Sunday, December 12, 2004

Chronological Order of the New Testament

Although there are some discrepancies to the chronological order of the books of the New Testament, generally, the following is commonly accepted:
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Gospel of Mark
Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Luke
1 Timothy
1 Peter
2 Timothy
Gospel of John
1 John
2 John
3 John
Although not all agree with this exact order, what cannot be contested is that the order the books appear in the bible are not chronologically correct.

Generally, the letters of Paul precede all others. The Synoptic Gospels follow the bulk of the Pauline epistles with a scattering of other letters, and sometime significantly later, the New Testament is rounded out with the Gospel of John, his 3 letters and his book of Revelation.

What the pattern would seem to be, are stories of a miraculous miracle worker and wisdom teacher (Yeshua of Nazareth), referred to in the Pauline epistles.
What follows are the filling-in of the origins of this miraculous wisdom teacher (almost like a modern-day prequel). What should be noted also is after both Mark and Matthew's Gospels is followed the Gospel of Luke and its sequel, the book of Acts (which in all likelihood was penned by Paul, or at least Paul's companion, Luke) - almost suggestive of a corrective footnote to Mark and Matthew. (But the authorship of Like/Acts is only a tangent in this line of thought).

What is significant is that the entire of the Johannine works follow. (Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation) and lend and extreme mystical flavour. It is also where we see clearly Yeshua become deified, concretely.

Regardless of what these things really mean or are meaningless, one thing cannot be argued.
Reading the New Testament as presented in the bible vs. reading the New Testament chronologically paint two very different pictures.

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