A Complete List of New Testament Books in Order: Bible Summary Guide


The editors at Lord’s Library compiled this resource to guide you through the Bible’s New Testament books in order with a summary of each.

There are many reasons to learn about the New Testament books in order, especially if you are serious about learning the Bible. Although it’s not important to know the New Testament books word-for-word in the beginning of your spiritual journey, it does help to gain a summary introduction to each. In this resource, our editors provide a fill list of the New Testament books in order to help you expand your basic knowledge of the Christian Bible, and ultimately grow your faith in Jesus Christ.

The New Testament consists of 27 different books originally written in the Greek language can be divided into four categories, including The Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, The Epistles, and The Apocalypse. The central theme of the Bible’s New Testament is Jesus Christ, and chronicle God’s covenant (or promise) through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It also describes Christ’s life, teachings, and works. Several New Testament books were written by Jesus’ primary disciples who we know as The Apostles.

Note: We recommend pairing this resource with our Complete List of Old Testament Books in Order Bible summary guide.

The Gospel

A Complete List of New Testament Books in Order

The Book of Matthew (The Gospel of Matthew)

The Gospel of Matthew is compared to the Pentateuch, or Moses’ five biblical books, since it is divided into five parts and instructs on Jesus’ teachings. This is a synoptic gospel, one of the three synoptic gospels, including Mark and Luke. Matthew is a Jew who was known as Levi when called by Christ. He was a tax collector, one of the most despised professions at that period for Jews. Matthew was one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. Because he began recording the book in the lineage of Jesus’ ancestors, it was written for the church in Israel. Matthew instructed them on how to live a godly life and encouraged them to be steadfast in their beliefs during persecution. In the end, one of the high points of this book is Jesus’ famous “Great Commission” to go and make disciples of all nations.

Book Summary: The book of Matthew is the first Gospel of the New Testament, which highlights Jesus’ life and ministry. Matthew discusses the “good news” of Christ, and what it means to be apart of his “Kingdom of Heaven.”

The Book of Mark (The Gospel of Mark)

The Gospel of Mark is the oldest synoptic gospel is Mark since Matthew and Luke essentially incorporated the story in their books. It’s also the shortest. Because he was not one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, some scholars claimed his version came from Apostle Peter. This book is also known as a book of action, and the phrase “at once” appears numerous times throughout the text. Mark was written for non-Jew believers known as Gentile converts, especially those who were in Rome. The book’s focus is on answering the question, “Who is Jesus?” The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is used as a starting point. The second message focuses on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must renounce their desires and take up the cross.” Mark 8:34, NIV.

Book Summary: The second Gospel of the New Testament, Mark also chronicles Jesus’ life and teachings. In this book, there is an emphasis on the works of Jesus and his miracles. The book of Mark is written as a motivational sermon, summoning readers to action.

The Book of Luke (The Gospel of Luke)

The Gospel of Luke is the first installment in a two-part series that includes the book of Acts. It has familiar stories like “The Good Samaritan” that can only be found in the book. Luke was a Gentile (non-Jew) and a physician who traveled with Apostle Paul for most of his journey. Luke wrote the book for a particular individual known as Theophilus, but his identity is unknown. The book’s theme is to explain why Jesus came to Earth and for whom. It quotes Luke 19:10, stating, “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”

Book Summary: Perhaps the most different of the four Gospels, the book of John highlights accounts of Jesus’ life that are not written in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. not detailed in the others. The primary theme of this book is to provide evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and what all who believe in Him will have everlasting life.

The Book of John (The Gospel of John)

The Gospel of John is the fourth canonical gospel and contains John’s account of the ministry of Jesus. John the Beloved was the youngest of the disciples, and he was close to Jesus because it is thought that they were relatives. John is commonly the first suggested book to read since it emphasizes God’s love for his creation. John 3:16; For God so loved the world that he gave his only son… John is focused on the divine nature of Jesus, thus encouraging his readers to put their faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God. “I am,” Jesus states many times throughout the book, as in, “I am the bread of life” (6:35), “I am the good shepherd” (10:14), and so on.

