The New Testament A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-05
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • View Upgraded Edition
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $69.28


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.

Author Biography

James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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
Jesus the Opposed Son of God
Jewish Scribes, Herodians, and Chief Priests
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
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 Gospel
Jesus' Bloody Sweat in Luke
Jesus as a Righteous Martyr
The Institution of the Lord's Supper in Luke
Conclusion: Luke in Comparative Perspective
Luke's Second Volume: The Acts Of The Apostles
The Genre of Acts and Its Significance
The Book of Acts: An Ancient Novel?
The Thematic Approach to Acts
From Gospel to Acts: The Opening Transition
Luke's Mysterious Two Men
Luke's Artistry as a Storyteller 1
Luke's Artistry as a Storyteller 2
Themes in the Speeches in Acts
The Death of Judas
Christianity before Paul
The Book of Acts
Excursus: The Author of Luke-Acts and His Audience
Conclusion: The Author and His Themes in Context
Jesus, The Man Sent From Heaven: The Gospel According To John
The Gospel of John from a Literary-Historical Perspective
Jesus' Signs in the Fourth Gospel
"The Jews" in the Fourth Gospel
The Gospel of John from a Thematic Perspective
The Gospel of John from a Comparative Perspective
Jesus and the "I Am" Sayings in John
The Gospel of John from a Redactional Perspective
The Socio-Historical Method
The Death of the Beloved Disciple in the Johannine Community
The Gospel of John from a Socio-Historical Perspective
John's De-Apocalypticized Gospel
Did the Early Christians Think That Jesus was Good?
The Author of the Fourth Gospel
The Gospel of John
From John's Jesus To The Gnostic Christ: The Johannine Epistles And Beyond
The Questions of Genre and Author
A Letter from Greco-Roman Egypt
The New Testament Epistolary Literature and the Contextual Method
The Gospel and Epistles of John: Some Thematic Similarities
The Johannine Epistles from a Contextual Perspective
Methods for Studying the New Testament
House Churches in Early Christianity
Reflections on the Contextual Method
The Johannine Epistles
Beyond the Johannine Community: The Rise of Christian Gnosticism
How Do You Know a Gnostic When You See One?
Gnostics and the Jewish Scriptures
Gnostics and the Johannine Community
Jesus From Different Perspectives: Other Gospels In Early Christianity
Narrative Gospels
The Gospel of the Ebionites and Early Gospel Harmonies
Sayings Gospels
Judas Thomas as Jesus' Twin Brother
The Older Sayings of the Gospel of Thomas
Infancy Gospels
Passion Gospels
Conclusion: The Other Gospels
The Other Gospels
The Historical Jesus: Sources, Problems, And Methods
Problems with Sources
Non-Christian Sources
Christianity as a Superstition in the Roman World
The Testimony of Flavius Josephus
Christian Sources
Using Our Sources: Some of the Basic Rules of Thumb
Specific Criteria and Their Rationale
Aramaisms as a Criterion of Authenticity
Judas and the Roasting Chicken
Conclusion: Reconstructing the Life of Jesus
The Sources for the Historical Jesus
Excursus: The Historian And The Problem Of Miracle
Miracles in the Modern World and in Antiquity
The Historian and Historical Method
The Problem of Miracles
Jesus In Context
Popular Modes of Resistance to Oppression
An Ideology of Resistance
Prophecy and Apocalypticism
First-Century Palestinian Judaism
Jesus in His Apocalyptic Context
O Little Town of Nazareth
Jesus of Sepphoris?
Jesus as an Apocalyptic Prophet
Jesus, The Apocalyptic Prophet
The Apocalyptic Deeds of Jesus
Explaining Away the Apocalyptic Traditions: Seeking the Lost
Explaining Away the Apocalyptic Traditions: Getting a Date
Was Jesus a Cynic Philosopher?
The Temple Incident as an Enacted Parable
Another Apocalyptic Jesus
The Apocalyptic Teachings of Jesus
Was Jesus Married with Children?
The Cosmic Deliverer of Israel
Jesus and "Family Values"
The Apocalyptic Death of Jesus
Jesus and Judas, the Betrayer
Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
From Jesus To The Gospels
The Beginning of Christianity
Jesus' Resurrection from an Apocalyptic Perspective
The Women and the Empty Tomb
Jesus, the Messiah, and the Resurrection
Jesus' Death, according to the Scriptures
Vicarious Suffering in Jewish Martyrologies and Other Greco-Roman Literature
The Emergence of Different Understandings of Jesus
From Jesus to the Gospels
Paul The Apostle: The Man And His Mission
The Study of Paul: Methodological Difficulties
The Pauline Corpus
Other Sources for the Life of Paul
The Life of Paul
