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Table of Contents

  1. WHAT IS THE NEW TESTAMENT? THE EARLY CHRISTIANS AND THEIR LITERATURE
    The Diversity of Early Christianity
    The New Testament Canon of Scripture
    Implications for Our Study
    At a Glance: Box 1.5 The New Testament Canon
    Excursus: Some Additional Reflections: The Historian and the Believer
    Take a Stand

  2. DO WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT?
    Publishing Books: Now and Then
    How Can We Know if We Have an Ancient Author's Actual Words?
    What Manuscripts of the New Testament Do We Have? The Good News and Bad News
    A Concrete Example
    Accidental Mistakes
    Intentional Errors
    Criteria for Establishing the Text
    At a Glance: Box 2.6 The Text of the New Testament
    Take a Stand

  3. THE WORLD OF EARLY CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS
    The Problem of Beginnings
    One Remarkable Life
    The Environment of the New Testament: Religions in the Greco-Roman World
    Another Glimpse into the Past: Box 3.3 The Roman Empire
    At a Glance: Box 3.6 The World of Early Christianity
    Take a Stand

  4. THE JEWISH CONTEXT OF JESUS AND HIS FOLLOWERS
    Judaism as a Greco-Roman Religion
    Political Crises in Palestine and Their Ramifications
    The Formation of Jewish Sects
    At a Glance: Box 4.6 The Jewish World of Early Christianity
    Take a Stand

  5. THE TRADITIONS OF JESUS IN THEIR GRECO-ROMAN CONTEXT
    Oral Traditions behind the Gospels
    At A Glance: Box 5.3 The Traditions of Jesus
    Excursus: Some Additional Reflections: The Authors of the Gospels
    Take a Stand

  6. THE CHRISTIAN GOSPELS: A LITERARY AND HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
    The Question of Genre
    Biography as a Greco-Roman Genre
    The Gospels as Ancient Biographies
    At A Glance: Box 6.2 The Christian Gospels
    Take a Stand

  7. JESUS, THE SUFFERING SON OF GOD: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK
    The Beginning of the Gospel: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God Who Fulfills Scripture
    Jesus the Authoritative Son of God
    Jesus the Opposed Son of God
    Jesus the Misunderstood Son of God
    Jesus the Acknowledged Son of God
    Jesus the Suffering Son of God
    Another Glimpse into the Past: Box 7.6 Son of God and Son of Man
    Jesus the Crucified Son of God
    Jesus the Vindicated Son of God
    Conclusion: Mark and His Readers
    At A Glance: Box 7.8 The Gospel of Mark
    Take a Stand

  8. THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE FOR INTERPRETATION
    Methods for Studying the Gospels
    The Synoptic Problem
    The Methodological Significance of the Four-Source Hypothesis
    At a Glance: Box 8.3 The Synoptic Problem
    Take a Stand

  9. JESUS, THE JEWISH MESSIAH: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
    The Importance of Beginnings: Jesus the Jewish Messiah in Fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures
    Jesus and His Forerunner from Matthew's Perspective
    The Portrayal of Jesus in Matthew: The Sermon on the Mount as a Springboard
    Jesus and the Jewish Cultic Practices Prescribed by the Law
    Jesus Rejected by the Jewish Leaders
    Matthew and His Readers
    At A Glance: Box 9.6 Matthew
    Take a Stand

  10. JESUS, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE
    The Comparative Method and the Gospel of Luke
    A Comparative Overview of the Gospel
    The Preface to Luke's Gospel
    Luke's Birth Narrative in Comparative Perspective
    From Jew to Gentile: Luke's Portrayal of Jesus the Rejected Prophet
    Luke's Distinctive Emphases throughout His Gospel
    Conclusion: Luke in Comparative Perspective
    At A Glance: Box 10.7 Luke
    Take a Stand

  11. LUKE'S SECOND VOLUME: THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
    The Genre of Acts and Its Significance
    The Thematic Approach to Acts
    From Gospel to Acts: The Opening Transition
    Themes in the Speeches in Acts
    At A Glance: Box 11.7 The Book of Acts
    Excursus: The Author of Luke—Acts and His Audience
    Conclusion: The Author and His Themes in Context
    Take a Stand

