The New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin: Novum Testamentum) is the second part of the Christian Biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as Sacred Scripture. The New Testament (in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the World. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Both extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are also incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies.
|Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant,
and most Oriental Orthodox
The New Testament is a collection of Christian works written in the common (Koine) Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, and the modern consensus is that it also provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the first century AD. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first and perhaps the second centuries of the Christian Era, in Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that eventually became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no later than around 150 AD.
Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul (a major collection of which must have been made already by the early 2nd century) and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (asserted by Irenaeus of Lyon in the late-2nd century as the Four Gospels) gradually were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament. The Old Testament canon is not completely uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, Protestants, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, and the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity (see Development of the New Testament canon).
The New Testament consists of:
- Four narratives of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus called “gospel” or the good news.
- A narrative of the Apostle ministries in the early church, called the “Acts of the Apostles”, and probably written by the same writer as the Gospel of Luke, which it continues;
- Twenty-one letters, often called “epistles” from Greek “epistole”, written by various authors, and consisting of Christian doctrine, counsel, instruction, and conflict resolution; and
- An Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, which is a book of prophecy, containing some instructions to seven local congregations of Asia Minor, but mostly containing prophetical symbology, about the end times.
More info on Gospel
The Gospel is an account describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Nazarene. The most widely known examples are the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which are included in the New Testament, but the term is also used to refer to apocryphal Gospels, non-canonical gospels, Jewish-Christian gospels, and gnostic gospels.
Christianity places a high value on the four canonical gospels, which it considers to be a revelation from GOD and central to its belief system. Christianity traditionally teaches that the four canonical Gospels are an accurate and authoritative representation of the life of Jesus, but many scholars and historians, as well as some liberal Christians, believe that much of that which is contained in the gospels is not historically reliable.This position however, requires a liberal view of Biblical inerrancy. For example, professor of religion Linda Woodhead notes some scholarship reinforces the claim that “the Gospels’ birth and resurrection narratives can be explained as attempts to fit Jesus’s life into the logic of Jewish expectation”. However, New Testament scholar N. T. Wright holds firmly to the historical authenticity of the death and resurrection of Jesus, stating that of the whole Bible, this is the story with the most overwhelming historical evidence.