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The New Testament And Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader

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The twenty-seven books of the New Testament were not the only writings produced by early Christians. Nor were they the only ones to be accepted, at one time or another, as sacred Scripture. Unfortunately, nearly all the other early Christian writings have been lost or destroyed. But approximately twenty-five books written at about the same time as the New Testament have sur The twenty-seven books of the New Testament were not the only writings produced by early Christians. Nor were they the only ones to be accepted, at one time or another, as sacred Scripture. Unfortunately, nearly all the other early Christian writings have been lost or destroyed. But approximately twenty-five books written at about the same time as the New Testament have survived, books that reveal the rich diversity of early Christian views about God, Jesus, the world, salvation, ethics, and ritual practice. This reader presents, for the first time in one volume, every Christian writing known to have been produced during the first hundred years of the church (30-130 C.E.). In addition to the New Testament itself, it includes other early non-canonical Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses, as well as additional important writings, such as those of the Apostolic Fathers. Each text is provided in an up-to-date and readable translation (including the NRSV for the New Testament), and introduced with a succinct and incisive discussion of its author, date of composition, and overarching themes. With an opening overview which shows how the canon of the New Testament came to be formulated-- the process by which some Christian books came to be regarded as sacred Scripture whereas others came to be excluded--this accessible reader will meet the needs of students, scholars, and general readers alike. An ideal primary text for courses in the New Testament, Christian Origins, and Early Church History, it can be used in conjunction with a companion volume, the author's The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 2/e (OUP, 1999).


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The twenty-seven books of the New Testament were not the only writings produced by early Christians. Nor were they the only ones to be accepted, at one time or another, as sacred Scripture. Unfortunately, nearly all the other early Christian writings have been lost or destroyed. But approximately twenty-five books written at about the same time as the New Testament have sur The twenty-seven books of the New Testament were not the only writings produced by early Christians. Nor were they the only ones to be accepted, at one time or another, as sacred Scripture. Unfortunately, nearly all the other early Christian writings have been lost or destroyed. But approximately twenty-five books written at about the same time as the New Testament have survived, books that reveal the rich diversity of early Christian views about God, Jesus, the world, salvation, ethics, and ritual practice. This reader presents, for the first time in one volume, every Christian writing known to have been produced during the first hundred years of the church (30-130 C.E.). In addition to the New Testament itself, it includes other early non-canonical Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses, as well as additional important writings, such as those of the Apostolic Fathers. Each text is provided in an up-to-date and readable translation (including the NRSV for the New Testament), and introduced with a succinct and incisive discussion of its author, date of composition, and overarching themes. With an opening overview which shows how the canon of the New Testament came to be formulated-- the process by which some Christian books came to be regarded as sacred Scripture whereas others came to be excluded--this accessible reader will meet the needs of students, scholars, and general readers alike. An ideal primary text for courses in the New Testament, Christian Origins, and Early Church History, it can be used in conjunction with a companion volume, the author's The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 2/e (OUP, 1999).

30 review for The New Testament And Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader

  1. 5 out of 5

    Russell Fox

    This was a fine introductory collection of early Christian writings; I didn't read all the way through it, but rather skipped the canonized New Testament books focused on and those apocryphal and devotional texts that I hadn't already seen (quite a few, as it turns out, and as this volume's editorial conceit was to stick solely to writings which the scholarly literature is united in place in the first century of the Christian church, there's a lot more out there for me to get at). Of all of thos This was a fine introductory collection of early Christian writings; I didn't read all the way through it, but rather skipped the canonized New Testament books focused on and those apocryphal and devotional texts that I hadn't already seen (quite a few, as it turns out, and as this volume's editorial conceit was to stick solely to writings which the scholarly literature is united in place in the first century of the Christian church, there's a lot more out there for me to get at). Of all of those, my favorites were the Acts of Paul and Thecla--a really wonderful and even inspiring story of a female disciple of Paul who faces harassment and persecution for leaving behind her fiance and role in society, and is miraculously protected (and who baptizes herself along the way!)--and the Preaching of Peter, which includes a great line condemning wealth. Anyway, as I continue my way into the apostolic and church and desert fathers and mothers, I'm glad to include a variety of apocryphal writings as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Read 4th edition written in 2008. Superb & fascinating introductory text to the New Testament from a historical perspective. I supplemented my reading with an audio lecture series presented by Dr. Ehrman from 2000, and of course my own Bible for reading passages that were discussed at length. Hope to read more from this author along with recommended readings in the text.. May be a little too ambitious but what the heh?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bob

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    Catherine F. Gill

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