New Testament Handbook (Section 1)

Matthew

Title: The Gospel of Matthew

Author: Both church tradition and internal evidence support Matthew as the author of this Gospel. Matthew, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14), had the surname of Levi (Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27) and was a tax collector (Matthew 10:13) for the Roman government. Jesus chose Matthew as one of his twelve disciples (Matthew 9:9). He is last referred to in Acts 1:13.

Date: Most scholars believe Matthew wrote his Gospel prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. His references “unto this day” (Matthew 27:8) and “until this day” (Matthew 28:15) would indicate that the Gospel was written several years after Jesus’ ascension. A consensus estimate would be that Matthew wrote between A.D. 50 and 68.

Provenance: The location of writing is unknown, but Palestine or Antioch of Syria are the two most likely locations.

Audience: Church fathers Irenaeus and Origen said the Gospel of Matthew was addressed to early Jewish converts.[1] Robert Utley suggests that “the Church at Antioch of Syria of the first century fits this profile best.” [2]

Occasion/Purpose: While a specific purpose statement is not mentioned, it is clear that Matthew was seeking to present Jesus to the Jews as their King and Messiah, whom they had rejected and crucified. Using many references from the Old Testament, Matthew seeks to instruct and inform the Jews about the life and message of Jesus Christ. And while God’s judgment would fall on the Jews for their rejection of Jesus, Matthew’s second message to them was that God was not through with them as His people. Furthermore, as followers of Jesus Christ, they were commanded to go and make disciples of all nations.

Canonicity: The early church accepted Matthew’s Gospel as the first Gospel written. Consequently, it was “the most copied, most quoted, most used gospel in catechism and in the early liturgy by the church for the first two centuries.”[3]

Genre: Gospel

Outline of Matthew

I. Jesus’ birth and preparation (1:1–4:11)

A. Jesus’ birth and childhood (1:1–2:23)

B. Jesus’ preparation (3:1–4:11)

II. The declaration of Jesus’ principles (4:12–7:29)

A. The beginning of Jesus’ ministry (4:12–25)

B. Jesus’ principles: the Sermon on the Mount (5:1–7:29)

1. The setting (5:1, 2)

2. The subjects of the kingdom of heaven (5:3–16)

3. The explanation of genuine righteousness (5:17–7:12)

4. Jesus’ warnings (7:13–27)

5. The people’s response (7:28, 29)

III. The manifestation of Jesus: His miracles and commissioning (8:1–11:1)

A. Demonstration of Jesus’ power: a collection of miracles (8:1–9:34)

B. Declaration of Jesus’ presence: the commissioning of the disciples (9:35–11:1)

IV. Opposition to Jesus (11:2–13:53)

A. Evidence of the rejection of Jesus (11:2–30)

B. Illustrations of opposition to Jesus (12:1–50)

C. Jesus’ adaptation to His opposition: parables of the kingdom (13:1–53)

V. Jesus’ reaction to opposition (13:54–19:2)

A. Jesus’ withdrawal (13:54–16:12)

B. Jesus’ instruction to His disciples (16:13–19:2)

VI. Formal presentation and rejection of the King (19:3–25:46)

A. Continued instruction of the disciples (19:3–20:34)

B. Formal presentation of the King: the Triumphal Entry (21:1–7)

C. The nation’s rejection of the King (21:18–22:46)

D. The King’s rejection of the nation (23:1–39)

E. Predictions of the rejected King: the Olivet Discourse (24:1–25:46)

VII. Crucifixion and resurrection (26:1–28:20)[4]


Summary: Matthew provides the essential bridge between the Old and New Testaments. Through a carefully selected series of Old Testament quotations, Matthew documents Jesus Christ’s claim to be Messiah. Jesus possesses the credentials of Messiah, ministers in the predicted pattern of Messiah, preaches messages only Messiah could preach, and finally dies the death only Messiah could die.[5]

Mark

Title: The Gospel of Mark

Author: John Mark

Date: A.D. 55-65

Provenance: Traditionally believed to be written from Rome.

Audience: Mark’s Gospel was written for Gentile Roman Christians. According to the editors of the New King James Study Bible, “This conclusion is based on several facts: (1) Mark assumes some prior knowledge of the Christian faith on the part of his readers. John (the Baptist), baptism, and the Holy Spirit (1:4, 5, 8) are all mentioned without comment. (2) He does not assume a familiarity with Jewish Scripture. He directly quotes only one Old Testament passage (1:2, 3). (3) Furthermore, he regularly explains Jewish customs and geography (7:2–4; 13:3; 14:12). (4) Finally, Mark purposely omits Jesus’ prohibition of preaching to the Samaritans and Gentiles (6:7–11; compare Matt. 10:5, 6).[6]

Occasion/Purpose: Mark shows Jesus as a servant who came to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Written during Nero’s persecution of the Christians, Mark wrote to encourage the Gentile Christians and to demonstrate to them that Jesus suffered, too, yet achieved ultimate victory. The Gospel of Mark also has a strong evangelistic appeal.

Canonicity: While not as widely copied as Matthew’s Gospel, which the early church believed to be the first Gospel written, there appears to be little debate regarding the authenticity of Mark’s Gospel among the early church fathers. They simply viewed it as an abbreviated Gospel.

Genre: Gospel

Outline of Mark

I. Prologue: Identity of the Servant Son of God (1:1–13)

II. The Servant Son’s initial message and ministry (1:14–8:30)

A. Fame and popularity (1:14–45)

1. Preaching and discipling (1:14–20)

2. Exercising power and authority (1:21–45)

B. Opposition and conflict (2:1–3:35)

C. Explanation of opposition (4:1–41)

1. Jesus’ parables (4:1–34)

2. Jesus’ power over the elements (4:35–41)

D. Belief and unbelief (5:1–8:30)

1. Triumphs over demons, disease, and death (5:1–43)

2. Unbelief around Nazareth (6:1–6)

3. Greater ministry with the twelve (6:7–56)

4. The Pharisees’ defense of tradition (7:1–23)

5. Jesus’ withdrawal and teaching (7:24–8:26)

6. Peter’s confession (8:27–30)

III. The Servant Son’s approach to the cross (8:31–10:52)

A. Jesus’ announcement of His coming death and resurrection (8:31–10:34)

B. Jesus’ teaching and practice of servanthood (10:35–52)

IV. The Servant Son’s ministry and death in Jerusalem (11:1–15:47)

A. Jesus’ initial ministry in Jerusalem (11:1–33)

B. Rising opposition to Jesus (12:1–44)

C. The Olivet Discourse (13:1–37)

D. Jesus’ preparation for His death (14:1–42)

E. Jesus’ rejection by disciples, people, and His Father (14:43–15:47)

V. Epilogue: The living and victorious Servant Son (16:1–20)[7]

Summary: Mark, the shortest and simplest of the four Gospels, gives a crisp and fast-moving account of the life of Christ. With few comments, Mark lets the narrative speak for itself as if tells the story of the Servant who is constantly on the move preaching, healing, teaching, and finally dying for sinful men.[8]

Luke

Title: The Gospel of Luke

Author: Luke

Date: A.D. 58-63

Provenance: There is no clear evidence. It is speculated that Luke wrote from either Caesarea or Rome.

Audience: Some scholars suggest that the Gospel of Luke (and Acts) may have been written as part of the Apostle Paul’s defense. Both documents are addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). It is uncertain who Theophilus was. In a general sense, the Gospel of Luke is written to a Gentile audience.

Occasion/Purpose: Luke had two purposes in writing this book. One was to confirm the faith of Theophilus, that is, to show that his faith in Christ rested on firm historical fact (1:3-4). His other purpose was to present Jesus as the Son of Man, who had been rejected by Israel. Because of this rejection, Jesus was also preached to Gentiles so that they could know the kingdom program of God and attain salvation.[9]

Canonicity: There is unanimous acceptance among early church writers of Luke’s authenticity.

