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The Shortest Books in the New Testament
Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

I’ve been mulling over the amazing way that God speaks to us through His word. Sometimes he speaks with many words and tells a long story, such as in Genesis, telling of families, struggles, conquests, provision, and blessings.  Sometimes He speaks deep, mysterious things that confound us and yet are awesome in power, such as in Isaiah and Jeremiah, or in Daniel. He speaks about the past and about the future. He tells us what heaven is like (as in the parables of Jesus). He propounds wisdom via proverbs. He tells of peoples’ lives (Job, Ruth, Ester, Jonah).

He spoke to the ancestors, prophets; then to us through Jesus. The OT was penned over a span of 1,800 years in 39 books – in various times, cultures, locations, and situations. It took the form of visions, symbols, parables; poetry, and prose. But every word of God came from His Spirit. Peter reminds us how special this is:  19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no
prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

God also included personal letters in His word. He allows us to feel the passion and the pain of His chosen ones, to learn of their struggles, their victories, their defeats, and their faith. On a few occasions these letters are very personal, written to a single individual (such as Philemon), a specific church, or to address a specific need.  Why would our awesome God choose to place His truth in such short, compact letters on such specific topics? Why did He select these topics to condense in this way? We’ll focus our attention of the four shortest books in the New Testament, one chapter each, and see what we find.


Lesson 1 - Philemon 1:1-7

Lesson 2_- Philemon 1:8-18

Lesson 3 - Philemon 1:19-25

Lesson 4 - 2nd John 1:1-6

Lesson 5 - 2nd John 1:7-13

Lesson 6_- 3rd John 1:1-8

Lesson 7 - 3rd John 1:9-24

Lesson_8 Jude 1:1-4

Lesson 9 Jude 1:5-11

Lesson 10_Jude 1:12-16

Lesson11_Jude 1:17-25
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