Last updated: February 25, 2019
Topic: ArtBooks
Sample donated:

One of the amazingly penned books in the New Testament is the book of Hebrews. The well-chosen words and the commentary alluded to it as the finality of faith is not an overstatement.

Properly speaking, the Epistle to the Hebrews is more a tract than a letter. Its author is unknown, but its intent is clear. While itself untitled, the appellation “to the Hebrews” is ancient, reported in the East by Eusebius and in the West by Tertullian. The group to which this tract is directed does not consist of Jews, but Jewish Christians. Keeping strictly within the context of OT thought and imagery, the writer demonstrates to those who apparently feel the pull of the old ways that Christ is, in every respect, both a fulfillment of the Old Covenant, and the author of a new and better covenant relationship with God. While the identity of the writer is unknown, it seems most likely from his failure to refer to the destruction of the temple by Titus in A.D. 70—an event which would have strengthened his argument concerning sacrifice and the levitical priesthood—that this book was written prior to that date. The author’s reliance on the Septuagint in his OT quotes, his pure and beautiful Greek, combined with his familiarity with distinctively Jewish principles of interpretation, suggest that he was himself a Hellenistic Jew, perhaps directing his letter to Jewish Christians in Palestine whose close association with those who still practiced the ancient traditions exerted a strong pull on their hearts.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Yet to the writer of Hebrews there can he no turning back The whole of the older revelation points directly to Christ, not only as its fulfillment, but as its original object. And so the author launches immediately into a powerful, sevenfold affirmation of who Jesus is (1:1-4), followed by a scripturally rooted comparison of the Son of God with angels who, in Jewish tradition, were mediators of the Old Covenant (1:5-14). Since the New Covenant is mediated by the Son Himself it follows that the believer must “pay more careful attention” to it than to the Old (2:1-4). Indeed, the Son of God became a true human being and suffered in order to make human beings the spiritual children of God—a purpose which indeed required He take on flesh and blood, for only as a human being could He serve in a priestly capacity and make atonement for our sins (2:5-18).

The writer will return to the themes of priesthood and sacrifice soon. But first he returns to the issue of covenant relationship itself. The Jews saw angels as mediators of the Old Covenant, and the writer has shown that the Mediator of the New Covenant is God the Son. But he has also argued that Jesus is a true human being. How does He compare then with Moses, revered by Israel as the lawgiver and greatest man in sacred history? The writer’s answer is this: Moses was a great man, a faithful servant in the house of God. But Jesus was faithful too, and not as a servant, but as a son “over God’s house.” Moses served, but he served within the framework of a house that Christ created. Clearly, the Son who owns the house and the Builder who conceived and constructed it is superior to one who serves in it, however great a servant he may be (3:1-6).

Now comes one of the greatest warnings, and greatest invitations, in all of Scripture. The writer looks back to the Exodus generation and notes that they were unable to enter Canaan because of unbelief They heard God’s voice calling them to go up and conquer the land, but hardened their hearts and refused to respond to His call. Rather than experience rest in the Promised Land, they were doomed to years of restless wandering in the wilderness (3:7-19). Using a long-established principle of Jewish interpretation the writer turns to a key phrase, “today,” to show that the “rest” God promised is timeless and available to every generation. But no generation which refuses to hear God’s word to them, and is corrupted by an evil heart of unbelief can know this rest. The apparent unwillingness of those to whom the author writes to turn to Christ completely, and trust absolutely in Him, places them in danger of recapitulating the destiny of those wilderness wanderers who could never know peace because in their unbelief they disobeyed the voice of God (4:1-13).

To the writer of the Book of Hebrews there is no two-covenant option: one way of salvation for the Jews found in the Old Covenant made by Moses at Sinai, and another way of salvation for the Gentiles found in a New Covenant faith in Christ as Son of God and Savior. There is one option alone: to recognize the voice of God in the Gospel, to acknowledge Christ as the object and fulfillment of the older Testament, and to unhesitatingly place one’s trust and confidence in Him alone.

