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Quiz about Gospels Apostles Letters Visions
Quiz about Gospels Apostles Letters Visions

Gospels, Apostles, Letters, Visions Quiz

Arranging the New Testament Books

Twenty-seven books compose the New Testament, the new covenant regarded by Christians as the fulfillment of the Old. Can you put them in the right order? A brief consideration of themes and scholarship follows.

An ordering quiz by gracious1. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Order Quiz
Quiz #
May 07 24
# Qns
Avg Score
13 / 15
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: DeepHistory (13/15), bopeep (14/15), MariaVerde (14/15).
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the question it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer, and then click on its destination box to move it.
To make it a little easier, most of the books are grouped in logical pairs. Use the clues to help you place them in correct order in Scripture. Written from a Roman Catholic perspective, though the books are the same for all Christians. Unless otherwise indicated, quotes are from the NABRE.
What's the Correct Order?Choices
(more gospels)
(church history)
(ruled the Hebrews)
Matthew, Mark
(Love is patient...)
Titus, Philemon
(two places in Asia Minor)
(Greece and Asia Minor)
Philippians, Colossians
Galatians, Ephesians
(Paul's assistant)
1 & 2 Peter
(two converts)
Luke, John
(ruled by the Romans)
1, 2, & 3 John
(brother of Jesus?)
1 & 2 Timothy
(the Rock)
Jude, Revelation
1 & 2 Thessalonians
(esoteric & apocalyptic)
1 & 2 Corinthians

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Matthew, Mark

The first to be written and the shortest of the Four Gospels, St. Mark's gospel is the only one to use the word "gospel" in the text: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son of God]" (Mk 1:1). Even Christ's first words are to tell a crowd to "[r]epent, and believe in the gospel" (Mk 1:15). It is believed to have been written around A.D. 70 in Rome, during a period of conflict between Jews and the Roman Empire. Mark's narrative is one of unfolding mystery. One section (13:37) is known as "the little apocalypse" because Jesus speaks of coming tribulations for his disciples.

Many scholars believed that St. Matthew wrote his gospel well after A.D. 70 because of a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in the Parable of the Wedding Feast: "The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city" (Mt 22:7). Writing for an educated Jewish audience familiar with the law and the prophets, Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy of Jesus Christ, traced back to David and Abraham. Several major discourses, including the Sermon on the Mount, are found here.
2. Luke, John

St. Luke was a physician and companion of St. Paul. A Gentile Christian convert, he wrote his gospel in the mid-to-late 80s for wealthier Christians of Greece who had grown complacent, and he gives particular consideration to Christ's view of how the rich should treat the poor. He begins his narrative with parallel birth stories of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, including the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. The first words of Jesus are as a boy in the Temple: "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (2:49).

St. John the Apostle wrote his gospel later than the others, in the 90s, with the epilogue possibly after A.D. 100. More than the other evangelists, he uses symbolic language and double meanings. In the prologue, called by some the Cosmic Hymn, John introduces the idea of Christ as the Eternal Logos, the Divine Word made Flesh. Light and darkness are important themes as well. The first words of Jesus in this account are, "What are you looking for?" (1:38).
3. Acts

The Acts of the Apostles was also written by St. Luke the physician. It narrates the spread of Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome. He details the activities of the apostles, especially Peter and Paul, and the growth of the early Christian church through preaching, miracles, and missionary journeys. Also in this book is an account of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the first to die for the new Christian religion.

Originally, Acts and Luke were one book, but eventually the latter portion of Luke was split, positioning Acts to be a historical bridge between the Good News and the letters of the New Testament.
4. Romans

In this longest epistle (letter) of St. Paul, he expresses his eagerness to visit the church in Rome soon and seeks to enlist their support for his mission to Spain. He lays out an expansive view of the relations between God, humans, and salvation, and the resulting transformation, peace, and freedom from sin and death. Central is justification through faith in Christ (Romans 1:16-17) rather than through law, in a plan of salvation that includes both Jew and Gentile. Toward the end of the epistle he describes the conduct and duties of Christians, often taken as a call for Christians to obey their governments.
5. 1 & 2 Corinthians

St. Paul established a church in Corinth, in the Peleponese region of Greece, around A.D. 50. Upon learning that the Corinthians were facing various challenges, he wrote with concern about divisiveness and immorality. The epistle also discusses the importance of love and faithfulness to Christ.

First Corinthians in particular has the oft-quoted Love Chapter: "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (13:4-7).
6. Galatians, Ephesians

In Galatia, a Roman province in central Asia Minor, some members of the community began to claim that it was necessary for Christians to obey Mosaic law, and challenged Paul's leadership as well. So Paul wrote to the Galatians to reassert his apostolic authority, and he emphasized that through faith in Christ, not through the Law, have Christians been justified and incorporated through baptism into his Church, the new people of God.

In his letter to the church in Ephesus, an important trading city in western Asia Minor, Paul reiterates the theme that both Jews and Gentiles are called, without distinction, to be one in Christ, to make up one body. He urges the Ephesians (and all Christians) to practice solidarity and to avoid divisions, and he gives practical advice for loving, dutiful Christian living.
7. Philippians, Colossians

St. Paul visited Philippi, a city in Thrace (northeastern Greece) more than once during the 50s. While he talks about unity as in other epistles, in his letter to the Philippians Paul also writes of joy and contentment, as well as humility and selflessness.

