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New Testament Challenge

For the full reading plan click here: New Testament Challenge – Reading Plan

Quick Facts about the Book of Matthew:

  • Written by one of Jesus’ disciples – Matthew (who was a tax collector)
  • Originally believe to be the first Gospel –though now many scholars believe Mark is the oldest now.  Was written in the first century AD and was in completed for within a few decades of Jesus’ death.  A very fresh history.
  • Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience (whereas Luke wrote to a very Greek audience).  Note the many references to Old Testament prophecy (very important to Jews) and that the genealogy in Matthew 1 only goes back to Abraham (the Father of the Israelite people).  Luke’s genealogy goes all the way back to Adam to emphasize Jesus’ universal impact.
  • The famous Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew 5-7

Quick Facts about the Book of Acts:

  • Really the Acts of the Apostles (those who saw the resurrected Jesus)
  • Best history of the early church – from a handful of believers in Jerusalem to 5,000 in just a short time to having Christianity spread all across Asia Minor and into Europe in less than one generation.  Unprecedented spread of a faith by a persecuted people through peaceful means.
  • First half focuses on Peter.  The last half focuses on Paul and his journeys.
  • Was written by Luke who was a doctor and went with Paul on several of his mission trips.
  • Acts is really Part II of the Gospel of Luke (continues the story)

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