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Summary of New Testament Books Essay

John

The genre of the book of John is gospel. John was written so that people may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that you can have eternal life if you believe in him. The author gives examples on the signs of Jesus to portray his identity and mission. The book begins with a description of the Word becoming flesh. John the Baptist declares that Jesus is the Lamb of God, denying to the Jewish leaders that he himself is not the Messiah. Jesus calls his first disciples. One of the signs of Jesus is read in chapter 2 where Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding. This sign was one of the first that showed his glory, resulting in the disciples believing in him. Jesus teaches Nicodemus that you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

Once again, John the Baptist testifies about Jesus and the eternal life he offers if you believe in him. In Samaria, Jesus speaks with a Samaritan woman offering her water that will never make her thirst again. John testifies about more signs of Jesus, which includes the healing of many people and the feeding of the five thousand. He also speaks of when Jesus walks on water. At the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus teaches. Discussion takes place about Jesus as the Christ. There was doubt among the Jewish leaders that he was the Christ. The Pharisees challenged Jesus and he tried to validate his testimony to them. Another sign of Jesus occurs when Lazarus dies and Jesus brings him back to life. Jesus predicts his own death and the Jews continue in their disbelief.

Jesus also predicts Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. Thomas questions to Jesus how they can know the way and Jesus explains that he is the way to the Father. In chapter 17, we read that Jesus prays for himself, his disciples, and all believers. Then Jesus is arrested and taken to Annas. Then just as Jesus predicted, Peter denied him three times. Jesus is taken before Pilate and is sentenced to be crucified. He is crucified, dies, and is then buried. John speaks of the empty tomb. Mary Magdalene is the first to see Jesus and then his disciples. They share a breakfast of fish and bread together. Peter is then instructed to take care of and feed Jesus’ sheep….

Acts

The genre of the book of Acts is narrative. The theme of the book of Acts is to show how the gospel spread rapidly from Jerusalem to the whole Roman Empire and from its Jewish roots to the Gentile world. Acts begins by recounting Jesus’ life right before and after his crucifixion. Mathias was chosen to replace Judas as a disciple. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the apostles. Many people assumed they were drunk. But Peter addresses the crowd and assures them this is not true. The crowd devotes themselves to the teachings of the apostles. Peter heals a crippled beggar. He then speaks to the onlookers regarding the God of Abraham. Peter and John were arrested while speaking for their disturbance and have to go before the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin warned them not to keep teaching and then they were released.

They return to their own people and begin praying and sharing their possessions so that no one is in need. The apostles heal many, but are also persecuted by many. Seven men are chosen by the apostles to mediate among the Jews. Stephen, one of the seven, was seized and taken before the Sanhedrin. The whole time Stephen prayed while he spoke out against the Sanhedrin, which resulted in being stoned to death. The church was then persecuted causing it to scatter. Peter began to teach to the Gentiles after the Jews would not listen to him. Peter was arrested by King Herod, but was able to make an escape. There are many chapters in the book of Acts that talk about the different locations the apostles traveled and preached. Acts concludes with Paul preaching Rome while being held by guards….

Romans

The book of Romans is an epistle genre. The theme of this book is God’s plan of salvation and righteousness for all humankind, including Jew and Gentile. In the introduction, Paul tells the people of Rome that he is not ashamed of the Gospel and wants to visit Rome. Paul speaks of God’s wrath and judgment. He also advises the Romans of God’s righteousness and the righteousness of all who have faith in Jesus Christ. Paul explains that because of Abraham’s faith in God, Abraham was blessed.

In the letter, Paul states that death came because of Adam, but eternal life comes through Jesus Christ. Then Paul confidently assures that he is speaking “the truth in Christ.” (9:1). It is explained that righteousness does not come by works, but by faith. Paul also writes about being released from the law and bound to Christ, and living according the Spirit. The Romans are assured by Paul that through Jesus Christ, they are given endurance and encouragement. The Gentiles are ministered to by Paul. The letter is ended with personal greetings to many….

Ephesians

The book of Ephesians is an epistle. Ephesians summarizes God’s eternal purpose and grace through faith alone. It also describes the nature and role of the church in God’s eternal plan. This eternal plan is that all things in the universe would be brought together under Christ. (1:10). Paul begins the letter with blessings from Christ and lets the Ephesians know he has kept them in his prayers. He reminds the Ephesians they were dead in their sin and transgressions, but were made alive through Jesus. Paul states that not by works, but through grace and faith you have been saved. A reminder is also given that the Jews and Gentiles are members of God’s household.

Paul preaches to the Gentiles and advises the Ephesians of his prayer for them. He explains to them that through Christ, they are of one body and one spirit. This unity is an indication of the uniting of “all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” (1:10). Instructions for Christian living are given by Paul. These instructions state that through Christ, they are made new in their mind and attitudes. Bitterness, anger, and malice should be resisted. They are advised to live like God with love. Advice is given about different relationships including husband and wife, children and parents, and slaves and masters. Paul tells them to be strong in God and victory over the evil one comes through the power of prayer. Ephesians is ended with Paul’s final greetings….

Revelation

Revelation is an apocalyptic book. Revelation was written to encourage the faithful to stand firm against persecution and compromise. Christ will return to judge the wicked and deliver the righteous. Revelation opens with John introducing himself and explaining his vision. He addresses seven churches. A description of the throne in heaven is given by John, as well as a description of the sealed scroll that only the Lamb could break. In his vision, John watches the Lamb open the seals. After the sixth seal is opened, four angels describe the 144,000 that were sealed as servants of God. The Lamb opens the seventh seal and starts the seven trumpets. John sees the 144,000 sealed with the Father’s name written on their forehead after the seventh trumpet is blown.

Three angels proclaim judgment and then reap the harvest. John sees seven angels that have seven bowls filled with seven plagues. This represents God’s wrath. The city of Babylon is destroyed. Celebration begins in heaven among the multitudes because glory and salvation belong to God. After a thousand years, Satan will try to create war. He will be defeated. There is judgment of the dead. There will be a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem that will exist. Revelation ends with John warning that anyone who takes away from or adds to the prophecy will be dealt with.


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