The 27 Books of the New Testament
4G to the A to the R and C2 the GEP to the C5T and the PHJ then P4J and no Repeats.
For those raised in an atmosphere of casual Christianity, the Books of the New Testament are familiar and easy to memorize. New Testament names are common, as opposed to the Old. I wish it were otherwise. I am always delighted to meet an Ezra, Jeremiah or an Ezekiel. And I will long shake the hand of a man named Micah, Zechariah or Malachi.
In Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States, Bill Bryson writes:
"At first descriptive names were confined to a single virtue: Faith, Hope, Love, Charity, Increase, Continent and the like, but within a generation Puritan parents were giving their children names that positively rang with righteousness: Flie-Fornication, Misericordia-Adulterina, Job-Raked-Out-of-the-Ashes, Small-Hope, Praise-God, Fear-Not, The-Lord-Is-Near. Names began to sound rather like cheerleaders' chants, so that among the early Pilgrims we find Fight-the-Good-Fight-of-Faith Wilson, Be-Courteous Cole, Kill-Sin Pemble, and the memorably euphonious Safely-on-High Snat. Occasionally the desire for biblical fidelity resulted in names of daunting sonorosity: Mahershalalhasbaz, Zaphenathpaneah, Zerubbabel and Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin. And sometimes parents simply closed their eyes and stabbed blindly at the Bible, placing their faith in Providence to direct them to an apposite word, which accounts for the occasional occurrence of such relative inanities as Maybe Barnes and Notwithstanding Griswold."
The most troublesome names in the Books of the New Testament are all grouped conveniently together in the GEP to the C5T sequence. Philemon and Hebrews are slightly more palatable.
There are mnemonic sentences such as those listed below. However, I found a mnemonic letter number code, which has a slight rhyme to it and use that as my guide. Like most of the lists in the OSSA: Bones, after a week of solid memory work, with occasional refreshes, the sequence becomes "second nature" and the mnemonic remains only as a incidental index.
4G to the A to the R and C... 2 .... the GEP ... to the C5T ... and the PHJ ... then P4J ... and no Repeats.
Everyone is familiar with the first four (4G): Matthew Mark Luke and John
Than the A to the R to the C, then the 2 clueing in both books of Corinthians.
Acts, Romans, Corinthians one and two
There is a some narrative flow here the Acts of the Romans against the Corinthians.
This is my first cluster or memory chunk. Kick-starts the rest.
Then, the GEP to the C5T
This is a sticking point at first. Note the 5 applies to the T, not the C. It is helpful that all the Ts follow alphabetically: Thess, Tim, Tit.
Galatians Ephesians Philippians
Perhaps it is helpful to think of homophonic terms here: Gal-Lays-Ian If-He-Is-In a Flip-Peeing
After a few times, this helpful nonsense will fade.
Then the C5T:
Colossians Thessalonians one and two Timothy one and two and Titus
This is my second memory cluster.
Next is the P sequence:
and the PHJ then the P4J and no Repeats.
Think of a PBJ sandwich with is made for Jay only once: The P B(H) J is made (P) for(H) (J)ay with no Repeats.
You know the final book is Revelations/ Repeats. So that is easy.
The PHJ is tag as the weird one because of Philemon and Hebrews, which is followed by the normal P4J: Peter, John and Jude.
More nonsense mnemonic: Fill Amen He Bruised James.
Philemon Hebrews James
P4J is unusual however because you have to remember there are two Peters, followed by three Johns and then Jude - and there is always a mnemonic reward here for me to associate it with the song "Hey Jude" and hear chime of the melody, which, if I didn't already know it, associates Revelations with "Revolution Number 9."
So first and second Peter, John one two three (like the count-in to the song), Hey Jude, then all will be revealed in Revelations.
1. Matthew My Mother loves Jesus a lot
6. Romans Roosters Can Crow
7. 1 Corinthians
8. 2 Corinthians
9. Galatians Geese Eat Pop Corn
13. 1 Thessalonians Turkeys Trot
14. 2 Thessalonians
15. 1 Timothy
16. 2 Timothy
17. Titus Telephone Poles Have Jaybirds
21. 1 Peter Peacock Pier’s Jingling Jeans just joined rhinoceros
22. 2 Peter
23. 1 John
24. 2 John
25. 3 John