New Testament Survey, Summary
1. Matthew: Apostle Matthew. Circa AD 40-60. Matthew wrote to Jews who
knew the OT. He wrote to present Jesus Christ, the Messiah, to the
nation Israel and to record the attitude of Israel to the Messiah.
Matthew gives us the geneology, the presentation, and the
authentication of Christ. Matthew then shows the nation’s opposition
to and rejection of Christ followed by Christ’s rejection of Israel
due to her unbelief. He then records the death and resurrection of
Christ. He concludes with Christ commissioning the disciples.
2. Mark: John Mark. Circa AD 60. Mark presents Christ as the Servant
of the Lord. In this capacity Christ comes in fulfillment of the OT,
offering His credentials, gathering His disciples, offering the
Kingdom and the message of the Kingdom. In view of His rejection,
Christ continues teaching, but often in parables. This hides the truth
from those hardened against Him, yet prepares and instructs those
responsive to Him. This instruction includes theocratice kingdom
doctrine such as entrance into the kingdom, Israel’s part in the
kingdom, and the death, resurrection, and coming rule of the King.
3. Luke: Luke the physician. Circa AD 58. Luke presents Christ as the
God-Man, the savior of the world. He does this from a broad vantage
point that is compatible with the fact that he is a Greek. Luke traces
the incarnation, Christ’s introduction, ministry, rejection,
subsequent teaching in view of His rejection, the cross, resurrection
and ascension. Even though a Gentile, Luke emphasizes the kingdom
program with Israel’s place in the kingdom.
4. John: Apostle John. Probably prior to AD 70, but at least by 85-90.
John presents the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ so that
mankind would believe in Him as the Son of God, Messiah, Savior of the
world. His selective argument portrays Christ as the God-Man. John
records miracles and messages that affirm the deity and humanity of
Christ. John builds his record around the public ministry of Christ,
the private ministry, the cross, and the resurrection.
5. Acts: Luke the physician. Circa AD 62. Acts is the record of the
transition from the age of Israel (OT economy) to the church age (NT
economy). The book includes the beginning, scattering, adjusting,
expansion, and edification of the church. Acts presents the
development of the one body of Christ consisting of believing Jew and
6. Romans: Paul. Circa AD 56-57. Romans presents God’s gospel, which
is in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and the gospel’s effect upon mankind.
This gospel is God’s righteousness extended to mankind based on the
work of Christ and received by faith in Christ.
7. 1 Corinthians: Paul. Circa spring, AD 56. The Corinthians were an
established church, taught by Paul, yet they had not absorbed the
doctrine taught by him. They were carnal. The expression of this
carnality was in many forms. Paul wrote to correct the basis for the
carnality and the various expressions of it.
8. 2 Corinthians: Paul. Circa fall, AD 56. Second Corinthians deals
with the alienation between Paul and the Corinthians, its effect upon
both parties and the reconciliation. Paul presents the communicator’s
authority, message, suffering, disappointments, responsibilities,
blessings, and hope. He weaves the threads of the letter together so
that the Corinthians are encouraged to grow in Christ.
9. Galatians: Paul. Circa AD 50-51. Galatians centers around the
conflict between the grace-Holy Spirit-faith complex and the
law-flesh-works complex. Paul sets up the principle that God deals
with mankind based upon the principle of grace-HS-faith. He used
salvation by grace-HS-faith as the background, then argues that the
CWL is also by grace-HS-faith.
10. Ephesians: Paul. Circa AD 62. Paul begins with the church in God’s
eternal plan. He then moves to the members of the church and the
condition in which they were born, then to their new position and how
it came about. At this point Paul inserts his own relationship to the
church age. He then moves to the day to day function of the church,
called the suitable walk. The suitable walk includes equipping through
gifted men, the expressions and relationships of the new man, and the
believer’s combat engagement with satanic forces.
11. Philippians: Paul. Circa AD 62. This is a very personal letter to
loyal comrades in ministry. They are growing and ministering. Paul
appreciates them. He writes to them while he is in prison. He writes
about his ministry, growth, stability, and happiness and encourages
the Philippians to experience the same blessings.
12. Colossians: Paul. Circa AD 62. Paul writes to believers that are
growing in the CWL. His major thrust is toward their continued growth,
even in the face of opposition. Paul stresses the believer’s
relationship to the preeminent Christ, his own divinely given function
in God’s purpose, then warns them about false teachings. He then
writes about the believer’s occupation with Christ, growth, and day to
day life in various settings.
