The Books of the New Testament
The New Testament
Studies in the New Testament
The New Testament
is the most wonderful book. It reveals how God has kept every promise that He
made to the nation Israel and ultimately fulfilled His covenant with them in One
Man, Jesus Christ. It contains an accurate account of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, His Words, and His plan for all nations including Israel. It reveals how
God used a single man, a Jew, who courageously went out to the farthest parts of
the known world, to preach the gospel, and would eventually die for his faith in
Jesus Christ. It reveals the end of the world, and how Jesus Christ would
receive the kingdom that God had promised Him from the beginning.
understood the Bible as seven divisions:
Historical: The rise and fall of the Hebrew nation.
literature of Israelís golden age.
literature of Israelís dark age.
Gospels: Jesus, the
Man who Israel produced.
Acts: The Gospel of
Jesus among the nations begins.
and instruction to the Churches.
Kingdom of Jesus Christ Manifested.
The Title "New Testament"
The title "New
Testament" comes from the Latin phrase
which is a translation of the Greek phrase
"He Kaine Diatheke."
The phrase was used in ancient Greece to denote
"a last will, or testament,"
which is exactly what the Latin translation indicates. In order to discover the
meaning in its purest sense, we need to go to the Hebrew and trace the thought
back to the ancient Hebrew culture.
The word "Diatheke" is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word for "covenant"
which is "brít" (pronounced breet) which means "to cut.". A Hebrew covenant
really speaks of a covenant or agreement made or cut (with blood) by one party,
which could be accepted or rejected by the other party, but could never be
altered. If the other party chose to accept the terms of the agreement, both
parties would be bound to it. Since a will and testament was the best example in
the old English culture, the Latin term
was used, and the English equivalent was the word
The Contents of the New Testament
The New Testament
consists of the revelation of the new covenant through the words of Jesus Christ
and his followers. There are 27 distinct books written by nine different
authors, that is if the apostle Paul did not write the Book of Hebrews. These
documents were all written within the first century A.D. and most likely from
A.D. 45 to about A.D. 90-95.
The Literary Character of the New Testament
The first five
books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, are historical
books and tell the story about Jesus Christ and the beginnings of the church,
and the missionary journey's of the apostle Paul.
The following New Testament
books are for the most part doctrinal in character: Romans, I and II
Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II
Thessalonians, Hebrews, James, I and II Peter, Jude, I John. Most of these books
were written as letters to churches instructing them about Christianity. They
were, for the most part, very informal and dealt with current situations within
There are also
books that are personal in nature: I and II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, II and III
John. These were written as personal letters to individuals, for private
instruction and counsel. The main reason why these books became significant is
because they were written to leadership within the churches.
Although many of
the Books in the New Testament are prophetic in nature, the book a Revelation,
the last Book of the New Testament, is the main prophetic book and is classed
among the apocalyptic literature of the Bible.
Authors of the New Testament
Every writer in the
entire New Testament was Jewish, except for Luke. Matthew, Peter, and John were
among the 12 disciples. Mark, Jude, and James were very involved in the early
church and had close contact with the apostles in some way. Luke and Paul,
although they were not apostles in the sense that they walked with Christ during
his earthly ministry, they were definitely called by God.
Dates of the Books of the New Testament
The books of the
New Testament were not written in the same order by which they appear in the
Bible. An exact chronological order for the books of the New Testament is
impossible at this time. The opinions of scholars vary greatly on the books of
the New Testament. The gospel of John for example has been dated all the way
into the second century A.D. Most conservative scholars date the writing of the
Book of John to about 85 A.D. and many scholars believe it was earlier.