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Chapter 1. An Overview of the New Testament. Key Topics/Themes. New Testament: twenty-seven documents Four Gospels A church history Letters An apocalypse Other Christian documents Diversity of early Jesus movement. What Is the New Testament?. The New Testament as “scripture”

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Chapter 1

An Overview of the New Testament

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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Key Topics/Themes

  • New Testament: twenty-seven documents

  • Four Gospels

  • A church history

  • Letters

  • An apocalypse

  • Other Christian documents

  • Diversity of early Jesus movement

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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What Is the New Testament?

  • The New Testament as “scripture”

  • Appreciating the cultural world of the New Testament

    • A society far different from ours

    • The Jewish world of Jesus: Palestine

    • An agrarian, peasant society

    • Interaction of Palestinian Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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The New Testament and the Hebrew Bible

  • Relationship between the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible

  • The Hebrew Bible as Scripture for early Christians

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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Testament and Covenant

  • The nature of the covenant with Yahweh in the Hebrew Bible

  • The promise of a “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31)

  • Jesus’ declaration of a new covenant

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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The Septuagint

  • Written in Alexandria, Egypt

  • Beginning about 250 B.C.E.

  • Legend in the Letter of Aristeas

  • Abbreviation: LXX

  • Standard biblical text for Jews in New Testament period

  • Version most frequently quoted in New Testament

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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Language and Literature of the New Testament

  • Koinē Greek

  • New Testament literary forms

    • Gospel

    • Church history

    • Letters, or epistles

    • Apocalyptic literature

    • Subgenres within New Testament books

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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Diversity and Unity in the New Testament Documents

  • Early Christians ethnically and theologically diverse

  • Gentile Christians

  • Jewish Christians

  • Community of the Gospel of John

  • Pseudonymous works

  • Diverse views toward Roman authority

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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Other Early Christian Literature

  • Struggle for orthodoxy and contents of the New Testament

  • Diverse interpretations of importance of Jesus in God’s plan

  • The Gospel of Thomas

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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Scholarly Approaches to the New Testament

  • Scholarly vs. devotional approaches

  • Development of analytical methods for biblical research

  • Biblical criticism

  • Coordinating critical methodologies and spiritual concerns

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education

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  • New Testament

    • Greek documents

    • Written ca. 50-140 C.E.

  • Hebrew Bible (Tanak)

  • Other Christian documents

  • Diversity of early Christianity

  • Importance of scholarly analysis

©McGraw-Hill Higher Education