Genre: Gospel

Outline of Luke

I. Introduction to John the Baptist and Jesus 1:1–2:52

A. Preface 1:1–4

B. Birth and childhood of John the Baptist and Jesus 1:5–2:40

C. Jesus’ childhood wisdom 2:41–52

II. Preparation for the ministry 3:1–4:13

A. John the Baptist, the one who goes before 3:1–20

B. Jesus, the One who comes 3:21–4:13

III. Galilean ministry: the revelation of Jesus 4:14–9:50

A. Overview of Jesus’ ministry 4:14–44

B. The gathering of disciples 5:1–6:16

C. The sermon on the plain 6:17–49

D. First movements to faith and questions about Jesus 7:1–8:3

E. The call to faith 8:4–9:17

F. Peter’s confession and instruction concerning discipleship 9:18–50

IV. The journey to Jerusalem: Jewish rejection and the new Way 9:51–19:44

A. The rejection at Samaria and the mission of the seventy 9:51–10:24

B. Discipleship: concerning one’s neighbors, Jesus, and God 10:25–11:13

C. Controversies with the Pharisees, corrections, and calls to trust 11:14–54

D. Discipleship: trusting God 12:1–48

E. Knowing the time: lessons on repentance and the kingdom 12:49–14:24

F. Discipleship in the face of rejection: commitment 14:25–35

G. God’s pursuit of sinners 15:1–32

H. Generosity with money and possessions 16:1–31

I. Lessons on false teaching, forgiveness, faith, and service 17:1–10

J. Faith in the King and the kingdom’s consummation 17:1–18:8

K. Humility and trusting all to the Father 18:9–30

L. Jesus’ approach to Jerusalem 18:31–19:44

V. Jerusalem: the Innocent slain and raised 19:45–24:53

A. Controversy in Jerusalem 19:45–21:4

B. Jesus’ prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction 21:5–38

C. The Last Supper and the last discourse 22:1–38

D. Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and death 22:39–23:56

E. The Resurrection and the Ascension 24:1–53[10]

Summary: Luke, a gentile physician, builds his gospel narrative around a historical, chronological presentation of Jesus’ life. Luke’s is the longest and most comprehensive of the four Gospels, presenting Jesus Christ as the Perfect Man who came to seek and save sinful men. Growing belief and growing opposition develop side by side. those who believe His claims are challenged to count the; cost of discipleship; those who oppose Him will not be satisfied until the Son of Man hangs lifeless on a cross. But the Resurrection insures that His ministry of seeking and saving the lost will continue in the person of His disciples once they have been equipped with His power.[11]

John

Title: The Gospel of John.

Author: John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee

Date: A.D. 85-95

Provenance: Traditionally thought to be written from Ephesus.

Audience: The churches of Asia Minor.

Occasion/Purpose: John summarizes his purpose in 20:31 when he state that “these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Canonicity: As an Apostle and witness to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, John’s Gospel was accepted by the early church.

Genre: Gospel

Outline of John

I. Prologue 1:1–18

II. Christ’s public ministry 1:19–12:50

A. The beginning of Christ’s ministry 1:19–4:54

1. John the Baptist and the first disciples 1:19–51

2. Jesus’ first miracle and the cleansing of the temple 2:1–22

3. The interview with Nicodemus 2:23–3:21

4. John the Baptist’s testimony 3:22–36

5. The Samaritans 4:1–42

6. The healing of the nobleman’s son 4:43–54

B. The controversy 5:1–12:50

1. The healing of the lame man 5:1–47

2. The feeding of the five thousand 6:1–71

3. Jesus’ teaching during the Feast of Tabernacles 7:1–53

4. The forgiving of the sinful woman 8:1–59

5. The healing of the blind man 9:1–41

6. The shepherd discourse and the Feast of Dedication 10:1–42

7. The raising of Lazarus 11:1–57

8. The climax of unbelief 12:1–50

III. Christ’s private ministry 13:1–17:26

A. The foot washing 13:1–30

B. Jesus’ announced departure and discourse on relationships 13:31–16:33

C. Jesus’ final prayer 17:1–26

IV. Jesus’ death and resurrection 18:1–20:31

A. Jesus’ arrest and trials 18:1–19:15

B. The Crucifixion 19:16–42

C. Jesus’ resurrection and appearances 20:1–31

V. Epilogue 21:1–25[12]

Summary: The Gospel of John is a gospel apart. John draws mainly upon events and discourses not found in the other gospels to prove to his readers that Jesus is God in the flesh, the eternal Word come to earth, born to die as God’s sacrifice for human sin. Seven miraculous signs prove that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (20:31).[13]

Acts

Title: Acts of the Apostles

Author: Luke

Date: A.D. 60-63

Provenance: Caesarea or Rome

Audience: Specifically, to Theophilus (Acts 1:1); in a general sense, to Christians (Jewish and Gentile) and potential Christians.

Occasion/Purpose: Luke potentially had several purposes: 1) to demonstrate the sovereign plan of God to spread the church from Jerusalem to Rome through the work of the Holy Spirit; 2) to serve as a historical record of the birth of the church; 3) to defend Christianity before its critics (both Roman officials and Jewish leaders.

Canonicity: The early church developed and circulated two collections of New Testament writings: 1) the Gospels and 2) the Apostle (i.e. Paul’s letters). By the second century, the value of the book of Acts became obvious. Acts reveals the content and purpose of Apostolic preaching and the amazing results of the gospel.[14]

Genre: Historical narrative

Outline of Acts

I. The apostles’ witness in Jerusalem 1:1–6:7

A. The acts of the Holy Spirit 1:1–26

B. The birth of the church 2:1–47

C. The healing of a lame man 3:1–26

D. Salvation in no one else 4:1–37

E. The arrest of Peter and John 5:1–42

F. Leadership for the infant church 6:1–7

II. The early church’s witness to all Judea and Samaria 6:8–9:31

A. Stephen’s defense and martyrdom 6:8–7:60

B. The church scattered 8:1–40

1. Philip’s ministry in Samaria 8:1–24

2. Philip’s meeting with the Ethiopian 8:25–40

C. Saul’s conversion 9:1–31

1. The visit from heaven 9:1–19

2. Saul’s obedience to Jesus 9:20–31

III. The witness to the end of the earth 9:32–28:31

A. Extension of truth to Gentiles 9:32–11:30

1. Peter’s vision 9:32–10:22

2. The inclusion of Gentiles 10:23–48

3. Peter’s explanation to the believers in Jerusalem 11:1–18

4. A church in Antioch 11:19–30

B. Peter’s miraculous escape from prison 12:1–25

C. Paul’s first missionary trip 13:1–14:28

D. The Jerusalem conference concerning Gentiles in the church 15:1–35

E. Paul’s second missionary trip 15:36–18:22

F. Paul’s third missionary trip 18:23–21:26

G. Paul’s trip to Rome 21:27–28:31

1. Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem 21:27–40

2. Paul’s defense before the Jews 22:1–29

3. Paul’s defense before the Sanhedrin 22:30–23:10

4. God’s sovereign protection of Paul 23:11–35

5. Paul’s defense before Felix 24:1–27

6. Paul’s defense before Festus 25:1–27

7. Paul’s defense before Agrippa 26:1–32

8. Paul’s voyage to Rome 27:1–44

9. Paul’s survival on Malta 28:1–16

10. Paul’s arrival in Rome 28:17–31[15]

Summary: Luke begins the Book of Acts where he left off in his gospel. Acts records the initial fulfillment of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19–20 as it traces the beginning and growth of the New Testament church. Christ’s last words before His ascension were so perfectly realized in the Book of Acts that they effectively and concisely outline its contents: “ ‘You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem [chs. 1–7], and in all Judea and Samaria [chs. 8–12], and to the end of the earth [chs. 13–28]’ ” (1:8). Thus, Acts traces the rapid expansion of the gospel, beginning in Jerusalem and spreading throughout the Roman Empire.[16]

Romans

Title: The Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 57-58

Provenance: Corinth (16:1).

Audience: To the Christians in Rome (Romans 1:7)

Occasion/Purpose: From a logistical point of view, Paul was writing to the Christians in Rome to inform them of his plans to visit Rome on his way to Spain (Romans 15:24, 28-29). More importantly, however, Paul put into writing a detailed account of the gospel message he preached. “Romans…is a very full and logical presentation of the Triune Godhead’s plan of salvation for human beings, from its beginning in man’s condemnation in sin to its consummation in their sharing eternity in God’s presence, conformed to the image of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”[17]

Canonicity: Romans is universally accepted as the work of the Apostle Paul, and as such, was readily accepted by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Romans

I. Salutation 1:1–7

II. Thanksgiving and prayer 1:8–17

III. Righteousness needed 1:18—3:20

A. All people condemned 1:18–32

B. The Jews condemned 2:1—3:8

C. Conclusion: all people condemned 3:9–20

IV. Righteousness imputed 3:21—5:21

A. Justification by faith explained 3:21–31

B. Justification by faith illustrated 4:1–25

C. Justification by faith enjoyed 5:1–11

D. Conclusion: all can be declared and made righteous 5:12–21

V. Righteousness accomplished 6:1—8:39

A. First question: Will we sin so grace can be displayed? 6:1–14

B. Second question: Will we sin because we are under the law? 6:15—7:6

C. Third question: Is the law sin? 7:7–25

D. The way of sanctification 8:1–39

VI. Righteousness vindicated 9:1—11:36

A. Israel’s past: election 9:1–29

B. Israel’s present: rejection 9:30—10:21

C. Israel’s future: salvation 11:1–36

VII. Righteousness practiced 12:1—15:13

A. In the church 12:1–8

B. In society 12:9–21

C. Toward government 13:1–14

D. Toward other believers 14:1—15:13

VIII. Paul’s plans 15:14–33

IX. Personal greetings, admonition, and benediction 16:1–27 [18]

Summary: Romans, Paul’s magnum opus, is placed first among his thirteen epistles in the New Testament. While the four Gospels present the words and works of Jesus Christ, Romans explores the significance of His sacrificial death. Using a question-and-answer format, Paul records the most systematic presentation of doctrine in the Bible. But Romans is more than a book of theology; it is also a book of practical exhortations. The good news of Jesus Christ is more than facts to be believed; it is also a life to be lived—a life of righteousness befitting the person “justified freely by His [God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24).[19]

1 Corinthians

Title: The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 56

Provenance: Ephesus

Audience: The young church of Corinth made up mostly of Gentiles.

