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Article Info:
published: 3/17/04
updated: 8/14/14

The New Testament

What are the books of the New Testament?

The New Testament is the Christian Bible, which is made of up 27 books, and includes the four gospels of Jesus Christ, the book of Acts, the thirteen letters of the Apostle Paul, the writings of John, like book of Revelation, and much more. The New Testament's focus is the life and ministry of Christ, which are recorded in the gospels - Matthew, mark, Luke, and John. Acts, Revelation, and the other letters are about the ongoing ministry of Christ's followers, the apostles as well as communities of followers called churches. Traditionally, most New Testament books date to the first century, but some scholars date certain ones to the early second century.

The Gospels

The Gospels are accounts of Jesus' life that were written with a devotional and evangelical purpose. Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels because they share much of the same material. John is significantly different from the Synoptic Gospels, and was probably written the latest of the three. Please see the following articles for in-depth articles on each book:

The Book of Acts

The Acts of the Apostles is an invaluable record of the growth and development of the Christian church after the life of Christ. Written by Luke as a companion volume to his gospel, Acts begins with Jesus' ascension into heaven, then recounts such events as the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Paul's persecution of Christians and his subsequent conversion, the death of the first Christian martyr, Paul's many missionary journeys throughout the Roman Empire, the preaching of Peter, the resolution of conflicts, and much more.

The Letters of Paul

The Apostle Paul authored a majority of the books of the New Testament. The so-called "Pauline Epistles" were written to churches that he had visited or was planning to visit, encouraging them in their struggles and instructing them in doctrinal and moral matters.

The General Epistles

Also called the Catholic Epistles, the General Epistles are so-called because they are directed to general audience, not to a particular person or church, and they were not written by the Apostle Paul.

The Book of Revelation

The book of Revelation is an apocalyptic work in the tradition of the Old Testament book of Daniel. Addressed to seven specific churches and filled with rich symbolism, Revelation's prophecies have been variously interpreted as referring to events that had already occurred or to events that have yet to occur and ignite the end of the world.

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