A Christian college professor recently emailed me with an idea: what if there were a set of Bible icons for all 66 books of the Bible?
It’s a great idea, but the “what-if”s are off. It’s happening.
We’re all in this Bible-study boat together. This website began as a way to help people understand the books of the Bible, mostly through big-picture summaries of the 66 books. The written word is great, but we all know quick visuals would make it even easier to get the gist of the Bible’s many books.
So this one goes out to all the Sunday-school teachers, OT-survey and NT-survey professors, and expository pastors who want a quick, high-level illustration of every book of the Bible. And hey, if you’re doing a presentation, these will do better than Clipart. ;-)
You can download the whole set of free Bible icons right now.
Or you can go on a long tour of the icons, see my thought process behind each one, and then download them for free. There’s a lot to go through, so let’s take these books of the Bible section by section, shall we? You can click one of these links to jump to a certain set of Bible icons:
- Major and Minor Prophets
- Gospels and Acts
- Pauline Epistles
- General Epistles
Law (Pentateuch) Bible icons
The first five books of the Bible deal with the “Law of Moses”: Israel’s beginnings, and their ancient agreement with God to be His people.
About the Genesis icon
Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and it means “beginning.” This is where the Bible’s story begins, and a good deal of the Bible stories we know so well are in Genesis (Noah’s Ark, Cain and Abel, Joseph’s coat, Adam and Eve, etc.).
The central character in Genesis is a man named Abraham. God chooses Abraham to be the father of a great nation, and promises that through him, all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Gn 12:1–3). And although Abraham is old, God promises that his descendants will be as innumerable as the stars of heaven (Gn 15:5).
God keeps this promise, and by the end of the book, Abraham’s grandson Israel has a family of 12 sons: the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel.
This icon shows one star (representing Israel) standing out from the others, just as God chooses Abraham to begin a unique nation. The other stars are, of course, twelve in number, echoing the twelve tribes.
About the Exodus icon
Exodus tells the story of God rescuing Israel from slavery in Egypt, bringing them to Mt. Sinai, and making a covenant with them. Exodus is the book with Egypt’s 10 plagues, the first Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments, and the tabernacle’s construction.
The book is about Israel escaping Egypt and arriving at Sinai, where God gives them the Law on two stone tablets.
About the Leviticus icon
Leviticus lays down the laws on sacrifices, priestly duties, and other aspects of the law. The main thrust of the book comes down to one line from God:
“Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” (Le 20:26)
This one’s on the abstract side. “Holy” means “set apart,” and this icon illustrates Israel being called out and made different from the rest of the world.
About the Numbers icon
This is where the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years. It’s a story of God disciplining the nation before they get to the promised land.
Footsteps . . . wandering . . . this icon’s pretty obvious.
About the Deuteronomy icon
Deuteronomy literally means “second giving,” referring to a reiteration of the Law of Moses. Deuteronomy is Israel’s ancient constitution, in a sense. Moses lays out the law, goes over the 10 Commandments again, and specifically addresses how they should be applied in the promised land.
History Bible icons
Our Bibles usually group these books of the Old Testament together: they’re the historical narratives that tell us how the Israelites did (and didn’t) live up to the Law.
About the Joshua icon
Joshua is the story of Israel capturing the promised land. The first half of the book is full of battles, including that famous one at a little town called Jericho—whose “walls came a-tumbling down” at the sound of a trumpet.
The second half of the book is all about divvying up the land . . . which isn’t as interesting as, say, the sun standing still (Jos 10:13). So this icon focuses on the action. ;-)
About the Judges icon
Judges shows us the downward moral spiral that takes place after Joshua dies. The book is a rather depressing read, but shows us why Israel needs a godly king (Jdg 21:25).
Ruth is a story of hope and redemption. Ruth, a widow, faithfully helps her mother-in-law by gathering grain, catching the attention of a wealthy farmer named Boaz . . .
About the Samuel icon
Samuel is the story of how David becomes the king of Israel. God makes a special promise to David: there will always be a descendant of David on the throne.
Note: First and Second Samuel were originally one book, so they get one icon.
About the Kings icon
First and Second Kings tell the story of—wait for it—the kings of Israel. The nation splits into two kingdoms (North and South), and this story examines whether or not the nation is faithful to the Law of Moses. Spoiler alert: they’re not, and Kings ends with both kingdoms being taken into captivity by other empires.
Note: First and Second Kings were originally one book, so they get one icon.
About the Chronicles icon
First and Second Chronicles do a big sweep of ancient Israel’s history, with a focus on the covenant God makes with David. It begins at the very beginning—seriously, the first word is “Adam”.
With all that time being covered (and a whopping dose of genealogies), Chronicles gets an hourglass.
Note: First and Second Chronicles were originally one book, so they get one icon.
About the Ezra icon
When the Jews come back from Babylon, they are told to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. Ezra tells us how this happened, and the obstacles that got in the way.
