New Testament Survey

“Repetition with variety is essential to learning.”

Intertestamental Period

The Assyrian Empire

Conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC
“The Jewish Diasporia” began.

The Babylonian Empire

Conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 597 BC
The Synagogue system began when Judah was in Babylon.

The Medo-Persian Empire

allowed the Jews to return to Judah,
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem & the temple.

The Empire of Alexander the Great         

Was also known as the Macedonian Empire or the Greek Empire
His kingdom was divided between 4 generals after his death.

Palestine was controlled first by         

General Ptolemy (the Ptolemies)         
       and the Hellenization of Israel began.

Their major contribution was the production of the Septuagint
                 – the Greek version of the Old Testament.

Palestine was controlled then by General Seleucid (the Seleucids)

Their major contribution was attacking the Jewish culture and religion, thus provoking the rebellion by the Macabees – aka: the Hasmoneans. It also gave rise to the Hellenistic Sadducees and the religious separatists, the Pharisees.

The Romans

took control from the Macabees (the Hasmoneans)         
and installed the son of Antipater         – Herod the Great – as the king of the Jews.
Their major contributions were:
     good and safe roads, high taxes and a time of Roman Peace.

Gospel Summaries

New Covenant Instituted
The two main geographic areas of Jesus’ ministry were: Galilee and Judah


Author: Matthew - aka: Levi – a former tax-collector
Date 45-68
Readers: Jewish Christians
Occasion: Dispersion gospel
Subject: Jesus - King of the Jews
28:18-20 = Key verses


Author: John Mark - writing Peter’s gospel
Date 64-68
Readers: Roman Christians
Occasion: Peter’s approaching death
Subject: Christ the Servant
Key verse: 10:45


Author: Luke - writer of 28% of New Testament
Date 60-70
Readers: Theophilus (Greeks)
Occasion: Historical Account
Subject: Christ the Son of Man (SOM)
Key verse: 19:10
Birth Narrative: Elizabeth & Mary


Author: John the Apostle -         aka: Son of Zebedee and  brother of James
Date 85-95
Readers: Christians in Ephesus
Occasion: Gnosticism
Subject: Jesus the Son of God
Key verse: 20:30-31
92% Unique Material
The only information about the first year of Jesus’ ministry in Judea – Jerusalem.

The Acts of the Apostles
aka: The Acts of Jesus Christ Through the Apostles by the Power of the Holy Spirit
New Covenant Proclaimed

Author: Luke- writer of 28% of New Testament
Readers: Theophilus
Begins and ends: In Jerusalem
Subject: World evangelization
Key verse: 1:8 – the outline of Acts?

The Gospel’s spread: from Jerusalem to Judea and to Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

The two apostles featured in Acts are Peter and Paul

Pauline Letters Summaries:
New Covenant Explained

Their order in the New Testament is based on length of the letter.


Author: Paul
Date: 57
Readers: Church at Rome
Occasion: Plan to visit
Subject: Instruct in Theology
Key Verse: 1:16-17
Theme: Righteousness - Aka: Radical Righteousness         Revealed

        There are several people that are presumed to have been involved in the founding of the church in Rome. Among them are Rufus, Priscilla & Aquilla. Paul, nor any of the other Apostles are included in that group.

I Corinthians

Author: Paul
Date: 55
From: Ephesus
Readers: church at Corinth
Occasion: Problems and questions
Subject: Answer problems with Love
Key passage: Chapter 13
“To live like a Corinthian” meant that you were
sexually immoral.
Wanton Sexuality.

II Corinthians

Author: Paul
Date: 56
Readers: Church at Corinth
Occasion: Negative attitudes to Paul
Subject: Prepare them to move on in ministry
Key Verse: 5:20-21


Author: Paul
Date: 48
Readers: Southern Galatian churches
Occasion: Judaizers in churches
Subject: Christian liberty
Key Verse: 5:1

If the letter to the Romans is like our Constitution then the letter to the Galatians would be compared to our Declaration of Independence.

Martin Luther so favored the letter to the Galatians
that he declared that it was his wife.

I Thessalonians

Author: Paul – from Corinth
Date: 51
Readers: Believers in Thessalonica
Occasion: Persecution
Subject: Encouragement in persecution
Key Verse: 1:9-10
Thessalonica was a port city in Macedonia.
The church there was very confused by false teaching
    about the doctrine of the return of Christ.

II Thessalonians

Author: Paul – From Corinth
Date: 51
Readers: Thessalonians
Occasion: False teaching about the Day of the Lord
Subject: Accurate hope for the future
Key Verse: 2:15


Author: Paul – from prison in Rome
Date: 61
Readers: Circular letter for Lycus valley
Occasion: Tychicus’ return
Subject: Establish unity
Key Verse: 3:6
Ephesus was nicknamed:“The Queen of the Epistles”

Ephesians is included with Colossians, Philippians & Philemon
as a group called: “Prison Epistles”.