 

 

 

 

 

A Suggested Outline of Hebrews
I. A Superior Person: Christ (1-6)

A. Christ compared to the prophets (1:1-3)

B. Christ compared to the angels (1:4-2:18)

C. Exhortation: Let us not drift from the Word (2:1-4)

D. Christ compared to Moses (3:1-4:13)

E. Exhortation: Let us not doubt the Word (3:7-4:13)

F. Christ compared to Aaron (4:14-6:20)

G. Exhortation: Let us not grow dull toward the Word (5:11-6:20)

II. A Superior Priesthood: Christ and Melchizedek (7-10)

A. A better order: Melchizedek, not Aaron (7)

B. A better covenant: new, not old (8)

C. A better sanctuary: heavenly, not earthly (9)

D. A better sacrifice: God’s Son, not animals (10)

E. Exhortation: Let us not despise the Word (10:26-39)

III. A Superior Principle: Faith (11-13)

A. The examples of faith (11)

B. The endurance of faith (12:1-13)

C. Exhortation: A warning against disobeying the Word (12:14-19)

D. The evidences of faith (13)

 

 

reference

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. Victor Books USA
Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey. Walter A. Elwell and Robert W. Yarbrough. Editor: Richard S. Hess
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society,  Sep 2000  by Helyer, Larry R
McKnight, Scot and Grant R. Osborne, eds., The Face of New Testament Studies. A Survey of Recent Research. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic; Leicester, UK: Apollos, 2004. 544 pp.
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Testament Introduction

Lesson Twelve

first john

ARTICLE SUMMARY

The Epistles of John, with Revelation, are the latest of the NT writings. All were written late in the life of the beloved apostle, who survived his companions by some three decades. Irenaeus (c. A.D. 130-200) wrote that “all the presbyters, who associated in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, testify that John handed down [these things]. For he remained with them until the times of Trajan [AD. 98-117]. . . . And also the church in Ephesus founded by Paul—John having remained with them until the times of Trajan—is a faithful witness of the tradition of the apostles.”

It is important to compare John’s letters to the later letters of Paul, Peter, and Jude. In Peter’s first letter he writes of persecutions to come. In his second letter, like Paul’s 2 Timothy and Jude, the apostle warns of the danger posed by false teachers. John, living through the challenges the other three foresaw, writes in a warm, pastoral way, of the church’s response to those challenges. That response is to reaffirm the basic truths of the faith, and to emphasize the positive lifestyle of love and obedience that grows out of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As long as Christians remain committed to Him, and live lives of love and obedience, the church will be strong and safe.

John’s first letter is undoubtedly the most difficult of any biblical book to outline. It is filled with recurrent thoughts and themes, as John returns again and again to his emphases on fellowship with God, on truth, love, righteousness, and faith. This pattern has led most commentators to believe that the book is without a logical plan and marked rather by association of these basic ideas. Others have struggled to identify a structure they believe must be there, but without compelling success.

Still, it may be most profitable if we simply read this beautiful and compelling book paragraph by paragraph and thought by thought, without concern for overall structure. John’s letter is first of all pastoral, and indeed devotional. As we meditate on each thought we learn how to live in fellowship with Jesus and with one another in a community bonded together by love, and by an eagerness to respond to the living words of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Suggested Outline of 1 John
Introduction: The reality of Jesus Christ (1:1-4)

I. The Tests of Fellowship: God is Light (1:5-2:29)

A. The test of obedience (1:5-2:6)

B. The test of love (2:7-17)

C. The test of truth (2:18-29)

II. The Tests of Sonship: God Is Love (3-5)

A. The test of obedience (3:1-24)

B. The test of love (4:1-21)

C. The test of truth (5:1-21)

First John is built around the repetition of the three main themes: light vs. darkness, love vs. hatred, and truth vs. error. These three “strands” weave in and out of the letter, making it difficult to construct a simple outline. The above outline is based on the main lessons of each section, although the careful student will see that the three themes intermingle. In these days when many Christians think they have fellowship with God but do not, and when many religious people think they are true sons of God but are not, it is important that we apply these tests and examine our own lives carefully.

1 John

I. Preface (1:1-4) The Word of Life

II. Live in the Light (1:5-2:29)

(a) God Is Light (1:5-7)

(b) First Condition for Living in the Light: Renounce Sin (1:8-2:2)

(c) Second Condition: Be Obedient (2:3-11)

(d) Third Condition: Reject Worldliness (2:12-17)

(e) Fourth Condition: Keep the Faith (2:18-29)

III. Live as Children of God (3:1-5:13)

(a) God Is Father (3:1-3)

(b) First Condition for Living As God’s Children: Renounce Sin (3:4-9)

(c) Second Condition: Be Obedient (3:10-24)

(d) Third Condition: Reject Worldliness (4:1-6)

(e) Fourth Condition: Keep the Faith (5:5-13)

IV. Conclusion: Christian Confidence (5:14-21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCE

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. Victor Books USA
Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey. Walter A. Elwell and Robert W. Yarbrough. Editor: Richard S. Hess
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society,  Sep 2000  by Helyer, Larry R
McKnight, Scot and Grant R. Osborne, eds., The Face of New Testament Studies. A Survey of Recent Research. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic; Leicester, UK: Apollos, 2004. 544 pp.
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Testament Introduction

Lesson Twelve

SECOND JOHN

ARTICLE SUMMARY

At this time the aged John wrote this brief personal letter to an esteemed woman in a local church. Verses 2-3 are introductory and describe the woman as one who is known and loved for her practice of the truth (the Word of God). Note that truth and love go together; Christians cannot have fellowship where there is false doctrine. John next deals with two specific matters.