Note: Ezra and Nehemiah were treated as one book for a while, but these books feel different enough to merit their own icons.
About the Nehemiah icon
Nehemiah rallies the Jews together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and remember their covenant with God. This is Nehemiah’s story, mostly in his own words.
About the Esther icon
Esther is the story of how a Jewish woman becomes queen of Persia—just in time to stop a nefarious plot to kill off the Jews throughout the empire.
Poetry Bible icons
One of my favorite parts of the Bible: the books of Old Testament poetry. These books show how the people of God respond to God.
About the Job icon
Job is a man who has it good, until Satan tries to get him to curse God. Job loses his family, his wealth, and his good health. Most of the book is about Job and his friends trying to figure out why these terrible things are happening to him.
About the Psalms icon
A good deal of these Psalms were musical pieces arranged for choir directors and temple musicians.
About the Proverbs icon
Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings (mostly from Solomon). Proverbs covers a variety of topics, but focuses on justice, wisdom, and the fear of God.
About the Ecclesiastes icon
Ecclesiastes is poetic philosophical ponderings. The book’s question, “what’s the point?” Ecclesiastes often uses the phrase “under the sun,” showing that the author is observing how the world works without factoring in divine intervention.
About the Song of Solomon icon
Song of Solomon is an epic love poem (or collection of love poems) describing love, sex, and marriage—especially surrounding a wedding.
This was a tricky icon to design. There’s plenty of concrete imagery in Song of Solomon, but I don’t think it makes for the kind of icon you’re looking for. ;-) On the other hand, I didn’t want to make the icon so tame that it didn’t fit the book. I landed on the do-not-disturb sign as a happy medium.
About the Lamentations icon
Jerusalem has fallen! This short collection of intricate poems mourns Jerusalem’s destruction, while looking to God for hope of restoration.
The poets tell us how people respond to their relationship with God in the Old Testament. The prophets tell us God’s side of the story.
About the Isaiah icon
Isaiah has a brilliant vision of God on His throne in Isaiah 6. In this vision, Isaiah calls to God, “Here am I! Send me!” God does send Isaiah—with a message of judgment, and eventually comfort, for Israel.
About the Jeremiah icon
Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet.” The prophets weren’t popular in their day, but Jeremiah’s hardships are especially noteworthy. He is imprisoned, threatened with death, besieged, and dragged from country to country. He preaches the word of God, but the people will not listen.
About the Ezekiel icon
God designates Ezekiel as the “watchman” for his people—someone to warn them of what’s coming. Near the beginning of the book, Ezekiel sees the glory of God leaving Jerusalem. This leaves Jerusalem unprotected from the violence to come.
But at the end of the book, Ezekiel sees Israel restored, and the glory of God coming back.
In the book of Exodus, the tabernacle was filled with God’s glory—which took the form of a cloud. I used the same sort of imagery here . . . since “glory” isn’t an easy thing to illustrate otherwise. ;-)
About the Daniel icon
Of course, Daniel’s encounter with the lions is only a sliver of the book’s content. Daniel interprets dreams, has a few visions of his own, and generally focuses on God’s sovereignty over world empires.
Still, Daniel and lions just make sense together when illustrating the book.
About the Hosea icon
Hosea marries a prostitute, who leaves him. Then God tells him to go bring her back.
It’s a metaphor for how God is remaining faithful to the Northern Kingdom . . . even though they haven’t been faithful to Him.
About the Joel icon
Joel explains that a recent plague of locusts is a judgment from God, and calls Judah to repent.
About the Amos icon
The prophet Amos has no family history of prophetic ministry. Amos says, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs” (Am 7:14).
About the Obadiah icon
God swears to bring down the hilltop-dwelling nation of Edom, and to one day restore Jerusalem on Mt. Zion.
About the Jonah icon
I don’t think I need to explain this one.
About the Micah icon
Micah calls out for justice in the land, and it’s in this book that we find those three little lines we could all stand to follow more closely (Mic 6:8):
- Act justly
- Love mercy
- Walk humbly with God
About the Nahum icon
God is about to unleash a world of hurt on Nineveh as judgment for her sins.
About the Habakkuk icon
The prophet Habakkuk cries out to God, “How long will you let our nation get away with this injustice?” It sparks a back-and-forth between God and Habakkuk, which culminates in a song of worship to the Lord.
About the Zephaniah icon
God is going to remove all things and restore all things: Israel, Judah, and the surrounding nations. Everything will be judged, and then everything will be made much, much better.
About the Haggai icon
The Jews have put off rebuilding the temple, but they’ve made nice houses for themselves. The prophet Haggai encourages the people to finish the temple and enjoy God’s blessings again.
About the Zechariah icon
Zechariah has more visions than any other minor prophet. A key repeated phrase in the book is “I lifted up my eyes . . . .” This icon should make it a little easier to avoid confusing Zechariah and Zephaniah.
