The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:16 am

Hello,

Would this be the balanced introduction it purports to be?

Bart Ehrman: The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Testament- ... oks&sr=1-5

I thought I'd finally like to get an idea of the what the New Testament is and where it comes from. I take the publisher's name - Oxford University Press - as a guarantee of at least some quality, but I know that the whole subject is a mine field. I hear that Ehrman is a somewhat controversial figure, but I guess that's the rule rather than the exception in Biblical studies. So I'm ok with the writer having personal opinions, as long as he's erudite, presents the evidence and gives a reasonably balanced presentation. What I don't want to read is a bigot of any confession (not even of the Richard Dawkins sort).

Thanks!

User avatar
jeidsath
Administrator
Posts: 3357
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

Re: The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Post by jeidsath » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:13 am

I'm sure it's reasonable scholarship, and not bigoted. The worst critique I have of his academic work is his tendency to warm over stuff that is decades (or centuries) old and to give the impression that it is cutting edge and new.

You could review this one and tell us though.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Post by mwh » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:19 pm

I second Joel. Not that I’ve read the book. He’s written so many. He never tires of milking the wholly unremarkable fact that NT manuscripts show textual variation, a discovery that purportedly lost him his faith in the truth of Scripture. For evangelical and fundamentalist Christians he's a real bete noire, which makes him (and them) very marketable. There's no end to the stuff that's churned out.
But no doubt this is as reliable an account as you’re likely to find. I have to say, though, that on early Xn and paraXn writings and beliefs Elaine Pagels is much more interesting and less tiresome.

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1206
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:05 am

You've gotten responses from two people now who have not read the book, and now a third. The reviews I've read indicate that it's a fairly standard historical-critical introduction, nothing special about it. It was written more as a textbook than as a partisan apologia, which is really what many of Ehrman's writings are about. As such it may give you a fairly decent introduction to that perspective on the origin and development of the NT texts.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

User avatar
Paul Derouda
Global Moderator
Posts: 2151
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Re: The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings

Post by Paul Derouda » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:15 pm

Thanks. It seems to be the book I'm looking for then. A standard introduction is what I want. Maybe I'll take a look at Elaine Page if the subject if I'm still interested in the subject afterwards...

Joel: warming over stuff that's decades or centuries old is not necessarily bad in this field, unlike in medicine for instance... Take a look at West and his writings about Homer.

Post Reply