New TestamentThere are four genres in the New Testament (NT):  Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Historical Narrative (Acts), Apocalyptic (Revelation), and Epistles (the rest of the 21 books in the NT are letters including 13 Pauline letters).

In the Gospels the story of the person and work of Christ is told from differing perspectives.  The first three (Matthew, Mark, Luke) are called synoptic because they are similar in content and outline.  The synoptic gospels have a three part outline: Galilee ministry, on the way to Jerusalem, and Jerusalem ministry. John is mostly about the last week of the life of Jesus and Jewish Festivals are prominent.

Acts is the only historical narrative in the NT.  It tells the story of the early church being founded. The book of Acts has 1:8 as its outline. After Christ commands the apostles to be witnesses by the power of the Holy Spirit, the story unfolds with Peter and the other living apostles taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. It reveals Paul’s conversion and tracks his missionary journeys.

Revelation uses symbolism and allusions from the Old Testament. It is written by John who receives a message from the risen Christ. It deals with end-time matters, cataclysmic events and a heavenly perspective meant to strengthen God’s people to endure suffering.

The Epistles deal with false teaching, doctrinal issues and principles to strengthen the church. Many of the letters deal with specific situations. Most of the Pauline letters have a prayer or thanksgiving section after the introduction which contain main themes of the letter.

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