The New Testament; A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-05
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Featuring vibrant full color throughout, this new edition of Bart 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. Rather than shying away from the critical problems presented by these books, Ehrman addresses the historical and literary challenges they pose, showing why scholars continue to argue over such significant issues as how the books of the New Testament came into being, when they were written (and by whom), what they mean, how they relate to contemporary Christian and non-Christian literature, and how they came to be collected into the canon of scripture that we now call the New Testament. 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 works by other Christian writers who were roughly contemporary with the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius. The text is enhanced by maps, timelines, an extensive text box program, and more than one hundred photos. An accompanying Instructor's Manual contains chapter summaries, discussion questions, and a test bank. An updated Website Study Guide provides chapter summaries, glossary terms, and self-quizzes for students. New to this edition: * Coverage of new discoveries--including the Gospel of Judas Iscariot--and of recent advances in scholarship * A revised discussion of the history of Palestine and Judaism, which now appears much earlier in the book (Chapter 3), thereby providing students with more background on the development of early Christianity at the outset of their studies * A new photo essay on important Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, ten new text boxes, a revised epilogue, and updated suggestions for further reading * An expanded glossary featuring more than 200 key terms, which are also listed at the end of each chapter in which they appear * Key terms appear in boldface type the first time they are used in each chapter * Vivid full color throughout Ideal for undergraduate and seminary classes in the New Testament, Biblical Studies, and Christian Origins, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, Fourth Edition, encourages students to carefully consider the historical issues surrounding these writings.

Table of Contents

Maps, Time Lines, and Diagrams
Notes on Suggestions for Further Reading
Master Time Line
What is the New Testament? The Early Christians and their Literature
The Canon of Scripture: The Diversity of Early Christianity
The Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament
The New Testament Canon of Scripture
The Common Era and Before the Common Era
The Layout of the New Testament
The New Testament: One Other Set of Problems
Implications for Our Study
The New Testament Canon: Excursus
Some Additional Reflections: The Historian and the Believer
The World of Early Christian Traditions
The Problem of Beginnings
Pagan and Gentile
The Greco-Roman World: One Remarkable Life
The Environment of the New Testament: Religions in the Greco-Roman World
The Roman Empire
Divine Rulers as Savior Gods
Christianity as a Mystery Cult
The World of Early Christianity
The Jewish Context of Jesus and his Followers
Judaism as a Greco-Roman Religion
The Septuagint: The Hebrew Bible in Greek
Political Crises in Palestine and Their Ramifications
Flavius Josephus: The Formation of Jewish Sects
Divine Revelation in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Women in the Synagogues
Other Jewish Miracle-Working Sons of God
The Jewish World of Early Christianity
The Traditions of Jesus in their Greco-Roman Context
Oral Traditions behind the Gospels
Orality and Literacy in the Ancient World
Mark and John on the Time of Jesus'' Death
The Traditions of Jesus: Excursus
Some Additional Reflections: The Authors of the Gospels
The Christian Gospels: A Literary and Historical Introduction
The Question of Genre
Biography as a Greco-Roman Genre
Plutarch on Biography: The Gospels as Ancient Biographies
The Christian Gospels
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
The Jewish Messiah: Jesus the Authoritative Son of God
Jewish Scribes, Herodians, and Chief Priests: Jesus the Opposed Son of God
Jesus'' Opponents in Mark: Jesus the Misunderstood Son of God
Jesus the Angry Healer: Jesus the Acknowledged Son of God
The Messianic Secret in Mark: Jesus the Suffering Son of God
Son of God and Son of Man: Jesus the Crucified Son of God
The Charge of Blasphemy according to Mark
Jesus the Vindicated Son of God
Conclusion: Mark and His Readers
The Gospel of Mark
The Synoptic Problem and its Significance for Interpretation
Methods for Studying the Gospels
The Synoptic Problem
Ironing Out the Problems: One Potential Difficulty in Mark''s Account
The Contents of Q: The Methodological Significance of the Four-Source Hypothesis
The Synoptic Problem
Jesus, The Jewish Messiah: The Gospel According to Matthew
The Importance of Beginnings: Jesus the Jewish Messiah in Fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures
Matthew''s Scheme of Fourteen
The Women in Matthew''s Genealogy: Jesus and His Forerunner from Matthew''s Perspective
The Portrayal of Jesus in Matthew: The Sermon on the Mount as a Springboard
The Golden Rule: Jesus and the Jewish Cultic Practices Prescribed by the Law
Jesus Rejected by the Jewish Leaders
Gentiles in Matthew''s Community
Was Matthew a Jew?: Matthew and His Readers
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
Apologetic Literature in Early Christianity: Luke''s Birth Narrative in Comparative Perspective
Historical Problems with Luke''s Birth Narrative
The Virginal Conception in Matthew and Luke
From Jew to Gentile: Luke''s Portrayal of Jesus the Rejected Prophet
Luke''s Distinctive Emphases throughout His G
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