New Testament

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This article is about the Christian Greek Scriptures of the biblical canon. New Testament_sentence_0

For the theological concept, see New Covenant. New Testament_sentence_1

For other uses, see A New Testament (disambiguation) and The New Testament (disambiguation). New Testament_sentence_2

The New Testament (Ancient Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. New Testament_sentence_3

Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin: Novum Testamentum) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament which is based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible. New Testament_sentence_4

The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. New Testament_sentence_5

Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. New Testament_sentence_6

The New Testament is a collection of Christian texts originally written in the Koine Greek language, at different times by various different authors. New Testament_sentence_7

While the Old Testament canon varies somewhat between different Christian denominations, the 27-book canon of the New Testament has been almost universally recognized within Christianity since at least Late Antiquity. New Testament_sentence_8

Thus, in almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books: New Testament_sentence_9

New Testament_unordered_list_0

The earliest known complete list of the 27 books of the New Testament is found in a letter written by Athanasius, a 4th-century bishop of Alexandria, dated to 367 AD. New Testament_sentence_10

The 27-book New Testament was first formally canonized during the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) in North Africa. New Testament_sentence_11

Pope Innocent I ratified the same canon in 405, but it is probable that a Council in Rome in 382 under Pope Damasus I gave the same list first. New Testament_sentence_12

These councils also provided the canon of the Old Testament, which included the apocryphal books. New Testament_sentence_13

There is no scholarly consensus on the date of composition of the latest New Testament texts. New Testament_sentence_14

Conservative scholars John A. T. Robinson, Dan Wallace, and William F. Albright dated all the books of the New Testament before 70 AD. New Testament_sentence_15

But most scholars date some New Testament texts much later than this. New Testament_sentence_16

For example, Richard Pervo dated Luke-Acts to c. AD 115, and David Trobisch places Acts in the mid- to late second century, contemporaneous with the publication of the first New Testament canon. New Testament_sentence_17

Etymology New Testament_section_0

Why the word Testament New Testament_section_1

The word 'testament' in the expression New Testament refers to a new 'covenant' or alliance that Christians believe God makes with the people of Israel, described in the books of the New Testament, which completes or fulfils what Christians refer to as the 'old' covenant of God with the people of Israel made on Mount Sinai through Moses, described in the books of the Old Testament. New Testament_sentence_18

Christians traditionally view this new covenant as being prophesized in the Hebrew Bible's book of Jeremiah (31:31): "The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah." New Testament_sentence_19

The word covenant means 'agreement' (from Latin con-venio 'to agree' lit. New Testament_sentence_20

'to come together'): the use of the word testament, which describes the different idea of written instructions for inheritance after death, to refer to the covenant with Israel in the Old Testament, is foreign to the original Hebrew word brit (בְּרִית) describing it, which only means 'alliance, covenant, pact' and never 'inheritance instructions after death'. New Testament_sentence_21

This use comes from the transcription of Latin testamentum 'will (left after death)', a literal translation of Greek diatheke (διαθήκη) 'will (left after death)', which is the word used to translate Hebrew brit in the Septuagint. New Testament_sentence_22

The choice of this word diatheke, by the Jewish translators of the Septuagint in Alexandria in the 3rd and 2nd century BCE, has been understood in Christian theology to imply a reinterpreted view of the Old Testament covenant with Israel as possessing characteristics of a 'will left after death' (the death of Jesus) and has generated considerable attention from biblical scholars and theologians: in contrast to the Jewish usage where brit was the usual Hebrew word used to refer to pacts, alliances and covenants in general, like a common pact between two individuals, and to the one between God and Israel in particular, in the Greek world diatheke was virtually never used to refer to an alliance or covenant (one exception is noted in a passage from Aristophanes) and referred instead to a will left after the death of a person. New Testament_sentence_23

There is scholarly debate as to the reason why the translators of the Septuagint chose the term diatheke to translate Hebrew brit, instead of another Greek word generally used to refer to an alliance or covenant. New Testament_sentence_24

The phrase New Testament as the collection of scriptures New Testament_section_2

The use of the phrase New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē) to describe a collection of first and second-century Christian Greek scriptures can be traced back to Tertullian in his work Against Praxeas. New Testament_sentence_25

Irenaeus uses the phrase "New Testament" several times, but does not use it in reference to any written text. New Testament_sentence_26

In Against Marcion, written c. 208 AD, Tertullian writes of: New Testament_sentence_27

And Tertullian continues later in the book, writing: New Testament_sentence_28

By the 4th century, the existence—even if not the exact contents—of both an Old and New Testament had been established. New Testament_sentence_29

Lactantius, a 3rd–4th century Christian author wrote in his early-4th-century Latin Institutiones Divinae (Divine Institutes): New Testament_sentence_30

Eusebius describes the collection of Christian writings as "covenanted" (ἐνδιαθήκη) books in Hist. Eccl. 3.3.1–7; 3.25.3; 5.8.1; 6.25.1. New Testament_sentence_31

Books New Testament_section_3

See also: Christian biblical canons, Development of the New Testament canon, New Testament apocrypha, and Template:Books of the New Testament New Testament_sentence_32

The Gospels New Testament_section_4

Main article: Canonical gospels New Testament_sentence_33

Each of the four gospels in the New Testament narrates the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (the gospel of Mark in the original text ends with the empty tomb and has no account of the post-resurrection appearances, but the emptiness of the tomb implies a resurrection). New Testament_sentence_34

The word "gospel" derives from the Old English gōd-spell (rarely godspel), meaning "good news" or "glad tidings". New Testament_sentence_35

The gospel was considered the "good news" of the coming Kingdom of Messiah, and the redemption through the life and death of Jesus, the central Christian message. New Testament_sentence_36

Gospel is a calque (word-for-word translation) of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion (eu- "good", -angelion "message"). New Testament_sentence_37

They were written between approximately 70 and 100 AD, and were the end-products of a long process of development; all are anonymous, and almost certainly none are the work of eyewitnesses. New Testament_sentence_38

Starting in the late second century, the four narrative accounts of the life and work of Jesus Christ have been referred to as "The Gospel of ..." or "The Gospel according to ..." followed by the name of the supposed author. New Testament_sentence_39

The first author to explicitly name the canonical gospels is Irenaeus of Lyon, who promoted the four canonical gospels in his book Against Heresies, written around 180. New Testament_sentence_40

Whatever these admittedly early ascriptions may imply about the sources behind or the perception of these gospels, they are anonymous compositions. New Testament_sentence_41

New Testament_unordered_list_1

The first three gospels listed above are classified as the Synoptic Gospels. New Testament_sentence_42

They contain similar accounts of the events in Jesus's life and his teaching, due to their literary interdependence. New Testament_sentence_43

The Gospel of John is structured differently and includes stories of several miracles of Jesus and sayings not found in the other three. New Testament_sentence_44

These four gospels that were eventually included in the New Testament were only a few among many other early Christian gospels. New Testament_sentence_45

The existence of such texts is even mentioned at the beginning of the Gospel of Luke. New Testament_sentence_46

Other early Christian gospels, such as the so-called "Jewish-Christian Gospels" or the Gospel of Thomas, also offer both a window into the context of early Christianity and may provide some assistance in the reconstruction of the historical Jesus. New Testament_sentence_47

