The Complete List of Books in The Bible

By lan Warner


It's helpful to have a full list of books in the bible to help you find what you need in the right moment. When you know the theme of a book and the popular characters that come from a story it can make it easier to remember the books going forward. The more you know about each book, the easier it is to use the book to help others. 


The Complete List of Books in The Bible

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy
  6. Joshua
  7. Judges
  8. Ruth
  9. 1 Samuel
  10. 2 Samuel
  11. 1 Kings
  12. 2 Kings
  13. 1 Chronicles
  14. 2 Chronicles
  15. Ezra
  16. Nehemiah
  17. Esther
  18. Job
  19. Psalms
  20. Proverbs
  21. Ecclesiastes
  22. Song of Solomon
  23. Isaiah
  24. Jeremiah
  25. Lamentations
  26. Ezekiel
  27. Daniel
  28. Hosea
  29. Joel
  30. Amos
  31. Obadiah
  32. Jonah
  33. Micah
  34. Nahum
  35. Habakkuk
  36. Zephaniah
  37. Haggai
  38. Zechariah
  39. Malachi
  40. Matthew
  41. Mark
  42. Luke
  43. John
  44. Acts (of the Apostles)
  45. Romans
  46. 1 Corinthians
  47. 2 Corinthians
  48. Galatians
  49. Ephesians
  50. Philippians
  51. Colossians
  52. 1 Thessalonians
  53. 2 Thessalonians
  54. 1 Timothy
  55. 2 Timothy
  56. Titus
  57. Philemon
  58. Hebrews
  59. James
  60. 1 Peter
  61. 2 Peter
  62. 1 John
  63. 2 John
  64. 3 John
  65. Jude
  66. Revelation

Old Testament - List of Books in The Bible

Abel
 

Exodus

Author: Moses
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
God reveals himself and delivers his people from slavery in Egypt and establishes a covenant with them. In this book the law is introduced  as well as God's name, attributes, and how he is to be worshiped.  
Popular Characters:
  • Moses
  • Pharaoh
  • Aaron

Leviticus

Author: Moses
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
God's chosen people receive instructions from God about how to live. The book serves as a manual of regulations for living right and worshipping God in a holy manner.
Popular Characters:
  • Moses
  • Aaron

Numbers

Author: Moses
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
God's chosen people are unwilling to enter Canaan so their generation must wander the desert for 38 years. The book speaks to rebellion and then judgement for it. 
Popular Characters:
  • Moses
  • Aaron
  • Balaam

Deuteronomy

Author: Moses
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
Moses says farewell and exhorts the next generation of Israelites to live as his obedient people in the promised land. The book serves as a reminder to God's people. 
Popular Characters:
  • Moses

Joshua

Author: Unknown but some sections may be from Joshua himself
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
God enables Joshua to lead armies to have victory over the Canaanites in the promised land.        
Popular Characters:
  • Joshua 
  • Rehab and the Spies

Judges

Author: Unknown but some sections may be from Samuel
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
In danger of losing the promised land, the Israelites keep needing to be delivered by God through leaders known as Judges. The book depicts the death of judges to the rise of a monarchy. Foreign oppression is fought off and the land is restored to peace.      
Popular Characters:
  • Judah
  • Gideon
  • Samson & Delilah 

Ruth

Author: Unknown
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
Ruth proves to be a model of faithfulness and God recognizes her for it.
Popular Characters:
  • Ruth
  • Naomi
  • Boaz

1 Samuel

Author: Unknown
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
The transition from being led by judges to being led by God through kings. The first king chosen ends up being a massive failure.
Popular Characters:
  • Saul
  • Samuel
  • David
  • Goliath
  • Jonathan 

2 Samuel

Author: Unknown
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
The story of David's 40-year reign as king. It marks his model rise to become king and ending with his subsequent decline caused by sin. 
Popular Characters:
  • David
  • Abner
  • Nathan

1 Kings

Author: Unknown
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
After solomon dies the nation is torn between Israel and Judah. The book depicts how subsequent kings keep failing to answer to God's call. 
Popular Characters:
  • Solomon
  • David
  • Elijah

2 Kings

Author: Unknown
Audience: God's chosen people
Theme:
The book carries the historical account of Judah and Israel going forward. The common theme occurs where the kings don't live up to God's standard and they are eventually exiled. 
Popular Characters:
  • Elijah

1 Chronicles 

Author: Unknown (maybe Ezra)
Audience: The people of Judah who had returned from exile in Babylonia.
Theme:
Begins with Israel's genealogy from Adam to King Saul and then zooms in on King David's reign as king. 


2 Chronicles 

Author: Unknown (maybe Ezra)
Audience: The people of Judah who had returned from exile in Babylonia.
Theme:
Begins with Solomon's reign to the Babylonian exile. 


Ezra

Author: Unknown (maybe Ezra)
Audience: The people of Judah who had returned from exile in Babylonia.
Theme:
The book depicts how God's people were restored from exile to the covenant land. They were rebuilding the temple under God's direction. 

