Upon receiving the book “New Testament Survey”, I had immediately thought that this class was going to be easy. Why? Simply because I have studied it before when I used to go to Lutheran High North, a Christian High School. As I began looking into the first chapter, I was completely right that I have gone through this stuff. However, as I dived deeper, I noticed that there was a lot more information I had not gone over than I expected. I had expected that I was going to recall that the New Testament could be broken down to several categories such as the Gospels, the book of history, the Prison Epistles, Epistles and the apocalypse. I was right about that, but then breaking down books in order to examine the details within was a task. Though I may have gone over the books of the New Testament briefly in high school and even in my studies this year, the “New Testament Survey” has taught me to look into the text more, grab more than just face value but to ask why.
The first unit I went over entailed understanding the historical setting of the books in the New Testament, how Jesus is in every book in the New Testament and what books were in this part of the Bible. Going forward, the Synoptic gospels were gone over once again in their relevance to each other and the oddities that set them apart from each other. Next came a study of John, which included how he wrote his gospel and what he focused on. Lastly, the course outlined the book of Acts.
Arriving upon the second unit, the thirteen letters of Paul, this section of the course goes over who Paul is and what letters he wrote, why he wrote them and to who did he write to. For example, Paul writes to the Romans and Galatians about being saved by grace rather than law because many believers were being misled about the good news. Or that He wrote to the church in Corinth concerning gifts, immorality and other problems. Paul did not just write to correct, but to encourage as well. The letters to Timothy and Titus are examples of encouragement, specifically.
Lastly, the course goes over the remaining eight letters in the New Testament as well as Revelations. The letters were meant to encourage suffering believers and to correct false teaching that was going on. These various letters were written by different authors rather than Paul. A few authors include: John the beloved, Jude and James the half brothers of Jesus. Each of these writers had various topics to converse about as well as different writings styles that allows readers to catch major themes.