  12. JESUS, THE MAN SENT FROM HEAVEN: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN
    The Gospel of John from a Literary-Historical Perspective
    The Gospel of John from a Thematic Perspective
    The Gospel of John from a Comparative Perspective
    The Gospel of John from a Redactional Perspective
    The Socio-Historical Method
    The Gospel of John from a Socio-Historical Perspective
    The Author of the Fourth Gospel
    At A Glance: Box 12.7 The Gospel of John
    Take a Stand

  13. FROM JOHN'S JESUS TO THE GNOSTIC CHRIST: THE JOHANNINE EPISTLES AND BEYOND
    The Questions of Genre and Author
    The New Testament Epistolary Literature and the Contextual Method
    Another Glimpse into the Past: Box 13.2 The Gospel and Epistles of John: Some Thematic Similarities
    The Johannine Epistles from a Contextual Perspective
    At a Glance: Box 13.3 Methods for Studying the New Testament
    Reflections on the Contextual Method
    At a Glance: Box 13.5 The Johannine Epistles
    Beyond the Johannine Community: The Rise of Christian Gnosticism
    Gnostics and the Johannine Community
    At a Glance: Box 13.8 Gnosticism
    Take a Stand

  14. JESUS FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES: OTHER GOSPELS IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY
    Narrative Gospels
    Sayings Gospels
    Infancy Gospels
    Passion Gospels
    Conclusion: The Other Gospels
    At a Glance: Box 14.5 The Other Gospels
    Take a Stand

  15. THE HISTORICAL JESUS: SOURCES, PROBLEMS, AND METHODS
    Problems with Sources
    Non-Christian Sources
    Christian Sources
    Using Our Sources: Some of the Basic Rules of Thumb
    Specific Criteria and Their Rationale
    Another Glimpse into the Past: Box 15.4 Judas and the Roasting Chicken
    Conclusion: Reconstructing the Life of Jesus
    At A Glance: Box 15.5 The Sources for the Historical Jesus
    Take a Stand

  16. EXCURSUS: THE HISTORIAN AND THE PROBLEM OF MIRACLE
    Miracles in the Modern World and in Antiquity
    The Historian and Historical Method
    At a Glance: Box 16.1 The Problem of Miracles
    Take a Stand

  17. JESUS IN CONTEXT
    Popular Modes of Resistance to Oppression
    An Ideology of Resistance
    At A Glance: Box 17.2 First-Century Palestinian Judaism
    Jesus in His Apocalyptic Context
    At a Glance: Box 17.5 Jesus as an Apocalyptic Prophet
    Take a Stand

  18. JESUS, THE APOCALYPTIC PROPHET
    The Apocalyptic Deeds of Jesus
    The Apocalyptic Teachings of Jesus
    The Apocalyptic Death of Jesus
    At a Glance: Box 18.10 Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
    Take a Stand

  19. FROM JESUS TO THE GOSPELS
    The Beginning of Christianity
    Jesus' Resurrection from an Apocalyptic Perspective
    Jesus' Death, according to the Scriptures
    The Emergence of Different Understandings of Jesus
    At A Glance: Box 19.4 From Jesus to the Gospels
    Take a Stand

  20. PAUL THE APOSTLE: THE MAN AND HIS MISSION
    The Study of Paul: Methodological Difficulties
    The Life of Paul
    Another Glimpse into the Past: Box 20.3 What Did Paul Look Like?
    At a Glance: Box 20.5 Paul and His Mission
    Take a Stand

  21. PAUL AND HIS APOSTOLIC MISSION: 1 THESSALONIANS AS A TEST CASE
    The Founding of the Church in Thessalonica
    The Beginnings of the Thessalonian Church: A Socio-Historical Perspective
    The Church at Thessalonica after Paul's Departure
    Conclusion: Paul the Apostle
    At a Glance: Box 21.4 1 Thessalonians
    Take a Stand