Popular Characters: 

  • Ezra 
  • Darius


Nehemiah

Author: Unknown (maybe Ezra from Nehemiah's memoirs)
Audience: The people of Judah who had returned from exile in Babylonia.
Theme: 
Nehemiah leads the Jews in rebuilding the city walls. The book documents challenges God's chosen people face in their restored homeland. 

Popular Characters: 

  • Nehemiah

Esther

Author: Unknown
Audience: The Jewish People
Theme: 
The Jews of Persia are saved from destruction. The book depicts Esther becoming queen of Persia as a Jew to save her people. 

Popular Characters: 

  • Esther 
  • Haman

Job

Author: Unknown
Audience: God's people
Theme: 
This wisdom book deals with the question of whether God is a God of justice in the light of all of life's paint and suffering. 

Popular Characters: 

  • Job
  • Job's Friends (Bildad, Zophar, Eliphaz)

Psalms

Author: David, the sons of Korah, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses and Unknown authors. 
Audience: God's people
Theme: 
A collection of ancient hymns, prayers and poems. Psalms focuses on how you should feel in different circumstances. 

Popular Characters: 

  • David
  • Solomon
  • Moses

Proverbs

Author: King Solomon and other wise men
Audience: God's people
Theme:
Proverbs describes the importance of living wisely and in the fear of the Lord instead of following the path of a fool.


Ecclesiastes

Author: Unknown (maybe King Solomon)
Audience: God's people
Theme: 
The wisdom in this book reveals the meaninglessness of all human works without God being front and center in your life. 


Song of Songs

Author: Unknown (maybe King Solomon)
Audience: God's people
Theme: 
The wisdom in this book celebrates the sexual union between man and a woman as a joyful part of marital life in God's good creation. The book gives words to the feelings of love. 


Isaiah 

Author: The prophet Isaiah
Audience: The people of Judah and Jerusalem
Theme: 
Isaiah predicts judgement but eventual restoration for the people.


Jeremiah

Author: Jeremiah
Audience: The people of Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of their last 5 Kings. 
Theme: Jeremiah predicts Judah's Babylonian exile and the ultimate restoration. The book digs into his personal life and struggles more than other prophets.


Lamentations

Author: Probably Jeremiah
Audience: Jews in Babylonian exile who are lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem. 
Theme: Jews lament the devastation of their city by the Babylonians. The book uses powerful and poetic language.


Ezekiel

Author: Ezekiel
Audience: Jews taken captive to Babylonia
Theme: Ezekiel assures Jews that God will one day return to them and restore the temple.


Daniel

Author: Daniel
Audience: Jewish exiles to Babylonia
Theme: The Most High God is sovereign over all Human Kingdoms. His life and visions point to God's plans of redemption and sovereign control. 


Hosea

Author: Hosea
Audience: The northern kingdom of Israel
Theme: Hosea proclaims God's compassion and covenant love that cannot let Israel go. His life serves as a parable of God's faithfulness to unfaithful people. 


Joel

Author: Joel
Audience: The people of Judah
Theme: Restoration and blessing will come to the people of Judah but judgement and repentance must come first. 


Amos

Author: Amos
Audience: Idolatrous and indulgent people
Theme: Amos calls for social justice. 


Obadiah

Author: Obadiah
Audience: The people of Judah suffering the treachery of the Edomites, descendants of Esau. 
Theme: Obadiah prophesied judgment against the proud edomites who were gloating over Jerusalem.


Jonah

Author: Unknown 
Audience: The northern kingdom of Israel
Theme: The stubbornly reluctant Jonah represents Israel's jealousy of its favor being shared with other nations. The story covers his mission to the city of Nineveh. 


Micah

Author: Micah
Audience: The people of Israel and Judah, especially the oppressive ones who supported corruption in politics and religion. 
Theme: Alternates between prophecies of doom and hope to represent judgement and deliverance. 


Nahum

Author: Nahum
Audience: The people of Judah
Theme: Nahum predicts the Lord's judgement on Nineveh for her oppression, cruelty, idolatry and wickedness. 


Habakkuk

Author: Habakkuk
Audience: The people of Judah struggling to understand how God works
Theme: He argues with God over his ways because he can't wrap his head around the suffering of his people. Habakkuk responds with a confession of faith. 


Zephaniah

Author: Zephaniah
Audience: The people of Judah
Theme: The prophet Zephaniah predicts the coming of  the day of the Lord, when God will severely punish the nations, including apostate Judah, but will yet be merciful to his people. 


Haggai

Author: Haggai
Audience: The postexilic Jews living in Judah 
Theme: Haggai calls the complacent people of Judah to resume the rebuilding of the temple and give glory to God. 


Zechariah

Author: Zechariah
Audience: The postexilic Jews living in Judah
Theme: The prophet Zechariah rebukes and encourages exiles who have returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.


Malachi

Author: Malachi
Audience: The postexilic Jews living in Judah
Theme: The prophet Malachi assures the Jewish community that the Messianic King will come to judge, restore and bless his people. 