Book Summary: Perhaps the most different of the four Gospels, the book of John highlights accounts of Jesus’ life that are not written in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. The primary theme of this book is to provide evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and what all who believe in Him will have everlasting life.

The Book of Acts (The Acts of the Apostles)

The Book of Acts, known as the Acts of the Apostles, continues Luke’s Gospel written by the same author. This is also referred to as the Act of the Holy Spirit because it recorded the Holy Spirit baptism, which was given to early Christians to be effective witnesses in sharing the gospel. Luke described how the church expanded from a small number of them at the start. The book’s final substantial section is Paul’s missionary journey. Although Luke did not describe what happened to Paul at the end of his life, it may be that he intended for readers to know that the church would continue to expand.

Book Summary: Acts describes the founding of the Christian church and its growth across the Roman Empire through the Apostle’s preaching.

The Book of Romans (The Epistle (Letter) to the Romans)

The Book of Romans is Apostle Paul wrote this epistle (letter) to his Roman Christian, with whom he longed to travel and meet in person. This book is known as the “Obra Maestra” of all Paul’s writings by drawing all his learned theology and expounding on how a person can be justified by putting their faith in Jesus. Nonetheless, this is also a financial request letter supporting the ministry he planted for the church to grow even more. Paul was brave enough to declare that he would do anything for the sake of the gospel when he stated, ” I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16, NIV.

Book Summary: Romans was written by Paul to the Gentile and Jewish Christians in Rome. The major themes highlight the importance of God’s righteousness and His plan for salvation.

1 Corinthians (The First Epistle (Letter) of Paul to the Corinthians)

The Book of 1 Corinthians is Corinth was a former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece’s south-central region. Paul wrote this letter to address concerns surfacing in the church, such as division and immorality, since he had founded the congregation in Corinth. He emphasized the importance of the cross, which is a standard and source of true wisdom because life is full of choices. As Paul said, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus who has become for us wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30, NIV.

Book Summary: Pauls’ first letter to the Corinthians describes the issues and corruption in the Church. He not only highlights the misconduct of the Church, but also emphasizes ways to change and cleanse of sinful ways.

2 Corinthians (The Second Epistle (Letter) of Paul to the Corinthians)

The Book of 2 Corinthians is From 1 Corinthians to 2 Corinthians, this book covers roughly a year or two. Paul composed this second letter to the Corinthian church to express his gratitude and strengthen those who had responded favorably to his first letter and a personal visit there. Sadly Corinth has deteriorated from bad to worse. Paul had to dispel false prophets from among them. There were false allegations made against Paul, but God had given him to proclaim the gospel in response through humility and authority. Despite unlawful accusations, we may still choose to honor God. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…’”

Book Summary: Since Paul’s first letter to the time the second was written, many of the Corinthian believers had repented and changed their ways. However because many still doubted his authority, Paul felt it necessary to further articulate his message and remind them of his own apostleship and high calling of Christian ministry.

The Book of Galatians (The Epistle (Letter) of Paul to the Galations)

The Book of Galatians is Galatia was a region in north-central Anatolia that is now known as Turkey. The Apostle Paul established the church in Galatia, but false prophets and teachers infiltrated and blatantly opposed the gospel when he departed. But Paul urged them, however, to keep the teaching they had received from him. He emphasized that a person is justified by faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, not by works or obeying the law. Paul reminded the Galatians of his life testimony, from persecutor of Christians to becoming a gospel preacher. Though he was persecuted, he urged them to remain steadfast in their devotion to God. As he said in Galatians 6:9, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Book Summary: This book is a letter from Paul to the early Christian communities of Galatia. In his letter Paul speaks about the controversy between the Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles. Paul explains that people are not judged based on Mosaic law or their racial distinctions, but rather justified by their faith in Jesus Christ.

The Book of Ephesians (The Epistle (Letter) of Paul to the Ephesians)

The Book of Ephesians is A letter from the Apostle Paul to the Ephesus church while he was in jail. Ephesus was the most significant Greek city in Ionian Asia Minor, located near Selcuk in Western Turkey. Ephesus was famous for its goddess Artemis, which nearly cost Paul his life in Acts 19. Paul reminded the Ephesian congregation that no matter their race or nationality, there is only one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism. Having different gifts but one body in Jesus Christ. He then admonished the believers to always put on the spiritual armor because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces. Ephesians 6:12, NIV.

