The Bible is not one single book, but a collection of books written in different times and by different authors.
Below is a very short description of the content of each Bible book that is contained in the New Testament, and thus was written after Jesus Christ was born as a human baby.
For some of these Bible books, we also have a more extensive overview article (just click on the link if provided).
The Gospels: narrative books about the life, words and deeds of Jesus Christ
- Matthew – The Gospel according to Matthew describes Jesus’ earthly life, death and resurrection, with special focus on Jesus being the Messiah and fulfilling many Old Testament prophecies.
- Mark – This Gospel gives a vivid and dramatic account of Jesus’ life. He portrays Jesus especially as the suffering Son of God, Who offers Himself as a sacrifice for sins.
- Luke – Luke’s version of the Gospel stresses that Jesus is the Savior for all people, Who brings salvation to all nations and people groups.
- John – The apostle John also writes about Jesus Christ, and is the most theological of the four Gospels. His focus is on Jesus being the eternal Son of God, the self-revelation of God the Father.
One further historical book
- Acts of the apostles – The book of Acts is about the labors of the apostles and the foundation of the Christian Church worldwide.
Letters of the apostle Paul to local churches
- Romans – A treatise about complex theological themes like the doctrine of justification, the function of God’s law, God’s plans with Israel and how to live as a Christian.
- 1 Corinthians – Letter to the Corinthian church about errors and issues they were facing. Paul strongly reprimands this church for their shortcomings, and encourages them in love.
- 2 Corinthians – Another letter to the Corinthian church, where Paul defends his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ and confirms his disciples in their faith.
- Galatians – Letter to the church in the province of Galatia that had been misdirected by false teachers. Paul stresses that we are justified by faith alone, not by rites or by obedience to the law.
- Ephesians – A letter to the church in Ephesus with many topics. Two main themes are that Christ has reconciled all creation with God and with Himself; and that Christ has united people from all nations with Himself and each other in His church. In light of this great truth, people should believe in Jesus and live a life of thankfulness to His glory.
- Philippians – A letter of encouragement: the Philippians should live as citizens of the heavenly Kingdom, serving God and each other joyfully – following first of all the example of Jesus Christ, but also the example of people like Paul himself.
- Colossians – Paul explains to the church in Colossae who they are in Christ, and how they should walk in Christ.
- 1 Thessalonians – Paul encourages the Thessalonians to continue in faith, hope and love, and teaches them about the coming of Christ.
- 2 Thessalonians – Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to stand firm until the coming of Christ.
Letters of the apostle Paul to individual church leaders
- 1 Timothy – Paul gives his “spiritual son” Timothy instruction on how to lead a church with sound teaching and a godly example.
- 2 Timothy – Paul encourages Timothy to continue preaching the Word of God, knowing that his own life will soon be over.
- Titus – Paul encourages Titus in his task of leading churches and being a minister.
- Philemon – This is an appeal of Paul to Philemon, to accept a runaway slave as a brother in Christ.
General letters from various apostles
- Hebrews – An elaborate treatise on the supremacy of Christ. He is the substance of all Old Testament laws and rites. Consequently, Christians should cling to Him!
- James – A letter telling Christians to unite their faith with good works.
- 1 Peter – A letter to Christians who are persecuted, encouraging them to hold fast to the truth and live accordingly.
- 2 Peter – A warning against false teachers, and a reminder of the true Gospel.
- 1 John – An exhortation to hold fast to the truth, and to live in obedience and devotion to the Lord.
- 2 John – A short letter about walking in truth and love.
- 3 John – An even shorter letter about Christian fellowship.
- Jude – A letter encouraging believers to persevere in the faith, and to resist false teachers.
- Revelation – This book contains short letters, but it mainly records John’s visions of things that have been, things that are, and things that are yet to come.
These are very short descriptions. To learn more about these Bible books, you could enroll in our five Read Scripture courses. These offer introductions on every single Bible book. The courses are totally free, and after completing a course you will receive a certificate. Feel free to sign up and try for yourself!