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Humanities:  Introduction to the New Testament - Book Selection

Before launching into "Introduction to the New Testament," you must select which biblical books that you will read. The State of Florida does not require students to read the entire New Testament nor does the state specify individual New Testament books as necessary. However, it is very reasonable to accomplish of the entire New Testament over this one-year course. Students must read a sample of each major category of writing.

My goal when teaching a survey of the New Testament is to expose the student to each major style of writing and to books focused upon various segments of New Testament biblical history. Upon completion of a survey, each student should have a broad understanding of the major characters, events, concepts, and literary forms of the New Testament.

The chart below sequences the New Testament books according to a traditional Western table of contents, as is used by Balancing the Sword. I've marked select books as "Primary" if I would certainly include the book if I were teaching you personally. If time permitted, I would add to the primary books those marked as "Secondary." Ideally, you will read the entire New Testament. I gave favoritism towards

  • books which include a high percent of unique content,
  • books which target transitional periods of history,
  • books which covered large spans of history or give clearer historical perspective,
  • books which give representation to each literary form and most authors, and
  • books which offer major theological concepts.

This prioritizing of the biblical books is somewhat subjective.

Book BTS Page Guidance General Literary Form

The Gospels

40 Matthew 360 Primary Historical Narrative as Limited Biography

41 Mark 378
Historical Narrative as Limited Biography

42 Luke 390 Secondary Historical Narrative as Limited Biography

43 John 410 Primary Historical Narrative as Private Epistle

The Early 1st Century History

44 The Acts 421 Primary Historical Narrative as Private Epistle

The Epistles

Paul's Congregational Epistles

45 Romans 441 Primary Congregational Epistle

46 1 Corinthians 446 Primary Congregational Epistle

47 2 Corinthians 451 Primary Congregational Epistle

48 Galatians 455 Secondary Congregational Epistle

49 Ephesians 458 Primary Congregational Epistle

50 Philippians 460 Secondary Congregational Epistle

51 Colossians 462
Congregational Epistle

52 1 Thessalonians 463 Primary Congregational Epistle

53 2 Thessalonians 464
Congregational Epistle

54 1 Timothy 465
Pastoral Epistle

55 2 Timothy 467
Pastoral Epistle

56 Titus 468 Primary Pastoral Epistle

57 Philemon 469 Secondary Private Epistle


58 Hebrews 470 Primary Catholic or General Epistle


59 James 475 Primary Catholic or General Epistle


60 1 Peter 477 Primary Catholic or General Epistle

61 2 Peter 479
Catholic or General Epistle


62 1 John 480 Primary Catholic or General Epistle

63 2 John 482 Primary Private Epistle

64 3 John 483
Private Epistle


65 Jude 484 Primary Catholic or General Epistle

The Prophet


66 Revelation 485 Primary Apocalyptic Congregational Epistle

Create your reading schedule or course itinerary now: BTS Reading Planner software. You may wish to reference the sample reading plan for this course.

How to determine when your school year should start and stop.

Return to Course Description.

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Balancing the Sword is a structured study guide for every chapter of the Bible.