A. Definition – Hebrew poetry and song rhymed thoughts rather than words. This is called parallelism: two lines, written together, that express similar thoughts.

B. Types

  • Lyric (song)·Psalms.
  • Didactic (teaching) – Proverbs.
  • Dramatic (story) Job.

          3. NATURE OF HEBREW WISDOM

A. Definition – Hokhmah (“wisdom”) is practical insights into successful living with God and men. Hebrew wisdom is unique, in that it is based on fear of the Lord.

B. Types

  • Proverbs (mashal)- brief and very pointed sayings about life (Proverbs).
  • Dramatic story (Job).
  • Personification (Prov. 1-9).

 

JOB: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous and unknown (some scholars attribute authorship to Moses).
  • Date – Unknown (the manners, customs and general lifestyle of Job and his friends are very similar to those of the patriarchal period around 2000-1800 B.C.)
  • Occasion – Really unknown since authorship and date uncertain. Possibly a time when God· people were undergoing suffering.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Job”.
    • Hebrew: lyyob (“Job”, possibly ”come back/repent”).
    • Greek: lob (“Job”).
  • Theme- The significance of suffering
  • Purpose – To show God’s nature. His wisdom, power and mercy shown in the suffering of the righteous, and that ultimately we can fully trust in Hi m and His goodness and justice.
  • Key verse: (Job 42:2,5) “I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted… l had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee.”

 

PSALMS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship
    • David – 73 Psalms (Book 1-37; II-18; III-1;IV-2; V-15).
    • Asaph – 12 (Psalm 50, 73-83).
    • Korahites – 11 (Psalm 42-49, 84, 87, 88).
    • Solomon – 2 (Psalm 72, 127}.
    • Moses – 1(Psalm 90).
    • Ethan – l(Psalm 89).
    • Anonymous – 50.
  • Date – Most from time of David (around 1000 B.C) with some as early as Moses (around 1400/ 1200 B.C.) and as late as Babylonian Captivity (around 586-538 B.C.). See Psalms 90 & 137.
  • Occasion
    • Book I (Psalms 1-41) probably arranged by David or someone under his direction during his reign, when most were written as largely a book of the prayers of David.
    • Books II (Psalms 42-72) and III (Psalms 73-89) possibly collected at a later period when Israel was undergoing spiritual awakening (Hezekiah 725 B.C. or Josiah c. 625 B.C.).
    • Books IV (Psalms 90-106) and V (Psalms 107-150) are collections of miscellaneous psalms and prayers, some of which were used In pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem and its worship.

        2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Psalms”.
    • Hebrew :tehillim (“praises”; 40 psalms about praise, 75 about prayer)
    • Greek: psalterion (“songs”).
  • Theme – Personal and corporate praise and prayer of God’s people.
  • Purpose – To reveal how the God of Israel hears and answers the cries of his people for deliverance, and thus is worthy of their praise and thanksgiving (each of the five major sections -Books l to V – closes with praise).
  • Key verse: (Psalm 145:20, 21) “The Lord preserves all who love him; but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, 1md let all flesh bless his holy name for  ever and ever.”

PROVERBS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship –
    • Solomon (1:1-9:18; 10:1-22:16; 25:1-29:27) approximately 375 proverbs
    • “wise men” (22:17-2:1:22; 23:23-34).
    • Agur (30:1-33).
    • King Lemuel (31:1-9, 31:10-31).
  • Date – Most during time of Solomon (around 971-931 B.C.); See l Kings 4:32.
  • Occasion – Need for a collection of the “wisdom of the years” for teaching young men in wise and right living by repetition of wise sayings.

        2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Proverbs”
    • Hebrew: mishelt (“proverb/parable”).
    • Greek: paroimia (“proverb/ parable”).
  • Theme – Words of wisdom based on the fear of the Lord.
  • Purpose – To record the practical insight of wise men, so that the younger generation may live wise and godly lives
  • Key verse: (Proverbs 1:7) ”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

ECCLESIASTES: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, attributed to Solomon (1:1.16; 2:7.8).
  • Date – Time of Solomon (around 971-931 B.C.).
  • Occasion – King Solomon’s reflection on the vanities of his own life, recorded before he died so that others may learn thereby.

       2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Ecclesiastes”
    • Hebrew: qohelet (“one who assembles”).
    • Greek : ekklesiastes (“one who assembles”) .
  • Theme – Sermons on life’s vanities apart from God.
  • Purpose –To vividly illustrate the emptiness of life’s pursuits apart from the fear of the Lord.
  • Key verse: (Ecclesiastes 12:13) “The end of the matter; all has been heard, fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.”

SONG OF SOLOMON: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Solomon (1:5; 3:7, 9, 11)8:11, 12)
  • Date – Solomon’s reign (around 971-931 B.C.).
  • Occasion – Uncertain.
  • Interpretation
    • Allegorical: God & Israel, Christ & the Church.
    • Dramatic love story of Solomon & Shulamite girl.
    • Literal: erotic love songs/ poems.
    • Moral: teach the wonder and purity of true love.
    • Romantic: wedding songs.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – ”Song of Songs”
    • Hebrew: shir has-shirim (“song of song” = “most excellent song”).
    • Greek: asma (“song”)
  • Theme – Love songs of romance between a bride and bridegroom
  • Purpose – To show the beauty and tenderness of the love between a man and a woman, also interpreted as a symbolic “type” of the intimate and deep love God has for mankind.
  • Key verse- (Song of Solomon 8:6) “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave.”

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHETS

ISAIAH THROUGH MALACHI

  1. CLASSIFICATION (according to recipients)
  • To Israel Hosea & Amos
  • To Judah: Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Lamentations, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, & Malachi.
  • To Nineveh (Assyria): Jonah & Nahum
  • To Babylon: Daniel
  • To Exiles in Babylon: Ezekiel.
  • To Edom: Obadiah

        2. DEFINITION OF PROPHET

  • Terms (see I Chronicles 29:29).
    • Nabi – “one called (of God)”.
    • Ro’eh– “seer” (from root “to see”)
    • Hozeh-“seer/prophet” (from root “to see”). A prophet is a man called by God to be God’s mouthpiece to transmit His word and will (primarily to His people).
  • Descriptions
    • Forthtelling” (frequent) – God’s mouthpiece to tell forth God’s will, generally for the present.
    • Fore”telling (infrequent) – God’s mouthpiece to tell forth God’s will, specifically for the present m light of predicted coming events.

