12 Story Bible


It is an extremely condensed overview of the entire Bible, told as one big story divided into 12 smaller stories, each about 1 page long with some short side notes. Each story can be read in about 5 minutes, so if you really wanted to, you could blast through the entire Bible in about an hour. But for the sake of understanding it, I suggest a pace that lets the story sink in. A simple way to gauge it is: if you can answer the review questions at the end of each story, and you're not burned out, move on to the next story! Whether you do them all in one shot, take one a day for 12 days, or go at whatever pace you need, if you understand all 12, you'll know the whole story!

When you're ready, here are the 12 stories.

A note to my non-believing friends: try to put aside for a second the caricature of the Bible-waving televangelist and consider that this is one of, if not the most important writings of all time. See it at the very least as a record of a nation perceiving itself to be called by the God of history, with a part of those people eventually claiming that one of their own was the embodiment of that actual historical God. I have come to believe this myself through my own experience, but I don't judge anyone who has not. I only invite you to ready the 12 little stories, if for nothing else, to read a carefully thought out, insanely condensed version of this important book.


People have asked how (and why) I did this. Truth be told, it was not with the holiest of intentions that I first set out to read the whole Bible.

As a teenager I had an aversion to people quoting the Bible to me (or at me). One day I decided to read the whole thing myself. This way no one could tell me what it said anymore. I could simply respond "I know. I read it." Not very inspiring, I know, but that's how it all started. I went to a bookstore, got a Bible with a 1-year reading plan in it, and I did it. I read it in one year.

But instead of really understanding it, I only understood pieces of it, without seeing the whole story. Parts were repeated, other parts were missing, and there were endless lists of names and numbers at the beginning that would make anyone but the most stubborn person quit. In my stubbornness I read it all, only to find in the end that I didn't get the whole picture, only parts of it. This bugged me to no end.

I made it my life’s mission to extract the plot from beginning to end, whatever it took. To make a long story short (pun intended), I separated each part of the story, sorted the parts chronologically (this was before the internet so I had to use a lot of books and charts!), consolidated the duplicate parts, and then re-read it as one continuous story.

(Me in the 80s.)

We all know the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, Samson and Delilah, David and Goliath, and Jesus, and so on, but not how they fit together. Once I saw this, it changed everything. I saw how I fit into this telling of history. Let me show you how we all do.