Teaching Students About the New Testament

The New Testament, as a collection of documents representing the teachings of Jesus Christ and the early Christian church, holds an essential place in the education of students studying religion, theology, and history. Teaching young people about this vital text can foster a strong foundation for their understanding of Christianity and its impact on society. This article explores effective strategies for introducing the New Testament to students and encouraging them to engage with its rich teachings.

1. Establishing Context

Before diving into the pages of the New Testament, it is essential to provide your students with historical context. This background information will help students make sense of what they read and deepen their understanding. Begin by discussing the historical backdrop of Judaism and how it relates to Christianity’s development. Then move on to discuss key events, players, and concepts from both biblical and secular sources.

2. Building Familiarity with the Books

The New Testament comprises 27 books grouped into four main sections: the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles (letters), and Revelation (prophecy). Introduce your students to these divisions and their respective purposes:

– The Gospels: Four accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) that tell Jesus’ life story and his teachings.

– Acts of the Apostles: Documents early Christian church history and the missionary journeys of Paul.

– Epistles: Collection of letters written by early church fathers addressing theological concepts and providing moral guidance.

– Revelation: A prophecy concerning the apocalyptic end times.

3. Establishing Key Themes

Encourage engagement by exploring major themes in both individual books and overarching topics throughout the New Testament:

– Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ

– The role of grace in redemption

– The spread of Christianity through evangelism

– The significance of miracles as evidence of divine power

– Various interpretations on eschatology (the study of final events/the end times)

4. Encouraging Critical Analysis

Encourage your students not only to read but interpret and question the text. In class discussions, push them to consider cultural and historical influences as well as alternative interpretations. By exploring different perspectives, your students will develop a more in-depth understanding of the New Testament.

5. Promoting Personal Connections and Reflections

Encourage students to identify their personal beliefs and determine how the New Testament’s teachings align or conflict with them. Discussing these conjunctions and differences fosters deeper engagement with the material, allowing students to better understand its significance in their lives.

6. Allowing Creative Expression

Invite students to express their thoughts and impressions about the New Testament through creative means such as artwork, writing, or performance. This type of assignment moves beyond rote learning and enables learners to develop a more profound connection with the material.


Teaching students about the New Testament can be a transformative experience for both teachers and learners alike. By establishing context, building familiarity with book structure, exploring key themes, encouraging critical analysis, promoting personal connections, and incorporating creative expression, you can guide your students on an enriching spiritual journey that deepens their understanding of Christianity’s foundational text.

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