       3.  NATURE OF PROPHECY

  • Perspective- Two-dimensional.
    • “what” and “who” clearer than “when”; thus time dimension not exact but always near (ls.13:6; Ezek. 30:3;Joel 1:5;Obad. 15; Zeph. 1:7,14; Mat. 10:23; 16:28;24:34; Jam. 5:8,9; 1 Thess. 4:15; Phil. 4:5; Rev. 1:1,3;22:6.10,12,20).
  • Purpose- Ethical (Amos 4:12; cp. II Peter 3:11; I John 3:3).
  • Means
    • Dreams &: night visions (Num. 12:6).
    • Visions and heightened senses (Isa. 2:1; 29:7; Amos 1:1; Micah 1:1).
    • Direct encounter with God (II Kings 20:1-6; Isa. 6:1-10; 38:4).
    • Historical events with revelation (Jer. 21:1, 2; 36:1-26; 42:7-22)
    • Life situation of the prophet (Isa. 39:1-8).
  • Source – Supernatural (II Peter 1:20,21).
  • Pattern – Balanced.
    • Present distress is God’s judgment for sin; Therefore, Repent and return to God in light of the coming “Day of the Lord” (i.e. judgment on the nations).
    • God will forgive and restore blessing.
    • Glorious future messianic age is coming, including a great personage.

         4. TESTS (for false prophets)

  • Fulfillment (Deut. 18:20-22).
  • National righteousness (Deut. 13:1-5; Jer. 23:13, 14).
  • Personal righteousness (Jer. 23:9-12; cp. Matt. 7:15-20).

ISAIAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Isaiah.
  • Date- Around 740-681B.C. during reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Mannaseh (1:1).
  • Occasion – Growing threat of the Assyrians underscores the need for God’s people to understand and put their trust in the Lord for protection (crisis of 734 B.C. with Israel and Syria; crisis of 701 B.C. with Assyria) .

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title-“Isaiah”.
    • Hebrew: Yesha’ yahu (“God is salvation”).
    • Greek: Esaias (“Isaiah”).
  • Theme- God alone is salvation, therefore trust Him only.
  • Purpose – To call Jerusalem and Judah back to God’s covenant and righteousness by placing their trust in Him for salvation and deliverance rather than in the might of surrounding nations.
  • Key verse: (Isaiah 49:6) “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

JEREMIAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Date -Around 627-575 B.C. during reigns of Josiah, Jehoahaz , Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah(1:1-3).
  • Authorship – Jeremiah/Baruch (36:32).
  • Occasion· The increasing apostasy of Judah, and Judah ‘s impending destruction by the Babylonians, demands God’s word of assessment through Jeremiah.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Jeremiah”.
    • Hebrew: Yimeyahtt (“God establishes I raises up”).
    • Greek: Ieremias (“Jeremiah”).
  • Theme – Repentance or removal.
  • Purpose – To warn Judah of coming judgment, in order to bring repentance and return to God, against whom they have rebelled and turned away.
  • Key verse: (Jeremiah 4:14) “O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved.

LAMENTATIONS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship • Anonymous, attributed to Jeremiah.
  • Date- Around the fall of Jerusalem, 586 B.C. (or as late as 575 B.C.)
  • Occasion – Jerusalem’s fall prompts a mournful lament by God’s prophet over the tragic destruction of God’s holy city.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title- “Lamentations”.
    • Hebrew: ekoh (“alas!/ah!/how!”)
    • Greek: Threnoi (“laments/dirges”).
  • Theme – Sorrowful laments over Jerusalem’s tragic fall.
  • Purpose· To express the great grief of the prophet Jeremiah over the fall of Jerusalem due to its stubborn refusal to repent from its idolatrous apostasy (rejection of God).
  • Key verse: (Lamentations 2:17) ”The Lord has done what he purposed, has carried out his threat; as he ordained long ago.”

EZEKIEL: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Ezekiel
  • Date -Around 597-571 B.C. during reigns of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah (1:2).
  • Occasion – Need of Jews exiled in Babylon to know what God had said in warning Jerusalem of its ultimate fall in 586 B.C. and His promised restoration for the repentant.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Ezekiel”.
    • Hebrew: Yehezqel (“God strengthens”).
    • Greek: Iesekiel (“Ezekiel”).
  • Theme-Warnings of God’s watchman to Judah with promises of restoration of the land and temple for the repentant.
  • Purpose – To stand as a watchman on the wall to warn of coming judgment on Judah and future restoration of a righteous remnant.
  • Key verse: (Ezekiel 18:31, 32) “Cast away from you till the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For l have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

DANIEL: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Daniel.
  • Date – Around 605-536 B.C. during reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Awel-Marduk, Nariglisser, Nabonidus, Belshazzar, Cyrus/Darius   (1:1,21).
  • Occasion – Need for God’s people who are under pressure to be encouraged by Daniel’s experiences of deliverance and visions of future events.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Purpose – To encourage God’s people by showing them He is in full control of the nations and intervenes to deliver His people now and in the future.
  • Theme – God’s sovereignty in overruling world powers on behalf of the deliverance of His people.
  • Title – “Daniel”.
    • Hebrew: Daniel (“God is my judge”).
    • Greek: Daniel (“Daniel”).
  • Key verse: (Daniel 7:13, 14) “And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man… and to him was given dominion and glory arid a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him.”

HOSEA: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Hosea.
  • Date – Around 760-723 B.C. during reign of Jeroboan II (1:1).
  • Occasion – Prophet to the last generation of the northern kingdom of Israel, during which time God spoke through Hosea of His love for unfaithful Israel who had prostituted themselves by following after and worshipping false gods during the reigns of Jeroboam II through Hoshea, the last king. (See ll Kings 14:23-20:21).

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Hosea”.
    • Hebrew: Hoshea (“salvation”)
    • Greek: Osee (“Hosea”).
  • Theme – Come home to a loving God Who patiently waits for the return of His estranged “wife.”
  • Purpose .To picture and proclaim God’s mercy and love for His wayward people Israel in persistently calling them back to His ways
  • Key verse: (Hosea 14:1) “Return , O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.”