Occasion/Purpose: Paul was writing to settle quarrels among the members of the Corinthian Church (1:11). He addresses two issues: immorality and disunity.

Canonicity: First Corinthians was being cited by the church as early as A.D. 95.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 1 Corinthians

I. Introduction 1:1–9

II. Paul’s response to the report from Chloe 1:10—6:20

A. Divisions in the church 1:10—4:21

1. Report of divisions 1:10–17

2. Causes of divisions 1:18—4:21

B. Incest in the church 5:1–13

C. Lawsuits between church members 6:1–11

D. Sexual immorality in the church 6:12–20

III. Paul’s responses to the Corinthians’ questions 7:1—14:40

A. Marriage obligations 7:1–40

B. Christian liberties 8:1—11:1

1. Meat sacrificed to idols 8:1–13

2. Apostolic liberty 9:1–27

3. Pagan sacrifices 10:1–22

4. Limitation to liberty 10:23—11:1

C. Proper worship 11:2–34

1. The veiling of women 11:2–16

2. The Lord’s Supper 11:17–34

D. Spiritual gifts 12:1—14:40

1. The Source of spiritual gifts 12:1–11

2. Unity and diversity in gifts 12:12–31

3. Love and gifts 13:1–13

4. Guidelines for gifts 14:1–25

5. Orderly use of gifts 14:26–40

IV. The resurrection of Christ and Christians 15:1–58

A. The resurrection of Christ 15:1–11

B. The necessity of the Resurrection 15:12–34

C. The resurrection of Christians 15:35–58

V. Conclusion 16:1–24

A. The collection for the saints 16:1–4

B. Personal requests 16:5–18

C. Closing greetings 16:19–24[20]

Summary: First-century Corinth was the leading commercial center of southern Greece. The city was infamous for its immorality and paganism. But in spite of great obstacles, Paul was able to plant a Christian church there on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1–17). Though gifted and growing, the church was plagued with problems: moral and ethical, doctrinal and practical, corporate and private. Paul writes the letter of First Corinthians to deal with some of these disorders, and to answer questions which the Christians in Corinth had raised on crucial issues.[21]

2 Corinthians

Title: The Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 56

Provenance: Philippi, Macedonia

Audience: The Church at Corinth

Occasion/Purpose: Many look at 2 Corinthians as the most autobiographical of all of Paul’s writings. The target of much criticism, Paul sought to defend both his apostleship and message in this epistle. This is not so much a defense of himself, however, as it was an authentication for the Corinthian church (7:12).

Canonicity: The Apostles’ authorship was unchallenged in the early church and this letter was accepted by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 2 Corinthians

I. Salutation and thanksgiving 1:1–11

II. Consolation: comfort in ministry 1:12—7:16

A. The conduct of Paul 1:12—2:11

1. Paul’s explanation for not returning 1:12—2:5

2. Paul’s instruction concerning the disciplined person 2:6–11

B. The character of Paul’s ministry of the gospel 2:12—6:10

1. Triumph in ministry 2:12–17

2. Credentials for ministry 3:1–3

3. Privilege of the ministry 3:4–18

4. Honesty in the ministry 4:1–6

5. Pressures in the ministry 4:7–15

6. Discouragement in the ministry 4:16—5:10

7. Motivations for ministry 5:11–21

8. Conduct in ministry 6:1–10

C. The appeal to the Corinthians 6:11—7:4

1. The appeal for sympathy 6:11–13

2. The appeal to be separated to the Lord 6:14—7:1

3. The second appeal for sympathy 7:2–4

D. The comfort in the ministry 7:5–16

1. The obedience of the believers 7:5–12

2. The love of the believers 7:13–16

III. The collection: the ministry of giving 8:1—9:15

A. Arrangements for the collection 8:1–24

B. Arguments for the collection 9:1–15

IV. Correction: vindication of Paul’s ministry 10:1—13:10

A. Paul’s position 10:1—12:18

1. Paul’s authority 10:1–18

2. Paul’s boast about support 11:1–15

3. Paul’s boast about service 11:16–33

4. Paul’s boast about weakness 12:1–10

B. Paul’s purpose 12:11—13:10

1. Paul’s ambition: his service 12:11–18

2. Paul’s aim: the Corinthians’ edification 12:19—13:10

V. Personal greetings, admonition, and benediction 13:11–14[22]

Summary: Since Paul’s first letter, the Corinthian church had been swayed by false teachers who stirred the people against Paul. They claimed he was fickle, proud, unimpressive in appearance and speech, dishonest, and unqualified as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul sent Titus to Corinth to deal with these difficulties, and upon his return, rejoiced to hear of the Corinthians’ change of heart. Paul wrote this letter to express his thanksgiving for the repentant majority, and to appeal to the rebellious minority to accept his authority. Throughout the book he defends his conduct, character, and calling as an apostle of Jesus Christ.[23]

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Galatians

Title: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 48-49

Provenance: Syrian Antioch

Audience: The churches of Galatia (Perga, Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe).

Occasion/Purpose: Throughout his ministry, the Apostle Paul was hounded by Judaizers who attempted to pervert the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith and advocate instead salvation by works (keeping the law). The Epistle to the Galatians was Paul’s clear attempt to counter this message and reassert his authority as apostle.

Canonicity: Written by an apostle; accepted virtually without question by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Galatians

I. Introduction 1:1–9

A. Salutation and preview of the letter’s themes 1:1–5

B. Occasion of the letter: condemnation of error 1:6–9

II. Defense of the apostolic authority of the gospel message 1:10—2:21

A. Apostolic call: the divine source of Paul’s gospel 1:10–16

B. Apostolic confirmation: human agreement with Paul’s gospel 1:17—2:21

III. Scriptural basis of the gospel message 3:1—4:31

A. Identifying the Old Testament roots of the gospel 3:1–25

B. Clarifying the meaning of the gospel: sonship versus slavery 3:26—4:31

IV. Implications of the gospel message for Christian living 5:1—6:10

A. Avoiding the extremes of legalism and license 5:1–15

B. Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit 5:16–26

C. Serving one another according to the law of Christ 6:1–10

V. Conclusion 6:11–18

A. Personal signature 6:11

B. Summary of the church’s problem: external legalism 6:12, 13

C. Summary of the gospel solution: the Cross and the new creation 6:14, 15

D. Benediction, request, and salutation 6:16–18[24]

Summary: The Epistle to the Galatians has been called “the charter of Christian liberty.” It is Paul’s manifesto of justification by faith and the liberty it produces. Paul directs this great charter of Christian freedom to a people who are willing to give up the priceless liberty they possess in Christ. Certain Jewish legalists are influencing the believers in Galatia to trade their freedom in Christ for bondage to the Law. Paul writes to refute their false gospel of works, and to demonstrate the superiority of justification by faith.[25]

Ephesians

Title: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians

Author: The Apostle Paul (1:1, 3:1).

Date: A.D. 60-62

Provenance: Most likely Rome, but some scholars suggest Caesarea.

Audience: The Church in Ephesus, primarily consisting of Gentiles.

Occasion/Purpose: The Epistle to the Ephesians is one of Paul’s four prison epistles, most likely written while he was a prisoner in Rome.

Canonicity: Ephesians was extensively and undisputably accepted in the early church as Paul’s letter.

Genre: Please identify the genre or literary form of the book (epistle, gospel, etc.).

