An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity


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Table of Contents

Part I. Historical and Religious Background: 1. Introduction; 2. Jews among Greeks and Romans; 3. Religion of Second-Temple Judaism; 4. Varieties of Second-Temple Judaism; 5. Jewish hopes for the future; 6. Hellenistic religion, philosophy, and world-view; 7. An overview of Early Christian history; 8. The making of the New Testament; Part II. Jesus and the Gospels: 9. Introduction to the Gospels; 10. The dynoptic problem; 11. The Gospel of Mark; 12. The Gospel of Matthew; 13. The Gospel of Luke; 14. The Gospel of John; 15. The apocryphal Jesus; 16. The quest for the historical Jesus; Part III. Acts: 17. The Book of Acts; Part IV. Pauline Christianity: 18. Paul, his letters, and his churches; 19. Gentiles and the law (1): Galatians; 20. Gentiles and the law (2): Romans; 21. Problems of church life: 1 Corinthians; 22. Problems of church life: 2 Corinthians; 23. The imminent Parousia: 1 and 2 Thessalonians; 24. Prison epistles (1): Philippians and Philemon; 25. Prison epistles (2): Colossians and Ephesians; Part V. Judaic Christianity: 26. Judaic Christianity; 27. The letter of James; 28. The Didache; Part VI. Gnostic Christianity: 29. Gnostic Christianity; 30. The Gospel of Thomas; Part VII. Proto-Orthodox Christianity: 31. Proto-Orthodox Christianity; 32. Conflict within the church (1): 1 Clement; 33. Conflict within the church (2): Pastoral Epistles; 34. Conflict within the church (3): Jude and 2 Peter; 35. Conflict within the church (4): Johannine Epistles; 36. Conflict within the church (5): Letters of Ignatius; 37. Relation of Christianity to Judaism (1): Hebrews; 38. Relation of Christianity to Judaism (2): Epistle of Barnabas; 39. Conflict with the Roman World (1): 1 Peter; 40. Conflict with the Roman World (2): Revelation; Appendixes: 1. Lucian on sacrifice; 2. The Essenes; 3. Jewish Messianic hopes; 4. Divine men and their births; 5. Apotheoses; 6. Miracle stories in the ancient world; 7. The infancy Gospel of Thomas; 8. The Gospel of Peter; 9. The Didache; 10. Selections from the Gospel of Thomas; 11. Selections from 1 Clement; 12. Selections from the epistle of Barnabas; 13. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 1-9; 14. Conflict with Rome.

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This textbook, first published in 2002, offers an authoritative and accessible introduction to the New Testament and early Christian literature.

About the Author

Delbert Burkett has degrees from Harvard and Duke, with a specialization in New Testament and Christian Origins. He has taught religious studies at a number of colleges and universities, currently serving as Associate Professor at Louisiana State University. His most recent book, The Son of Man Debate: A History and Evaluation (Cambridge, 1999) has received critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Other works include articles for New Testament Studies and Novum Testamentum. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for New Testament Studies.


'Burkett's writing is lucid and very accessible, and the layout is well-designed, using headings, black-and-white illustrations, text boxes, and questions for discussion and revision.' Church Times 'This is a text-book for a one-semester undergraduate course and it is well written for such students ... Burkett's style is well targeted at his intended audience, and he supports his presentation with discussion questions and brief suggestions for further reading at the end of each of the book's forty chapters.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review 'It provides an introduction to all the New Testament books and major Apostolic writings, set in clear frameworks which enable the student to place each book within the development of early Christianity. Its advantages are many: careful explanation of the vocabulary of biblical scholarship, an appendix of illustrative texts, well-stated discussions providing a firm foundation for later examination, reading guides and a near integration of different critical methods. It is by far the most useful and balanced introduction to the study of the literature of early Christianity published recently.' Expository Times 'I would certainly recommend this book as a basic introductory work for 'A' Level students and 1st year undergraduates.' Susan Docherty, Scripture Bulletin '... well-presented, lucidly written ... this volume offers an excellent and easy to understand overview of the current state of historical critical research ...'. Themelios 2003 'The only thing misleading about Linda Woodhead's Introduction to Christianity is its over-modest title. While it does indeed provide a highly readable over-view of the religion for beginners, it also has a huge amount to offer readers who already know a good deal about the topic. Dr Woodhead impresses by her knowledge of history and politics as well as theology and conventional 'religious studies' approaches - not to mention her admirable sense of fairness throughout. This lucidly written Introduction deserves the widest possible audience.' Philip Jenkins '... this work fills an important niche in the market. Burkett's survey is well suited for those seeking to assign a single textbook for a one semester introduction course that provides a broad overview of the New Testament and Christian origins ...'. Reviews in Religion and Theology '... clear, illuminating and thought-provoking.' Scripture Bulletin 'His book is clearly written, analytical and well illustrated. Its accessible style and graphic representations - mostly black and white pictures, and maps - are meant to benefit students and their teachers in universities, seminaries and colleges, and anyone interested in the origins of Christianity. The clarity of ideas, well-organised structure and non-technical language of the book make it a very readable and good introduction to a subject characterised by depth and difficult questions.' Evangelical Quarterly 'This book is written in an extremely lucid, uncluttered style. It is well illustrated throughout ...'. Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology

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