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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

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

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.

Video transcript.

What size is your church?


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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27 Snapshots of New Testament Books of the Bible

the new testament books

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 Books of the Bible: Old & New Testament 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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27 Books of the New Testament in Chronological Order

27 Books of the New Testament in Chronological Order

27 books of the new testament in chronological order

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.

Thus, in almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books: the four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), the Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation.

27 books The second part is the Greek New Testament, containing 27 books; the four Canonical gospels, Acts of the Apostles, 21 Epistles or letters and the Book of Revelation. The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches hold that certain deuterocanonical books and passages are part of the Old Testament canon.

The New Testament Matthew Mark Luke John Acts of the Apostles Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation

When were the books of the New Testament written?

But from the middle of the 1st century AD texts begin to be written which will later be gathered into a New Testament, representing the updated covenant revealed by Christ. The earliest such texts are the letters (or Epistles) written between about 50 and 62 AD by St Paul to various early Christian communities.

Who wrote the 27 books of the New Testament?

The Pauline letters to churches are the thirteen New Testament books that present Paul the Apostle as their author.

Although St. Paul was not one of the original 12 Apostles of Jesus, he was one of the most prolific contributors to the New Testament . Of the 27 books in the New Testament , 13 or 14 are traditionally attributed to Paul, though only 7 of these Pauline epistles are accepted as being entirely authentic and dictated by St.

Written over the course of almost a century after Jesus ‘ death, the four gospels of the New Testament , though they tell the same story, reflect very different ideas and concerns. A period of forty years separates the death of Jesus from the writing of the first gospel.

Who wrote the first 4 books of the New Testament?

These books are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because they were traditionally thought to have been written by Matthew, a disciple who was a tax collector; John, the “Beloved Disciple” mentioned in the Fourth Gospel; Mark, the secretary of the disciple Peter; and Luke, the traveling companion of Paul.

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What does the bible say about sleeping in the same bed before marriage, verses to read when fasting for a relationship, bible verses about confession and repentance, 3 thoughts on “ 27 books of the new testament in chronological order ”.

apparently Joseph Smith did not know his bible very well hu, the temples, priesthood, church officers & offices are not biblical. mit.irr.org Godlovesmormon.com. ( I don’t know why )

You clearly don’t understand the word “chronological” do you?

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The Hebrew Bible ends still waiting for the promised Messiah, and we see that story continued in the New Testament. When we look at the overall structure of the New Testament, we can see how the entire Bible tells one epic story—from Genesis to Revelation—that points to Jesus.

It's Not a New Story

The New Testament is not as disconnected from the Old Testament as some might assume. The authors of the New Testament were well-versed in the Hebrew Scriptures, constantly referencing Old Testament passages and stories. Jesus and the apostles saw Jesus' story as the continuation of the Hebrew Bible.

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