New Testament2023-06-19T14:58:32-05:00

The New testament

The New testament

How many surprises are in the New Testament?

I don’t know. A lot! Maybe you can figure it out.

On a similar expedition, while reading through my Bible through one year, I decided to write down all the Questions of the Bible. Maybe I missed some. But I wrote down questions. The most questions in a book of the Old Testament is, you guessed it, Job. (By the way, I find it interesting that Job consistently argues with God, insisting on an opportunity to appear before God in order to argue his case. Job figured God was so unfair or better yet not a very good God.

Finally, in Job 42:1-6, God gave Job his chance, “Ok, your turn. Say what you’ve got to say.”

Job was dumbfounded. He got his chance, but in the Presence of God, Job forgot what he wanted to say (Job 42:5,6). What does that tell you? Surprised?

The most questions in the New Testament are in the Gospel of John. Many questions were asked in the Gospels because everyone, not just the disciples, were constantly being surprised by Jesus; surprised by what he said and what he did. For example, Jesus’ conversation with the woman of Samaria by the well of Jacob (John 4:1-26). A beautiful story of questions, more questions, answers, more answers, then a heart-pounding surprise answer in verse 26, “I Am He!”

The Life of Christ is organized around the surprise he is going to reveal to his disciples. For example, the Gospels follow the pattern of Jesus’ words, “My time has not yet come.” Secret. But everything he does tantalizes his believing audience, “We never saw anything like this” (Mark 2:12), or antagonizes his hostile audience, “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him” (John 5:18).

The best way to discover the many surprises God has for you is to read the New Testament in addition to the Old Testament.

If you are new to the Old Testament, I suggest you do some spot reading to summarize the Old Testament:

  • Genesis 1-11: Beginnings
  • Deuteronomy: Summary of Exodus, the Law, and the nation of Israel’s future
  • Micah: Summary of classical prophecy of Amos, Isaiah, Hosea (and Micah)
  • Psalms: Devotional
  • Proverbs: Practical wisdom
  • Now start at the beginning and read it through

If you are new to the New Testament, I suggest you discover God’s surprises for you by doing some spot reading as follows:

  • Gospel of John: Life of Jesus Christ (and His meaning); how to find true life (You might also read the Gospel of Mark along with John)
  • Letter of I John: What it means to be a Christian; assurance of life now and in eternity
  • Ephesians: Learning to live the Spirit-led life (read with Matt. 5-7)
  • Philippians: Finding joy and happiness
  • Romans: Summary of biblical truths (1-11) and their application to life (12-16)
  • James: Practical wisdom
  • Now start at the beginning and read it through

A group of high school students decided to read the Bible through as a group. They met in their church and read the Bible out loud from the pulpit at a “pulpit-rate.” How long did it take them as they shared turns reading? Only seventy-two hours (72) hours!

I am sure the reason many people do not read or understand the Bible is that they think it is too long, irrelevant, the language is too archaic, or they do not understand the plot. But now you understand the flow. Look for the plot. Christ is the key.

It is important to read the Bible in a version that is simpler to understand. I try to read different versions as they appear. I found that the New Living Translation attempts to stay true to the original languages, and it is an easier first read.

If you have questions, email me.

audio sermons: New Testament

audio sermons: New Testament

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