Outline of Ephesians

I. Doctrines for members of Christ’s body 1:1—3:21

A. Paul’s greeting of grace 1:1, 2

B. God’s election 1:3–12

C. The Spirit’s sealing 1:13–23

D. Salvation by grace through faith 2:1–10

E. The unity of Christ’s body 2:11–22

F. The mystery of Christ’s body 3:1–21

II. Duties of the members of Christ’s body 4:1—6:24

A. To walk worthy 4:1–6

B. To build up the body through one’s gift 4:7–16

C. To put on the new person 4:17–32

D. To be imitators of God 5:1–21

1. By walking in love 5:1–7

2. By walking in light 5:8–14

3. By walking in wisdom 5:15–17

4. By walking in the Spirit 5:18–21

E. To promote domestic harmony 5:22—6:9

1. Between wives and husbands 5:22–33

2. Between children and parents 6:1–4

3. Between slaves and masters 6:5–9

F. To put on God’s full armor 6:10–20

G. Paul’s salutation of grace 6:21–24[26]

Summary: Ephesians is addressed to a group of believers who are indescribably rich in Jesus Christ, but living a beggarly existence because they are ignorant of their wealth. And because that have not appropriated their wealth, they are walking like are spiritual paupers! Paul begins by describing in chapter 1–3 the contents of the Christian’s heavenly “bank account”: adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, citizenship—in short, every spiritual blessing! Drawing upon that huge spiritual endowment, the Christian has all the resources he needs to live a life “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (1:6). Chapters 4–6 resemble an orthopedic clinic, where the Christian learns a spiritual walk rooted in his spiritual wealth.[27]

Philippians

Title: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians

Author: The Apostle Paul (1:1)

Date: A.D. 60-62

Provenance: Rome

Audience: The church at Philippi made up of predominantly Gentiles.

Occasion/Purpose: The Philippians had sent a gift to Paul in prison with a man named Epaphroditus. Paul wrote this letter to thank the Philippians for the gift (4:10-14) and to reassure them of his well being. He also informed them of his intent to send Timothy to them for a visit (2:19) and to encourage the church to “live in harmony” (4:2).

Canonicity: Written by the Apostle Paul, Philippians was accepted by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Philippians

I. Salutation 1:1, 2

II. Paul’s prayers for the Philippians 1:3–11

A. Praise for the Philippians 1:3–5

B. Promise: Paul’s confidence in Christ and His work 1:6, 7

C. Prayer for the Philippians 1:8–11

III. The biography of Paul 1:12–26

A. Success in jail: the gospel proclaimed by Paul and others 1:12–18

B. Success in Jesus: Paul’s desire and determination to glorify Christ 1:19–26

IV. The body of the letter 1:27—4:9

A. Excellence in conduct 1:27—2:18

1. The privilege of suffering for Christ 1:27–30

2. The priority of submitting to others 2:1–4

3. The picture of Christ’s humble suffering 2:5–11

4. The priority of sanctifying oneself 2:12–18

B. Examples of good conduct: Timothy and Epaphroditus 2:19–30

C. Example of commitment: Paul’s rejection of the world for Christ 3:1–21

D. Excellence in commitment: dedication to Christ 4:1–9

V. Blessings 4:10–20

A. For Paul 4:10–18

B. For the Philippians 4:19, 20

VI. Benediction and greetings 4:21–23[28]

Summary: Philippians is the epistle of joy and encouragement in the midst of adverse circumstances. In it, Paul freely expresses his fond affection for the Philippians in view of their consistent testimony and support, and lovingly urges them to center their actions and thoughts on the person, pursuit, and power of Jesus Christ. Paul also seeks to correct a problem with disunity and rivalry, urging his readers to imitate Christ in His humility and servanthood. In this way the work of the gospel will go forward as believers seek to stand fast, be of the same mind, rejoice always, and pray about everything.[29]

Colossians

Title: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians

Author: The Apostle Paul (1:1)

Date: A.D. 60-62

Provenance: Rome

Audience: The Church at Colosse, predominately Gentile with a few Jews.

Occasion/Purpose: Paul had never visited Colosse when he wrote this epistle (1:4, 2:1), but he had heard of the church from Epaphras (1:8) and wanted to encourage them, but also warn them of some false teachings. Utley states the purpose well: “Paul’s purpose was to refute the Colossian heresy. To accomplish this goal, he exalted Christ as the very image of God (1:15), the Creator (1:16), the preexistent sustainer of all things (1:17), the head of the church (1:18), the first to be resurrected (1:18), the fullness of deity in bodily form (1:19, 2:9) and the reconciler (1:20–22). Thus, Christ was completely adequate. Believers “have been given fullness in Christ” (2:10). The Colossian heresy was completely theologically inadequate to provide spiritual salvation. It was a hollow and deceptive philosophy (2:8), lacking any ability to restrain the old sinful nature (2:23).”[30]

Canonicity: Written by an apostle; accepted virtually without question by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Colossians

I. Introduction 1:1, 2

II. The preeminence of Christ in the life of the Colossians 1:3–14

A. Paul’s thanks for the Colossians’ faith in Christ 1:3–8

B. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians’ understanding and fruitfulness 1:9–14

III. The preeminence of Christ in His nature and work 1:15–29

A. The divine nature of Christ 1:15–20

B. The glorious work of Christ 1:21–23

IV. Paul’s ministry in general and for the Colossians 1:24—2:7

V. The preeminence of Christ over false religion 2:8–23

A. The superiority of Christ over false philosophy 2:8–15

B. The reality of Christ instead of false worship 2:16–19

C. The power of Christ versus false asceticism 2:20–23

VI. The preeminence of Christ in Christian living 3:1—4:6

A. Christ, the foundation of the believer’s life 3:1–4

B. The virtues of the believer’s life in Christ 3:5–17

C. Christ in relationships 3:18—4:6

1. Family relationships 3:18–21

2. Business relationships 3:22—4:1

3. Personal relationships 4:2–6

VII. Conclusion 4:7–18[31]

Summary: Colossians is one of the most Christ-centered books of the Bible. In it, Paul stresses the supremacy of the person of Christ and the completeness of the salvation He provides in order to combat a growing heresy in the church at Colossae. Christ, the Lord of creation and Head of the body which is His church, is completely sufficient for every spiritual and practical need of the believer. The believer’s union with Christ in His death, resurrection, and exaltation is the foundation upon which his earthly life must be built. Relationship inside and outside the home can demonstrate daily the transformation that faith in Jesus Christ in the walk of the believer.[32]

1 Thessalonians

Title: The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians

Author: The Apostle Paul (1:7-9; 2:17; 3:1, 6)

Date: A.D. 51

Provenance: Corinth

Audience: The Church at Thessalonica made up of Jews and God-fearing converts to Judaism. The church also had some prominent women (Acts 17:1-5)

Occasion/Purpose: Paul only spent a short time in Thessalonica before he was forced to leave for Berea by hostile Jews. Word had reached Paul that in spite of persecution, the Thessalonians were standing firm in their faith. As a result, Paul wrote this epistle 1) to encourage the Thessalonians; 2) to refute charges against him personally; 3) to correct some errors relating to the Lord’s return and, specifically, to believers who had died.

Canonicity: As one of the earliest of Paul’s writings (some scholars believe 1 Thessalonians was his first inspired writing), this epistle is accepted by early church fathers and quoted in many canonical works.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 1 Thessalonians

I. Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ salvation 1:1–10

II. Paul’s defense of his ministry in Thessalonica 2:1–12

A. His integrity in his ministry 2:1–4

B. His selfless and loving ministry 2:5–9

C. His blameless behavior 2:10–12

III. Paul’s prayer for their spiritual growth 2:13—3:13

A. His concern for their suffering 2:13–16

B. His earnest desire to see them 2:17–20

C. His expression of love through Timothy 3:1–8

D. His prayer 3:9–13

IV. Paul’s exhortation for their sanctification 4:1–12

A. His command that they abstain from sexual immorality 4:1–8

B. His exhortation to brotherly love rather than sexual impurity 4:9, 10

C. His exhortation to proper Christian life 4:11, 12

D. The return of Christ 4:13–18

VI. The day of the Lord 5:1–11

VII. Paul’s concluding exhortations 5:12–28[33]

Summary: The church at Thessalonica was in many ways a model church. Paul had many things to commend the believers for: their exemplary faith, diligent service, patient steadfastness, and overflowing joy. But in the midst of his commendation, Paul voices a word of caution. Abounding in the work of the Lord is only one step removed from abandoning the work of the Lord through complacency. Thus, Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to excel in their faith, to increase in their love for one another, and to give thanks always for all things. In short, Paul encourages them to “stay on target” as they labor for the Lord.[34]

2 Thessalonians

Title: The Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 52-53

Provenance: Corinth

Audience: The audience for this epistle would be essentially the same as 1 Thessalonians–the Church at Thessalonica made up primarily of Gentiles and some Jewish Christians.

