The Old Testament set the stage for the New by revealing God’s holiness and righteousness, and gave the promise of a messiah or redeemer who would come to redeem humanity.
But the establishment of the Jewish nation and their Old Testament history, were only part of God’s preparations for the arrival of the promised redeemer. Other strategic factors included the spread of the Greek language, and the rise of the Roman empire, with its extensive system of roads. But even more importantly, the peaceful period, known as the Pax Romana, which it ushered in. And which created the perfect environment for both the arrival of the promised messiah and the spreading of the Good News about him.
The New Testament reveals that promised redeemer, Christ the Lord.
It focuses on his life and ministry, as well as the continuation of his work through the impact of his disciples and the birth of the early church. It’s central theme is salvation, played out through two main characters: Christ who gave himself for the remission of sins, and the church (his people) who received his salvation.
The New Testament is a collection of 27 books written by 9 different authors. The original texts were written during the 1st century of the New Testament era after the death of Christ. And in the common (Koine) Greek language of that period.
It is divided into 3 main sections: the Gospels and Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation.
The Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John plus the Acts of the Apostles are historical books, recording the life and ministry of Christ, his disciples, and the early church.
The Epistles, which comes from the Greek word meaning messages or letters. They include the apostle Paul’s letters: Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. The books of James and Jude, both written by those two brothers of Christ. 1-2 Peter written by the apostle Peter. And 1-2-3 John written by the apostle John, as was also the book of Revelation.
The book of Revelation prophecies about the events that will occur in the end times. Including the most important event of all, the return of Christ.
The New Testament is the main foundation of the Christian faith. And its teachings are what will keep us on the path of the One who came to show us the way to the Father.
Study of the New Testament is both powerful and life-changing. Through it we learn not only the path of salvation, but also how to walk in newness of life with Christ. And it is in this that we find true meaning and purpose for life. “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man,” (Ecclesiastes 12:13.)
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6).
[Image via The Blue Letter Bible]