Beginning of the Bible Overview

In the beginning…

Starter Discussion

What was your experience as a kid hearing bible stories?

What are your thoughts or feelings as you begin an overview of the whole bible?


Lord, inspire me to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. I beg you to give me real understanding of what I read, that I in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet, I know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So I ask that the words of Scripture may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into my heart. Amen. (Origen, 184-253 AD)  found at ascension press

Approaching Scripture

  • The Word of God is alive
  • Divinely inspired – God breathed through real people in history with culture, quirks and personalities.
  • It comes through God’s people – through the Church to all
  • All pieces are for liturgy – for proclamation and for public praise
  • Spoken to us and to you
  • literary perspective (the way any historic piece of literature can be analyzed)
  • theological perspective (unity of Scripture as a whole, within the living Tradition of the whole church and with faith)
  • Christ is incarnate – the Word of God is incarnate


Be anywhere on the path.  Speak freely.  Share your faith. Share your doubt, your knowledge.  Build a snow fort together. From a Catholic perspective but be yourself.

Patch Together the Story of Genesis

Tell the story of Genesis and make comments along the way. Who are the main characters? What did they do? What are the faith lessons? New Testament parallels?

Write down the questions that come up. Together, answer a few if possible.

Outline of Genesis

This outline of Genesis is adapted from Other good outlines can be found there too.

Adam and Eve
1:1-2:4 • Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath
2:5-2:25 • Another Account of the Creation
3:1-3:24 • The First Sin and Its Punishment

Cain, Abel and Seth
4:1-4:16 • Cain Murders Abel
4:17-4:26 • Beginnings of Civilization
5:1-5:32 • Adam’s Descendants to Noah
6:1-6:8 • The Wickedness of Humankind

6:9-6:22 • Noah Pleases God
7:1-7:24 • The Great Flood
8:1-8:19 • The Flood Subsides
8:20-8:22 • God’s Promise to Noah
9:1-9:17 • The Covenant with Noah
9:18-9:29 • Noah and His Sons
10:1-10:32 • Nations Descended from Noah

11:1-11:9 • The Tower of Babel
11:10-11:26 • Descendants of Shem
11:27-11:32 • Descendants of Terah

Abraham, Lot, Hagar, Ishmael and Sarah
12:1-12:9 • The Call of Abram
12:10-12:20 • Abram and Sarai in Egypt
13:1-13:18 • Abram and Lot Separate
14:1-14:16 • Lot’s Captivity and Rescue
14:17-14:24 • Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
15:1-15:21 • God’s Covenant with Abram
16:1-16:16 • The Birth of Ishmael
17:1-17:27 • The Sign of the Covenant
18:1-18:15 • A Son Promised to Abraham and Sarah
18:16-18:33 • Judgment Pronounced on Sodom
19:1-19:11 • The Depravity of Sodom
19:12-19:29 • Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
19:30-19:38 • The Shameful Origin of Moab and Ammon
20:1-20:18 • Abraham and Sarah at Gerar

21:1-21:7 • The Birth of Isaac
21:8-21:21 • Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
21:22-21:34 • Abraham and Abimelech Make a Covenant
22:1-22:19 • The Command to Sacrifice Isaac
22:20-22:24 • The Children of Nahor
23:1-23:20 • Sarah’s Death and Burial

Isaac and Rebekah
24:1-24:67 • The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah
25:1-25:6 • Abraham Marries Keturah
25:7-25:11 • The Death of Abraham
25:12-25:18 • Ishmael’s Descendants

Jacob, Esau, Leah and Rachel
25:19-25:28 • The Birth and Youth of Esau and Jacob
25:29-25:34 • Esau Sells his Birthright
26:1-26:33 • Isaac and Abimelech
26:34-26:35 • Esau’s Hittite Wives
27:1-27:29 • Isaac Blesses Jacob
27:30-27:40 • Esau’s Lost Blessing
27:41-28:5 • Jacob Escapes Esau’s Fury

28:6-28:9 • Esau Marries Ishmael’s Daughter
28:10-28:22 • Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
29:1-29:14 • Jacob Meets Rachel
29:15-30:24 • Jacob Marries Laban’s Daughters
30:25-30:43 • Jacob Prospers at Laban’s Expense
31:1-31:21 • Jacob Flees with Family and Flocks
31:22-31:42 • Laban Overtakes Jacob
31:43-32:2 • Laban and Jacob Make a Covenant
32:3-32:21 • Jacob Sends Presents to Appease Esau

Jacob = Israel
32:22-32:32 • Jacob Wrestles at Peniel
33:1-33:17 • Jacob and Esau Meet
33:18-33:20 • Jacob Reaches Shechem

12 Sons, Levi, Judah, Joseph
34:1-34:24 • The Rape of Dinah
34:25-34:31 • Dinah’s Brothers Avenge Their Sister
35:1-35:15 • Jacob Returns to Bethel
35:16-35:26 • The Birth of Benjamin and the Death of Rachel
35:27-35:29 • The Death of Isaac
36:1-36:14 • Esau’s Descendants
36:15-36:43 • Clans and Kings of Edom

37:1-37:11 • Joseph Dreams of Greatness
37:12-37:36 • Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers
38:1-38:30 • Judah and Tamar
39:1-39:23 • Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
40:1-40:23 • The Dreams of Two Prisoners
41:1-41:36 • Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream
41:37-41:57 • Joseph’s Rise to Power
42:1-42:25 • Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
42:26-42:38 • Joseph’s Brothers Return to Canaan
43:1-43:34 • The Brothers Come Again, Bringing Benjamin
44:1-44:17 • Joseph Detains Benjamin
44:18-44:34 • Judah Pleads for Benjamin’s Release
45:1-45:27 • Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers
46:1-46:27 • Jacob Brings His Whole Family to Egypt
46:28-47:12 • Jacob Settles in Goshen
47:13-47:26 • The Famine in Egypt
47:27-47:31 • The Last Days of Jacob
48:1-48:22 • Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons
49:1-49:28 • Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons
49:29-50:14 • Jacob’s Death and Burial
50:15-50:21 • Joseph Forgives His Brothers
50:22-50:26 • Joseph’s Last Days and Death


Notice your own thoughts, zoning out, desire, resistance, energy. Bring it to God.

What is one thing you’d like to do as a result of your time here today?

Prayer – Psalm 119

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
    that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your word
    and obey it with all my heart.

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
    and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
    preserve my life according to your word.

41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
    your salvation, according to your promise.


Response is, “We trust in your unfailing love.”