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list of books of the New Testament

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This is a list of the 27 books of the New Testament , ordered canonically according to most Christian traditions. See also Bible and biblical literature .

The New Testament Books: What You Need to Know

the new testament books in order

The New Testament books contain the most life-changing truths in the world.

However, it can often be difficult for a 21st century reader to understand how to read the new testament, which was written in the 1st century, without first understanding the context, central themes, and key texts of each book. We're not going deep on four horsemen of the apocalypse, but I guarantee you'll walk away from this post with some great insights.

But hang tight.

In this article on New Testament Books of the Bible , I’m going to share:

After reading this post, you’ll know the purpose and nature of each book.

You will also gain answers to questions about the New Testament like:

As a result, you will be able to read, understand, apply, and preach from each book with a better grasp of its true meaning. Use this breakdown of New Testament books as a way to more fluently and thoroughly understand each text you encounter.

New Testament Books

First, if you’re wondering how many books in the new testament there are, there are 27. It may also be helpful to understand that the Bible breaks down the new testament into 5 main sections:

Understanding the main sections of the new testament gives you immediate context into what you're reading. Now on to summary of each New Testament Book in the Bible.

The book of Matthew was written between 70 and 80 AD by the Apostle Matthew.

Matthew drew on the Gospel of Mark as source material for his own work, as did Luke. Scholars refer to these three gospels as “The Synoptic Gospels.” This term comes from the word “synopsis,” meaning “summary,” because all of these authors drew on many of the same summary source materials—even one another—when writing the Gospels.

The reason that there are four gospels is that the early church needed different ways to explain the life and work of Jesus from multiple angles to understand the entire history in a cohesive way.

Luke’s expansive historical prose would have made the Gospel of Mark unsightly, disorganized, asymmetrical in its content structure, and confusing in its style, voice, and purpose. Matthew ideally establishes the relationship between the Old and New testaments because he emphasizes the Jewishness of Jesus as a central feature of the nature and purpose of his work, beginning with a genealogical prequel in Chapter 1, followed by a retelling of the life of Jesus in a way that mirrors the story of the Old Testament itself in order to highlight by way of genre the manner in which Jesus fulfilled the major prophecies and themes of the Old Testament. ‍

Key verse: “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” (Matt 22:37-40)

Key theme: Jesus is the promised messiah; the kingdom of God.

Mark is considered by scholars to be the first gospel. Its brevity (only 16 short chapters) should not be confused with sparsity or lack of substance. Mark intended this work to be a terse, potent, and forceful assertion of both the historical credibility of the stories about Jesus and the radically transformative irruption which his life and work catalyzed in human history.

Mark ends on a somber note: “Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid” (Mark 16:8). Some later manuscripts add 11 verses which summarize what occurred afterward—namely, the fallout of the resurrection of Christ and the institution of the church.

Mark is centrally about the new shape that the kingdom of God has taken through Christ and how it clashes violently with the evil, corruptive, and oppressive forces of the world. After centuries of waiting, Mark’s Gospel is a “tell it like it is” story of the central elements of Jesus’s life and work.

Key verse: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Key theme: Jesus is the great servant preacher who announces the good news of God's saving reign.

Luke wrote both the Gospel of Luke and Acts as a two-part work, commissioned by the wealthy benefactor Theophilus. Luke was a medical doctor who, by his training, was gifted with the intellectual capacity to engage in ancient journalism to produce the Gospel account with the highest degree of investigative rigor.

Luke’s account is considered by scholars to contain the largest amount of information with the least amount of artistic flare by the writer.

The purpose of Luke was to give an account of the life and work of Jesus that dovetailed thematically and historically into an account of the early church. In that regard, Acts is not so much a sequel to Luke as much as Luke is a prequel to Acts. There are other Gospel accounts, but there is only one Acts. Luke had the foresight to understand that it would be critical for the political integrity of Christianity as a new religion to have a researched, first-hand account of the founding and rationale of their organization, which had its first official general council meeting in Jerusalem (Acts 15).

In other words, Luke was written to give a comprehensive account of the life of Christ in a way that was intelligible and preachable as Scripture in the early church. We might put it crudely in this way: Matthew, Mark, and John are meant to be understood as communicating many important features of the life of Christ, but Luke was intended to serve as a public document that drew on theological themes insofar as it served to illuminate to the Roman republic and Greek-speaking world the historic rationale for the founding of the church itself.

Key verse: “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’” (Luke 24:44)

Key theme: God has decisively revealed himself in Jesus Christ and it has changed the world.

The Gospel of John is a rich work that does recount the historical events of the life of Christ, but the Apostle John saturates this historical narrative with theological themes such as the love of God, divine illumination, the importance of fellowship among believers, and the deeper resonances of Christ’s relationship to the world, with an emphasis on his divine lordship and eternal nature.

Key verse: “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

Key theme: Jesus is the Christ, the eternal Son of God who gives eternal life to all who believe.

Acts is Luke’s second work, which is meant to show how the ministry of the Spirit in the life of Christ is transformed through his crucifixion and resurrection into the ministry of the church. What Christ accomplished in his life by the power of the Spirit would be dispensed at scale to the entire church in Acts 2. The rest of the book of Acts is about what the Spirit does to fulfill Christ’s charge to reach Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Key verse: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Key theme: God has given the church the Spirit to continue the mission of Jesus on earth.

Romans was written by the Apostle Paul in 57 A.D. in order to help the Roman church navigate the difficult relationship between the Jewish and Roman communities. The context is that the Roman church was primarily Jewish, initially, until the Jews were exiled from Rome. However, they were later allowed to return, yet when they returned, the church had become primarily Gentile, meaning that the Roman church came to practice Christianity in a way that was not distinctively Jewish.

This sparked deep debate about the continuing relevance of the Old Testament for Christian practice and threatened to divide the church in Rome. Paul wrote the book of Romans to settle this theological controversy as well as to promote unity among the church, encouraging them to love one another and to place unity in Christ above minor theological questions about the Old Testament, important as they are (Paul devotes the first 11 chapters of Romans to resolving this issue for the church in Rome).

Key verse: “For all have sinned and fall short of the flory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” (Romans 3:23-25)

Key theme: The Gospel; The righteousness of God

7. 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians was written by the Apostle Paul to rebuke the church in Corinth for integrating too much pagan culture into the church, which sparked abuse, licentiousness, heinous sexual sin, arrogance, and the oppression of believers based on what spiritual gifts they had. Paul wrote to tell the Corinthians that their church had merely taken on Christian language, but made the church into an essentially pagan institution by their practices.

This is where the famous passage on love in 1 Corinthians 13 becomes relevant. Love in Christ, properly conceived, would resolve the tensions the Corinthians were experiencing—the social factions, the social hierarchies, the lawsuits against one another, and even the moral self-righteousness of those who were condemning Christians who ate meat sacrificed to idols.