Further information: List of Gospels New Testament_sentence_48

Acts of the Apostles New Testament_section_5

Main article: Acts of the Apostles New Testament_sentence_49

The Acts of the Apostles is a narrative of the apostles' ministry and activity after Christ's death and resurrection, from which point it resumes and functions as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. New Testament_sentence_50

Examining style, phraseology, and other evidence, modern scholarship generally concludes that Acts and the Gospel of Luke share the same author, referred to as Luke–Acts. New Testament_sentence_51

Luke-Acts does not name its author. New Testament_sentence_52

Church tradition identified him as Luke the Evangelist, the companion of Paul, but the majority of scholars reject this due to the many differences between Acts and the authentic Pauline letters. New Testament_sentence_53

The most probable date of composition is around 80–100 AD, although some scholars date it significantly later, and there is evidence that it was still being substantially revised well into the 2nd century. New Testament_sentence_54

Epistles New Testament_section_6

The epistles of the New Testament are considered by Christians to be divinely inspired and holy letters, written by the apostles and disciples of Christ, to either local congregations with specific needs, or to New Covenant Christians in general, scattered about; or "catholic epistles." New Testament_sentence_55

Pauline letters to churches New Testament_section_7

Main article: Pauline epistles New Testament_sentence_56

The Pauline letters to churches are the thirteen New Testament books that present Paul the Apostle as their author. New Testament_sentence_57

Six of the letters are disputed. New Testament_sentence_58

Four are thought by most modern scholars to be pseudepigraphic, i.e., not actually written by Paul even if attributed to him within the letters themselves. New Testament_sentence_59

Opinion is more divided on the other two disputed letters (2 Thessalonians and Colossians). New Testament_sentence_60

These letters were written to Christian communities in specific cities or geographical regions, often to address issues faced by that particular community. New Testament_sentence_61

Prominent themes include the relationship both to broader "pagan" society, to Judaism, and to other Christians. New Testament_sentence_62

New Testament_unordered_list_2

[Disputed letters are marked with an asterisk (*).] New Testament_sentence_63

Pauline letters to persons New Testament_section_8

The last four Pauline letters in the New Testament are addressed to individual persons. New Testament_sentence_64

They include the following: New Testament_sentence_65

New Testament_unordered_list_3

[Disputed letters are marked with an asterisk (*).] New Testament_sentence_66

All of the above except for Philemon are known as the Pastoral epistles. New Testament_sentence_67

They are addressed to individuals charged with pastoral oversight of churches and discuss issues of Christian living, doctrine and leadership. New Testament_sentence_68

They often address different concerns to those of the preceding epistles. New Testament_sentence_69

These letters are believed by many to be pseudepigraphic. New Testament_sentence_70

Some scholars (e.g., Bill Mounce, Ben Witherington) will argue that the letters are genuinely Pauline, or at least written under Paul's supervision. New Testament_sentence_71

Hebrews New Testament_section_9

The Epistle to the Hebrews addresses a Jewish audience who had come to believe that Jesus was the anointed one (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ—transliterated in English as "Moshiach", or "Messiah"; Greek: Χριστός—transliterated in English as "Christos", for "Christ") who was predicted in the writings of the Hebrew Scriptures. New Testament_sentence_72

The author discusses the superiority of the new covenant and the ministry of Jesus, to the Mosaic covenant and urges the readers in the practical implications of this conviction through the end of the epistle. New Testament_sentence_73

The book has been widely accepted by the Christian church as inspired by God and thus authoritative, despite the acknowledgment of uncertainties about who its human author was. New Testament_sentence_74

Regarding authorship, although the Epistle to the Hebrews does not internally claim to have been written by the Apostle Paul, some similarities in wordings to some of the Pauline Epistles have been noted and inferred. New Testament_sentence_75

In antiquity, some began to ascribe it to Paul in an attempt to provide the anonymous work an explicit apostolic pedigree. New Testament_sentence_76

In the 4th century, Jerome and Augustine of Hippo supported Paul's authorship. New Testament_sentence_77

The Church largely agreed to include Hebrews as the fourteenth letter of Paul, and affirmed this authorship until the Reformation. New Testament_sentence_78

The letter to the Hebrews had difficulty in being accepted as part of the Christian canon because of its anonymity. New Testament_sentence_79

As early as the 3rd century, Origen wrote of the letter, "Men of old have handed it down as Paul's, but who wrote the Epistle God only knows." New Testament_sentence_80

Contemporary scholars often reject Pauline authorship for the epistle to the Hebrews, based on its distinctive style and theology, which are considered to set it apart from Paul's writings. New Testament_sentence_81

Catholic epistles New Testament_section_10

The Catholic epistles (or "general epistles") consist of both letters and treatises in the form of letters written to the church at large. New Testament_sentence_82

The term "catholic" (Greek: καθολική, katholikē), used to describe these letters in the oldest manuscripts containing them, here simply means "general" or "universal". New Testament_sentence_83

The authorship of a number of these is disputed. New Testament_sentence_84

New Testament_unordered_list_4

Book of Revelation New Testament_section_11

Further information: Authorship of the Johannine works New Testament_sentence_85

The final book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John. New Testament_sentence_86

In the New Testament canon, it is considered prophetical or apocalyptic literature. New Testament_sentence_87

Its authorship has been attributed either to John the Apostle (in which case it is often thought that John the Apostle is John the Evangelist, i.e. author of the Gospel of John) or to another John designated "John of Patmos" after the island where the text says the revelation was received (1:9). New Testament_sentence_88

Some ascribe the writership date as circa 81–96 AD, and others at around 68 AD. New Testament_sentence_89

The work opens with letters to seven local congregations of Asia Minor and thereafter takes the form of an apocalypse, a "revealing" of divine prophecy and mysteries, a literary genre popular in ancient Judaism and Christianity. New Testament_sentence_90

New Testament canons New Testament_section_12

Gospels New Testament_section_13

Main article: Synoptic Gospels New Testament_sentence_91

According to the large majority of critical scholars, none of the authors of the Gospels were eyewitnesses or even explicitly claimed to be eyewitnesses. New Testament_sentence_92

Bart D. Ehrman of the University of North Carolina has argued for a scholarly consensus that many New Testament books were not written by the individuals whose names are attached to them. New Testament_sentence_93

He further argues that names were not ascribed to the gospels until around 185 AD. New Testament_sentence_94

Other scholars concur. New Testament_sentence_95

Many scholars believe that none of the gospels were written in the region of Palestine. New Testament_sentence_96

Christian tradition identifies John the Apostle with John the Evangelist, the supposed author of the Gospel of John. New Testament_sentence_97

Traditionalists tend to support the idea that the writer of the Gospel of John himself claimed to be an eyewitness in their commentaries of John 21:24 and therefore the gospel was written by an eyewitness; however, this idea is rejected by the majority of modern scholars. New Testament_sentence_98

Most scholars hold to the two-source hypothesis, which posits that the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written. New Testament_sentence_99

On this view, the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke used as sources the Gospel of Mark and a hypothetical Q document to write their individual gospel accounts. New Testament_sentence_100

These three gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels, because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes in exactly the same wording. New Testament_sentence_101

Scholars agree that the Gospel of John was written last, by using a different tradition and body of testimony. New Testament_sentence_102

In addition, most scholars agree that the author of Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. New Testament_sentence_103

