As I read through the Bible this year, I am writing a nonet poem for each of its sixty-six books. 45 syllables for each of the 66 books of the Bible. These little poems are not intended to summarize these books, but simply to capture the spirit of each book, as it came to me while reading and pondering them this time around.

I have previously shared my nonets for the first 22 books of the Old Testament (Genesis through Deuteronomy, Joshua through 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles through Esther, and Job through Song of Solomon). In this post, I am turning to the New Testament and sharing my nonets for its first 5 books: for Matthew through Acts.

(Why am I sharing these before completing the Old Testament? I am glad you asked! Because I am “field-testing” a Bible reading plan that I put together to help me read through the Bible in a year, but in a way that takes me to the New Testament throughout the year. I find daily plans that have Old Testament and New Testament readings assigned for each day confusing, so instead my plan spends a week or two in the New Testament after three or four weeks in the Old Testament. This way, too, I don’t read the gospels all at the same time, but I do read each gospel straight through, reading all of Matthew before returning to the OT for a while, then all of Mark, etc. I plan to share this plan on my blog later in the year after I have tested it and revised it.)

So, here are my nonets for the first five books of the New Testament:


He came to fulfill all righteousness,
Our Emmanuel, God with us.
He blessed the poor in spirit,
Gave his great commission,
Promised his presence
Always, even
To the end
Of our


The gospel of Jesus in action,
Miracles throughout Galilee,
No lengthy sermons here, but
Every act proclaiming
Messiah’s secret –
The Son of God
On the way
To his


Proclaiming good news of great joy for
Prodigals, Samaritans, and
All who seek God’s forgiveness.
A savior who fulfills
Scripture’s promises,
Who seeks the lost,
And welcomes


All this written that we might believe,
And have hope and life in his name.
The stories and signs showing
A glimpse of God’s glory,
Full of grace and truth –
Incarnate light
Shining on
Our loved

Acts of the Apostles

The Spirit descends, apostles go,
Sharing good news with all the world.
With glad and generous hearts,
And grace enough for all,
Martyred, forgiven,
Saved, imprisoned,
Living the

6 thoughts on “Bible Nonets: The Gospels and Acts

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