The Making of the New Testament: Origin, Collection, Text & Canon

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9780830818594: The Making of the New Testament: Origin, Collection, Text & Canon

What motivated the early Christians to commit teaching and events and visions to papyrus? How were the stories and sayings of Jesus circulated, handed down and shaped into Gospels? Why were four Gospels included instead of one? What do we know about ancient letter writing, secretaries and "copy shops"? Would a first-century librarian have known how to classify a Gospel, an Acts or an Apocalypse? How were Paul's letters, sent here and there, gathered into a single collection? Are there other documents that almost made it into the New Testament but didn't? The narratives and letters of our New Testament were shaped by worn pens gripped by calloused, ink-stained fingers. Their authors' ears were more likely assaulted by the urban clatter of busy intersections and bustling markets than attuned to a still small voice. Scrolls that bumped across cobbled Roman roads and pitched through rolling Mediterranean seas found their destination in stuffy, dimly lit, crowded Christian house churches in Corinth or Cenchreae. There they were read aloud and reread, handled and copied, forwarded and collected, studied and treasured. Their ordinary story is true to their extraordinary message: the mystery of the Word that became flesh. In The Making of the New Testament Arthur Patzia retells that story. His textbook study of the origin, collection, copying and canonizing of the New Testament documents answers a myriad of questions--cultural, historical, geographical, linguistic and spiritual.

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About the Author:

Arthur G. Patzia (Ph.D., McMaster University) is senior professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary of Northern California. He is also the author of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon in the New International Bible Commentary series.

From Booklist:

This accessible introduction to the making of Christian Scripture, written by a professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, synthesizes a wide range of scholarly research in a readily understandable form. Patzia begins with an introduction to the literary world of the New Testament, then devotes sections to the Gospels, the Pauline literature, and other New Testament material, before turning in some detail to specifically textual issues. In the process, he gives a historically informed overview of critical methods of biblical scholarship that have developed in the past 100 years. The sections on formation of the canon, textual transmission, and textual criticism will be of particular value to serious students (in or out of formal academic settings) who seek a critically informed encounter with Christian Scripture. Steve Schroeder

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Arthur G. Patzia
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