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Christian Scriptures (New Testament)

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Kid Explanation 

Once upon a time, there wasn't a magical "poof," and the Bible appeared! Nope, no original copies. Each sacred book had its own story. They were written from 50-100 C.E., but it took a while to become a book. People argued a lot, some stories got left out, and others were lost. It wasn't until 367 C.E. that we got the 27 books we have today.

In 382 C.E., a guy named Jerome made the first popular Latin version called the Vulgate. Monks copied it for years, and in 1456, Gutenberg's printing press made it accessible to "common people." But oh boy, were there arguments! Brave heroes like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale made sure everyone could read the Bible.

And now, ta-da! The Bible speaks in over 6,000 languages and has a whopping 80,000 versions around the world!

Adult's Need to Know

  • The Christian Scriptures were thought to have been written from 50-100 C.E. (Common Era). 

  • The different writings did not come together as a book for a long time. Many times people argued over which writings mattered. Some writings did get left out and others got lost. 

  • It wasn’t until 367 C.E. that the group of 27 books we have today were generally agreed upon. 

  • In 382 C.E. Jerome was the first person to write a popular Latin version of Hebrew and Christian scriptures. It was called the Vulgate. 

  • Lots of people started translating scriptures and monks would copy them for many years. 

  • When Gutenberg invented the printing press the first book ever printed was The Bible in 1456. This is the first time "common people" began to have access to scripture in written form.  There were huge arguments over whether the "common people" could be trusted to have access to The Bible. (Depending on the day... I still wonder.) Forty-nine of the original 180 printed copies remain.

  • John Wycliffe put together the first English language Bible in the 1500s,  and was thrown out of the church because of it. 

  • William Tyndale was strangled and burned for his version. 

  • Two years later the Pope requested every church have a Bible.   

  • Now the Bible has been written in over 6,000 different languages and 80,000 versions around the world.

Girl Holding BIble

How are the Christian Scriptures Organized?  

Gospels, Acts, and Epistles (Letters) 

Gospels (Basics) 

Matthew: This gospel was written for the Jewish Community.

Mark:  (Scholars think...) This is the oldest of the Gospels, and other books (like Matthew and Luke)  knew about it and copied from it. There may have been another book, called “Q” that was also used. We do not have that resource. 

Luke: This gospel was written for the Gentile (non-Jewish)  community.

John: This book is the least like the other three.  The other three are sometimes called Synoptic Gospels. John may have been part of a philosophical movement of Gnostics, called Gnosticism.


Acts (of the Apostles)

This book tells about the Apostles and their actions after Jesus ascends to heaven.


There are 21 Epistles in the Bible. After Acts the  13 letters supposedly written by Paul begin from the longest to the shortest. Then there are individual letters and the letter of a man’s revelation experience. 


Paul’s Letter: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon,  and Hebrews

FYI: Not all letters attributed to Paul were probably written by Paul. 

Other Letters: James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude

Revelation: A book of strange visions of an unknown author.

Christian Scriptures

I prefer to call it the Christian Scriptures instead of the New Testament. As a child, the term "new" was confusing because the stories weren't actually new. They called it the "New Testament," but the stories weren't exactly fresh out of the oven – more like ancient recipes passed down through the ages! 

Growing up, I also learned that labeling someone else's religion as "old" can be seen as negative in our society. Plus, understanding the Christian Scriptures requires appreciating the significance of the Jewish texts. It's like having a dynamic duo – the Christian Scriptures and Jewish texts teaming up to bring us an incredible story of faith and wisdom!

Tidbit: Find a place in your house to write one scripture a week. 

(Whiteboard? Lunch Box Post-it? Dry-Erase it on a Bathroom Mirror? Post it in the Car Console?)

Here is another one to get you thinking... 

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17, New Revised Standard Version) 

  • Why is this verse not more popular? 

  • Who is writing this?

  • What does this mean to you?

Random Facts 

  • The oldest surviving Christian Scripture text is John 18:31-33 (125 C.E.)

  • It is like finding a spiritual time capsule. It's basically the Bible's way of saying, "Back in my day..."

  • The Christian Scripture contain more than 260 Hebrew scripture quotations.

  • It is like a remix album with over 260 Hebrew scripture quotes.

  • The shortest verse in The Bible is John 11:35.

  • It is like the mic drop of verses. Short, sweet, and to the divine point!

  • The longest book in the Christian Scripture is Acts.

  • It is the marathon runner of Christian Scriptures

  • Chapters and verses were not a part of the original texts. Chapters were added in 1231 C.E. and verses in 1551 C.E..

  • They were added later, like bonus features!

  • The shortest book in The Bible is 2 John.

  • Hashtag #short!

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