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The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. November 2007

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"Quite simply excellent; this text has become the standard text for introductory New Testament courses. Ehrman's prose is fluid, sophisticated, and engaging. At the same time that he presents material accurately, he avoids unnecessarily technical vocabulary and writes in a way that engages undergraduate readers."--Jeremy Schott, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Featuring vibrant full color throughout, this new edition of Bart Ehrman's highly successful 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, showing why scholars continue to argue over such significant issues as how the books of the New Testament came into being, when they were written (and by whom), what they mean, how they relate to contemporary Christian and non-Christian literature, and how they came to be collected into the canon of scripture that we now call the New Testament. Distinctive to this study is its unique focus on the historical, literary, and religious milieux of the Greco-Roman world, including early Judaism. As part of its historical orientation, the book 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.The text is enhanced by maps, timelines, an extensive text box program, and more than one hundred photos.

An accompanying Instructor's Manual contains chapter summaries, discussion questions, and a test bank. An updated Website Study Guide provides chapter summaries, glossary terms, and self-quizzes for students.New to this edition: * Coverage of new discoveries--including the Gospel of Judas Iscariot--and of recent advances in scholarship * A revised discussion of the history of Palestine and Judaism, which now appears much earlier in the book (Chapter 3), thereby providing students with more background on the development of early Christianity at the outset of their studies * A new photo essay on important Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, ten new text boxes, a revised epilogue, and updated suggestions for further reading * An expanded glossary featuring more than 200 key terms, which are also listed at the end of each chapter in which they appear * Key terms appear in boldface type the first time they are used in each chapter * Vivid full color throughout 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, Fourth Edition, encourages students to carefully consider the historical issues surrounding these writings.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 112 Rezensionen
263 von 285 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Dream-textbook for teaching the New Testament 12. Dezember 1999
Von Stephen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Bart Ehrman's 'The New Testament' is a superb work for teachers seeking to assign their students a readable, reliable, and challenging introduction to the history of earliest Christianity and its literature. Incidentally, it would also be a fine first stop for intelligent readers who want to know what historians of early Christianity are saying about the birth of this religion and the origins of the New Testament. The work is engagingly written, with an occasional and not inappropriate first-person, and it has the merit of representing balanced, critical positions in the much debated-territory of New Testament studies. Ehrman's disinclination to accept a variety of trendy and dubious by-ways in New Testamental studies can be seen in his treatment of three areas. First, while not neglecting the Greco-Roman context, he positions Jesus squarely in the Jewish context and sees him as an apocalyptic teaching bent on internal reform of Judaism. Miracles are part of the picture, as they were for other charismatic Jewish teachers of the time (cf. the work of Geza Vermes). Ehrman declines to follow the scholars who with zeal and imagination claim to sort out editorial levels (and the communities or theological trajectories) in the hypothetical 'Q' document ('Q' = German 'Quelle' or 'source', i.e., the hypothetical sayings source lying behind the commonalities in Matthew and Luke and not in Mark). Thirdly in this regard, Ehrman refuses the common move of positing the existence of gnostic Christianity (or any 'gnosticism) prior to the first hard evidence for it in the late first or early second century. So this is a book that you can trust to pass on the generally accepted theories and to reject the more speculative moves of the field. For those interested in using this work as a textbook in a New Testament or Early Christianity course, I recommend it highly, having used it for two years in a row with excellent results. It is very readable, has something of a personal tone, and includes Ehrman's own attempts to explain the process of learning to students, e.g., his claim that one learn by comparison. There is a 'history of religions' strain to the book, which comes out in his insistence on religion as an aspect of culture and human life, as well as in his recognition (commonplace in the field) of early Christianity having consisted in a variety of early Christianities. The book comes with nice illustrations, maps, reproductions of ancient art, etc. (limited to B&W, no doubt to keep the price down). The book has what to me is the merit of posing challenging historical questions about early Christianity that make students think hard about religion. At the same time Ehrman, according to his own design, is theologically neutral. He does not feel compared to do theology (or undo theology!) for his readers; he merely states largely accepted theories which the reader or professor is free to use as a basis for developing his or her own questions, be they theological or historical. Would that we had a text of this sort for teaching an introduction to the Hebrew Bible!
114 von 123 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A HISTORICAL Perspective 28. Juli 2005
Von The Spinozanator - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In my view, Bart Ehrman writes with more clarity and strength than any other New Testament scholar. I have heard him speak, listened to his tapes and read his books. He exudes competency, frequently reminding us that his conclusions are those of a historian - then spends a little time explaining what that means. In the case of "The New Testament," it means he will examine authorship issues, content and revelancy of the various gospels, letters and apocolypses - inside or outside of the canon - differently than they might be examined from the pulpit. For example, issues of dogma are extensively discussed, but not endorsed nor advocated. Instead, they are examined for consistency within the whole context of the other books and the political setting in which the early church solidified its views. As a matter of fact, he is so non-committal it is impossible to tell exactly where he stands - although it is obvious he takes a liberal stance of some sort.

