By Estelle P. Shrum
1. GENESIS – (Written by Moses) – (1450-1400 B.C.) The first part deals with the beginning of creation and sin. God spoke all things into being. He created man in his own image for fellowship with him. Man is created with a body, a soul, a spirit and a free will to make decisions for or against God. The second part focuses on God’s dealings with Abraham and his descendents, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. The book concludes with – though we sin, God will not give up on us or abandon us. In spite of our failures, God loves us and sees our value and worth.
2. EXODUS – (Written by Moses) – (1450- 1400 B.C.) This book begins with the descendants of Jacob living in slavery to the Egyptians. Moses is called and directed by God to lead the Israelites out of this bondage. It is gives the account of the Jews exit from Egypt and Israel’s birth as a nation from Egypt.
3. LEVITICUS – (Written by Moses) – (1450 – 1400 B.C.) Leviticus means “pertaining to the Levites.” This book focuses on six-hundred and fifteen (615) laws for Levite Priests regarding “Offerings and Regulations.” Israel was redeemed to worship, serve, and obey a holy God, and have fellowship with a holy God. The Talmud refers to Leviticus as the “Law of the Priests,” and the “Law of the Offerings.” Moses received this revelation while on Mount Sinai in the desert. It was set down to preserve the spiritual, moral and physical purity of the people. The book ends with promises that God will keep His covenant with the Israelites if they obey His commands.
4. NUMBERS – (Written by Moses) – (1450 – 1400 B.C.) This book is the sad story of nearly 40 years of agony the Jews wandered in the wilderness – an eleven day journey turned into 40 years because of their disobedience. The title “Numbers” are based on the generation of Exodus and the generation that grew up in the wilderness.
5. DEUTERONONY – (Written by Moses) – (1410 – 1395 B.C.) This book addresses a generation destined to possess the Promise Land. It is addressed to the new generation destined to possess the Land of Promise – those who survived the forty years of wilderness wandering. It also contains a vast amount of legal detail, but emphasis is on the layman rather than the priests. Moses reminds the new generation of the importance of obedience if they are to learn from the sad example of their parents. It completes the five books of Moses…The Talmud.
6. JOSHUA – (Written by Joshua) – (1410 – 1350 B.C.) His name means Salvation. This book was written by Joshua but probably elders added portions to the book after his death…he was full of the Spirit of wisdom for Moses laid his hands upon him and the children of Israel that followed him. It is the first of twelve historical books (Joshua – Esther). It is linked between the Pentateuch and Israel’s history. Joshua learns leadership and victory comes through faith in God and obedience to His Word rather than from his might or military superiority.
7. JUDGES – (Probably written by Samuel) – (1043 – 1004 B.C.) This book is a direct contrast to Joshua, and could be called (Book of Failures) It shows seven distinct cycles of sin to salvation during the nearly four centuries God raises up military champions to throw off the yoke of bondage and to restore the nation to pure worship but sin continues in cycles of sin and grows even colder.
8. RUTH – (Prevalent view written by Samuel – (1011 – 931 B.C.) This is a story of love, devotion and redemption in the days of the Judges. It is a story of a Moabite woman who forsakes her pagan heritage to cling to the people of Israel. God rewards her by giving her a new husband (Boaz) a son (Obed) and a privileged position in the linage of David and Christ (she is the grandmother of David).
9. 1ST SAMEUL – (Possibly written by Samuel with excerpts from the memoirs of Gad and Nathan) – (1050 – 931 B.C.) This book describes the transiting in Israel from Judges to Kings. Three characters are prominent in the book…Samuel (last Judge), Saul (first King), and David his successor. Samuel was originally one book in Hebrew but was divided into two books by the Septuagint breaking up the history of David.
10. 2ndSAMUEL – (Believe to be written by Gad and Nathan) – (1010 – 931 B.C.) This book records and highlights David’s reign. First over the territory of Judah, and finally over the nation of Israel.
11. 1st KINGS – (Possibly written by Jeremiah) – (640 – 550 B.C.) First and Second Kings give a political history of Israel. The first half traces the life of Solomon. His great accomplishments and unsurpassed splendor and beauty of the temple in Jerusalem. However, Solomon’s zeal for God diminishes in his later years as a pagan wife turns his heart away from worship in the temple of God. His divided heart leaves behind a divided Kingdom.
