The New Testament: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199735709

Luke Timothy Johnson
160 Pages
112 x 173 mm
Pub date
Apr 2010
Very Short Introductions


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  • Written by an acclaimed scholar of the New Testament.
  • Accessible to general readers as well as students.
  • Both a positive and a critical reading of the New Testament.

As part of the Christian Bible, the New Testament is at once widely influential and (especially among the young and the educated) increasingly unknown. Those who want to know the basics can find in this introduction the sort of information that locates these ancient writings in their historical and literary context. Those who want to learn why these compositions have had such impact can find here an appreciation for the religious experiences of the first Christians that forced them to reinterpret their Jewish and Greek heritage and reshape their symbolic world. In addition to providing the broad conceptual and factual framework for the New Testament —- including the process by which distinct compositions became a sacred book —- this introduction provides as well a more detailed examination of specific compositions that have had particularly strong influence, including Paul's letters to the Corinthians and Romans, the four Gospels, and the Book of Revelation.


List of illustrations

1. Approaching the New Testament
2. The New Testament and history
3. The resurrection experience
4. The process of interpretation
5. Literary forms
6. The Synoptic Gospels
7. Paul and his letters
8. Two hidden treasures
9. Johannine literature
10. Becoming the New Testament
11. The pertinence of the New Testament
The canonical arrangement of the New Testament
Further reading
Index of biblical passages

About the author: 

Luke Timothy Johnson, a former Benedictine monk, received his Ph.D. in the New Testament from Yale in 1976. He has taught at Yale Divinity School and Indiana University, and is currently the Robert W. Woodruff Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

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