I. Practicing the Truth (vv. 4-6)

Note the repetition of the word “walk.” The truth is not something we simply study or believe; it is a motivating force in our lives. It is not enough to know the truth; we must show it through our actions wherever we are. John rejoiced because he was certain this lady’s children were walking in the truth—the equivalent of “walking in the light,” which the apostle discussed in 1 John 1.

Christian love is not an emotion that we work up; it is simple obedience to the Word of God. Children love their parents by obeying them. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, NKJV). How sad it is when Christians claim to love the Bible but hate the brethren. While saints may differ in their interpretations of certain passages in the Word, they must all agree on loving one another. Where there is a sincere love for the Bible, there will be a love for God’s people. Loving the truth and loving the brethren cannot be separated.

A Suggested Outline of 2 John
The parts of this epistle, written to some Christian matron, and her religious children, are three:-

I. The inscription,……………………………….. V. 1-3

II. An exhortation to persevere in true faith and love,…. 4-11

III. The conclusion,……………………………….. 12,13

———–

 

V. 1. The elder-An appellation suited to a familiar letter, but upon a weighty subject.

To the elect-That is, Christian. Kuria is undoubtedly a proper name, both here and in 2Jo 1:5; for it was not then usual to apply the title of lady to any but the Roman empress; neither would such a manner of speaking have been suitable to the simplicity and dignity of the apostle.

Whom-Both her and her children.

I love in the truth-With unfeigned and holy love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCE

Paul Barnett, Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002. Pbk. ISBN: 0830826998. pp.448.
F.F. Bruce, “The History of New Testament Study,” I.H. Marshall, ed., New Testament Interpretation. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1977 / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978. pp.21-59.
F.F. Bruce, New Testament History. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1983. Pbk. ISBN: 0385025335. pp.480.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Testament Introduction

Lesson Twelve

third john

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Third John was written to a member of a local church that was beset with problems. In the letter, John discusses three men.

I. Gaius: A Prosperous Christian (vv. 1-8)

How we thank God for church members like Gaius. John uses the word “beloved” four times when referring to him (vv. 1-2, 5, 11). Verse 2 suggests that Gaius may not have been in good health or that he was just recovering from an illness. But this we know: he had a healthy spiritual life. Whatever the condition of the outer man, the inner man was prospering.

Gaius was the kind of Christian others enjoyed talking about. The brethren (probably traveling evangelists and missionaries) had met Gaius and been entertained in his home. They reported that Gaius was walking in the truth and faithfully trying to help the different Christian workers who came his way. Keep in mind that there were no hotels in John’s day, only inns that were uncomfortable and often dangerous. Traveling evangelists depended on the saints for food and lodging. Gaius was the kind of Christian who loved to entertain the saints and “bring them forward” as they went from place to place.

Why did Gaius help the saints? Because he loved them, for one thing, and because he wanted to share in their ministries and further the truth. A man might not be a preacher himself, but he can help others to preach.

A Suggested Outline of 3 John
I. The inscription,……………………..                V. 1,2

II. The commendation of Caius,……………..      . 3-8

With a caution against Diotrephes……..        9-11

And a recommendation of Demetrius,………     12

III. The conclusion,…………………….                 . 13-15

———-

V. 1. Caius was probably that Caius of Corinth whom St. Paul mentions, Ro 16:23.  If so, either he was removed from Achaia into Asia, or St. John sent this letter to Corinth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCE

 

1.      Paul Barnett, Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002. Pbk. ISBN: 0830826998. pp.448.

2.      F.F. Bruce, “The History of New Testament Study,” I.H. Marshall, ed., New Testament Interpretation. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1977 / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978. pp.21-59.

3.      F.F. Bruce, New Testament History. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1983. Pbk. ISBN: 0385025335. pp.480.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Testament Introduction

Lesson Twelve

revelation

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Revelation is a book that fascinates and troubles readers. Its powerful yet obscure images puzzle us, yet at the same time clearly present us with a great, irresistible realization. The gentle Jesus of the Gospels is the Mighty God who will display His Majesty in terrible judgments on sin. And history marches surely toward that great denouncement.

