New Testament

The New Testament (Ancient Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin: Novum Testamentum) is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The New Testament (in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced religious, philosophical, and political movements in Christendom and left an indelible mark on literature, art, and music. The New Testament is a collection of Christian works written in the common (Koine) Greek language of the 1st century AD, at different times by various writers, and the modern consensus is that it provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the 1st century. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books: the four gospels, The Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one epistles, and Revelation. The united Catholic Church defined the 27-book canon. The earliest known complete list of the 27 books is by the 4th-century eastern Catholic bishop Athanasius. The first time that church councils approved this list was with the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) in North Africa and Pope Innocent I ratified the same canon in 405, but it is probable that a Council in Rome in 382 under pope Damasus gave the same list first. These councils also provided the canon of the Old Testament, which included the apocryphal books. The original texts were written in the first century of the Christian Era, in Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that eventually became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no later than around 120 AD.[better source needed] John A. T. Robinson, Dan Wallace, and William F. Albright dated all the books of the New Testament before 70 AD. Others give a final date of 80 AD or of 96 AD. Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul (a major collection of which must have been made already by the early 2nd century) and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (asserted by Irenaeus of Lyon in the late-2nd century as the Four Gospels) gradually were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament. The Old Testament canon is not completely uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, Protestants, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, and the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity (see Development of the New Testament canon).


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