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What Is the New Testament?

Learn what the New Testament is in this Howcast Bible study video with Reverend Dr. Timothy Coombs.


Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to

The New Testament is a series of books of writings and letters that are part of what you might call the Christian scriptures. They begin, the New Testament begins with four Gospels, or four stories of the life and ministry of Jesus. These Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew, Mark and Luke are what are known as the Synoptic Gospels, and then there's John which is a very different kind of Gospel in many respects. One of them is that in the other Gospels, Jesus is kind of quiet about who he is until after the crucifixion and resurrection, but in John, Jesus is like his own PR man saying: ""I am the bread, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the Good Shepherd."" After the Gospels comes this book called the Acts of the Apostles, which is actually the sequel to Luke's story of Jesus and the Acts of the Apostles is the story of the church. The beginning of the book begins with stories primarily about Peter nut about half way through it becomes more and more about Paul and his missionary travels.

After Acts comes a series of letters that are attributed to Paul. The first being Romans and these are letters that Paul wrote to individual church communities, often dealing with problems that arose because Paul would start a church, then move on and then often times would have to send some correspondence to answer questions or difficulties they were having. There are other letters in towards the back of the New Testaments of Peter, John and James. There's a letter to the Hebrews, it's called, and then the final book of the New Testament is the Revelation of John that was written by John of Patmos a bishop who was exiled on the island of Patmos, writing, we believe, to his seven churches, and his charge and telling them in this time of persecution and suffering to have hope that God's victory will be ultimate and to believe even though things are hard. It is a letter, a message of encouragement to all those suffer in our world today.

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