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Featuring vibrant full color throughout, the sixth edition of Bart D. Ehrman's highly successful introduction approaches the New Testament from a consistently historical and comparative perspective, emphasizing the rich diversity of the earliest Christian literature. Distinctive to this study is its unique focus on the historical, literary, and religious milieux of the Greco-Roman world, including early Judaism. As part of its historical orientation, the book also discusses other Christian writings that were roughly contemporary with the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius.
A uniquely accessible and engaging writing style that vividly brings the New Testament story to life
Time lines, illustrations, maps, and more than 100 photos, including three photo essays
An extensive glossary of key terms, which appear in boldface type the first time they are used in each chapter
Bart D. Ehrman is James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written or edited more than twenty-nine books, including five New York Times best sellers. His publications include After the New Testament, Second Edition (OUP, 2014), The Bible (OUP, 2013), Forgery and Counterforgery(OUP, 2013), and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Second Edition (OUP, 2011).
Table of Contents
Each chapter ends with a "Take a Stand" section. Boxes Maps, Time Lines, and Diagrams Preface Notes on Suggestions for Further Reading Resources for Instructors and Students Credits Master Time Line INTRODUCTION: WHY STUDY THE NEW TESTAMENT? 1. WHAT IS THE NEW TESTAMENT? THE EARLY CHRISTIANS AND THEIR LITERATURE The Diversity of Early Christianity The New Testament Canon of Scripture Implications for Our Study Excursus: Some Additional Reflections: The Historian and the Believer 2. DO WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT? Publishing Books: Now and Then How Can We Know if We Have an Ancient Author's Actual Words? What Manuscripts of the New Testament Do We Have? The Good News and Bad News A Concrete Example Accidental Mistakes Intentional Errors Criteria for Establishing the Text 3. THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD OF EARLY CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS The Problem of Beginnings One Remarkable Life The Environment of the New Testament: Religions in the Greco-Roman World 4. THE JEWISH WORLD OF JESUS AND HIS FOLLOWERS Judaism as a Greco-Roman Religion Political Crises in Palestine and Their Ramifications The Formation of Jewish Sects 5. THE ORAL TRADITIONS ABOUT JESUS IN THEIR GRECO-ROMAN CONTEXT Oral Traditions behind the Gospels Excursus: Some Additional Reflections: The Authors of the Gospels 6. THE CHRISTIAN GOSPELS: A LITERARY AND HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION The Question of Genre Biography as a Greco-Roman Genre The Gospels as Ancient Biographies 7. JESUS, THE SUFFERING SON OF GOD: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK The Beginning of the Gospel: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God Who Fulfills Scripture Jesus the Authoritative Son of God Jesus the Opposed Son of God Jesus the Misunderstood Son of God Jesus the Acknowledged Son of God Jesus the Suffering Son of God Jesus the Crucified Son of God Jesus the Vindicated Son of God Conclusion: Mark and His Readers 8. THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE FOR INTERPRETATION Methods for Studying the Gospels The Synoptic Problem The Methodological Significance of the Four-Source Hypothesis 9. JESUS, THE JEWISH MESSIAH: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW The Importance of Beginnings: Jesus the Jewish Messiah in Fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures Jesus and His Forerunner from Matthew's Perspective The Portrayal of Jesus in Matthew: The Sermon on the Mount as a Springboard Jesus and the Jewish Cultic Practices Prescribed by the Law Jesus Rejected by the Jewish Leaders Matthew and His Readers 10. JESUS, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE The Comparative Method and the Gospel of Luke A Comparative Overview of the Gospel The Preface to Luke's Gospel Luke's Birth Narrative in Comparative Perspective From Jew to Gentile: Luke's Portrayal of Jesus the Rejected Prophet Luke's Distinctive Emphases throughout His Gospel Conclusion: Luke in Comparative Perspective 11. JESUS, THE MAN SENT FROM HEAVEN: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN The Gospel of John from the Perspective of Genre Criticism The Gospel of John from a Comparative Perspective The Gospel of John from a Redactional Perspective The Socio-Historical Method The Gospel of John from a Socio-Historical