New Testament Survey - 10: NT Literature

New Testament Survey – 10: NT Literature



hi everyone and welcome back to the 10th video of the New Testament servic ports in the previous sections we gave an organizing framework of the New Testament history and the geography of the New Testament in this section we'll do the same for the literature of the New Testament that is we'll look at the organization of the New Testament books themselves the New Testament is actually a collection of 27 individual writings gathered together into one library in other words the book we call the New Testament is actually 27 smaller books gathered together so the book is a book but all the individual books are also called books hopefully that's not confusing now there's a traditional way that the New Testament books are divided and organized by the genre of the books themselves now genre means that the kind of writing that each book represents in other words you know some books tell history some books give instructions some books are cookbooks other books are murder mysteries now none of the books in the New Testament or cookbooks or murder mystery but these are the the idea of genres different kinds of books and there are four basic types of writings in the New Testament so in this way of looking at it therefore there are four basic divisions first are the Gospels there are four books that narrate the life death and resurrection of Jesus these are four witnesses that tell the same story from different standpoints and with different emphases next is the book of Acts this book narrates the history of the early church after the departure of Jesus and it tells how the church expanded out from Jerusalem to most of the Roman Empire within one generation then the next section is the epistles epistle is basically a fancy name for a letter an epistle is a written components sent to a different place to convey whatever messages the author would have said to the recipients if they had been there in person and the New Testament contains 21 epistles written by a number of different authors for a wide variety of reasons to a wide variety of people and places then finally the book of Revelation is placed in a category all by itself revelation which is also called the apocalypse is a unique book and we'll talk about what kind of a book it is in the later sections on the book of Revelation now like I said these are the traditional divisions which are based on the genre of the book and rightly so each of these is a different type of literature and this is a logical way to categorize the New Testament books the traditional division is good and valid and you should know it but I would like us to categorize the books of the New Testament in a slightly different way feather suede mostly agrees with the categorization by genre and it accurately represents genuine differences in the books of the New Testament so these categories I'm about to show you are equally logical and true but the reason I'm dividing the New Testament this way it is simply that it spreads the books of the New Testament a little bit more evenly across the categories and thereby helps our understanding and memorization and also the organization of this course so the first category is the history books those books that tell the history that happened in the New Testament and there are two subcategories of history books the Gospels and the book of Acts then the next category is called the Pauline epistles as the name suggests these are the epistles written by the Apostle Paul and there are 13 of these in the New Testament these books are named after the place or the people to whom they are sent and the third category is called the general epistles these are basically all the epistles that were not written by Paul and there are eight books in this category these are mostly named after the person who wrote each epistle with one exception and finally all by itself is the book of Revelation because it's still unlike any other book in the New Testament and so it deserves a category by itself so now let's briefly list the books in each of these categories obviously we will look in depth at each book in future sections but for now I will just list them so you can connect each book to its division in the New Testament there are five historical books starting with the four Gospels the Gospel according to Matthew the Gospel according to mark the Gospel according to Luke and the Gospel according to John and these books are often abbreviated to just the name of the author so they're called Matthew Mark Luke and John and then the final historical book is the book of Acts then the Pauline epistles are Romans because it was written to Christians in Rome first Corinthians because it was the first letter we have written to the church in the city of Corinth second Corinthians because it was a later read or a later letter written to the same church these are sometimes called 1 Corinthians or 2 Corinthians all the same next is Galatians written to the churches in the province of Galatia and Ephesians written to the believers in and around the city of Ephesus Philippians written to the church in the city of Philippi and Colossians written to the church in the city of kasi Thessalonians the first letter written to the church in the city of Thessalonica and second Thessalonians second letter to the same place then is first Timothy the first letter written to Paul's younger colleague Timothy and second Timothy the last letter written to Timothy and then Titus written to Paul's helper named Titus and finally Philemon written to a friend of Paul's who is a leader in the church at Colossae then the general epistles are Hebrews now this book has is titled because it was written to Jewish believers and then his James written by James then first Peter which is the first book written by Peter and then second Peter Peters second book first John is the first epistle written by John then second John is the second epistle written by John and then third John and I'm hoping by now you can guess why it has this name and then is Jude written by Jude and then lastly there is the book of Revelation in a category all by itself now I've posted this chart on the course page as a memory aid to help you put these books in these categories and to get it stuck in your brain if you find it helpful great if not feel free to ignore it now let's put the New Testament books in their history this is to give you a general idea of the relationship between the books covered in this section with the history covered in the earlier section in other words this is the chronological organization of the New Testament and the relationship of these books to history first the Gospels cover the time of the life of Christ but mostly his last three years now we're fairly sure of the days within three or four years people still argue we're not absolutely positive on the exact years but the life of Christ covers and therefore the Gospels narrate the history from approximately four BC to around 27 to 38 give or take a few years on either end now the Gospels themselves were written after this period as we'll see in a later section then the book of Acts narrates the history from approximately 27 ad to around 60 80 and it was written right after the last events described in the book and then each of the epistles was written in a different time to address a different situation but all the epistles were written during the period covered by acts or in the decades right after that and then finally the book of Revelation was written around the time of the last epistles which was near the end of the first century that is all the New Testament was written within 60 to 70 years of the time of Christ all the books were written by the first generation of Christians by the first disciples or those who knew them and therefore these books could have been checked and verified by eyewitnesses and those who had learned directly from the first disciple and now let's review the genres that we see in the New Testament our Gospels acts epistles and revelation but the divisions of the New Testament that we're going to use are the history books the Pauline epistles the general epistles and the book of Revelation okay that's the general overview of the collection of writings that we call the New Testament and the books that it contains and this is also the end of the introductory material giving the background of the New Testament in the next section we'll start looking at the New Testament itself starting with a survey of the life of Christ thanks for watching

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