Occasion/Purpose: Again, as in his first letter, Paul’s purpose in writing this epistle was to both encourage and instruct the Christians at Thessalonica. He encouraged them to remain faithful in the midst of persecution (1:3-10). He also wanted to give them further instruction and clarification regarding the Day of the Lord in order to correct the false teaching (2:1-2). Finally, he instructed them on how to live in light of their calling as Christians and how to deal with lazy Christians in the congregation (3:6-15)

Canonicity: There was broad acceptance of this epistle among the writings of the early church fathers.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 2 Thessalonians

I. Encouragement to faithfulness in spite of persecution 1:1–12

A. Salutation 1:1, 2

B. Thankfulness for their faithfulness 1:3–5

C. Assurance of judgment on their persecutors 1:6–10

D. Prayer for their glorification 1:11, 12

II. Explanations concerning the day of the Lord 2:1–17

A. Correction of the false teaching that the day of the Lord had begun 2:1, 2

B. Evidence that the day of the Lord had not begun 2:3–12

C. God’s work in believers and the believers’ response 2:13–17

III. Exhortation to continued faithfulness to God 3:1–15

A. Desire for prayer and continued service for God 3:1–5

B. Idleness condemned 3:6–15

IV. Benediction of grace and peace 3:16–18[35]

Summary: Since Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, problems had arisen in the church. False teachers had upset the saints by claiming that the “day of Christ” had already occurred. Such news inspired idleness in the church—and prompts Paul to prescribe strong medicine to cure the problem: “of anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (3:10) Paul reminds the Thessalonians of the events which must take place before Christ’s return. Those undergoing persecution can take heart, knowing that God’s righteous judgment will settle all accounts equitably. Paul exhorts his readers to be steadfast and diligent, buying up the opportunities, rather than merely biding their time.[36]

1 Timothy

Title: The First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy

Author: Conservative scholars support and agree that the Apostle Paul wrote the epistle to Timothy. Most liberal scholars, however, assign the authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) to a “pseudo-Paul” writing perhaps two generations after Paul. According to Nelson’s New Testament Survey, however, “the contents of the epistle as well as affirmations by early church fathers give strong evidence for concluding that the apostle Paul was indeed the writer of these three letters.”[37]

Date: A.D. 63-66

Provenance: Please provide the place from which the book was written.

Audience: Paul directed this epistle to his fellow missionary, Timothy, who was leading the Church in Ephesus.

Occasion/Purpose: Paul write this letter to instruct Timothy on his responsibilities as pastor/shepherd of the Ephesians church. The first of three “Pastoral Epistles,” 1 Timothy outlines the pastor’s duties and the necessity of defending sound doctrine and maintaining sound discipline.

Canonicity: In spite of the many challenges to this epistle in the last 100 years from liberal scholars, there is strong evidence supporting the canonicity of 1 Timothy among the early church fathers.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 1 Timothy

I. Reminders in ministry 1:1–20

A. Warnings concerning false doctrine 1:1–17

B. Warnings concerning good warfare 1:18–20

II. Regulations in ministry 2:1—3:16

A. Women in worship 2:1–15

B. Leadership in the house of God 3:1–16

III. Responsibilities in ministry 4:1—6:21

A. Personal responsibility 4:1–16

B. Responsibilities to various groups in the church 5:1–25

C. Final responsibilities of Timothy 6:1–21[38]

Summary: Paul, the aged and experienced apostle, writes to young pastor Timothy who is facing a heavy burden of responsibility in the church at Ephesus. The task is challenging: false doctrine must be erased, public worship safeguarded, and mature leadership developed. In addition to the conduct of the church, Paul talks pointedly about the conduct of the minister. Timothy must be on his guard lest his youthfulness become a liability, rather than an asset to the gospel. He must be careful to avoid false teachers and greedy motives, pursuing instead righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness as befitting a man of God.[39]

2 Timothy

Title: The Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: Fall of A.D. 67

Provenance: Rome

Audience: Paul addressed this letter to his son in the faith, Timothy.

Occasion/Purpose: With Nero as emperor, the Roman Empire had become a dangerous place to live openly as a Christian. Many Christians had become much more private about their faith, including some of Paul’s co-workers. As a prominent leader in Ephesus, Timothy would have faced the same temptation. Paul wrote this epistle to encourage Timothy to remain faithful to his calling.

Canonicity: Unquestionable written by the Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy was accepted virtually without question by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 2 Timothy

I. Encouragement in ministry 1:1–18

A. Using spiritual gifts 1:1–7

B. Suffering for the gospel 1:8–18

II. Examples in ministry 2:1–26

A. Comparisons to a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer 2:1–13

B. Challenge to handle God’s Word accurately 2:14–26

III. Exhortations in ministry 3:1–17

A. Warnings of apostasy 3:1–9

B. Ways to face apostasy 3:10–17

IV. Encouragements in ministry 4:1–22

A. Preach the Word 4:1–5

B. Final exhortations and encouragements 4:6–22[40]

Summary: Second Timothy is Paul’s last will and testament to his spiritual son Timothy. Writing from a Roman prison cell, Paul imparts his final words of wisdom and encouragement to Timothy who is ministering in the midst of opposition and hardship in Ephesus. Paul stresses the importance of godly living, preaching the Word both in and out of season, and preparing for the coming apostasy within the church. Underlying all that Paul says is the importance of God’s Word—the only foundation strong enough to withstand persecution from without and problems from within![41]

Titus

Title: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Titus

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 62-66

Provenance: Rome

Audience: The epistle is directed to Titus, one of Paul’s most trusted co-workers. He was a Gentile converted under Paul’s preaching. Some scholars suggest that Titus may have been related to the gospel writer Luke, and may have provided much of the source information about Paul’s life to Luke as he wrote the Book of Acts. Paul relied on Titus to go to the hot spots on the mission field and lend strong leadership to the church in that city. In this letter we find Titus on the island of Crete, which was notoriously known for its corruption.

Occasion/Purpose: As with his other Pastoral Epistles, Paul gives Titus specific instruction on how to organize and lead a local church.

Canonicity: Written by the Apostle Paul, Titus was accepted by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Titus

I. Greetings 1:1–4

II. The character of the elders and the Cretans 1:5–16

A. The character of the elders 1:5–9

B. The character of the Cretan false teachers 1:10–16

III. God’s grace displayed within the church 2:1–10

A. The duty of Titus to teach sound doctrine 2:1

B. Instructions for various age groups 2:2–6

C. The personal example of Titus 2:7, 8

D. An exhortation to slaves 2:9, 10

IV. God’s grace displayed to all humanity 2:11—3:11

A. Instructions based on God’s grace 2:11–14

B. Restatement of Titus’s duties 2:15

C. Display of good works 3:1–11

V. Farewell instructions 3:12–15[42]

Summary: Titus, a young minister, is left on the island of Crete by Paul to begin the challenging task of organizing new converts into local churches. In this letter, Paul shares with Titus some practical wisdom regarding church organization and administration. Leaders must be chosen on the basis of proven character and conduct; false teachers must be quickly detected and removed; church members of all ages must be encouraged to live lives worthy of the gospel they claim to believe. Young and old, leader and laity, must demonstrate the reality of their faith by being “careful to maintain good works” (3:8).[43]

Philemon

Title: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Philemon

Author: The Apostle Paul

Date: A.D. 60-62

Provenance: Rome

Audience: The letter is addressed to Philemon, a wealthy man living in Colosse, and to Apphia, Archippus, and to the church in Philemon’s house.

Occasion/Purpose: Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, had run away, having evidently robbed his master (Phile. 18). His travels brought him to Rome where, in the providence of God, he came in contact with Paul, who led him to Christ. In spite of the fact that Onesimus had become a valuable worker to Paul, he felt a responsibility to return him to his owner, Philemon. As a runaway slave, Onesimus had no rights, and could, in fact, be put to death by his owner if caught. Paul wrote this brief appeal, therefore, on behalf of Onesimus to Philemon that Philemon might show mercy to Onesimus as a brother in Christ and seek reconciliation between slave and master.

