The Library of the New Covenant

I've changed the order of the Bible.  Now let me explain.

All Christians have issues with the Bible.  For some, the issue is simply that we don't read it, but more often it's more to do with the fact that we do.  One of the main issues I have with the Bible is that we think it's a book.  It's not a book, people!  The Bible is a library – that is what 'bible' means – a library compiled over centuries, containing multiple examples of multiple genres.

In my oh-so-humble-that-it-hurts opinion, the books in this Library have been arranged in a really poor order – illogical, unaesthetic, unhelpful.  To take an obvious example, the Gospel of John, which would clearly make the best beginning to the New Testament (since it starts, 'In the beginning…') is stuck between Luke & Acts, destroying the flow between those two books, which should clearly be read as two halves of the same whole.  Who decided that was a good idea?  Apparently no one: it just happened, around the time of the printing press, and was then mass-produced.  Before that, the Library had no official order, and was arranged in a variety of orders.

Well I think it's time to make my contribution.  I'm not a good enough OT scholar to work out rearrangement there, but I've had a go at the New Testament.  Click on it for a bigger version, footnotes are below.

Library of the New Covenant

1 Inclusion of Revelation within the Johannine bloc is not intended to imply common authorship.
2 Revelation is divided in two parts: The Letters to the Churches (Ch 1-3) and The Vision (Ch 4-22).
3 The Hebraic Books (Hebrews, Matthew, James) are addended by Jude, due to filial relationship with James.
4 Mark was an affiliate of Peter, hence his Gospel grouped with the Petrine epistles.
5 Galatians follows Acts due to its referencing of the Jew-to-Gentile narrative.
6 The Prison Letters were all supposedly written from Rome during Paul's imprisonment.


One thought on “The Library of the New Covenant

  1. Hey Dave!
    How fascinating… I can understand how this makes more sense from an academic point of view, but don’t you think it’s nice that the New Testament begins with Matthew, Mark and Luke – we read the story first, in language which is easier to understand, whereas starting with John’s Gospel could be difficult for some… Also, I like the fact that you read all the gospels about Jesus, then hear about how the church was formed and grew in Acts, which puts the letters in context… These are my feelings anyway!!!

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