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The New Testament

Main Index Old Testament Summary of the Books Apocrypha
The Gospels 
Matthew Mark Luke John
The Epistles  Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation

The New Testament has a structure which resembles that of the Old Testament. In Jewish worship a Torah portion is read from the Pentateuch, followed by a Haftorah portion from the "prophets" which in the Jewish Canon includes 1 Kings as well as Hosea. The first five books are amplified and clarified by the others. It seems no accident that the first five books of the New Testament describe the basic history, and the remainder develop the practical application using examples from specific contexts. This pattern requires Acts to be regarded as a continuation of the Gospels rather than the first of the Epistles.

Rebecca Manley Pippert in her book Out of the Saltshaker says "I was a bit alarmed about several attitudes that I sensed increasingly among the students. One was that the Gospels were light reading for the spiritually young whereas the Epistles were the real meat and potatoes for the mature. Another was an attitude that focussed only on the Gospels but manipulated Jesus into being Lord of their particular cause."

© David Billin 2002–2017