Books Of The Old Testament In Chronological Order

It’s surprising how few resources are out there for putting the massive Old Testament in chronological order.  As it stands, we have the books of Moses (the law), then the historical books, followed by sections of literature and the books of individual prophets.  The problem is, those historical books in the middle cover the rest of the time period of the Old Testament, with everything afterwards fitting back into that timeline.  I’ve always wanted to break it down and read it in chronological order: not necessarily the order of date of composition, but the order in which the events treated in the text happened.

The best list I found online was available here and here.  I adapted it by integrating some scriptures from the LDS canon whose events bear on the Old Testament timeline (but not those that are just commentary or minor variations–hence, no additional Isaiah stuff).  Those are in italics on my list.  I’m not sure if this list is exactly what I want, but comparing it to a timeline in a church student manual for the Old Testament made it look good, and a perfect list is impossible, since so much Old Testament material overlaps, having multiple books occupying the same time period (perhaps an even more specific “OT harmony” is called for?).

At any rate, as I study the Bible using this chart, I’ll modify it as needed.

 

Abraham 3:22-28

Genesis 1

Moses 2

Abraham 4

Genesis 2

Moses 3

Abraham 5

Genesis 3

Moses 4

Genesis 4

Moses 5

Genesis 5

Moses 6-7

Genesis 6

Moses 8

Genesis 7-11:28

Abraham 1

Genesis 11:29-12:20

Abraham 2-3:21

Genesis 13-14:20

Alma 13:14-19

Genesis 14:21-22:24
Job
Genesis 23 – 50:21

2 Nephi 3:5-21

Genesis 50:22-26
Exodus 1-19:6

Moses 1

Exodus 19:7-40:38
Psalm 90
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Psalm 91
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
I Samuel 1 – 16:13
Psalm 23
I Samuel 16:14 – 19:11
Psalm 59
I Samuel 19:12 – 21:15
Psalms 34, 56
I Samuel 22:1, 2
Psalms 57, 142
I Samuel 22:3-23
Psalm 52
I Samuel 23
Psalms 54, 63
I Samuel 24 – 31
II Samuel 1 – 7
Psalm 30
II Samuel 8:1-14
Psalm 60
II Samuel 8:15 – 12:14
Psalms 51, 32
II Samuel 12:15 – 15:37
Psalms 3, 69
II Samuel 16 – 20
Psalms 64, 70
II Samuel 21, 22
Psalm 18
II Samuel 23, 24
Psalms 4 – 9, 11 – 17, 19 – 22, 24 – 29, 31, 35 – 41, 53, 55, 58, 61, 62,
Psalms 65, 68, 72, 86, 101, 103, 108 – 110, 138 – 141, 143 – 145
I Kings 1 – 4
Proverbs
Song of Solomon
I Kings 5 – 11
Ecclesiastes
I Kings 12 – 22
II Kings 1 – 14:25
Jonah
II Kings 14:26-29
Amos
II Kings 15 – 25
Psalms 1, 2, 10, 33, 43, 66, 67, 71, 89, 92 – 100,
Psalms 102, 104 – 106, 111 – 125, 127 – 136, 146 – 150
I Chronicles 1 – 16
Psalms 42, 44 – 50, 73 – 85, 87, 88
I Chronicles 17 – 29
II Chronicles 1 – 21
Obadiah
II Chronicles 22
Joel
II Chronicles 23 – 26:8
Isaiah 1 – 5
II Chronicles 26:9 – 23
Isaiah 6
II Chronicles 27 – 32
Isaiah 7 – 66
Hosea
Micah
Nahum
II Chronicles 33, 34
Zephaniah
II Chronicles 35
Habakkuk
Jeremiah 1 – 6, 11, 12, 26, 7 – 10, 14 – 20, 35, 36, 45, 25, 46 – 49,
Jeremiah 13, 22 – 24, 27 – 29, 50, 51, 30 – 33, 21, 34, 37 – 39, 52:1-11