Scholars hold that these books constituted two-halves of a single work, Luke-Acts. New Testament_sentence_104

All four gospels and the Acts of the Apostles are anonymous works. New Testament_sentence_105

The Gospel of John claims to be based on eyewitness testimony from the Disciple whom Jesus loved, but never names this character. New Testament_sentence_106

Acts New Testament_section_14

Main article: Authorship of Luke–Acts New Testament_sentence_107

The same author appears to have written the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, and most refer to them as the Lucan texts. New Testament_sentence_108

The most direct evidence comes from the prefaces of each book; both were addressed to Theophilus, and the preface to the Acts of the Apostles references "my former book" about the ministry of Jesus. New Testament_sentence_109

Furthermore, there are linguistic and theological similarities between the two works, suggesting that they have a common author. New Testament_sentence_110

Pauline epistles New Testament_section_15

Main article: Authorship of the Pauline epistles New Testament_sentence_111

The Pauline epistles are the thirteen books in the New Testament traditionally attributed to Paul of Tarsus. New Testament_sentence_112

The anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews is, despite unlikely Pauline authorship, often functionally grouped with these thirteen to form a corpus of fourteen "Pauline" epistles. New Testament_sentence_113

Seven letters are generally classified as "undisputed", expressing contemporary scholarly near consensus that they are the work of Paul: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians and Philemon. New Testament_sentence_114

Six additional letters bearing Paul's name do not currently enjoy the same academic consensus: Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus. New Testament_sentence_115

While many scholars uphold the traditional view, some question whether the first three, called the "Deutero-Pauline Epistles", are authentic letters of Paul. New Testament_sentence_116

As for the latter three, the "Pastoral epistles", some scholars uphold the traditional view of these as the genuine writings of the Apostle Paul; most, however, regard them as pseudepigrapha. New Testament_sentence_117

One might refer to the Epistle to the Laodiceans and the Third Epistle to the Corinthians as examples of works identified as pseudonymous. New Testament_sentence_118

Since the early centuries of the church, there has been debate concerning the authorship of the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews, and contemporary scholars generally reject Pauline authorship. New Testament_sentence_119

The epistles all share common themes, emphasis, vocabulary and style; they exhibit a uniformity of doctrine concerning the Mosaic Law, Jesus, faith, and various other issues. New Testament_sentence_120

All of these letters easily fit into the chronology of Paul's journeys depicted in Acts of the Apostles. New Testament_sentence_121

Other epistles New Testament_section_16

The author of the Epistle of James identifies himself in the opening verse as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ". New Testament_sentence_122

From the middle of the 3rd century, patristic authors cited the Epistle as written by James the Just. New Testament_sentence_123

Ancient and modern scholars have always been divided on the issue of authorship. New Testament_sentence_124

Many consider the epistle to be written in the late 1st or early 2nd centuries. New Testament_sentence_125

The author of the First Epistle of Peter identifies himself in the opening verse as "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ", and the view that the epistle was written by St. Peter is attested to by a number of Church Fathers: Irenaeus (140–203), Tertullian (150–222), Clement of Alexandria (155–215) and Origen of Alexandria (185–253). New Testament_sentence_126

Unlike The Second Epistle of Peter, the authorship of which was debated in antiquity, there was little debate about Peter's authorship of this first epistle until the 18th century. New Testament_sentence_127

Although 2 Peter internally purports to be a work of the apostle, many biblical scholars have concluded that Peter is not the author. New Testament_sentence_128

For an early date and (usually) for a defense of the Apostle Peter's authorship see Kruger, Zahn, Spitta, Bigg, and Green. New Testament_sentence_129

The Epistle of Jude title is written as follows: "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James" (NRSV). New Testament_sentence_130

The debate has continued over the author's identity as the apostle, the brother of Jesus, both, or neither. New Testament_sentence_131

Johannine works New Testament_section_17

Main article: Authorship of the Johannine works New Testament_sentence_132

The Gospel of John, the three Johannine epistles, and the Book of Revelation, exhibit marked similarities, although more so between the gospel and the epistles (especially the gospel and 1 John) than between those and Revelation. New Testament_sentence_133

Most scholars therefore treat the five as a single corpus of Johannine literature, albeit not from the same author. New Testament_sentence_134

The gospel went through two or three "editions" before reaching its current form around AD 90–110. New Testament_sentence_135

It speaks of an unnamed "disciple whom Jesus loved" as the source of its traditions, but does not say specifically that he is its author; Christian tradition identifies this disciple as the apostle John, but while this idea still has supporters, for a variety of reasons the majority of modern scholars have abandoned it or hold it only tenuously. New Testament_sentence_136

It is significantly different from the synoptic gospels, with major variations in material, theological emphasis, chronology, and literary style, sometimes amounting to contradictions. New Testament_sentence_137

The author of the Book of Revelation identifies himself several times as "John". New Testament_sentence_138

and states that he was on Patmos when he received his first vision. New Testament_sentence_139

As a result, the author is sometimes referred to as John of Patmos. New Testament_sentence_140

The author has traditionally been identified with John the Apostle to whom the Gospel and the epistles of John were attributed. New Testament_sentence_141

It was believed that he was exiled to the island of Patmos during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian, and there wrote Revelation. New Testament_sentence_142

Justin Martyr (c. 100–165 AD) who was acquainted with Polycarp, who had been mentored by John, makes a possible allusion to this book, and credits John as the source. New Testament_sentence_143

Irenaeus (c. 115–202) assumes it as a conceded point. New Testament_sentence_144

According to the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, modern scholars are divided between the apostolic view and several alternative hypotheses put forth in the last hundred years or so. New Testament_sentence_145

Ben Witherington points out that linguistic evidence makes it unlikely that the books were written by the same person. New Testament_sentence_146

Dating the New Testament New Testament_section_18

Main article: Dating the Bible § Table IV: New Testament New Testament_sentence_147

External evidence New Testament_section_19

The earliest manuscripts of New Testament books date from the late second to early third centuries (although see Papyrus 52 for a possible exception). New Testament_sentence_148

These manuscripts place a clear upper limit on the dating of New Testament texts. New Testament_sentence_149

Explicit references to NT books in extra-biblical documents can push this upper limit down a bit further. New Testament_sentence_150

Irenaeus of Lyon names and quotes from most of the books in the New Testament in his book Against Heresies, written around 180 AD. New Testament_sentence_151

The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, written some time between 110 and Polycarp's death in 155-167 AD, quotes or alludes to most New Testament texts. New Testament_sentence_152

Ignatius of Antioch wrote letters referencing much of the New Testament. New Testament_sentence_153

He lived from about 35AD to 107AD and is rumored to have been a disciple of the Apostle John. New Testament_sentence_154

His writings reference the Gospels of John, Matthew, and Luke, as well as Peter, James, and Paul's Epistles. New Testament_sentence_155

His writing is usually attributed to the end of his lifetime, which places the Gospels as First Century writings. New Testament_sentence_156

Internal evidence New Testament_section_20

Literary analysis of the New Testament texts themselves can be used to date many of the books of the New Testament to the mid- to late first century. New Testament_sentence_157

The earliest works of the New Testament are the letters of the Apostle Paul. New Testament_sentence_158

It can be determined that 1 Thessalonians is likely the earliest of these letters, written around 52 AD. New Testament_sentence_159

