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

Paperback | July 10, 2015

byBart D. Ehrman

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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 studyis 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, theApocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius.

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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 studyis its unique focus on the historical, liter...

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 a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 9.29 × 7.52 × 0.98 inPublished:July 10, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019020382X

ISBN - 13:9780190203825

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Table of Contents

PrefaceTimelineINTRODUCTION: WHY STUDY THE NEW TESTAMENT?1. WHAT IS THE NEW TESTAMENT? THE EARLY CHRISTIANS AND THEIR LITERATUREThe Diversity of Early ChristianityThe New Testament Canon of ScriptureImplications for Our StudyExcursus: Some Additional Reflections: The Historian and the Believer2. DO WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT?Publishing Books: Now and ThenHow 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 NewsA Concrete ExampleAccidental MistakesIntentional ErrorsCriteria for Establishing the Text3. THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD OF EARLY CHRISTIAN TRADITIONSThe Problem of BeginningsOne Remarkable LifeThe Environment of the New Testament: Religions in the Greco-Roman World4. THE JEWISH WORLD OF JESUS AND HIS FOLLOWERSJudaism as a Greco-Roman ReligionPolitical Crises in Palestine and Their RamificationsThe Formation of Jewish Sects5. THE ORAL TRADITIONS ABOUT JESUS IN THEIR GRECO-ROMAN CONTEXTOral Traditions behind the GospelsExcursus: Some Additional Reflections: The Authors of the Gospels6. THE CHRISTIAN GOSPELS: A LITERARY AND HISTORICAL INTRODUCTIONThe Question of GenreBiography as a Greco-Roman GenreThe Gospels as Ancient Biographies7. JESUS, THE SUFFERING SON OF GOD: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARKThe Beginning of the Gospel: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God Who Fulfills ScriptureJesus the Authoritative Son of GodJesus the Opposed Son of GodJesus the Misunderstood Son of GodJesus the Acknowledged Son of GodJesus the Suffering Son of GodJesus the Crucified Son of GodJesus the Vindicated Son of GodConclusion: Mark and His Readers8. THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE FOR INTERPRETATIONMethods for Studying the GospelsThe Synoptic ProblemThe Methodological Significance of the Four-Source Hypothesis9. JESUS, THE JEWISH MESSIAH: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEWThe Importance of Beginnings: Jesus the Jewish Messiah in Fulfillment of the Jewish ScripturesJesus and His Forerunner from Matthew's PerspectiveThe Portrayal of Jesus in Matthew: The Sermon on the Mount as a SpringboardJesus and the Jewish Cultic Practices Prescribed by the LawJesus Rejected by the Jewish LeadersMatthew and His Readers10. JESUS, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKEThe Comparative Method and the Gospel of LukeA Comparative Overview of the GospelThe Preface to Luke's GospelLuke's Birth Narrative in Comparative PerspectiveFrom Jew to Gentile: Luke's Portrayal of Jesus the Rejected ProphetLuke's Distinctive Emphases throughout His GospelConclusion: Luke in Comparative Perspective11. JESUS, THE MAN SENT FROM HEAVEN: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHNThe Gospel of John from the Perspective of Genre CriticismThe Gospel of John from a Comparative PerspectiveThe Gospel of John from a Redactional PerspectiveThe Socio-Historical MethodThe Gospel of John from a Socio-Historical PerspectiveThe Author of the Fourth Gospel12. FROM JOHN'S JESUS TO THE GNOSTIC CHRIST: THE JOHANNINE EPISTLES AND BEYONDThe Questions of Genre and AuthorThe New Testament Epistolary Literature and the Contextual MethodThe Johannine Epistles from a Contextual PerspectiveReflections on the Contextual MethodGnostics and the Johannine Community13. JESUS FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: OTHER GOSPELS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITYNarrative GospelsSayings GospelsInfancy GospelsPassion GospelsConclusion: The Other