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Jesus Fish 3

New Testament Survey: Pre-Survey

Written By: Steve Shirley


Old Covenant New Covenant
Law Grace
Mediated through Moses Mediated through Christ
Access to the Holy of Holies (the presence of God) limited to the High Priest All believers have access to the Holy of Holies through Jesus, who is now our High Priest
Pointed forward to Christ Fulfilled in Christ
Temporary Permanent
Blood of animals an imperfect offering for sin Jesus’ shed blood a perfect offering for sin
Atonement made once a year by the High Priest Jesus, our High Priest, made atonement once for all
The Holy Spirit dwelt temporarily in God’s people The Holy Spirit dwells permanently in those who belong to God
Levitical priesthood Melchizedek priesthood
Continual sacrifices needed for sin Jesus’ one sacrificial payment for sin by His death on the cross means no more sacrifices are needed
Obedience mainly out of fear Obedience mainly out of love


  • Matthew (1 book), Mark (1 book), Luke (2 books), John (5 books), Paul (13 books), Peter (2 books), Jude (1 book), James (1 book), [Book of Hebrews: author unknown]

The Stats:

  • Total Books: 27
  • Total Chapters: 260
  • Total Verses: 7956

Dates Written:

  • App. 48-95 A.D.

Places Written:

  • Antioch, Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, Macedonia, Jerusalem, Patmos


  • Nearly everything in the Old Testament (i.e. ceremonial laws, blood sacrifices, the High Priest, the Tabernacle and the things in it, etc…), including numerous prophecies pointed to the coming Messiah. The New Testament shows the fulfillment of these things through the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
  • To show the history and growth of the early church through the spreading of the Gospel (Mt 28:19-20), and how to share the Gospel.
  • To show believers how to live the Christian life.

Special Emphasis:

  • The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Salvation by the grace of God alone, and not by works.
  • Jesus made atonement for our sins, and only through his shed blood can any man be justified before God.
  • This salvation is available to all men though trusting, receiving, and believing in Jesus Christ to save you by faith through hearing the word, calling upon Him in prayer, confessing He is Lord, and repenting of sin.
  • The deity of Jesus Christ (particularly in the Gospels).
  • The second coming of Jesus.

Important Facts:

  • The books of the Bible were not written in chronological order, but rather, grouped by category.
Old Testament  
Law (5 books) Genesis – Deuteronomy
History (12 books) Joshua – Esther
Poetry (5 books) Job – Song Of Solomon
Prophecy (17 books) Isaiah – Malachi
New Testament  
Gospels (4 books) Matthew – John
History (1 book) Acts
Epistles (21 books) Romans – Jude
Prophecy (1 book) Revelation
  • The approximate chronological order in which the Epistles (and Revelation) were written is as follows:

James | Gala | 1 Th | 2 Th | 1 Cor | 2 Cor | Rom | Eph | Col | Phile | Philip | Heb | 1 Tim | Titus | 1 Pet | Jude | 2 Pet | 2 Tim | 1 Jn | 2 Jn | 3 Jn | Rev

  • The approximate chronological order in which the Gospels, and Acts were written is as follows:

Matthew | Mark | Luke | Acts | John

  • Of the 21 Epistles:
    • 9 were written to churches (Rom, 1 & 2 Cor, Gal, Eph, Philip, Colo, 1 & 2 Th)
    • 4 were written to individuals (1 & 2 Tim, Titus, Phile)
    • 8 were “general Epistles” (Heb, James, 1 & 2 Pet, 1,2,3 Jn, Jude) (“General Epistles” was a term 1st used by Eusebius as “catholic Epistles” meaning “universal.”)
  • Philippians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Colossians are often referred to as the “prison Epistles,” because they were written during Paul’s 1st imprisonment in Rome.
  • 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are often referred to as the “pastoral Epistles,” because they deal with pastoral duties and doctrinal issues.
  • The word “Gospel” comes from the Greek word “euaggelion,” which means the “good news.”
  • The word “Epistle” comes from the Greek word “epistole,” which means a “written letter or message.”
  • The first three Gospels are referred to as the “synoptics,” which comes from the Greek word “synoptikos” meaning “to see the whole together.”
  • The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in what is termed “koine” (common) Greek. Some may have been written in Aramaic.
  • We do not have the “autographa,” or original manuscripts today, however, we do have thousands of fragments and copies of the original manuscripts (some dating before 100 A.D.) that are surviving today.
  • In addition, we have close to 5800 Greek manuscripts corroborating the New Testament from writers apart from the Bible (i.e. Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, Eusebius, Lucian, Celsus, Trajun, and at least a dozen others).
  • The Bible has 10 times more surviving manuscript evidence than any other book in history!