Language New Testament_section_21

Main article: Language of the New Testament New Testament_sentence_160

The major languages spoken by both Jews and Greeks in the Holy Land at the time of Jesus were Aramaic and Koine Greek, and also a colloquial dialect of Mishnaic Hebrew. New Testament_sentence_161

It is generally agreed by most scholars that the historical Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic, perhaps also some Hebrew and Koine Greek. New Testament_sentence_162

The majority view is that all of the books that would eventually form the New Testament were written in the Koine Greek language. New Testament_sentence_163

As Christianity spread, these books were later translated into other languages, most notably, Latin, Syriac, and Egyptian Coptic. New Testament_sentence_164

However, some of the Church Fathers imply or claim that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and then soon after was written in Koine Greek. New Testament_sentence_165

Nevertheless, some scholars believe the Gospel of Matthew known today was composed in Greek and is neither directly dependent upon nor a translation of a text in a Semitic language. New Testament_sentence_166

Style New Testament_section_22

The style of Koine Greek in which the New Testament is written differs from the general Koine Greek used by Greek writers of the same era, a difference that some scholars have explained by the fact that the authors of the New Testament, nearly all Jews and deeply familiar with the Septuagint, wrote in a Jewish-Greek dialect strongly influenced by Aramaic and Hebrew (see Jewish Koine Greek, related to the Greek of the Septuagint). New Testament_sentence_167

But other scholars note that this view is arrived at by comparing the linguistic style of the New Testament to the preserved writings of the literary men of the era, who imitated the style of the great Attic texts and as a result did not reflect the everyday spoken language, so that that this difference in style could be explained by the New Testament being written, unlike other preserved literary material of the era, in the Koine Greek spoken in every day life, in order to appeal to the common people, a style which has also been found in contemporary non-Jewish texts such as private letters, receipts and petitions discovered in Egypt (where the dry air has preserved these documents which, as everyday material not deemed of literary importance, had not been copied by subsequent generations). New Testament_sentence_168

Development of the New Testament canon New Testament_section_23

Main article: Development of the New Testament canon New Testament_sentence_169

The process of canonization of the New Testament was complex and lengthy. New Testament_sentence_170

In the initial centuries of early Christianity, there were many books widely considered by the church to be inspired, but there was no single formally recognized New Testament canon. New Testament_sentence_171

The process was characterized by a compilation of books that apostolic tradition considered authoritative in worship and teaching, relevant to the historical situations in which they lived, and consonant with the Old Testament. New Testament_sentence_172

Writings attributed to the apostles circulated among the earliest Christian communities and the Pauline epistles were circulating, perhaps in collected forms, by the end of the 1st century AD. New Testament_sentence_173

One of the earliest attempts at solidifying a canon was made by Marcion, circa 140 AD, who accepted only a modified version of Luke (the Gospel of Marcion) and ten of Paul's letters, while rejecting the Old Testament entirely. New Testament_sentence_174

His canon was largely rejected by other groups of Christians, notably the proto-orthodox Christians, as was his theology, Marcionism. New Testament_sentence_175

Adolf von Harnack, John Knox, and David Trobisch, among other scholars, have argued that the church formulated its New Testament canon partially in response to the challenge posed by Marcion. New Testament_sentence_176

Polycarp, Irenaeus and Tertullian held the epistles of Paul to be divinely inspired "scripture." New Testament_sentence_177

Other books were held in high esteem but were gradually relegated to the status of New Testament apocrypha. New Testament_sentence_178

Justin Martyr, in the mid 2nd century, mentions "memoirs of the apostles" as being read on Sunday alongside the "writings of the prophets". New Testament_sentence_179

The Muratorian fragment, dated at between 170 and as late as the end of the 4th century (according to the Anchor Bible Dictionary), may be the earliest known New Testament canon attributed to mainstream Christianity. New Testament_sentence_180

It is similar, but not identical, to the modern New Testament canon. New Testament_sentence_181

The oldest clear endorsement of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John being the only legitimate gospels was written circa 180 AD. New Testament_sentence_182

A four gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus, who refers to it directly in his polemic Against Heresies: New Testament_sentence_183

The books considered to be authoritative by Irenaeus included the four gospels and many of the letters of Paul, although, based on the arguments Irenaeus made in support of only four authentic gospels, some interpreters deduce that the fourfold Gospel must have still been a novelty in Irenaeus's time. New Testament_sentence_184

Origen (3rd century) New Testament_section_24

By the early 200s, Origen may have been using the same twenty-seven books as in the Catholic New Testament canon, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of the Letter to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, II Peter, II John and III John and the Book of Revelation, known as the Antilegomena. New Testament_sentence_185

Likewise, the Muratorian fragment is evidence that, perhaps as early as 200, there existed a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to the twenty-seven book NT canon, which included four gospels and argued against objections to them. New Testament_sentence_186

Thus, while there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings are claimed to have been accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century. New Testament_sentence_187

Origen was largely responsible for the collection of usage information regarding the texts that became the New Testament. New Testament_sentence_188

The information used to create the late-4th-century Easter Letter, which declared accepted Christian writings, was probably based on the Ecclesiastical History [HE] of Eusebius of Caesarea, wherein he uses the information passed on to him by Origen to create both his list at HE 3:25 and Origen's list at HE 6:25. New Testament_sentence_189

Eusebius got his information about what texts were then accepted and what were then disputed, by the third-century churches throughout the known world, a great deal of which Origen knew of firsthand from his extensive travels, from the library and writings of Origen. New Testament_sentence_190

In fact, Origen would have possibly included in his list of "inspired writings" other texts kept out by the likes of Eusebius—including the Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and 1 Clement. New Testament_sentence_191

Notwithstanding these facts, "Origen is not the originator of the idea of biblical canon, but he certainly gives the philosophical and literary-interpretative underpinnings for the whole notion." New Testament_sentence_192

Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History New Testament_section_25

Eusebius, circa 300, gave a detailed list of New Testament writings in his Ecclesiastical History , Chapter XXV: New Testament_sentence_193

New Testament_description_list_5

  • "1... First then must be put the holy quaternion of the gospels; following them the Acts of the Apostles... the epistles of Paul... the epistle of John... the epistle of Peter... After them is to be placed, if it really seem proper, the Book of Revelation, concerning which we shall give the different opinions at the proper time. These then belong among the accepted writings."New Testament_item_5_29

New Testament_description_list_6

  • "3 Among the disputed writings, which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name. Among the rejected [Kirsopp Lake translation: "not genuine"] writings must be reckoned also the Acts of Paul, and the so-called Shepherd, and the Apocalypse of Peter, and in addition to these the extant epistle of Barnabas, and the so-called Teachings of the Apostles; and besides, as I said, the Apocalypse of John, if it seem proper, which some, as I said, reject, but which others class with the accepted books. And among these some have placed also the Gospel according to the Hebrews... And all these may be reckoned among the disputed books."New Testament_item_6_30

New Testament_description_list_7

  • "6... such books as the Gospels of Peter, of Thomas, of Matthias, or of any others besides them, and the Acts of Andrew and John and the other apostles... they clearly show themselves to be the fictions of heretics. Wherefore they are not to be placed even among the rejected writings, but are all of them to be cast aside as absurd and impious."New Testament_item_7_31

