Summary of the New Testament Books: John, Acts, Ephesians, Philemon, Revelation
The Gospel of John is written largely in Narrative history and contains sermons, parables, and several prophetic oracles. The key prominent personalities are Jesus, John the Baptist, the disciples, Mary-mother of Jesus, Mary, Martha, Lazarus and Pilate. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate the deity of Christ by inspiring and strengthening the faith of those who wanted to seek out and examine the early Judean ministry of Jesus’s life. The text begins with the Eternal Word and the divinity of Jesus Christ. Some of the key themes and events are the implications of all the Jesus did and the importance of believing in those encounters. Distinctive features include a more complete revelation of Jesus Christ and of God than in any of the Synoptic gospels, as well as Jesus’s private instruction to His disciples.
The gospel of John records several Passover celebrations, as well as eight miracles of Christ to prove His divinity. Six of these miracles are only uniquely found in this gospel. The text concludes with Christ’s words concerning His disciple John
The book of Acts is written largely in Narrative genre form. Some of the key themes include the development of the early church from Christ’s ascension to the imprisonment of Paul in Rome and the beginning of his ministry. The book of acts includes a description of the original Church of Jerusalem and its spread to the very heart of the Roman Empire. The key prominent people are Luke, Peter, John, James, Stephen, Phillip, Paul, Barnabas and James-the brother of Jesus. The purpose of the Book of Acts is to document the growth of the early church, which also contains the records of believers who were empowered by the Holy Spirit in their spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit and the Church play a key role in the turning points, as well as in every key person during the advancement of the Church. The book of Acts is composed of six sections that begins with Peter as the leading role in the movement of Jerusalem in its Jewish setting towards a predominately Gentile church, and with Rome as the primary goal in the movement of Paul’s mission to spread the gospel to the Gentile world.
The book of Ephesians is written in Epistle form. The text opens up with Paul’s exhortation to the church at Ephesus on the soundness of their faith and love. Paul emphasizes the need for increased hope and increased demonstration of love, thus developing unity within the church. The key personalities include the Apostle Paul and Tychicus. The aim behind writing this epistle was to demonstrate to believers their position in Christ and encourage them to walk accordingly in unity and love amongst persecution. The main historical occasion occurred when converted Jews were compelled to separate themselves entirely from their Gentile brethren. This condition in the Church at Ephesus may have been what lead to the writing of the epistle.
Paul reminds the Ephesians that historically, they too had been dead in their sins, therefore, being held accountable to the authority and judgment of God just like the rest of the world. The last half of the book concludes by addressing three general areas of lifestyle issues that contain suggestions of theological truths. Paul encourages believers to walk in a manner worthy of their calling by seeking to understand the Holy Spirit, pursuing a holy lifestyle and comprehending the concept of personal relationships.
The book of Philemon is written largely in epistle form. The purpose behind writing the letter was to intercede on behalf of a runway slave, Onesimus, and reconcile him with his owner, Philemon. The key prominent people include Paul, Philemon and Onesimus. Some of the key themes and events are the complimentary greeting to Philemon, the testimonial plea concerning the changed character of Onesimus, the appeal for forgiveness and Philemon’s obedience to receive his slave back with grace. Onesimus, a new believer in Christ was returning home to his master with Paul’s letter of appeal. As a runaway slave, Onesimus robbed his master and fled to Rome where he met Paul. He became a devoted disciple of Christ, but was told to return home when Paul felt like it was his duty to send the slave back to his master. Onesimus took a physical risk in his return home, because the standard punishment in the Roman Empire was execution. Paul pleas with Philemon to not only accept his slave back, but to accept him as a brother in Christ and disregard his mistakes. The book concludes with a farewell greeting and closing prayer.
The literary genre of the book of revelation is written broadly in apocalyptic, prophetic and epistle form. Some of the key themes and events include the resurrected Christ, the letters written to the seven churches in Asia and the arrangement of visions into the spiritual realm. The aim behind the book of revelation is to give Christian’s hope, especially in the midst of suffering, by revealing Jesus Christ as the ultimate victorious King and also to warn nonbelievers of the coming Final Judgment on the Last Day. The book’s purpose can be divided into a series of four separate questions concerning the establishment of the kingdom, the return of the Lord, the situation of John and the end of the world.
The book can be divided into a series of visions that include two influential events that regard the birth of the male child and the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The book of Revelation contains four principle schools of thought; idealist, preterist, historicist and futurist when dealing with the subject matter of interpretation. The book concludes with John’s warning to the nonbeliever on the second coming of Jesus and His Final Judgment.
Fee, G. D., & Stuart, D. (2003). How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth. (3rd ed). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Harbin, M. (2005). The Promise and the Blessing: A Historical Survey of the Old and New Testaments. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan The Holy Bible. (1990). New King James Version (NKJV). Nashville, TN: Thomas nelson, Inc.