Helaman 8:21, Omni 1:15-17

Jeremiah 52:12-34, 40 – 44
Lamentations
II Chronicles 36:1 – 8
Daniel
II Chronicles 36:9 – 10

1 Nephi 1-7

II Chronicles 36:11-21
Psalm 137
Ezekiel
II Chronicles 36:22, 23
Ezra 1 – 5:1
Haggai
Zechariah
Psalms 107, 126
Ezra 5:2 – 6:22
Esther
Ezra 7 – 10
Nehemiah
Malachi

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7 comments on “Books Of The Old Testament In Chronological Order

  1. This looks great! Thank you so much for posting it! I’m also LDS and trying to make up a reading chart to read the Old Testament this next year but I thought it would be nice to read it chronologically. I’m so glad to have found a version from fellow Latter Day Saint how you already have the Pearl of Great Price included and even some from the Book of Mormon! You said you would update it as you studied from it if you found any modifications to be necessary. Did you ever find anything else or is this the best to your knowledge? Again, thank you so much for your time and effort in creating this, and for sharing it here. =) I’m very grateful.

  2. Thanks, Jessica. I thought about this again as I looked through the new Gospel Doctrine study guide–if that’s meant to be roughly chronological, then there are some differences with what I’ve come up with. I’ll review it some more and see what changes might be needed.

    The biggest problem I see so far is the placement of Job so early. As I’ve been reading that book, it clearly belongs closer to the end of the chart.

    Here’s a helpful seminary timeline that sheds some light on this: http://seminary.lds.org/content/timelines/ot-timeline.pdf

  3. Huston—

    The Old Testament study guide is not entirely chronological. Lessons center around certain themes, and many chapters are never covered. I wouldn’t base any changes on that guide. The OT study manuals may shed some more light on the chronology though.

    Like Jessica, I found this list because I was searching for a way to read the OT chronologically as we study it this year. So thanks for working in the LDS scriptures for everyone!

  4. I have a question for you…..where are the books of Mormons included in any orthodox bible???/

    They are completely inconsistent with any of the bible books…like the bible of Jerusalem for the catholics. they have an Epistle to the Catholics…

    You may be sincere in your belief and yearning to search God…but with the LDS.. You are in error…besides…working for your salvation…according to the Bible, is clearly work in vain..

    Ephesians 2:8-9

  5. Ray, thank you for your comments. Latter-day Saints don’t add anything to or take anything away from the Bible–it is the first and largest of our holy scriptures. The Book of Mormon and the Bible work together to teach and testify of Christ. I’m grateful that God has blessed us with more of His word, more records of the gospel among His children. There is no contradiction between them–in fact, the Book of Mormon helps me understand the Bible more clearly, and strengthens my love for it.

    Paul is teaching that the infinite and eternal Atonement of Christ is the miracle that redeems us from the Fall–that saves us from physical and spiritual death. Nothing we do on our own adds to it or helps it; and we are completely helpless to do it on our own. Latter-day Saints absolutely believe in that grace and gift of God–in fact, the Book of Mormon teaches excatly that:

    Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen. 2 Nephi 10:25

    And they had aviewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men. Mosiah 4:2

    Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven. Mosiah 18:2

    And there are dozens of other teachings in the Book of Mormon that the Atonement of Christ is the crucial, critical, necessary, and only way that we are saved.

    However, that doesn’t change the fact that God also commands us to live His way, and to continually repent and draw nearer to Him through steady, righteous discipleship. The Bible and Book of Mormon are consistent in both teaching that this is required by God to make the power of His grace effective in our lives. That’s what we mean when we say that we’re “working for our salvation,” a phrase that actually comes from Paul in the Bible:

    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12

    Ray, I suggest you look at this list of Bible scriptures about the need to keep God’s commandments: http://www.jefflindsay.com/faith_works_list.html

    Then, please read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and mind, and it will bring you even closer to Jesus, which is what it is supposed to do.

  6. Thanks for putting this together. I agree with you on the placement of Job. After looking over the Old Testament Times at a Glance, I think I am going to read it right before Joel. It seems as good a place as any considering even the timeline gives it a “?”.

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