The Bible - New Testament

The Gospels --

Mark - believed by most ... scholars to be the earliest of the four NT Gospels. Because of references to the destruction of the (2nd) Temple of Jerusalem (Mark 13:12), the date of composition must be after that event: c. 70 CE. Written in Greek and interprets phrases in Aramaic, the language of Palestine; the original readers were not Palestinians. Explanations of Jewish customs makes it equally likely that the original readers were gentiles. Mark's faulty knowledge of Palestinian geography puts the place of origin outside of Palestine as well.

Luke - Author unknown. It is believed the author of Luke also wrote Acts. Date is set at 80-85 CE. It is widely believed Luke used Mark, as well as at least one other document - The Sayings Gospel Q - as source material.

Matthew - Anonymous Jewish Christian writing towards the end of the first century. Believed to be written in Greek rather than being a translation from an Aramaic Matthew or a Hebrew Gospel.

John - c. 90-125 CE Probably written in two or three (or even four) stages.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is portrayed as a reluctant Messiah, who tries to use his powers of healing without calling attention to himself, often telling both the humans and demons he meets to keep secret that he is the Messiah. The Gospel of Mark makes no mention of Jesus having a father when it lists his family members (6:3) and says his mother and brothers believed him crazy (3:21).

The Gospel of John starts by saying that Jesus is the Word of God, that brought the world into being, and has Jesus proclaiming openly in the streets that all must accept him as the one and only Son of God in order to have eternal life.

The gospels of Luke and Matthew say that Jesus was born of the virgin after one of his parents is given a divine revelation (Mary in Luke; Joseph in Matthew). The Gospel of Luke focuses almost completely on the apostle Paul after Jesusí death in Acts of the Apostles, and emphasizes equality between Jew and Gentile, while the Gospel of Matthew focuses more on Old Testament prophecies and portrays Jesus as a new Moses.
-- Prologue, The Lost History of Christianity

Disciples according to:

Simon named Peter Simon named Peter Simon called Peter Simon / Cephas Peter
Andrew Andrew Andrew his brother Andrew Andrew
James son of Zebedee James James son of Zebedee one of the son's of Zebedee James
John brother of James John John his brother son of Zebedee John
Philip Philip Philip Philip Philip
Bartholomew Bartholomew Bartholomew   Bartholomew
Thomas Thomas Thomas Thomas (Didymus) Thomas
Mathew Mathew Matthew (tax collector)  Mathew
James son of Alphaeus James son of Alphaeus James son of Alphaeus   James
Thaddaeus   Labbaeus Thaddaeus    
Simon the Canaanite Simon the Zealot Simon the Canaanite   Simon the Zealot
Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot Judas Iscariot Judas son of Simon Iscariot Matthias
  Jude son of James   Nathanael
Judas son of James

New Testament History and Notes

St. Peter d. 64-67 CE. First head of the Christian church.
St. Paul - (Saul of Tarsus) d. 64-67 CE. - a Pharisee and persecutor of early Christians, Paul experienced a dramatic conversion after a life altering vision of the resurrected Jesus.
- (Acts of the Apostles and Pauline Letters)

Harper's Bible Dictionary -- Paul: 10-62 CE.

Irenaeus 115-125 CE. Bishop of Lugdunum, Gaul. Affirmed the four gospels. Attested the Gospel of John written by John the Apostle, and Luke the companion of Paul. ALL FOUR GOSPELS ARE ANONYMOUS.

Miltiades, Pope 311-314 CE. First to end persecution of Christians through the edict of Constantine the Great.
Constantine the Great - first Christian Roman Emperor (r. 306-337 CE.)

St. Jerome 347-420 CE. Translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew to Latin.

St. Augustine 354-430 CE. -- Framed the concepts of Original Sin and just war.

Siricius, Pope 384-399 CE. First to employ the title, 'Papa' (Pope)

Fixation of the New Testament Carthage in 397 CE.

Saint Patrick of Britain/Ireland c.410

Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor from 425 to 455

Muhammad, founder of Islam -- c.570 - 632 CE.

First Crusades 1097 CE. -- Pope Urban II

Surrender of Jerusalem 1190 CE.

Gregory XIII 1502-1585 CE. Reformed the Julien calendar.

Paul IV 1476-1559 CE. Father of the Roman Inquisition.

Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German. Printed September 1522.

Galileo Galilei 1564-1642 CE.

King James Bible 1604-1611 CE.
(James VI of Scotland, James I of Ireland and England 1566-1603)

Pope Pius XII: Divino Afflante Spiritu (Inspired by the Devine Spirit) 1943, 1939-1958
- Inaugurated the modern period of Roman Catholic Bible studies by permitting the limited use of modern methods of biblical criticism. -

Early Jewish and Christian Sects

Pharisees - school of thought, social movement and polical party during the Second Temple Period. Pharisaic beliefs became the liturgical and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism. The Pharisees followed the Written Torah, but also recognized the Oral Torah.

Sadducees - identified with the upper social and economic echelon of Judean society. Rejected the Oral Torah.

Qumran: Community of Essenes which flourished from the first century B.C. to the first century A.D. Authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Manichaeans: A Gnostic sect founded by Mani (c. 215 CE. - c. 276 CE.), based on Persian and Judeo-Christian dualism. Followers believed Mani to be the last of a series of prophets including Zoroaster, Buddha, Hermes and Christ.

Mandaeans:. Thought to have originated in Palestine and Syria, this baptizing sect, which still survives in parts of Iran and Iraq, flourished from the second to the eighth centuries (CE).

Marriage and Homosexuality in the New Testament and the Bible
Questionable Morality in the Bible


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