Best Bible Stories: 10 Most Recognized

by David Peach · Print Print · Email Email

There are many wonderful stories in the Bible. However, some seem to be popular with people of all ages. Here are a list of some of the 10 most recognized Bible stories. Many of these stories have been written about in depth here at What Christians Want to Know. If there is a more detailed version of the story for you to read you will find a link to it in the summaries below.

Here they are in chronological order as they appear in the Bible.

Creation: Adam and Eve

Genesis 1-3

God created the world in seven days. In this time He created all of nature, the plants, and the animals. He also created man on the sixth day. This first man was named Adam. God also created Adam’s wife named Eve.

Adam and Eve were accustomed to a close relationship with God. God would visit them regularly. But God had also given them one simple rule to obey. That was that they could not eat from a tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If they ate from that tree their punishment would be death.

Eve was tempted by Satan to eat the fruit from that tree. She thought it tasted very good and she was surprised that she did not die immediately. She convinced Adam that he too should try the fruit. As soon as he did, they both knew they had done wrong and that God would punish them.

Their physical death was not an immediate one, but their relationship with God was forever changed. They slowly died after enduring years of punishment for their sin. The Bible says that because of their sin death has passed upon all mankind; which is why we are in need of a Savior.

Noah and the Ark

Genesis 6-8

Because of the wickedness of men, God chose to destroy the world through a flood. God sought for a man who feared Him and would obey even though he did not understand all that would take place. That is called faith.

Through a period of more than 100 years Noah and his sons built a boat large enough to house a few of many of the animals on the planet. Noah also prepared the boat large enough that if anyone wanted to join them and be saved from the flood they were welcome to enter the boat. Sadly, only Noah’s family and the animals were on the boat when the rain started.

God brought the animals to Noah and then the rains came. It rained 40 days and nights. It was a global flood that destroyed all the animals and people that were not on the boat.

After the flood was over God gave Noah the sign of the rainbow as a promise that He would never destroy the earth again with a flood of water.

Joshua and the Battle of Jericho

Joshua 5-6

After the great leader Moses died, Israel was lead by the young man Joshua. His first order of business was to take the nation into their new home—the Promised Land.

Their first challenge was to take over the city of Jericho. This was a walled city that was heavily fortified. God told Joshua that they would be able to destroy the city, but they had to do it in God’s way. God’s plan was certainly different than any of the Israelites had heard before. They were to take the city not by ramming the walls to the ground, but by walking around the city and trusting God.

They walked around Jericho once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they walked around the city seven times. After doing this, they blew trumpets, shouted and watched the city walls come crashing down.

David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17

Probably the most recognized story in the Bible. David, a young boy of around 12 to 17 years of age, fought and killed the Philistine champion Goliath.

The nation of Israel was at war with the Philistines. They were at a critical time in their fight. Neither army was advancing. However, the Philistines had a giant on their side that was intimidating the Hebrew army.

David, through orders from his father, went to the battlefield to carry supplies to his brothers and the army. While he was there he heard the giant denying the God of the Israelites. David boldly volunteered to fight the giant.

Through God’s help, a sling and faith in his Master, David slew Goliath and Israel won the victory.

Fiery Furnace

Daniel 3

Three young men named Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego were taken from their homes in Israel when they were children. They, along with Daniel, became important men in Babylon.

The king of Babylon had created a huge statue as an idol. This was to be used for people to worship the king. He had made a law that said that all who did not bow down and worship the idol would be thrown into a furnace of fire.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had become governors in the kingdom. But they did not allow their position to keep them from obeying God. They refused to bow down to the idol. As a result they were put into the fiery furnace. However, they did not burn up and die. In fact, the Bible says they were walking around in the furnace. And, there was a fourth person in the fire with them. The king said that it appeared to be the Son of God!

They were brought out of the furnace and the king repented of his pride and worshiped God. At least, for a short time.

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Daniel 6

Daniel was taken from his home country of Israel when he was a young boy (along with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). He grew up in Babylon and lived through the rise and fall of several kings. Daniel maintained a powerful position through the different kingdoms.

When he was an old man a group of other powerful men wanted to get him out of their way so that they could have his position. They convinced the king, who happened to like Daniel greatly, to pass a law that said those who were caught worshiping anyone or anything other than the king would be thrown into a den of lions. These men knew that Daniel prayed publicly several times a day. The king was flattered that the wicked men thought highly enough of him to make him an object of worship. He signed the law not thinking about his friend Daniel and his habit of daily prayer.

