Representing the second part of the Biblical Canon, the New Testament offers a crucial source of spiritual strength and development. However, its interpretations are quite numerous, inviting multiple opportunities of interpreting the Scripture in a variety of ways. Specifically, the New Testaments, the source of information about Jesus and His teachings, as well as the concepts of Christlikeness and Christian values, which every Christian must incorporate into their behaviors and attitudes concerning the Bible and society, affect Christians extensively. As a result, one can attain redemption and, ultimately, salvation through appropriate Christian religious practices and personal spiritual development. Therefore, as a Christian leader, one must achieve a complete understanding of the New Testament among the target audiences, at least, to the extent that the current bible translation and theological studies allow.
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To embrace the wisdom of the New Testament to its full extent, it is also crucial to consider its structure and arrangement. Specifically, one should address the fact that the New Testament introduces a more coherent timeline into the Biblical narrative and offers a more logical order of events in its rendering of the key issues transpiring over the specified time lapse. Namely, it was essential to start with the teachings of Christ as the pathway to understanding the roots of the foundational Christian values and beliefs. In turn, the stories of Jesus’s disciples spreading the word of God and continuing Jesus’s work in attempts to enlighten the population and allow them to embrace the essential ideas that He promoted was central to the understanding of the magnitude of produced change.
Remarkably, the presence of logic in the narrative does not imply that the key events were rendered in a chronological order; quite the contrary, the New Testament often introduces key events in a rather jumbled fashion. For instance, the Gospels and the Acts appear to render the same events from different perspectives. Specifically, the Gospels describe the life and teachings of Jesus: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find” (Luke 11:9, New International Version, 1983). In turn, the Acts provide His disciples’ interpretation of Jesus’ life journey and philosophy: “In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)” (Acts 1:15, New International Version, 1983). Nonetheless, both introduce a coherent perspective on the events that transpired at the described time slot, starting with the initial actions and sermons of Christ, and continuing with His students’ rendition of His ideas. As a result, the unique perspective on the chronology of the Biblical events that the New Testament provides allows locating inherent logic in the story and following it seamlessly despite obvious jumps across the timeline.
The described perspective on how the New Testament represents the key Biblical events leads to the further understanding of the main purpose and message of the New Testament. Namely, the specified part of the Bible seeks to introduce its readers to the teachings of Christ and the principal Christian values. Specifically, with Jesus’ life remaining in the center of the New Testament, the specified book aims at encouraging its readers to embrace the notion of Christlikeness: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, New International Version, 1983). As a result, the New Testament sets the path toward redemption through the acceptance of Christian values and building one’s spirituality (Kretzschmar, 2020). Moreover, the New Testament delves into details concerning the challenges that Jesus’ disciples encountered when spreading His word to the rest of the population. Therefore, the New Testament can be regarded as the guide toward accepting Christian beliefs and encompassing the complex notion of Christlikeness as the path toward spiritual redemption.
However, the described representation of the New Testament message should be classified as a contemporary interpretation of the essential provisions of the book through the lens of an individual. Going back to the second century will reveal that the New Testament used to be seen as the fulfillment of the Old Testament, namely, the emergence of the Messiah as promised by God in order to redeem humankind and save it from the eternal damnation (York, 2018). Therefore, despite being seemingly disjointed, the Old and the New Testaments cannot be separated from each other since they create continuity within the Biblical narrative.
Therefore, the Old and the New Testaments are much more than a collection of ancient books that should simply be respected for their age. Instead, both parts of the Bible encompass and internalize the complexity and diversity of beliefs and ideas that served as the foundation for the Bible and its wisdom. Moreover, for contemporary readers of the Bible, the book can become a path to discovering their own spirituality and the potential for spiritual growth. Namely, with the focus on Christian values and the concept of Christlikeness that the New testament provides, as well as the wisdom and background that the old Testament offers, modern readers can understand the significance of following Jesus’ ideas and teachings in the present-day environment that is rife with multiple conflicts and confrontations.
The ability to connect Biblical values and ideas to the present-day reality is one of the reasons why the New Testament is more than just a collection of historical books or of general spiritual principles to follow. By gaining insight into the core values of Christianity and the process of them crystallizing throughout the evolution of humankind, a reader is more likely to develop the ability to encourage personal development and explore opportunities for spiritual growth. Using a personal context to describe the specified phenomenon, I must mention that reading the Scripture has helped me to develop a better understanding of the path toward redemption and the possibility of eventual salvation. Namely, the ideas of Christlikeness, Christian unity, and the significance of promoting empathy and support across the Christian community became apparent to me after exploring the Scripture, particularly, the New Testament. As a result, I now feel more confident as a future spiritual leader. Specifically, I feel that I will be capable of encouraging Christian believers to follow the principal values and ideas of Christianity without falling into the trap of vanity, of which Corey (2019) warns. Thus, by combining empathy, humility, and kindness, as well as other essential Christian values, I will be able to promote change within my community.
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Due to the focus on crucial Christian values and ideas that a true Christian must uphold, the New Testament represents a particularly important source of spiritual knowledge and development for present-day Christian believers. For this reason, a Christi leader must place the strongest emphasis on considering the texts from the New Testament as the source of wisdom, spiritual strength, and continuous learning.
The Bible. New International Version. Zondervan, 1983.
Corey, B. H. (2019). Love kindness: Discover the power of a forgotten Christian virtue. Tyndale Momentum.
Kretzschmar, L. (2020). African and Western approaches to the moral formation of Christian leaders: The role of spiritual disciplines in counteracting moral deficiencies. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 76(2), 10. Web.
York, H. W. (2018). Reflections on preaching Christ from the Old Testament. The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, 22(3), 197-204. Web.