13. 1 Thessalonians: Paul. Circa AD 51. Paul is unable to revisit this
new group of believers who are under satanic attack, therefore he
writes this letter to teach, to stabilize, and to encourage them in
14. 2 Thessalonians: Paul. Circa AD 51, shortly after the first
letter. This letter has three purposes. Paul writes to encourage the
Thessalonians in their spiritual growth, to counter false doctrine,
and to instruct them on problems in the church.
15. 1 Timothy: Paul. Circa AD 66-67. Paul the apostle delegates
authority to Timothy, his personal representative, and instructs him.
This instruction is about Timothy’s life and ministry as an apostolic
representative and about the organization, function, and edification
of the church.
16. 2 Timothy: Paul. Circa AD 68. Paul writes this last letter to
warn, encourage, and instruct Timothy so that Timothy will maintain
the ministry in the face of opposition. Paul also uses this letter to
express his own confidence at the end of his life.
17. Titus: Paul. Circa AD 66-67. Titus is instructed to
authoritatively teach and organize the believers on Crete. He is to
emphasize three areas–local church organization and function,
doctrinal instruction, and the use of the doctrine.
18. Philemon: Paul. Circa AD 62. Philemon is a personal letter from
Paul to Philemon, a believer and slave owner. Paul asks that Philemon
receive his slave, Onesimus, who escaped but is now returning,
graciously. Onesimus is now a believer and helper of Paul.
19. Hebrews: Unknown. Circa AD 67-70. Hebrews presents the superiority
of Jesus Christ, His work, and His relationship to the church age
believer. Since the Father has spoken through the Son and honors the
Son, since Christ is the high priest-mediator of a new covenant, and
since OT believers have set a faith pattern for us, we should live
occupied with Jesus Christ.
20. James: James the apostle and brother of Jesus. Circa AD 45. James
writes to scattered and leaderless Jewish believers who are without
written church age revelation. His writing is based upon the OT
revelation plus the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He writes to show
that faith yields application of doctrine with production.
21. 1 Peter: Peter. Circa AD 63-67. Peter writes to believers
undergoing suffering in five provinces of the northeastern part of the
Roman Empire. He instructs them toward stability, toward growth, and
toward the proper expression of this stability and growth. Peter bases
his argument upon God’s predesigned plan and grace provisions which
are for all believers.
22. 2 Peter: Peter. Circa AD 67-68. Peter is about to die. He is
concerned about the protection and continued progress of these
believers. The emphasis that he stresses is relationship to the Word
from God. A positive response to the Word results in protection,
stability, progress, and growth. Defection from the Word produces
false doctrine, spiritual failure, and instability.
23. 1 John: John the apostle. Circa AD 85-90. John writes about
fellowship with the Father and the Son and other believers. Fellowship
comes through obedience to the Word of God and through confession
of sin when sin is committed. John also writes so that they may have
confidence about eternal life.
24. 2 John: John the apostle. Circa AD 85-100. John writes to remind
this lady and her children that their lives should be an expression of
the Word of God in all areas. This expression is called love or loving
25. 3 John: John the apostle. Circa AD 85-100. John writes a personal
letter to Gaius about his faithful response to the Word as shown by
his treatment of other believers, such as the traveling evangelist.
The Word of God in the life of a believer produces results.
26. Jude: Jude, the brother of James. Circa AD 65-80. Jude interrupts
a letter about salvation in order to write another letter which warns
about apostasy. He urges them to recognizes the problem and fight for
the faith. He presents the strategy for the doctrinal conflict. This
strategy includes growth in doctrine, prayer, loyal love for God.
eagerly awaiting eternity, and helping other believers that are
influenced by apostasy. He closes with a statement of confidence and
praise to God.
27. Revelation: John the apostle. circa AD 94-96. John writes about
the prophetic program which centers in Christ and extends from John’s
day until the enthronement of Christ as the Father’s king in the
millenium and in eternity. The book follows the outline of 1.19, the
things which John has seen (glories of Christ in chapter 1), the
things which are (the seven churches then in existence in chapters
2-3), and the things which are about to occur after these things (the
tribulation, second advent, millennium, and eternity in chapters
by Tod M. Kennedy