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  • New Testament Introduction: Introduction
    to which writings were scripture from that point the canon or collection which we call the New Testament was fixed It is this fixed collection of 27 books that will be the focus of our attention in this study Our procedure will be fairly simple We will first of all examine the authorship date and place of writing of each of the New Testament writings Then we will undertake to understand the purpose of each of these books This simple procedure will be followed for each of the books But unlike other New Testament introductions which discuss The Life of Jesus and then The Early Church and then Paul s Writings and then the Catholic Epistles we will follow the canonical order of these materials We will look at Matthew Mark Luke John Acts etc until each book has been discussed The student interested in the Historical Jesus is encouraged to take the course by that name Likewi se if one is interesteiblical Studies he or she is encouraged to take the course by that name offered by this institution After we discuss the general matters of authorship date etc we will focus the bulk of our time on a

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/Introduct.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: Matthew
    Brown Third he knew Aramaic and possibly Hebrew Fourth he probably lived in or around the region of Antioch The purpose of the book of Matthew is fairly easy to discern when we examine the opening and conclusion of the Gospel In Matthew 1 23 all translations in this course are my own we read behold the maiden will conceive and bring forth a son and you all will call his name Emmanuel which translated means God is with us The very opening of the Gospel then declares that the subject of the writing Jesus is God in our midst As the Gospel unfolds Matthew offers many proofs that Jesus is indeed God himself The conclusion of the Gospel brings this message to mind again when Jesus declares All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me As you go make disciples of all peoples baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to do everything I have commanded you all And look I am with you every day till the conclusion of the age Mt 28 18 20 Thus when we look at the beginning and the end of Matthew s Gospel we discover that 1 Jesus will be God with us and 2 at his departure he declares that he is with his disciples The purpose of the text then is to declare that Jesus is God and that as God he continues to support his people to the very end Who would need to hear a message like this Most scholars believe that the gospel of Matthew was addressed to Jews who had converted to Christianity but who were in danger of leaving the Church and returning to the full practice of Judaism To stop this

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/MATTHEW.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: Mark
    is the author named nor does he name himself What then can we know of the author of this book First we can tell certain things about him by the way he writes and by what he writes He was a speaker of Greek who was not an eyewitness to the events recorded who also did not live in Palestine as he makes some inexact comments about certain features of geography Most likely he lived and wrote in Rome as his intended audience was probably the Church at Rome The text of the book is fairly certain though some scribe or scribes added a lengthy segment at the end of the Gospel That is originally the gospel ended at 16 8 and some traditionalist added verses 9 20 No early manuscript of the Gospel contains this passage and its earliest attestation is in Codex L which dates to the 9th century A D To say it another way no manuscript of the Gospel of Mark contained verse 9 20 until the 9th century This passage is clearly secondary and will not be taken into account in our examination of Mark s purpose Why then was Mark written It seems clear that two passages describe the reason this book was composed The first clue is found in the opening verse of the book Mark 1 1 which says The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ the Son of God The second clue is found very much towards the end of the book in 15 39 where the Roman Centurion says truly this man was the Son of God The book opens and closes with the same phrase Son of God At the beginning the claim is made and at the end the claim is verified by a Roman soldier

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/MARK.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: Luke
    records so he made use of Mark and Q To this he added some material unique to himself Whoever the author was he most likely was a Gentile and not a Jew Among the writers of the New Testament he was the only Gentile It is virtually impossible to know where the text was written but in all likelihood it was composed in Syria or Greece Luke clearly sets forth his purpose in the opening 4 verses of his book Lk 1 1 4 In this text Luke states that he is writing so that Theophilus probably a Roman official might have a clear account of Jesus deeds and words At the end of the book Luke reiterates this purpose when he recounts the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus Lk 24 In this story the disciples do not recognize Jesus while he is explaining the scriptures to them but they do recognize him when he breaks the bread in their presence In other words what Jesus teaches takes a back seat to what he does To be sure the words of Jesus are very significant to Luke and his community But more important than the words are the deeds Indeed the words are important only because they interpret the deeds and give them a concrete setting in the Gospel Luke tells us this at the beginning of the Gospel as the Gospel unfolds this becomes evident again and at the end of the Gospel reinforces this idea Thus for Luke Jesus is preeminently the doer of the will of God A glance at the outline of the Gospel will help us appreciate Luke s purpose 1 The Birth and Early Years of Jesus the Teacher 1 5 2 52 2 Jesus Prepares for His Ministry