JOEL: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Joel.
  • Date – Uncertain, ranging from 835 to 500 B.C.
  • Occasion – A fourfold locust plague and drought occasions a prophetic call for the leaders of God’s people to gather the people for prayer, fasting and repentance.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Joel”.
    • Hebrew : Yael (“Yahweh is God”).
    • Greek: Joel (“Joel”).
  • Theme – Deliverance from the destruction of the locust plagues by means of repentance.
  • Purpose – To urge the spiritual leaders to can God’s people to repentance, so that the Lord might restore their land and judge the nations in the day of the Lord.
  • Key verse: (Joel 2:25,26) “I wilt restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my gnat army which I sent among you . . .and my people shall never again be put to shame.”

AMOS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Amos (from Tekoa in Judah).
  • Date – Around 760-750 B.C. during reign of Jeroboam II.
  • Occasion – The increased prosperity and spiritual decadence of the reign of Jeroboam II led to pride, selfishness, greed, oppression and moral decay, and thus the call for repentance through Amos. (See II Kings 14:23-15:7; II Chronicles 26.)

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Amos”.
    • Hebrew : Amos (“burden /burden-bearer”).
    • Greek: Amos (“Amos”).
  • Theme – The burden of impending judgment upon Israel because of her unfaithfulness to God’s covenant.
  • Purpose – To warn Israel of coming judgment for her social and spiritual sins resulting from unfaithfulness to God.
  • Key verse: (Amos 8:11) “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine  on the land; not a famine  of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord .”

OBADIAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Obadiah.
  • Date – Uncertain, probably just after 586 B.C.
  • Occasion – If dated around the time of the fall of Jerusalem (586 8.C.), the book would be occasioned by the Edomites’ wrongful and wicked aiding of the Babylonians in defeating Judah.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Obadiah”
    • Hebrew: Obedya (“servant of God”).
    • Greek: Obdiou (“Obadiah”).
  • Theme – Edom’s pride causes her downfall and judgment as she reaps what she has sown.
  • Purpose – To spell out the cause and nature of the coming judgment on Edom, Israel’s constant “thorn in the flesh”.
  • Key verse: (Obadiah vs 3) “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, who will bring m” down to the ground?”

JONAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Jonah
  • Date – Around 785-750 B.C. (see ll Kings 14:25).
  • Occasion – Nineveh’s sinfulness causes God to call a prophet to preach repentance, so that divine judgment may be averted even though the Ninevites are Gentiles. Apparently the Ninevites were “prepared” to listen to God’s message through Jonah due to “natural disasters”(plagues in 765 B.C. & 759 B.C. and a solar eclipse in 763 B.C.).

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Jonah”
    • Hebrew: Jonah (“dove”).
    • Greek: Jonas (“Jonah” ).
  • Theme – The boundless mercy of God for repentant heathen nations.
  • Purpose – To show a Jewish prophet’s narrow-minded ignorance and prejudice in contrast to God’s love and compassion for Gentiles.
  • Key verse 🙁 Jonah 4:2) “That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repentest of evil [repents of doing harm by bringing judgement up wickedness].”

MICAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Micah.
  • Date – Around 735-700 B.C. during reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1 ).
  • Occasion – Similar in background to Isaiah, Micah’s contemporary. Isaiah is concerned with political evils; Micah is concerned more with spiritual and soda I evils.

       2. CONTENTS

  • Title ·”Micah”.
    • Hebrew: Mikayahu (“who is like God?”) see 7:18-20
    • Greek: Michaias (“Micah”).
  • Theme – Social reform and personal righteousness based on God’s righteousness and sovereignty.
  • Purpose – To outline God’s controversy with His people in Judah and plead for their repentance and return to the Lord as individuals and as a nation.
  • Key verse 🙁 Micah 6:8) ”He has showed you, 0 man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

NAHUM: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Nahum.
  • Date – Around 660-630 B.C.
  • Occasion – With the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 B.C., the beginning of the end of the Assyrian Empire occurred with Babylon asserting her independence in 626 B.C., and eventually attacking Assyria with the Medes and thus overthrowing the capital. Nineveh, in 612 B.C.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title -“Nahum ”
    • Hebrew :Nahum (“consolation / comfort”).
    • Greek: Naoum (“Nahum”).
  • Theme – Consolation for Judah and judgment for Nineveh’s militarism.
  • Purpose-To warn of Nineveh’s siege and destruction of Jerusalem due to her great wickedness and cruelty.
  • Key verse 🙁 Nahum 1:7, 8) “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him, but with an overflowing flood he will make a full end of his adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.”

HABAKKUK: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Habakkuk.
  • Date – Around 605-598 B.C.
  • Occasion – The first deportation of exiles from Judah to Babylon when Jehoiakim was king causes the prophet to discuss the problem of the suffering of the righteous at the hands of the unrighteous.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Habakkuk”.
    • Hebrew: Habakkuk (“embrace”).
    • Greek: Ambakoum (“Habakkuk”).
  • Theme- Faith in God’s mercy and justice is required when God’s people are punished by a nation even more unrighteous.
  • Purpose – To reveal God’s ways in judgment and call for a response of faith in Him.
  • Key verse 🙁 Habakkuk 2:3, 4) “For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie. If it sum slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Behold, he whose soul is not upright in him shall fail, but the just shall live by faith. “

ZEPHANIAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Zephaniah (great-grandson of King Hezekiah).
  • Date – Around 640-620 B.C. (first prophet in Judah since Isaiah and Micah).
  • Occasion – Possibly the threat of the Scythian invasion of western Judah and Philistia occasions a call to repentance under the reigns of wicked Manasseh and Amon.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Zephaniah”.
    • Hebrew: Sepanya (“God hides”).
    • Greek: Sophonias (“Zephaniah”).
  • Theme – Mercy in the midst of wrath as God hides those who humble themselves and seek righteousness.
  • Purpose – To call the humble to seek the Lord for mercy in the midst of the wrath of judgment.
  • Key verse: (Zephaniah 2:3) “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the wrath of the Lord.”

HAGGAI: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship ·Haggai.
  • Date – Around 520 B.C.
  • Occasion -External opposition and internal preoccupations had halted the rebuilding of the temple by the returned exiles, and thus Haggai spurs the people back to work on the temple.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Haggai”.
    • Hebrew: Haggai (…festival”).
    • Greek: Aggaios (“Haggai”).
  • Theme – Back to rebuilding the temple.
  • Purpose- To exhort the returned exiles to again initiate immediately the rebuilding of the temple, for God would be with them.
  • Key verse: (Haggai 2:4,5) ‘”Work, for I am with you’, says the Lord of hosts, ‘according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit abides among you fear not.”