The Book of Revelation is counted as both accepted (Kirsopp Lake translation: "Recognized") and disputed, which has caused some confusion over what exactly Eusebius meant by doing so. New Testament_sentence_194

From other writings of the church fathers, it was disputed with several canon lists rejecting its canonicity. New Testament_sentence_195

EH 3.3.5 adds further detail on Paul: "Paul's fourteen epistles are well known and undisputed. New Testament_sentence_196

It is not indeed right to overlook the fact that some have rejected the Epistle to the Hebrews, saying that it is disputed by the church of Rome, on the ground that it was not written by Paul." New Testament_sentence_197

EH 4.29.6 mentions the Diatessaron: "But their original founder, Tatian, formed a certain combination and collection of the gospels, I know not how, to which he gave the title Diatessaron, and which is still in the hands of some. New Testament_sentence_198

But they say that he ventured to paraphrase certain words of the apostle Paul, in order to improve their style." New Testament_sentence_199

4th century and later New Testament_section_26

In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of the books that would become the twenty-seven-book NT canon, and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them. New Testament_sentence_200

The first council that accepted the present canon of the New Testament may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (393 AD); the acts of this council, however, are lost. New Testament_sentence_201

A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Council of Carthage (397) and the Council of Carthage (419). New Testament_sentence_202

These councils were under the authority of St. New Testament_sentence_203 Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed. New Testament_sentence_204

Pope Damasus I's Council of Rome in 382, if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it, issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above, or, if not, the list is at least a 6th-century compilation. New Testament_sentence_205

Likewise, Damasus' commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383, was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West. New Testament_sentence_206

In c. 405, Pope Innocent I sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse. New Testament_sentence_207

Christian scholars assert that, when these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, however, they were not defining something new but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church." New Testament_sentence_208

The New Testament canon as it is now was first listed by St. New Testament_sentence_209 Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in 367, in a letter written to his churches in Egypt, . New Testament_sentence_210

Also cited is the Council of Rome, but not without controversy. New Testament_sentence_211

That canon gained wider and wider recognition until it was accepted at the Third Council of Carthage in 397 and 419. New Testament_sentence_212

Even this council did not settle the matter, however. New Testament_sentence_213

Certain books, referred to as Antilegomena, continued to be questioned, especially James and Revelation. New Testament_sentence_214

Even as late as the 16th century, the Reformer Martin Luther questioned (but in the end did not reject) the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation. New Testament_sentence_215

To this day, German-language Luther Bibles are printed with these four books at the end of the canon, rather than in their traditional order as in other editions of the Bible. New Testament_sentence_216

In light of this questioning of the canon of Scripture by Protestants in the 16th century, the (Roman Catholic) Council of Trent reaffirmed the traditional western canon (i.e., the canon accepted at the 4th-century Council of Rome and Council of Carthage), thus making the Canon of Trent and the Vulgate Bible dogma in the Catholic Church. New Testament_sentence_217

Later, Pope Pius XI on 2 June 1927 decreed the Comma Johanneum was open to dispute and Pope Pius XII on 3 September 1943 issued the encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu, which allowed translations based on other versions than just the Latin Vulgate, notably in English the New American Bible. New Testament_sentence_218

Thus, some claim that, from the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today), and that, by the 5th century, the Eastern Church, with a few exceptions, had come to accept the Book of Revelation and thus had come into harmony on the matter of the canon. New Testament_sentence_219

Nonetheless, full dogmatic articulations of the canon were not made until the Canon of Trent of 1546 for Roman Catholicism, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for the Greek Orthodox. New Testament_sentence_220

On the question of NT Canon formation generally, New Testament scholar Lee Martin McDonald has written that: New Testament_sentence_221

Christian scholars assert that when these bishops and councils spoke on the matter, they were not defining something new, but instead "were ratifying what had already become the mind of the Church". New Testament_sentence_222

Some synods of the 4th century published lists of canonical books (e.g. Hippo and Carthage). New Testament_sentence_223

The existing 27-book canon of the New Testament was reconfirmed (for Roman Catholicism) in the 16th century with the Council of Trent (also called the Tridentine Council) of 1546, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 for the Church of England, the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 for Calvinism, and the Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 for Eastern Orthodoxy. New Testament_sentence_224

Although these councils did include statements about the canon, when it came to the New Testament they were only reaffirming the existing canon, including the Antilegomena. New Testament_sentence_225

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Canon of the New Testament: "The idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning, that is from Apostolic times, has no foundation in history. New Testament_sentence_226

The Canon of the New Testament, like that of the Old, is the result of a development, of a process at once stimulated by disputes with doubters, both within and without the Church, and retarded by certain obscurities and natural hesitations, and which did not reach its final term until the dogmatic definition of the Tridentine Council." New Testament_sentence_227

In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. New Testament_sentence_228

Athanasius (Apol. New Testament_sentence_229

Const. 4) recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. New Testament_sentence_230

Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. New Testament_sentence_231

For example, it is speculated that this may have provided motivation for canon lists, and that Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus may be examples of these Bibles. New Testament_sentence_232

Together with the Peshitta and Codex Alexandrinus, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles. New Testament_sentence_233

There is no evidence among the canons of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon. New Testament_sentence_234

Early manuscripts New Testament_section_27

Main article: New Testament manuscripts New Testament_sentence_235

Like other literature from antiquity, the text of the New Testament was (prior to the advent of the printing press) preserved and transmitted in manuscripts. New Testament_sentence_236

Manuscripts containing at least a part of the New Testament number in the thousands. New Testament_sentence_237

The earliest of these (like manuscripts containing other literature) are often very fragmentarily preserved. New Testament_sentence_238

Some of these fragments have even been thought to date as early as the 2nd century (i.e., Papyrus 90, Papyrus 98, Papyrus 104, and famously Rylands Library Papyrus P52, though the early date of the latter has recently been called into question). New Testament_sentence_239

For each subsequent century, more and more manuscripts survive that contain a portion or all of the books that were held to be part of the New Testament at that time (for example, the New Testament of the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, once a complete Bible, contains the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas), though occasionally these manuscripts contain other works as well (e.g., Papyrus 72 and the Crosby-Schøyen Codex). New Testament_sentence_240

The date when a manuscript was written, however, does not necessarily reflect the date of the form of text it contains. New Testament_sentence_241

That is, later manuscripts can, and occasionally do, contain older forms of text or older readings. New Testament_sentence_242

Some of the more important manuscripts containing an early text of books of the New Testament are: New Testament_sentence_243

New Testament_unordered_list_8

  • The Chester Beatty Papyri (Greek; the New Testament portions of which were copied in the 3rd century)New Testament_item_8_32
  • The Bodmer Papyri (Greek and Coptic; the New Testament portions of which were copied in the 3rd and 4th centuries)New Testament_item_8_33
  • Codex Bobiensis (Latin; copied in the 4th century, but containing at least a 3rd-century form of text)New Testament_item_8_34
  • Uncial 0171 (Greek; copied in the late-third or early 4th century)New Testament_item_8_35
  • Syriac Sinaiticus (Syriac; copied in the 4th century)New Testament_item_8_36
  • Schøyen Manuscript 2560 (Coptic; copied in the 4th century)New Testament_item_8_37
  • Codex Vaticanus (Greek; copied in the 4th century)New Testament_item_8_38
  • Codex Sinaiticus (Greek; copied in the 4th century)New Testament_item_8_39
  • Codex Vercellensis (Latin; copied in the 4th century)New Testament_item_8_40
  • Curetonian Gospels (Syriac; copied in the 5th century)New Testament_item_8_41
  • Garima Gospels ( Ge'ez language, produced in the 5th through 6th century)New Testament_item_8_42

