Chronological Bibles

A Chronological Bible is a great way to read the Bible in one year. It provides a special insight to the order of the events of scripture and can help with the understanding. There are several chronology charts shown here:

This document compares the "One Year Chronological Bible" to the "Daily Bible". These are two of the most popular chronological Bibles available, but, as you will see in the chart below, they have a very different idea of the chronology of the Bible and the approach that should be used. Both books are designed to be read in one year. A Chronological Bible intends to help the reader get a sense of when things really occurred which can be confusing in a regular Bible. Either of these Bibles will accomplish this task but the details are different. I recommend a Chronological Bible as a reading Bible to get a real feel for the Bible Story.

Bible Approach

Both reviewed Bibles feature the New International Version of the Bible, published by Zondervan Bible. Both Bibles have a scripture index in the back so that you can find a particular verse if you want to look it up.

One Year Chronological Bible

NLT One Year NIV One YearThe One Year Bible features minimal commentary and notes. When a verse or group of verses appear in more that one book it (they) will be repeated. All of the verses are independently identified. Major sections include a title to show what the section is about. The picture on the left is the current cover for this Bible but my cover looks more like the New Living Translation version shown on the right which is also available. I believe the chronological arrangement on these two versions are similar but I have not checked them personally. One user reported that the NIV and NLT versions place Job in a different area of Genesis. As I find out about these kinds of differences I will update the notes in table.

Many books have a short introduction identifying the period of the book. The front of the Bible contains a time line and other chronological help. The Table of Contents identifies each daily reading to the exact books and verses to be covered.

The New Testament begins September 28. There are a total of 1640 pages in the main Bible.

The One Year Chronological Bible NIV version is published by Tyndale House copyright 1995.

The Daily Bible

NIV Daily BibleThe Daily Bible features a full devotional commentary before each section. In a few cases a daily reading will consist of no Bible verses or very little Bible text. When a verse or group of verses appear in more than one book it will only be shown once and merged into one paragraph. In some cases a single verse or partial verse will be inserted in the text of another book. When this is done there are clear notifications in the text as to which book is being used. Many times only a group of verses are indicated without showing where each individual verse starts. Each paragraph includes a short title to identify the content of the paragraph. The image at the left shows the current cover for this Bible but mine is different. The content is exactly the same however. They also publish a compact edition.

Locations and dates are often shown in the margin next to the verses. The commentary also attempts to identify time and context. There is a chronological outline at the front of the Bible.

The New Testament begins October 18. There are a total of 1688 pages in the main Bible.

The Daily Bible is published by Harvest House. The commentary is by F. LaGard Smith copyright 1984. F. LaGard Smith also has another version called "The Narrated Bible".

Comments on the two versions

One Year Bible

I find the OYB to be generally accurate in its timeline, once it gets started, except as noted below and in the table but the repeating of nearly identical text does tend to interrupt the reading flow. More research is needed to resolve some time line differences between the two Bibles. Keeping whole verses together and repeating the verses makes creating a version for a different translation easier.

This Bible keeps the first 6 books of the Bible in verse order, except that it inserts Job, genealogy data from 1 Chronicles, and the Psalm of Moses. This makes the early going a bit more difficult for the user.

Daily Bible

I really like the reading flow of the DB with its precision merging of the various parts of the Bible into a continuous paragraph format. For quick reference each paragraph has information about its content and often the location and time frame are shown which helps the reading and keeps you aware of when and where things happened.

Genesis is kept in verse order even though some events in family discussions between the chosen line and the rejected line are likely parallel chronologically. This does keep the flow easier to follow. I sometimes disagreed with the chronological order chosen by this version. However, the Gospel section was much closer to my own research.

Sometimes the commentary dominates the daily reading too much. I would prefer reading more scripture on these days. In particular the inter-testament discussion would be better if it were moved to the end with just a simple reference between the testaments. There are too many days in a row without scripture.

The topical approach to parts of the Bible where there is no need for Chronology is unique to this Bible and really helps put things together. There are more comments below.

Full Bible Overview

Chart Decode:

I intend to make many of the books clickable with more description of the chronology and how the other books are merged in this one. Generally, in the chart below, a book will be shown when it first appears. It may appear many more times in other books but this is not shown. In particular this is true of 1 Chronicles Genealogy and the entire book of Psalms. I have indicated the Psalms entry a couple of times in the list to try and makes its presence as a particular place clearer.

