The Books of the Bible: The New Testament

is the collection of books of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and other Epistles, and Revelation. Composed soon after Christ's death, this is the second half of the Christian Bible or the New Covenant. After you review a short synopsis of each book, take a look at some INSIGHTS TO SCRIPTURE so you can more than "know" - you will start to "grow".


Matthew

First book of the New Testament and one of the four gospels chronicling the life and ministry of Jesus. Each gospel account is written from a different perspective. This one is mainly written to a Jewish audience and emphasizes Jesus' fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. The lineage of Christ is traced through his earthly Father's side even though Jesus did not carry Joseph's DNA since he was born of the Virgin Mary. However, this is the royal Jesus, Son of God.

Mark

This account was written by Mark who attended Peter and so the perspective is from Peter's eyes as told to Mark. The emphasis is "Son of Man"-his humanness. Jesus was both fully God and fully man. The whole text is marked by urgency, a lot of action and an eyewitness viewpoint. The word "immediately" repeats over and over. No genealogy is given; it's very direct and straightforward without many flourishes.

Luke

Probably the warmest telling of the life of Christ, it includes the most details, especially regarding his birth. His genealogy is given from his mother Mary's side from whom he may have been given crucial details. The emphasis is telling the story to non-Jews. Luke was a Physician and a medical perspective comes through with a sensitive and sympathetic approach.

John

The Gospel of John is completely different from the other three. His concern is not as much on what exactly happened but what it means. This gospel has a more theological feel and seems to take the spiritual high road. The seven "I am…" statements are found in this book. "I am…the bread of life (6:35), the light of the world (8:12), the gate for the sheep (10:7), the good shepherd (10:14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), the way, truth and life (14:6), and the true vine (15:1)

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Acts

The launching of the Church! From the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had promised, fell on the 120 in the upper room the gospel began to be spread to the utter most parts of the earth. Filled with miracles, harrowing adventures, narrow escapes, drama, passion and persecution this book is a real page turner. Interestingly, Acts doesn't have a real ending; it just stops in the middle of things rather abruptly. Many believe that's because the Church is still continuing on with its own Acts and will do so until the Second Coming.

Romans

Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome even though he had not yet visited them. His theme is justification by faith alone; a free gift of God. A deep theological study; Paul the scholar shines through.

1 Corinthians

The Church in Corinth had written Paul with various questions and this letter is his response. He discusses issues of sexual morality, food offered to idols, and various rights and duties. There is also a major discussion of spiritual gifts and their proper use. The famous "Love" chapter is Chapter 13 ending with, "But now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love."

2 Corinthians

Paul writes this second letter to the church in Corinth under his own extreme affliction. Paul responds to the current improved situation in that church. The letter is intensely personal and his emotions are on his sleeve.

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Galatians

Paul's urgent letter to the church in Galatia which was a huge Roman province, concerns serious issues regarding whether Gentile Christians must be circumcised and keep the Jewish law. Paul emphasizes the freedom we have in Christ. A memorable quote is: "You began by God's Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power?" (3:3)

Ephesians

A circular letter to be passed to the churches in and around Ephesus where Paul had spent much time. The whole panorama of God's plan of redemption is beautifully portrayed in this letter. The highest spiritual issues are side by side with a guide to practical Christian living. Many consider this the most profound book in the New Testament. This is the book that discusses the armor of God.

  • "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood..." Here's a true story about that. I Heard Satan Laugh

  • The best kind of prayer produces miracles. This prayer produced a BIG one. Miracle Making Prayer

Philippians

Joy is the theme of this book even though Paul is writing it from prison as he is awaiting sentencing. He writes to dear friends and his warmth and love shine through. One of the best known passages is: "Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." (4:8) Very good advice!

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Colossians

There is heresy and confusion at the Colossian church. Paul addresses the false teaching such as mystical practices and secret knowledge and a return to Jewish customs. He endeavors to set the church back to the straight path of simple belief in the preeminence of Jesus Christ.

1 & 2 Thessalonians

Of particular interest in these two letters of Paul to the church in Thessalonica is Paul's information to the church regarding Christ's return. These are probably Paul's earliest letters and may be the oldest writing in the New Testament. They were only written about 20 years after the crucifixion.

1 & 2 Timothy

Written to a person rather than a church, Timothy is a spiritual son of Paul and very dear to him. The letters are filled with fatherly advice and practical information to help Timothy pastor his congregation.

Titus

Again Paul is writing to an individual, Titus, who was his companion and fellow missionary. Titus is trying to guide a difficult unruly church and Paul is giving advice on what to remind them of such as "to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed." (3:1)

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Philemon

A very brief letter that Paul wrote on behalf of the run away slave named Onesimus from his master, Philemon. Onesimus had been converted under Paul's ministry and Paul was beseeching Philemon to accept him back without repercussions and as a fellow brother in the Lord.

Hebrews

The author of Hebrews is still unknown even though many assign the writing to Paul. The theme of Hebrews is "Better." The old covenant of laws and rules has been replaced by the altogether new and better provision of Christ. Jesus is our new High Priest and we can approach God through him alone.

James

James tells Jewish Christians that they can prove their living faith by the deeds they perform. He says that faith that does not follow through into action is not real faith at all. One great and encouraging quote from James is for those who pray; "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective." (5:16)

1 & 2 Peter

Writings of encouragement to Christians who are facing persecution and suffering. He tells them to share in the sufferings of Christ and not to be surprised when various trials and difficulties come.

1 & 2 & 3 John

John was the apostle of love and these short but profound letters major in "love one another."

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Jude

This was a general letter to all Christian to guard against Gnosticism, a philosophy still around today which considers matter inherently evil and spirit good.

Revelation

Last book of the Bible, it tells us how the whole thing turns out and WE WIN! Much of the book is allegorical and many different approaches interpret it differently but the bottom line is that Jesus Christ is returning in triumph again and that He will rule with authority and set up a new heaven and new earth. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

Have you looked at the OLD TESTAMENT books? OR, would you like to get right into some BIBLE STUDY?


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