12. 2nd KINGS – (Possibly written by Jeremiah, however chapter 25 was suggested to be written by an exile after the Babylonian captivity) – (640 – 550 B.C.) This book traces the reigning monarchs of Israel and Judah and the downfall of a divided kingdom. The kingdom of Israel is repeatedly ruled by nineteen (19) consecutives evil Kings leading the captivity by Assyria. The few good rulers, along with Elisha and other prophets cannot stop the nation’s decline. The picture is brighter in Judah, where Godly Kings occasionally emerge to reform the evil of their processors. In the end sin outweighs righteousness and Judah is marched off to Babylon.
13. 1st CHRONICLES – (Possibly written by Ezra) – (450 – 400 B.C.) These books are more of a divine editorial on the history of God’s people. Both one and two Chronicles present a religious history of David and the dynasty of Judah. The 1st Chronicles begins with royal line of David and the traces the spiritual significant of David’s righteous reign. Chronicles 1 & 2 was dived into two parts in the 3rd century B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrews Bible by the Septuagint.
14. 2nd CHRONICLES – (Possibly written by Ezra) – (450 – 400 B.C.) This book parallels 1st & 2nd Kings but ignores the northern kingdom of Israel because of its false worship and refusal to acknowledge the temple of Jerusalem. The Temple and temple worship is central throughout the book. The book begins with Solomon’s glorious temple and concludes with Cyrus edict to rebuild the temple more than 400 years later.
15. EZRA – (Possibly written by Ezra) – (457 – 444 B.C.) This book is the narrative of 2nd Chronicles by showing how God fulfills His promise to return His people to the land of promise after 70 years of exile, (Israel’s “Second Exodus”) that consist of fewer than 50,000 people. It was 900 miles from Babylon back to Jerusalem. Ezra rebuilds the spiritual condition of the people. Between these gaps is a period of six decades, during which time Esther rules as queen in Persia. Ezra and Nehemiah were viewed as one continual history but the Septuagint referred to Nehemiah as the “Second Ezra”.
16. NEHEMIAH – (Probably written by Nehemiah; however some scholars suggest that Ezra may have written parts of the book while using Nehemiah’s memoirs to record the rest.) – (445-420 B.C.) Nehemiah leads the third and last return to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. His concern for the welfare of Jerusalem and the inhabitants prompts him to take bold action. Granted permission by the King of Persia to return to his home-land, Nehemiah challenges his countrymen to arise and rebuild the shattered wall of Jerusalem. In spite of opposition from without and abuse from within, the task is completed in only fifty-two days, a feat even the enemies of Israel must attribute to God enabling. By contrast the task of reviving and reforming the people of God within the rebuilt wall demands years of Nehemiah’s godly life and leadership.
17. ESTHER – (Author Unknown) – (485 – 435 B.C.) This book tells the story of the courageous and beautiful Esther, and the wise council of her cousin Mordici that resulted in great deliverance. After seventy years of captivity, about 50,000 Israelites return to their homeland. Esther was chosen to be Queen to King Xerxes after Vashti is demoted from the same position. Haman, an evil adviser to the king, plans to exterminate the Jewish people. Esther risks her life by revealing she is a Jew and pleads for her people, which results in the deliverance of the Jewish people. God’s name is never mentioned but His divine providence and protection on behalf of His people is evident.
18. JOB – (Scholars place the date from the time of Abraham to the time the Jews return from their Babylonian exile). Thought to be earliest book of the Bible. It is set in the periods of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph. It tells the story of a man who loses everything and wrestles with the question of “why”. The book begins with a heavy debate between God and Satan and moves to earthly debates between Job and his friends, concluding with a “divine diagnosis” of Job’s problem. In the end Job acknowledges the sovereignty of God and receives back more than he had lost.
19. PSALMS – (Primarily David, but also at least 7 other writer: Moses, Solomon, Asaph, Ethan, Heman, and the sons of Korah, some of the Psalms are anonymous) – (1450 – 430 B.C.) This is the largest and most widely used book in the bible. It’s 150 songs, praises and poems includes diverse topics such as jubilation, war, peace, worship, judgment, prophecy, praise and lament. The Psalms were set to the accompaniment of stringed instruments and served as the temple hymnbook and devotional quite for the Jewish people.
