New Testament Introduction
Life of Jesus and Early Church
The 27 books of the New Testament are important to all Christians. It was first written in the language used throughout the Mediterranean region – Greek. The first four books, (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are eyewitness accounts about Jesus’ life and work. These books are known as the ‘Gospels’ which means ‘Good News.’
The next book is called ‘Acts’ and is also written by gospel-writer Luke. Acts was written for a man called Theophilus and continues recounting the story of the first Christians after Jesus had been taken back up to heaven.
The Book of Acts is followed by a large collection of letters written by the apostles, or founders of the Christian church, to the young churches in many of the places mentioned in Acts. They contain lots of teachings about who Jesus was and the importance of his time on earth, and some really practical advice on how to live as followers of Christ. Many of the letters were written at a time when Christians were being persecuted or arrested for their beliefs and so the letters are also a way the writers encouraged others to continue in their faith.
Finally there is a book of prophecy called ‘Revelation’ which was written as a letter to be sent out to the early churches, many of whom were being persecuted. The letter is the description of a vision given to John, one of Jesus’ disciples, after he had been arrested and sent into exile on the island of Patmos. It is full of mystical code language that would have been understood by the Christians but not by the leaders who were persecuting them.Bookmark