Basic Readings in the New Testament

The purpose of this site is to help you or someone you care about read for yourself key portions of the New Testament without the confusion of dealing with a whole Bible or a whole New Testament. These selected readings Ė even if all are read -- are a fraction of the length of the New Testament. These readings are exact extracts from the New Testament. The translation used is the World English Bible (also known as the WEB), which is a free updated revision of the American Standard Version (1901).

These readings are available in book form at AMAZON Books for $7. This format is especially recommended for giving to a friend or relative who may be willing to read a small book even though they donít have a strong enough interest to attend church or deal with a full Bible. A Kindle version is available at Kindle Store for $3. These two resources contain almost exactly the material below.

NOTE: The selections from the New Testament below occasionally need a bit of explanation or orientation for the readers not familiar with the New Testament. Such comments are always in italics, and in parenthesis, like this: (This is a comment). We have tried to eliminate any denominational opinion in all this explanatory material. Where appropriate, we indicate that material had been deleted with this symbol: ( . . . )

Old Testament Synopsis:

If you want to review the major events of the Old Testament before reading the New Testament selection, we have provided a Synopsis of the Old Testament. Feel free to skip this!

Readings about the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ:

The first few chapters of Matthew provide background material on the birth and youth of Christ that is not found in the other Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John: Read Matthew 1-3

Now here is the major reading we have selected in the New Testament, which is most of the book of Luke: Read Portions of Luke

The last of the four Gospels, John, includes a number of incidents that are not included in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. You can read these here: Read Portions of John.

Reading about the early church

Acts picks up at the ascension of Christ to heaven, and follows the Christian leadersí struggle to understand how to teach both Jewish and Gentile believers to follow Christ in their lives.Read Acts 1-15.

Readings by the Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul wrote thirteen epistles which are included in the New Testament. They constitute a great deal of the detailed doctrine of Christianity. We next present a portion of his first letter, which was addressed to Roman Christians. Near the end of Romans Paul summarizes a number of matters regarding how Christians should live. The reason this is important is because in Acts the Apostles realized that the Old Testament law was no longer the primary guide for believers, as obeying it does not gain salvationÖ acceptance of Jesus Christ as oneís Lord is what saves us. Read Paulís summary advice to believers about how to live: Read Romans 12&13

Next we present one of Paulís presentations of basic Christianity: that we are saved by Godís grace, not because we have earned salvation by our works. Read the book of Ephesians.

Reading from James

In his epistles like Romans and Ephesians, Paul emphasizes that we are saved by faith, not works. Some early believers took excessive liberty from that fact, not understanding that a saving faith should change a person, transforming them from living in the flesh to living in the spirit. Jamesí purpose in his short epistle seems to be to counteract that excessive liberty with a realistic view of what God expects of a person who has received His eternal saving grace. Read James

The Revelation of St. John

The New Testament ends with the book of Revelation, written by John (this may be the same John who wrote the Gospel of John above). This is a complex book which speaks mostly in symbols after the first three chapters. We have included some extra explanatory comments in this book, in italics and parentheses, as usual. Read Portions of Revelation