About the Malachi icon
God loves His people, but they’ve disconnected from Him. So God sends Malachi with several messages. The book is full of hypothetical dialogue that goes a little something like this:
God: “I have loved you.”
Israel: “How have you loved us?”
This back-and-forth echoes through the book, so it’s in the icon as well.
Gospel Bible icons
These books tell the story of Jesus’ baptism, miracles, death, and resurrection.
About the Matthew icon
The Gospel of Matthew tells us the good news of Jesus Christ, the true King of the Jews.
About the Mark icon
Mark is an abrupt, urgent story of Jesus, the servant of men and Son of God. The story is peppered with the word “immediately,” and it’s the shortest gospel in your Bible.
About the Luke icon
Luke interviewed eyewitnesses to produce a biography of Jesus Christ, with all the events listed in chronological order (Lk 1:1–3).
About the John icon
John writes his gospel as a list of signs so that the reader might believe in Jesus and find life in Him (Jn 20:30–31).
About the Acts icon
Acts is about the coming of the Holy Spirit and the spread of the gospel throughout the earth. The Holy Spirit appears in the form of tongues of fire (Ac 2:3–4), which this icon reflects.
Pauline epistle Bible icons
These letters were written by the apostle Paul to churches and pastors.
About the Romans icon
Romans shows us how the Gospel works: sinners are sovereignly saved and set apart for service to God.
The gears symbolize the way Paul explains the mechanics of the gospel.
About the First Corinthians icon
The church at Corinth was divided on various issues: spiritual leaders, legal matters, diet, and more. Paul writes them to put the focus on glorifying God instead of fighting each other.
About the Second Corinthians icon
Paul and the Corinthians have become a bit estranged, and Paul writes a letter to bring about reconciliation.
About the Galatians icon
The churches in Galatia have bought into the idea that Christians need to live under the ceremonial Law of Moses, which is contrary to the gospel Paul has been preaching. Paul addresses how Christians should think of the Law.
About the Ephesians icon
Paul encourages the Ephesians to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling” (Eph 4:1)—that is, the calling to follow Christ.
About the Philippians icon
Paul writes (from prison) to remind the Philippians to rejoice no matter what.
About the Colossians icon
Paul writes this letter to establish a young church’s faith in Christ. He encourages them to set their minds on things above, because they have risen with Christ (Col 3:1–2).
About the First Thessalonians icon
Paul has heard great things about the church and Thessalonica, and he urges them to “excel still more” (1 Th 4:1).
About the Second Thessalonians icon
Paul writes again to the Thessalonians, instructing them on how to live in the light of the Lord’s coming.
About the First Timothy icon
This is a letter from one pastor to another on how to pastor a church.
About the Second Timothy icon
Paul is nearing death, and he writes a heartfelt goodbye to Timothy. This is where Paul passes on the torch of the gospel ministry, and encourages Timothy to pass it on, too.
About the Titus icon
Paul gave Titus the task of setting up a counter-cultural church in Crete. This letter gives Titus some pointers on how to make it happen.
About the Philemon icon
Paul sends a letter and a runaway slave to his friend Philemon. Philemon is the slave’s master, but Paul advises Philemon to accept him back as a brother instead of as a slave.
General epistle icons
These letters were (for the most part) written to broader audiences . . . and not by Paul.
About the Hebrews icon
Hebrews shows that Jesus is greater than anything from the Old Testament —greater than any hero, covenant, priest, sacrifice, or angel.
About the James icon
This book is written by James the Just, and makes the case for Christians to continue in good works.
About the First Peter icon
Peter writes about how Christians are going to suffer, but that works out for a glorious future.
About the Second Peter icon
Peter is about to die, and so he writes a quick reminder to Christians. He focuses on the sincere faith and teaching of the apostles, and warns that false teachers will arise.
I use adhesive notes to remember things, and Second Peter is about remembering things, so that’s the story behind this icon.
About the First John icon
This book is sort of a follow-up to the Gospel of John: it’s a way to know who the children of God are. This is also the book of the Bible that talks about love most frequently. The book deals with knowledge and love, ergo, this icon.
About the Second John icon
This book is about walking in love. ‘Nuff said, right?
About the Third John icon
This book deals with truth, love, and fellowship—particularly hospitality. John writes to a fellow named Gaius, telling him to keep showing hospitality to the saints . . . even though one of the local church leaders condemns such behavior.
About the Jude icon
About the Revelation icon
Revelation is the resolution of all things: the kingdom of God is once again physically and literally restored to earth. The dead are raised. The final judgments are rendered. And all things are made new.
You can have all these icons for free
I really want you, my hard-core, Bible-loving, Bible-teaching sisters and brothers, to have these.
Use them for blog posts, presentations, sermons, bulletins, course notes, and the like.
They’re all yours.
Get the icons
You’ll get these in .png formats. You’ll have a few sizes to choose from, and I’ve included full-color and black-and-white versions of each Bible icon in each size.