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

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Religion - 465 pages
This lucid introduction approaches the New Testament from a consistently historical and comparative perspective, emphasizing the rich diversity of the earliest Christian literature. Rather than styling away from the critical problems presented by these books, Ehrman addresses the historical and literary challenges they pose and shows why scholars continue to argue over such significant issues as how the books of the New Testament came into being, who produced them, what they mean, how they relate to contemporary Christian and non-Christian liteature, and how how they came to be collected into a canon of Scripture. Distinctive to this study is its emphasis on the historical, literary, and religious milieu of the Greco-Roman world, including early Judiasm. As part of its historical orientation, this text 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, the letters of Ignatius. Instead of simply setting forth scholarly views without explanations, Ehrman includes the evidence of scholars that have found persuasive for their views, engaging students and demonstrating why scholars have taken the positions they have. 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, Second Edition, is an accessible, clearly written introduction that encourages students to consider the historical issues surrounding these writings. The book is equally appealling to the wide non-academic readership interested in the Bible and the historical Jesus. Ehrman's The New Testament and Other Writings: A Reader serves as an ideal companion to this text. Features new to the second edition include expanded material covering Jesus, and the addition of boxes throughout addressing numerous topics, including alternative approaches to the historical Jesus andadditional material covering women. The new edition also includes a color photo insert.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mldavis2 - LibraryThing

I must admit at the outset that I am a fan of Dr. Ehrman. This book is essentially a text book on the historical origins of today's New Testament (NT). Dr. Ehrman is a theological historian, not a ... Read full review

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User Review  - jontseng - LibraryThing

A good combination of didactics and exploration - using a textbook survey of NT books as an exemplar of different hermeneutical approaches. If only all theological textbooks were this good it wouldn't all be Greek to me... Read full review


What Is the New Testament? The Early Christians and Their Literature
The World of Early Christian Traditions
The Traditions of Jesus in Their GrecoRoman Context

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About the author (2000)

Bart D. Ehrman, Bowman-Gray Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina.

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