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Cliff's Notes on the Bible

The Bible in 50 words

God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Jacob fooled
Joseph ruled
Bush talked
Pharaoh plagued
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Judges led
Saul freaked
David peeked
Kingdom divided
Prophets warned
People exiled
Hope rose
Jesus born
God walked
Anger crucified
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

Revised from the original by Dana Livesay, Wanganui, New Zealand. Source: 'Top of the Morning' Book of Incredibly Short Stories compiled by Brian Edwards. Auckland, New Zealand: Tandem Press.
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"Because the Bible grapples with the basic questions man has always asked himself, it has fascinated him for 2,000 years and more. This is why it is the most influential and widely read book in human history. The Bible which is actually a collection of sixty-six small books -- tells of the rise and fall of ancient nations and the clash of armies. It tells about kings and plain people, heroes and villains. It contains history and theology, poetry and songs, philosophy and letters. It contains strange dream-visions, wise sayings, and some seemingly dull collections of court records, family trees, and religious rules. It contains some of the greatest literature man has produced. All of it is directed to the relationship between man and God"
   -- A Reader's Guide to the Holy Bible ©1972, Thomas Nelson

Sample: Brief summary of entire Bible

Student-written summary of the storyline of Sacred Scripture done for a Bible class exam

This is not the "perfect" summary. It only goes through the gospels. Written by a student, it is a good example of what is expected on exams in Introduction to Biblical Literature


"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that was in it and He saw that it was good. A demonic serpent deceived Eve in what we call the Fall of the Human Race. However, in the aftermath of that God promised to send a Redeemer, saying that although the serpent would strike the heel of a descendant of that woman, the heel of that descendant would crush the serpent. Many years later, God called Abraham in a giant step toward fulfilling that promise. Centuries passed and Abraham's descendants wound up enslaved by the Egyptians. God heard their cries and he called Moses to lead His people in the Exodus from Egypt. Then Joshua led the people in a conquest of Canaan. This was followed by a period of judges where every man did what was right in his own eyes.

"Eventually, the Israelite people asked Samuel to give them a king. With God's permission, Samuel anointed Saul king. Several years later, Israel's third king, Solomon built a temple for God. Then, under the reign of Rehoboam, the kingdom divided with Jeroboam ruling in the North, and Rehoboam in the South. For more than a hundred years the two kingdoms existed side by side. Then, the Northern Kingdom fell to the Assyrians. More than a century later, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the Southern Kingdom and burned the temple. He then forced God's people into exile in Babylon. After 70 years they returned to their land and rebuilt Jerusalem.

"Many, many years later God sent His Son, the redeemer, to earth. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and after 33 years teaching, healing and serving people He was crucified. However, after 3 days He arose from the grave, thus fulfilling God's promise of a redeemer."

    -- S.T., student in Introduction to Biblical Literature


Brief summary of each Bible book: Old Testament      New Testament

Introduction to Biblical Literature course resources:    Course home page     Bible memory passages     Weekly Bible reading reports     Canaan's strategic location    15 key Bible chapters    How to study the Bible    Text of 10 Commandments     Questions answered in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)   Bible humor, jokes and trivia     Exam study guides