Our Lord’s Outline of the New Testament -- By: Graham Gilmer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 096:382 (Apr 1939)
Article: Our Lord’s Outline of the New Testament
Author: Graham Gilmer


Our Lord’s Outline of the New Testament

Graham Gilmer

On the night of His betrayal our Lord said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). It was in this way that He announced that the New Testament would be given. Upon examination we find that He gave an outline of the four major divisions of the New Testament.

It is very important to see that Christ while on earth endorsed the whole of the Bible. We know that He had the same Old Testament that we have. He quoted from it freely as the Word of God. As an example of how He contrasted the Word of God with the tradition of men we should examine Mark 7:7–10. To Him the Old Testament was the Word of God, the writings of men were not. On another occasion He referred to the three great divisions of the Old Testament. “All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44). These were the three divisions into which the Jews divided their Bible; the first five books-“the law of Moses”; the historic and prophetic books, “the prophets” and the six books of poetry, “the Psalms.” If there had been any part of God’s Word added or left out, would He not have told us? In speaking of another important matter He said, “If it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2). He would certainly have told us if man had tampered with the book which the Jews of His day regarded as the Word of God.

During my last vacation as a seminary student I was asked by a Catholic lady why we Protestants did not have in

our Bible the books between the Testaments, known as the Apocrypha? She intimated that we had left out a part of what should be our Bible. I was disturbed, for I did not know then how to answer her. All of us who love the Word of God should know how to answer such a question. These books were in existence in Christ’s day, but they were not regarded by the Jews as a part of the Word of God. They were never quoted nor referred to by Christ. The Council of Trent, which met in the year 1546, attempted to add these books to the Bible. They were never regarded before that year as forming a part of the Bible. God made the Jews the guardians of the Old Testament. They never added to nor took from it. God has made the Church the guardian of the New Testament. She has never added to nor taken from that part of the Word. How wonderfully has the Book been preserved.

Now let us look at the N...

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