Paul wears two hats in this letter—one as a referee, and the other as a spiritual parent. He is concerned both with reunifying the church and helping them to keep their eyes set on Christ in order to grow in maturity and love for one another without losing the theological insights that changed their community. He is careful not to take the side of any political faction in the church, yet makes the necessary rebukes, for example, toward a man who was sleeping with his step mother (1 Corinthians 5).

Key verse: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no on can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which if Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11)

Key theme: Undo political factions in the church through love from Christ.

8. 2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians was Paul’s later letter to the Corinthian church. While they had matured since Paul’s first letter, there were other leaders who claimed to be apostles that questioned Paul’s spiritual authority. He defends his credibility with the Corinthian church (2 Cor 6) by recalling all that he suffered for their sake and the fact that he never took any money from them.

Key theme: Paul is a true Apostle from Jesus; Faith teaches us how to suffer, but doesn’t save us from suffering

9. Galatians

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians in order to dispel a particular heresy in the church in Galatia. There was a group called “Judaizers” who were teaching that, in order to receive Christ properly, individuals must first become Jews and then Christians. For example, they taught that Christians must be circumcised first in order to receive the forgiveness of Christ.

Paul was so frustrated by the spiritual disruption of this heresy that he wrote to the Galatians: “As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!” (Galatians 5:12).

Paul took the relationship between faith and works very seriously, because it represented a critical transition in history between a time when the people of God were made right with God by obedience to the law and a new era inaugurated by Christ in which people were made right with God by receiving his love through spirit-wrought faith in Christ.

He framed Christian behavior, not in terms of “acting good” or “acting bad,” but living “according to the Spirit” and “according to the flesh” (Galatians 5). While the Judaizers were incorrect, Paul didn’t want to over-communicate his point and mislead the Galatians to become licentious like the Corinthians.

Key verse: “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” (Galatians 3:23-25)

Key theme: Justification with God by grace through faith, not by works

10. Ephesians

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians in order to communicate the lordship of Christ over creation, the exact benefits of the gospel, how the message of Christ relates to works in the Christian life, and what Christian household and civil life should look like in this new era of Christ’s resurrected reign.

Key verse: “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:4-7)

Key theme: The unity of the church under the headship of Christ.

11. Philippians

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians in order to express his deep gratitude to the Philippian church for a gift they had sent him. This town, with a large veteran population, was committed and loyal to Paul, and supported his ministry.

This kingly gift of an Apostolic letter was Paul’s way of giving this church an expression of gratitude, along with very helpful theological instruction on the nature of Christ and how his life promotes generosity in the church.

Key verse: “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)

Key theme: Gratitude to God for partnership; faithful endurance by the power of Christ

12. Colossians

Paul wrote the book of Colossians in order to dispel a heresy in the early church that downplayed the divinity of Jesus (properly conceived) and taught odd things about how to connect with Christ via quasi-mystical spiritual practices. Paul wanted to impress upon the Colossians the reality of Christ’s lordship over creation and how such a reality changed Christian behavior.

Key verse: “If then you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4)

Key theme: Christians are a new creation, no longer under demonic powers

13. 1 Thessalonians

The Apostle Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians to help the church in Thessalonica to properly understand the future return of Christ to earth. Some in this church were persuaded that Christ would either not return for a long time, or would never return in a literal fashion.

Paul impressed upon them the open possibility of Christ’s imminent return and the definitive fact of that impending return in order to supply the church with encouragement and hope.

Key verse: “Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Key theme: Be encouraged; Christ will return soon.

14. 2 Thessalonians

The Apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians because his earlier letter was misconstrued by some to mean that Christ was definitely going to return in the next few days.

Paul rounded out his theology of the future with a commendation to continue working, and to express the open possibility that Christ may in fact not return immediately , though its possibility should prompt us to be expectant, prepared, and waiting in such a way that does not diminish our daily activity on the earth.

Key verse: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (2 Thesalonnians 3:5)

Key theme: Be encouraged; Christ may not return today.

15. 1 Timothy

The Apostle Paul wrote 1 Timothy in order to shepherd a young pastor through the trials of church planting amidst theological controversy in the early church.

Because Christianity was such a young movement at the time, Timothy was operating with very little precedent, and therefore needed apostolic oversight from Paul to deal with more complicated issues in church governance and leadership.

Key verse: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Key theme: Encouragement and advice to a young pastor facing heavy responsibility.

16. 2 Timothy

2 Timothy is Paul’s last letter. He writes it to Timothy in order to hand off the baton of his legacy-building initiative to Timothy, vesting him with the task of planting and overseeing churches in his respective region.

While Timothy was not granted apostolic authority as Paul had, Timothy was an officer in the church who was operating on behalf of the Jerusalem council and carried out the mission of Jesus through the Apostle Paul’s careful oversight.

Key verse: “And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 2:24-25)

Key theme: Continue to be faithful, even when it’s hard.

Titus was a key asset for the Apostle Paul, and Paul’s epistle to Titus, similar to his epistles to Timothy, was meant to guide him in his work. Titus journeyed with Paul through Jerusalem with Barnabas, and was later dispatched to Corinth, where he helped Paul to reconcile the divided community there.

Because Titus had experience with conflict management, Paul used Titus in a very different way than he did Timothy. Paul write this letter to help Titus to manage theological controversy in the church in order to guard it from division, while at the same time being ruthless with false teachers in the church promoting a gospel of salvation on the basis of works.

Key verse: “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” (Titus 3:14)

Key theme: Qualifications for church leadership

18. Philemon

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philemon to a wealthy Christian whom Paul had brought to Christ. Later, Paul met a runaway slave named Onesimus, who also became a Christian. Paul learned that Onesimus was a slave who ran away from Philemon. Paul wrote to Philemon in order to request that Philemon take back Onesimus without punishment, in respect for and recognition of the work God had done in his heart.

Key verse: “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” (Philemon 1:6)

Key theme: Models prudence, courtesy, and compassionate care for the forgiveness of one who faces serious consequences.

19. Hebrews

The book of Hebrews is mysterious. There is no consensus about the authorship of Hebrews. It bears the style of many other New Testament biblical writers, including both Paul and Luke. Most scholars recognize that Hebrews is a distinctively Pauline work, though its style is sufficiently different from Paul’s style that it is likely not his direct product.

The purpose of the book of Hebrews is to encourage Jewish Christians who are tempted to deconvert back to Judaism to remain in Christ. The author warns that not only will they put themselves back under the yoke of slavery to the law, but that deconversion bears serious spiritual consequences.

The author of Hebrews seeks to accomplish not primarily by way of warning (though HEbrews is famous for its warning passages in chapters 6, 9, and 10), but by highlighting the majesty and glorious benefits Christians have in Christ .

