New Testament Basics 4

Introductions of the 8 General Epistles/Letters of the New Testament-

Hebrews, James, 1st & 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd & 3rd John, Jude


Author- Unknown

Written to Jewish Christians

Dated- Around 70 A.D.

Theme- The author wrote this epistle to prevent his readers from abandoning their faith in Christ and going back to the Old Law. He establishes the supremacy and sufficiency of  Christ and his covenant.

Hebrews is the book of “better things”….Christ superior to ancient prophets, angels, Moses, Aaron and other priests.

8 specific passages of Old Testament mentioned.

Key Word- Supremacy of Christ

Content- Superiority of Jesus Christ, Call to follow Jesus faithfully despite tribulations, Rules for Christian living.


Author- James; half brother of Jesus, from Joseph & Mary; a leader of the Jerusalem Church. James did not believe in his brother at first. He became a disciple following the resurrection. Tradition describes James as a man of prayer; it was said that he prayed on his knees so much that they were as hard as those on a camel.

Written to Jewish Christians

Dated-  Around 50 A.D.

Theme- Good deeds and faith that works.

Key Word- Faith that works.

Content- Trials, Obeying God’s Word, Faith and deeds, Tongue is a fire, Warning against worldliness.

1st Peter

Author- Apostle Peter

Written to Jewish & Gentile believers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Western Asia Minor & Bithynia. Silas was the intermediate agent in writing 1 Peter.

Dated- 60-64 A.D.

Theme- Instructions for holy living for those suffering persecution and proper conduct as God’s holy people.

Key Word- Suffering for the cause of Christ.

Content- Holiness of life through obedience and submission, Duties and conduct of all.

2nd Peter

Author- Apostle Peter

Written to Christians in Western Asia Minor

Dated- 65-68 A.D.

Theme- Peter teaches how to deal with false teachers & evil doers who have come in to the Church. In his 1st letter Peter instructed believers how to deal with persecution from outside the Church.

Key Words- Guard against false teachers; beware but grow.

Content- Growth in Christian virtues, Warnings against false teachers, Christ’s return

1st John

Author- Apostle John; He was in Ephesus [modern Turkey] during most of his later years.

Written to believers in Western Asia Minor.

Dated- 85-95 A.D.

Theme- Assuring believers of the certainity of their faith and refuting heresies [false doctrines] that Jesus was not fully human and fully divine.

Key Word- Fellowship with God.

Content- Fellowship with the Father & Son, Antichrists

2nd John

Author- Apostle John

Written to the “lady chosen by God”, probably of a local church in Western Asia Minor.

Dated- 85-95 A.D.

Theme-John writes to urge discernment in accepting and supporting travelling teachers since false teachers were also traveling and teaching false doctrines.

During the first two centuries, the Gospel was taken from place to place by travelling evangelists and teachers. Believers took these missionaries in to their homes and provided for their journey when they left.

Key Word- Avoid fellowship with false teachers.

Content- Commendation of a strong female believer, exhortations

3rd John

Author- Apostle John

Written to Gaius, perhaps a leader of one of the churches in Western Asia Minor.

Dated- 85-95 A.D.

Theme- John writes to commend Gaius for supporting travelling teachers and rebukes Diotrephes for refusing to welcome them.

Key Word- Enjoy fellowship with true believers.

Content- Commendation of Gaius and Demetrius, condemnation of Diotrephes


Author- Jude, half-brother of Jesus; son of Joseph & Mary.

Written to Christians who are being threatened by false teachers.

Dated- 65-80 A.D.

Theme- Jude warns Christians of false teachers who are trying to convince them that being saved by grace gives them a license to sin.

Key Word- Contend for the faith

Content- Warnings about apostates & false teachers; exhortation to believers.