Essay: Books of the New Testament

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¶ … Hebrews, Etc.

Acts

The Acts of the Apostles, traditionally believed to have been penned by St. Luke around 63 AD, is a written in the narrative genre. It relates the events that occurred from the time of Jesus' last instructions to the Apostles before Ascending into Heaven. Then it follows the missions of Sts. Peter and Paul and the founding and spreading of the Church. One of the key themes of Acts is the emphasis placed upon delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles -- a major factor in the spread of Christianity. Another key theme is the persecution the early Church faced from the very outset. The major characters are Peter and Paul. Some key events include miracles worked by Peter, the arrests of Peter and John, the martyrdom of St. Stephen, Saul's persecution of the Christians, Saul's conversion and baptism; Paul's missions, trials and tribulations, arrests, journeys and escapes.

Hebrews

The Epistle to the Hebrews is a composition in the epistolary genre and is traditionally held to be of Pauline authorship (63 AD), despite the fact that the letter has a more literary flair to it the than other epistles written by St. Paul. However, the thoughts and ideas are distinctly Pauline, as seen in the key theme of expressing the superiority of the New Law, which is Jesus Christ, over the Old. Hebrews identifies the new dispensation as the final revelation of God and the fulfillment of the old covenant established between God and Moses. Written to the Jews, it uses extensive references to the Old Testament, showing the relationship between Jesus as the High Priest, and His sacrifice as truly efficacious. Paul also encourages the Hebrew Christians to bear their sufferings like Christ. Perseverance is the message. The epistle centers on the character of Jesus as the Son of God, and the major events recorded are the tracing of kings and priests to Christ, the necessity of doctrine, and the faith of the Old Testament ancients like Abel, Noe, Abraham and Sara.

Ephesians

The letter to the Ephesians, written around 63 AD by St. Paul to the Gentile converts in Ephesus (western Asia Minor), which Paul himself had evangelized is composed in the epistolary narrative. Its major theme is like that of the epistle to the Colossians, however, it is deeper, fuller, and more systematic in its approach. The Church… [END OF PREVIEW]

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