Key verse: “The former priests were many in number because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25)

Key theme: Remain in the faith even when your community pressures you to leave.

The book of James is written by James, the brother of Jesus, to Christians who believe that forgiveness for sin through Christ means that Christians are no longer obligated to do good in the world. James makes the definitive point: Faith without works is dead.

By this, James means that all genuine faith manifests itself in good works, because the same Spirit that unites us to Christ for the sake of salvation is the Spirit that works through us to love others.

The Epistle of James bears many thematic similarities to the sermon on the mount, and feels very much more like the writings of Matthew and Mark than it does the writings of Paul and Peter.

Key verse: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)

Key theme: Faith should always manifest itself through works.

21. 1 Peter

The Apostle Peter wrote his first letter in order to encourage persecuted Christians who had been dispersed throughout the world. Unlike the Apostle Paul’s epistles, which were written to a specific local audience with the intent of being circulated for the sake of proper Christian instruction, Peter’s intended audience is simply: Christians everywhere.

As long as there are Christians, those Christians will be persecuted and they will be tempted to leave the faith (John 15:18-25). Peter understands and experiences this on a personal level, and he leverages his apostolic authority in 1 Peter to encourage the saints who are exhausted from the suffering that came with believing in Jesus in the first century.

Key verse: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

Key theme: Remind Christians of their present identity and future inheritance in Christ in light of persecution.

22. 2 Peter

The style and message of 2 Peter is very different from 1 Peter. Peter himself says that he is writing the epistle before his imminent death (2 Peter 1:14). The epistle is saturated with Old Testament references and imagery, and shares significant stylistic similarities with the book of Jude, because both epistles are dealing with odd views among Christians about fallen angels.

Some scholars have used the differences between 1 and 2 Peter to indicate that Peter did not write the epistle, although there is sufficient time between the writing of these two letters to indicate that Peter’s circumstances and resources inhibited him from writing better Greek prose (good, not great) in his second Epistle.

Key verse: “You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” (2 Peter 3:17-18) Key theme: Warning against false teachers who seek to divide the church for selfish gain.

The Apostle John was concerned in his gospel to articulate, beautify, highlight, and defend the pre-existent divinity of Jesus as the eternal Son of God. 1 John was written to dispel myths circulated by some Jewish Christian circles that Jesus was not the pre-existent Son of God.

John makes the case because Christ is the Son of God, his sacrifice is a maximal example of love that we should emulate, tying tightly together the Christian doctrines of Christ’s divinity with the doctrine of neighborly love.

Key verse: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)

Key theme: Fellowship in Christ, encouragement in maturity, the nature of eternal life

The Apostle John composed his second epistle in order to dispel the myth of a heresy called “gnosticism,” which taught that one only comes to know Jesus through mystical practices and initiations that guard and safely dispense “secret knowledge” (Greek: Gnosis) in order to receive salvation.

He argues that by accepting gnosticism, we dilute and destroy the love of God for us in Christ.

Key verse: “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” (2 John 6)

Key theme: Jesus Christ is both God and man, and this changes how we relate to others.

3 John is a strictly personal letter that encourages hospitality, missional work, and the need for prudence when accepting new members and teachers into the church.

John warns that by guarding the church from false teachers, we guard the church from evil, abuse, and hatred.

Key verse: “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” (3 John 11)

Key theme: Fellowship with other believers and show hospitality to those in genuine need.

Jude writes this letter under Jamesian apostolic authority to warn against false teaching in the church. Jude is concerned to guard the church from malicious parties who would take advantage of her, yet also expresses the notion that Christians should have an instinct of hospitality and love toward those who undergo seasons of doubt.

He strives to articulate strict boundaries for church belonging, but not so strict that it cannot accommodate the realities of human life.

Key verse: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)

Key theme: Vigilantly preserve the faith in love.

27. Revelation

The Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation while exiled for his faith on the island of Patmos. He wrote it in order to give Christians a vision of the future that helped them to live faithfully in the present.

While it is full of imagery that many find confusing, it is important to understand that he gets much of his imagery from the Old Testament. So, while other New Testament writers will explicitly cite Scripture, John does something more subtly—he takes imagery from Daniel, Ezekiel, and many other prophets and books to paint a more vivid picture of Christ’s work in the world today and how it relates to our hope for the future which will be fulfilled by Christ himself.

Key verse: “Behold I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12-13)

Key theme: Christ is the king of the universe and will fulfill all his promises throughout Scripture.

Over to you

Use this survey, books of the new testament , to enrich your reading of the Bible and engage with the text of Scripture at a deeper level.

The more you are able to leverage an understanding of a book’s context and central themes, the more you are able to fluently read and apply the texts to your life and the life of the church.

Check out these additional Bible verse posts

For additional encouraging Bible verses and Bible verse posts, check out these resources:

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the new testament books in order

The New Testament books of the bible contain the most profound truth + message in the world. Here’s a must-know breakdown of every book.

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the new testament books in order

The Books of the Bible: Old & New Testament in Order

the new testament books in order

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As a religious canon or collection of scriptures for the Christian faithful, the books of the bible are important. Whether for study or interest, find a full list of Bible books in order, what it means to have the books of the Bible in chronological order, and a brief overview of their history.

What Are the Books of the Bible, or Ta Biblia?

The Bible is long and complicated, so it can be a bit hard to keep it all straight. The scriptures contain hundreds of stories over generations. Christian Bibles, which borrow heavily from the Hebrew Tanakh, are broken down into different books; we've presented the full list of books in order for your reference.

As we discuss below, different traditions count different books and order them differently. We've decided to present them here in the order used in most mainline Protestant Bibles, as those are the most common variety in the United States where we're based.

See also The King James Bible, Old Testament Names, and Kings of Judah & Israel

Looking to broaden your religion reading? Check out our list of the best books on Buddhism .

What Are the 46 Books of the Old Testament in Order? 

What are the books of the new testament in order, the apocryphal and deuterocanonical books, the hebrew scriptures & the old testament.

The first books in the Christian bible are the holy books of the Jewish faith, collected in the Tanakh. "Tanakh" is an acronym of the three major division of the Hebrew holy book--the T orah ("teachings," also known to Christians by the Greek name "the Pentateuch" or "five books"), N evi'im ("prophets"), and K etuvim ("writings"). In Christian traditions these books are called "the Old Testament." The Jewish faith also adheres to the teachings in the Talmud, rabbinical commentaries on the Tanakh; unlike the Tanakh, Christian scripture does not recognize the Talmud.

Different Christian traditions acknowledge different books of the Bible as canonical. The Tanakh includes only 24 books, while mainline Protestant bibles inclue 39*, Catholics include 46, and Eastern Orthodox groups include 49. The books included in some bibles and not others are called Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical; this means either that they are not canon, or that they are less canonical than primary canon.

