In this article I am going to place the books of the Bible in chronological order. In between the books that belong to the Protestant Bible canon, I will place the books of the Apocrypha also in chronological order. The Apocryphal books are found in Orthodox and Catholic Bibles.
How did I arrive at this chronology?
I read the books themselves to find out which author each book is ascribed to in the book itself. If no author is named, I looked at which king was reigning at the time and mentioned in the book, then looked up the dates of the reigns of kings.
As I read the books, I memorized the names of certain prophets who are mentioned by other prophets. This way I knew that if one prophet had met another prophet, they lived at the same time, as for example, was the case for Elijah and Obadiah.
Also, genealogies in the books of Kings and Chronicles show who was a son of whom. Some prophets are descended from other prophets.
These four lines of inquiry may seem simple, but they are largely ignored by modern scholarship who I think have got too ‘clever’ for their own good. They’ve got so clever that they now know nothing, and this is folly.
For each book of the Bible I’ve tried to state simply the genre of the writing and what the book contains. Many will recognize the familiar stories and thus see where they come from.
At the end of this article I will make an assessment of the value of each book of the Apocrypha based on what it contains, who wrote it and which language it was originally written in. Although all books of the Apocrypha appear in Greek in the Septuagint Old Testament, some of them were originally written in Hebrew.
I will make some of my own comments on authorship of the Old Testament, wisdom literature, and the role of the prophet, but my main theme is to trace the history of Israel and Judah leading up to the Jewish nation prior to the coming of Jesus as Messiah.
There is a 400 year gap between the Old Testament and the New Testament in Protestant Bibles, but if some books of the Apocrypha are admitted as legitimate books of the Bible, there is an almost unbroken history.