Canonicity: There is no dispute regarding the authorship of this book or its acceptance by the early church.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Philemon

I. Introductory greetings 1–3

II. Paul’s prayer for Philemon 4–7

III. Paul’s plea to Philemon 8–22

A. The authority behind the plea 8, 9

B. The person involved in the plea 10, 11

C. The explanation necessary for the plea 12–14

D. The providence behind the plea 15, 16

E. The content of the plea 17–21

F. The proof of the reception of the plea 22

IV. Closing blessing 23–25[44]

Summary: Paul’s “postcard” to Philemon is the shortest and perhaps the most intimate of all his letters. It is a masterpiece of diplomacy and tact in dealing with a festering social sore in the Roman empire: human slavery. Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, had stolen from his master and run away to Rome. There he came in contact with Paul (who was under house arrest, Acts 28:16–30) and with the claims of Jesus Christ. After his conversion, Onesimus faced yet another confrontation, this time with his estranged master Philemon. Paul sends him back with this letter in hand, urging Philemon to extend forgiveness. Onesimus had left him as his bond servant. Now he was returning as his brother in the Lord. Therefore, Paul exhorts, “Receive him as you would me” (v. 17).[45]

Hebrews

Title: The Epistle to the Hebrews

Author: Unknown

Date: A.D. 60s

Provenance: Unknown. Possibly from Rome.

Audience: The epistle is not addressed to any specific person or group of people. Based on the title, “The Epistle to the Hebrews,” it can be assumed that the intended audience were Jewish Christians. The appeal of the letter would have been to Jews and not necessarily to Gentiles. Much of the history and traditions spoken of in Hebrews implies a familiarity with Jewish traditions, much of which would have been foreign to Gentiles. The fact that the writer relies on the Septuagint implies that the readers may have been Hellenistic Jews rather than Palestinian Jews.

Occasion/Purpose: The writer seems concerned that the readers are falling back into Judaism, and he makes a strong argument that these Christians persevere in their faith and not fall backwards. The writer seeks to present Christianity as superior to Jewish traditions and the Levitical system of worship. Coming to Christ means final access to God.

Canonicity: The early Christians originally accepted all the New Testament books as inspired by God because they contained apostolic teaching, so the writer was probably either an apostle or a close associate of at least one of the apostles.[46]

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Hebrews

I. Prologue: God has spoken through His Son 1:1–4

II. The superiority and sacrificial work of Christ 1:5—10:18

A. Christ’s superiority 1:5—7:28

1. Christ’s superiority to angels 1:5–14

2. Exhortation to pay attention to the greater salvation 2:1–4

3. Christ as the perfect Man 2:5–18

4. Christ’s superiority to Moses 3:1–6

5. Christ’s superiority to the rest of Israel 3:7—4:13

6. Christ as High Priest in the order of Melchizedek 4:14—5:10

7. A rebuke for lack of understanding and immaturity 5:11—6:20

8. The priesthood of Melchizedek 7:1–28

B. Christ, the minister and High Priest of the New Covenant 8:1—10:18

1. The New Covenant in relation to the old 8:1–9

2. The better covenant explained 8:10–13

3. The new sanctuary and the perfect sacrifice 9:1–28

4. The New Covenant at work 10:1–18

III. Elements of the faith 10:19—13:17

A. Description of the faith 10:19–25

B. Description of those who reject the faith 10:26–39

C. Examples of the life of faith 11:1–40

D. Christ, the supreme example of faith 12:1–4

E. The Father’s love made known through chastening 12:5–11

F. Christian conduct under the New Covenant 12:12–29

G. Christian life in daily practice 13:1–17

IV. Epilogue 13:18–25[47]

Summary: Many Jewish believers, having stepped out of Judaism into Christianity, wanted to reverse their course in order to escape persecution by their countrymen. The writer of Hebrews exhorts them to “press on” to maturity in Christ. His appeal is based the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system. Christ is better than the angels, for they worship Him. He is better than Moses, for Moses was created by Him. He is better than the Aaronic priesthood, for His sacrifice was once for all time. He is better than the Law, for He mediates a better covenant. In short, there is more to be gained by suffering for Christ than by reverting to Judaism. Pressing on to maturity produces tested faith, self-discipline, and a visible love seen in good works.[48]

James

Title: The Epistle of James

Author: James, the half brother of the Lord Jesus Christ and the brother of Jude.

Date: A.D. 45-48

Provenance: Jerusalem

Audience: The epistle is addressed to “the twelve tribes scattered among the nations” (1:1) or to the diaspora, which were Jews living outside of Palestine. These would have been Jewish Christians.

Occasion/Purpose: The theme of this book is “true faith.” James seemed intent upon challenging his readers in a practical way to put their faith to the test in order to evaluate the reality of their relationship with Jesus Christ. Real faith, James contends, produces real change in a person in terms of both their character and their conduct. The absence of any change is a sign of dead faith.

Canonicity: By the fourth and fifth centuries, James appeared in all of the church’s scriptural woks.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of James

I. Salutation 1:1

II. Prologue 1:2–18

A. Responding to trials 1:2–11

B. Responding to temptations 1:12–18

III. The themes: being swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath 1:19, 20

IV. Being swift to hear 1:21—2:26

A. Doing good works as a result of hearing the Word of God 1:21–27

B. Excluding partiality 2:1–13

C. Integrating faith and works 2:14–26

V. Being slow to speak 3:1–18

A. Controlling the tongue 3:1–12

B. Acting wisely before speaking 3:13–18

VI. Being slow to wrath 4:1—5:12

A. Solving conflict through humility 4:1–10

B. Withholding judgment 4:11, 12

C. Curbing arrogance with a reliance on God 4:13–17

D. Being patient when treated unjustly 5:1–12

VII. Epilogue: concluding prayer 5:13–20[49]

Summary: Faith without works cannot be called faith. It is dead, and a dead faith is worse than no faith at all. Faith must work; it must produce; it must be visible. Verbal faith is not enough; mental faith is insufficient. Faith must move into action. Throughout his epistle to Jewish believers, James integrates true faith and everyday practical experience by stressing that true faith “works.” It endures trials; it obeys God’s Word; it produces doers; it harbors no prejudice; it controls the tongue; it acts wisely; it provides the power to resist the devil; it waits patiently for the coming of the Lord.[50]

1 Peter

Title: The First Epistle of Peter

Author: The Apostle Peter (1:1)

Date: A.D. 62-64

Provenance: Rome

Audience: This epistle is addressed to believers living in the northern regions of Asia Minor (1:1). These would have been mostly Gentile (based on the region mentioned) with a few Jewish Christians.

Occasion/Purpose: Peter states his purpose in 1 Peter 5:12: “Stand firm!” He is encouraging the believers to stand firm in their faith in light of persecution.

Canonicity: Many early church fathers, including Polycarp, Clement of Rome, and Irenaeus, accepted this epistle as genuine.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 1 Peter

I. Comfort and reassurance in suffering 1:1–25

A. Salutation 1:1, 2

B. Reassurance in God’s grace and salvation 1:3–12

C. Reassurance in holiness 1:13–25

II. Practical holiness 2:1—3:22

A. The foundation of holiness 2:1–3

B. Participation in a holy community 2:4–10

C. Unimpeachable living, the answer to persecution 2:11—3:13

D. Victory in unjust suffering 3:14–22

III. The spiritual significance of suffering 4:1–19

A. Physical suffering: a type of death to the flesh 4:1–6

B. Love for one another despite suffering 4:7–11

C. The purifying fires of persecution 4:12–19

IV. Divine love as a guide in church life 5:1–11

A. Elders to rule in love 5:1–7

B. The devil to be resisted through divine grace 5:8–11

V. Closing salutation and benediction 5:12–14[51]

Summary: Persecution can either cause you to grow or grumble in the Christian life. It all depends on your response! In writing to Jewish believers struggling in the midst of persecution, Peter reminds them of their “roots.” They have been born again to a living hope, and therefore both their character and conduct can be above reproach as they imitate the Holy One who called them. The fruit of that proven character will be actions rooted in submission: law-abiding citizens, obedient employees, submissive wives, loving husbands.[52]

2 Peter

Title: The Second Epistle of Peter

Author: The Apostle Peter (1:1)

Date: A.D. 67-68

Provenance: Rome

Audience: Based on the reference in 1 Peter 3:1 referring to a previous letter, it can be assumed that this letter was directed to the same audience (Northern Asia Minor).

Occasion/Purpose: This letter is a warning to the church of the apostasy that is coming in the latter days and to guard against heresy among its teachers.