Book Summary: While Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Galatians focused on formal instruction, in Ephesians Paul writes about what it means to be Christian. He discusses ways that readers can better understand the vastness of God’s grace and purpose for the Church.

The Book of Philippians (The Epistle (Letter) of Paul to the Philippians)

The Book of Philippians is This is a letter from Paul to the church in Philippi, which he composed while imprisoned. Philippi is a Greek archaeological site located at the base of an acropolis in northern Greece. Despite the trials and afflictions of the church, Paul’s message to the Philippians was to remain steadfast in Christ. The central theme of his letter to the Philippians is contentment, even in the middle of difficulties and suffering. Philippians 1:21 wrote, For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. He also expressed his gratitude for their gifts and prayers.

Book Summary: Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of appreciation and affection for to their people for the support in his ministry. He encourages them to continue their faithful and gracious ways.

The Book of Colossians (The Epistle (Letter) of Paul to the Colossians)

The Book of Colossians is Paul wrote the letter to the church in Colossae while he was imprisoned. Colossae, an ancient Phrygian city in Anatolia, now Turkey, was a prominent city of Phrygia in Asia Minor. The primary message of this epistle is that Christ has supremacy over the entire universe. Jesus is the head of the church, instructing his followers to live their lives in accordance with God’s glory and to experience true life in fullness through Jesus Christ. Continue to follow Christ Jesus as you have accepted him as Lord. Paul also remarks on slaves who became followers of Christ to work for the Lord and not for men.

Book Summary: In the book of Colossians, Paul writes to the Church at Colossae to warn them of false teachers; he clarifies to them that Jesus Christ is sole sustainer of all things and made in the image of God, his Creator.

The Book of 1 Thessalonians is Apostle Paul penned this epistle to the church in Thessalonica, an ancient city of Macedon in northern Greece. The church was primarily Greek and used to worship idols. Because of the misconception that Christ’s second coming will occur soon, the book’s primary topic is about what happens when people die, about their loved ones who have died, and about how Christ finally returns. Because of this misconception, the idleness of the followers became an issue; these people tended to depend on the church. In conclusion, Paul reminded the congregation to rejoice, pray constantly, and remain loyal in the face of persecution.

Book Summary: Paul wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians to encourage Christians to continue building their faith. In several instances throughout this book, Paul motivates readers of the importance of spiritual growth with the hope of the ultimate return of Jesus Christ in his second coming.

The Book of 2 Thessalonians is Paul’s teaching from 1 Thessalonians is reinforced in this letter, addressed to a church at Thessalonica. People were claiming that Jesus had already returned. He gave further information about Christ’s return and how to get ready for it. Paul thanked God for the spiritual growth of believers despite their difficulties and suffering. He urged them to set an excellent example for other congregations and to work hard and be a burden to no one.

Book Summary: Similar to his first letter, Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians continues to encourage to be steadfast in their faithfulness. He also clarifies to them a misunderstanding that Christ has not yet returned but that they should continue to live responsibly for Him.

The Book of 1 Timothy is 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are referred to as the Pastoral Epistles. Paul and Timothy were in Lystra, Asia Minor, where they encountered one another. When Paul wrote this letter, he was in Macedonia, but Timothy was in Ephesus. Paul’s letters discuss the duties of their ministry responsibility, including defending their faith and observing godly discipline. The epistle to Timothy was concerned mainly with warning the young pastor about false teachers like Hymenaeus and Alexander, who Paul had expelled from the church. Paul’s command for the church to keep the faith passed down by the apostles has endured.

Book Summary: Timothy was a protégé of Paul and in this letter, Paul instructed him to continuing spreading God’s message and how to care for the church. Specifically, he describes what Christians should and should not teach, as well as what ‘godliness’ looks like.  This book is known as the first “Pastoral Epistle” because it instructs readers on many challenges pastors still face today.

