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New Testament | Book Summaries

See Book Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 63 BCE

    Octavius is born. In 27 BCE he becomes Caesar Augustus, Emperor of the Roman Empire and acclaimed "Son of God."

    Gospel of Luke
  • Before Jesus's birth

    Jesus's birth is foretold through natural phenomena, dreams, or the appearance of an angel.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • c. 4 BCE

    Jesus is born in the Roman province of Judea.

    Gospel of Luke
  • 4 CE

    Herod the Great dies; Herod Antipas (King Herod) becomes Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • Jesus's childhood

    Luke describes Jesus talking with the Jewish elders in the Jerusalem temple.

    Gospel of Luke
  • 14 CE

    Tiberius is emperor of Rome, ruling until 37 CE; likely the one referred to as "Caesar" by Jesus.

    Gospel of Luke
  • 26 CE

    Pontius Pilate becomes Prefect of Judea.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • c. 25–30 CE

    Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • c. 25–30 CE

    Jesus travels through Judea, angering authorities as he teaches, heals, and performs exorcisms.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • c. 30 CE

    Jesus is arrested and sentenced to death by crucifixion.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • Three days later

    Jesus's disciples report that he has been raised from the dead.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • 30s–40s CE

    The Twelve establish a community of Jewish and gentile Christ-believers in Jerusalem and Judea.

    Acts of the Apostles
  • 40s–50s CE

    Saul/Paul travels around the Mediterranean world, preaching the gospel to Jews and gentiles

    Acts of the Apostles
  • 40s–50s CE

    Paul writes letters to various communities of Christ-believers.

    Pauline Epistles
  • c. 68–70 CE

    Roman military forces under the command of Trajan destroy and loot the Jerusalem Temple.

    Gospel of Matthew
  • c. 90s CE

    On the island of Patmos, John (author of Revelation) records a series of apocalyptic visions.


Book Summaries Chart

Book Summary
Gospel of Matthew The gospel opens with a genealogy and birth narrative. Matthew traces the family of Jesus back to King David and... Read More
Gospel of Mark Jesus travels throughout the Roman province of Judea, teaching, gathering disciples, and performing miracles. Jo... Read More
Gospel of Luke The gospel describes events leading up to Jesus's birth and describes the Nativity and selected events from Jesus's ch... Read More
Gospel of John The Prologue describes the relationship between God and Jesus, the Word of God, as a creation narrative. The Wor... Read More
Acts of the Apostles After Jesus ascends to heaven, his disciples begin an evangelizing mission in Jerusalem under the leadership of Peter ... Read More
Pauline Epistles and Romans Paul introduces himself as an apostle, explains that he will spread the faith to gentiles (non-Jews) such as the Romans,... Read More
1 Corinthians Paul has heard that the Christ-believers have become divided based on which teacher shared the gospel with them, whether... Read More
2 Corinthians Paul recalls a past "painful visit" (2 Corinthians 2:1) but writes that he hopes to visit them again. He remind... Read More
Galatians Paul defends the gospel he preached to the Galatians as "a revelation of Jesus Christ," not a teaching with human origin... Read More
Philippians Paul and his cosender Timothy write to "all the saints" in Philippi. Paul is in prison, but while there he has ... Read More
1 Thessalonians Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy write to the ekklēsia, or church community, of the Thessalonians. Paul praises the ... Read More
Philemon Paul and Timothy write to Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus, each of whom receives a special title: they are called a "dea... Read More
Ephesians The letter sends a greeting and peace wish from Paul to "the saints who are in Ephesus" (Ephesians 1:1). The au... Read More
Colossians A thanksgiving section compliments the Colossian Christ-believers on their faith, hope, and love, central virtues in ear... Read More
2 Thessalonians Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy send their letter to the ekklēsia (church community) at Thessalonica, praising them for thei... Read More
1 Timothy The letter sends greetings from Paul to Timothy, who is teaching in Ephesus and facing opposition from some false teache... Read More
2 Timothy Although the author, writing as Paul, is in prison and suffering, he does not want Timothy to be ashamed about this undi... Read More
Titus The author states that he left Titus in Crete so that he could take charge of the Christ-believing communities there. ... Read More
Hebrews God used prophets to speak to former generations but has now sent God's son, who "is the reflection of God's glory and t... Read More
Catholic Letters and James The early part of the letter advises believers to let their faith lead them to do good works and avoid wrongdoing. ... Read More
1 Peter The author reminds his readers of their Christian identity and instructs them in how to hold on to that identity within ... Read More
2 Peter "Simon Peter" writes to a community to remind them of his teaching and offer his help in strengthening their faith. ... Read More
1 John The author reminds readers of their common bond in faith and their shared commandment to love one another. On the ... Read More
2 John The "elder" writes to a church community and encourages them to hold fast to faith in the face of false teachers and div... Read More
3 John Addressing Gaius, "the elder" offers encouragement. The author exhorts Gaius to remain faithful, especially in sup... Read More
Jude Jude writes to encourage and warn the community of Christ-believers. Some "intruders" have infiltrated the communi... Read More
Revelation In Chapters 1–3 John the visionary is on the Mediterranean island of Patmos when he has a heavenly vision of Christ enth... Read More
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