The New Testament is a collection of ancient texts (originally written in Greek) which record events in the life of Jesus Christ and His apostles as well as their teachings and testimonies. It can be divided into five sections:
- The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
- Acts of the Apostles
- Paul's Epistles (Romans through Hebrews)
- General Epistles (James through Jude)
- Book of Revelation
The Gospels are accounts of Jesus Christ's life and teachings, and each account is written for a different group of people. Matthew's account was written for the Jews to show them that Christ was the Messiah prophesied of in the Old Testament. Matthew was most likely well versed in Jewish scripture and could easily see and explain how Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and promises. Mark's account, possibly written under the direction of Peter, was written to the Gentiles (non-Jews) to describe and show that Christ was and is the Son of God and had the power of the Priesthood. He emphasizes the actions of Christ and often gives background information and cultural explanations that would be important to people not familiar with Jewish life. Luke's account is more literary and seems to tell Christ's story from beginning to end. Luke's emphasis is that Christ is the universal Savior for both Jew and Gentile. John's account was sent to members of Christ's Church who already knew some basic information. John's purpose is to clearly show through Christ's works, miracles, and teachings that He truly is the Son of God.
Acts, which was written by Luke as a continuation to his Gospel, records the early history of the Church and apostles after the ministry of Christ. It especially follows Paul's teachings and missionary work. Of the many epistles (letters) Paul must have sent to the members of the Church in different areas, fourteen can be found in the New Testament. The letters teach regulations on how to run the Church as well expounding on doctrinal issues. The general epistles are letters written by other apostles which give further instruction to early Church members. The last book is the Book of Revelation. This book was written by the Apostle John and contains prophecies about the restoration of Christ's Church, the last days and Christ's second coming.