How to Understand the Storyline of the Bible


“…The Bible is comprised of 66 Books written over a period of about 1,500 years by over 40 authors from all walks of life, with different kinds of personalities, and in all sorts of situations. It was written in three languages on three continents, and it covers hundreds of controversial subjects. Yet, it fits together into one cohesive story with an appropriate beginning, a logical ending, a central character, and a consistent theme.”


Today in my reading I found this helpful overview of the story of the Bible provided by Vaughn Roberts in his book, “God’s Big Picture”.


The Chapters provide a good outline to the bible as follows –


  1. Pattern  – Creation provides a pattern in which the Triune God is shown forth as the author of creation and the ultimate King over creation. Humanity is presented as the crowning work of God’s creation and perpetual rest in the glorious person and work of God is presented as the culmination of creation.


  1. Perish – The good creation of God is assaulted by the introduction of sin and rebellion into the created order by Satan working in conjunction with Man. The picture God intended was marred and as a result was cursed.


  1. Promised – Immediately God answers sin with the promise of a sin bearer in the Seed of man that would ultimately crush the head of Satan. Theologians call this promise a Proto-evangel.


  1. Partial – Through Abraham and his seed we see the rise of Israel, God’s chosen people, the bearers of truth. Throughout the following books we read of human leaders, Judges and Kings that ruled under God’s authority. They all pointed back to the original rule of God and the future rule of God in the person of Christ.


  1. Prophesied – The Prophets point forward to one coming that would restore all things to their original splendor. This one would deal with the problem of sin and rebellion and redeem those who would trust in Him.


  1. Present – The New Testament presents the “at hand” Kingdom and it’s King – Jesus Christ. He is the perfect revelation of God’s Word, Will and Plan. He is Deity wrapped in Humanity. Our lives are right so far as they are related to Him.


  1. Perfected – In the Present the Kingdom of Christ is “Now, not yet”. As with King David, he was anointed long before he ascended to the throne. In the same way, Jesus the King has arrived; His kingdom has been preached and purchased by his blood. While this is true, we await the full realization of His Kingdom in perfection when he returns physically to claim what is rightfully his. This will culminate what began in the Garden and we will enter into His rest.  



This outline serves as a good way for us to keep the storyline of scripture in our minds. It helps us to recognize how each text we study and teach fits in to the overall flow of scripture and how our lives individually fit into God’s plan in Christ.