Introduction to New Testament Survey (8-14-19)

Introduction to New Testament Survey (8-14-19)

(This recap contains material from former BTCL classes at North Point and Buckhead.)

Our goals for Wednesday night, August 14, 2019, were:

  1. That we understand the developments of the Time Between the Testaments

  2. That we understand the structure of the New Testament

  3. That we increase our awe of God’s self revelation as presented in both the Old and New Testaments

The Time Between the Testaments: (In your NIV at the end of Malachi)

In terms of the Old Testament, see your Old Testament manual page 197 for the time line/prophets placement and page 315 and following for good summaries of the OT books. Thanks to Dennis Mock for a great compilation!

Review of some Old Testament Survey big ideas: See page 20-21 in your Old Testament manual for 10 Time Periods of OT History.

Just think of the concepts we unpacked in our 24 weeks together! They include:

  • -Abraham and the Covenant the LORD made with him…an unconditional one, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness”. As we will see in our study of the book of Romans, our salvation rooted in that promise to Abraham, the Friend of God.

  • -The two pronged theme of the Old Testament as seen in Ex. 6:6-7, "Then you will know that I am the LORD, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians"; and in 1Kings 8:59-60..."so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.”

  • -The four major covenants of the Old Testament

  • -The glory of the Lord and the concept of his presence among his people

  • -The significance of the First Temple, its construction, use, destruction and rebuilding
    -The sacrificial system that foreshadowed our High Priest's sacrifice for us

  • -Via the exile, the Lord's discipline of his people as they rebelled from the One who gave them life and identity as his chosen nation

  • -The initial and developing expectations in Israel of the coming "suffering servant", i.e. the Messiah who would save his people from their sins

Introduction to New Testament Survey:

On page 8 in your NTS course manual, we went over goals for the course. For a sampling:

  • Goal #1: that we gain a deeper understanding of the "faith once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3-4).

  • Goal #6 That we grow in our understanding of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1Jn.:1-4, Jn. 20:30-31; 21:25) It is concerning either the person of Christ or his work that cults err.

    Look in your NIV at the end of Malachi for the chart, “From Malachi to Christ” and on the next page, "The Time Between the Testaments”. Also, look at the chart at Daniel 7 in the NIV Study Bible and notice the progression of Babylonian, Persian, Greek (Hellenistic), Hasmonean and Roman control of the region of the Middle East.

When we get to Roman rule, 63BC - 192AD we see something like the two maps below, one dated at the time of the Lord Jesus’ earthly ministry, i.e. early first century A.D. and the second map dated 117A.D. (This map is similar to map #14 at the back of your NIV Study Bible.


Roman Empire: 117A.D.

Roman Empire 117 BC.jpeg

Look at the upper left hand corner of the map. In the area of “Britain", notice "Hadrian’s Wall" and the extent of the vast empire of Rome. Emperor Hadrian, ruled from 117  to 138 A.D. The wall he built is still walkable today! See below. 


And below is a rebuilt section to give one an idea of how the wall looked in the first century A.D.


“Language, Roads, and the Messianic Hope”

During the 400 years of “silence," as stated above, the rule of the region changed. From 143 B.C. - 63 B.C a group of Jews, known as Hasmoneans, ruled for some 80 years. They renewed hope in a coming Messiah. As you mentioned in class, the Greeks brought a common language, and the Romans a system of good roads. All three developments were significant, culminating in the perfect time ("when the time had fully come") for the first advent of Christ (Gal. 4:4). The common language was necessary for communicating the Good News. Greek was the lingua franca of the day, i.e., similar to the fact that English is used today in terms of a common trade language. Roman roads were necessary so that people could travel and share with others the Good News.

On manual page 17-18, note the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Notice the comparisons of the Old and the New Covenants, from Ex. 24:3; Luke 22:14-20; Romans 8:1-4; Gal.3:6-18. Remember that the Lord Jesus initiated the New Covenant promised in Jer. 31:31-37. The ultimate fulfillment of the promises of the New Covenant will be in the day when the Lord deals directly again with Israel, i.e., the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Notice on page 19, the fact is stressed that "the bible is a unified whole containing the full divine, progressive, redemptive revelation of God in two successive stages.” ( See: Heb. 1:1-3)

The Gospels as presented on page 23 show that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels. Synoptic, a combo word, from “syn” meaning together, similar to “symphony," and “optic," to see. Thus, “together-to-see” or “to see together”. These three books are like three photos taken of the same person from different angles. Thanks to Pete for being the Synoptic guinea pig. As Dennis mentions on page 24, the Gospel of John is often called the “universal” or supplementary gospel.

You all did a good job on the Herod table assignment. Our purpose was to introduce you to historical and cultural aspects that accompany the life of the Lord Jesus and to get you used to using the tools provided in the NIV Study Bible. Next Wednesday, we will do another one of the three on your sheet.

Near Mark chapter 3 in your NIV, notice the size of Jerusalem as compared to what we saw in the Old Testament era. The outline of the old city can still be seen as you move south of the Temple Mount.

Speaking of the Temple… below is a scale model of Herod’s Temple, i.e., the embellished Second Temple originally built by Zerubbabel. (Ezra 3:8; 5:2; 6:14-15, in 536-520B.C. Remember that Haggai and Zechariah prompted the re-start of the building project, see Ezra 6:14.)

This temple complex will witness the Lord Jesus and the events of his dialogue with the teachers of the Law as a boy, then as an adult, his teaching in the temple area and the cleansing of the temple of the money changers.


In class we discussed the development of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the development of the Synagogue. You can find the info on these topics in the article, “The Time Between the Testaments” and in the chart near Matt.chapter 23 in the NIV.

And below is a parting shot of the excavations at a first-century synagogue at Magdala on the West side of the Sea of Galilee. This is the city of Mary of Magdala, i.e., Mary Magdalene. We will see her in the gospels in Mt. 27:56; 28:1; Mk.15:40; 16:9; Lk.8:2; Jn.20:1,18.

Mary Magdalene:

  • -Was delivered from seven demons, Lk.8:2;

  • -Was a companion of Salome, who was probably the wife of Zebedee, the mother of disciples James and John, Mk.15:40;

  • -Was with Mary the mother of the Lord Jesus at the cross, Jn.19:25;

  • -And was first to the empty tomb on resurrection Sunday, Matt.28:1.

  • -She returned in sorrow to tell Peter and John and returned to the tomb with them then tarried when they went back to their homes

  • -It was at this time she uttered the words to the two angels seated in the tomb where Jesus’ body had been, “They have taken away my lord and I don't know where they have put him.” Jn.20:10-14

  • -She then became the first person to see the Lord Jesus resurrected from the dead.

File Synagogue at Magdala #2 Rasmussen.jpeg

We have so much to which to look forward in New Testament Survey. Thank you for taking the journey!

Assignment for Wednesday, August 21, 2019,:

  • Read the book of Matthew and the accompanying pages, 29-40, in your course manual.

  • Look at Mt. 22:32. Notice the three-fold formula the Lord Jesus uses. What significance do you see there? Hint: see Ex.3:6

  • Go to manual page 36, and from Matthew chapters 1 through 6, choose one passage and in one sentence write the main idea taught by the passage.