What Did Paul Look Like?
Paul on the Road to Damascus
Paul and His Mission
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
Rules for a Private Association
The Church at Thessalonica after Paul's Departure
Christians Maligned as Perverts and Criminals
The Thessalonians' Perplexity
Conclusion: Paul the Apostle
Paul And The Crises Of His Churches: 1 And 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, And Philemon
Possibilities of Existence in the Afterlife
The Partitioning of 2 Corinthians
The Logic of the Opponents' Position in Galatia
Why Does Paul Appeal to the Law to Deny the Importance of the Law?
Just Say "No": Paul's Gospel of Sexual Abstinence
The Christ Hymn of Philippians
Was Paul Contemplating Suicide?
The Gospel According To Paul: The Letter To The Romans
The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter
The Beginnings of the Roman Church
The Theme of the Epistle
Paul's Gospel to the Romans
Pauline Models for Salvation
Two Different Ways of Salvation in Paul?
Judicial and Participationist Models of Salvation in Paul
The Flow of Paul's Argument
Other Models of Salvation in Paul
Conclusion: Paul and the Romans
Does The Tradition Miscarry? Paul In Relation To Jesus, James, Thecla, And Theudas
Paul in Relation to What Came Before
Jesus and Paul: Some of the Similarities
Jesus and Paul: Some of the Differences
Paul in Relation to What Came After
Conclusion: Pauline Christianities
Paul in Relation to What Came Before and After
In The Wake Of The Apostle: The Deutero-Pauline And Pastoral Epistles
Pseudonymity in the Ancient World
Paul's Third Letter to the Corinthians
The Deutero-Pauline Epistles
The Resurrection of Believers in Paul and Colossians
The "Household Rules" in Colossians and Ephesians
The Vocabulary of Salvation in Paul and Ephesians
The Deutero-Pauline Epistles
The Pastoral Epistles
The Historical Situation and Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles
Church Hierarchy in Ignatius
Conclusion: The Post-Pauline Pastoral Epistles
The Pastoral Epistles
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
Mary Magdalene
Paul's Understanding of Women in the Church
Women in the Aftermath of Paul
Similarities between 1 Tim 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Ancient Ideologies of Gender
Gender Ideology and the Pauline Churches
Women in Early Christianity
Christians And Jews: Hebrews, Barnabas, And Later Anti-Jewish Literature
Early Christian Self-Definition
Early and Diverging Views of Christians and Jews
Continuity and Superiority: The Epistle to the Hebrews
Divergent Views of Christ in Hebrews
Discontinuity and Supremacy: The Epistle of Barnabas
Six Thousand Years and Counting
Gematria in Early Christianity
The Epistle of Barnabas
Conclusion: The Rise of Christian Anti-Judaism
Melito's Passover Sermon
Christians And Pagans: 1 Peter, The Letters Of Ignatius, The Martyrdom Of Polycarp, And Later Apologetic Literature
The Persecution of the Early Christians
The Christian Disruption of the Family: The Case of Perpetua
Christians in a Hostile World: The Letter of 1 Peter
The Spread of Christianity
1 Peter
Christians Sentenced to Death: The Letters of Ignatius
An Alternative View of Christian Martyrdom
The Letters of Ignatius
Christians before the Tribunal: The Martyrdom of Polycarp
The Martyrdom of Polycarp
Christians on the Defense: The Later Apologetic Literature
Christians And Christians: James, The Didache, Polycarp, 1 Clement, Jude, And 2 Peter
The Epistle of James
The Didache
The Development of the Lord's Prayer
Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians
Polycarp and the Early Christian Tradition
Birds Raised from the Dead and Other Problems in the Corinthian Church
Peter, the Smoked Tuna, and the Flying Heretic
Conclusion: Conflicts within the Early Christian Communities
Christian Internal Conflicts
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 Book of Revelation as Underground Literature
The Author of Revelation in the Early Church
The Revelation of John in Historical Context
An Ancient Copyright Curse
Futuristic Interpretations of the Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation
The Shepherd of Hermas
The Shepherd of Hermas and the Muratorian Canon
The Apocalypse of Peter
Epilogue: Do We Have The Original New Testament?
The Manuscripts of the New Testament
30,000 Variant Readings?!
Kinds of Changes in Our Manuscript
Citing Chapter and Verse
Women in the Manuscript Tradition of the New Testament
Criteria for Establishing the Original Text
Is the Doctrine of the Trinity Explicitly Taught in the New Testament?
Conclusion: The Original Text of the New Testament
The Text of the New Testament
Glossary of Terms
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review