Have you ever wondered how we got the New Testament? Maybe you’ve asked why we have certain books and not others?
When Jesus came into the world roughly 2,000 years ago, the New Testament didn’t exist. We only had the 39 books of the Old Testament.
Jesus spent several years teaching His disciples many things. Not long before His crucifixion, Jesus made a significant promise to them that “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26, English Standard Version).
Jesus made good on this promise by giving the New Testament to the world through the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Bible describes this guiding process — “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21, ESV). The books that resulted from Matthew to Revelation were written by men but came directly from God. They set forth the truths that Jesus Christ wants all people to know.
It might be hard to imagine a world without computers, the internet, social media or a printing press. That was the world then, and information
Some books were written just twenty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. The rest were completed before the 2nd century began. The good news spread well beyond those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ ministry. Unfortunately, as Jesus’ true teachings were spreading so were false ones.
Early Christians were then faced with discerning which books were
While many of the New Testament books were already recognized widely as “Scripture,” no official list was written down until roughly A.D. 170. Over the next 200 years, various church councils met and discussed this issue. In the late 4th and early 5th century, the same New Testament books we have today were officially recognized as the “Word of God.” Since this time, both Protestants and Catholics have accepted these same New Testament books.
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Many of us struggle to wade through the dense lists of commands, genealogies and prophecies in the Old Testament. So how do we apply any of it, let alone enjoy it?
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