Textual variation New Testament_section_28

Main articles: Textual variants in the New Testament and Textual criticism of the New Testament New Testament_sentence_244

Textual criticism deals with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts. New Testament_sentence_245

Ancient scribes made errors or alterations (such as including non-authentic additions). New Testament_sentence_246

The New Testament has been preserved in more than 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Ethiopic and Armenian. New Testament_sentence_247

Even if the original Greek versions were lost, the entire New Testament could still be assembled from the translations. New Testament_sentence_248

In addition, there are so many quotes from the New Testament in early church documents and commentaries that the entire New Testament could also be assembled from these alone. New Testament_sentence_249

Not all biblical manuscripts come from orthodox Christian writers. New Testament_sentence_250

For example, the Gnostic writings of Valentinus come from the 2nd century AD, and these Christians were regarded as heretics by the mainstream church. New Testament_sentence_251

The sheer number of witnesses presents unique difficulties, but it also gives scholars a better idea of how close modern Bibles are to the original versions. New Testament_sentence_252

On noting the large number of surviving ancient manuscripts, Bruce Metzger sums up the view on the issue by saying "The more often you have copies that agree with each other, especially if they emerge from different geographical areas, the more you can cross-check them to figure out what the original document was like. New Testament_sentence_253

The only way they'd agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts. New Testament_sentence_254

Interpolations New Testament_section_29

In attempting to determine the original text of the New Testament books, some modern textual critics have identified sections as additions of material, centuries after the gospel was written. New Testament_sentence_255

These are called interpolations. New Testament_sentence_256

In modern translations of the Bible, the results of textual criticism have led to certain verses, words and phrases being left out or marked as not original. New Testament_sentence_257

According to Bart D. Ehrman, "These scribal additions are often found in late medieval manuscripts of the New Testament, but not in the manuscripts of the earlier centuries." New Testament_sentence_258

Most modern Bibles have footnotes to indicate passages that have disputed source documents. New Testament_sentence_259

Bible Commentaries also discuss these, sometimes in great detail. New Testament_sentence_260

While many variations have been discovered between early copies of biblical texts, almost all have no importance, as they are variations in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. New Testament_sentence_261

Also, many of these variants are so particular to the Greek language that they would not appear in translations into other languages. New Testament_sentence_262

For example, order of words (i.e. "man bites dog" versus "dog bites man") often does not matter in Greek, so textual variants that flip the order of words often have no consequences. New Testament_sentence_263

Outside of these unimportant variants, there are a couple variants of some importance. New Testament_sentence_264

The two most commonly cited examples are the last verses of the Gospel of Mark and the story of the adulterous woman in the Gospel of John. New Testament_sentence_265

Many scholars and critics also believe that the Comma Johanneum reference supporting the Trinity doctrine in 1 John to have been a later addition. New Testament_sentence_266

According to Norman Geisler and William Nix, "The New Testament, then, has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity, but it has survived in a purer form than any other great book—a form that is 99.5% pure" New Testament_sentence_267

The often referred to Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, a book written to prove the validity of the New Testament, says: " A study of 150 Greek [manuscripts] of the Gospel of Luke has revealed more than 30,000 different readings... New Testament_sentence_268

It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the [manuscript] is wholly uniform." New Testament_sentence_269

Most of the variation took place within the first three Christian centuries. New Testament_sentence_270

Text-types New Testament_section_30

By the 4th century, textual "families" or types of text become discernible among New Testament manuscripts. New Testament_sentence_271

A "text-type" is the name given to a family of texts with similar readings due to common ancestors and mutual correction. New Testament_sentence_272

Many early manuscripts, however, contain individual readings from several different earlier forms of text. New Testament_sentence_273

Modern texual critics have identified the following text-types among textual witnesses to the New Testament: The Alexandrian text-type is usually considered to generally preserve many early readings. New Testament_sentence_274

It is represented, e.g., by Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and the Bodmer Papyri. New Testament_sentence_275

The Western text-type is generally longer and can be paraphrastic, but can also preserve early readings. New Testament_sentence_276

The Western version of the Acts of the Apostles is, notably, 8.5% longer than the Alexandrian form of the text. New Testament_sentence_277

Examples of the Western text are found in Codex Bezae, Codex Claromontanus, Codex Washingtonianus, the Old Latin (i.e., Latin translations made prior to the Vulgate), as well as in quotations by Marcion, Tatian, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Cyprian. New Testament_sentence_278

A text-type referred to as the "Caesarean text-type" and thought to have included witnesses such as Codex Koridethi and minuscule 565, can today be described neither as "Caesarean" nor as a text-type as was previously thought. New Testament_sentence_279

However, the Gospel of Mark in Papyrus 45, Codex Washingtonianus and in Family 13 does indeed reflect a distinct type of text. New Testament_sentence_280

Increasing standardization of distinct (and once local) text-types eventually gave rise to the Byzantine text-type. New Testament_sentence_281

Since most manuscripts of the New Testament do not derive from the first several centuries, that is, they were copied after the rise of the Byzantine text-type, this form of text is found the majority of extant manuscripts and is therefore often called the "Majority Text." New Testament_sentence_282

As with all of the other (earlier) text-types, the Byzantine can also occasionally preserve early readings. New Testament_sentence_283

Biblical criticism New Testament_section_31

Main article: Biblical criticism New Testament_sentence_284

Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." New Testament_sentence_285

Viewing biblical texts as having human rather than supernatural origins, it asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work in its production; what sources were used in its composition; and what message it was intended to convey. New Testament_sentence_286

It will vary slightly depending on whether the focus is on the Old Testament, the letters of the New Testament, or the Canonical Gospels. New Testament_sentence_287

It also plays an important role in the quest for the historical Jesus. New Testament_sentence_288

It also addresses the physical text, including the meaning of the words and the way in which they are used, its preservation, history, and integrity. New Testament_sentence_289

Biblical criticism draws upon a wide range of scholarly disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, folklore, linguistics, narrative criticism, Oral Tradition studies, history, and religious studies. New Testament_sentence_290

Establishing a critical text New Testament_section_32

Main article: New Testament manuscripts New Testament_sentence_291

The textual variation among manuscript copies of books in the New Testament prompted attempts to discern the earliest form of text already in antiquity (e.g., by the 3rd-century Christian author Origen). New Testament_sentence_292

The efforts began in earnest again during the Renaissance, which saw a revival of the study of ancient Greek texts. New Testament_sentence_293

During this period, modern textual criticism was born. New Testament_sentence_294

In this context, Christian humanists such as Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus promoted a return to the original Greek of the New Testament. New Testament_sentence_295

This was the beginning of modern New Testament textual criticism, which over subsequent centuries would increasingly incorporate more and more manuscripts, in more languages (i.e., versions of the New Testament), as well as citations of the New Testament by ancient authors and the New Testament text in lectionaries in order to reconstruct the earliest recoverable form of the New Testament text and the history of changes to it. New Testament_sentence_296

