Easy Overview of the New Testament

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It isn’t uncommon today to hear someone say that it is impossible to understand the Bible. It seems to me that this is a reflection on God. Is God not powerful enough, smart enough, and loving enough to give us a Book we can understand? Certainly, He is. The problem, therefore, when it comes to understanding the Bible, lies with men, not with God.

We shouldn’t make the Bible harder to understand than it is. Here is a simple, easy-to-remember overview of the New Testament:

Think of Matthew through John as the “Belief Section.” These four books were written to inform us of the life of Christ and to produce faith in our hearts (John 3:16; 8:24; 20:30-31).

Think of the Book of Acts as the “Unique Section.” Acts is unique in that it is the only book of the Bible that gives an example of a person becoming a Christian. There are 10 such examples in Acts. Some examples include more details than others. Studying Acts, you will find that belief is mentioned in 6 examples, repentance in 1, confession in 1, and baptism in all 10. But since the Lord requires all who are in sin to believe, repent, confess, and be baptized, we safely conclude that all who were saved in the book of Acts did all these things.

Think of Romans through Jude as the “How to Live Section.” These books were written to instruct Christians how to live in Christ. While studying this section, it will be helpful to remember that these books were written to those who had become Christians already (see the book of Acts for how they became Christians).

Then, think of the Book of Revelation as the “Victory Section.” This book was written to encourage Christians to remain faithful to Christ that they might receive eternal life (Revelation 2:10).

There you have it—all the New Testament. If you can keep these simple divisions in mind, you can understand the Word of God.

Mark Lindley
Chapman church of Christ
Ripley, MS

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