20. PROVERBS – (Principally King Solomon, but Agur, King Lemuel and others made contributions) – (1000 – 700 B.C.) Proverbs is an assortment of wise sayings relating spiritual truths and common sense. It is a combination of poetry, parables, pithy questions, short stories, and wise maxims to give in strikingly memorable form to common sense and divine perspective to handle life’s issues. Proverbs are practical, timeless and ideal for memorizing.
21. ECCLESIASTES – (Probably Solomon) – (940 – 935 B.C.) The preacher Solomon was the wisest, richest, and most influential King in Israel’s history. He looks to life “under the sun”, and from the human perspective, declares it all to be empty, and that nothing can fill the God shaped void in man’s life but God himself. But once seen from God’s perspective life takes on meaning and purpose, causing Solomon to exclaim…eat…drink…rejoice…do good…live joyfully…fear God and keep his commandments. Skepticism and despair melt away when it is viewed as a daily gift from God.
22. SONG OF SOLOMON – (Written by Solomon) – (965 – 960 B.C.) This book is a love song written by Solomon and abounding in metaphors and oriental imagery. Historically it depicts the wooing and wedding of a shepherdess by King Solomon, and the joys and heartache of wedding love. Its picture is of Israel as God’s bride (Hos. 2:19, 20), and the church of the bride of Christ. As human life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of a man and woman, so spiritually life finds its highest fulfillment in the love of God for His people and Christ for His church. There are three main speakers in the drama. The Bride (Shulamite), the King (Solomon), and a chorus (daughters of Jerusalem).
23. ISAIAH – (Written by Isaiah) – (745 – 680 B.C.) Isaiah is like a miniature bible, the first thirty-nine chapters are filled with judgment upon immoral idols worshipping men. The whole earth has sinned and judgment must come for God cannot allow such blatant sin to go unpunished forever. But the final twenty-seven chapters declare a message of hope. The Messiah is coming as Savior and Sovereign to bear a cross and wear a crown. Isaiah’s ministry spans the reign of four kings of Judah and covers at least forty years. Isaiah’s prophecies concerning Jesus Christ are crystal clear, thorough and probably more detailed than in any other Old Testament book.
24. JEREMIAH – (Written by Jeremiah) – (627 -580 B.C.) This is the story of a heart broken prophet with a heart breaking message. Jeremiah labors for more than forty years proclaiming a message of doom to the stiff-necked people of Judah. Through his sermons and remaining celibate he faithfully declares that surrender to God’s will is the only way to escape calamity. Yet even as he prophesies destruction, Jeremiah promises a coming time of blessing, restoration and a new covenant.
25. LAMENTATIONS – (Written by Jeremiah) – (586 – 585 B.C.) This book describes the funeral of a city. Jerusalem is reduced to rubble by the invading Babylon hordes, and Jerusalem lies barren. His anguish is not only for himself, but for the exiles and those left behind destitute. But even during this barren hour, in Jeremiah’s contrite heart he has a glimmer of hope. He begins to pray for mercy on his people. In the face of death and destruction Jeremiah turns tragedy into triumph of faith and finds hope and comfort through God: A God who has never failed him.
26. EZEKIEL – (Written by Ezekiel) – (593 – 565 B.C.) Ezekiel is a priest and a prophet who ministered during the darkest days of Judah’s history: the seventy days Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel uses prophecies, parables, signs, and symbols to dramatize God’s message to His exiled people. Present judgment will be followed by future glory so that “Ye shall know that I am the Lord.” He concludes his return to Jerusalem in a vision to receive details on the new temple, the New Jerusalem and the new land.
27. DANIEL – (Written by Daniel) – 605 – 530 B.C.) Daniel’s life bridges the entire seventy year period of Babylonian captivity. He was deported to Babylon at the age of sixteen and hand picked for government service. Daniel became God’s prophetic mouthpiece to the Gentile and Jewish world declaring present and eternal purpose. Nine of the twelve chapters revolve around dreams, including God-given visions, animals, beasts and images. Through his personal adventures and prophetic vision, Daniel shows God’s guidance, intervention, and power in the affairs of men.