I had more than my share of fundamentalist preaching, yet values at home were those of inquiry and evidence toward the world in general. Ehrman's approach is more to my liking than reiteration of a dogma I've already heard, documented by passages from scripture pre-selected to prove a certain view. He compares the gospels, discusses the nuances of their differing themes and considers their probable authorship. The letters are treated similarly and the book of Revelations is subjected to a fascinating analysis. Consider the New Testament subjected to the kind of scrutiny one of Shakespeare's plays might receive from a college professor of western world literature - in which speculation is kept to a minimum and explanation is made as to the historical context of the story.

For example, he compares the teachings of the historical Jesus with the theological views of the apostle Paul: "Jesus proclaimed the imminent arrival of a cosmic judge from heaven, the Son of Man, and urged his followers to prepare by repenting and returning to a faithful adherence to God's law. Paul, on the other hand, insisted that following the Law would have no bearing on one's salvation, that in fact one could be saved only through faith in Christ's death and resurrection. Notwithstanding the broad similarities between these two men, both of them first-century apocalyptic Jews, their differences are striking. Do Jesus and Paul represent the same religion? Or has Paul transformed the religion OF Jesus into the religion ABOUT Jesus?"

Perhaps not for all readers, but certainly for that segment of curious Christians or non-Christians who wish to be exposed to a scholarly account of issues surrounding the New Testament - from a historical point of view - this is your book.
361 von 422 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von J. C. Bailey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is well written and closely argued, but as an introduction to the subject matter it fails on at least one important level: Unlike, say, John Drane's "Introduction to the New Testament" or Raymond Brown's more detailed overview from the Catholic perspective, Ehrman does not introduce us to a representative sample of scholarly thought. Instead it mainly argues the case for Ehrman's own position, and in the process it takes for granted certain assumptions that are more widely contested than he seems willing to admit. In other words, there is a tendency to cite opinions that other equally reputable scholars would contest as though they were established fact.
Another difficulty with using this book as an introduction to the subject is that Ehrman does not give the reader enough assistance in investigating his influences and antecedents. He makes some quite radical assertions (e.g. challenging the traditional view that the oral traditions of pre-literate societies tend to be transmitted reliably) without the conventional footnotes quoting authorities and sources. Apart from some general further reading suggestions at the end of chapters, Ehrman's assertions along the lines that "recent research has shown" or "it is now accepted" have to be taken on his say-so alone.
Actually, Ehrman's antecedents are fairly obvious to anyone who has read theology - he continues the tradition of 19th century liberals like Wrede (and their 20th century disciples like Bultmann) who drew a sharp distinction between (i) the Jesus of history and (ii) the Christ of the Church's faith, and assumes that the Bible can only inform us about the latter. And yet this view is already past its sell-by date; from the systematic reconstructions of Tom Wright at the conservative end of the spectrum to the liberal "cherry-picking" of the Jesus Seminar, the energies of the critical community are heavily focused on a "Third Quest" for the historical Jesus. There is nothing instrinsically wrong with Ehrman's scholarship, but once again it is one-sided.
A more serious issue is that Ehrman goes a stage beyond Reimarus, Wrede and so on in his assumptions that first century Christian thought was at least as heterodox as we know second century thought to have been, that the ascendancy of the orthodox "brand" of Christianity was simply by a process of natural selection, and that generations of "proto-orthodox" NT redactors constantly and consciously changed and added to the texts as they went along - their intention being to filter out any ideas that seemed to challenge their prejudices and to provide ammunition in the fight against "heresy". This position is not systematically spelled out in the book under review (for that, see one of Ehrman's other books, "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture"), but it needs stating here because these assumptions inform his whole approach to the subject.
This is more radical than it may sound, because it would imply that the four canonical Gospels are not necessarily any more authoritative as insights into the historical Jesus than the Gnostic and other apocryphal writings of the second century such as the "Gospel of Thomas". In fact, the very starting point for Ehrman's main discourse is the non-uniqueness of the traditionally-supposed key points of Jesus' life: He begins by recounting the miraculous birth, life, death and resurrection of a man the readers is allowed to assume is Jesus, but then (surprise!) turns out to be Appollonius of Tyana, a mythical miracle worker whose exploits are chronicled in the "histories" of Philostratus.
Ehrman's book has many good points. Its discussion of Marcan priority is the most lucid summary I have read, and its assessment of the historical background to each of the biblical Gospels and the Pauline writings is also outstanding. My problems with the book arise from its shuttered perspective. In the context of a more open discussion, and with greater care in documenting his sources, the author could have argued his own opinions just as coherently and with less danger of giving the inexperienced student a one-sided view of the issues.
31 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Basic Text about the New Testament 21. Januar 2006
Von Smallchief - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Author Ehrman's "The New Testament" seems to be designed as a textbook for advanced undergraduates. Thus, the writing is accessible and informative rather than inciting and exciting. Ehrman goes through the books of the New Testament systematically, examining the origin and meaning of each. He looks also at some of the writings and traditions that didn't make the "cut" and were excluded. The book contains a goodly number of maps and illustrations. In the wake of the "Da Vinci Code" women will be pleased to see a chapter about women in early Christianity -- although the most famous of them, Mary Magdalene, gets only one mention.

