BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 1

New Testament Overview - BibleProject

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the New Testament, including its literary design, the purpose of each book, and the themes and messages they convey. You will learn about the four Gospels and their unique perspectives on the life and teachings of Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles and its historical account of the early church, the epistles of Paul and their theological teachings, and the general epistles and their practical advice for living a Christian life. Additionally, you will explore the book of Revelation and its apocalyptic genre and themes of hope and perseverance.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 1
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New Testament Overview - BibleProject

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of the Video

B. Literary Design of the New Testament

II. The Gospels

A. Matthew

B. Mark

C. Luke

D. John

III. Acts of the Apostles

A. Authorship and Purpose

B. Structure and Outline

IV. Epistles of Paul

A. Background and Context

B. Style and Language

C. Structure and Outline

D. Themes and Message

V. General Epistles

A. James

B. Peter

C. John

D. Jude

VI. Book of Revelation

A. Genre and Literary Style

B. Structure and Outline

C. Themes and Message

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-01 - New Testament Overview

The New Testament. If you open up a Bible to its table of contents, you will see it is made up of two large collections: the Old and New Testaments. The word "testament" refers to a covenant partnership, which is what both of these collections are all about. They tell one epic and complicated story of God's covenant partnership with Israel and all humanity. The Old Testament is called "TaNaK" in Jewish tradition. It is a unified scroll collection of 39 Israelite texts that were over a thousand years in the making. In contrast, the 27 books of the New Testament all came into existence within 30 to 40 years of each other. They were all written by first-generation followers of Jesus. From an early period Christian communities began collecting these texts and reading them alongside the Old Testament as one unified story that leads to Jesus. The New Testament begins with four narrative books that together are called "the Gospel". They tell the story of Jesus of Nazareth's life, death and resurrection as an announcement of good news. They are followed by a fifth narrative work called "Acts of the Apostles". Here, the risen Jesus commissions the apostles, a word that means "the sent ones". They are appointed as Jesus' representatives to spread the good news about him throughout the ancient world. After Acts comes a collection of letters from the apostles. These were written to provide teaching and guidance for local communities of Jesus' followers called "churches". There are 13 letters connected to the Apostle Paul. They are not arranged in the order of when they were written. But, rather, from the longest to the shortest. Then there is a letter to the Hebrews written by a close but unnamed associate of the apostles. After this are the letters of James, Jude, Peter and John. Two were brothers of Jesus and two were among his first followers. The last New Testament book is the Revelation, a letter to seven churches that reveals a prophetic word of challenging comfort to all of Jesus' followers. So those are the books of the New Testament, but what are they about? And, how do they connect with the Old Testament to make up one unified story? Think of it this way: The Bible is one long epic narrative with multiple movements or acts. The Old Testament recounts the first series of acts that give you everything you need to make sense of the story to follow. The core themes and the plot conflict are arranged in design patterns. Then, in the New Testament, these are all picked up and carried forward to the story's culmination in Jesus. Let me show you what I mean. The first act is about God and all of humanity. God provides a sweet garden temple for humans who are made to be God's partners in ruling the world. But the humans are foolish. They give in to a dark temptation and rebel against God's wisdom. So they are exiled into a wilderness where they start killing each other. They build cities that spread their selfishness and oppression, leading up to the big, bad city of Babylon. But, God loves the world and its foolish humans. So, he sets in motion a rescue plan by promising the arrival of a new human who will destroy the evil that has lured us into self-destruction. The next act of the biblical story is about God and Israel. It develops the themes and patterns of the first act. God calls a new humanity out of Babylon into a sweet garden land: Abraham, Sarah and his descendants, the Israelites. God promises that through them divine blessing will be restored to all of the nations. Surely, these are the new humans that we are waiting for. But the Israelites repeat humanity's rebellion against God, building their own violent cities that lead to self-destruction and another exile in Babylon. But God sustains his promise that the new human will come from Abraham's lineage. It will be a priest king who will now have to rescue both Israel and humanity from Babylon to restore God's blessing to the world. Now, notice how these two acts are designed according to the same pattern. The second act is a longer and more violent version of the first. Together, they explore the tragic human condition. But they also highlight God's promise which is developed more in the next act: the Old Testament prophets and poets. The prophets accused Israel and all nations of their evil. They announce that one day God himself would arrive to bring the day of the Lord and deliver his world from Babylon. He would do it through a promised royal priest who is going to suffer like a slave and die for the sins of Israel and all humanity. But, then he will be exalted as king over the nations. He will call others to leave Babylon and join the new covenant people who will partner with God to rule over a New Jerusalem. That is, over a new creation. So, the Old Testament concludes by anticipating a new act in the story. When you turn to the New Testament, it is the same story now being carried forward in Jesus. Let's see how. The four Gospel accounts introduce Jesus of Nazareth both as the promised son of Abraham who will restore God's blessing to the nations and also as that new human who will defeat evil and restore humanity to partnership with God. So, Jesus is portrayed as a human, and more! He went about announcing the arrival of God's promised kingdom. He spoke and acted as if he was Israel's divine king. But instead of calling himself "King", Jesus referred to himself as the "Son of Man". That is, the human one who would act like a servant. The Gospels are making the claim that in Jesus, Israel's God has become the faithful Israelite and the true human that we are all made to be, but have failed to be. Jesus' mission was to confront that dark evil that lurks underneath humanity's evil, luring us into selfishness, violence and death. But, how do you defeat that kind of evil? The surprising answer in the Gospels is that Jesus overcame our evil by allowing it to kill him, on his paradoxical throne, the cross, where Jesus died for humanity's evil and sin. And, it is where he lived out what he taught: that non-violence, forgiveness and self-giving love are the most powerful things in the universe. Because God's love for his world is stronger than evil or death, Jesus was raised to new life as the prototype of a new humanity. This brings us to the story of Acts Through the Spirit, God empowers Jesus' followers to spread the life and love of Jesus out into the world as they invite people to leave their old humanity and join Jesus' multi-ethnic family: the new humanity. This is where the letters from the apostles fit into the story. Here, the apostles address early Christian communities. They show how the good news about the risen King Jesus change history and should reshape every part of our lives. They also explained the good news by constantly appealing to stories from the Old Testament and the stories of Jesus, showing us how to see our own life stories as part of the epic biblical story. So all humanity is trapped in a Babylonian exile, but Jesus came to create a new home. We are all living in different kinds of Egyptian slavery to selfishness and sin. But Jesus died as the Passover lamb to liberate us into the promised land. Our old humanity is bound for the dust of death, but Jesus' resurrection opened up a new future for a new humanity. We live here in the current evil age but through Jesus and the Spirit a new creation has burst open here and now. This leads us to the book of Revelation where the whole biblical story comes together in powerful symbolism and imagery. Jesus is portrayed as a slaughtered bloody lamb who is exalted as the divine king of the world. He is leading his people out of slavery and exile in Babylon. As they resist Babylon's influence, they may have to suffer alongside their slain leader. But when you follow the Risen King, not even death can prevent the dawn of the New Creation which is here depicted as a New Jerusalem garden temple, the true home of humanity after its long exile. So, on the Bible's last page, heaven and earth are reunited. The new humans take up their appointed tasks from the Bible's first page: to rule the world together in the love and power of God. The New Testament is a remarkable collection of documents. They represent the testimony of the apostles that points us to the Risen Jesus himself. Through God's Spirit, these human words have been speaking a divine word of hope from the first century to the 21st. Each book shows how God, through Jesus and the Spirit, is leading our world to its ultimate goal in a renewed creation So, the story's end is really the beginning of a new story that is yet to be told. That is what the New Testament is all about.