+JMJ+ In this post: a brief overview of the New Testament with handy tips and drawings by Dr. John Bergsma. And even if they are stick figures, they’re a whole lot better than what I can do. I’ll give you the video and then some screenshots that will help you get the idea planted in your mind. Drawing these yourself would help even more. I’m gonna try it later tonight, too, after I dig out a sheet of paper and a pencil. (The Story of Salvation series begins again after Pentecost.)
Video: Dr. John Bergsma, How to get a good idea of the overview of the NT
I’ve been studying the Bible for many years now, but sometimes when people ask me questions about it I go blank. Total mental shutdown. Haven’t got a clue. Haven’t the fog. Dunno what to do. Has that ever happened to you?
Dr. John to the rescue! Dr. John Bergsma, that is. He’s got a memorable way to, well, remember the overarching theme, and the main authors of the book that is really a library, a collection of books, written between about 40 AD (some say 50 AD) to about the 90s AD.(You may read later dates here and there, but most scholars agree on these early dates now, at least, those without an agenda.)
Image 1: The over-arching theme of the New Testament is Kingdom. Matthew, first Gospel in the NT, brings this out in his work that is a transition between the Old and the New Covenants. And he’s one of the four major authors of the NT.
Image 2: Matthew, the former tax collector, scribe and note-taker of the Apostles, gives us 1/8 of the NT text. Matthew marks the transition from the Old or Former Covenant to the New and Everlasting Covenant. Repent and believe, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! He traces the genealogy of Jesus to prove that He is of the royal line of King David.
Image 3: Luke, the beloved physician, and, some say, a painter who painted the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child, gives us 1/4 of the NT text. All of the Joyful Mysteries are found in Luke’s Gospel. Some say he learned about these from the Blessed Virgin herself.
Image 4: Paul, the theologian and exegete, Saul of Tarsus, former scourge of the followers of the Way, also gives us 1/4 of the NT text. His sword refers to the Sword of the Word (see Ephesians 6) and also his martydom by beheading since he was a Roman citizen and was spared the barbarity and cruelty of a long agonizing death by crucifixion.
Image 5: John, the beloved disciple, gives us 1/5 of the NT text, containing more than the others about the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit. He also relates scenes that the other Gospels do not. The Wedding at Cana comes to mind, and the giving of the Blessed Virgin to the beloved disciple as mother, and so as Mother to all Christians everywhere.
Altogether these four authors give us 90% of the NT text. I’m already remembering what I’ve seen in this video. After I draw it, after I stop giggling at my incredibly silly efforts, I’m sure I’ll remember even more of it. At the very least I will have had some fun.
Thank you for visiting and reading this very brief overview of the New Testament. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy. In this Easter season may you become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
Notes and Links
- Dr. John Bergsma, How to get a good idea of the overview of the NT
- New Testament Basics for Catholics, by John Bergsma: Paperback, Kindle (Amazon affiliate links, see full disclosure below). This is on my wish list, which list is very long indeed.
Images: Screenshots from the video, Introduction to the New Testament, by Dr. John Bergsma.
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