The Beginning

An Overview of Biblical History

Whenever you begin to learn a new subject, the number of things you don’t know is large. It can be scary thinking about all the things you need to learn. Some see the work involved and give up before they begin. I trust you are not one of these people.

If we try to learn a jumble of facts, it is hard to remember what we have learned later when we need a fact. We might recall learning it at one point, but it is buried under so many other facts, we don’t know where we put the fact. Instead of learning disconnected facts, we are going to present a framework on which to build our knowledge. The framework will be so simple, that anyone can learn it.

We are going to divide the Bible into seventeen general periods of history. Why 17? Because 17 periods are easier to remember than 79 periods; that’s why! There are a number of ways to divide the information in the Bible. If we divide it too fine, then there will be too many things to remember. If we divide it too coarsely, then we will not see the flow of history.

The Beginning

Before the Flood

Even before we begin to describe this period, can you guess what the next period will be?


This period contains all the history that occurred before the flood destroyed the world that once existed. This includes the creation of the world and the life of Adam and Eve.

Now, before we go any further, what are the periods of history we have learned so far?


If you guessed that the next period of history is “After the flood” that could be correct, but it is too broad. After all, we live in the period of “After the flood.” We need to be more precise. Besides, if we divide history into “Before the flood” and “After the flood” where does the flood itself come in history?

The Flood

Most people have heard of Noah and his great ark on which he took pairs of animals to save them and his own family from the wrath of God. In this period, we will include not only the flood itself, but also its immediate aftermath and the repopulation of the earth up to the events at the tower built at Babel.

Okay, let’s see if we can name the two periods we have learned so far. Have your teacher initial this box when you can name the first two periods of history [ ].