28. HOSEA – (Written by Hosea) – (790 -710 B.C.) His name means Salvation; he ministered to the northern kingdom of Israel (largest tribe in Ephraim). Outwardly the nation was enjoying a time of prosperity and growth: but inwardly, moral corruption and spiritual adultery permeated the people. At the command of God, the prophet Hosea marries Gomer the prostitute. However his domestic life seems to be a tragic dramatization of the unfaithfulness of God’s people. During the half century of his prophetic ministry, Hosea echoes his threefold message: God abhors the sin of his people, judgment is certain, but God’s loyal love stands firm.
29. JOEL – (Written by Joel) – (835 – 800 B.C.) Disaster strikes the southern kingdom of Judah without warning. An ominous black cloud descends upon the land – the dreaded locusts. In a matter of hours, every living green thing has been stripped bare. Joel, God’s spokesman during the reign of Joash (835-796 B.C.), seizes this occasion to proclaim God’s message. Although the locust plague has been a terrible judgment for sin. God’s future judgments during the day of the Lord will make that plague pale by comparison. In that day, God will destroy His enemies, but bring unparalleled blessing to those who faithfully obey Him.
30. AMOS – (Written by Amos) – (670 – 753 B.C.) Amos is a shepherd and a fruit picker from the Judean Village of Tekoa (south of Bethlehem) when God calls him, he prophesizes during a period of national optimism in Israel. Business is booming and boundaries are bulging. But below the surface, greed and injustice are festering. Hypocritical religious motions have replaced trust and worship creating a false sense of security and callousness to God’s disciplining hand. Famine, drought, plagues, death, and destruction – nothing can force the people to their knees. Amos lashes out at sin unflinchingly, trying to visualize the nearness of God’s judgment and mobilize the nation to repentance. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.
31. OBADIAH – (Written by Obadiah) – (848 – 840 B.C.) A struggle began in the womb between twin brothers, Esau and Jacob, eventuates in a struggle between their respective descendants, the Edomites and the Israelites. For the Edomites stubborn refusal to aid Israel first during the time of wilderness wandering (Num. 20:14-2) and later during a time of invasion, they are roundly condemned by Obadiah. This little known prophet describes their crimes, tries their case, and pronounces their judgment: total destruction. The book ends with the promise of the fulfillment and deliverance of Zion in the last days when the land will be restored to God’s people as he rules over them.
32. JONAH – (Written by Jonah – (793 – 753 B.C.) God calls Jonah to preach repentance to the wicked Ninevites, but the prophet’s fear and pride run from God. He turns down the assignment and heads for Tarshish instead. But once God has dampened his spirits (by tossing him out of the boat and into the water) and has demonstrated His protection (by moving him out of the water and into the fist) Jonah realizes God is serious about His command. Nineveh is a success, the preacher comes away angry and discouraged and he must learn firsthand of God’s compassion and forgiveness for sinful men.
33. MICAH – (Written by Micah) – (735 – 698 B.C.) Micah is a prophet called to leave his familiar surroundings to deliver a stern message of judgment to the princes and people of Jerusalem. Burdened by the abusive treatment of the poor by the rich and influential, the prophet turns his verbal rebukes upon any who will use their social or political power for personal gain. One-third of Micah’s book exposes the sins of his countrymen: another third pictures the punishment God is about to send: and the final third holds out the hope of restoration upon His people are clear: “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God: (6:8).
34. NAHUM – (Written by Nahum) – (663 – 612 B.C.) Nineveh had been given the privilege of knowing the one true God. Under Jonah’s preaching the gentile city had repented, and God had graciously held judgment. One hundred years later Nahum proclaims the downfall of this same city. The Assyrians had forgotten their revival and returned to habits of violence, idolatry, and arrogance. As a result Babylon destroyed the city that no trace of it remained – a prophecy fulfilled in painful detail.
35. HABAKKUK – (Written by Habakkuk) – (609 – 589 B.C.) – He ministers the nation of Judah. Repeatedly they are called to repentance, but the nation stubbornly refuses. Habakkuk asked God how long this intolerable condition can continue. God replies that Babylonians will be His chastening rod upon the nation. God gives Habakkuk a new understanding and insight into the very nature of God. God is good, fair and wise, and man’s responsibility is to confidently place faith in him. Habakkuk praises God’s wisdom even though he does not fully understand God’s ways.
