New Testament

The New Testament can be classified into four groups:

1.
Gospels: These are the first four books of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The term Gospel comes from the archaic English word, "God- Spell" (2 Tim 3:16) (meaning 'good news'). The Armenian word for "Gospel" is Աւետարան Avedaran, meaning "bearer of good news." Gospels are the depositories of the good news of our salvation through the events of Jesus' birth, ministry, miracles, passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection.

2.
The Book of Acts: this book discusses the word of the Holy Spirit through the apostles in the early church. It contains certain historical information that is not recorded anywhere else in the Bible, such as the ascension of our Lord, the descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), and the ordination of the early church ministers, deacons, and priests.

3.
Epistles: This category includes St. Paul's letters to the Roman, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James, the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Epistles of John, and the Epistle of Jude. These are actual letters written by the apostles or their disciples. These letters discuss the faith, liturgical practices, moral responsibilities and problems of the early Christian communities.

4.
The Book of Revelation: this book is also called the Apocalypse, a term which comes from a Greek word meaning "the disclosure of that which is hidden or unknown." This word is used to emphasize that this book unveils facts about heaven and earth, past and present and future. The Book of Revelation combined letters and prophetic oracles using a very rich symbolic language. The main theme of the book is the prophecy about the coming Day of Judgment, and the establishment of the eternal and universal rule of God, once and for all. It is one of the books which entered later into the Canon, thus it is not part of the daily readings of the Armenian Church.



(excerpt authored by Bp. Vahan Hovanessian)