Notes on King James Bible - New Testament Themes

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King James Bible - New Testament Topic Tracking: Revision

Matthew

Revision 1: A theme of the New Testament is a revision of the themes of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, prophets frequently come to men and are on a separate ground: they are above men. From the beginning, Jesus puts himself on the same level as other men. Even though John the Baptist knows who he is, Jesus asks to be baptized like all other men.

Revision 2: Jesus begins to forcibly question and challenge traditions of Judaism. First he allows his men to work on the Sabbath defending their deed by alleging that the priests of the Synagogue do worse things. After this he alleges that it is right to heal on the Sabbath. Jesus also begins to minister to Gentiles. In the Old Testament, the God of Abraham is a God almost exclusively to Jews. In the New Testament, however, the worship of this God is open to many other people.

Mark

Revision 3: Jesus continued to revise the teachings of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament there were elaborate rules for keeping a person cleansed from evil. Jesus supplants all of this with the belief that only the soul can be dirty or clean. He also begins to minister to those who are not Jewish. The acceptance of Gentiles into the Kingdom of God is a major theme of the New Testament.

Revision 4: The final major revision of Jesus was to instruct the disciples to proselytize. Spreading the word of God was not a tenet of the Old Testament. Christianity remains a religion of conversion to this day. Jesus instructs the disciples to spread the word of God and aggressively encourage enlightenment.

Luke

Revision 5: In the Old Testament the Devil, Satan, is mentioned only a handful of times. The major conflict is between the will of the people to be good and the commandments of God. In the New Testament, however, Satan begins to appear as more of an antagonist who perverts the otherwise benign wills of men.

Revision 6: Throughout these parables there is similar message. In each case there are three entities: the master, the previously favored servant, and the newly regained servant. The newly regained servant, sheep or son is always cherished more. The New Testament favors the regained people over the chosen people whereas the Old Testament is about rewarding the loyal and chosen.

Revision 7: In this Gospel, Judas does not decide himself to betray Jesus but he is forced by Satan. Also, Pilate does not want to condemn Jesus; in fact, he tries to pass it to Herod, but the people force them to crucify Jesus. At the same time, this Gospel says that evil men are influenced by Satan but reinforced the fact that Jesus was crucified not by Pilate, but by the people.

John

Revision 8: The Old Testament places great emphasis on defining sin and setting the punishment for sins. Jesus revises this idea in this simple scene. He states that it is not the place of men to judge and punish sins but is God's place. For a man would be a hypocrite to criticize the sins of others unless he were free of sin himself.

Acts

Revision 9: As the New Testament develops from the Gospels, Judaism becomes more and more foreign. The apostles of the early church are not initially concerned with preaching commandments; rather they are focused on spreading the word of Jesus' life and resurrection. As Peter continues to preach, the church becomes a little more focused on guilt and less on enlightenment.

Revision 10: Peter officially states for the first time that it is all right to allow Gentiles into the church. While the groundwork for this was partially set by Jesus a lot of this decision may have been the persecution the Christians felt they were suffering at the hands of the Jews or the resistance of the Jews to the new religion.

Romans

Revision 11: Paul revisits the discussions of earlier apostles who upheld the belief that a man needed to be circumcised. He believes that faith is more important than a physical representation of duty. In this, Paul is departing further from the traditions of Judaism. He is also making conversion more attractive to Gentiles. There are not many men who would find circumcision an attractive notion late in life.

Revision 12: As the followers of Christ become more of a religion than a movement, rules must be created for the governing of such a body. Paul is concerned with the splintering of Jesus' followers. He wants them to remain united in his message. He refines some of Jesus' teachings

Revision 13: As the church evolves, the Gospel becomes an item of worship itself. In the absence of miracles and Jesus, the word must be treated as holy so that the people will have some sort of authority. Paul emphasizes the importance of the word.

Galatians

Revision 14: Paul tries to emphasize the egalitarian nature of his vision of the new church. He views all men as equal and tries to supplant the hierarchal structure of traditional Judaism. He focuses on the deeds and faith of a man rather than a physical attribute such as circumcision. A man is circumcised generally when he is only a week old. To be faithful, one must make his beliefs part of every day.

2 Timothy

Revision 15: Even though Jesus made no correlation between serving well on earth and stature in heaven, Paul does this to comfort Timothy. The apostles suffer greatly and need some sort of comfort. Jesus said that the greatest on earth would be the least in heaven; entrance to heaven was solace enough. For Paul, however, the labors of serving God require a greater reward.

Hebrews

Revision 16: A major component of the Old Testament is instruction about correct sacrifices. This instruction takes up many verses. In these lines, the founders of the early church explain why they have given up sacrifices. This is a fundamental departure from contemporary Judaism.

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