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.
Graphics trademarked by Cliff's Notes. Used here under the educational purposes provisions of the U.S. copyright acts.
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
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