Although Paul did not establish the church at Colossae, another city in Asia Minor, he felt responsible for it nonetheless. In his letter to the Colossians, he confronts Gnosticism, the heresy that contends that salvation is achieved through secret knowledge, along with other teachings and practices that lead Christians away from Christ.
8. 1 & 2 Thessalonians

In the busy port of Thessalonica resided another early community of Christians in the Roman province of Macedonia (now Central Macedonia in the modern state of Greece). Among the themes of Paul's letters to the Thessalonians is the subject of the parousia, or the Second Coming. Especially in the second letter, Paul found it necessary to clarify that the parousia was not imminent, for some members of the community were refusing to work out of the mistaken belief that the End was near.
9. 1 & 2 Timothy

Paul offers instruction and support for his younger assistant and companion Timothy, from the city of Lystra in the Roman province of Galatia, in this pair of epistles. He particularly warns against heresy, especially Gnosticism, and argumentativeness, and he encourages perseverance, faith, and love.
10. Titus, Philemon

Both of these letters pertain to two converts, albeit in different ways.

The Gentile convert Titus was one of St. Paul's missionary colleagues. Paul wrote to Titus in Crete, giving him advice on how to teach various kinds of people in the Cretan church and on how to conduct himself peacefully and amiably.

A slave named Onesimus ran away from Philemon, a Christian in Colossae, and Paul converted the refugee to Christianity. In his epistle to Philemon, Paul asks Philemon, himself possibly a convert of Paul's too, to forgive and accept Onesimus as a Christian brother.
11. Hebrews

The themes of the Epistle to the Hebrews -- written to a group of Christians who were facing pressure to abandon their faith and resume Mosaic law and practice -- are the superiority of Christ's priesthood, covenant, and sacrifice over those of the Old Testament. It was once attributed to St. Paul, but nowadays the scholarship favors the notion that the author of this letter is not known. It nevertheless remains grouped with the Pauline letters that are addressed to specific communities.
12. James

Whereas the Pauline epistles and the letter to the Hebrews are addressed to particular communities, the Epistle of James has been called the first of the "catholic" or "general" epistles directed to the universal church. Addressed in 1:2 to "the twelve tribes in dispersion" (NABRE) or "all God's people scattered over the whole world" (GNT), James praises virtuous living and endurance of persecution and censures the ambitious and avaricious who neglect the poor. He asserts that "faith of itself, if it has does not have works, is dead" (2:17), for "a person is justified by works and not by faith alone" (2:24), and for this reason Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers sought to remove James from the canon, but the epistle has survived such attempts.

In Catholic and Orthodox tradition, it is believed that most likely the author of this epistle is neither of the Apostles named James but rather the James identified as a "brother" of Jesus (e.g. Mk 6:33), a leader of the church (Acts 15:13-19), and one of the "pillars" of the Christian community (Galatians 2:9). This James was stoned to death in A.D. 62.
13. 1 & 2 Peter

St. Peter's first epistle reminds his audience of Christ's salvation and urges them to holy living and endurance of suffering. In his second epistle, Peter is especially concerned with the false teaching that there will not be a Second Coming.

Some scholars, finding the Greek too fine for a Galilean fisherman, suspect that St. Peter may not have written these epistles. In the introduction to the NABRE, the editors note that the second Petrine epistle was possibly the latest written in the New Testament, composed during the first or second quarter of the 2nd century.
14. 1, 2, & 3 John

The themes of the three short Johannine epistles are similar to the Gospel According to John -- light and darkness, truth and falsehood, and love. Traditionally, the author of theses epistles is believed to be same as the author of the gospel, St. John the Evangelist (also called the son of Zebedee and the beloved disciple).

Although these epistles are considered among the "catholic" or "universal" ones, the second is addressed to "the chosen lady" and "her children" (v. 1) and the third to a man named Gaius.
15. Jude, Revelation

Both the Epistle of Jude and the Revelation to John are viewed as the most esoteric books of the New Testament, with Jude providing a bridge between the epistles and the Apocalypse (Revelation).

With a sense of urgency, "Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James" (v. 1) finds he must warn his readers of heretical teachers who have infiltrated the community. (It is debated whether he is identical to St. Jude the Apostle, the patron saint of lost causes.) In what many consider one of the "weirder" and more esoteric epistles, Jude draws from the apocalyptic Book of Enoch (14-15), no longer considered canonical by Jews or Christians. Jude ends with a famous doxology: "to the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen" (24-25).

The Revelation to John, also called the Apocalypse (which is Greek for "revelation", not "catastrophe"), remains one of the most challenging books of the Bible for modern readers because of the symbolic language. Apocalyptic literature of ancient Palestine, particularly between the 2nd century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D., was arcane and mysterious to outsiders, but to the intended audience the symbolism would have been less enigmatic. Among other revelations we find the Seven Seals, the Trumpets, the Plagues, the Punishment of Babylon, and the Destruction of Pagan Nations. Differences abound in the interpretation of the visions, but the overall theme is that the Lord's enemies will ultimately be defeated and the righteous saved.
Source: Author gracious1

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