The New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē) is the second major part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament. Although they hold different views from Jews about the Old Testament, Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The contents of the New Testament deal explicitly with first-century Christianity. Therefore, the New Testament (in whole or in part) has accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It serves as the main source for Christian theology and morality. Both extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are also incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced religious, philosophical, and political movements in Christiandom, and left an indelible mark on its literature, art, and music.
The New Testament is an anthology, a collection of Christian works written in the common Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, who were early Jewish disciples of Jesus Christ. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first century of the Christian Era, mostly in Koine Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600).
Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. The twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity.
The New Testament consists of
- four narratives of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus, called "gospels" (or "good news" accounts);
- a narrative of the Apostles' ministries in the early church, called the "Acts of the Apostles", and probably written by the same writer as the Gospel of Luke, which it continues;
- twenty-one letters, often called "epistles" in the biblical context, written by various authors, and consisting of Christian doctrine, counsel, instruction, and conflict resolution; and
- an Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation, which is a book of prophecy, containing some instructions to seven local congregations of Asia Minor, but mostly containing prophetical symbolism, about the end times.