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Also known is that they were written over an extended period of time and therefore represent an evolution in the early Christian understanding of Jesus.What is less well known is the logic that was used long ago for organizing this collection of twenty-seven New Testament documents.Borg’s rearranged New Testament gives the books in this order: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, Philemon, Philippians, 2 Corinthians, Romans, Mark, James, Colossians, Matthew, Hebrews, John, Ephesians, Revelation, Jude, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Luke, Acts, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Peter, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter.These books can be read in this order using one’s favorite Bible and with the help of study guides and commentaries of the reader’s choice.(4) Paul’s epistles provide a theological interpretation of Christ Jesus, and Mark fills in biographical details that give readers a fuller understanding of the man Jesus who stands in the shadows of this theological presentation.James seems to focus attention on still another aspect of the early Christian community: the way that members of the community were to live.The Gospel of John emerges from an independent literary tradition that is not directly connected to the Synoptic tradition.This explains the major differences between John and the Synoptics.
Both used a written form of the Gospel of Mark as source material for their own narratives.
In addition, because both Matthew and Luke contain a large amount of material in common that is not found in Mark, most researchers hold that both Evangelists also had a collection of Jesus’ sayings that they incorporated into their works.
This saying source is known as “Q” and was likely assembled in the 40s or 50s.
Instead, they focus on the meaning of his life and ministry.
Even the gospels—Mark, Matthew, John, and Luke (to list them in their composition order)—present theological portraits rather than biographical sketches.