One Year C O Daily Bible C O Comments
Genesis   x Genesis x x The Daily Bible shows Genesis without interruption. A note says they have shown Job at the time it was written down rather than the time it occurred.
1 Chronicles           Genealogy from 1 Chronicles shown with Genesis Genealogy
Job x x       The OYB NIV version places Job just before Abraham while the OYB NLT places Job after Abraham.
Exodus   x Exodus     One Year Bible chose to leave the 4 books from Moses in the same order as a regular Bible. Genealogy from 1 Chronicles is mixed in.
Leviticus x x Leviticus     Daily Bible keeps the chronology of these 4 books
Numbers   x Numbers      
Deuteronomy   x Deuteronomy     Daily Bible removes all of the law sections from the books of Moses and rearranges them in topical order at the end.
Psalm           Psalm of Moses inserted here
Joshua   x Joshua     ca. 1406 BC - There is a detailed comparison from Joshua to David available.
Judges     Judges     Daily Bible leaves verses with unknown chronology at the end. This confuses the flow of Judges to Samuel.
Ruth x x Ruth x x  
1 Samuel   a 1 Samuel     One Year Bible starts Samuel back in Judges
1 Chronicles     1 Chronicles     Sections beyond genealogy
Psalm     Psalm     see Psalms Chronology for a more detailed treatment of Psalms
2 Samuel     2 Samuel      
      Psalms     Daily Bible presents 112 of David's Psalms arranged by Topic
1 Kings     1 Kings      
2 Chronicles     2 Chronicles      
Song of Songs x x        
Proverbs x x Proverbs x   Daily Bible arranged topically
      Song of Songs x x  
Ecclesiastes x x Ecclesiastes x   Daily Bible arranged topically
2 Kings     2 Kings      
      Obadiah x x  
      Joel x x  
      Jonah x x  
      Hosea x x  
Amos x x Amos x x  
Hosea   x        
Jonah x x        
Isaiah     Isaiah      
Micah   x Micah x x  
      Nahum x x  
Zephaniah x x Zephaniah x x 630 BC
Jeremiah     Jeremiah      
Nahum x x        
Habakkuk x x Habakkuk x x  
Daniel     Daniel      
Obadiah x x        
Ezekiel     Ezekiel      
Lamentations x x Lamentations x x  
      Job x x Daily Bible says Job was written down during the exile.
Ezra     Ezra      
Haggai x x Haggai x x  
Zechariah   x Zechariah   x  
Esther x x Esther x x  
      Malachi x x  
Nehemiah   x Nehemiah      
Joel x x        
Malachi x x       Daily Bible ends with the Genealogy data from 1 Chronicles
The New Testament Daily Bible inserts commentary describing the inter-testament period. 3 days of reading
One Year C O Daily Bible C O Comments
      Mark     Only the first verse is shown here. It seems to be used as a Title
      John     John should be first in my opinion.
Luke     Luke     A full breakdown of the chronology of the Gospels is available.
Matthew     Matthew      
Acts   x Acts   a Both versions interrupt the flow of Acts to insert other books.
James x x       This is where it should be but Daily Bible groups all non-Pauline scriptures later
Galatians x x Galatians x x  
1 Thessalonians x x 1 Thessalonians x x  
2 Thessalonians x x 2 Thessalonians x x  
1 Corinthians x x 1 Corinthians x x  
2 Corinthians x x 2 Corinthians x x  
Romans x x Romans x x Book of Acts ends here
Ephesians x x        
Colossians x x Colossians x x  
Philemon x x Philemon x x  
      Ephesians x x  
Philippians x x Philippians x x  
1 Timothy x x 1 Timothy x x  
Titus x x Titus x x  
      2 Timothy x x Daily Bible keeps all Pauline scripture together
      James x x  
1 Peter x x        
Jude x x Jude x x  
      1 Peter x x  
2 Peter x x 2 Peter x x  
2 Timothy x x       last Pauline letter
Hebrews x x Hebrews x x  
1 2 3 John x x 1 2 3 John x x  
Revelation x x Revelation x x  

Original post 12/20/2006
Last Updated on 4/23/2009
By Dale DePriest, all rights reserved.