Relationship to earlier and contemporaneous literature New Testament_section_33

Further information: Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible New Testament_sentence_297

Books that later formed the New Testament, like other Christian literature of the period, originated in a literary context that reveals relationships not only to other Christian writings, but also to Graeco-Roman and Jewish works. New Testament_sentence_298

Of singular importance is the extensive use of and interaction with the Jewish Bible and what would become the Christian Old Testament. New Testament_sentence_299

Both implicit and explicit citations, as well as countless allusions, appear throughout the books of the New Testament, from the Gospels and Acts, to the Epistles, to the Apocalypse. New Testament_sentence_300

Early versions New Testament_section_34

The first translations (usually called "versions") of the New Testament were made beginning already at the end of 2nd century. New Testament_sentence_301

The earliest versions of the New Testament are the translations into the Syriac, Latin, and Coptic languages. New Testament_sentence_302

These three versions were made directly from the Greek, and are frequently cited in the apparatuses of modern critical editions. New Testament_sentence_303

Syriac New Testament_section_35

Main article: Syriac versions of the Bible New Testament_sentence_304

Syriac was spoken in Syria, and Mesopotamia, and with dialect in Roman and Byzantine Palestine where it was known as Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. New Testament_sentence_305

Several Syriac translations were made and have come to us. New Testament_sentence_306

Most of the Old Syriac, however, as well as the Philoxonian version have been lost. New Testament_sentence_307

Tatian, the Assyrian, created the Diatessaron, a gospel harmony written in Syriac around 170 AD and the earliest form of the gospel not only in Syriac but probably also in Armenian. New Testament_sentence_308

In the 19th century, manuscript evidence was discovered for an "Old Syriac" version of the four distinct (i.e., not harmonized) gospels. New Testament_sentence_309

These "separated" (Syriac: da-Mepharreshe) gospels, though old, have been shown to be later than the Diatessaron. New Testament_sentence_310

The Old Syriac gospels are fragmentarily preserved in two manuscripts: the 5th-century Curetonian Syriac and the Sinaitic Syriac from the 4th or 5th century. New Testament_sentence_311

No Old Syriac manuscripts of other portions of the New Testament survive, though Old Syriac readings, e.g. from the Pauline Epistles, can be discerned in citations made by Eastern fathers and in later Syriac versions. New Testament_sentence_312

The Old Syriac version is a representative of the Western text-type. New Testament_sentence_313

The Peshitta version was prepared in the beginning of the 5th century. New Testament_sentence_314

It contains only 22 books (neither the Minor Catholic Epistles of 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, nor the Book of Revelation were part of this translation). New Testament_sentence_315

The Philoxenian probably was produced in 508 for Philoxenus, Bishop of Mabung. New Testament_sentence_316

Latin New Testament_section_36

Main articles: Vetus Latina and Vulgate New Testament_sentence_317

The Gospels were likely translated into Latin as early as the last quarter of the 2nd century in North Africa (Afra). New Testament_sentence_318

Not much later, there were also European Latin translations (Itala). New Testament_sentence_319

There are about 80 Old Latin mansucripts. New Testament_sentence_320

The Vetus Latina ("Old Latin") versions often contain readings with a Western type of text. New Testament_sentence_321

(For the avoidance of confusion, these texts were written in Late Latin, not the early version of the Latin language known as Old Latin, pre 75 BC.) New Testament_sentence_322

The bewildering diversity of the Old Latin versions prompted Jerome to prepare another translation into Latin—the Vulgate. New Testament_sentence_323

In many respects it was merely a revision of the Old Latin. New Testament_sentence_324

There are currently around 8,000 manuscripts of the Vulgate. New Testament_sentence_325

Coptic New Testament_section_37

Main article: Coptic versions of the Bible New Testament_sentence_326

There are several dialects of the Coptic language: Bohairic (northern dialect), Fayyumic, Sahidic (southern dialect), Akhmimic, and others. New Testament_sentence_327

The first translation was made by at least the 3rd century into the Sahidic dialect (cop). New Testament_sentence_328

This translation represents a mixed text, mostly Alexandrian, though also with Western readings. New Testament_sentence_329

A Bohairic translation was made later, but existed already in the 4th century. New Testament_sentence_330

Though the translation makes less use of Greek words than the Sahidic, it does employ some Greek grammar (e.g., in word-order and the use of particles such as the syntactic construction μεν—δε). New Testament_sentence_331

For this reason, the Bohairic translation can be helpful in the reconstruction of the early Greek text of the New Testament. New Testament_sentence_332

Other ancient translations New Testament_section_38

The continued spread of Christianity, and the foundation of national churches, led to the translation of the Bible—often beginning with books from the New Testament—into a variety of other languages at a relatively early date: Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Persian, Sogdian, and eventually Gothic, Old Church Slavonic, Arabic, and Nubian. New Testament_sentence_333

Modern translations New Testament_section_39

Main article: Bible translations New Testament_sentence_334

Historically, throughout the Christian world and in the context of Christian missionary activity, the New Testament (or portions thereof) has been that part of the Christian Bible first translated into the vernacular. New Testament_sentence_335

The production of such translations grew out of the insertion of vernacular glosses in biblical texts, as well as out of the production of biblical paraphrases and poetic renditions of stories from the life of Christ (e.g., the Heliand). New Testament_sentence_336

The 16th century saw the rise of Protestantism and an explosion of translations of the New (and Old) Testament into the vernacular. New Testament_sentence_337

Notable are those of Martin Luther (1522), Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples (1523), the Froschau Bible (1525–1529, revised in 1574), William Tyndale (1526, revised in 1534, 1535 and 1536), the Brest Bible (1563), and the Authorized Version (also called the "King James Version") (1611). New Testament_sentence_338

Most of these translations relied (though not always exclusively) upon one of the printed editions of the Greek New Testament edited by Erasmus, the Novum Instrumentum omne; a form of this Greek text emerged as the standard and is known as the Textus Receptus. New Testament_sentence_339

This text, based on the majority of manuscripts is also used in the majority of translations that were made in the years 100 to 400 AD. New Testament_sentence_340

Translations of the New Testament made since the appearance of critical editions of the Greek text (notably those of Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, and von Soden) have largely used them as their base text. New Testament_sentence_341

Unlike the Textus Receptus, these have a pronounced Alexandrian character. New Testament_sentence_342

Standard critical editions are those of Nestle-Åland (the text, though not the full critical apparatus of which is reproduced in the United Bible Societies' "Greek New Testament"), Souter, Vogels, Bover and Merk. New Testament_sentence_343

Notable translations of the New Testament based on these most recent critical editions include the Revised Standard Version (1946, revised in 1971), (1961, revised in 1973 and 2000), the Einheitsübersetzung (1970, final edition 1979), the New American Bible (1970, revised in 1986), the Traduction Oecuménique de la Bible (1988, revised in 2004), and the New Revised Standard Version (1989). New Testament_sentence_344

Theological interpretation in Christian churches New Testament_section_40

Main article: Biblical authority New Testament_sentence_345

Though all Christian churches accept the New Testament as scripture, they differ in their understanding of the nature, extent, and relevance of its authority. New Testament_sentence_346

Views of the authoritativeness of the New Testament often depend on the concept of inspiration, which relates to the role of God in the formation of the New Testament. New Testament_sentence_347