Perspective The Author of the Fourth Gospel 12. FROM JOHN'S JESUS TO THE GNOSTIC CHRIST: THE JOHANNINE EPISTLES AND BEYOND The Questions of Genre and Author The New Testament Epistolary Literature and the Contextual Method The Johannine Epistles from a Contextual Perspective Reflections on the Contextual Method Gnostics and the Johannine Community 13. JESUS FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: OTHER GOSPELS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY Narrative Gospels Sayings Gospels Infancy Gospels Passion Gospels Conclusion: The Other Gospels 14. THE HISTORICAL JESUS: SOURCES, PROBLEMS, AND METHODS Problems with Sources Non-Christian Sources Christian Sources Using Our Sources: Some of the Basic Rules of Thumb Specific Criteria and Their Rationale Conclusion: Reconstructing the Life of Jesus 15. EXCURSUS: THE HISTORIAN AND THE PROBLEM OF MIRACLES Miracles in the Modern World and in Antiquity The Historian and Historical Method 16. JESUS IN CONTEXT Popular Modes of Resistance to Oppression An Ideology of Resistance Jesus in His Apocalyptic Context 17. JESUS, THE APOCALYPTIC PROPHET The Apocalyptic Deeds of Jesus The Apocalyptic Teachings of Jesus The Apocalyptic Death of Jesus 18. FROM JESUS TO THE GOSPELS The Beginning of Christianity Jesus' Resurrection from an Apocalyptic Perspective Jesus' Death, according to the Scriptures The Emergence of Different Understandings of Jesus 19. LUKE'S SECOND VOLUME: THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES The Genre of Acts and Its Significance The Thematic Approach to Acts From Gospel to Acts: The Opening Transition Themes in the Speeches in Acts Conclusion: The Author and His Themes in Context 20. PAUL THE APOSTLE: THE MAN AND HIS MISSION The Study of Paul: Methodological Difficulties The Life of Paul 21. PAUL AND HIS APOSTOLIC MISSION: 1 THESSALONIANS AS A TEST CASE The Founding of the Church in Thessalonica The Beginnings of the Thessalonian Church: A Socio-Historical Perspective The Church at Thessalonica after Paul's Departure Conclusion: Paul the Apostle 22. PAUL AND THE CRISES OF HIS CHURCHES: 1 AND 2 CORINTHIANS, GALATIANS, PHILIPPIANS, AND PHILEMON 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Philippians Philemon 23. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL: THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter The Theme of the Epistle Pauline Models for Salvation The Flow of Paul's Argument Conclusion: Paul and the Romans 24. DOES THE TRADITION MISCARRY? PAUL IN RELATION TO JESUS, JAMES, THECLA, AND THEUDAS Paul in Relation to What Came Before Paul in Relation to What Came After Conclusion: Pauline Christianities 25. IN THE WAKE OF THE APOSTLE: THE DEUTERO-PAULINE AND PASTORAL EPISTLES Pseudonymity in the Ancient World The Deutero-Pauline Epistles The Pastoral Epistles The Historical Situation and Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles Conclusion: The Post-Pauline Pastoral Epistles 26. FROM PAUL'S FEMALE COLLEAGUES TO THE PASTOR'S INTIMIDATED WOMEN: THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY Women in Paul's Churches Women Associated with Jesus Paul's Understanding of Women in the Church Women in the Aftermath of Paul Ancient Ideologies of Gender Gender Ideology and the Pauline Churches 27. CHRISTIANS AND JEWS: HEBREWS, BARNABAS, AND LATER ANTI-JEWISH LITERATURE Early Christian Self-Definition Continuity and Superiority: The Epistle to the Hebrews Discontinuity and Supremacy: The Epistle of Barnabas Conclusion: The Rise of Christian Anti-Judaism 28. CHRISTIANS AND PAGANS: 1 PETER, THE LETTERS OF IGNATIUS, THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP, AND LATER APOLOGETIC LITERATURE The Persecution of the Early Christians Christians in a Hostile World: The Letter of 1 Peter Christians Sentenced to Death: The Letters of Ignatius Christians before the Tribunal: The Martyrdom of Polycarp Christians on the Defensive: The Later Apologetic Literature 29. CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANS: JAMES, THE DIDACHE, POLYCARP, 1 CLEMENT, JUDE, AND 2 PETER The Epistle of James TheDidache Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians 1 Clement Jude 2 Peter Conclusion: Conflicts within the Early Christian Communities 30. CHRISTIANS AND THE COSMOS: THE REVELATION OF JOHN, THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS, AND THE APOCALYPSE OF PETER Introduction: The End of the World and the Revelation of John The Content and Structure of the Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation from a Historical Perspective Apocalyptic Worldviews and Apocalypse Genre The Revelation of John in Historical Context The Shepherd of Hermas The Apocalypse of Peter Glossary of Terms Index