Author: Paul
Date: 61
Readers: Church at Colossae
Occasion:  Stop heresy
Subject: Christ, all sufficient head
Key Verse: 1:18


Author: Paul
Date: 62
Readers: Church at Philippi
Occasion: Epaphroditus returns to Philippi
Subject: Joy in every circumstance
Key Verse: 4:4


Author: Paul
Date: 61
Readers: Philemon and his house Occasion: Return of Onesimus
Subject: The relationship between slave (Onesimus) and slaveholder (Philemon)
Key Verse: 16

I Timothy

Author: Paul
Date: 62 (after release from prison)
Readers: Timothy
Occasion:  Assist Timothy in Church oversight
Subject: Proper ministry and administration of the church
Key Verse: 1:18-19


Author: Paul (after release from prison)
Date: 63 (after release from prison)
Readers: Titus – Cretans noted as “evil beast & lazy gluttons”
Occasion: Organize Cretan church
Subject: Exhort Titus to order in the church
Key Verse: 2:11 – 14

II Timothy

Author: Paul
Date: 64 (in prison facing execution)
Readers: Timothy
Occasion: Trouble ahead for both
Subject: Pass on Missionary mantle
Key Verse: 4:2

New Testament Survey
General Epistle Summaries:

New Covenant Explained

“General” = because they are not written to a specific church or city.


Author: unknown – “only God knows”
Date: 65 – 70
Readers: 2
nd Generation Jewish believers
Occasion: Renewed persecution
Subject: remind of responsibility
Key Verse: 10:31
Theme: Jesus is Better

One of 3 New Testament books written to a Jewish audience:
James – Matthew – Hebrews
One of the 7 books most questioned regarding acceptance into the New Testament Canon


Author: James = ½ brother of Jesus
Date: 45 – probably 1
st New Testament epistle written
Readers: dispersed Jewish believers
Occasion: Exhorted to live ethically
Subject: Practical & ethical exhortation
Key verse: 1:22
Theme: “Just Do It”

One of the 7 books most questioned regarding acceptance into the New Testament Canon

I Peter

Author: Apostle Peter
Date: 63-65
Readers: Scattered Gentile believers
Occasion: Opposition & persecution of the faith
Subject: Encourage in suffering
Key verse: 4:12-13
Theme: Godly Living in the midst of Suffering or Submissive Suffering

II Peter

Author: Apostle Peter
Date: 67
Readers: dispersed gentile believers
Occasion: heresy in the church
Subject: Stand on the truth
Key verse: 2:1
Theme: Peter’s Farewell Warning

  One of the 7 books most questioned regarding acceptance into the New Testament Canon


Author: Jude
Date: 66-71
Readers: collection of churches
Occasion: Antinomian, heretic teachers
Subject: Warn
Key verse: 3 = contend for the faith
Jude was the ½ brother of Jesus but identifies himself as:
    - A servant of Jesus Christ
    - The brother of James

One of the 7 books most questioned regarding acceptance into the New Testament Canon

I John

Author: Apostle John
Date: 85
Readers: Asian Churches
Occasion: Gnostic teachers
Subject: Enhanced fellowship
Theme: Walking in the Light or Fellowship
Key verse: 1:3

II John

Author: John the Apostle
Date: 90
Readers: Matron of church/a church
Occasion: heretics coming round
Subject: Abide in truth to avoid error or Truth vs. Error
Key verse: 9

II & III John

Each of these are one of the 7 books most questioned
regarding acceptance into the New Testament Canon

III John

Author: John the Apostle
Date: 90
Readers: Gaius
Occasion: encourage hospitality
Subject: Walking in Truth or Hospitality Demonstrates Truth
Key verse: 5

New Testament Survey
The Revelation summary

The New Covenant Fulfilled

The New Covenant is finished in the Revelation
because in it John shows that God will fulfill His covenant promises to His people.


Author: John the Apostle
Date: 95
Readers: Asian believers under persecution
Occasion: Visions on Patmos
Subject: Complete prophecy
Theme: The Final Chapter or Unveiled Hope
One of the 7 books most questioned regarding acceptance into the New Testament Canon.

Hebrews – James - 2 Peter – Jude - 2 John – 3 John - Revelation

Key verse: 1:19 – provides the outline for the book:

1. The things that you have seen - Chapter 1
2. The things that are - Chapters 2-3
3. The things that will take place - Chapters 4-22