I.THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament is also to be studied for right divisions.
Paul instructed Timothy:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15)
Follow the meaning of this passage. If there is a way to rightly divide the word, there is a way to wrongly divide the word. We, each and every one stands responsible for proper division and for teaching others what we think we know. We will stand before a righteous and sinless Jesus and give account for our knowledge or lack of knowledge. There are many that take this responsibility too lightly and blithely lead some to destruction.
When men study under right divisions they are likely to come to right conclusions and arrive at truth on any particular subject. But when men study the Bible under wrong divisions they are likely to come to wrong conclusions, hence become entangled in error on any particular Bible subject. Much of the world’s confusion in religious error is due to a disregard for intelligent rules and principles of Bible interpretation. If it was necessary for Timothy to study the Bible under right divisions, that he might not be ashamed rightly dividing (or dissecting) the Word of truth, is it not reasonable that men should still give much thought to a study of the Bible under right divisions?
Although there is no inspired statement concerning what the right divisions of the New Testament are, it seems logically to fall under three divisions, manifesting the trinity of things alike in the Old and New Testaments, as in the Bible as a harmonious whole. The three ligical divisions into which the New Testament falls are:
1.The historical books
2.The doctinal books
3.The prophetic books.
1.The Historical Books
The first five books of the New Testament compose the historical books. They may be so classified because, in the main, they give an inspired historical record of two things:
1.the ministry of John the Baptist in preparing the way for Christ to come and establish His church, and
2.the personal ministry of Jesus and His establishing the church and how it began to function in carrying out the great commission after He returned to heaven.
For instance, the four gospels all give divine records of both the lives and works of John the Baptist and jesus in establishing and commissioning the Lord’s church. Then the book of Acts, the fifth book of the New Testament gives a history of how th Lord’s church began to function in carrying our Lord’s message to all nations, after she had been empowered by the Holy Ghost. There is some doctrine and some prolphecy in these five books, but in the main, their contensts are matters of divine historical record.
2.The Doctrinal Books
Every book of the New Testament from Romans through Jude was written to some person or group of persons concerning some particular doctrine or doctrinal matter. There are twenty-one of these books and their contents are primarily divinely inspired instructions on some specific subject.
For instance, the book of Romans was written to explain that justification came to Jew and Gentile alike, by faith in Jesus Christ, without one’s subscribing to the ceremonies of either the Law of Moses or laws of Christ, as means of acquiring salvation. Then the book of I Corinthians was written to correct some moral and doctrinal evils that had crept into the church at Corinth.
There is some history, authentic history, and some prophecy in these twenty-one doctrinal books, but they are primarily doctrinal and were not given for specific prophetic or historical reasons.
3.The Prophetical Books
The book of Revelation is the third logical division of the new Testament and is to be considered the New Testament guide for a study of things concerning the coming of our Lord and the end of this age. It has some history and some doctrine in it (for instance, the doctrine of the second coming of Christ), but it deals primarily with matters of prophetic nature and is therfore termned prophetic. Blessed is the person who reads, understands, and tries to abide by the teachings of this book of prophecy, the third logical division of the New Testament for purposes of study in rightly dividing the Word of truth.