Scriptural Divisions, Part 2

Looking now at the New Testament books of the Bible…

005 - Themes in Scripture

1. The New Testament Narrative (The Gospels & Acts)

The first four books of the New Testament introduce us to the promised Messiah. Though each of the four recount the events of Jesus’s Life and ministry, they come to us from different perspectives, thereby not only confirming each other in the process, but ultimately providing us with a clearer understanding of who Christ was, what He came to do, and what yet remains for the faith and the unbeliever alike. Beyond the Gospels lay Acts. Some scholars have included Acts as an addendum to the Gospels, seeing it as a continuation of the New Testament narrative. Others however have it stand alone, a record of the early church and the spread of the Gospel from its epicenter to the rest of the world. The New Testament Narrative includes:

  • The Gospel According to Matthew
  • The Gospel According to Mark
  • The Gospel According to Luke
  • The Gospel According to John
  • The Act of the Apostles

2. The Pauline Epistles

The Apostle Paul, though originally a violent persecutor of the early church, went on to become one of the greatest voices in Christian history. Not only did he travel further than any other in antiquity for the cause of the Gospel, he also is credited with writing nearly half of the New Testament! Whether it was in the light of instruction, admonition, or encouragement, Paul’s letters to the early church still provide guidance to believers today. The Pauline Epistles include the books of:

  • The Epistle to the Romans
  • The First & Second Epistles to the Corinthians
  • The Epistle to the Galatians
  • The Epistle to the Ephesians
  • The Epistle to the Philippians
  • The Epistle to the Colossians
  • The First & Second Epistles to the Thessalonians
  • The First & Second Epistles to Timothy
  • The Epistle to Titus
  • The Epistle to Philemon

3. The General Epistles

The New Testament contains many letters from the leaders of the faith to the early church. Like the Pauline Epistles, these letters provide a clear basis for practices and positions of the church, addressing issues of the day that are just as relevant now as they were then. The General Epistles include the books of:

  • The Epistle to the Hebrews
  • The Epistle of James
  • The First & Second Epistles of Peter
  • The First, Second, & Third Epistles of John
  • The Epistle of Jude

4. The Apocalyptic Epistle

Like the Book of Acts to the Gospels, Revelation is sometimes included amongst the General Epistles, while other times it is seen as better left to itself. However one categorizes it, it is most certainly dramatic, filled with layers of rich symbolism, and promising readers of a coming end to this world filled with wars, plagues, and the climactic return of Jesus Christ.

  • The Revelation of Jesus Christ

kid bible

Sixty-six books divided historically between two sprawling Testaments, the story presented therein being so much more than anything comparable. From the history of a people to the account of a unique individual, the Christian Bible is truly remarkable in its scope and implications. 

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