Leading into this overview, let's make sure we're on the same page about a very important factor: Though God used multiple writers to get his Word to us, he retains authorship. The Bible is God's word to man, not man's word to man. It is without error or flaw.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)
Let us not fall into the trap of thinking that the Bible is the product of a bunch of old religious men from long ago. Instead it is the powerful Word of God that is sharper than any two-edged sword and still a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path!
Basic Overview of the New Testament
The first 4 books are referred to the “The Gospels”. Each book is entitled The Gospel According to Matthew or Mark or Luke or John. Here we get overlapping accounts of the life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are not comprehensive accounts. Even in the Gospel of John we read, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31)
Though these 4 books are considered the beginning of the New Testament, the actual New Testament doesn't start until after the death of Jesus Christ, or the end of these books. Testaments or Wills are not in effect until after the death of the testator. Nearly all of Jesus' teachings, miracles, and ministry are under the Old Testament.
Acts of the Apostles.
The most pivotal book of the New Testament in my opinion is the Book of Acts. Here's where we read about how the apostles carried out the commands of Christ. Want to know exactly how the gospel of Christ was preached to the world? Read the book of Acts! What I find interesting, and a stark contrast from today is that the same gospel message was preached everywhere it was preached in Acts.
Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom to Peter who preached the first New Testament gospel in Acts 2. Philip preached the same gospel at Samaria in Acts 8. Paul preached the same message many years later at Ephesus in Acts chapter 19 and beyond. And those who received the word responded in the same way. The book of Acts gives us the blueprint for what to preach since it would be through the apostles' word we would believe on Jesus - and they did it without PA systems, HD monitors, fundraisers or even pocket New Testaments!
The Epistles – Letters of Encouragement and Instruction.
22 books of the New Testament are devoted to teaching, admonishment, correction and encouragement to whole churches or individual believers. Paul the apostle was inspired to write most of them, but the Lord used other writers including Luke, Peter, James and John as well.
Keep in mind that these letters are not written to the general public. This is private mail to fellow believers who have already obeyed the gospel that was preached in the book of Acts. Within these letters we read about how to treat one another in the Kingdom of God, how to be a light to the world around us, severe warnings against departing from the faith, and how to always be ready for the soon coming of Christ.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
May our knowledge go far beyond a basic overview of the New Testament. May we search the scriptures daily for treasure the way miners diligently seek for gold!