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Bible Outlines

Revelation

Background

The author is probably the Apostle John who had been a disciple of Jesus, author of John’s Gospel and the Letters of 1, 2 and 3 John. John was the closest to Jesus, and one of the few to die of old age, and not martyrdom.

Jude

Background

Jude,  the half-brother of Jesus, identified himself as the ‘brother of James’ (1), which distinguishes him from the apostle named Jude, a man who was called “the son of James” (Luke 6:16).

He is mentioned in Matthew 13:55 as one of the brothers of Jesus, along with James.

The Gospels record his name as Judas (but English translations shorten it to Jude - probably because most know ‘Judas’ as Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus).

3 John

Background

This third Letter of John is the second shortest book in the New Testament, after 2 John.  John, the apostle and closest friend of Jesus, writes this letter probably from Ephesus, where he spent the last years of his life.

It is addressed to Gaius but clearly intended for the whole church.

2 John

Background

This second Letter of John is the shortest book in the New Testament.  John, the apostle and closest friend of Jesus, writes this letter probably from Ephesus, where he spent the last years of his life.

It is addressed to ‘the elect lady’ which some have argued is describing the ‘Church’ (often described in scripture as a bride and in female terms). But it could simply be to a woman who played a key role in the church. John says that he looks forward to visiting, suggesting that the church is not geographically close, but could be reasonably reached.

1 John

Background

John, the apostle and closest friend of Jesus, writes this Letter probably from Ephesus, where he spent the last years of his life. He reminds the readers that he was an eyewitness to Christ (1:1-3), and possibly the last living apostle who had followed Jesus during his earthly ministry.

2 Peter

Background

Peter is the lead apostle of the twelve apostles who followed Jesus, mentioned throughout the Gospels and the first 12 chapters of the book of Acts. It is Peter who preaches on the day of Pentecost, in Acts 12.

It seems likely that 2 Peter is written soon after 1 Peter, and that this is around the mid 60s AD.

1 Peter

Background

Peter, the lead apostle of the twelve apostles who followed Jesus, writes to Christians scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. Bithynia, Pontus and Cappadocia are areas in modern day Turkey. These are places not known to have been evangelised in the book of Acts. We are specifically told that the Holy Spirit prevented them from visiting Bithynia. But we do know that there were God fearing Jews from there on the day of Pentecost.

James

Background

There are four people called James in the New Testament. Most agree that the James who wrote this Letter is the half-brother of Jesus. We know that he was not a follower during Jesus’ public ministry, but became a follower when the risen Jesus appeared to him (1 Corinthians 15:7).

Hebrews

Background

The letter to the Hebrews is unique among all the letters in the New Testament. We don’t know who wrote it, where they wrote it from, when they wrote it or exactly who it was addressed to.

Philemon

Background

The Apostle Paul writes a personal letter to his friend, Philemon. His slave, Onesimus had run away, and visited Paul in Rome (59-61AD).  It is the shortest of all Paul’s letters.

It is clear that Philemon was sent at the same time as Colossians, with these letters written at the same time as Ephesians.

Philemon had become a Christian through Paul’s ministry and was in the Colossae church (v. 19) but according to 1:14, 2:1, he was not in Colossae at the time of his conversion, for Paul had not yet been to Colossae (Colossians 1:4; 2:1).

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