ZECHARIAH: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Zechariah.
  • Date – Around 520-515 B.C
  • Occasion – The rebuilding of the temple under Zerubbabel and Haggai causes Zechariah to look beyond the immediate situation to the time of the Messiah and God’s final consummation of His rule.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Zechariah”.
    • Hebrew· Zechariah (“God remembers”).
    • Greek: Zecharias (“Zechariah”)
  • Theme – Reassuring the remnant of God s preservation and Israel’s final victory.
  • Purpose -To encourage the continued work on the temple under Zerubbabel; to encourage righteous living for the Lord in anticipation of final victory.
  • Key verse: (Zechariah 8:13) “And as you have been a by-word of cursing among the “nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

MALACHI: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Malachi. (Since the name means “messenger”, some feel “Malachi” may not be the name of the author).
  • Date – Around 433-420 B.C.
  • Occasion – Discouragement and laxity cause God’s people to doubt His love and only grudgingly observe His commandments, claiming that obedience to God’s requirements is unprofitable.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Malachi”
    • Hebrew: Malachiah (“my messenger”)
    • Greek: Malachias (“Malachi”).
  • Theme – Return to reality and sincerity toward God by living holy lives.
  • Purpose – To call God’s people back to purity in worship, holiness in living, and liberality in giving.
  • Key verse: (Malachi 3:7) “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.”

OLD TESTAMENT: SUMMARY

  1. DIVINE REVELATION
  • General (Genesis 1-11).
    • Through creation (external; see Romans 1:18-21}.
    • Through conscience (internal; see Romans 2:12-16).
  • Special (Genesis 12-Malachi -1)
    • through covenant.
      • “I will be your God.”
      • “You will be my people.”
      • “I will dwell with you.”
    • through commandment.
      • by prophets – reveal God’s word .
      • by priests – represent God’s requirements.
      • by kings – rule as God’s representatives.

       2. MAN’S RESPONSE (JUDGES-ESTHER, ISAIAH-MALACHI)

  • spiritual – idolatry (“you will not be our God”… many gods).
  • personal – immorality & perversion (“we will not be your people”…many wives).
  • social – corruption & depravity (”you will not dwell among us”… many sins & sorrows).

      3. PROMISED HOPE

  • the greater prophet ·a heavenly son of man (Deut 18:15-18; Dan 7:13, 14). ·
  • the perfect priest – a suffering servant (Isa 52:13-53; 12).
  • the righteous king· son of David (la 9:6,7; 11:1-5).

THE GOSPELS:AN INTRODUCTION

MATTHEW THROUGH JOHN

  1. THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL
  • One Gospel (see I Corinthians 15:3-8 “interpreted events”; Acts 1:1).
    • Jesus’ deeds.
    • Jesus’ words.
  • Four portraits: A Unique Perspective (see Ezekiel 1:10)
    • Matthew: Davidic Messiah (lion-like).
    • Mark: suffering Servant (ox-like).
    • Luke: compassionate Savior (man-like).
    • John: divine Messiah (eagle-like).
  • Two groups.
    • Synoptics (Common material and viewpoint}.
    • Fourth Gospel (92% unique material with more interpretation).
  • Authorship.
    • Authority/ cannonicity.
      • Direct or indirect apostolic authorship.
      • Apostolic teaching.
      • Church usage.

MATTHEW: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, attributed to the Apostle Matthew (also called “Levi” – see Mark 2:14).
  • Place of writing – Palestine or Antioch?
  • Date of writing – A.D.70-80.
  • Destination – Palestinian or Antiochian Jews/Gentiles.
  • Occasion ·Believers needing teaching in Palestine or Antioch in “all Christ had commanded”.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Gospel of the Davidic Messiah”.
  • Theme – Teaching for the new Israel under the new Messiah.
  • Purpose – To provide a teaching manual designed to help Jews living in Greek/ Roman cultures and Gentile disciples observe all things Christ had commanded as the promised Davidic Messiah of that new Israel.
  • Key verse: (Matthew 28:18-20) “All authority. ..has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. . .teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

MARK: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, attributed to Mark, Peter’s reporter (see II Peter 1:14, 15).
  • Place of writing – Rome (see I Peter 5:13).
  • Date of writing – A.D. 65 (based on priority of Mark as first written gospel).
  • Destination – Roman Gentiles.
  • Occasion – Believers under persecution by Nero in Rome.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Gospel of the Suffering Servant”.
  • Theme – Christ’s example of victory through suffering.
  • Purpose – To encourage the suffering Gentile Christians in Rome by showing them how Christ triumphed through suffering as a Servant Who fulfilled the will of God.
  • Key verse: (Mark 10:45) “The Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

LUKE: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, attributed to Luke (first volume of a two-volume work-See Acts1:1 and “we” sections in Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16).
  • Place of writing – possibly Caesarea/ Rome
  • Date of writing – around A.D 70-857
  • Destination – To Theophilus (possibly living in Rome)
  • Occasion – Roman official needs to know about Christianity.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Gospel of the Compassionate Savior”.
  • Theme – An orderly account of Christ’s words and deeds.
  • Purpose – To provide an orderly account of Christ’s life for Theophilus, a Roman official, so he would know the truth about Christ and His followers.
  • Key verse: (Luke 2:10,11) “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

JOHN: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, attributed to the Apostle John (see “beloved disciple” -13:23; 18:15; 19:26, 27; 20:2, 8; 21:20-24).
  • Place of writing – Ephesus.
  • Date of writing – A.D. 90-100.
  • Destination – Jews and Gentiles around Ephesus.
  • Occasion – Believers and non-believers need to know Who Christ truly is in a time of increased rise of cults and heretical teachings.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Gospel of the Divine Messiah”.
  • Theme – Jesus’ life and miracles reveal his Messiahship.
  • Purpose – To help people believe in Christ as the Messiah, God’s Son, and in so doing experience life and relationship with God Himself.
  • Key verse: (John 20:31) “These are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through His name.”

