Why is the Bible not in chronological order

Why are the books of the Bible not in chronological order?

Chronology is certainly a really good way of organizing the books of the Bible, and some people may prefer it. There are certainly chronological editions of the Bible that are available. It should be noted that the order of the books of the Bible is not inspired, so you are really free to organize them any way you want.

However, one of the problems with chronology is the overlap of some accounts. The book of Acts covers some history, so the letters appear everywhere. In addition, there are some books that are not historical in nature, such as the psalms, proverbs, and preachers. Sure, they were mostly written by David and Solomon, but there's really no need to put them between chapters 1 and 2 of Kings.

That being said, there is a common order that has a purpose. These historical accounts in the Old Testament are arranged fairly chronologically. The prophets include several kings and are not a historical narrative but have prophetic utterances in history.

One of my favorite representations can be found in the periodic table of the Bible

The departments highlighted here are as follows:

  • Pentateuch (Moses)
  • Story narrative (chronological, mostly with some overlaps)
  • Wisdom literature
  • Main prophet
  • Minor prophets

  • Gospels (generally in chronological order, but each overlaps the other)

  • History (Acts of the Apostles) - chronological
  • Letters to churches named after cities
  • Letters to individuals named after the recipient
  • Letters from people named after authors
  • prophecy

So order them again as you wish for your personal reading. If you don't like the general order, that's perfectly fine. I remember an old mentor reading the Psalms backwards, which was an interesting idea.


Thanks for your answer. However, the graph seems strange. I don't understand how the Bible is periodic and how this layout makes sense.