Daniel was caught praying. The law said he must be thrown in with the lions. Daniel trusted God and God protected him. The next day, to the king’s relief, Daniel was still alive. The king subsequently had the men who thought up the law also thrown into the lion’s den. The Bible says they were eaten by the lions before they could even hit the ground of the pit.

Jonah and the Whale

Jonah 1-4

The sailors threw Jonah overboard after he convinced them that this was the only way to appease God.

The sailors threw Jonah overboard after he convinced them that this was the only way to appease God.

Jonah was a prophet of God who was told to go to the city of Nineveh and preach God’s message. Jonah did not like the people in Nineveh and decided to ignore the call of God to go there. Jonah got on a boat and sailed the opposite direction. After a great storm came up, the sailors determined that someone on the boat had angered a god. Jonah admitted that it was his fault that they were caught in the storm.

The sailors threw Jonah overboard after he convinced them that this was the only way to appease God. When Jonah landed in the water he was surprised to be swallowed by a great fish. He spent three days and nights in the belly of the whale. He prayed and told God that he would finally obey and go to Nineveh to preach.

The whale spit Jonah up onto the beach and Jonah ran to the city to deliver God’s message. To his surprise, the people repented of their sins and accepted the message of God.

Unfortunately, this made Jonah sad and the story ends with Jonah angry with God because God did not destroy the people of the city.

Birth of Christ

Matthew 1; Luke 1-2

An angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a son. For a Jewish mother who believed in God and the teachings of the Old Testament, it was a great honor to be granted a son. This was because they knew that God had promised a Redeemer through the seed of woman. This promised Redeemer would be a boy. To have a son meant you might be the mother of the Messiah. To have a daughter meant that God might allow her to be the vessel He used to bring the Savior to the world.

Not only was Mary told she would have a son, but that her son would be the Redeemer. What a joy!

But there was one major concern for Mary. She had never had sexual relations with a man. How could she be pregnant with the Messiah? The angel told her that the baby was placed in her by the Holy Spirit of God. The baby would be virgin born.

Luke chapter 2 tells the wonderful story of the birth of Christ. He was born in Bethlehem in a humble stable. The wise men from the east knew when and where He was to be born and they brought gifts to Him. They knew this because all of it was foretold in the Old Testament.

We celebrate the birth of Christ today at Christmas.

Jesus Feeds 5000

Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:5-15

One of the favorite miracles of the Lord is when Jesus fed 5000 men with only five loaves of bread and two fish.

A crowd had been following Jesus as He taught them. After some time Jesus knew they would be hungry. He asked His disciples where they would be able to get enough food for the people. The Bible says that He asked this question not because He expected them to find food, but to get them to think about what He was about to accomplish.

The disciples asked around for food and brought Jesus what they could find. A boy had donated his lunch to them. This lunch consisted of five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus took the meal, blessed it, broke it and gave it to the disciples. They were able to distribute the food to the 5000 men (plus women and children) and still have 12 baskets of bread left over.

Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ

Matthew 27-28; Mark 15-16; Luke 23-24; John 19-20

After Jesus ministered publicly for 3 years, it was time for Him to be sacrificed as an atonement for the sins of mankind. This was not a surprise to Him. Jesus knew His purpose on earth was this.

One week before His resurrection Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem to the shouts and cheers of the people. They recognized Him as King and the One sent from God. This is shown in Matthew 21 when the people quoted Psalm 118 as a recognition that the Son of God had come to be king for His people. Yet Jesus was not ready to take the throne in Jerusalem. He first had to die.

It seems hard to believe that these people who hailed Him as king on Sunday, were clamoring to have Him killed by Wednesday. And killed He was. He suffered great persecution and ultimate death on the cross.

Yet Jesus did not stay dead. He was buried as soon as He was taken from the cross and prepared for the tomb. He remained in the tomb for three days. Then He gloriously arose from the dead on the first day of the week. Exactly one week from when He triumphantly rode into Jerusalem He had been tried, scourged, crucified, buried, and resurrected.

Christians remember the resurrection of Christ with the celebration of Easter each year.

Your Choices

Which Bible story would you have put on a top-10 list? I came up with my list by surveying friends and family. I was a little surprised by some of the stories my friends put on their lists.

Which stories would you include and how would you rate them? Tell us in the comments below.

Take a look at the article, also written by David, where he shares his 5 favorite Bible stories:

My Five Favorite Bible Stories

How to turn your sermon into clips

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