Canonicity: The writings of the church fathers contain fewer references to the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter than to the authorship of any other New Testament book. Regardless of the external evidence, there is strong internal testimony to Peter’s authorship of the book. This includes stylistic similarities to 1 Peter, vocabulary similar to Peter’s sermons in Acts, and the specific statements already mentioned (2 Pet. 1:1, 14; 3:1). In addition, the writer claimed to have witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration (1:16–18) and to have received information about his own death from Jesus (1:13–14).[53]

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 2 Peter

I. Salutation: the spiritual resources of a Christian 1:1–4

II. Essential Christian virtues 1:5–15

A. Efforts for Christian faithfulness 1:5–9

B. Confirmation of election 1:10, 11

C. Need for reminders 1:12–15

III. Christ’s divine authority 1:16–21

A. Witnessed by the apostles 1:16–18

B. Proven by divine prophecy 1:19–21

IV. False prophets and teachers 2:1–22

A. Some warnings against false teachers 2:1–3

B. The judgment of false teachers in the past 2:4–9

C. The immorality of false teachers 2:10–16

D. The uselessness of false teachings 2:17–22

V. Christ’s return 3:1–18

A. The certainty of the day of the Lord 3:1–10

B. The ethical implications of the day of the Lord 3:11–16

C. The need to guard against error 3:17, 18[54]

Summary: While Peter’s audience is the same in his second letter (3:1), his theme and purpose are different. Persecution from unbelievers can be hard for Christians to bear (First Peter); but defection within the community of believers can be even more devastating (Second Peter). To counteract the effects of this “poison in the pews,” Peter reminds his readers of the timeless truths of the faith, and exhorts them to continue growing toward Christian maturity. Those who scoff at the thought of future judgment will find, like Sodom and Gomorrah, that ignoring God’s Word will ultimately lead to destruction every time! The warning for believers is clear: “Do not forget.…be diligent.…beware!” (3:8, 14, 17).[55]

1 John

Title: The First Epistle of John

Author: Early church tradition named the Apostle John as the writer.

Date: A.D. 90-95

Provenance: The provenance is unknown for this letter although Ephesus is a good probability.

Audience: This epistle is not addressed to any specific person or church. It is assumed, therefore, that it was most likely written to and circulated among the churches in the Roman Province of Asia Minor.

Occasion/Purpose: John used this letter to fight against the false teachings of the first century church (Judaism, Gnosticism, Docetism, and others) and to encourage the readers to be faithful. Fellowship and intimacy with God is the theme of this letter. At a practical level, it was to give assurance of salvation, encourage Christians to live a godly life, and remind them to love one another.

Canonicity: The early church fathers accepted the Apostle John as the author of this epistle and its authenticity appeared unquestioned.

Genre: Please identify the genre or literary form of the book (epistle, gospel, etc.).

Outline of 1 John

I. Introduction: the message of eternal life 1:1–4

II. Foundational principles 1:5—2:11

A. Principles for fellowship with God 1:5—2:2

B. Principles for knowing God 2:3–11

III. Purpose of the letter 2:12–27

A. Motivations for John to write the letter 2:12–14

B. Love of the world versus love for God 2:15–17

C. The antichrists’ denial that Jesus is the Christ 2:18–23

D. Abiding in God’s Word 2:24–27

IV. God’s righteousness 2:28—4:6

A. Righteous living and abiding in God 2:28—3:3

B. Two classes of people: the righteous and the wicked 3:4–9

C. Two families: children of God versus children of the devil 3:10–15

D. Love and obedience: an indicator of belonging to Christ 3:16–23

E. Orthodox confession: an indicator of belonging to Christ 3:24—4:6

V. God’s love 4:7—5:13

A. Love: an indicator of a relationship with God 4:7–16

B. Mature love and assurance of salvation 4:17–19

C. The relationship between love for God and love for others 4:20—5:5

D. The Father’s witness of Jesus 5:6–13

VI. Epilogue: prayer and knowledge 5:14–21

A. Assurance produces confidence and concern in prayer 5:14–17

B. Proper knowledge 5:18–21[56]

Summary: John, the “beloved” apostle with a pastor’s heart, writes to his “little children” (2:1,18,28; 3:7,18; 5:21) and “beloved” ones in the faith (3:2, 21; 4:1, 7,11). His letter has at least five purposes: to promote fellowship (1:3), to produce happiness (1:4), to protect holiness (2:1), to prevent heresy (2:26), and to provide hope (5:13). Fellowship with God is not a vague, nebulous experience. It can be an objective daily reality. John sets forth at least three tests which can act as a “fellowship barometer” for his spiritual children in their daily walk with God:

(1) Have I confessed all known sins to God? (1:9).

(2) Am I walking in obedience to the light of God’s Word? (2:4–5).

(3) Am I demonstrating a love for the brethren? (2:9–10).[57]

2 John

Title: The Second Epistle of John

Author: The Apostle John

Date: A.D. 90-95

Provenance: The provenance is unknown for this letter although Ephesus is a good probability.

Audience: This letter is addressed “to the chosen lady and her children” (1; 4-5). There is much debate among scholars whether or not this refers to a figurative lady (i.e. a church) or a literal person. Taken in context, the letter makes better sense when it is understood as a greeting to a church or group of churches.

Occasion/Purpose: False teachers created many problems for the early church. This letter has one single message: guard against false teaching and persevere in the truth.

Canonicity: The early church fathers accepted the Apostle John as the author of this epistle and its authenticity appeared unquestioned. By the second century the epistles of John were quoted without dispute.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 2 John

I. Opening greeting 1–3

II. Walking in the truth 4–11

A. Walking in truth and love 4–6

B. Responding to deceivers 7–11

III. Closing greeting 12, 13[58]

Summary: John’s first epistle was written to a group of believers in danger of following false teachers. His second letter is addressed to a chosen lady and her children who are undergoing similar temptations. John wastes no words in making his point: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor greet him” (v. 10). Though John commends love as a necessary ingredient of the Christian life, it must not sentimentally embrace those who willfully seek to destroy the truth. To do so is to diminish the proper love which Christians must have for one another. John’s warning is stern, but he knows a letter is not the best place to elaborate. He promises to deal more fully with the problem when he makes a personal visit.[59]


3 John

Title: The Third Epistle of John

Author: The Apostle John

Date: A.D. 90s (uncertain)

Provenance: The provenance is unknown for this letter although Ephesus is a good probability.

Audience: This letter is addressed to a man named Gaius (1:1). In a more general sense, the letter is targeted at a local church located in the Roman Province of Asia Minor.

Occasion/Purpose: This letter is a contrast between the servant Gaius and the arrogant, selfish Diotrephes. The purpose in writing is to commend Gaius for his humility while rebuke Diotrephes for his pride and misconduct. In the end, John informs Gaius of his intention to visit and help take care of the problems face-to-face.

Canonicity: The early church fathers accepted the Apostle John as the author of this epistle and its authenticity appeared unquestioned. By the second century the epistles of John were quoted without dispute.

Genre: Epistle

Outline of 3 John

I. Opening greeting to Gaius 1–4

II. Gaius’s responsibility 5–12

A. Gaius’s support of fellow believers 5–8

B. Diotrephes’s opposition 9–11

C. Endorsement of Demetrius 12

III. Closing greetings 13, 14[60]

Summary: In First John the apostle discusses fellowship with God; in Second John he forbids fellowship with false teachers; and in Third John he encourages fellowship with Christian brothers. Following his expression of love for Gaius, John voices his joy that Gaius is persistently walking in the truth and showing hospitality to the messengers of the gospel. But John cannot commend certain others in the assembly. Diotrephes, for example, has allowed pride to replace love in his life, even rejecting the disciplining words of John. Everything that Gaius is, Diotrephes is not! John uses this negative example as an opportunity to encourage Gaius. Godly character and loyalty to the truth are never easy, but they bring God’s richest commendation—and John’s as well![61]

Jude

Title: The Epistle of Jude

Author: Traditionally the writer of this epistle is Jude, the half brother of Jesus Christ (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3) and the brother of James (Jude 1; Acts 15:13)

Date: Uncertain. Most scholars give a range between A.D. 60-80

Provenance: Unknown

Audience: Probably Jewish Christians living in a Gentile society.

Occasion/Purpose: To encourage his readers to defend the Christian faith, which was under the attack of false teachers (Jude 3-4).