36. ZEPHANIAH – (Written by Zephaniah) – (640 – 612 B.C.) – Zephaniah’s forceful prophecy may be a factor in the reform that occurs during Josiah’s reign. A revival produces outward changing but the nation’s heart is still corrupted. Zephaniah repeatedly gives the message that the day of the Lord, Judgment Day, is coming when sin will be dealt with. But after the chastening process is complete, blessing will come in the person of the Messiah, who will be cause for praise and singing.
37. HAGGAI – (Written by Haggai) – (About 520 B.C.) After the Babylonian exile a newly returned group of Jews are back in the land to rebuild the temple. Sixteen years after the process is begun, the people have yet to finish the project, for their personal affairs have interfered with God’s business. Haggai preaches fiery sermons designed to stir up the nation to finish the temple. Zerubbabel and Joshua are commissioned to let the Lord’s presence guide their leadership of the people. Finally the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom is foretold; where Zerubbabel will be honored for his part in helping complete the temple.
38. ZECHARIAH – (Written by Zechariah) – (520 – 518 B.C.) Zechariah is commissioned by God to encourage the people to finish the temple for more than a dozen years, it is still not completed. Zechariah cries to encourage them to action by reminded them of the future importance of the temple. The temple must be built for one day the Messiah’s glory will inhibit it. The future’s blessings are contingent upon present obedience. The whole book dominates this theme: Israel will be blessed because Yahweh remembers the covenant He made with the fathers.
39. MALACHI – (Written by Malachi) – (450 – 400 B.C.) Malachi was a prophet in the days of Nehemiah. His message of judgment to a people plagued with corrupt priests, wicked practices, and a false sense of security in their privileged relationship with God. Using a question-and-answer method, Malachi probes deeply into their problem of hypocrisy, infidelity, mixed marriages, divorce, false worship, and arrogance. So sinful has the nation become that God’s wrath to the people no longer have any impact. For four hundred years after Malachi ringing condemnations, God remains silent. Malachi is distinguished as being the only prophetic book which ends not in deliverance…but judgment. Only with the coming of John the Baptist (prophesied in 3:1) does God again communicate to His people through a prophet’s voice.
40. MATTHEW – (Written by Matthew) – (A.D. 50-70) – The gospel of Matthew is written by a Jew to a Jew and about a Jew. Matthew is the writer, his countrymen are the readers, and Jesus Christ is the subject. Matthew presents Jesus as the king of kings of the Jews, the long awaited Messiah. Matthew documents Jesus Christ to be the Messiah. His genealogy, baptism, messages, and miracles, all point to the same inescapable conclusion: Christ is King even in His death, seeming defeat is turned to victory by the Resurrection, and the message again echoes forth: the King of the Jews lives.
41. MARK – (Written by Mark) – (A.D. 50-70) – The Gospel according to Mark vividly portrays Jesus teaching, healing, and ministering to the needs of others. Jesus is the perfect example and the perfect sacrifice for people of all time. The message of Mark’s gospel is captured in a single verse: “For even the Son of man came not be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (10:45). Chapter by chapter, the book unfolds the dual focus of Christ’s’ life: service and sacrifice. Mark portrays Jesus as a Servant on the move, instantly responsive to the will of the Father. He ministers to the needs of others even to the point of death. After the Resurrection, He commissions His followers to continue His work in His power.
42. LUKE – (Written by Luke) – (A.D. 58-70) – The gospel of Luke is written by Luke. He writes with the compassion and warmth of a family doctor. He carefully documents the perfect humanity of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. Luke emphasizes Jesus; ancestry, birth, and early life before moving carefully and chronologically through His earthly ministry. Growing belief and growing opposite develop side by side. Those who believe are challenged to count the cost of discipleship. Those who oppose will not be satisfied until the Son of Man hangs lifeless on a cross. But the Resurrection insures that His purpose will be fulfilled: “to see and to save that which was lost.” (19:10)
43. JOHN – (Written by John the Apostle) – (A.D. 85-96) – Luke presents Christ in His humanity as the Son of Man: John portrays Him in His deity as the Son of God. John’s purpose is crystal clear: to set forth Christ in His deity in order to spark believing faith in his readers. John’s gospel is typical, not primarily chronological, and it revolves around seven miracles and seven, “I am” statements of Christ. Following an extended eye witness description of the Upper Room meal and discourse, John records events leading up to the Resurrection, the final climatic proof that Jesus is who He claims to be—the Son of God.