The Book of 2 Timothy is Paul’s 1 Timothy was written to an individual. Paul wrote it to an individual he calls “my dear son” at the beginning of the first chapter. Because Paul was nearing the conclusion of his life when he composed it, it is more personal than 2 Timothy. Full of emotions, he prayed for Timothy every day and night with tears. He compares believers’ efforts to soldiers, athletes, and farmers. He affirmed that all scripture is God-inspired and helpful in instructing. The key verse is;  All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16, NASB.

Book Summary: Just before Paul’s death, he writes the second “Pastoral Epistle” in his final letter to Timothy where he urges him to continue to good fight–to preach the gospel and remain righteous at all costs.

The Book of Titus is The shortest of the Pauline epistles. Paul wrote this letter to assure Titus’ church in Crete that he supported his leadership. Crete is the most oversized island in the Mediterranean, lying on the western coast of Greece. Titus was mentioned in Galatians 2:1-3 as the uncircumcised young Greek whom Paul took with him to Jerusalem to prove his calling to the Gentiles. He delegated the task of supervising the church in Crete to Titus when he left. The focus of the message is the responsibilities of a church leader and a good relationship.

Book Summary: In his past journeys, Paul had appointed a man named Titus in Crete to help lead the corruption of its peoples and restore order. In his letter to Titus, Paul gives instructions on how to set up local churches and appoint elders, but but wary of false teachers. He also teaches Titus how to guide the people to live sensibly and behave righteously.

The Book of Philemon is Paul wrote to Philemon about how to demonstrate Christ-like love practically. It is the briefest and most personal of Paul’s writings. This is a letter to Philemon, Paul’s close friend (and Onesimus’ master), appealing for Onesimus’ return. Through the ministry of Paul in Ephesus, he became a believer. Paul appealed to Philemon to take him back not as a slave but as a co-worker in Christ. Paul intervened on behalf of the reunion of Philemon and Onesimus. This letter explains how Christians should respond when members of the church have conflict.

Book Summary: Philemon had a slave named Onesimus that ran away and crossed paths with Paul. When Paul was in prison, Onesimus helped him and Paul shared with him the Gospel. Upon his return, Onesimus delivers a letter from Paul to Philemon encouraging him to accept Onesimus as a brother rather than a slave, and forgiving him for running away.

The Book of Hebrews is It is suggested that Hebrews was written by the Apostle Paul or Apollos (a colleague who helped Paul in the church of Ephesus and Corinth). This letter was intended to encourage people who were about to abandon their Christian beliefs due to doubt and suffering by reminding them that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all creation. The author claims that only through Jesus may man have direct contact with God since Jesus has been chosen to be the bridge between God and humanity. The key verse is Hebrews 4:16: Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. The author went on to list the people who were honored for their faith, known as the hall of faith.

Book Summary: The book of Hebrews describes Jesus Christ as mightier than all things, higher than all angels. The book also describes the importance of faith in Jesus Christ and that He alone will bring salvation to humanity, rather than simply following the Mosaic Law from the Old Testament.

The Book of James is According to tradition, this epistle was composed by James, one of Jesus’s brothers. The letter’s central theme is true religion. According to James, true religion can control one’s tongue, providing for the needs of orphans and widows, avoiding being polluted by the world. The second theme is faith that never strays from action, for a body without a soul is merely lifeless. Faith and action are mutually dependent.

Book Summary: The book of James is a letter  characterizing practical Christian living. He describes how wisdom comes from God alone and a religious lifestyle is made up of true faith and good deeds.

The Book of 1 Peter is In his first letter, Peter the apostle wrote to the five Roman provinces of Asia Minor, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Peter wrote this letter to encourage persecuted Christians, instructing them on how they might follow the example of Christ while suffering. Peter employs a variety of terms to distinguish Christians: strangers and foreigners on this earth, followers, and infants thirsty for spiritual milk who are obedient, God’s chosen people, holy nation, group of royal priests, and so on. They were reminded that they are blessed if they endure doing the right thing, following Christ’s example, who suffered even without sin. The glory of Christ will be shared by believers who endure hardship until the end.

Book Summary: In his first letter, Peter provides a brief summary of the importance of Jesus’ death and resurrection for believers.  He encourages readers to be strong in their faith and preserver in the face of adversity and suffering.

