Why read the bible? “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63 God is revealing Himself to man – His love for man – His purpose for man – His promises for man
“The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.” -St. Augustine Give examples
Structure of the NT 4 gospels Book of Acts 14 Epistles of St. Paul 7 Catholic (universal) Epistles Book of Revelation 27 books First mentioned by St. Athanasius in his festal letter in 367AD
Gospel means “good news” ( from the Greek word: Evangelion) The gospels tell the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. (Not a complete biography) – See John 21:25 Written by the disciples of Christ, who were filled with the Holy Spirit after the Lord's resurrection, to bear witness to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.
Why 4 gospels? Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are known as the “synoptic” gospels synoptic = similar, harmonious Each begin with baptism of Christ, beginning of public ministry, teachings and miracles and end with passion, crucifixion and resurrection.
Gospel of Matthew Symbol = a man St. Matthew was one of the twelve) Written to: the Jews (most probably originally written in Aramaic) 58-70 AD often used the phrase, “that which was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled…” (genealogies, feasts, etc) Longest and most detailed account of Jesus’ teaching: Sermon on the mount See Matthew 1:1-17
Gospel of Mark Symbol = a lion St. Mark was one of the seventy Written to: the Romans 55-65 AD “tradition of St. Peter” (1 Peter 5:13) Largest number of miracles Suggested that Mark was the young man referred to in this gospel that fled the garden of Gethsemane naked after Christ’s arrest. This account is only mentioned in Mark’s gospel. (Mark 14:51-53)
Gospel of Luke Symbol = an ox St. Luke was one of the seventy Written to: the Gentiles Mid 60’s AD Longest of the 4 gospels Only gospel with accounts of annunciation of Jesus and John the Baptist. Why??
Gospel of John Symbol = an eagle St. John was one of the twelve Written to: ALL (spiritual and theological account of Christ’s ministry) 80-90AD See John 1:1 Highlights: Most “theological” gospel I am’s of Jesus Miracles not recorded in other gospels (wedding of Cana, Lazarus,) Jesus final speech (John 13-17)
The Acts of the Apostles “Acts of the Holy Spirit” Written by St. Luke – Compare Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1 Acts 1-7: Beginning of the church Acts 8-20: Expansion of the church Acts 21-28: Trial and imprisonment of St. Paul
The Acts of the Apostles Significant events: The punishment of Ananias and Sapphira Choosing the 7 deacons Martyrdom of Stephen and preaching of Philip Conversion of Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) God’s vision to Peter shows that God has broken down the wall between Jew and Gentile A council is convened in Jerusalem to discuss circumcision of Gentiles Spreading of the Church Trial and imprisonment of St. Paul
Epistles of St. Paul **Written to specific churches or specific people (See Colossians 4:16) 14 Epistles (including Epistle to the Hebrews) Will discuss in detail next week
7 Catholic (universal) Epistles James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude **Why important?
Epistle of James (Jacob) Author: 3 possibilities 1. James the son of Zebedee: (Matthew 10:2), one of the twelve disciples and the brother of John the Evangelist. He cannot be the writer of the epistle because he was murdered by Herod Agrippa I in the year 44 A.D. (Acts 12:1) At that time, the Christian Churches were not established yet to allow that some of the disciples would send them epistles, and the dispersion had not taken place yet, nor the heresies appeared. 2. James the son of Alphaeus: (Matthew 10:3) 3. James the brother of the Lord: (Galatians 1:19), that is, his cousin. Most agree that he is the writer of the epistle. Timeframe: 55-60 Theme/purpose: Harmony of faith and works Key verses: James 2:17-19
1 Peter Author: St. Peter the Apostle (1 Peter 1:1) Theme/Purpose: To encourage believers in their persecution to live a holy life Timeframe: Written 63-67 (persecution of Nero 54-68) Key verses: 1 Peter 1:6-7
2 Peter Author: St. Peter the Apostle (2 Peter 1:1) Theme/Purpose: wanted to send his children his final commandments to tell them about the kingdom of heaven and the Second Coming of the Lord – beware of false teachers. (2 Peter 1:14) Timeframe: Written 63-67 Key verses: 2 Peter 3:1-4
1 John Author: St. John the Beloved (the Apostle) Theme/Purpose: God’s love for us and our love for God in truth and action Timeframe: Written 85-95 Key verses: 1 John 1:5-6
2 John Author: St. John the Beloved (the Apostle) Theme/Purpose: Addressed to the “elect lady and her children.” Love in truth Timeframe: Written 85-95 Key verses: 2 John 5-6
3 John Author: St. John the Beloved (the Apostle) Theme/Purpose: Addressed to the beloved Gaius Love in truth Timeframe: Written 85-95 Key verses: 3 John 2
Epistle of Jude Author: Jude, a relative of Jesus “brother of the Lord (Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3) Theme/Purpose: Address false teachers **very similar to 2 Peter Timeframe: Written 60-80 Key verses: Jude 3
Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) Author: St. John the Beloved (the Apostle) while in exile on island of Patmos (Rev. 1:9) Theme/Purpose: Revelation of last days, Second Coming and Kingdomof Heaven Timeframe: Written ~95-96 Only prophetic book of the New Testament