Full Gospel Church / Wayne Parks Ministries

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New Testament

The New Testament begins with the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, and ends with the prophetic writing of the last living Apostle, John. Most of the books themselves were written between the 50s and 60s, prior to A.D. 70 when the rebellion by the militant Jewish zealots in the region were put down by Rome. A few of the general epistles and the book of Revelation were most likely written between A.D. 70 and 95. The last Apostle John is believed to have died sometime in the 90s.

The New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament; first of all in the person of Jesus Christ, and secondly by the creation of the Church.

Keep in mind when studying the New Testament is that it points forward to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, His 1000 year reign, the end of the world, the Judgment, and eternity. In that forward look we see fullest revelation of the "people of the covenant", both Old Testament saints and New, as the "glorified sons of God."

Main Categories


The four Gospels and Acts present the events of the life of Jesus Christ and the birth and early days of the church. In a certain sense they may be called historical books, because together they relate events that occurred over a period of around sixty years or so.

However, the Gospels are more than history. They include preaching and teaching material meant for spiritual guidance and understanding, and are intended as a testimonial witness so that people might be converted and receive eternal life. The four presentations are a whole genre of literature unto themselves--they are the Gospels.

Acts too, is distinctive from a traditional history, in that it is a testimonial to the work of the Holy Spirit in the early days of the church, from about A.D. 30 to 60, from the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon 120 believers to the arrival of Paul at Rome and his first imprisonment there around A.D. 60-62.

Therefore, the Gospels and Acts are an historical witness and testimony of God's active work to redeem man firstly through the earthly ministry and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, and then through work of the Holy Spirit in the early Church. The intention is that all people would see the truth of the gospel and be converted.

Special Note. There are a number of considerations to remember when studying the Gospels:

  • Matthew, Mark, and Luke are similar in their presentation. It is strongly believed that there was some use of one book in the writing of the other two. This is known as the synoptic problem, and there have been a number of varying theories concerning this matter. All of these books were completed by A.D. 60 or shortly thereafter.

  • John differs greatly in style from the other three Gospels, and has a strong emphasis on teaching spiritual and theological aspects of the years of ministry of Jesus, and of His death, resurrection and ascension. This may very well be due to the late date of the writing of this book, probably between A.D. 85-95. By the end of the century there had been time to reflect upon the spiritual significance of the life and events surrounding Jesus Christ, and it is apparent the apostle John attempts to build this developed understanding into his Gospel.

  • Acts, written by Luke, basically focuses on events surrounding the apostles Peter and Paul, and so does NOT present a complete history of all of the events of the church in those first decades. It also ends abruptly with Paul's first imprisonment at Rome, around A.D. 60-62, leaving the important years that followed, including Paul's release and further ministry, without a biblical record.

The full window of time covered by these books is from about 4-5 B.C. with the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus to about A.D. 60-62 with the first imprisonment of Paul in Rome; that is, a period of about 65 years.

Pauline Epistles

Paul was converted to Christ probably within a year or two after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He had in ignorance become an ardent persecutor of Christianity in an attempt to support His Jewish faith. In a dramatic supernatural intervention, Paul experienced the divine presence of Christ on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, interrupting his plans to spread his persecution outside of the local Jewish territory. That encounter brought about his conversion to Christ, and from that point he grew in the knowledge and understanding of the gospel.

For the next 30 years or so, Paul made his Christian witness. With time, he received revelations on the nature of Christ and the gospel message. He wrote these epistles over a period of about 10-12 years, from somewhere around A.D. 50 to approximately 61-2, with the exception of 2 Timothy. Though the Scriptures end with Paul's first imprisonment (A.D. 60-62), there is a probability that he was released, continued his evangelizing, possibly making to Spain as he desired, and was recaptured around 64-65, and beheaded under the rule of the insane Roman emperor Nero. His last epistle, 2 Timothy, was probably written shortly before his execution.

It is remarkable that Paul's writings became widely read throughout the Roman empire, and it is estimated that generally the whole Church spread throughout the Roman world had knowledge of the Pauline collection of writings by A.D. 100. In contrast, other New Testament writings lagged behind and so were slower in their spread and use within the Church at large.

The epistles of Paul are generally organized by size, and bear no relationship to the chronology of writing. It is significant to note, however, that Romans is placed first. Of all of Paul's writings, Romans gives a complete and structured presentation of need for salvation through Jesus Christ, and how to receive it. Indeed, this book has been referred to as the "book of salvation" because of its focus and exquisite exposition on the subject.

General Epistles

With the exception of Hebrews---which was written to Hebrew Christians to encourage them to be faithful---these epistles are considered "catholic", meaning universal. In other words, it appears that they were written to the Church at large, instead of a specific congregation or locale. Conservative scholarship holds that the latest of these epistles were written before the end of the first century, with the epistles of Hebrews, James and Peter probably before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70, during the unsuccessful Jewish war against the Romans.


In contrast to the Old Testament, there is only one book focused on prophecy. As well, the prophecy is of a specific category--apocalyptic. It is the book of Revelation written by John toward the end of the first century while he was in exile on the island of Patmos, off the coast of what is today called Turkey.