*Protestant bibles do not include more material than Hebrew bibles, but they divide the book of the 12 minor prophets into 12 different books, as well as dividing the book of Ezra-Nehemiah into the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and the book of Chronicles into 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. All Christian bibles, however, are ordered differently than the Tanakh.

The Five Books of Moses/the Pentateuch

The only set of books included in each list of Old Testament books, all forms of the Tanakh, and the Old Testament, in the same order, is the Torah or Pentateuch. These five books, the five books of Moses, are the first and arguably most important books in the scripture.

An Overview of the Old Testament & the New Testament Books

The Old Testament begins with the book of Genesis, which tells the story of how the world was created, and how God anointed his chosen people and taught them how to live. This includes famous stories like those of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Noah's Ark.

After Genesis, the different books of the Old Testament relate the trials of the Israelites as they endure centuries of enslavement or captivity under different empires. There is a general pattern where God sends a prophet to teach the Israelites how to live and to lead them from hardship, but over time they lose faith and find themselves suffering new hardships. The most famous example is Moses leading his people out of slavery in Egypt--the people are impious and must wander the desert for forty years before their descendants can enter the promised land.

Some of the other important episodes from the Old Testament include the rise of King David, the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Babylonian Captivity. The Old Testament also includes various sayings and songs about morality, god, and other esoteric subjects.

The New Testament is concerned with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, which are the basis for Christianity. His life story is told in the four Gospels (which comes from the Old English for "good news"). Almost all of the other books are letters written by Saint Paul or other Christian teachers, discussing their beliefs or giving advice.

The last book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation, written by John the Apostle, which recounts an apocalyptic vision of the End of Days. The most important event discussed in Revelation is the Second Coming of Christ, although most of the events in Revelation are controversial in their meaning.

What Is the Bible Language: Notes on Biblical Terms

There are a few cases of terms that crop up a lot in the books of the bible, but that get confused in everyday language. We just want to focus in on two; the different terms for "God's chosen people" in the Bible, and how God is identified and named.

The terms "Hebrew," "Jew," and "Israelite" are often used interchangeably, but they do mean slightly different things , as addressed in this informative post from Chabad.

The first person identified as a Hebrew is Abraham, and so in a sense the Hebrews are descendants of Abraham. More specifically, the etymology of Hebrew implies an individual who is across or has crossed something, and so it is often used to describe the people of Abraham when not in Israel/Canaan, and when resisting cultural pressures and temptations from outside groups. Joseph is called a Hebrew when in Egypt. Lastly, Hebrew is often used to refer to the Hebrew-speaking Jews of Roman Judaea.

Israelite more specifically refers to descendants of Jacob or Israel, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel who later would be split between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. It is important to note that Israelite is different from the current national demonym Israeli, indicating a person from the country of Israel.

Jew, lastly, refers to the people of Judah, and then after the Babylonian exile to Israelites more broadly due to cultural and religious importance of Judah. In general, Jew or Jewish person is used to refer to a person who practices Judaism or is part of the Jewish community. Due to its invective use by anti-semites, the word "Jew" by itself can sometimes sound harsh or rude, but there are many cases in which it's perfectly neutral and appropriate.

The Name of God

In the Tanakh, God is identified with the seven different names. Per tradition, these are to be treated with extreme reverence; you shouldn't erase or damage them when written down. For that matter, despite our academic use of them here, you're not supposed to write them down too often either.

The most significant name for God in the Tanakh is the Tetragrammaton, or the four letters. The four letters are transliterated as YHWH. In Latin, since the letter J originally was pronounced like a Y or I, and the letter V sounded like a W, this was written JHVH (from which we get "Jehovah," as in the Witnesses). Since you're not supposed to write the name down too often, it's common to change a letter (in English this is often written as G-d) or to space the letters, like Y-H-W-H.

Especially in Judaism, but in many Christian traditions as well, you are not supposed to pronounce the Tetragrammaton. When referring to the name itself, one would typically same HaShem ("The Name" in Hebrew). When reading the four letters, it is pronounced Adonai (or "The Lord"). If the word "Lord" is already next to the four letters, you would say Elohim. This is how we arrive at the common English phrase "the Lord God."

Here are the facts and trivia that people are buzzing about.

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Conciliar Post

The New Testament in Order

Jacob Prahlow

Begin reading through the New Testament and, in addition to the grand story, you will eventually notice a few things. For one thing, the story of Jesus gets repeated four times, then you hear the story of the early church, and then you begin to read letters that don’t seem to be in any sort of coherent order. Why is the New Testament organized how it is, and not some other way? Why is the New Testament canon laid out in the order that it is? Why is the New Testament not arranged in order of its events? Or, to ask yet a slightly different question, why is the New Testament not arranged in the order in which it was written?

In this article, we will look at the major orders in which the New Testament can appear. First, we will consider canonical order : the order in which the writings of the New Testament appear in modern, published Bibles. Second, we will consider chronological order : the order in which the events of the New Testament are portrayed. And finally, we will consider several different proposals for the compositional order : the order in which New Testament writings were actually written down.

As one final prolegomenological note, let me foreground my belief that each of these orders provides insights into the meaning and message of the New Testament. Context matters a great deal—in fact, it governs the meaning of everything. While we often pay close attention to historical context when it comes to questions about the ordering and understanding of the New Testament, literary context also matters. In short, where you find a particular book or passage in the collection known as the New Testament makes a difference to and influences the interpretation of that book or passage. Thus, canonical order, chronological order, and compositional order each cast (and recast) the writings of the New Testament in ways that are fruitful for faithful and critical readings of the text.

Canonical Order

First, let us consider canonical order: the order of New Testament books that appears in modern published Bibles. Before diving in, let me first note that not every edition of the New Testament has included precisely the 27 books modern readers are familiar with, nor have those books always been in exactly the order in which we are used to them appearing.

To cite one historical example, Codex Sinaiticus (one of the oldest full copies of the New Testament) uses the following order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Acts, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation, Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas. There are obviously a few key differences there, as well as some familiar patterns.

That said, there are two primary reasons why the New Testament appears in the order it does today. First, the New Testament largely follows the organizational pattern of the Old Testament, with the core story (Torah for the OT, Gospels for the NT), followed by historical accounts and other writings. Obviously, the pattern does not match entirely, but it’s relatively easy to notice a three-fold pattern of organization in both testaments.