New Testament - List of Books in The Bible

Matthew

Author: Matthew
Audience: Greek-speaking Jewish Christians
Theme: Presents Jesus as the Jewish Messiah sent by God to fulfill the prophecy


Mark

Author: Mark
Audience: Gentile Christians 
Theme: To encourage readers to persevere through suffering and persecution, Mark presents Jesus as the Servant -Messiah and Son of God who died as a ransom of sinners. 


Luke 

Author: Luke
Audience: Addressed to Theophilus but intended for all believers
Theme: Luke presents Jesus as the Lord whose saving grace is available to all people. 


John 

Author: John
Audience: Gentile believers and seeking unbelievers 
Theme: John presents Jesus as the Word, the Messiah and the Son of God, who has come to reveal the Father and bring eternal life to all who believe in him. 


Acts

Author: Luke
Audience: Addressed to Theophilus but intended for all believers
Theme: Luke shows how the Gospel spread rapidly in the early church 


Romans

Author: Paul
Audience: The church in Rome of Gentiles and a minority of Jews
Theme: Paul writes to present the Gospel: God's plan for salvation for all people. 


1 Corinthians 

Author: Paul
Audience: Believers at Corinth whose church was torn apart by immaturity
Theme: Paul addresses problems in the church and answers questions from the church. 


2 Corinthians 

Author: Paul
Audience: Believers at Corinth
Theme: Paul encourages the Corinthian believers to be reconciled with him and to reject false apostles who are challenging his authority. 


Galatians 

Author: Paul
Audience: Churches around Galatia founded by Paul during his missions work
Theme: Paul writes to counter claims of legalistic Judaizers who were telling the Galatian believers that they must keep the law of moses to be saved. 


Ephesians 

Author: Paul
Audience: Believers in the church at Ephesus
Theme: Paul summarizes his gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone.


Philippians

Author: Paul
Audience: Believers at Philippi
Theme: Paul writes to encourage the Christians to live Joyfully in every circumstance. 


1 Thessalonians 

Author: Paul
Audience: The largely Gentile church at Thessalonica
Theme: Paul praises the Thessalonians for their spiritual maturity and perseverance and encourages more growth towards Christs return. 


2 Thessalonians 

Author: Paul
Audience: The church at Thessalonica
Theme: Paul writes to correct a misunderstanding concerning the Lord's return and to encourage them to be steadfast and to work. 


1 Timothy

Author: Paul
Audience: Timothy, who is one of Paul's associates 
Theme: Paul instructs him on how to care for the church. 


2 Timothy

Author: Paul
Audience: Timothy, who is one of Paul's associates 
Theme: Paul encourages Timothy to carry on the ministry and gaurd the Gospel. 


Titus

Author: Paul
Audience: Titus, who is one of Paul's associates 
Theme: Paul instructs Titus on how to care for the church. 


Philemon

Author: Paul
Audience: Philemon and the Colossae church 
Theme: Paul urges Philemon to show grace to Onesimus, his runway slave. 


Hebrews

Author: Paul (his last book)
Audience: Jewish Christians 
Theme: Author demonstrates the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ. 


James

Author: James 
Audience: Jewish Christians 
Theme: James emphasizes vital Christianity by good deeds and a faith that works.


1 Peter 

Author: Peter 
Audience: Gentile and Jewish believers in Pontus, Galatia, Western Asia Minor and Bithynia. 
Theme: Peter gives instructions on how to live holy while suffering persecution. 


2 Peter 

Author: Peter 
Audience: Christians in Western Asia Minor 
Theme: Peter teaches how to deal with false teachers and evil doers. 


1 John

Author: John
Audience: Believers in Western Asia Minor 
Theme: John writes to assure believers of the certainty of their faith and to push back against teachings that Jesus was not fully human and fully divine. 


2 John

Author: John
Audience: Believers in Western Asia Minor 
Theme: John writes to assure believers of the certainty of their faith and to push back against teachings that Jesus was not fully human and fully divine. 


3 John

Author: John
Audience: Gaius - Church leader in Western Asia Minor
Theme: John writes this letter to commend Gaius for supporting travelling teachers and to rebuke Diotrephes for refusing them. 


Jude 

Author: Jude
Audience: Christians being threatened by false teachers 
Theme: Warning that being saved by grace is not a license to sin. 


Revelations

Author: John
Audience: Seven churches in Western Asia Minor
Theme: John writes to encourage the faithful to stand firm against the persecution and compromise in the light of the imminent return of Christ to deliver and judge.

Use the complete list of books in the Bible to find a book to read at the right moment. All of the books cover a number of different situations that you could be facing in life. 

The more familiar you get with these books, the better you will be at using the Bible as your guiding light. 

lan Warner

About the author

Ian Warner is a believer, husband, and father of three. He grew up running track in Toronto before earning a scholarship to Iowa State University. At Iowa State, he became an All-American and made the 2012 Olympic team. He currently helps people to build better habits and follow Jesus Christ.

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