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The New Testament Cover Image
The New Testament, 4/e
Stephen Harris, California State University - Sacramento

Table of Contents

Part I. An Invitation to the New Testament

1. An Overview of the New Testament Key Topics/Themes / What Is the New Testament? / The New Testament and the Hebrew Bible / Testament and Covenant / The Septuagint / Language and Literature of the New Testament / Other Early Christian Literature / Scholarly Approaches to the New Testament

2. How the New Testament Was Formed and Handed Down to Us Key Topics/Themes / Formation of the New Testament Canon / Transmitting the New Testament Texts / English Translations

3. The Two Worlds in Which Christianity Originated: Jewish and Greek Key Topics/Themes / The One God, Yahweh / The Torah / The Divine Promises / The Jerusalem Temple / The World of Greek Thought and Culture / Greek Philosophy / Greco-Roman Religion / The Mystery Religions

4. The Troubled World Into Which Jesus Was Born Key Topics/Themes / Alexander and His Successors / Antiochus’s Persecution and the Maccabean Revolt / The Roman Emperors / The Jewish Revolt Against Rome

5. The Diverse World of First-Century Judaisms Key Themes / First-Century Jewish Diversity / The Messiah: First-Century Expectations / Messianic Claimants Before and After Jesus

Part II. Contrasting Portraits of Jesus

6. The Gospels: Form and Purpose Key Themes / The Gospels and Modern Scholarship / Assumptions and Approaches / The Synoptic Problem / The Gospel of John / Literary Analysis of the Gospels

7. Mark’s Portrait of Jesus: The Hidden Messiah and Eschatological Judge Key Themes / The Gospel According to Mark / Mark’s Historical Setting / Mark as a Literary Narrative / Inaugurating the Kingdom: The Galilean Ministry / The Journey to Jerusalem: Jesus’ Predestined Suffering / The Jerusalem Ministry: A Week of Sacred Time / Mark’s Passion Narrative: Jesus’ Trial and Crucifixion / Postlude: The Empty Tomb

8. Matthew’s Portrait of Jesus: The Great Teacher Key Themes / The Gospel According to Matthew / Relation to the Hebrew Bible / Authorship, Purpose, Sources, and Organization / Introduction to the Messiah: Infancy Narrative / The Beginning of Jesus’ Proclamation / First Major Discourse: The Sermon on the Mount / First Narrative Section: Ten Miracles / Second Major Discourse: Instructions to the Twelve Apostles / Second Narrative Section: Questions and Controversies / Third Major Discourse: Parables on the Kingdom / Third Narrative Section: From the Rejection in Nazareth to the Transfiguration / Fourth Major Discourse: Instructions to the Church / Fourth Narrative Section: The Jerusalem Ministry / Fifth Major Discourse: Warnings of Final Judgment / Fifth and Final Narrative Section: The Passion Story and Resurrection

9. Luke’s Portrait of Jesus: A Savior for “All Nations” Key Themes / The Gospel According to Luke / The Author and His Sources / Infancy Narratives of the Baptist and Jesus / Jesus’ Galilean Ministry and the “Lesser Interpolation” / Luke’s Travel Narrative: Jesus’ Teachings on the Journey to Jerusalem / The Jerusalem Ministry: Jesus’ Challenge to the Holy City / The Final Conflict and Passion Story / Epilog: Postresurrection Appearances in the Vicinity of Jerusalem

10. John’s Portrait of Jesus: Divine Wisdom Made Flesh Key Themes / The Gospel According to John / Authorship / Hymn to the Word (Logos) / The Book of Signs / The Book of Glory / John’s Interpretation of the Passion / Epilog: Postresurrection Appearances in Galilee

11. The Other Gospels: Additional Portraits of Jesus Key Topics/Themes / The Gospel of Thomas / Secret Mark / The Gospel of Peter / Gospels about Jesus’ Infancy and Childhood / Multiple Views of Jesus

12. The Continuing Quest for the Historical Jesus Key Themes / Early Historical References to Jesus / A Survey of the Historical Search for the “Real” Jesus / Renewing the Quest / The Continuing Scholarly Debate / Some Criteria for Testing the Authenticity of Jesus’ Word and Deeds / A Non-Apocalyptic Wisdom Teacher / Some General Agreements About the Historical Jesus / Jesus’ Teaching About the Kingdom / Wisdom and the Kingdom of God


13. Acts of the Apostles Key Themes / The Divine Plan of Humanity’s Salvation / Prolog and Account of the Ascension / Founding the Jerusalem Church / The Work of Peter and the Apostles / Persecution of the Hellenist-Jewish Christians: The First Missions / Preparation for the Gentile Mission: The Recruitment of Paul and Cornelius / The First Missionary Journey of Barnabus and Paul: The Jerusalem Conference / Paul’s Second Missionary Journey: Evangelizing Greece / Paul’s Third Missionary Journey: Revisiting Asia Minor and Greece / Paul’s Arrest in Jerusalem and Imprisonment in Caesarea / Paul’s Journey to Rome and His Preaching to Roman Jews


14. Paul: Apostle to the Nations Key Themes / Seeking the Historical Paul / The Historical Reliability of Acts / Paul’s Experience of the Risen Jesus / Dating Paul’s Career / Paul’s Letters / Paul’s Major Assumptions and Concerns

15. Unity, Freedom, and Christ’s Return: Paul’s Letters to Thessalonica and Corinth Key Themes / First Letter to the Thessalonians / First Letter to the Corinthians / Second Letter to the Corinthians

16. Freedom from Law and Justification by Faith: Galatians and Romans Key Themes / An Angry Letter to the “Stupid” Galatians / Letter to the Romans

17. Letters from Prison: Philippians and Philemon Key Themes / Place of Origin / Letter to the Philippians / Letter to Philemon / Paul’s Lasting Influence

18. Continuing the Pauline Tradition: 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, the Pastoral Epistles, 1 Clement, and the Epistle of Barnabas Key Themes / The Problem of Pseudonymity / Second Letter to the Thessalonians / A Disputed Letter to the Colossians / Letter to the Ephesians / The Pastorals: Letters to Timothy and Titus / The Pastor’s Contribution / The Epistle of Barnabus


19. General Letters on Faith and Behavior: Hebrews, the Catholic Epistles, and the Teaching (Didache) of the Twelve Apostles Key Topics/Themes / Authors and Dates / The Book of Hebrews / James / 1 Peter / Letter of Jude / 2 Peter / Letters from the Johannine Community / The Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles)

20. Continuing the Apocalyptic Hope: The Book of Revelation Key Topics/Themes / Revelation and the Apocalyptic Tradition / Jesus’ Letters to the Seven Churches / Visions in Heaven / Signs in Heaven: The Woman, the Dragon, the Beast, and the Seven Plagues / Other Hellenistic Jewish and Christian Apocalypses / The Apocalypse of Peter and the Shift from Cosmic to Personal Eschatology

21. The Judeo-Christian Bible and Subsequent History The Evolution of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Greek Scriptures / Constantine the Great / The Church and the Secular World / Shocks and Readjustments

At the end of each chapter:


Questions for Review

Questions for Discussion and Reflection

Terms and Concepts to Remember

Recommended Reading