But a second reason the New Testament looks like it does is because collections of now-New Testament writings circulated in the ancient world centuries before they found their way into the canon of the New Testament. Based on evidence from early Christian writers known as the Apostolic Fathers , it seems that collections of writings were beginning to circulate by the last first century. While we are not 100% certain what these collections initially would have looked like, by the late-second and early-third centuries, several clear groupings had emerged:

There was no uniform standard in the earliest years of these collections, as usefulness and accessibility often governed what an early Christian community might have in their growing collection of scriptura . The Gospels were the most commonly circulated, followed by the works of Paul. Everything else enjoyed a pattern of usage that sometimes varied by geography. Finally, in the early fourth century, we begin to see evidence of the New Testament canon as we have it today:

This order was popularized by the time of Athanasius of Alexandria’s Festal Letter 39 and eventually became the standard ordering of the New Testament canon.

Chronological Order

A chronological ordering of the New Testament is arranged a little differently, with the main difference being that many New Testament letters find themselves superimposed into the narrative of Acts. Without digging too much into the minutia, it probably looks something like this:

There’s plenty of debate about some of this, but based on what events are described or assumed to be contemporaneous with these writings and passages, this is a basic outline of a chronological reading of the New Testament.

Compositional Order

A final way to think about the ordering of the New Testament is in the order in which these documents were written. At first, you might imagine that this would parallel the chronological ordering, but that’s not quite correct. Most scholars believe that either 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, or James was the first New Testament document written, all of which speak to events chronologically later than the Gospels. This is largely due to the fact that the Gospels are not media reports or live tweets about Jesus: they are literary biographies, composed by followers of Jesus to tell the story of Jesus as the first generation of Christians got older.

The order in which the writings of the New Testament were composed is a topic of much scholarly debate. On the one hand, many contemporary scholars push the writing of certain documents well into the second century and speak extensively about anonymous and pseudonymous authorship of certain writings. On the other hand, there are plenty of scholars who advocate for much earlier (and more traditional) datings, with some scholars even suggesting that the contents of the New Testament were written before the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple by Rome in 70 CE. 9

Consider Marcus Borg’s listing of the New Testament books in the order they were written in The Evolution of the Word (including his likely dates 10 ):

Likewise, consider the “consensus dates” 11 that are often used as a benchmark by New Testament scholars for discussing when the writings of the New Testament were composed:

One Final Proposal

Alternatively, my own research suggests a much tighter window of writing:

There are two driving ideas behind this proposal. First, I find generally compelling Robinson’s argument in Redating the New Testament (since echoed and expanded upon by countless scholars) that the implications of the destruction of Jerusalem should be noticeable in early Christian writings after its occurrence. Particularly in New Testament writings written for a Jewish audience, the lack of clear signals about this event is extremely telling. The detailed arguments in Hebrews, for example, make little sense if they had been written after Jerusalem has fallen; in that case, why not simply spell out the disastrous implications of Judaism, as later anti-Jewish Christian writers would? 12

The second driving idea behind my proposal is that early Christian writing occurs around events . That is, for a missional and eschatological movement such as early Christianity, there needed to be some clear impetus for taking the time to write something down and then preserve it. Religious movements that expect an imminent end do not typically write much down for posterity’s sake. There need to be certain developments, debates, or deaths to drive such a shift. In my thinking, the chart below indicates some of the influences that were likely at work in the composition of New Testament texts.

Why does the New Testament appear in the order it does? For a variety of reasons, perhaps including reasons influenced by chronology of events or order of composition, but not limited to those factors. Considering alternative orders to the New Testament—especially the chronological and compositional—does provide a useful lens for considering what the New Testament says and means. In fact, there is much to be learned from considering alternative orders. As we take up and read, therefore, let us be aware of how literary context shapes and influences how we engage the Scriptures.

1 The canonical order has traditionally been explained as the order in which the gospels were written, though this was brought into question as seemingly early as Papias and Origen. See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.25 and Augustine , The Harmony of the Gospels , I.2.4

2 As Luke Part II, Acts was never seriously doubted as part of the canon, though it’s specifical placement in the canon varied quite dramatically in early canons.

3 The Pauline canon follows two orderings: epistles to churches and epistles to people (also known as pastorals ), and longest to shortest (the exception being Ephesians, which is a little longer than Galatians).

4 The general (or catholic) epistles likewise are arranged in a roughly longest to shortest, with Hebrews bridging the gap between Paul and non-Pauline writers.

5 Technically, Revelation falls into at least two genres: letters to churches (chapters 1-3) and apocalypse (chapters 4-22, though some interpreters divide these chapters into apocalypse and prophecy sections).

6 In parallel for long sections of course. For an example of what a parallel ordering of the gospels might look like, consider this guide .

7 Presuming that these letters are both about the Gentile controversy addressed in Acts 15 by the Council of Jerusalem.

8 Paul’s authentic letter to the Laodicians remains lost, although Paul clearly mentions the letter in Colossians 4:16 and at least some pseudonymous editions appear to have circulated in the ancient world, including (according to Tertullian) in Marcion of Sinope’s canon.

9 The most influential advocate of this position is John A.T. Robinson, whose Redating of the New Testament continues to provide fodder for scholarly conversations about the dating of New Testament documents.

10 Dating ranges are notoriously fickle and circumspect, with most published pieces including appropriate notations that all such dating estimates are necessarily circa given the realities of accurately describing history.

11 There’s really no such thing as a “scholarly consensus” about such things, let alone a fixed consensus. Scholars are constantly going back and forth about when NT documents were written and how we might know. That said, it remains common in the field to talk about consensus, if only as a foil for whatever proposal or project one is working on.

12 This is one reason why I find post-70 CE datings of Johannine literature compelling. In contrast to every other New Testament writing, John’s use of the Jews indicates not a formal parting of the ways (which other historical sources reveal was a centuries-long process), but a differentiation of the Way from the Jewish rebels who have just suffered defeat at the hands of Rome.

13 Romans stands out among Paul’s letters not only for its length and theological heft, but also as one of the few surviving letters (if not only letter) to have been written to a church prior to Paul’s presence there.

14 Based on an understanding of Ephesians as an encyclical to the wider area of churches around Ephesus and not to the urban Ephesian church itself, which Paul would have been quite familiar with by this point.

15 Hebrews is probably an edited sermon, sent as theological encouragement to area churches.

16 1 John is probably an edited sermon, sent as theological encouragement to area churches.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia .

Jacob Prahlow

Jacob Prahlow

Christian. Husband of Hayley. Father of Bree and Judah. Lead Pastor at Arise Church in Fenton, MO. Alumnus of various institutions. Cubs Fan. Co-Founder of Conciliar Post.

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27 Snapshots of New Testament Books of the Bible

the new testament books in order

Davis Wetherell

27 Snapshots of New Testament Books of the Bible

Here is a list that offers a snapshot of all 27 New Testament books of the Bible. I hope you see Jesus Christ is at the center of each book . And, I hope you grow in worship of our Lord and Savior.