Four traditional ways of looking at Revelation have emerged. The Futurist view sees the great events described after Rev. 1-3 as associated with the future return of Christ, and the beasts of Rev. 13 and 17 identified with the Antichrist. This is the view of the early church, reflected by such church fathers as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and others. This view is also held by many evangelical Christians today. The Historicist view, which originated in the late 1100s saw Revelation as a prophetic survey of events taking place between the first and second advents. Luther and Calvin adopted this view, and saw the pope and the Catholic church in the beasts who withstood God. Few today would take a historicist approach to interpreting Revelation. The Preterist view sees Revelation as a disguised polemic against the Roman Empire and Roman religion of John’s own day. This approach was not suggested until A.D. 1614, and has little or no support today. The Idealist view of Revelation sees the book as poetic and spiritual in nature. That is, rather than relating to any historical events at all, Rev. 4-22 affirm great and timeless truths concerning the sovereignty of God, and the struggle between good and evil. Ultimately, Revelation affirms, God will surely triumph, for time and eternity are in the hand of the Creator, and Jesus Christ will emerge victorious in the end.

In asking which approach is the correct one we must ask: Correct for what purpose? If we look at the apocalyptic literature which flourished in Judaism in the two centuries before Christ, we realize that all such books are constructed on a particular view of history. That view is that history must be understood as a series of events which progress from a beginning to an end preordained by God. The powerful and obscure images that characterize apocalyptic works are intentionally eschatological: they are intended to portray future history. If Revelation is rightly classified as apocalyptic literature, and clearly it was so defined by the early church, then it must be interpreted from the standpoint of the futurist.

There is another answer to the question: Correct for what purpose? While early and modern commentators believe that they can construct at least an outline of events associated with the return of Christ from this book, especially when taking into account the 278 reflections of the OT found in Revelation’s 404 verses, it is wrong to assume that John expected the typical reader to use Revelation to construct prophetic charts. Instead the visions which John saw and records fulfill the function ascribed to this great work by the Idealist. In reading Revelation, in absorbing its imagery, you and I are lifted up with John and overwhelmed by the realization that God is history’s Lord. No matter what our circumstances may be today, Christ will triumph. Evil will be judged, the wicked punished, and God’s righteousness will be fully vindicated in the end.

For this reason, while we might rightly study Revelation from a Futurist standpoint, it is more rewarding for us to simply read this great book through, and let its imagery saturate our hearts and minds. The vivid descriptions of the praise that echoes before God’s throne in heaven (Rev. 4), the reaction of the terrified and yet unrepentant wicked as God’s judgments begin to unfold (Rev. 6:9-17; 9:20-21), and the vision of the woman “drunk with the blood of the saints” (17:6), all convey more powerfully than any prose the significance of the events described. And far more powerfully reassure us of the ultimate triumph of our God.

Revelation divides naturally into three sections. Revelation opens with a focus on the present as, about A.D. 98 living in exile on the Island of Patmos, the Apostle John is confronted by the glorified Christ and told to convey His message to seven churches in Asia (Rev. 1-3). John is then caught up and given a vision of “what will take place later” (1:19). What follows is an extended vision of onslaughts of divine judgment directed against sinful humanity and the spiritual powers of wickedness that have led the rebellion against God from evil’s beginning (Rev. 4-20). The last section of the book portrays the triumphant return of Jesus, an era of peace on earth followed by a final rebellion, and then the last judgment. The book closes with a vision of eternity, and what we call “heaven,” when the saved enter into the fullness of that eternal life given to those who believe in Jesus Christ (Rev. 21-22).

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Suggested Outline of Revelation
Key verse (1:19)

I. The Things Which Thou Hast Seen (1)

A. John’s vision of the glorified Christ as King-Priest

II. The Things Which Are (2-3)

A. The seven churches reveal the condition of God’s people

III. The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter (4-22)

A. The rapture of the church (4-5)

1. John is caught up

2. The Lamb takes His throne

B. The tribulation of seven years (6-19)

1. First half of the Tribulation (6-9)

2. Middle of the Tribulation (10-14)

3. Last half of the Tribulation (15-19)

C. The millennial kingdom of Christ (20)

D. The new heavens and earth (21-22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCE

1.      Delashmutt, Gary. on 1st Corinthians ( http.xenos.org )

2.      Copeland, Mark A. (Http.CCEL.org)

3.      Wallace, Daniel B. Ph.D. Dallas Theological Seminary :Romans: Introduction, Argument & Outline. 9 Pages.

4.      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage

Gordon Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 3.
1 Peter (Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 49), 306-07.
7.      M. Hunter, in fact, calls the Trajanic theory “very rash” (quote in Guthrie, ibid.).

W. Beare, The First Epistle of Peter, 44.