The New Testament

Name Meaning Subdivisions Contents Comments
Gospels "Good News" A. Synoptic Gospels": Life of Jesus, emphasizing his last days. "Synoptic problem"--Relationship between sources: Mark and "Q" (common source used by Luke and Matthew).
a) Mark: Probably the earliest. Simple telling of story.
b) Luke: Written for Roman or non-Jewish audience, emphasis on universalism
c) Matthew: Cites Old Testament to prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
B. John: Theological tract built on biographical foundation.
Acts of the Apostles "Apostles" = Messengers Originally part of Gospel of Luke History of Church after Jesus; mission of Paul
Epistles Letters Usually identified by names of recipients Letters of Paul and early Church leaders on matters of belief and communal guidance
El Greco: Paul
El Greco: Paul
Paul's letters contain earliest references to Jesus (c. 60 C.E.)
Revelation Originally: "Apocalypse" (=hidden mystery, teaching) of John Catastrophic judgment in store for wicked, etc. Reflects background of persecution

Diagram of the "Synoptic Problem"

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