44. ACTS – (Written by Luke) – (A.D. 61-63) – Jesus recorded words have come to be known as the Great Commission: “Ye shall be witnesses’ unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (1:8). The Book of Acts is the story of the men and women who took the commission seriously, and began to spread the news of a risen Savior to the most remote corners of the known world.
45. ROMANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 56-58) – This was Paul’s greatest work, and is placed first among his thirteen epistles in the New Testament. While the four Gospels present the words and works of Jesus Christ, Romans explores the significance of His sacrificial death. Paul uses a question-and-answer format and records the most systematic presentation of doctrine in the Bible. Romans is more than a book of theology; it is also a book of practical exhortation. The good news of Jesus Christ is more than facts to be believed: it is also a life to be lived—a life of righteousness befitting the person, “justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24).
46. 1st CORINTHIANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 55-57) – Corinth was the most important city in Greece during Paul’s day. It was a bustling hub of worldwide commerce, degraded culture, and idolatrous religion. There Paul founded a church (Acts 18:-17), and two, of his letters are addressed, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” (1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1). He addresses a variety of problems in the lifestyle of the Corinthian church: factions, lawsuits, immorality, questionable practices, abuse of the Lord’s Supper, and spiritual gifts. In addition to words of discipline, Paul shares words of counsel in answer to questions raised by the Corinthian believers.
47. 2nd CORINTHIANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 55-57) – Since Paul’s first letter, the Corinthian church had been swayed by false teachers who stirred the people against Paul. They claimed he was fickle, proud unimpressive in appearance and speech, dishonest, and unqualified as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul sent Titus to Corinth to deal with these difficulties, and Paul wrote this letter to express his thanksgiving for the repentant majority and to appeal to the rebellious minority to accept his authority. Throughout the book he defends his conduct, character, and calling as an apostle of Jesus Christ.
48. GALATIANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 49-55) Paul writes a letter to the Galatians in defense of the teaching of the gospel. Paul begins by setting forth his credentials as an apostle with a message from God: blessing comes from God on the basis of faith, not the law. The law declares men guilty and imprisons them: faith sets men free to enjoy liberty in Christ. But liberty is not license. Freedom in Christ means freedom to produce the fruits of righteousness through a Spirit-led-lifestyle.
49. EPPHESIANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 60-61) Ephesians is addressed to a group of believers who are rich beyond measure in Jesus Christ, yet living as beggars, and only because they are ignorant of their wealth. Paul begins by describing in chapters 1-3 the contents of the Christian’s heavenly “bank account”; adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, the seal of the Holy Spirit, life, grace, citizenship-in short, every spiritual blessing. In chapters 4-6 the Christian learns a spiritual walk rooted in his spiritual wealth. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (1-3) unto good works…that we should walk in them (4-6), (2:10).
50. PHILIPPIANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle from a prison in Rome) – (A.D. 60-62) Paul writes a thank-you note to the believers at Philippi for their help in his hour of need, and he used the occasion to send along some instruction on Christian unity. His central thought is simple: Only in Christ are real unity and joy possible. With Christ as your model of humility and service, you can enjoy a oneness of purpose, attitude, goal, and labor – a truth which Paul illustrates from his own life, and one the Philippians desperately need to hear. Within their own ranks the workers are at odds, hindering the word in proclaiming new life in Christ.
51. COLOSSIANS – (Written by Paul the Apostle from a prison in Rome) – A.D. 60-61) Ephesians focuses on the body; the Colossians focuses on the Head. Like Ephesians, the little Book of Colossians divides nearly in half with the first portion doctrinal (1 and 2), and the second practical (3 and 4). Paul’s purpose is to show that Christ is preeminent – first and foremost in everything – and the Christian’s life should reflect that priority…because believers are rooted in Him, alive in Him, hidden in Him, and complete in Him. It is utterly inconsistent for them to live life without Him.
52. 1st THESSALONIANS (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 50-51) – Paul has many pleasant memories of the days he spent with the infant Thessalonian church. Their faith, hope and perseverance in the face of persecution are exemplary. Peter encourages them to excel in their newfound faith, to increase in their love for one another, and to rejoice, pray, and give thanks, always. He closes his letter with instruction regarding the return of the Lord.
