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The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings

A Reader

Second Edition

Edited by Bart D. Ehrman

Publication Date - 31 July 2003

ISBN: 9780195154641

432 pages
7-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


The twenty-seven books of the New Testament were not the only writings produced by early Christians. Nor were they the only ones to be accepted, at one time or another, as sacred Scripture. Unfortunately, nearly all the other early Christian writings have been lost or destroyed. But approximately twenty-five books written at about the same time as the New Testament have survived--books that reveal the rich diversity of early Christian views about God, Jesus, the world, salvation, ethics, and ritual practice.
This reader presents, for the first time in one volume, every Christian writing known to have been produced during the first hundred years of the church (30-130 C.E.). In addition to the New Testament itself, it includes other, noncanonical Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses, as well as additional important writings, such as those of the Apostolic Fathers. Each text is provided in an up-to-date and readable translation (including the NRSV for the New Testament), and introduced with a succinct and incisive discussion of its author, date of composition, and overarching themes. This second edition adds The Martyrdom of Polycarp, an important text that will enhance the collection's utility in the classroom. It also features Ehrman's new, accessible translations of many of the noncanonical works and provides updated introductions that incorporate the most recent scholarship.
With an opening overview that shows how the canon of the New Testament came to be formulated--the process by which some Christian books came to be regarded as sacred Scripture whereas others came to be excluded--this accessible reader will meet the needs of students, scholars, and general readers alike. An ideal primary text for courses in the New Testament, Christian Origins, and Early Church History, it can be used in conjunction with its companion volume, the author's The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 3/e (OUP, 2003).

Previous Publication Date(s)

August 1997

Table of Contents

    General Introduction
    The Gospel According to Matthew
    The Gospel According to Mark
    The Gospel According to Luke
    The Gospel According to John
    The Gospel of Thomas
    The Gospel of Peter
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
    The Secret Gospel of Mark
    Papyrus Egerton 2: The Unknown Gospel
    The Gospel of the Ebionites
    The Gospel of the Nazareans
    The Gospel According to the Hebrews
    The Acts of the Apostles
    The Acts of Paul and Thecla
    The Martyrdom of Polycarp
    The Letter to the Romans
    The First Letter to the Corinthians
    The Second Letter to the Corinthians
    The Letter to the Galatians
    The Letter to the Ephesians
    The Letter to the Philippians
    The Letter to the Colossians
    The First Letter to the Thessalonians
    The Second Letter to the Thessalonians
    The First Letter to Timothy
    The Second Letter to Timothy
    The Letter to Titus
    The Letter to Philemon
    The Third Letter to the Corinthians
    The Letter to the Hebrews
    The Letter of James
    The Letter of 1 Peter
    The Letter of 2 Peter
    The Letter of 1 John
    The Letter of 2 John
    The Letter of 3 John
    The Letter of Jude
    The Letter of 1 Clement
    The Didache
    The Letter of Ignatius to the Ephesians
    The Letter of Ignatius to the Magnesians
    The Letter of Ignatius to the Trallians
    The Letter of Ignatius to the Romans
    The Letter of Ignatius to the Philadelphians
    The Letter of Ignatius to the Smyrneans
    The Letter of Ignatius to Polycarp
    The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians
    The Letter of Barnabas
    The Preaching of Peter
    The Fragments of Papias
    The Revelation of John
    The Shepherd of Hermas
    The Apocalypse of Peter