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”.
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.
- Some battles are long but this will help you through: See Are We There Yet?
- If the gospel comes along, what kind of soil are you? Read The Parable of the Sower
- Are you pursuing God or is he pursuing you? See Pearl of Great Price
- Sometimes, do you feel too weary to go on? Read RSVP Him YES – Rest for the Weary
- If you have ever felt offended see Anatomy of an Offense
- What is your house built on? Wise & Foolish Builders
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.
- How do you react to change? Do you like it or endure it? Read Patched Garments & Old Wineskins
- Are you desperate enough for crumbs? Read Shake the Tablecloth Lord!
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.
- Need help with spiritual warfare? See Big Guns-Spiritual Authority or Enforcing the Truth
- Do you have a rebelious child? Read Praying the Prodigal Home
- Have you prayed in secret without results? Read Prayer in Secret – Zacharias & Elizabeth
- Have you been longing for a spiritual promotion? Read Spiritual Promotion – Are You Ready?
- Who is your neighbor? Read The Good Samaritan
- Do you owe much or little? You decide. Read Parables: Two Debtors
- If you need help praying as long as it takes read The Persistent Widow
- What’s the balance between wisdom and greed? Read Parables: The Rich Fool
- Which are you–the prodigal or the older son? Parables: The Prodigal Son
- Have you prayed every type of prayer with no results? Try this Prayer of Relinquishment
- What about Mary’s character counts her worthy to be called blessed by all generations? Character Study: Mary
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)
- Can we ever have true unity? Read Jesus’ Great Prayer for Unity
- In what area of your life is it hardest for you to trust God? Get some help in The Place of Safekeeping
- Want to know how to draw people to Jesus? If Jesus Be Lifted Up
- Read about a foolproof stategy for overcoming lies Countering Lies
- What did Jesus tell Peter in their last conversation? Character Study: Peter
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.
- Would you be willing to pray this prayer? Great Prayers of the Bible: A Bold Priority
- Does believing scripture make one bigoted and narrow minded? Read Truth or Tolerance?
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.
- What kind of prayer has no words? Read Travail – Liquid Prayer
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.”
- Do you take offense easily? Want to know why? Read Anatomy of an Offense
- If you aren’t sure whether to listen to a prophetic word given you see Taking Direction from Prophecy
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.
- Is guilt from God? See To Be Or Not To Be Guilty and find out.
- Is jealousy ever a good thing? See Is God Jealous for You?
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)
- When the flesh and the spirit are at odds, read The Year of Death
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
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!
- There are so many choices in life. How do you approve what is the best? Approving Excellence
- How can you stop trying so hard and let Christ take over? Read Living Guilt Free
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.
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)
- Find out what anti-Semitism may signal here Anti-Semitism & End Times
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.
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.
- Read more about Faith in Faith – Does Yours Thrive?
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.”
- What better way to pray than to SAY! I Declare
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.
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!
- What advantage is there living in a pagan Society? Read Pagan Advantage