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The New Testament: A Guide

Rev. Donald Senior, C.P.

Publication Date - 03 December 2021

ISBN: 9780197530849

272 pages
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches

In Stock


Why is the New Testament considered a "sacred" text for Christians? For some, this ancient text is viewed simply as an influential and interesting artifact with no real impact on their lives. But for believing Christians it is an integral part of the Bible and normative for Christian faith and life. This book in Oxford University Press's series Guide to Sacred Texts addresses the question of why the New Testament is considered sacred text by Christians. While sharing some characteristics of an Introduction to the New Testament, this work has a very different purpose.

After exploring the content, the historical roots, and the complex process that led to the composition of the varied writings contained in the New Testament, Donald Senior turns to its fundamental unifying purpose. Through the diverse writings of the New Testament the early Christian community proclaimed the inherently transcendent character of Jesus Christ and the implications of that proclamation for the lives and destiny of Christians. A key process was the formation of the New Testament canon during the early centuries of the Christian era, a process that certified the normative nature of the New Testament writings and fused them onto the Jewish Scriptures or Old Testament to form the Christian Bible. The study concludes by sketching the evolution and ongoing diversity of New Testament interpretation both in the academy and in the church. Written in a clear and accessible manner, this study introduces the reader to the world of the New Testament and why it has had such a powerful claim on Christianity for two thousand years.


  • In a clear and comprehensible way, answers the question of why the New Testament is considered "sacred" by Christians
  • Surveys the entire New Testament and describes the historical process that led to its composition
  • Shows the connection between the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the early Christian community's subsequent proclamation of Jesus as both a human and divine figure

About the Author(s)

Rev. Donald Senior, C.P. is President Emeritus and Chancellor of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago (CTU), where he is also a member of the faculty as Professor of New Testament. He is the general editor of Catholic Study Bible (Oxford University Press, 3rd rev. ed. 2016) and Editor in Chief of The Bible Today. His publications include Why the Cross? (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2015), The Gift of Administration: The New Testament Foundations for Administrative Service (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2016), Composing the Bible: How the Scriptures Were Formed (Chicago: LTP, 2016), and Raymond E. Brown and the Catholic Biblical Renewal (New York: Paulist, 2018). He is a member of the Passionist Congregation and also a frequent lecturer and speaker throughout the United States and abroad, serves on numerous boards and commissions; and is actively involved in the interreligious dialogue, particularly with the Jewish and Muslim communities.


"This guide is not intended to be a standard introduction to the NT, but rather an investigation into what makes the individual books of the NT, as well as the collection as a whole, "sacred" to believing Christians." -- NT WORLD

Table of Contents

    Introduction The New Testament as Sacred Test

    Chapter 1 What is the New Testament? A First Glance
    Chapter 2 From Jesus to the Writings of The New Testament
    Chapter 3 The Formation of the Canon and the Creation of The New Testament
    Chapter 4 Jesus Christ and The New Testament as Sacred Text
    Chapter 5 Jesus and Paul
    Chapter 6 The Remaining New Testament Books as Sacred
    Chapter 7 Christian Holiness and the Sacredness of The New Testament
    Chapter 8 Interpreting The New Testament as Sacred Text