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An essay by Peter Griffiths: Restoring the
order of the books in the Christian Scriptures

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Restoring the New Testament, by Peter Griffiths.

The order of the books in most Bibles, today, is not the original order. This may come as a surprise. It certainly did to me. But when we look into it, it explains a lot.

"By hand of man it's been abused,
Our Bible is a book confused...

But the New Testament is easily corrected. The 1st 5 books, and the last book, are correctly positioned. It's Paul's letters and the 7 general, or Jewish, epistles in the middle that have been transposed. Once this is corrected, it only remains to take out Hebrews from the end of Paul's letters and place it immediately after Thessalonians and before Timothy. And there you have it, the New Testament corrected in a nutshell.

Here then, in detail, is the correct order of the books of the New Testament.

bullet Firstly: Matthew; Mark; Luke; John; Acts. This is the 'Torah' of the New Testament, the first 5 books.
bullet Then comes the 7 general epistles: James; Peter (1); Peter (2); John (1); John (2); John (3); and Jude. Notice that Jude, the 12th book, introduces Paul's letters. What Jude says makes so much more sense when we realise this. It was never intended to introduce Revelation. Notice the first thing Jude says is that salvation is common. Everybody has it. But that Christians must earnestly contend for the original faith. Notice they are not just to contend for the original faith; they must earnestly contend for the original faith! Something was seriously wrong with Christianity because of certain men who had crept in unawares and corrupted it...
bullet Paul's letters, then, the later ones containing the final revelation to humans — the mature teachings — called the 'secret' or 'mystery', are: Romans; Corinthians (1); Corinthians (2); Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; Thessalonians (1); Thessalonians (2).
bullet At this point note that Paul wrote 9 letters to 7 ecclesias (assemblies, congregations, or groups), and 4 letters to 3 individual persons. The 2nd group, at Corinth, and the 7th group, at Thessalonica, receiving 2 letters each. The 2 letters to the 7th (and final) group at Thessalonica deal with the end time.
bullet Chapter 2 and verse 5 of Hebrews tells us that this letter deals with "the world to come." Logically and chronologically 'the world to come' immediately follows after the final 7th group. So Hebrews comes 10th in Paul's letters, and 22nd in the New Testament overall. This is very neat because the Hebrew alphabet also has 22 letters in it.
bullet Finally, Paul's 4 letters to 3 individuals: Timothy (1); Timothy (2); Titus; and Philemon. This completes Paul's letters.
bullet The last book of all in the book of books is Revelation. This is the 27th book of the New Testament. It takes scriptures from all over the Bible, putting them into the correct sequence.

The vast majority of New Testament manuscripts reflect this order of the books. Our New Testament is, essentially, an inspired commentary on the Old Testament. Peter said that a time of refreshment and a restoration of all things spoken by the holy prophets would take place just before the end of the age. (Acts 3:19-21) The words of those holy prophets are recorded in the Bible. The whole world needs a restored Bible.

"For far too long it's been ignored;
The Bible needs to be restored.

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Further Reading:

bullet Dr E.L. Martin, "Restoring The Original Bible," Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, (1994). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store Two customers wrote:
bullet JAC: "This book reveals the original manuscript order of the books of Scripture and fruitfully considers why the original canonizers so arranged them. Understanding the divinely inspired order of the books makes the Bible easier to understand!"
bullet ELI: "This book provides evidence from the New Testament that the apostles themselves put the New Testament together. It also shows that the original order of the New Testament was changed slightly in the mid second century, in an attempt to discredit the Jewish roots of the New Testament."

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"What progressive revelation,
Follows from the restoration...

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Originally posted: 2005-APR-23
Latest update: 2005-APR-23
Author: Peter Griffiths

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