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A Summary of the Biblical Story- In Sixty Six Verses (ThinkJump Journal #104 with Kim Gentes)

The primary narrative of the Christian and Jewish faiths is archived in the pages of the bible. While the bible includes 66 separate books, it remains a compelling, powerful storyline. The narrative arc speaks of God's work of creation and humanity, the subsequent failure of humans in the garden, God's project of redemption manifesting through His relationship with an individual (Abraham), a tribe (Hebrews), a nation (Israel), a king (David), prophets, and eventually a Savior (Jesus), in which YHWH (the Lord) sent His Son to plant the promise of His redemption into the heart of the human world and declare His love for all creation. Upon the fruition of that redemption (in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus) the Holy Spirit was released to build a new people, the Church, who would bring the promise (in word and deed) of the redemptive Jesus to the rest of the world. As the word of Christ and deeds of the Holy Spirit spread across the entire world it will all culminate in a return of this same Jesus back to our earth to complete the project. He will render justice, restore man's relationship and gather all those who love Him to an amazing celebration and community where access to the tree of life and face-to-face meeting with God is restored.

I had learned this basic biblical story in bits and pieces throughout my life. Even after I had been a Christian for some time, I hadn't put together the importance of seeing the larger story arc- the work of God's redemptive purpose from the initial creation in the garden of Eden to the glorious appearance of the tree of life in the New Jerusalem in John's book of Revelation that culminates the New Testament. What helped me discover this larger story was a professor of mine while I was a grad student at SSU in St. Stephen's, NB Canada. Bill Jackson (Jax, as he asked his students to call him) was the professor for two of my courses- Acts, and Biblical Theology. In both cases, Jax made us read the entire narrative of our subject- in the first case, literally reading through the entire Bible, and in the second, reading much of the New Testament.

I remember drafting up spreadsheets to track my reading, since I wasn't used to reading so much, and had to put in hours each day to keep up. But as the verses became chapters, chapters became books, and books sketched out the story of the bible- I began to see it. I began to realize the incredible fluidity and persistence of the themes of God's redemption project. The narrative became a deep part of how I began to see and understand both the Christian scriptures and faith, and also the experience of human life here and now. God was at work, then and now. And as Bill would say it- nothin's gonna stop it!

The few years since my formal studies ended has me re-reading the entire Bible, usually two or more times a year, and more if I can find enough time.  Something about re-visiting that grand plot keeps reminding me that life today is a continuation of God's great narrative. And the story that branched out with the church in the book of Acts continues today with the Church of Jesus across the world. While we aren't writing scripture any longer, we are still letters from God to a hungry world. As the Apostle Paul said, "You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone." (2 Corinthians 3:2)

This year, I decided to start gathering single verse quotes as I was reading through the Bible again. Just one verse per book as I concluded each book. I was posting each of these verse quotes on a daily basis, but decided to collect them all here for those who wanted to see them in a single place. Sadly, this year also marked the passing of my professor Bill Jackson, who had started me off on this ever deepening journey of drawing out of the grand narrative of God's story. I note with thanksgiving and joy that Jax's journey has led him to the place of being in the very presence of the Author of the great narrative to which he was both a guardian and a father to many of us.  Jax undoubtedly knows the details and grand movements of the story in a profoundly different way than we do, as he sees from the realms of God's heaven what we hope to glimpse through in the momentary span of our own lives as we pass through this dimly lit world.

If you haven't yet taken the opportunity to attempt to read through the entire narrative of the Biblical story in a short time, perhaps this short collection of verses can inspire you to begin to drink in the narrative anchoring the subplots of the scriptural books. Creation appears. Humanity falls. God is on the move with redemption. YHWH, the Ancient One who appeared to Moses, has continued His work. Jesus has come. The Holy Spirit is released. And now you are at the precipice of the next chapter of God's story.

I hope and pray that this collection of quotes from the Bible whets your appetite to this story of God. One verse per book.

