Revelation is not last, but almost in the middle, written in the 90s.Twelve documents follow Revelation, with II Peter the last, written as late as near the middle of the second century.Seeing and reading the New Testament in chronological sequence matters for historical reasons. Much becomes apparent: Awareness of the above matters not just for historical reasons but also for Christian reasons. At the heart of the division, especially among Protestants, is two very different ways of seeing the Bible and the New Testament.About half of American Protestants belong to churches that teach that the Bible is the inerrant "Word of God" and "inspired by God." The key word is "inerrant." Christians from antiquity onward have affirmed that the Bible is "the Word of God" and "inspired" without thinking of it is inerrant.
There is an unbroken chain of writers discussing the New Testament that goes back to soon after the Gospels were written.So also the stories of the beginning and end of his life are literally and factually true: he was conceived in a virgin without a human father, his tomb really was empty even though it was guarded by Roman soldiers, and his followers saw him raised in physical bodily form.These Christians are unlikely to embrace a chronological New Testament.Revelation is about "the last things" and the second coming of Jesus, so it makes sense that it comes at the end.Revelation and the Gospels function as bookends for the New Testament.Biblical inerrancy is an innovation of the last few centuries, becoming widespread in American Protestantism beginning only a hundred years ago.It is affirmed mostly in "independent" Protestant churches, those not part of "mainline" Protestant denominations.We will learn that even in the most pessimistic, but rational, reading of the data, we come to the understanding that the authors of the New Testament are close enough to the events to be able to give an accurate picture of historical events.Much will be uncertain; but this we will know; and this is what we need in order to continue our investigation of scripture and Christian history.It would not only change the way the see the Bible and the New Testament, but also make them suspect and probably unwelcome in the Christian communities to which they belong.There are also many Christians, as well as many who have left the church, for whom the inerrancy of the Bible and its literal and absolute interpretation are unpersuasive, incredible, impossible to believe.