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

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Oxford University Press, 1997 - Bible - 437 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 shying 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 literature, and 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 Judaism. 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, and the letters of Ignatius. Instead of simply setting forth scholarly views without explanations, Ehrman includes the evidence that scholars 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 is an accessible, clearly written introduction that encourages students to consider the historical issues surrounding these writings.

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User Review  - John_Warner - LibraryThing

NYT-bestseller and University of North Carolina professor provides an academic, but easily understandable treatise of the New Testament. He skillfully sets the scene for the historical Jesus through ... Read full review

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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


The Early Christians and Their Literature
The World of Early Christian Traditions

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About the author (1997)

New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and graduated from Wheaton College in 1978. He earned his Masters of Divinity and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and has taught at Rutgers University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor. He has published more than 20 scholarly and popular books, including three New York Times bestsellers, plus numerous articles and book reviews.

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