Canonicity: This book was initially accepted (cf. quote by Clement of Rome about a.d. 94), then later disputed and finally fully accepted (Council of Nicea, a.d. 325 and Carthage, a.d. 397).[62]

Genre: Epistle

Outline of Jude

I. Introduction: the believer’s standing 1, 2

II. The present danger of false teachers 3, 4

III. God’s judgment of sin 5–7

IV. The wickedness of the false teachers 8–16

A. Their opposition to authority 8–10

B. Their versatility in sin 11–13

C. Their judgment in righteousness 14–16

V. The call for Christians to be alert 17–23

A. By heeding the words of the apostles 17, 18

B. By being wary of heretics 19

C. By growing in grace 20, 21

D. By caring for others 22, 23

VI. Doxology 24, 25[63]

Summary: Jude originally intended to write on the theme of salvation. But because of pressing threats to his readers he turns his attention instead to those who would seek to destroy the gospel. The dangers of false doctrine and rebellion are not new in the history of God’s dealings with men. Disobedient Israel, fallen angels, Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam, Torah—each has experienced God’s judgment. How then can a believer resist such onslaughts? By “building yourselves up on [in] your most holy faith” (v. 20).[64]

Revelation

Title: The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Author: The Apostle John (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8)

Date: A.D. 95-96

Provenance: Island of Patmos

Audience: The seven churches in Asia Minor (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea).

Occasion/Purpose: The stated purpose of the book is to reveal Jesus Christ (1:1). It reveals His person, His power, and His plan for the future. Specifically it contains revelation from and about Jesus Christ that John had already seen in a vision (chapter 1), about conditions that existed in the churches when he wrote (chapters 2–3), and what would take place in the future (chapters 4–22; see 1:19).[65]

Canonicity: There are been much debate throughout history regarding the inspiration of Revelation. Both Luther and Calvin rejected Revelation.[66] The editors of The Bible Knowledge Commentary give the best defense of Revelation’s place within the Scriptures:

Those accepting John the Apostle as the author universally recognize the divine inspiration of Revelation and its rightful place in the Bible. Because its style differs from that of other New Testament books, acceptance of Revelation by early Christians was delayed by a rising opposition to premillennialism. The doctrine of the literal 1,000-year reign of Christ was rejected by some church leaders in the third and fourth centuries. The evidence, however, shows that orthodox theologians readily accepted the book as genuinely inspired. Early fathers who recognized the book as Scripture include Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Apollonius, and Theophilus, the bishop of Antioch. By the beginning of the third century the book was widely quoted as Scripture. The fact that the Book of Revelation complements other inspired Scripture such as the Book of Daniel has confirmed its divine inspiration.[67]

Genre: Apocalyptic

Outline of Revelation

I. Introduction 1:1–20

A. Prologue 1:1–3

B. Salutation and doxology 1:4–8

C. The Son of Man and the churches 1:9–20

II. Letters to the seven churches of Asia 2:1—3:22

A. To the church in Ephesus 2:1–7

B. To the church in Smyrna 2:8–11

C. To the church in Pergamos 2:12–17

D. To the church in Thyatira 2:18–29

E. To the church in Sardis 3:1–6

F. To the church in Philadelphia 3:7–13

G. To the church in Laodicea 3:14–22

III. Visions of the end of this age and the new heaven and earth 4:1—22:5

A. The heavenly throne room, the sealed scroll, and the Lamb 4:1—5:14

1. The scene around God’s throne 4:1–11

2. The seven-sealed scroll and the triumphant Lamb 5:1–14

B. The opening of the seven seals of the scroll 6:1—8:1

1. The first six seals: preparing for the day of God’s wrath 6:1–17

2. Interlude: sealing of the 144,000 7:1–17

3. The seventh seal: silence in heaven 8:1

C. The sounding of the seven trumpets announcing judgment 8:2—11:19

1. The angels, the golden censer, and the prayers of the saints 8:2–5

2. The first six trumpets: intensifying destruction and woe 8:6—9:21

3. Interlude: the little scroll and the two witnesses 10:1—11:14

4. The seventh trumpet: loud voices in heaven 11:15–19

D. The seven signs and characters before the final judgment 12:1—14:20

1. The mother of the future Ruler and the dragon 12:1–17

2. The beasts from the sea and the earth 13:1–18

3. The Lamb and the 144,000 14:1–5

4. The climactic proclamation of the gospel 14:6–20

E. The seven bowls of the wrath of God 15:1—19:5

1. The seven angels with the bowls 15:1–8

2. The first six bowls: God’s righteous wrath 16:1–16

3. The seventh bowl: climactic judgment on Babylon 16:17–21

4. The mother of harlots and the beast 17:1–18

5. The Fall of Babylon the Great 18:1—19:5

F. The coming again and reign of the King of kings 19:6—20:15

1. The announcing for the marriage of the Lamb 19:6–10

2. The heavenly Ruler’s victory over the beast 19:11–21

3. The millennial reign of Christ 20:1–6

4. The final rebellion and destiny of Satan 20:7–10

5. The great white throne judgment 20:11–15

G. The new heaven and earth and the New Jerusalem 21:1—22:5

1. The proclaiming of the new eternal state 21:1–8

2. The glory of New Jerusalem 21:9–27

3. The river of life and the tree of life: an eternal Eden 22:1–5

IV. Conclusion 22:6–21

A. The assurance of Christ’s imminent return 22:6–15

B. The final offer of the water of life 22:16–19

C. Benediction 22:20, 21[68]

Summary: Just as Genesis is the book of the beginnings, Revelations is the book of consummation. In it, the divine program of redemption is brought to fruitition, and holy name of God is vindicated before all creation. Although there are numerous prophecies in the Gospels and Epistles, Revelation is the only New Testament book that focuses primarily on prophetic events. Its title means “unveiling” or “Disclosure.” thus, the book is an unveiling of the character and program of God. Penned by John his exile on the island of Patmos, Revelation centers around visions and symbols of the resurrected Christ who alone has authority to judge the earth, remake it, and rule it in righteousness.[69]


[1]Mark Bailey, Tom Constable, Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck, Nelson’s New Testament Survey : Discover the Background, Theology and Meaning of Every Book in the New Testament (Nashville: Word, 1999), 2.

[2]Robert James Dr. Utley, New Testament Survey: Matthew – Revelation (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 2001), 5.

[3]Ibid, 3.

[4]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Mt 1:3.

[5]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 307.

[6]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Mk 1:2.

[7]Ibid, Mk 1:2.

[8]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 318.

[9]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:199.

[10]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Lk 1:3.

[11]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 326.

[12]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Jn 1:2.

[13]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 335.

[14]Robert James Dr. Utley, New Testament Survey: Matthew – Revelation (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 2001), 34.

[15]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Ac 1:2.

[16]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 351.

[17]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:437.

[18]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Ro 1:3.

[19]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 371.

[20]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 1 Co 1:2.

[21]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 380.

[22]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 2 Co 1:3.

[23]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 387.

[24]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Ga 1:2.

[25]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 393.

[26]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Eph 1:3.

[27]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 399.

[28]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Php 1:2.

[29]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 405.

[30]Robert James Dr. Utley, New Testament Survey: Matthew – Revelation (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 2001), 93.

[31]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Col 1:2.

[32]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 410.

[33]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 1 Th 1:2.

[34]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 416.

[35]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 2 Th 1:2.

[36]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 421.

[37]Mark Bailey, Tom Constable, Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck, Nelson’s New Testament Survey : Discover the Background, Theology and Meaning of Every Book in the New Testament (Nashville: Word, 1999), 456.

[38]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 1 Ti 1:2.

[39]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 426.

[40]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 2 Ti 1:2.

[41]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 432.

[42]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Tit 1:2.

[43]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 437.

[44]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Phm 2.

[45]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 442.

[46]Mark Bailey, Tom Constable, Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck, Nelson’s New Testament Survey : Discover the Background, Theology and Meaning of Every Book in the New Testament (Nashville: Word, 1999), 503.

[47]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Heb 1:2.

[48]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 453.

[49]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Jas 1:2.

[50]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 462.

[51]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 1 Pe 1:2.

[52]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 469.

[53]Mark Bailey, Tom Constable, Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck, Nelson’s New Testament Survey : Discover the Background, Theology and Meaning of Every Book in the New Testament (Nashville: Word, 1999), 569.

[54]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 2 Pe 1:2.

[55]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 476.

[56]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 1 Jn 1:2.

[57]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 483.

[58]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 2 Jn 3.

[59]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 490.

[60]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), 3 Jn 2.

[61]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 495.

[62]Robert James Dr. Utley, New Testament Survey: Matthew – Revelation (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 2001), 161.

[63]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Jud 2.

[64]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 500.

[65]Mark Bailey, Tom Constable, Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck, Nelson’s New Testament Survey : Discover the Background, Theology and Meaning of Every Book in the New Testament (Nashville: Word, 1999), 608.

[66]Robert James Dr. Utley, New Testament Survey: Matthew – Revelation (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 2001), 181.

[67]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 2:925.

[68]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House, The Nelson Study Bible : New King James Version, Includes Index. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1997), Re 1:2.

[69]Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa, Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1983), 509.

    Chris Eller is a Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Pastor, Geek, Writer, Photographer, and Church Technology Consultant.

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