He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” -Matthew 16:15
The Meaning of the New Testament
- The Bible is made up of two units – the Old Testament and the New Testament.
- “Testament” means covenant, so the first section of the Bible describes the Old Covenant, while the second section describes the New Covenant ushered in by the coming of Jesus Christ.
- Read as a complete work, these 66 books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament) deliver one message of God’s redemption through the person and work of Jesus.
Jesus the Christ
- The credibility of the New Testament centers on one question: Is Jesus the Messiah?
- As a whole, the Jewish community rejected Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah for different reasons:
- The Coincidence Argument: The unique manner in which Jesus fulfilled prophecies were due to extreme coincidences.
- The Altered Gospel Argument: Followers of Jesus altered with the content of Jesus’ biographies to connect him to Old Testament prophecies.
- The Intentional Fulfillment Argument: Jesus intentionally set out to fulfill prophetic content regarding the Messiah.
- The Context Argument: The Messianic texts are taken out of context by Christians.
- The Expectation Argument: Jesus was not the type of Messiah these Jewish believers expected.
The Identity of the Messiah
- In reading the following passages, do you know of whom they speak?
- They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him…
- They have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
- The virgin will be with child…call him Immanuel.
- He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed…the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
- A voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way of the LORD.
- “Throw it to the potter” – the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.
- Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
- But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, although you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
New Testament Books
- The New Testament can be broken down into the narratives (Matthew-Acts) and the letters (Romans-Revelation).
- Another way to separate them is by the Gospels, Acts, Paul’s Letters, Other Letters, and Revelation.
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.