ACTS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, attributed to Luke (see 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16 “We” passages}
  • Place of writing – possibly Caesarea / Rome
  • Date of writing – around A.D. 70-85
  • Destination – Theophilus (likely living in Rome)
  • Occasion – Roman official needs to know about Christianity.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Christ’s Ministry Expanded”.
  • Theme – Orderly account of the birth and growth of the Church.
  • Purpose – To provide an orderly account of the birth and expansion of the Church for Theophilus, a Roman official, so he would know the truth about Christianity (see Luke 1:1-4).
  • Outline – Threefold outline based on Acts 1:8 with periodic summaries
    • In Jerusalem (2:1-6:1)
    • In Judea and Samaria (18:1-12:1
    • To the end of the earth (l:\:1-28:31)
  • Keystone book
    • Presupposes the gospels
    • Anticipates the epistles.
    • Selectivity:
      • Acts of Peter (1-12)
      • Acts of Paul (13-28).
  • Key verse 🙁 Acts 1:8) “And you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”

INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLES 

ROMANS THROUGH REVELATION

  1. LETTER-WRITING FORM (21 of 27 N.T. books are letters)
  • Method of production.
    • Written by author.
    • Written through a secretary.
    • Spoken message recorded.
    • Addressees (recipients) copy verbal message.
  • Purpose of writing.
    • Specific to certain issues in a local church.
    • General principles and exhortations.
  • Structure of letter.
    • Sender (Rom 1:1)
    • Addressees (I Cor 1:2)
    • Greetings (Gal 1:3-5)
    • Body (Eph 1:3-6:20)
    • Final farewells (Col 4:7-18).

       2. CLASSIFICATIONS OF LETTERS

  • General (universal) epistles.
  • Specific (Pauline) epistles.
    • Eschatological (concerned with end times): I & II Thessalonians.
    • Soteriological (doctrine of salvation): Galatians, I & II Corinthians, Romans.
    • Prison epistles: Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon.
    • Pastoral issues: 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy.

       3. CHRONOLOGY OF N.T. LETTERS

  • Earliest Period: Galatians, James.
  • Second missionary journey: I & II Thessalonians.
  • Third missionary journey: I & II Corinthians, Romans.
  • 1st Roman imprisonment: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians.
  • Period of freedom: I Timothy, I Peter, Titus.
  • 2nd Roman imprisonment: II Timothy, II Peter.
  • Post-Pauline: Hebrews, I, II, III John, Jude.

      4. UNIQUENESS OF PAUL’S LETTERS

  • Length – longer (3 times longer than most other letters)
  • Content – theological.
  • Address – communal (to the whole church).

     5. PAUL, THE MAN BEHIND 13 LETTERS

  • Divine call & commission (Gal 1; II Cor 3:1-18; Eph 3:1-13).
  • Divine apostolic authority (II Cor 10-13).
  • Deep love for people (I Thess 2:7,8;see Acts 20:19).
  • Divine insight into Gospel’s meaning and application (Rom. 1-15).
  • Flexible and adaptable (I Cor 9:21-23).
  • Physical endurance (II Cor 11:23-29).
  • Literary background; excellent communicator (Eph 1-6).
  • Deep experiences with Christ ( II Cor 12:2-10).

ROMANS:  SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul via Tertius (16:22).
  • Place of writing – Corinth (16:23).
  • Date of writing – A.D. 55-56 (during third missionary journey).
  • Destination -Church in Rome.  Rome was a cosmopolitan city of about one million people, the capital of the Roman Empire which stretched from Britain to Arabia. It was the diplomatic and trade center of the then-known world. The beginning of the church in Rome is not described in the New Testament; it may have had its beginnings in the return of new believers shortly after the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:10).
  • Occasion – Paul’s plan to visit Rome on his way to Spain (15:14-24).

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “The Gospel of Grace”.
  • Theme – A thorough treatise on the gospel of grace.
  • Purpose – To prepare the way for a visit to Rome on his way to Spain by fully explaining the gospel which Paul preached.
  • Outline – Doctrine and application.
  • Key verse 🙁 Romans 1:16, 17) “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel; for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written: ‘The just shall live by faith. ‘”

I CORINTHIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Ephesus.
  • Date of writing – A.D. 54 (during third missionary journey).
  • Destination – Corinthian church. Corinth was rebuilt by the Romans in 46 B.C. and had become a strategic center of commerce; it was located in southern Greece on a narrow strip of land between the Aegean and Adriatic Seas.  It had a population of approximately 300,000 made up of Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Asiatics, Egyptians and Jews. The city was dominated by the temple of Aphrodite (“goddess of love” in the pagan religion of Greece); the temple had 1000 religious prostitutes whose service gave rise to the city’s infamous immorality. The church was planted by Paul on his second missionary journey (see Acts 18:1-18). I Corinthians is the second of four letters Paul wrote to this church.
  • Occasion – Report by Chloe’s household (location of Corinthian church) concerning moral, doctrinal and practical problems; letter of inquiry brought by three members of the Corinthian church.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Practical Christian Living in a Pagan Society”
  • Theme – Correcting church problems at Corinth.
  • Purpose – To answer the issues and problems raised by means of an oral report from Chloe’s house and a letter from the Corinthians themselves.
  • Outline· Reply to Chloe’s report and the Corinthian’s letter.
  • Key verse: (I Corinthians 16:13,14) “Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

II CORINTHIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship ·Paul.
  • Place of writing – Possibly Macedonia
  • Date of writing – A.D. 55 (during third missionary journey).
  • Destination – Corinthian church. Paul was in Corinth on at least three different occasions.  II Corinthians was written just before his third visit, and is the last of four letters Paul wrote to this church.
  • Occasion-Report by Titus concerning the repentance of the majority of the troublemakers. (7:13-15).

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Defense of Paul’s Ministry and Apostleship”.
  • Theme – Explanation of Paul’s ministry and apostleship.
  • Purpose – To express joy over the repentance of the majority of the Corinthian church concerning issues addressed in the previous letter, and to reprove a small minority who continued to oppose Paul.
  • Outline – Threefold division, more personal than doctrinal.
    • To the majority: Paul’s ministry explained. (1:12-7:16)
    • The collection for the Jerusalem church. (8:1-9:15)
    • To the minority: Paul’s ministry defended. (10:1-13:10)
  • Key verse: (II Corinthians 4:5) “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake.”

GALATIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Probably Antioch in Syria
  • Date of writing – Approximately A.D. 49-50 (Galatians 2:1-10 refers to the famine visit described in Acts 11:27 -30)
  • Destination – Churches in Galatia. Galatia was a large Roman province stretching almost from coast to coast through central Turkey. How much of it Paul evangelized is not clear. We do know (from Acts 13 and 14) that he founded churches in Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe in southern Galatia on his first missionary journey. He also made two follow-up visits to this area (Acts 16:6; 18:23). According to the ”south Galatian theory,” the letter to the Galatians was addressed to believers in those cities and the surrounding areas.
  • Occasion – Wrong teaching by “Judaizers.” Judaizers were Jewish believers who taught that Gentile believers must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to receive salvation.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Law vs. Grace”.
  • Theme – Combating the legalism of Judaizers.
  • Purpose- To defend Paul s gospel of free grace preached among Gentiles against the “Gospel of Law Keeping” of the Judaizers.
  • Outline – Twofold argument and application.
    • Twofold argument
      • autobiographical argument (1:6-2:21)
      • doctrinal argument (3:1-4:31)
    • Practical application (5:1-6:10)
  • Key verse: (Galatians 2:16) “…a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ... because by works of the law shall no one be justified.’ ‘

EPHESIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship Paul.
  • Place of writing- Roman Prison (3:1; 4:1; 6:20).
  • Date of writing – A.D. 60-62.
  • Destination – Churches in and around Ephesus. Ephesus, the leading city in the province of Asia, was a religious and commercial center of nearly a third of a million people on the west coast of Turkey. The church at Ephesus was begun during Paul’s third missionary journey (see Acts 19). From Ephesus, the Gospel spread throughout the province; churches were planted in such places as Colossae, Hieropolis and Laodicea, as well as other towns in the Lycus Valley, which is the general area of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 (see Acts 19:8-10).
  • Occasion – Converted Jews were inclined to separate themselves from their Gentile brethren, who may have looked down on them. This condition at Ephesus possibly led to the writing of the epistle.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title “All One in Christ”.
  • Theme – The summing up of all things in Christ through the Church.
  • Purpose- To show the summing up and unifying of all in Christ through the Church, which is a “preview of the unity which is to characterize the age to come.”
  • Outline – Doctrinal and practical sections.
    • Doctrine “The wealth” (1:3-3:21 1
    • Practice ”The walk”4:1-6: 20)
  • Key verse- (Ephesians 1:9, 10) “For God has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of His will, according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

PHILLIPIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul
  • Place of writing – Roman prison (1:13, 14).
  • Date of writing -A.D. 60-62
  • Destination -Church in Philippi. Philippi was located in the northern Greek province of Macedonia on the Egnatian Way, the great military road that linked Rome with the East.  It was first settled by Rome with Italian citizens as a Roman colony; thus it enjoyed special rights and privileges such as self-rule and freedom from imperial taxes. Women enjoyed a high status and took active part in public and business life. Paul began the church on his second missionary journey as a result of his “Macedonian vision” (see Acts 16:9-40).
  • Occasion – Philippians’ most recent offering to Paul, who was now in prison for Christ in Rome (4:10-19).

    2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “From Prison with Praise”.
  • Theme – Thanks for a gift, with personal notes and exhortations.
  • Purpose – To thank the Philippians for their gift sent via Epaphroditus (2:25;4:11::1); to appeal for unity; to give information about Paul’s present situation m prison.
  • Outline- Does not follow a strict outline, yet gives profound theological and practical insight.
  • Key verse: (Philippians 1:21) “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

COLOSSIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Roman prison (4:18).
  • Date of writing -A.D. 60-62.
  • Destination-Church at Colossae.  Colossae was a small town in the beautiful Lycus Valley, about 100 miles; east of Ephesus. It was the least of the cities which made up this “tri-city area”; Hierapolis and Laodicea were the other two cities.  There is no record of how the church began.  It may well have been that, during Paul’s three years in Ephesus, prominent men from Colossae such as Philemon and Epaphras became believers and returned to their home area, and a church resulted (1:7,8).
  • Occasion – Syncretism (mixed teaching) at Colossae, involving Jewish legalism (2:16,17, 21-23), Greek philosophy (2:8) and Gnostic mysticism (2:18).

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Christ Preeminent”.
  • Theme – Salvation through Christ is sufficient.
  • Purpose-To refute the heresy at Colossae by a positive presentation of Christ’s Person and work for and in the believer.
  • Outline -Doctrinal and practical sections.
    • Doctrine
      • Positive: Christ’s pre-eminence(1:13-2:7)
      • Negative: Against heresies (2:8-2:23)
    • Practice
      • union with Christ (3:1-3:4)
      • union in Christ’s death (3:5-3:11 )
      • union in Christ’s resurrection  (3:12-4:6)
  • Key verse:(Colossians 2:10) “For in Christ the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness of life in Him who is the head of all rule and authority.”

I THESSALONIANS:  SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship-Paul.
  • Place of writing – Corinth.
  • Date of writing – A.D. 50-51 (during second missionary journey).
  • Destination ·Thessalonian church. Thessalonica, capital of the Roman province of Macedonia, was a prosperous port city on the eastern coast of Greece. It was located on the Egnatian Way about 90 miles from Philippi. The church had its beginning during Paul’s second missionary journey (see Acts 17·1·20)
  • Occasion -Timothy’s good report about the church standing fast under persecution .

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title· “Comfort Concerning the Second Coming”.
  • Theme· Encouragement, exhortation and comfort.
  • Purpose – To encourage the Thessalonians in persecution, and comfort them with the hope of resurrection at Christ’s soon return.
  • Outline – Encouragement and exhortation.
    • Encouragement (1:2-3:13)
    • Exhortation (4:1-5:22)
  • Key verse: (I Thessalonians 5:2.3,2-1) ”May the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”

II THESSALONIANS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing -Corinth.
  • Date of writing-A.D. 50-51 (several months after I Thessalonians).
  • Destination – Thessalonian church.
  • Occasion -Wrong teaching about the imminence of the second coming of Christ.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title ·”Correction Concerning the Second Coming”.
  • Theme- The coming of the day of the Lord.
  • Purpose –To correct a misunderstanding that the day of the Lord had already come.
  • Outline – Encouragement, Correction and exhortation.
    • Encouragement (1:3-1:12)
    • Correction (2:1-2:17)
    • Exhortation (3:1-3:14)
  • Key verse: (II Thessalonians 2:15) “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.”

