The New Testament is an amazing book. In fact, it is actually a collection of 27 books from multiple authors. It is the distinctively Christian section of what we call the Bible and the foundation of our faith and practice. And yet so few Christians really understand it.
There is so much information in these 27 books that you can (and should) spend your whole life studying them. To get you started in your studies Worship Arts Conservatory has a course that covers this material: New Testament Survey. More about the course at the end of the post. First here are a few key facts every Christian should know about the New Testament.
Know the Primary Themes of Each Book
Did you know that there are biographies, letters, history and prophesy included in these books? Most people never even think about the types of books included in the New Testament.
It is true that most Christians are not going to remember the complete outline or even the specific themes addressed in each book. Still you should have at least a general idea of what each book is about. Take our course and you will know the theme of each book.
This is God's Word to you.
It is the most important book you can ever read. You should know what it teaches.
Know the Historical Background of the New Testament
The New Testament was written at a specific time to specific people. Reading the Bible as if it was written to you without any consideration of the historical context can lead to many false conclusion.
Yes, the Bible is God's Word to you and the Holy Spirit is with you to guide you. Yet so often people have misunderstood passages of the Bible simply because they did not take the time to understand the context. Understanding the culture and history leading up to each book will help bring the writings alive and protect from false interpretation.
Know the Difference Between the Four Gospels
The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are very similar and yet not quite identical. The first three even have passages that are exactly the same. John's gospel, though, is unique in its style and composition.
In these books we find first hand accounts of the life of Christ. There is no more important person to understand. Jesus said that when you see Him, you had seen the Father. Do you understand these four books?
Know the History of the Early Church
The book of Acts is the history book of the New Testament. In it you will find the story of how the church came to be. It is here that you first meet Paul who is the author of many of the New Testament letters. Knowing the book of Acts will help you better understand many of the other books that follow.
Know How the New Testament Books Were Chosen
Did you know that there were many other books and letters written and read by the early church? Maybe you have read about the “secret” or “hidden” gospels. The truth is there is nothing secret about them. They simply were intentionally not included in the New Testament.
So how did the New Testament come to be this specific collection of writings? Why doesn't it include the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabus, or the Gospel of Thomas?
The answers to these questions will help strengthen your faith in the New Testament and protect you from deception.
Know How to Apply the New Testament to Your Life
The most important skill is learning to apply what you read to your daily life. All of the knowledge in the world will not help you until you use it. Don't just read the Bible – engage with it and allow it to change your life.
This Winter Term we are offering New Testament Survey to help you learn these foundational concepts of the New Testament. Because the course is online, you can take this course anywhere and anytime. And best of all it is only $150.00 for 15 weeks of college-level training in the New Testament study.
Don't miss this chance to gain foundational knowledge in the New Testament. Click below to get started.