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The New Testament


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Table of Contents

Introduction: 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 1: 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 TextPhoto Essay 1: Ancient Manuscripts of the New Testament3. 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 Groups5. From Oral Traditions to Written GospelsOral Traditions behind the GospelsThe Earliest Christian GospelsThe Question of GenreBiography as a Greco-Roman GenreThe Gospels as Ancient BiographiesExcursus 2: Some Additional Reflections: The Authors ofthe Gospels6. 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 Readers7. The Synoptic Problem and Its Significance for InterpretationMethods for Studying the GospelsThe Synoptic ProblemThe Methodological Significance of the Four-Source Hypothesis8. 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 Readers9. 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 Perspective10. Jesus, the Man Sent from Heaven: TheGospel 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 GospelExcursus 3: Methods of Ideological Criticism11. 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 MethodBeyond the Johannine Community: The Rise of Christian GnosticismMajor Views of Various Gnostic GroupsGnostics and the Johannine Community12. Jesus from Different Perspectives: Other Gospels in Early ChristianityNarrative GospelsMarcion's GospelSayings GospelsInfancy GospelsPassion GospelsConclusion: The Other Gospels13. 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 JesusExcursus 4: The Historian and the Problem of Miracles14. Jesus in ContextPopular Modes of Resistance to OppressionAn Ideology of ResistanceJesus in His Apocalyptic ContextPhoto Essay 2: The Material World ofJesus and the Gospels15. Jesus, the Apocalyptic ProphetThe Apocalyptic Deeds of JesusThe Apocalyptic Teachings of JesusThe Apocalyptic Death of Jesus16. From Jesus to the GospelsThe Beginning of ChristianityJesus' Resurrection from an Apocalyptic PerspectiveJesus' Death, According to the ScripturesThe Emergence of Different Understandings of Jesus17. 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 ContextExcursus 5: The Author of Luke-Acts and His Audience18. Paul the Apostle: The Man and His MissionThe Study of Paul: Methodological DifficultiesThe Life of Paul19. 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 Apostle20. Paul and the Crises of His Churches: 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatiansPhilippiansPhilemon21. 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 RomansPhotoEssay 3: The Cities and Roads of Paul22. 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 Christianities23. 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 Epistles24. 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 Churches25. Christians and Jews: Hebrews,Barnabas, and Later Anti-Jewish LiteratureEarly Christian Self-DefinitionContinuity and Superiority: The Epistle to the HebrewsDiscontinuity and Supremacy: TheEpistle of BarnabasConclusion: The Rise of Christian Anti-JudaismExcursus 6: The Digital Bible26. Christians and Pagans: 1 Peter, the Letters of Ignatius, theMartyrdom 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: TheMartyrdom of PolycarpChristians on the Defensive: The Later Apologetic Literature27. Christians and Christians: James, theDidache, Polycarp,1 Clement,Jude, and 2 PeterThe Epistle of JamesTheDidachePolycarp's Letter to the Philippians1 Clement2 PeterConclusion: Conflicts within the Early Christian Communities28. Christians and the Cosmos: The Revelation of John,The Shepherdof Hermas, and theApocalypse 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 the Apocalypse GenreThe Revelation of John in Historical ContextThe Shepherdof HermasThe Apocalypse of PeterGlossary of TermsIndex

About the Author

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 six New York Times best sellers. His publications include The Bible, Second Edition (2017), A Brief Introduction to the New Testament, Fourth Edition (2016), and After the New Testament, Second Edition (2014), all published by Oxford University Press.


The depth of the scholarship and the exhaustive content in The New Testament is impressive. The exploration of the New Testament documents from a historical and exegetical perspective is invaluable. Ehrman's writing style is engaging, conversationalist, and easy to follow. I can imagine him in a conversation with his students as he wrote the book. * William Rodriguez, Bethune Cookman University *
Excellent. The book's main strengths are its impeccable scholarship and clarity of explanation. It's the only textbook I use in any course. * Corrie Norman, University of Wisconsin-Madison *
The New Testament draws from a rich consultation with numerous resources, aptly distributed, so that Ehrman gives a nod to all parties, policies, and nuances. His prose style is substantive and accessible and his treatment of theological platforms is respectfully acknowledged. The book's advantage is its appeal to 21st-century students. * Doris Plantus, Oakland University *

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