What Are The 66 Books In The Bible In Order

The Bible is arguably the world’s most important printed text, having been the source of comfort, instruction and hope for millions throughout history. Most of us know of the Bible’s hallowed words, but fewer are aware of its 66 sections, known as books. In this article, we will seek to provide an understanding of what these books are, why they are important, and their order in the Bible.

In the Christian Bible, each book was either written by, or attributed to, one of the prophets, apostles or other writers. Overall, the Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament; The Old Testament is comprised of 39 books and the New Testament of 27. The Old Testament books contain the history of God’s relationship with the world and the people of Israel while the New Testament books contain the story of Jesus’ life and teachings. As such, the books of the Bible are essential to having an understanding of the Bible.

The books of the Bible are initially grouped together according to their size and authorship. Larger books, such as Deuteronomy, are broken into sections or ‘chapters’ while shorter books, such as 2 Thessalonians, are kept as single entities. Furthermore, the books are classed according to their authorship as either ‘Gospel’ literature, ‘Letters’ or ‘Acts’. This classification helps to distinguish between books written by the same author but for different purposes. For example, Mark, Luke and John are all considered to be ‘Gospel’ literature, even though they each detail different aspects of the life of Jesus.

The 66 books of the Bible can be read in accordance with their order within the Bible. Although, similar books may be associated with different orders depending on their function, the majority of the books can be classified into the following categories, ranging from Genesis in the first book to Revelation in the last book; Pentateuch, Historical, Wisdom, Major Prophetic, and Minor Prophetic.

The Pentateuch, which begins with Genesis and ends with Numbers, outlines the history of God and humanity, while the Historical books, beginning with Joshua and ending with Nehemiah, focus on the history of the Israelites in the promised land. The Wisdom books, beginning with Job and ending with Esther, give advice and teach moral lessons, while the Major Prophetic books, beginning with Isaiah and ending with Malachi, consist of prophecies and messages about the true nature of God. Lastly, the Minor Prophetic books, beginning with Hosea and ending with Malachi, consist of shorter messages from God to the Israelites.

The 66 books of the Bible are all unique and important in their own way. Studying them in the context in which they are written can provide a deeper knowledge and understanding of its content. As such, it is understood that reading the books in order, from Genesis to Revelation, can aid in a comprehensive understanding of the Bible, its themes and its teachings.

Themes of the Pentateuch

The Pentateuch, commonly referred to as the ‘Five Books of Moses’, is the foundational block of the Bible, containing the early legends, stories and laws of the religion. As such, its main themes consist of the foundation of the world and its initial inhabitants, the significance of God’s divine covenant with the Israelites, and the concept of honouring the law with judgments that are to be followed. Genesis, in particular, recounts key stories such as the creation of Heaven and Earth and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, while Exodus details the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, how Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, and the establishment of the Torah. Furthermore, Leviticus outlines laws and regulations for the Israelites to follow, Numbers discusses the Israelites journey after the Exodus, and Deuteronomy details Moses’ final address to his people.

Themes of the Historical Books

The Historical books of the Bible pick up where the Pentateuch left off, beginning with the Israelites entering the promised land and continuing to describe the events and struggles of the nation up until the post-exilic period. Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings narrate the ongoing history of the Israelites in military conquest and successive governing, while Ruth, Esther and Nehemiah, provide stories of hope, courage and redemption during troubled times. In addition, Chronicles depicts another account of the biblical history, focusing more on religious, cultural and literary aspects such as detailed genealogies and royal succession. In essence, the Historical books of the Bible emphasise the relationship between God and the Israelites, demonstrating how God’s power is demonstrated in the affairs of everyday life.

Themes Widom Books

The Wisdom books, a category which includes Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs and Song of Songs, focus on teaching life’s lessons and providing guidance on how to live a successful life. The books typically examine the relationship between humans and God and the acceptance of divine justice and punishment. Job, for example, uses the contextual forum of a long, drawn-out conversation to convey that humans do not need to understand God’s will in order to accept it, while Ecclesiastes proposes that nothing in life has intrinsic value and encourages a sentiment of purposelessness and futility. Proverbs, on the other hand, advocates for the attainment of ‘wise’ knowledge to ensure prosperity and good fortune, while Song of Songs offers an insight into the nature and complexity of love and desire.

Themes of the Major Prophetic Books

The Major Prophetic books are centered around the lesson of repentance and warnings from God to the Israelites about their transgressions and future consequences. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel offer prophecies of doom and justice about the sins of the people and the impending judgement of God, while the book of Hosea offers a reminder of God’s immense love, patience and forgiveness. Of particular note is the book of Daniel, which prophesies on soon-to-be events, calls for the recognition and acceptance of divine wisdom, and predicts the ultimate coming of the Messiah. Consequently it is understood that, collectively, the Major Prophetic books teach of the power of repentance and forgiveness as essential to God’s love.

Themes of the Minor Prophetic Books

The Minor Prophetic books, a series of twelve books from Hosea to Malachi, primarily depict deliverance, forgiveness and hope through messages from God. Hosea, Joel, Amos and Obadiah detail God’s anger over various sins and remind the people of the need for repentance, while Jonah, Micah, Nahum and Habakkuk tell of a future kingdom which God will establish through moments of judgement and deliverance. In addition, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi reveal different aspects of this new kingdom, including references to Elijah’s resurrection, the comings of Messiah, and the spirit of prophecy. Significantly, the Minor Prophetic books predominantly offer hope and assurance to the people of God’s protection, redemption and forthcoming prosperity.


In conclusion, understanding the 66 books of the Bible is essential to comprehending the divine indications and stories found within it. Comprising of Pentateuch, Historical, Wisdom, Major Prophetic and Minor Prophetic books, the Bible chronicles God’s relationship with the world and its inhabitants, legislation and punishment, divine wisdom, calls for repentance and deliverance, and the coming of the Messiah. Altogether, the order of the books plays an integral role in connecting the many activities of man with the power of God, ultimately emphasising the need for faith, love, redemption and hope.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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