How did we get the New Testament?


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WHAT mATTERS - 8 Men and the Holy Ghost​

1) Matthew. Nicknamed Levi, a Jew by birth, a tax collector by vocation. Called by Jesus to be one of His twelve apostles and the penman of the first Gospel bearing his name. An eyewitness. 2) Mark. Known by friends as John Mark. History and tradition tell us that he was likely the unnamed “young man” who fled naked from the Garden of Gethsemane the night prior to Jesus’ crucifixion.[1] Another eyewitness. 3) Luke. A Gentile doctor from Antioch. Writer of the third Gospel and its sequel, the book of Acts. Luke is the only non-Jewish New Testament (NT) writer. He was not one of the twelve apostles, yet he recieved their eyewitness accounts and by divine guidance, recorded exact information from above.[2] 4) John. Known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”[3] As one of the twelve apostles, John wrote five of the twenty-seven NT books, including the fourth Gospel, three short letters, and the book of Revelation. John used his personal encounters with Jesus as the basis of his messages and the means by which we have fellowship with one another.[4] 5) Paul. Known throughout the Jewish world as the Hebrew of Hebrews, and a strict Pharisee, who studied under the great, world renowned doctor of Jewish law, Gamaliel. Even with these credentials, he counted them all as dung, compared to the gain he acquired in his relationship with Jesus. Paul first met the risen Lord Jesus on a road-trip to persecute Christians in Damascus.[5] This encounter was the beginning of his personal instruction from Jesus, by which he wrote over half of the NT (including, I believe, his authorship of the book of Hebrews.) 6) & 7) James and Jude. These two disciples called themselves “servants of Jesus Christ” rather than naming themselves as half-brothers of Jesus. Having grown up with Him, they were eyewitnesses of His life and wrote two small books of the NT which bear their names. Finally, we have the eighth NT writer, Peter. A lowly Jewish fisherman, Peter seems to be most relatable to common man by his reactionary and brash actions before thinking. Yet he is also endeared to us by his strong belief in, and bold confession of Jesus’ identity declaring, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[6] Peter, maybe more than all the others, spent the most time with Jesus and was one of three who saw His Glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.[7] Peter counts this supernatural experience very important, yet he surprisingly says there is something far better than any eyewitness account—the authority and testimony of the inspired words of God, the Bible. Peter said it this way in 2 Peter 1:19-21, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy[…]Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The Bible didn’t come from any man’s private thoughts or beliefs. Jesus, being the Word of God in the flesh, authored it, quoted it, and attested it to be trustworthy. He affirmed that His Father inspired it and that the Holy Spirit moved holy men of God to write down what He told them. What matters is, both the Old Testament writers and these 8 men, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, gave us what we hold in our hands today, the written Word of God. Do you believe what it says about Jesus? He died, was buried, and rose again so that you would believe it, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”[8]

[1] Mark 14:51-52
[2] Luke 1:3-4
[3] John 13:23; 21:20
[4] 1 John 1:3
[5] Acts 9:1-22
[6] Matthew 16:16
[7] Mark 9:2
[8] Romans 10:17; John 20:30-31