Are Matthew through John “Old Testament” or “New Testament” books?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Does God Himself view Matthew through John as books of the “New Testament” (Christendom’s view) or does He see them as books of the “Old Testament?” “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). If it is to be of faith, it is to be founded on God’s Word, the Holy Bible. If we are to be on solid ground, we will take God’s view on the subject, and let everyone else believe as they wish. Let us see how the Bible itself classifies these four Bible books.

Many of today’s denominations and churches find much of their doctrine for “Christian living” in the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (commonly called “the Four Gospels”). It is often assumed that these four Gospel records are “New Testament” books; hence, Malachi is often called “the last Old Testament prophet.” It is common to divide the Bible’s 66 books as “Old Testament” (Genesis through Malachi) and “New Testament” (Matthew through Revelation). Consequently, Jesus’ earthly ministry is seen as “New Testament.” But, again, is this view Bible, or just religion?

The Bible believer will simply believe Hebrews 9:16-17 at face value: “[16] For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. [17] For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” Is a testament “of force” (operating) while the testator (one who makes it) lives? According to the Bible, a testament is valid only after the testator dies.

Now, we merely apply that simple reasoning of Hebrews 9:16-17 to the Four Gospels, and we have God’s way of looking at them. The “New Testament” could not begin until after Jesus Christ died. Why did Jesus die? He died in Matthew chapter 27, Mark chapter 15, Luke chapter 23, and John chapter 19. The Lord Jesus died near the end of each of the Four Gospels, so, according to Hebrews 9:16-17, the New Testament could not begin until at least after Calvary. In other words, Matthew through John are Old Testament books.

While Bible publishers insert a page between Malachi and Matthew, “The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” the New Testament could not begin until sometime near the conclusions of Matthew through John. So, if we claim our doctrine for Christian living is found in Matthew through John, as Christendom often does, then we are not “New Testament Christians” at all; we would be “Old Testament Messianic Jews!” While many of today’s local churches call themselves “New Testament” churches, yet, strangely, they have taken “Old Testament doctrine!”

Also see:
» When was the book of the Revelation written?
» Who wrote the book of Hebrews? (COMING SOON!)
» Did John really write “The Gospel of John?” (COMING SOON!)