A Guide To




Divisons of the New Testament

The general divisions of the New Testament are well known. The four Gospels are biographical; Acts of the Apostles is historical; the Epistles, as their name indications, are epistolary, and the Revelation, or the Apocalypse as scholars generally prefer to style it, is descriptive and prophetic.

The Gospels do not pretend to give a complete biography of Christ, but only a few such facts in his career as serve to establish his claim to be the Christ the Son of God; and a few specimens of his teaching and his predictions. One of them declares the first to be its purpose (John 20:31), and the contents of the others show that the same is true of them. John also shows the fragmentary character of his narrative by saying, in hyperbolical terms, that if all that Jesus did should be written, he supposes that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25.)

The book of Acts is a general history of the church for about thirty years from its beginning; the Epistles are communications from certain of the Apostles, that is, from Paul, James, Peter, Jude, and John, all addressed to churches or to individual Christians; and the Apocalypse sets forth in the main the destiny of the church.

Questions on Chapter 13
1. What are the divisions of the New Testament?
2. How many books in each? (See introduction.)
3. What are the characteristics of (1) the Gospels, (2) Acts, (3) the Epistles?

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