“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”— 1 Timothy 3:16
The New Testament is a collection of 27 Christian texts written in the first and early second centuries CE. It is about half the size of the Old Testament and comparable in size to the Qur'an.
The New Testament (often abbreviated "NT") includes four accounts of Jesus' life and ministry (the Gospels), an account of the Apostles' ministry after Jesus' death (the Acts of the Apostles), letters attributed to the Apostle Paul and other early church leaders (the epistles), and a book of apocalyptic prophecy (Revelation). The books of the New Testament are ordered by type of writing, not chronologically. The New Testament books are normally categorized as follows:
- Acts of the Apostles
- Pauline Epistles
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- Catholic or General Epistles
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
The Gospels are accounts of Jesus' life that were written with a devotional and evangelical purpose. Matthew, Mark and Luke (the Synoptic Gospels) share much of the same material, and a variety of theories have been suggested to account for this. John is markedly different from the other three gospels, and was probably written the latest of the three, perhaps around 100 CE.
The Acts of the Apostles is a 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 Apostle Paul authored a majority of the books of the New Testament. The 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 Catholic or General Epistles are so-called because they are directed to general audiences and not to a particular person or church.
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 interepreted as referring to events that had already occured or to events that have yet to occur and will usher in the end of the world.