  22. PAUL AND THE CRISES OF HIS CHURCHES: 1 AND 2 CORINTHIANS, GALATIANS, PHILIPPIANS, AND PHILEMON
    1 Corinthians
    At A Glance: Box 22.2 1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    At A Glance: Box 22.4 2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    At A Glance: Box 22.8 Galatians
    Philippians
    At A Glance: Box 22.11 Philippians
    Philemon
    At a Glance: Box 22.12 Philemon
    Take a Stand

  23. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL: THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS
    The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter
    The Theme of the Epistle
    Pauline Models for Salvation
    The Flow of Paul's Argument
    Conclusion: Paul and the Romans
    At A Glance: Box 23.6 Romans
    Take a Stand

  24. DOES THE TRADITION MISCARRY? PAUL IN RELATION TO JESUS, JAMES, THECLA, AND THEUDAS
    Paul in Relation to What Came Before
    Paul in Relation to What Came After
    Conclusion: Pauline Christianities
    At A Glance: Box 24.3 Paul in Relation to What Came Before and After
    Take a Stand

  25. IN THE WAKE OF THE APOSTLE: THE DEUTERO-PAULINE AND PASTORAL EPISTLES
    Pseudonymity in the Ancient World
    The Deutero-Pauline Epistles
    At a Glance: Box 25.5 The Deutero-Pauline Epistles
    The Pastoral Epistles
    The Historical Situation and Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles
    Conclusion: The Post-Pauline Pastoral Epistles
    At a Glance: Box 25.7 The Pastoral Epistles
    Take a Stand

  26. FROM PAUL'S FEMALE COLLEAGUES TO THE PASTOR'S INTIMIDATED WOMEN: THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY
    Women in Paul's Churches
    Women Associated with Jesus
    Paul's Understanding of Women in the Church
    Women in the Aftermath of Paul
    Ancient Ideologies of Gender
    Gender Ideology and the Pauline Churches
    At A Glance: Box 26.4 Women in Early Christianity
    Take a Stand

  27. CHRISTIANS AND JEWS: HEBREWS, BARNABAS, AND LATER ANTI-JEWISH LITERATURE
    Early Christian Self-Definition
    Continuity and Superiority: The Epistle to the Hebrews
    At a Glance: Box 27.3 Hebrews
    Discontinuity and Supremacy: The Epistle of Barnabas
    At a Glance: Box 27.6 The Epistle of Barnabas

    Conclusion: The Rise of Christian Anti-Judaism
    Take a Stand

  28. CHRISTIANS AND PAGANS: 1 PETER, THE LETTERS OF IGNATIUS, THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP, AND LATER APOLOGETIC LITERATURE
    The Persecution of the Early Christians
    Christians in a Hostile World: The Letter of 1 Peter
    At a Glance: Box 28.3 1 Peter
    Christians Sentenced to Death: The Letters of Ignatius
    At a Glance: Box 28.5 The Letters of Ignatius
    Christians before the Tribunal: The Martyrdom of Polycarp
    At a Glance: Box 28.6 The Martyrdom of Polycarp

    Christians on the Defensive: The Later Apologetic Literature
    Take a Stand

  29. CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANS: JAMES, THE DIDACHE, POLYCARP, 1 CLEMENT, JUDE, AND 2 PETER
    The Epistle of James
    The Didache
    Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians
    Jude
    2 Peter
    Conclusion: Conflicts within the Early Christian Communities
    At a Glance: Box 29.5 Christian Internal Conflicts
    Take a Stand

  30. CHRISTIANS AND THE COSMOS: THE REVELATION OF JOHN, THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS, AND THE APOCALYPSE OF PETER
    Introduction: The End of the World and the Revelation of John
    The Content and Structure of the Book of Revelation
    The Book of Revelation from a Historical Perspective
    Apocalyptic Worldviews and Apocalypse Genre
    The Revelation of John in Historical Context
    At a Glance: Box 30.5 The Book of Revelation
    The Shepherd
    of Hermas
    The Apocalypse of Peter
    Take a Stand

    Glossary of Terms
    Index



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