Tag Archives: New Testament

What is the New Testament (part 2)


Previously we said that the New Testament is both truth and our guide to life and worship. But these two ideas are supported by a third; the New Testament is inspired.

The New Testament is Inspired

We say this so often that we may be numb to his deeper meaning. If the New Testament is truth, how does it become truth? From where does that quality come? Simply, from God through the work of the Holy Spirit in the labors of holy men. Peter is concise:

“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).

In Context, Peter is arguing for the certainty of their testimony of Christ. He, along with James and John, had heard God’s voice from heaven proclaiming the preeminence of Jesus over the heroic figures of the Old Testament (vs. 16-18). But even more certain to his readers were the words of prophecy given by the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit is the inspiring power of Scripture.

Speaking to the apostles Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would “teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). It is the Holy Spirit that will point to Christ (John 15:26). The Spirit speaks what he hears; “he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (John 16:13). Do not overlook Paul’s thoughts on Godly wisdom in 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 wherein he argues that Godly wisdom flows from the mind of God through the Holy Spirit and inspired writers to Christians:

“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”

Couple these verses with Paul’s remark in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all Scripture is breathed out by God” and we see the linkage between the mind of God, the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures. The New Testament is inspired by God and thus it is as true as the very mind of God. Inspiration affirms, guarantees and supports the importance of the New Testament and the Scriptures generally. This inspired truthfulness produces a very serious implication which we will discuss next.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.


What is the New Testament (part 1)

The quick answer is that the New Testament is the second division in the Bible. It is composed of 27 individual books or letters written during the first century AD. It is the portion of the Bible by which Christians seek to live and worship. But the New Testament deserves a better, deeper explanation.

The New Testament is Truth

Truth is unchanging. If a thing is true today, it is true tomorrow. The words of the New Testament are absolutely true. As Jesus said of his father, “your word is truth” (John 17:17). Some say we live in a post-truth world; they claim truth is no longer relevant. Others assert that truth is whatever is believed. Both ideas are wrong-headed and foolish. Our world cannot function in the absence of truth. We expect the label on our medicines to be true and accurate else we might harm our bodies. How much more important is truth that affects the soul and our eternal life?

The implication of a book of truth is profound. Especially a book as the Bible which reaches beyond mankind’s ability to know and test. The premises of salvation are beyond the scientific method. They can neither be known nor examined by the mind of man. They are divine. Yet they are revealed in the New Testament. The apostle Paul declared of his preaching and inspired words, “…we do impart wisdom although it is not a wisdom of this age or the rulers of this age” (1 Corinthians 2:6). Regarding the teachings from God he says, “these things God has revealed through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10). This Spirit revelation comes through holy, inspired men who composed the New Testament (2 Peter 1:21).

The implications become clear. A book of truth (the Bible) containing unknown and unknowable truths essential for salvation is:

  • Worthy of our deep study,
  • An effective and essential guide to life,
  • Worthy of guiding, directing and commanding our lives,
  • Unique and far beyond any comparison to any other book of any time, place or people.

The New Testament is our Guide to Life & Worship

If the New Testament is truth, and it is, and if the New Testament is unique, and it is, the New Testament is the perfect, essential guide to every aspect of our lives.

Jesus established his church as he said he would (Matthew 16:13-20). That church began on the first Pentecost (a Sunday) after his resurrection (Acts 2:41). From that point forward, the worship of the new church would be governed by the words of Jesus’ apostles. They had no power within themselves to set or create any doctrine or teaching. What they taught was bound previously in heaven (Matthew 16:19 HCSB, ESV footnote). Therefore, the apostles are conduits, teachers, of truth laid down in heaven. It is this principle, together with inspiration, that accounts for the perfect agreement of the New Testament across over 50 years of composition, almost a dozen authors and a footprint stretching from present day Israel to Italy.

Every moment of our worship ought be fully controlled and subject to the words of Scripture.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

The Teacher

The Gospels present the life of Jesus. Acts gives us a history of the earliest church. The letters offer us insight into the early church problems and challenges. Revelation gives hope for the future. But what about the Old Testament? If you look carefully at the pages of your favorite Bible you may find the pages of the New Testament worn, ragged and filled with notes. But the pages of the Old Testament are almost pristine from lack of use. Few would argue that we need to improve our knowledge of the Old Testament.

The writings of the Old Testament bring us from Creation to within about 400 years of the birth of Christ. And then, it stops. In fact, it ends with a depressing rebuke from God when the people are told  their sacrifices have been rejected (Malachi 1:10). Yet the prophet still holds out hope and points to the coming redeemer (Malachi 3:1-5).

Four centuries later the prophetic voice would resume from a strange man who wore rough clothing and ate locusts for his meals. John the Baptist would speak the Lord’s words (Matthew 3:1-6).

The Old Testament consists primarily, but certainly not exclusively, of the Mosaic Law given at Sinai. The Law was given through Moses. The prophets tried to call the people back to that Law. But that covenant was brought to an end by Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:10-11; Galatians 3:21-29; Colossians 2:13-14; Hebrews 8:13; Hebrews 12:25-29). So if it was “nailed to the cross” how should we view it? Is there any value in t he Old Testament today? Continue reading The Teacher

The End of the Patriarchal Age

A reader has asked the question: “When did the Patriarchal Age end for the Gentiles, Acts 2 or Acts 10?” It’s a good question and we will try to give an accurate answer. First some background.

God has always placed himself under certain agreements with man. These Biblical covenants or dispensations are summarized in another article on the Preacher’s Study Blog and we invite your consideration of that piece.

Jesus mission was to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). But in its early stages that mission was limited to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). There were Gentiles (non-Jews) who knew of Jesus and who received accolades from the Lord (Matthew 8:5-13) ((The text does not specifically say that he was a Gentile and we do know that centurions could be of nationalities different from Rome but the context of Jesus’ statement strongly suggests that the centurion is not Jewish.)) Continue reading The End of the Patriarchal Age