New Testament (27 books) in Review

imagesMatthew   written in 60-65 AD.  Purpose of the Gospel was to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. Emphasizes fulfillment of prophecy. Key verse- Matthew 5:17– “Do not think that I (Jesus) have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mark probably first gospel written in 55-65 AD. The other Gospels quote all but 53 verses of Mark. Focuses on the person and work of Jesus. Written by John Mark, not one of the disciples.

Luke written by Luke the physician in about 60 AD. (He also wrote the book of Acts) Luke did not personally meet Jesus. The Chapters  Luke 9 to Luke 18 are not found in any other Gospel.

Johnwritten in 85 AD. Reveals the deity of Jesus. 92% of this Gospel is unique.  John 21:25 says that “Jesus did so many other things not recorded in the Gospels that the whole world would not have room for the books that could be written!” And that’s only in three years of ministry.

Actswritten by Luke to Theophilus in 63-70 AD. Purpose was to relate the birth and development of the Christian church.  Key verse- Acts 1:8-“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Evangelism starts with your neighbor.

Romanswritten by Paul from Corinth in 57 AD. Penned by Tertius- see Romans 16:22. Key verse- Romans 5:1– “therefore, we have been justified by faith ….”

1 Corinthians  written in 55 AD by Paul.  Purpose of this book was to identify problems in the Corinthian church, to offer solutions, and to teach the believers how to live for Christ in a corrupt society.

2 Corinthians written in 56 AD, from Macedonia, 1 year after 1 Corinthians.  There were 4 letters written by Paul to the Corinthians, and 2 are lost- the first letter and the third letter. The second letter is 1 Corinthians and the fourth letter is 2 Corinthians. Autobiographical sketch of Paul and his commitment.

Galatians   Paul wrote this letter in 49 AD from Antioch.  He wrote it to the churches in southern Galatia, which was a Roman province in present day Turkey.  Focuses on  relationship of new believers, particularly Gentiles, to the Jewish laws.  This book talks about the freedom we have as Christians. Galatians 2:20-21– “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I don’t set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

EphesiansPaul wrote this letter from prison in 60 AD, from Rome.  The purpose was to strengthen the believers in Ephesus in their Christian faith by explaining the nature and purpose of the church.  Paul describes the believer’s incredible wealth in Christ.  The doctrinal truths of chapters 1-3 are followed by practical applications of those truth in chapters 4-6.

PhilippiansPaul wrote this book to all the Christians at Philippi in about 61 AD, from Rome during Paul’s imprisonment there.  Philippians is Paul’s JOY letter.  Happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ!  Philippians 4:4– “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!”

Colossianswritten by Paul in about 60 AD, during his imprisonment in Rome. Christ is Lord of all and gives complete salvation, and Jesus is sufficient for every need. Colossians 3:23-24– “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”

1 Thessalonians– written by Paul in about 51 AD from Corinth; prosperous, and thoroughly pagan, the seaport city of Thessalonica.  Christians were being persecuted, and he urges them to persevere, though the suffering was difficult. He corrects some misunderstanding  about the resurrection and  the return of Christ.                                                                                                                                                                                               2 Thessalonians– written by Paul a few months  after 1 Thessalonians, from Corinth in about 51 AD.  Its purpose was to clear up the confusion about the second coming of Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy– written by Paul in about 64 AD to Timothy.  Timothy, a young disciple discovered by Paul on his 2nd missionary journey (Acts 16:1 “Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy live, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.”), enjoyed a unique relationship with Paul. He pastured the church at Ephesus.  This letter resembles a manual for building church leadership.

2 Timothy– last book written by Paul, right before he was executed by Emperor Nero.  Written in 67 AD, from a prison in Rome.  Paul’s priorities are 1) sound doctrine 2) faith that doesn’t give up and 3) confident endurance

Titus– Titus lived among a people who had one of the worst reputations in the world.  He was organizing and shepherding the new believers on the island of Crete.  Titus is known for its summaries of Christian doctrine and its emphasis on holy living.   It was written in 64 AD by Paul from Macedonia.

Philemon– written by Paul in 60 AD.    This short “postcard” letter provides a glimpse of Paul’s affectionate heart and reminds us of our forgiveness in Christ.

Hebrews– written by an unknown writer in  about 70 AD.  It is written to Jews who were evaluating Jesus or struggling with their new faith.  The message of Hebrews is that Jesus is better, Christianity is superior, Christ is supreme and completely sufficient for salvation. The great faith chapter of the Bible is 11.

James–  written by James, Jesus’ brother, a leader in the Jerusalem church, not James the apostle.  Written to expose hypocritical practices and to teach right Christian behavior.  Written probably in 49 AD

1 Peter– written by Peter to Jewish Christians . Written about 62-64 AD.  Peter outlines the right attitude to have in spite of suffering and persecution. He was intimately associated with it; he was martyred later and crucified upside down.                                                                                                                                                                           2 Peter– written in about 64-66 AD from Rome.  Knowledge is the prominent theme of  this letter and is  the best antidote for heresy.  Because  the authorship of this book is disputed, 2 Peter was the last book admitted to the canon of the New Testament Scripture.

1,2,3 John-written by John, the ‘beloved’ apostle between 85-90 AD from Ephesus.  He writes  John to help his spiritual brothers and sisters  in their walk with the God who is light, love, and life.  Jude– written by Jude, the brother of James and Jesus.   The purpose of the this book was to remind the church to keep strong in the faith and to oppose heresy and false teachers within the church.

Revelation– written by apostle John to the seven churches in Asia, and all believers everywhere.  Written in 95 AD, from the island Patmos.   Rev.1:3– “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy!”


About Dr. Robert

I am married to Janet and we have four children. I am active in Grace church in Racine, Wisconsin and serve there in leadership and teaching . I have been an internist for 30 years and keep busy by taking care of a full load of patients. On the side, I like to write, coach, mentor, spend time with my family just hangin' out, and help take care of our three dogs; two Golden retrievers named Reagen and Finley and a Bernese named Sadie'.
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