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/LUKE.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: John
    reader will notice that John unlike Matthew and Luke did not use Mark or Q as a source That is the reason that John is so different in character and content from Matthew Mark and Luke Over the centuries many have attributed this difference to the fact that John is the spiritual Gospel while the Synoptics Matthew Mark and Luke are more earthly in nature This characterization is nevertheless incorrect It is much more likely that these differences come about because of the sources used by John vis a vis the Synoptics Though the author is anonymous we can still know some things about him from his own writing He claims to be a disciple of the beloved disciple whoever that was He was a speaker of Greek and he most likely lived in the area of Ephesus The text is fairly well preserved meaning that modern translations are based on ancient documents but the story of the adulterous woman 7 53 8 11 is not attested in any manuscript of the Gospel until the fourth century As mentioned above the author combined a signs source and a sayings source with a version of the passion narrative and added the opening and closing chapters In these opening and closing segments we find the clearest statements of the purpose of the work In 1 1 we read In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God Like Matthew then John writes to demonstrate that Jesus is God himself But unlike Matthew who wrote for Jews John is writing for Gentiles At the end of the Gospel we have another clear indication of the purpose of the book At 20 31 we read now these things have been written so that you might believe

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/JOHN.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: Acts
    a Jew Among the writers of the New Testament he was the only Gentile It is virtually impossible to know where the text was written but in all likelihood it was composed in Syria or Greece Of special interest is the fact that there seems to have been two editions of the book which circulated in different parts of the Church In the western part of the empire a greatly expanded version circulated while in the east the version printed in most modern editions of the Greek New Testament circulated It is not possible to know if Luke made these expansions in a second edition or if a later group of scribes added the expansions found in the western textual tradition As the purpose of the Gospel of Luke was disclosed in the opening and closing sections so is the purpose of Acts made clear in the opening and closing segments In 1 1 4 we read Luke s own description of his work to make known what Jesus said and did Acts addresses how the apostles picked up this work and carried it to the very heart of the Empire where it could spread everywhere The book closes with a very peculiar Greek construction That is it ends with an adverb This is unusual in Greek as it is in English The adverb that closes the book is unhinderedly Most English translations simply render this unhindered but it is in fact an adverb which requires in English an ly ending What is Luke doing with this unusual construction I think that he is suggesting that the Gospel is unhindered as it makes its way from Palestine to Rome and will continue unhindered as it makes its way from Rome to the ends of the earth Luke s purpose then

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/ACTS.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: Romans
    but was planning to visit there on an upcoming journey right after he took the funds he had raised for the Jerusalem Church to Jerusalem Paul did indeed visit the city but not as a free man rather as a prisoner of the emperor So while Paul was in Corinth on his way to Jerusalem he wrote Romans as an introduction of himself and his theology to the Christians at Rome so that they would know what he taught and believed before he arrived in the city Though this is the first letter of Paul in the collection of New Testament writings it is not Paul s earliest letter That is 1 Thessalonians which we will examine in due course The letter seems to have been composed on two occasions That is chapters 1 15 seem to be a unity whereas chapter 16 seems to be an independent writing Perhaps chapter 16 was send as a P S after the main letter had been composed There are no manuscripts which lack chapter 16 however An outline of the letter will clearly demonstrate that the purpose of the letter is to act as a digest of Paul s theology 1 Introduction

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/ROMANS.htm (2013-12-09)
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  • New Testament Introduction: 1 Corinthians
    had you will recall established the Church there around 5 years earlier and in that short time a multitude of problems had arisen which Paul found it necessary to address The source of these problems was the Corinthians not to distant past in paganism The city of Corinth was one of the most corrupt of the ancient world It housed every sort of deviant and pervert It was the home of 100 s of pagan temples all engaged in orgiastic religions In this atmosphere of pagan licentiousness Paul had delivered the gospel and they had received it Unfortunately they had mixed their paganism into their Christianity and the result was a hodgepodge syncretism which was neither pagan or Christian Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to address this syncretism and in an effort to restore them to a moral base The outline of the book shows Paul s concern quite clearly 1 Greeting and Reminder of Christian Life 1 1 9 2 Splinter Groups in the Church and the Divisiveness they Cause 1 10 4 21 3 Their Syncretistic Lifestyles 5 1 11 34 4 The Cure for Immorality 12 1 14 40 5 The Inappropriateness of Immorality in the Light of

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ntintro/1COR.htm (2013-12-09)
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