The Book of 2 Peter is Peter was certain that he would die when he wrote this letter. 2 Peter has a comprehensive section dedicated to the end of the world. He explained what constitutes genuine knowledge and what we are going to do in the last days as followers of Christ. He told them that new heaven and new earth will exist, where justice will reign. Live a holy life in this world that is coming to an end. Nevertheless, God is patient, giving individuals time to change their minds so that no one may perish. In his last appeal, Peter instructs them to be on their guard, urging them to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus and Savior.

Book Summary: In his second letter, Peter warns again false teachers who may try to mislead believers who attack the truth of the Gospel and Jesus Christ.

The Book of 1 John is considered a letter, though it lacks many characteristics seen in ancient Greek letters, such as a formal salutation. It is still connected to the book of John, which repeats the words, “Jesus is the ‘Word of God’ and believers are instructed to love one another.” The book, which includes the second and third John, was written to encourage Christians to stick with Jesus’ teachings since some people said that Jesus was merely human. John reminded them that those who confess and expose their sins by asking forgiveness are the children of light, while those who deny him and his truth are the children of darkness. Second, because God is love, they were able to live a life full of love. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19, NIV.

Book Summary: The book of John confirms the importance of Jesus Christ as God’s only Son in the flesh, and that he will provide salvation. Similar to other books, he also warns against false teachers and encourages reader’s to follow the Gospel of the Lord.

The Book of 2 John urged the believers to love one another and live by the truth as a result of it. He warned the church to be wary of people who claim that Jesus isn’t real. He informed them that loving Jesus entails doing what he says because love and truth are inseparable, like if we truly care about individuals, we assist them in obeying the truth.

Book Summary: In the second book, John again warns against persistent heresy and false teachings. He supports the Commandment to “love one another” and “walk in truth.” This book contains miracles of Jesus, including the story of the wedding at Cana where He turns water into wine.

The Book of 3 John wrote this letter to Gaius, a specific individual who had received the followers of the Lord and traveled to his place. Diotrephes took precisely the opposite action, refusing to welcome any of them and encouraging others to follow the same. John urged Gaius to continue what he was doing. In verse 11, he added, “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has never seen God.” He also informed them how they may contribute to spreading the gospel by providing generous support to God’s workers.

Book Summary: In the shortest book in the New Testament, John writes a letter to Gaius and Demetrius praising them for their faithful service, and indirectly warns and condemns the behavior of Diotrephes.

The Book of Jude is Jude is the writer of this book, the brother of James, and he might be Jesus’ brother as you look at Matthew 13:15 and Mark 6:3. Jude was disturbed by the false teachers’ success, and he directed his readers to combat God’s inherited faith. Rescue people from everlasting punishment. God will pass judgment on them. These false preachers were described by Jude as unethical both morally and spiritually. Jude reassured the followers of God’s enabling power to keep them from falling, and God will keep them by his love. Through Christ, we may stand before the glory of God without fault and with exceeding joy when we face him.

Book Summary: In this book, Jude warns against immoral men who will bring false teachings against God and try to deceive them. He contrasts the differences between these teachings and those of Jesus Christ saying that it is faith in Him alone that will secure salvation.

The Book of Revelation (or Apocalypse) is the final book of the Bible. John the Apostle penned this book while incarcerated on the island of Patmos for his Christian convictions. Patmos is an island located on the west coast of Turkey, the continent of Asia. This book is not just a prophetic book, but mainly a letter to the seven churches in the province of Asia. John may intentionally make it mysterious so that the non-believers may not understand the actual message. Moreover, John used Old Testament imagery that may appear to be a strange mystery, but its primary function is to stir up courage and faith in the early church; to strengthen the Christian faith as a result of persecution. There is a God who will reward the faith of His people.

Book Summary: In this final book of the Bible, John unveils to readers of the apocalyptic times to come. He describes the imminent day when Christ will return and there will be a final battle of good verses evil, between God and Satan. Those who remain steadfast and faithful to God, despite persecution, will be blessed by God’s eternal glory in Heaven with Him.

NOW READ: A Complete List of Old Testament Books in Order

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Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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