Gospels14. THE HISTORICAL JESUS: SOURCES, PROBLEMS, AND METHODSProblems with SourcesNon-Christian SourcesChristian SourcesUsing Our Sources: Some of the Basic Rules of ThumbSpecific Criteria and Their RationaleConclusion: Reconstructing the Life of Jesus15. EXCURSUS: THE HISTORIAN AND THE PROBLEM OF MIRACLESMiracles in the Modern World and in AntiquityThe Historian and Historical Method16. JESUS IN CONTEXTPopular Modes of Resistance to OppressionAn Ideology of ResistanceJesus in His Apocalyptic Context17. JESUS, THE APOCALYPTIC PROPHETThe Apocalyptic Deeds of JesusThe Apocalyptic Teachings of JesusThe Apocalyptic Death of Jesus18. FROM JESUS TO THE GOSPELSThe Beginning of ChristianityJesus' Resurrection from an Apocalyptic PerspectiveJesus' Death, according to the ScripturesThe Emergence of Different Understandings of Jesus19. LUKE'S SECOND VOLUME: THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLESThe Genre of Acts and Its SignificanceThe Thematic Approach to ActsFrom Gospel to Acts: The Opening TransitionThemes in the Speeches in ActsConclusion: The Author and His Themes in Context20. PAUL THE APOSTLE: THE MAN AND HIS MISSIONThe Study of Paul: Methodological DifficultiesThe Life of Paul21. PAUL AND HIS APOSTOLIC MISSION: 1 THESSALONIANS AS A TEST CASEThe Founding of the Church in ThessalonicaThe Beginnings of the Thessalonian Church: A Socio-Historical PerspectiveThe Church at Thessalonica after Paul's DepartureConclusion: Paul the Apostle22. PAUL AND THE CRISES OF HIS CHURCHES: 1 AND 2 CORINTHIANS, GALATIANS, PHILIPPIANS, AND PHILEMON1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatiansPhilippiansPhilemon23. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL: THE LETTER TO THE ROMANSThe Occasion and Purpose of the LetterThe Theme of the EpistlePauline Models for SalvationThe Flow of Paul's ArgumentConclusion: Paul and the Romans24. DOES THE TRADITION MISCARRY? PAUL IN RELATION TO JESUS, JAMES, THECLA, AND THEUDASPaul in Relation to What Came BeforePaul in Relation to What Came AfterConclusion: Pauline Christianities.25. IN THE WAKE OF THE APOSTLE: THE DEUTERO-PAULINE AND PASTORAL EPISTLESPseudonymity in the Ancient WorldThe Deutero-Pauline EpistlesThe Pastoral EpistlesThe Historical Situation and Authorship of the Pastoral EpistlesConclusion: The Post-Pauline Pastoral Epistles26. FROM PAUL'S FEMALE COLLEAGUES TO THE PASTOR'S INTIMIDATED WOMEN: THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN IN EARLY CHRISTIANITYWomen in Paul's ChurchesWomen Associated with JesusPaul's Understanding of Women in the ChurchWomen in the Aftermath of PaulAncient Ideologies of GenderGender Ideology and the Pauline Churches27. CHRISTIANS AND JEWS: HEBREWS, BARNABAS, AND LATER ANTI-JEWISH LITERATUREEarly Christian Self-DefinitionContinuity and Superiority: The Epistle to the HebrewsDiscontinuity and Supremacy: The Epistle of BarnabasConclusion: The Rise of Christian Anti-Judaism28. CHRISTIANS AND PAGANS: 1 PETER, THE LETTERS OF IGNATIUS, THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP, AND LATER APOLOGETIC LITERATUREThe Persecution of the Early ChristiansChristians in a Hostile World: The Letter of 1 PeterChristians Sentenced to Death: The Letters of IgnatiusChristians before the Tribunal: The Martyrdom of PolycarpChristians on the Defensive: The Later Apologetic Literature29. CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANS: JAMES, THE DIDACHE, POLYCARP, 1 CLEMENT, JUDE, AND 2 PETERThe Epistle of JamesThe DidachePolycarp's Letter to the Philippians1 ClementJude2 PeterConclusion: Conflicts within the Early Christian Communities30. CHRISTIANS AND THE COSMOS: THE REVELATION OF JOHN, THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS, AND THE APOCALYPSE OF PETERIntroduction: The End of the World and the Revelation of JohnThe Content and Structure of the Book of RevelationThe Book of Revelation from a Historical PerspectiveApocalyptic Worldviews and Apocalypse GenreThe Revelation of John in Historical ContextThe Shepherd of HermasThe Apocalypse of PeterGlossary of TermsIndex: Index

Editorial Reviews

"The New Testament is truly a remarkable accumulation of scholarship. Ehrman's ability to convey a message to students, of all levels, is unsurpassed by any other secondary source or textbook." --Randall W. Holste, Wake Technical Community College