INTRODUCTION TO PASTORAL EPISTLES

I TIMOTHY THROUGH PHILEMON

  1. NAME
  • Addressed to individuals.
    • Not local pastors.
    • District /area oversight.

      2. AUTHORSHIP

  • Traditional- Apostle Paul
  • Authentication of Authorship
    • Pastoral epistle claim Pauline authorship (I Tim. 1:1; II Tim. 1:1; Titus 1:1).
    • Concern of early church fur authenticity in authorship ensured that these epistles were written by Paul.
    • External evidence early; and consistently supports Pauline authorship.

      3.  PAUL’S MOVEMENTS AFTER ACTS 28

  • Prisoner at Rome for 2 years; (Acts 28:30, 31; see Phil. 1:19,25-27; 2:24) .
  • Released for further preaching and traveling (Philemon 22).
  • Journey eastward to visit the churches.
    • Ephesus (I Tim. 1:5).
    • Corinth, Troas, Miletus (II Tim. 4:13, 20).
    • Crete (Titus 1:5).
    • Macedonia (Titus 3:12).
  • Re-imprisoned in Rome (II  Tim 1:8,16,17; 2:9; 4:10).

      4. PAUL’S CO-WORKERS

  • Timothy
    • Joined Paul on second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-3).
    • One of Paul’s closest traveling companions.
      • With Paul in Macedonia, Achaia, Asia & Rome.
      • Shares greetings with Paul in 6 of Paul’s 13 letters (II Cor 1:1, Phil 1:1.Col 1.1, I Thess.1:1, II Thess. 1:1. Philemon 1)
    • Young yet trusted (I Tim. 4:12; cp. I Cor. 16:11; 4:17; Phil. 2:19-22).
    • Responsible for churches in and around Ephesus ( I Tim. 1:3; 3:14,15).
  • Titus
    • Gentile over whom a dispute arose at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1-5).
    • Mentioned 10 years later in connection with the Corinthian church (II Cor. 1:2.3-2 :18;7:5-15; 8:6,16-23).
    • Responsible 8-10 years later for churches in Crete (Titus 1:5)
    • Ministry in Dalmatia Illyricum, II Tim. 4:10).

I TIMOTHY: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Probably Macedonia.
  • Date of writing – Around A.D. 62-64.
  • Destination – Timothy in Ephesus.
  • Occasion – Timothy’s need for instruction in leading the churches in and around Ephesus.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Advice to a Young Pastor”.
  • Theme – Instructions in leading and feeding the church.
  • Purpose – To instruct Timothy in how to organize and administer the work of the church until Paul arrives.
  • Outline – Organization and administration sections.
    • Church’s organization (1:3-3:13)
    • Church’s administration (3:14-6:19)
  • Key verse: (I Timothy 3:14, 15) “..I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”

II TIMOTHY: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Rome.
  • Date of writing – Around A.D.65-67.
  • Destination – Timothy in Ephesus.
  • Occasion – Paul’s last words before his execution in Rome.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Paul’s Final Advice”.
  • Theme – Paul’s last will and testament (see Gen. 49; Deuteronomy; Josh. 23, 24; John 13-17, etc.).
  • Purpose – To encourage Timothy in properly guiding and teaching the church and to ask him to bring some needed items before winter.
  • Outline – Informal.
    • Past (1:3-18)
    • Present (2:1-26)
    • Future (3:1-17)
    • Paul’s farewell (4:1-18)
  • Key verse: {II Timothy 2:2) “What you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

TITUS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Nicopolis.
  • Date of writing – Around A.D. 62-64.
  • Destination – Titus in Crete.
  • Occasion – Titus’ need for instruction in leading the church.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Advice to a Pastor in Crete”.
  • Theme – Instructions in leading and feeding the church.
  • Purpose – To instruct Titus in the shepherding of the church on the island of Crete.
  • Outline – Organization and administration sections.
    • Church’s organization (1:5 19)
    • Church’s administration (1:10-3:11)
  • Key verse: (Titus 2:78) “Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured.”

PHILEMON: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Paul.
  • Place of writing – Roman prison (vs. 1,9).
  • Date of writing -Around A.D. 60-62.
  • Destination – Philemon and church.
  • Occasion – Return of Onesimus.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “A Runaway Slave Returns”.
  • Theme – A letter of friendly persuasion on behalf of a slave.
  • Purpose – To appeal to Philemon through “friendly persuasion” to receive back his runaway slave as a brother whom Paul had led to Christ while imprisoned (vs. 10).
  • Outline – Informal letter, no definite outline.
  • Key verse 🙁 Philemon v. 17) “So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me.”

INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL EPISTLES

HEBREWS THROUGH JUDE

  1. NAME
  • General Epistles.
    • Little in common.
      • Contents varied: ethical (1 John), eschatological (II Peter).
      • Structure varied: I John has no greetings or farewell.
    • General address in common.
      • Addressed to believers beyond a local fellowship.
      • Entitled by author’s name.
  • Hebrews.
    • Unique: author unknown.
    • No address.

       2. BACKGROUND

  • Persecution.
    • Religious (Hebrews, James).
    • Political (I Peter).
  • Heresies
    • Gnosticism (I, II, III John written to disprove Gnostic heresy) denied the physical incarnation of Christ and salvation by faith. Gnostics believed instead in salvation by knowledge (Greek gnosis “knowledge”).
    • Antinomianism :(II Peter, Jude, James written to refute this heretical teaching) a belief that faith in Christ completely frees a person from the obligations of the moral law.

HEBREWS: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – unknown. (Paul? Apollos? Barnabas?) There is no clear evidence; only God knows for certain who wrote this book. ..
  • Place of writing – unknown.
  • Date of writing – around A .D. 67-68.
  • Destination – Rome.
  • Occasion- Increasing opposition against Jewish believers.