The first of all the new testament books of the Bible. The first of four gospels. It begins with a genealogy proving Jesus is the promised Messiah, and contains the beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount 

The second of four gospels—and the shortest read stretching only 16 chapters. Mark describes many of Jesus’s miracles and healings. 

The third of the four gospels. Luke was a doctor and so his account of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection is very precise, often using higher vocabulary words and sometimes giving more detailed depictions of events.

The final gospel. John’s gospel offers an intimate portrait of Jesus’s life, and how much he loves us, something also seen in all New Testament books of the Bible. Here you will find Jesus’s 7 “I Am” statements.

Written by Luke, Acts is a detailed history of believers and the early church after Christ’s ascension into heaven. Not only does this book include the story of the Pentecost, it also tells of Paul’s conversion, and the effort to spread the Gospel of Jesus to the gentiles as well as the Jews.

Of all the New Testament books of the Bible Paul wrote, Romans letter to believers in Rome is perhaps his most comprehensive. Paul says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As a result of this truth, salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 

A letter from Paul to the church in Corinth which experienced some spiritual immaturity. Having a heart for the church, Paul wrote this letter to address church conduct and other topics to spur them on to a greater faithfulness in Jesus Christ. 

2 Corinthians 

A second letter from Paul to the Corinthian church, in which Paul speaks of his communication with them, his changing itinerary, and his plans to come visit them. 

A letter from Paul to the church in Galatia rebuking them for “quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and… turning to a different gospel” (1:6). They had been listening to false teachers claiming their salvation in Christ was dependent on their fulfillment of certain rituals and law. Paul uses this letter to remind everyone that:  

“A person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.” (2:16) 

This letter from Paul is a loving encouragement “to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus” (1:1). Paul explains how we are unified in Christ, discusses the “mystery of the Gospel” (3:1-13), and talks about how we live in light of putting on the “new self” (4:24).  


All of Paul’s letters proclaim the gospel of Jesus and this one is no different. Paul discusses his own suffering in detail, and he does this to show how Christ’s name has been proclaimed through it. Paul says his famous line:

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (1:21).


A response to heretical teaching threatening the church at Colossae, Paul’s letter warns the Colossians against several things such as the worship of angels and asceticism. Paul encourages believers again to put away all sinfulness and instead put on the new self that comes as a result of faith in Jesus (3:1-17).   

1 Thessalonians 

Back in Acts we read how Paul needed to leave Thessalonica before he would have liked (see Acts 17:5-10), and new believers now needed his further instruction and support amid incoming persecution. This letter instructs them on how to live a godly life.  

2 Thessalonians 

This second letter came as further encouragement to the church of the Thessalonians, writing to encourage those who were afflicted with persecution due to their faith in Jesus (1:5-12) and to remind believers about the importance of work (3:6-15).

A letter from Paul to Timothy, saying that he should stay at the church of Ephesus to guard the church against false teaching. Paul wanted the church to know that Christ came to saves sinners, not righteous people. 

Paul’s letter to Timothy displays his close friendship with Timothy, hoping to encourage him in the Gospel work he had been doing. This letter contains one of the most famous lines about the nature of Scripture:  

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (3:16) 

A letter from Paul to Titus, who Paul placed in Crete for the Gospel of Jesus to spread there. This letter provides instructions for him on how to fulfill his duty in the Lord Jesus. 

Paul writes to Philemon to thank him for the love he showed him. He also writes that he is sending Onesimus to them, who though was once “was useless” is now “indeed useful” (v. 11) to all including Christ Jesus.

Like many other New Testament books of the Bible, Hebrews deals directly with Old Testament passages, showing the unity of Scripture. One of the main goals of the book is to depict Christ Jesus as our Great High Priest. Jesus is greater than Moses (Ch. 3) and greater than Melchizedek (Ch. 7).  

Hebrews 11 is called the “ Hall of Faith ” because it shows how Old Testament figures gained righteousness through faith, not by works.  

Like Paul’s repeated encouragement to put on the new self that comes with faith in Jesus, James reminds his readers that faith in Jesus Christ produces great usefulness and fruitfulness!  

Peter writes to the “elect exiles” (1:1), the believers in Christ who are spread throughout the region. He seeks to encourage them as they face trials of various kinds. He says that these trials will bring glory to Jesus as they produce a “tested genuineness of [their] faith” (1:7). Peter urges believers to strive after holiness. 

Peter writes in this letter to encourage believers to “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue” (1:5). And he writes for them to be cautious of false teachers (Ch. 2), and to remind them about the teaching concerning Christ’s coming (Ch. 3).

John writes here to encourage believers to walk in the light. He speaks to how Christ is our Advocate (Ch. 2), and that we demonstrate God’s love through our love for others. 

John, in what may be the shortest of all the New Testament books of the Bible, wonderfully connects following Christ’s commandments with loving another: “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments” (v. 6). 

John writes: “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God” (v. 11)  

Jude writes in response to false teachers spreading an enticing lie. This lie said Jesus’s grace provides greater opportunity to live a sinful life. Jude writes that these are teachers “for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever” (v. 13).


Compared to other New Testament books of the Bible, Revelation apocalyptic nature relies more heavily on symbolic language. John’s vision may not give us every fact we could want. But, it does gives us the full truth we need : Jesus is Lord forever and ever!

Davis Wetherell

Davis Wetherell (MA in English, Marquette University) is a writer and editor. He recently managed article content for Open the Bible . He has taught college classes on literature, rhetoric, and composition. Davis has a heart for writers and loves to serve them. Check out his blog .

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The New Testament Books

by Jeffrey Kranz | Jan 12, 2014 | Bible Books

Guide to the books of the Bible

If you look at your Bible’s table of contents, you’ll find that the Bible has two main divisions: the Old Testament and the New Testament. While the Old Testament is bigger ( about 77% of the whole Bible ), the New Testament is the part with the stories of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and followers. To Christians, that’s pretty important.

The New Testament is a collection of 27 smaller documents, called “books.” And while the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox branches of Christianity disagree on how many books should be included in the Old Testament, the New Testament books are the same across the board. Here’s a quick, high-level look at how all these books are arranged in the New Testament.


The New Testament: 27 books in 5 categories

The New Testament books fall into five general categories: the Gospels, the single book of Acts, Paul’s letters to churches, Paul’s letters to church leaders, and a collection of letters sent out (mostly) to large groups of people. Let’s take a quick tour of how these books are grouped together in our Bibles.

The 4 Gospels

If you’ve spent much time around Christians, you’ve probably heard the word “gospel.” It’s a word that means “good news.”  Christians through the centuries have used it primarily to refer to a very specific bit of good news: Jesus, the Son of God, rose from the dead and will one day return to govern the whole world in peace and justice.

