NEW TESTAMENT SURVEY
The New Testament is the culmination of what the Old Testament has been leading up to and prophesying of. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John describe the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah, whom Israel had been awaiting. The book of Acts delineates the beginning and growth of His kingdom, the church. The letters set forth Christian doctrine, and Revelation is a book of prophecy written to comfort Christians facing persecution.
The New Testament has been divided into 260 chapters and 7,957 verses. Each book with the appropriate number of chapters is listed below. Bible students should know the order of the books and the amount of chapters per book.
Matthew-28 Romans-16 Hebrews-13 Mark-16 1 Corinthians-16 James-5 Luke-24 2 Corinthians-13 1 Peter-5 John-21 Galatians-6 2 Peter-3 Ephesians-6 1 John-5 Acts-28 Philippians-4 2 John-1 Colossians-4 3 John-1 1 Thessalonians-5 Jude-1 2 Thessalonians-3 1 Timothy-6 Revelation-22 2 Timothy-4 Titus-3 Philemon-1
FAMOUS NEW TESTAMENT CHAPTERS
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPEL
Jesus makes it clear that He did come with a new covenant by contrasting His doctrine with the Law of Moses (Matt. 5:21-32). So for approximately three years He preached some of the precepts of the new law, including baptism for the remission of sins (which actually started with John, His forerunner-Mark 1:4; John 3:26; 4:1-2). The two covenants are contrasted in Hebrews 8:6-7. Since Jesus was about to teach things greater and deeper than the law of Moses, He knew that some would wonder if the law was no longer in force. Anticipating this thought, He said ahead of time that He was not destroying the law-"till all be fulfilled" (Matt. 5:18; Luke 24:44). The law, however, was nailed to the cross when Jesus died (Col. 2:14). The new covenant was inaugurated on the day of Pentecost.
Although Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John mention many of the same events and teachings in Jesus' ministry, each has his own distinctive style and purpose for writing. Matthew wrote primarily for Jewish readers and emphasizes Jesus as "king of the Jews." He frequently points out that a particular thing happened to fulfill Old Testament prophecy (Matt.1:21-23). It was important for the Jews to realize that Jesus was the Messiah they had so long anticipated. Surely their attention would have been caught with the Jewish genealogy and the fulfillment of the virgin birth prophecy that Matthew records at the very outset.
Mark wrote for the Roman mind. This culture enjoyed action. Virgil's Aeneid (recounting the adventures of the famous ancestor of Rome) had been written less than 100 years prior to most of the New Testament. Mark includes the fewest number of parables of any gospel writer. He includes no lengthy genealogy: he throws the reader into the life of John, then Jesus. His emphasis is upon the things that Jesus does. The Romans admired a man of action, one who accomplished greatthings. Jesus certainly fulfilled those expectations.
Luke wrote primarily for Gentile readers who enjoyed thinking and reasoning about things. Luke appeals to them in precisely the opposite way of Mark; he devotes the most time to parables and illustrations, many of which are mentioned nowhere else in the New Testament. The "good Samaritan," the rich (but foolish) farmer, the prodigal son, the unjust steward, the rich man and Lazarus are all found only in Luke's narrative. Jesus is presented as the perfect man. John is the author of what is called the universal gospel, meaning that he wrote it for all mankind, not primarily for any one group (Jews, Romans, or Greeks). John has a specific purpose in mind (20:30-31). He is writing for all future generations and supplying them the evidence to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Understanding the nature and person of Jesus bears directly upon our salvation. He cannot be considered merely a great man or prophet. He is God in the flesh (1:14), which His power and miracles demonstrate.
The "higher" critics have said that these four writers copied from one another and from a common source (called "Q") which conveniently disappeared (like the missing links in evolution). These theories are nothing more than the imaginative speculations of those who do not believe that the Bible is divinely inspired in the first place. As Foster points out in his classic, Studies in the Life of Christ, modernists claim at one and the same time that the New Testament writers copied from one another AND that they hopelessly disagree with eachother in details. Well, which is it? Did they copy from each other, or not know of each other's work?
Matthew and John, as apostles, were given perfect recall by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) of all that Jesus had taught. Mark and Luke wrote Scripture and thus are covered by 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Each of these four men was inspired of the Holy Spirit to write his life of Christ.
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.