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New Testament

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Synoptic gospels

They more or less tell the same story about Jesus. They agree overall. Synoptic means with one eye. Describe the birth ministry and death of Jesus. The gospels develop an emerging infant animosity between Jesus and local Jewish leaders. This establishes the tension that emerges between Judaism and Christianity.

Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Luke
Gospel of JohnVery different from the prior three because it not only gives a biography, but also address who even was Jesus. It was not a historical biography but more of what was Jesus' relationship to God.

Acts of the Apostles

Composed 85-85 BC by Luke. Jesus' followers are increasingly away from Jerusalem and throughout different parts of the Levant. The presence of god follows them throughout the Mediterranean world. This addresses where god's presence goes after the temple is destroyed: it is no longer confined to the temple, but to the church as a whole, following the apostles. Christianity did not do something innovative with this but depicts the presence of god following the followers as when Ezekiel portrayed god accompanying the exiles.


The last book of the New Testament is Revelations, one of the more controversial books in that there was not widespread agreement whether it should be included. Considered one of the later books to be written, it was penned near the end of the 1st century perhaps between 81-96 common era, it is an apocalyptic text with fanciful future visions of the end of the world. It is within the context likely of the persecutions of Christians, as apocalyptic literature and the kinds of ideas in Revelation, really come from intense marginalization and persecution.