of God. While some accept Him, most reject Him, and He is crucified. (Matthew, Mark, Luke John)
ChurchCreation
Growth
Persecution
Transition
Peter
Stephen
Peter, shortly after the Ascension of Jesus, is used by God to establish the church, God’s next major plan for man. (Acts)
MissionFirst Journey
Second Journey
Third Journey
Trials and Imprisonment
Paul
Silas
Timothy
God uses Paul and others to take the good news about Jesus to non-Jewish people all over the known world. (Acts)