     2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Christ, the Better Way”.
  • Theme – The superiority of Christ over the Old Testament (“better” is used 13 times).
  • Purpose – To show the superiority of Christ, in order to prevent a return to Judaism by Jewish believers who were undergoing opposition for their faith in Christ (10:32-36; 12:3,4).
  • Outline – A word of exhortation (“let us” is used 13 times); a sermon with application (Heb. 13:22; see 10:19-25).
    • Proclamation: Christ’s superiority (1:1-10:39)
    • Practice: Faith’s superiority (11:1-13:17)
  • Key verse: (Hebrews 4:14) “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”

JAMES: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – James (Jesus’ half-brother).
  • Place of writing – Probably Jerusalem
  • Date of writing – Around A.D. 48-62.
  • Destination – To be circulated among dispersed Jewish believers .
  • Occasion – Jewish believers facing opposition and antinomianism (see under “Heresies” in Introduction to General Epistles)…

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “True Religion”.
  • Theme – True religion is practical and works.
  • Purpose – To explain to Jewish believers that true religion is pure and practical.
  • Outline – Four sermons
    • Trials (1:2-18, 2)
    • Law of Love (1:19-2:26)
    • Evil Speaking (3:1-4:12)
    • Endurance (4:13-5:20)
  • Key verse:(James 1:27) “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction , and  to help oneself unspotted from the world.

I PETER: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Apostle Peter/Silvanus (5:12).
  • Place of writing – Rome.
  • Date of writing – Around A .D. 62-64.
  • Destination – Christians in Asia Minor.
  • Occasion – Christians coming under persecution from Rome.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Salvation through Suffering”.
  • Theme – Standing fast in God’s grace through suffering.
  • Purpose – To encourage Christians who are under persecution to stand fast for the faith in Christ.
  • Outline – Three doctrine and application sections.
    • Declaring: Salvation (1:3-12) Exhorting: Be Holy (1:13-2:3)
    • Declaring: God’s people (2:4-10) Exhorting: Submit (2:11-3:17)
    • Declaring: Suffering (3:18-22) Exhorting: Rejoice (4:1-5:11)
  • Key verse: (I Peter 5:12) “...I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God; stand fast in it.”

II PETER: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Apostle Peter.
  • Place of writing – Rome.
  • Date of writing· Around A.D. 65-67
  • Destination ·Christians in Asia Minor.
  • Occasion- Christians facing heretical teachers.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – ”True and False Knowledge”.
  • Theme – Discerning true and false teachers.
  • Purpose – To warn believers of false teachers who deny their Lord and scoff at His coming.
  • Outline – True and false knowledge.
    • True knowledge (1:3-21)
    • False teacher (2:1-22)
    • Christ’s return (3:1-18)
  • Key verse: (II Peter 3:17-18) “You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ.”

I JOHN: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, but likely it was the Apostle John.
  • Place of writing – Ephesus.
  • Date of writing- Around A.D. 90-100.
  • Destination – Christians around Ephesus.
  • Occasion – Christians facing heretical Gnostic teaching that emphasized special knowledge and depreciated Christ’s humanity.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Tests of a True Christian”.
  • Theme – Infallible signs of divine life,
  • Purpose – To confirm believers in the true knowledge of salvation over against the false teaching of Gnosticism (a heresy which taught that Jesus Christ was not born in human form).
  • Outline – Threefold cycle.
    1. Light and love (l:5-2:28)
    2. Right and love (2:29-4:6)
    3. Life and love (4:7-5:21)
  • Key verse: (I John 5:13) “l write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”

II JOHN: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous but likely it was the Apostle John.
  • Place of writing – Ephesus.
  • Date of writing – A round A.D. 90-100.
  • Destination – Christians around Ephesus.
  • Occasion – Christian s facing heretical Gnostic teaching that emphasized special knowledge and depreciated Christ’s humanity.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “How to Handle Heretics”.
  • Theme – Refuse hospitality to Gnostic deceivers.
  • Purpose – To express joy over believers who follow the truth, and to warn them of Gnostic deceivers who have a spirit of Antichrist.
  • Outline – none; informal.
  • Key verse: (II John vs. 9,10) “He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him.”

III JOHN: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Anonymous, but likely it was the Apostle John.
  • Place of writing – Ephesus.
  • Date of writing – Around A.D. 90-100.
  • Destination – Gaius, who was facing heretical Gnostic teaching that emphasized special knowledge and depreciated Christ’s humanity.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Showing Hospitality”.
  • Theme – Give hospitality to traveling teachers.
  • Purpose – To give instruction concerning proper ministry to strangers and itinerant preachers of the gospel.
  • Outline – None; informal.
  • Key verse: (III John 5) “Beloved , you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers.”

JUDE: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – Jude Jesus’ half-brother, brother of James).
  • Place of writing – Unknown, possibly Jerusalem
  • Date of writing – Around A .D. 67-80.
  • Destination – Christians everywhere.
  • Occasion – Christians facing heretical teachers.

      2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “Beware of False Teachers”.
  • Theme – Contend for faith against false teachers.
  • Purpose – To urge believers to contend for the faith against false teachers.
  • Outline – Problem and answer.
    • Problem: Evil false teachers (vs. 3-16)
    • Answer: Contending for the faith (vs. 17-23)
  • Key verse: (Jude v. 3) “…I found it necessary to write to you, appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

REVELATION: SUMMARY

  1. BACKGROUND
  • Authorship – The prophet John (1:1), traditionally identified as the Apostle John.
  • Place of writing – Island of Patmos, 35 miles off the coast of Asia Minor.
  • Date of writing – Around A.D. 90-100 during the reign of Emperor Domitian.
  • Destination – Seven churches in Asia Minor, located in a circuitous route around Ephesus, the leading city in the province.
  • Occasion – Because of the increasing persecution of Christians under Emperor Domitian. John (who himself had been banished for his witness to Christ) writes to the seven churches of Asia Minor concerning the visions God had given him about what was about to take place: tribulation for the saints, wrath for the unrighteous, and the ultimate victory and reward of God’s people at the second coming of Christ.

       2. CONTENTS

  • Title – “The Consummation”.
  • Theme – “Labor pains” characterizing the end of this evil age as it gives birth to the new age when the Lord rules over the new heavens and new earth.
  • Purpose – To encourage persecuted Christians to faithfully endure, by showing them that the end is near when God will reward those who defeat Satan’s evil forces and win the victory with Him.
  • Outline – A fourfold vision of the increasing Lordship of Jesus Christ; each vision is introduced by the phrase “in the Spirit” (1:10; 4:2, 17:3; 21:10).
    • 1st vision: Christ, Lord of the Church (1:9-3:22)
    • 2nd vision: Christ, Lord of history {4:1-16:21)
    • 3rd vision: Christ, Lord of Lords (17:1-21:10)
    • 4th vision: Christ, Lord God Almighty (21:11-22:5) Epilogue (ll:6-21)
  • Key verse: (Revelation 11:15) “kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He: shall reign forever and ever.”