“Genesis: Book of Beginnings!”
“Exodus: Exit from Egypt!”
“Leviticus: Book of Sacrifices!”
And on we go.
I love hearing these words at the end of my days. They come from my kids in family worship, as we together announce the books of the Bible, with an accompanying phrase for each.
Why do we do this? Well, because I started asking questions like these: Do our kids know the story of the Bible? Do they know the movement of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation? What about me? Do I know the unfolding of Scripture, not just in terms of big picture ideas, but the movement from book to book?
These questions created our new family worship endeavor: to memorize the books of the Bible and a short phrase associated with them, from Genesis to Revelation.
It’s not uncommon for kids of the church (and adults) to learn the books of the Bible. My thought, though, is that knowing that Nahum follows Micah or that Philemon comes after Titus may not add too much to one’s Bible knowledge.
But what if our kids and adults could offer a short summary phrase for each book? Then, as books were recited and known, a summary of God’s message across 66 books would be written on our minds, and, we pray, our hearts.
Here’s how our family does it. Each day in family worship we add one book of the Bible and memorize a short phrase to go with it. So, we started with “Genesis: Book of Beginnings”. The next day, Exodus ("Exit from Egypt") was added, and so forth.
When we come to a book, I talk a bit about the main idea of the book. And then, where possible, we have the kids act out a story from it. Kids always love a good acted-out drama. Then, we recite our books of the Bible (with their phrases) up to that point together.
Our kids really enjoy this interactive project. And they – along with my wife and me – are growing to learn the big story of the whole of the Bible.
Before I share our phrases, I’d be curious what you might come up with for all 66 books. Could you do it? Could you recite not just the book but share in a phrase what it’s about? And how might you use something like this in your family worship, or Sunday school curriculum, or some other place? It’s an edifying project to think through.
Anyways, here’s my "book-and-phrase" overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As I write, I can almost hear my kids' voices chant or almost sing through it (though we are only up to Ecclesiastes right now). That makes me smile.
Genesis: Book of Beginnings
Exodus: Exit from Egypt
Leviticus: Book of Sacrifices
Numbers: Count the People
Deuteronomy: God’s Holy Law
Joshua: March the Cities
Judges: No King in Israel
Ruth: Boaz Redeems Ruth
1 Samuel: David Anointed King
2 Samuel: David Reigns as King
1 Kings: Temple then Division
2 Kings: Elisha to Exile
1 Chronicles: Adam to David
2 Chronicles: Solomon to Exile
Ezra: Rebuild the Temple
Nehemiah: Rebuild the Wall
Esther: Preserve God’s People
Job: God’s Power in Suffering
Psalms: Wisdom, Weeping, Worship
Proverbs: Wisdom for the Kingdom
Ecclesiastes: Wisdom in Confusion
Song of Solomon: Beauty of Love
Isaiah: Righteous God, Suffering Servant
Jeremiah: Weeping Prophet
Lamentations: Mourn the City
Ezekiel: Visions, Exile, Temple
Daniel: The LORD reigns everywhere!
Hosea: Faithful God, Unfaithful Bride
Joel: Locusts and Repentance
Amos: Seek Justice!
Obadiah: Edom's Destruction
Jonah: Fleeing Prophet, Merciful God
Micah: Sinful People, Coming Shepherd
Nahum: The LORD is Good!
Habakkuk: Yet will I rejoice!
Zephaniah: God's Judgment, God's Singing
Haggai: Time to Rebuild
Zechariah: Visions of Restoration!
Malachi: Still need a Savior
Matthew: Jesus the King!
Mark: Jesus the Son!
Luke: Jesus the Savior!
John: Jesus the "I AM"
Acts: Church Advancing
Romans: Jesus Christ our Lord!
1 Corinthians: Union in Jesus
2 Corinthians: With Jesus in Suffering
Galatians: Justified in Christ
Ephesians: Union with Christ
Philippians: Joy in Jesus!
Colossians: Christ the Mystery!
1 Thessalonians: Get Ready, He's Coming
2 Thessalonians: Watch Out for Judgment
1 Timothy: Life in God's House
2 Timothy: Soldier for Christ
Titus: Church of Good Works
Philemon: Restore the Slave
Hebrews: Jesus is Better!
James: Faith and Works
1 Peter: Suffering and Glory
2 Peter: The Day is Coming!
1 John: Beloved, Love!
2 John: Abide in Love
3 John: Welcome in Love
Jude: Contend for the Faith
Revelation: Jesus Wins!