53. 2nd THESSALONIANS (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 51) – Paul begins his letter by commending the believers on their faithfulness in the midst of persecution and encouraging them that present suffering will be repaid with future glory. Therefore, in the midst of persecution, expectation can be high. Paul then deals with the central matter of his letter: a misunderstanding spawned by false teachers regarding the coming day of the Lord. Despite reports to the contrary, that Day has not yet come, and Paul recounts the events that must first take place.
54. 1st TIMOTHY (Written by Paul the Apostle) – A.D. 62-64) – Paul writes to the young pastor Timothy who is facing a heavy burden of responsibility in the church at Ephesus. The task is challenging: false doctrine must be erased, public worship safeguarded, and mature leadership developed. In addition to the conduct of the church, Paul talks pointedly about the conduct of the minister. Timothy must be on his guard lest his youthfulness become a liability, rather than an asset, to the gospel. He must be careful to avoid false teachers, and greedy motives, pursuing instead righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and the gentleness that befits a man of God.
55. 2nd TIMOTHY (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 66-67) – Paul writes an encouraging letter to Timothy from prison. He begins by assuring Timothy of his continuing love and prayers, and reminds him of his spiritual heritage and responsibilities. Only the one, who perseveres, whether as a soldier, athlete, farmer, or minister of Jesus Christ, will reap the reward. Paul warns Timothy that his teaching will come under attack as men desert the truth for ear-itching words (4:3). He instructs that in the last days there will be a devastating turn away form God as men glorify sin. But Timothy has Paul’s example to guide him and God’s Word to fortify him as he faces growing opposition and glowing opportunities in the last days.
56. TITUS (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 63-65) – Titus is a young pastor, facing the unenviable assignment of setting order in the church at Crete. Paul writes advising him to appoint elders, men of proven spiritual character in their homes and businesses, to oversee the work of the church. But elders are not the only individuals in the church who are required to excel spiritually. Men and women, young an old, each have their vital functions to fulfill in the church if they are to be living examples of the doctrine they profess. Throughout his letter to Titus Paul stresses the necessary, practical working out of salvation in the daily lives of both the elders and the congregation. Good works are desirable and profitable for all believers.
57. PHILEMON (Written by Paul the Apostle) – (A.D. 60-61) – Paul writes a “postcard” to Philemon, his beloved brother and fellow worker, on behalf of Onesimus – a deserter, thief, and formerly worthless slave, but now Philemon’s brother in Christ. With much tact and tenderness, Paul asks Philemon to receive Onesimus back with the same gentleness with which he would receive Paul himself. Any debt Onesimus owes, Paul promises to make good knowing Philemon, Paul is confident that brotherly love and forgiveness will carry the day.
58. HEBREWS (Uncertain Author) – (A.D. 64-70) – Many Jewish believers, having stepped out of Judaism into Christianity, want to reverse their course in order to escape persecution by their countrymen. The writer of Hebrews exhorts them to “go onto perfection: (6:1). His appeal is based on the superiority of Christ over the Judaic system. Christ is better than the angels, for they worship Him. He is better than Moses, for He created him. He is better than the Aaronic priesthood, for His sacrifice was once for all time, and has replaced a temporal one. He is better than the law: for He mediates a better covenant. Pressing on in Christ produces tested faith, self-discipline, and a visible love seen in good works.
59. JAMES (Written by the son of Mary and Joseph and half brother of Jesus) – (A.D. 45-49) – James preaches that faith without works cannot be called faith. “Faith without works is dead” (2:26), and a dead faith is worse than no faith at all. Faith must work; it must produce; it must be visible. Verbal faith is not enough. It must inspire action. Throughout his epistle to Jewish believers, James integrates true faith and everyday practical experience by stressing that true faith must manifest itself in works of faith. Faith endures trials. Faith obeys the Word. It will not merely hear and not do. Faith produces doers. Faith harbors no prejudice. Faith produces separation from the world and submission to God. It provides us with the ability to resist the Devil and humbly draw near to God. Finally, faith waits patiently for the coming of the Lord.