  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~Genesis 1:1-2
  • God said to Moses, "I am who I am...This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation." ~Exod 3:14-15
  • Fire came out from the presence of the Lord...and when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown. ~Lev. 9:23-24
  • The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you... ~Num 6
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5
  • If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you then choose..whom you will for me and my household we will serve the Lord. ~Joshua 24:15
  • The trees said 'Come and be our king'. The fig tree replied 'Should I give up my fruit, so good & sweet, to hold sway over the trees?' ~Judges 9:10-11
  • But Ruth replied "Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." ~Ruth 1:16
  • But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. ~1 Sam 12:24
  • So David went to bring up the ark of God...Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might... 2 Sam 6:12,15
  • As David's time to die drew near he charged Solomon saying "I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong therefor and show yourself a man" ~1 Kings 2:1
  • "master! What shall we do?" [Elisha] answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." ~2 King 6:16
  • Thus says the Lord, "You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in... I tell you that the Lord will build a house for you" ~1 Chron 17:4,10
  • When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven & consumed the offering.. & the glory of the Lord filled the temple. ~2 Chron 7:1
  • No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. ~Ezra 3:13
  • Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments. ~Neh 1:5
  • For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? ~Esther 4:14
  • Job.. fell to the ground in worship and said.. "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." ~Job 1:21
  • From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. ~Psalms 113:3
  • Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. ~Proverbs 21:13
  • And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person's envy of another. ~Ecclesiastes 4:4
  • ...for love is as strong as death... It burns like blazing fire... Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. ~Song of Songs 8:6-7
  • Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear perceived, no eye has seen any God but you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. ~Isaiah 64:4
  • "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jer 29:11
  • For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. ~Lam 3:31-32
  • And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so. ~Ezekiel 33:19
  • Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt & glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right & all his ways are just. ~Dan 4:37
  • As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. ~Hos 6:3
  • The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. ~Joel 2:31
  • Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph. ~Amos 5:15
  • The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. ~Obad 1:15
  • "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. ~Jonah 2:7
  • He has shown you, O man, what is good... But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? ~Micah 6:8
  • The LORD is slow to anger and great in power. And the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. And storm is His way.. ~Nahum 1:3
  • Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day... in wrath remember mercy. ~Habakkuk 3:1
  • Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility... ~Zeph 2:3
  • Give careful thought to your ways...You eat, but never have enough..You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. ~Hag 1:5-6
  • The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. ~Zech 14:9
  • You weep because he no longer looks with favor..Why? It is because the Lord is the witness between you & the wife of your youth.~Mal 2:13-15
  • Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease & sickness. ~Matthew 4:23
  • ..they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. -Mark 5:15
  • All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words..from his lips [few min later] They got order to throw him off the cliff. ~Luke 4:22,24-30
  • And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~John 1:14
  • The apostles performed many signs and wonders.. people brought the sick into the streets.. and all of them were healed. ~Acts 5:12-16
  • For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes... ~Romans 1:16
  • Love is patient, love is kind...It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~1 Cor 13:4,7,8
  • God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~2 Corinthians 5:21
  • There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~Gal 3:28
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works.. ~Eph 2:8-9
  • ...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow...and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord... ~Philippians 2:9-11
  • ..admonish one another... through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your heart. ~Col 3:16
  • You are all children of the light...putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. ~1 Thess 5:5-7
  • Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. ~2 Thess 3:16
  • He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. ~1 Tim 3:16
  • For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7
  • He saved us through..Jesus that having been justified by his grace we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life ~Tit 3:6
  • I always thank my God...because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. ~Philemon 1:4-5
  • ...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. ~Hebrews 12:1b
  • If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~James 1:5
  • Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:6-7
  • He received honor and glory..when the voice came to him.. saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." ~2 Pet 1:17
  • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~1 John 1:9
  • And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. ~2 John 1:6
  • Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. ~3 Jo 1:11
  • These are grumblers..following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage ~Jude 1:16
  • Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! ~Rev 5:12



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Reader Comments (2)

It appears that the Esther reference has been truncated. Was that intentional?

September 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLevin Tull


It wasn't intentional. I corrected it. Although, each of these posts was originally a tweet, which meant they had to be 144 characters or less. Because of that I would select portions of verses and note it by using ... between sections to keep them to the shortest point possible. I am not sure what the post was that was originally abbreviated (I will look later), but I expanded this one to include the whole verse since it was truncated in a way that didn't make sense.


September 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterKim Gentes

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