So it’s no wonder that the four books of the New Testament which tell the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are called “the gospels.” They are as follows:

The book of Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke (Acts 1:1–2; Luke 1:1–4). It’s the author’s account of how the followers of Jesus grew from a small group of witnesses to a movement that spread throughout the Roman empire. The central characters in this narrative are Peter and Paul: two prominent leaders in the early church.

You can learn more about the book of Acts here .

Paul’s letters to local churches

In the book of Acts, we see how Paul spread the good news about Jesus throughout the first-century Roman empire. As he did this, he and his associates established gatherings of people (“churches”) who regularly met. Paul kept tabs on how these churches developed, and on several occasions sent letters to local churches to educate and instruct them on, just what it meant to be a church, and how churches should conduct themselves.

For the most part, these letters were sent to churches in individual cities—which is where they get their names:

This isn’t the complete works of Paul—there’s evidence in the Bible that he wrote other letters, too. These are just the ones Christians preserved long enough and spread wide enough for them to make it into the Bible … but that’s another story.

The Pastoral Epistles: Paul’s letters to church leaders

Paul didn’t just write to congregations. Four of our New Testament books are correspondence from Paul to individual church leaders. These letters are named after the people Paul sent them to:

A quick note on Philemon: this is a tricky book to categorize. It’s an open letter to the man Philemon, but also to his church. There’s a good chance that it was delivered at the same time as the letter to the Colossians.

The General Epistles: Letters to large groups

For the most part, the following letters were written to large groups of Christians living in the first-century Roman empire. These letters address a wide array of topics important to Christians of the time. With the exceptions of Hebrews and Revelation, these letters are named after their traditional authors.

Those are all 27 books of the New Testament. You can check out my summaries of every book of the Bible here.

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Books of the Bible

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Updated: 10 January 2022 City Church Christchurch

Written under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit by laymen and scholars, commoners and nobility, the Bible is as unique as it is profound, containing 66 ancient books that have shaped laws, influenced culture and inspired billions to faith over three millennia. Divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament , the Bible is an essential historical and moral study for all, that is as relevant today as it ever was.

Author Year written Genre

Old Testament Books

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New Testament Books

Old Testament

A collection of divinely inspired books written between 1450 B.C. and 430 B.C., the Old Testament is a historical record of God's people, laws, sayings and promises that function as a model for moral living and conduct.

Moses 1450-1410 B.C. Narrative

Meaning "the beginning or origin of something", Genesis is the first book of the Bible, recording Creation, the fall of man and the early years of the nation of Israel.

God appoints Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan, establishing a special relationship with them on the way to Mount Sinai.

3. Leviticus

Moses 1445-1444 B.C. Law

God gives Israel rules to live by and instructions to present themselves holy before Him.

A sequel to Exodus, Numbers takes its name from two censuses (or "numberings") of the people of Israel, following their journey through the wilderness for forty years.

5. Deuteronomy

Moses 1407-1406 B.C. Narrative

A farewell speech from Moses to the people of Israel shortly before his death, Deuteronomy recaps the promises of God and provides instructions to obey Him in the Promised Land.

Joshua & possibly Phinehas 1405-1383 B.C. Narrative

A book of conquest, Joshua details the Israelites' invasion and eventual occupation of the Promised Land through faith and action.

Probably Samuel 1086-1004 B.C. Narrative

Israel enters a cycle of sin, suffering defeat and oppression, only to cry out to God for deliverance, who sends leaders (called "judges") to help them.

Unknown 1375-1050 B.C. Narrative

Occurring during some of the darkest days in Israel's history, Ruth follows the journey of two widows who lose everything, but find hope through God.

9. 1 Samuel

Samuel, Nathan & Gad 930 B.C. Narrative

Israel rejects God's chosen leader, Samuel (a judge), and demands a king despite God's warnings.

10. 2 Samuel

Unknown 930 B.C. Narrative

The life and career of King David, who subdues Israel's enemies and doubles the size of the kingdom, but is not without failings.

11. 1 Kings

Unknown 560-538 B.C. Narrative

Israel enjoys a period of peace and prosperity under King Solomon, but later splits in two after Rehoboam (his son) takes the throne.

12. 2 Kings

The kings of Israel and Judah ignore God and His prophets, eventually falling captive to invading nations and are exiled to foreign lands.

13. 1 Chronicles

Ezra 430 B.C. Narrative

Written to encourage the people returning from Babylonian exile, 1 Chronicles recaps the history and genealogy of Israel, emphasising the spiritual significance of David and future Messianic King.

14. 2 Chronicles

A continuation of the previous book, 2 Chronicles focuses on the kings of Israel, from King Solomon and the building of the temple, to subsequent division, exile and return from captivity.

Ezra 450 B.C. Narrative

Fulfilling the promises of God, the Israelites return from exile after seventy years and rebuild the temple.

16. Nehemiah

Nehemiah 445-432 B.C. Narrative

Despite local opposition, Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem from exile, rallying the people to rebuild the city walls and gates in just fifty-two days.

Unknown 483-471 B.C. Narrative

Occurring during the exile of Israel, Esther is a Jewish queen to a Persian king, who intercedes on behalf of her people to save them from a genocidal plot.

Possibly Job 2100-1800 B.C. Poetry

A righteous man named Job loses everything and suffers greatly, but remains faithful to God and is blessed abundantly.

David, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Solomon, Heman, Ethan & Moses 1440-586 B.C. Poetry

A collection of 150 songs of worship and praise to God that includes prophecies of the coming Messiah.

20. Proverbs

Solomon, Agur & Lemuel 970-930 B.C. Wisdom Literature

The book of Proverbs contains God's divine wisdom, covering a variety of topics for every area of life.

21. Ecclesiastes

Solomon 935 B.C. Wisdom Literature

Solomon's analysis of life, which is meaningless and empty without God.

22. Song of Songs

Solomon 970-930 B.C. Poetry

A passionate yet gentle song of love between a husband and wife, symbolising God's relationship with us.

Isaiah 700-681 B.C. Prophecy

The first book of the Major Prophets, Isaiah contains warnings of God's coming judgement and detailed prophecies about the Messiah.

24. Jeremiah

Jeremiah 627-586 B.C. Prophecy

Known as the weeping prophet, Jeremiah passionately pleads with the people to repent before the coming Babylonian captivity, but is ignored.

25. Lamentations

Jeremiah 586 B.C. Poetry & Prophecy

Lamentations is a book of sadness that reflects on the destruction of Jerusalem and captivity of Israel.

26. Ezekiel

Ezekiel 571 B.C. Prophecy

Ezekiel is called by God to preach a message of judgement and deliverance for the captives living in Babylon.

Daniel 535 B.C. Narrative & Prophecy

Like Ezekiel, Daniel has been taken to Babylon in captivity and receives prophetic visions while serving in the courts of the king.

