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Synopsis of the Books of the Bible: Genesis to 2 Chronicles

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In this volume, Darby introduces important themes of creation, sin, and the relationship between good and evil in the lives of key figures found in the first half of the Old Testament. He connects creation to God’s law and human responsibility—in these books, says Darby, we find God’s principles for maintaining relationships with individuals. In this way, God’s kingdom in the Old Testament not only resembles the Church in the present, but also God’s intentions for the future. Darby also explains the first two dispensations of the relationship between humanity and God without the law, and humanity’s relationship to God with the law. Darby’s commentary exhibits key tenets of dispensationalist thought, and lays the groundwork for interpreting the rest of the Bible.

Resource Experts

    Darby’s ecclesiological pessimism gave way to a new perspective on Scripture, which later became known as dispensationalism. In Darby’s view, the scope of history is divided into seven separate dispensations, each comprising a new stage of God’s revelation. Darby advanced the following dispensationalist scheme:

    • 1.Eden to the Flood
    • 2.Noah
    • 3.Abraham
    • 4.Israel
        —Under the law
        —Under the priesthood
        —Under the kings
    • 5.Gentiles
    • 6.The Spirit
    • 7.The Millennium

Top Highlights

“Satan suggests that God keeps back the best gift out of envy, lest man should be like Him. Man trusts Satan for kindness rather than God, whom he judges according to Satan’s lie. He believes Satan instead of God, when he tells him he should not die, as God said he should, and casts off the God who had blessed him, to gratify his lusts. Not trusting God, he uses his own will to seek happiness by, as a surer way, as men do now.” (Page 30)

“This revelation from God is not a history by Him of all that He has done, but what has been given to man for his profit, the truth as to what he has to say to. Its object is to communicate to man all that regards his own relationship with God.” (Page 21)

“It is not merely that Israel failed under the government of God: they rejected it.” (Page 437)

“But whether it be the creation, man and his fall, sin, the power of Satan, the promises, the call of God, His judgment of the world, redemption, the covenants, the separation of the people of God, their condition of strangers on the earth, the resurrection, the establishment of Israel in the land of Canaan, the blessing of the nations, the seed of promise, the exaltation of a rejected Lord to the throne of the world, all are found here in fact or in figure—in figure, now that we have the key, even the Church itself.” (Page 20)

“In the garden the knowledge of good and evil did not yet exist: obedience only in refraining from an act, which was no sin if it had not been forbidden, constituted the test. It was not a prohibition of sin as at Sinai, and a claim of good when good and evil were known.” (Page 27)

Darby left a lasting legacy for us today.

Conservative Theological Journal

To see classical dispensationalist theology at its best, one must read Darby...

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Darby was a brilliant man...

Moody Handbook of Theology

  • Title: Synopsis of the Books of the Bible: Genesis to 2 Chronicles
  • Author: John Darby
  • Publisher: Loizeaux Brothers 
  • Publication Date: 1950
  • Pages: 628
John Nelson Darby

John Darby (1800–1882), an evangelist, was known as the father of dispensationalism. He attended Westminster School and Trinity College. Darby became a lawyer, but he practiced law for just one year because he thought it was incompatible with his religious beliefs. He was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in 1825 and became a priest in 1826.

While a priest, Darby realized he disagreed with the Church of England’s rituals and ideas. He gathered like-minded individuals to form the movement later known as the Plymouth Brethren and left the Church of England in 1832. Darby influenced individuals such as C. I. Scofield and Charles Henry Mackintosh, whose writing contributed to the rise of fundamentalism in America.

Darby has authored several titles, including the 1890 Darby Bible, his Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (5 vols.), and several writings, letters, and notes included in The Collected Writings of John Nelson Darby collection.


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  1. John Echols

    John Echols


  2. Robert Casale

    Robert Casale


    A great resource. Breaks everything down and makes it easy to understand.
  3. Ariel Isaac Alvarenga de Góes
  4. AnirNorig



  5. Jason T. Davis
  6. Faithlife User
  7. Timothy Glover
  8. Dean Poulos

    Dean Poulos


  9. Charles Arriola


Digital list price: $26.99
Save $6.00 (22%)