Genesis through Revelation isn’t laid out in neat chronological order. For instance, Ezra and Nehemiah depict events that took place near the end of the Old Testament period. But those books are placed before the book of Job—even though many scholars believe Job depicts some of the earliest events recorded in Scripture! This is an accident of the literary arrangement of the canon, but if you’re trying to understand the Bible’s chronology, you face many other challenges. From sorting out the kings of the Northern and Southern kingdoms, to following the succession of Paul’s missionary journeys, keeping track of it all can be daunting.
When you branch into church history and theology, the problem only magnifies. It’s hard to remember who influenced whom, which theologian pioneered which doctrines, how schools of thought battled it out in the public arena, and which ideas came to define the worldview of their eras.