Hosea 715 B.C. Prophecy

The first book of the Minor Prophets, Hosea is a tragic love story that demonstrates God's unending love for His people despite their unfaithfulness.

Joel 835-796 B.C. Prophecy

Joel warns the people to repent and turn back to God before judgement falls upon them.

Amos 760-750 B.C. Prophecy

A shepherd named Amos prophesies to the northern kingdom which has become self-sufficient and indifferent towards God during a time of great prosperity.

31. Obadiah

Obadiah 627-586 B.C. Prophecy

Only one chapter, Obadiah demonstrates God's ongoing protection of His people and coming judgement on the nation of Edom, which was indifferent during the Babylonian plunder of Jerusalem.

Jonah 785-760 B.C. Narrative

A reluctant prophet, Jonah is sent by God to Nineveh, but refuses and learns the futility of it in the belly of a giant fish.

Micah 742-687 B.C. Prophecy

Micah warns of the coming judgement that will eventually exile the nation, and includes some of the clearest predictions of the Messiah.

Nahum 663-654 B.C. Prophecy

Nahum is the second prophet sent to Nineveh (Jonah being the first) to preach God's judgement on the Assyrian city and empire.

35. Habakkuk

Habakkuk 612-589 B.C. Prophecy

God answers Habakkuk's complaints of wickedness and injustice in the land.

36. Zephaniah

Zephaniah 640-621 B.C. Prophecy

Written shortly before the fall of Judah (Southern Kingdom of Israel) to Babylonian conquest, Zephaniah warns the people and the surrounding nations that the day of the Lord is near.

Haggai 520 B.C. Prophecy

Written after the Babylonian exile, work to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem had halted due to opposition and spiritual apathy, so Haggai motivates the people to finish.

38. Zechariah

Zechariah 520-480 B.C. Prophecy

Zechariah ministered with Haggai after the 70-year exile, encouraging the remnant to return to God.

39. Malachi

Malachi 430 B.C. Prophecy

The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi is a beautiful expression of God's love for a nation that continues to disobey Him.

New Testament

The New Testament is a collection of twenty-seven sacred books that centre on the life, death, resurrection and teachings of Jesus Christ.

40. Matthew

Matthew (Levi) A.D. 60-65 Gospel

The first book of the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew was primarily written for the Jews and references many Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus.

John Mark A.D. 55-65 Gospel

Mark is the shortest Gospel, which emphasises Jesus' servanthood and miracles.

Luke A.D. 60 Gospel

Unlike the other Gospel writers, Luke was a Gentile who wrote an account of Jesus' life for those outside the Jewish faith.

John A.D. 85-90 Gospel

The last of the four Gospels, John is an eyewitness account of Jesus' ministry that focuses on the deeper meaning of events surrounding Christ's life, death and resurrection.

Luke A.D. 63-70 History

A historical narrative of the early church which was empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the Good News.

Paul A.D. 70 Epistle

An epistle to the believers in Rome (hence the name) where Paul planned to visit. Romans sets a theological foundation for faith through Jesus.

46. 1 Corinthians

Paul A.D. 55 Epistle

The first of two letters from Paul to the believers in Corinth, 1 Corinthians was written in response to divisions and problems facing the local church.

47. 2 Corinthians

Paul A.D. 55-57 Epistle

The second and final letter from Paul to the church in Corinth, 2 Corinthians deals with persisting problems facing the believers there and warns against false teachers.

48. Galatians

Paul A.D. 49 Epistle

A letter from Paul to the church in Galatia, the book is a foundational study that addresses the problem of Jewish legalism and the fullness of salvation found in Jesus.

49. Ephesians

Paul A.D. 60 Epistle

Written to the church in Ephesus during Paul's first imprisonment, Ephesians covers a variety of subjects including the gift of grace, love and how to walk as fruitful followers of Jesus.

50. Philippians

Paul A.D. 61 Epistle

An encouraging letter from Paul to the church in Philippi explaining the attitude and outlook believers must have to experience the joy of the Lord.

51. Colossians

In this letter, Paul refutes certain false teachings that are impeding the church in Colossae, reaffirming the deity and superiority of Jesus Christ.

52. 1 Thessalonians

Paul A.D. 51 Epistle

The first of two letters to the believers in Thessalonica, Paul writes to encourage and strengthen the church, emphasising the principles of holy living through faith, hope and love.

53. 2 Thessalonians

A follow-up letter of encouragement to the persecuted church of Thessalonica, Paul reaffirms Jesus' second coming and matters preceding that event.

54. 1 Timothy

Paul A.D. 54 Epistle

A letter from Paul to a young pastor named Timothy, offering guidance and important principles for church leadership that still apply today.

55. 2 Timothy

Paul A.D. 67 Epistle

The second of two letters to Timothy, the book is probably Paul's final chronological epistle, urging his protégé to remain strong and faithful to Jesus.

Paul A.D. 65 Epistle

A letter of guidance from Paul to Titus to address challenges facing his leadership of the churches on the island of Crete.

57. Philemon

Consisting of only one chapter, the book is a short but profound letter from Paul to Philemon requesting forgiveness for a runaway slave named Onesimus.

58. Hebrews

Unknown A.D. 68 Epistle

A letter urging Jewish believers not to return to their former traditions, summarising key Biblical characters and events to emphasise the hope of salvation through Jesus.

James (Jesus' half-brother) A.D. 49 Epistle

A hard-hitting letter from James, encouraging believers to have a genuine faith with an emphasis on results.

60. 1 Peter

Peter A.D. 65 Epistle

The focus of Peter's first letter is persecution, sharing inspiring words of comfort for Christians living as an oppressed minority in the Roman Empire.

61. 2 Peter

Peter A.D. 66 Epistle

Peter's second letter warns against false teachers and reaffirms important spiritual truths.

John A.D. 90-95 Epistle

Written to oppose heretical doctrine, the first letter from John echoes the Gospel, encouraging Christians to love one another and keep Jesus' commands.

A brief letter from John to "the chosen lady", urging believers to love one another and to be on guard against false teachings.

The shortest book in the Bible, 3 John commends Gaius and Demetruis for their faithful service.

Jude (Jesus' half-brother) A.D. 65 Epistle

A letter from Jude to address false teachings and urge Christians to defend the truth of the Good News.

66. Revelation

John A.D. 95 Apocalyptic

Written during John's imprisonment on the island of Patmos, Revelation is an apocalyptic book that contains prophetic visions of the Spiritual Realms and Jesus' return to Earth.

Bible Teaching Resources

Want to learn more about the Bible? We encourage you to explore the many Bible teaching articles, books, devotionals and media resources available at Derek Prince Ministries .

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Pope Benedict XVI 1927-2022 tribute page and access to resources here .

New American Bible

Books of the bible, books of the bible in canonical order.


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