Introducing Some Of The Key Church Fathers:

  • While there are dozens of fathers of the early church, we will be focusing on 11 that most scholars would agree are key. Making mention of them does not mean there is agreement on all of the positions they held, but rather, they are mentioned because when they quoted the various books of the New Testament in their writings, it meant that they were affirming their authenticity. Let’s look at these 11:
  • Clement Of Rome (30-100 A.D.)

Bishop of Rome (App. 88-98)
Born: Possibly Greece
Martyred: No
Considered the 4th Pope.
Irenaeus said he “had seen the blessed Apostles (Peter and Paul), and had been conversant with them.”
Tertullian said he was ordained by Peter.

  • Ignatius (35-110 A.D.):

Bishop of Antioch
Born: ?
Martyred: Yes
Believed to have known some of the Apostles, and may have been a student of John.
Friend of Polycarp
Believed to have been the first to use the word “Catholic” for the universal church.

  • Papias (70-155 A.D.):

Bishop of Hierapolis
Born: ?
Martyred: No
Irenaeus said he was “a hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp.”

  • Polycarp (69-155 A.D.):

Bishop of Smyrna (For app. 50 yrs.)
Born: Smyrna
Martyred: Yes
KEY: Irenaeus confirmed that Polycarp was a student of John, and he (Irenaeus) was a student of Polycarp, therefore, there was only one generation between Irenaeus and John.
Irenaeus also said that as a boy he heard Polycarp discuss how he had spoken “with John and those who had seen the Lord,” and “heard from them about the Lord, about his miracles, and about his teaching.”
Irenaeus said Polycarp had been converted to Christianity by the Apostles.
Polycarp was a companion of Papias.
On the day of his death, said he had served the Lord for 86 years.

  • Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.):

One of the earliest and greatest Christian apologists
Born: Flavia Neopolis, Palestine
Martyred: Yes
Was brought up a pagan, and became a Christian at age 30.
Opened a school in Rome.

  • Irenaeus (130-200 A.D.):

Bishop of Lyons
Born: Smyrna
Martyred: No
A student of Polycarp.

  • Clement Of Alexandria (150-215 A.D.):

Theologian, Teacher
Born: Possibly Athens
Martyred: No
Parents were wealthy pagans.
Origen was his pupil.

  • Tertullian (150-220 A.D.):

After Augustine, considered the greatest of the Christian writers.
Born: Carthage, North Africa
Martyred: No
“Father of the Latin church”
Apparently, the first to use the word “trinity.”

  • Hippolytus (170-246 A.D.):

Bishop of Rome
Born: Possibly Palestine
Martyred: Yes
May have been a pupil of Irenaeus.
Knew Origen

  • Origen (185-254 A.D.):

Apologist, Theologian, Teacher, Scholar
Born: Alexandria, Egypt
Martyred: No
A student of Clement Of Alexandria.
Had some bad teachings, such as the pre-existence of souls, and universalism.

  • Eusebius (263-339 A.D.):

Bishop of Caesarea
Born: Palestine
Martyred: No
Considered the “Father of church history.”
A huge number of writings, including the only surviving account of the first 300 years of church history.

Copyright: © Steve Shirley