The book is clearly written; the author does not intrude his own beliefs; and the scholarship seems sound. Whether intended or not, Ehrman reinforces my suspicion that Christianity might better be called Paulism, as the Apostle seems to have taken the early Church in directions that its symbolic founder could hardly have envisioned -- and perhaps would not have sanctioned.

For the believer, the greatest miracle of all is that this religion headed by an obscure Jewish peasant and his rag-tag followers survived and flourished. Ehrman offers some insight as to how this miraculous event might have transpired. "The New Testament" is worth your time and can be read cover to cover or dipped into for information on specific topics.

53 von 62 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Getting to Know the New Testament with clarity 31. März 2003
Von W Fuchs - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
What does Jesus mean to you and why is it important to you as a human being living 2000 years after the death of Jesus? Why is Jesus viewed and interpreted by scholars in so many different ways? How do the four Gospels of the New Testament explain the life and mysteries of Jesus as a man, prophet, messiah and divine being? These and a host of questions of this nature are clearly explained by Professor Bart D. Ehrman in his excellent book, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. This is a thorough examination of the New Testament. Although the title suggests a "historical introduction", it's that and much more.
Too often, scholars tend to express historical events in high brow theoretical frameworks and confusing, elaborate paradigms. As a student or just someone who may be interested in learning about the New Testament, you're presented with a lucid, terse and imaginative outline on the New Testament reading Professor Ehrman's book. All 29 chapters are presented coherently with logical historical descriptions and analysis that clearly explains every facet of what it means to analyze a complex and controversial subject.
It was such a pleasure to read through the material with ease, comfort and with clear explanations. Professor Ehrman carefully walks you step by step through non-canonical and canonical sources for the "creation" of the New Testament. In addition, you're given the ideas behind each gospel and what the "author" of each gospel portrayed using a variety of historical methodologies. You're given a succinct groundwork to help you understand how you get from point A to point B of each gospel and their connections. There are no quantum jumps in theoretical ideas to confuse the reader.
I have thoroughly read 13 other books on the "Historical Jesus" and reviewed 43 other ones. Professor Ehrman's book is by far the best ever written on the subject. Although the book is used as a text book for the Historical Jesus and the New Testament for undergraduate students, it could easily be read as a book on it's own. You learn not only the history of Jesus; from varying sources, but you get in depth lessons on ancient history which connects everything together so well.
I would highly recommend this book over Professors E.P. Sanders', The Historical Figure of Jesus (Penguin Books, 1993), which I feel is an excellent book on the same subject.
The price of the book is worth every penny. You will never read the four Gospels the same way after reading Professor Ehrman's tremendous book. This book along with his other book, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (Oxford University Press, 1999) can only help the reader to clearly understand the Historical Jesus from so many perspectives with clarity beyond imagination. Any reader who does NOT enjoy this book and/or comes away with a better understanding of this subject has not read other convoluted books on this subject.
The reader would do well to go through the four gospels first (a few times) before reading Professor Ehrman's book so that you can appreciate his analysis as he quotes verses from scriptures in each gospel.
The cliché, "read any good books lately?" certainly applies to this book.
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