60. 1st PETER (Written by Peter the Apostle) – (A.D. 63-64) – Peter encourages the Jewish believes struggling in the midst of persecution to conduct themselves courageously for the person and program of Christ. Both their character and conduct must be above reproach. Having been born again to a living hope, they are to imitate the Holy One who has called them. The fruit of the character will be conduct rooted in submission: citizen to government, servants to masters, wives to husbands, husband to wives, and Christians to one another. The Christians are not to think it “strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (4:12), but are to rejoice as partakers of the suffering of Christ. Peter concludes his practical advice by confirming Satan as the great enemy of every Christian (5:8). But the assurance of Christ’s future return gives the incentive of hope.
61. 2nd PETER (Written by the Apostle) – (A.D. 64-66) – Peter deals with the problems from inside the church. He writes to warn the believers about the false teachers who are peddling damaging doctrine. He begins by urging them to keep close watch on their personal lives. The Christian life demand diligence in pursuing moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and selfless love. By contrast, the false teachers are sensual, arrogant, greedy, and covetous. Peter reminds them that although God may be long suffering in sending judgment, ultimately it will come. God’s righteousness will prevail and the old earth will be laid bare and a new heaven and a new earth will replace it.
62. 1st JOHN (Written by John the Apostle) – (A.D. 85-96) – John is enjoying a delightful fellowship with the God of light, love and life, and he desperately desires that his spiritual children enjoy the same fellowship. To engage in fellowship with Him we must walk in light and not in darkness. As we walk in the light we will regularly confess our sins allowing the blood of Christ to continually cleanse us. He warns Christians not to love the things of this world, to beware of antichrist and to test the spirits to see whether they are from God or Satan. John warns if we do not love, we do not know God. Biblical love is unconditional in its nature. Christ’s love fulfilled those qualities. Spiritual life begins with spiritual birth which occurs through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus infuses us with God’s life – eternal life. He concludes his letter reassuring them of the power of prayer and their protection in God from the evil one.
63. 2nd JOHN (Written by John the Apostle) – (A.D. 85-96) – Paul stresses that loving one another, is equivalent to walking according to God’s commandments. He indicates, however, that this love must be discerning. It is not a naïve. Biblical love is a matter of choice; it is dangerous and foolish to float through life with undiscerning love. False teachers abound who do not acknowledge Christ as having love. False teachers abound who do not acknowledge Christ as having come in the flesh. It is false charity to open the door to false teaching. We must have fellowship with God, with Christians, but we must not have fellowship with false teachers.
64. 3rd JOHN (Written by John the Apostle) – (A.D. 85-96) – The Apostle Paul encourages fellowship with Christian brothers. John assures Gaius of his prayers for his health and voices his love over his persistent walk in truth and for the hospitality and support he shows for missionaries who have come to his church. But not everyone in the church feels the same way. Diotrephes heart is not in agreement with John. He no longer lives in love. Pride has taken precedence in his life. He has refused to read John’s letter to the church and refused to accept missionaries. In contrast Demetrius is highly commended as a model church member. He is widely known for his good character and his loyalty to the truth. John closes this letter with his hope to visit soon.
65. JUDE (Written by the brother of James, and the half brother of Jesus Christ) – (A.D. 65-80) – Jude writes this letter to warn believers that godless men bearing false doctrine about Jesus and the Christian walk are polluting the churches. False teachers have crept into the church turning God’s grace into unbounded license to do as they please. Jude reminds such men of God’s past dealing with unbelieving Israel, disobedient angels, and wicked Sodom and Gomorrah. In the face of such danger Christians should not be caught off guard. The challenge is great, but so is the God who is able to keep them from stumbling.
66. REVELATION (Written by John the Apostle) – (A.D. 90-96) – This is book is a lavish and colorful description of the vision which proclaim for us the last days before Christ’s return and the ushering in of the new heaven and new earth. In it, the divine program of redemption is brought to fruition, and the holy name of God is vindicated before all creation. Although there are numerous prophecies in the Gospels and Epistle, Revelation is the only New Testament book that focuses primarily on the prophetic events. Its title mean “unveiling” or” disclosure.” John penned this book during his exile on the island of Patmos. Revelation centers on visions and symbols of the resurrected Christ, who alone has authority to judge the earth, to remake it, and to rule it in righteousness.