Generally, the greater the role of God in one's doctrine of inspiration, the more one accepts the doctrine of biblical inerrancy or authoritativeness of the Bible. New Testament_sentence_348

One possible source of confusion is that these terms are difficult to define, because many people use them interchangeably or with very different meanings. New Testament_sentence_349

This article will use the terms in the following manner: New Testament_sentence_350

New Testament_unordered_list_9

  • Infallibility relates to the absolute correctness of the Bible in matters of doctrine.New Testament_item_9_43
  • Inerrancy relates to the absolute correctness of the Bible in factual assertions (including historical and scientific assertions).New Testament_item_9_44
  • Authoritativeness relates to the correctness of the Bible in questions of practice in morality.New Testament_item_9_45

All of these concepts depend for their meaning on the supposition that the text of Bible has been properly interpreted, with consideration for the intention of the text, whether literal history, allegory or poetry, etc. New Testament_sentence_351

Especially the doctrine of inerrancy is variously understood according to the weight given by the interpreter to scientific investigations of the world. New Testament_sentence_352

Unity in diversity New Testament_section_41

The notion of unity in diversity of Scripture claims that the Bible presents a noncontradictory and consistent message concerning God and redemptive history. New Testament_sentence_353

The fact of diversity is observed in comparing the diversity of time, culture, authors' perspectives, literary genre, and the theological themes. New Testament_sentence_354

Studies from many theologians considering the "unity in diversity" to be found in the New Testament (and the Bible as a whole) have been collected and summarized by New Testament theologian Frank Stagg. New Testament_sentence_355

He describes them as some basic presuppositions, tenets, and concerns common among the New Testament writers, giving to the New Testament its "unity in diversity": New Testament_sentence_356

New Testament_ordered_list_10

  1. The reality of God is never argued but is always assumed and affirmedNew Testament_item_10_46
  2. Jesus Christ is absolutely central: he is Lord and Savior, the foretold Prophet, the Messianic King, the Chosen, the way, the truth, and the light, the One through whom God the Father not only acted but through whom He cameNew Testament_item_10_47
  3. The Holy Spirit came anew with Jesus Christ.New Testament_item_10_48
  4. The Christian faith and life are a calling, rooted in divine election.New Testament_item_10_49
  5. The plight of everyone as sinner means that each person is completely dependent upon the mercy and grace of GodNew Testament_item_10_50
  6. Salvation is both God's gift and his demand through Jesus Christ, to be received by faithNew Testament_item_10_51
  7. The death and resurrection of Jesus are at the heart of the total event of which he was the centerNew Testament_item_10_52
  8. God creates a people of his own, designated and described by varied terminology and analogiesNew Testament_item_10_53
  9. History must be understood eschatologically, being brought along toward its ultimate goal when the kingdom of God, already present in Christ, is brought to its complete triumphNew Testament_item_10_54
  10. In Christ, all of God's work of creation, revelation, and redemption is brought to fulfillmentNew Testament_item_10_55

Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Classical Anglicanism New Testament_section_42

For the Roman Catholic Church, there are two modes of Revelation: Scripture and Tradition. New Testament_sentence_357

Both of them are interpreted by the teachings of the Church. New Testament_sentence_358

The Roman Catholic view is expressed clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997): New Testament_sentence_359

In Catholic terminology the teaching office is called the Magisterium. New Testament_sentence_360

The Catholic view should not be confused with the two-source theory. New Testament_sentence_361

As the Catechism states in §§ 80 and 81, Revelation has "one common source ... two distinct modes of transmission." New Testament_sentence_362

While many Eastern Orthodox writers distinguish between Scripture and Tradition, Bishop Kallistos Ware says that for the Orthodox there is only one source of the Christian faith, Holy Tradition, within which Scripture exists. New Testament_sentence_363

Traditional Anglicans believe that "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation", (Article VI), but also that the Catholic Creeds "ought thoroughly to be received and believed" (Article VIII), and that the Church "hath authority in Controversies of Faith" and is "a witness and keeper of Holy Writ" (Article XX). New Testament_sentence_364

Classical Anglicanism, therefore, like Orthodoxy, holds that Holy Tradition is the only safe guardian against perversion and innovation in the interpretation of Scripture. New Testament_sentence_365

In the famous words of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells: "As for my religion, I dye in the holy catholic and apostolic faith professed by the whole Church before the disunion of East and West, more particularly in the communion of the Church of England, as it stands distinguished from all Papal and Puritan innovations, and as it adheres to the doctrine of the Cross." New Testament_sentence_366

Protestantism New Testament_section_43

Following the doctrine of sola scriptura, Protestants believe that their traditions of faith, practice and interpretations carry forward what the scriptures teach, and so tradition is not a source of authority in itself. New Testament_sentence_367

Their traditions derive authority from the Bible, and are therefore always open to reevaluation. New Testament_sentence_368

This openness to doctrinal revision has extended in Liberal Protestant traditions even to the reevaluation of the doctrine of Scripture upon which the Reformation was founded, and members of these traditions may even question whether the Bible is infallible in doctrine, inerrant in historical and other factual statements, and whether it has uniquely divine authority. New Testament_sentence_369

However, the adjustments made by modern Protestants to their doctrine of scripture vary widely. New Testament_sentence_370

American evangelical and fundamentalist Protestantism New Testament_section_44

Within the US, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) is a statement, articulating evangelical views on this issue. New Testament_sentence_371

Paragraph four of its summary states: "Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives." New Testament_sentence_372

American mainline and liberal Protestantism New Testament_section_45

Mainline American Protestant denominations, including the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church USA, The Episcopal Church, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, do not teach the doctrine of inerrancy as set forth in the Chicago Statement. New Testament_sentence_373

All of these churches have more ancient doctrinal statements asserting the authority of scripture, but may interpret these statements in such a way as to allow for a very broad range of teaching—from evangelicalism to skepticism. New Testament_sentence_374

It is not an impediment to ordination in these denominations to teach that the scriptures contain errors, or that the authors follow a more or less unenlightened ethics that, however appropriate it may have seemed in the authors' time, moderns would be very wrong to follow blindly. New Testament_sentence_375

For example, ordination of women is universally accepted in the mainline churches, abortion is condemned as a grievous social tragedy but not always a personal sin or a crime against an unborn person, and homosexuality is sometimes recognized as a genetic propensity or morally neutral preference that should be neither encouraged nor condemned. New Testament_sentence_376

In North America, the most contentious of these issues among these churches at the present time is how far the ordination of gay men and lesbians should be accepted. New Testament_sentence_377

Officials of the Presbyterian Church USA report: "We acknowledge the role of scriptural authority in the Presbyterian Church, but Presbyterians generally do not believe in biblical inerrancy. New Testament_sentence_378

Presbyterians do not insist that every detail of chronology or sequence or prescientific description in scripture be true in literal form. New Testament_sentence_379

Our confessions do teach biblical infallibility. New Testament_sentence_380

Infallibility affirms the entire truthfulness of scripture without depending on every exact detail." New Testament_sentence_381

Those who hold a more liberal view of the Bible as a human witness to the glory of God, the work of fallible humans who wrote from a limited experience unusual only for the insight they have gained through their inspired struggle to know God in the midst of a troubled world. New Testament_sentence_382

Therefore, they tend not to accept such doctrines as inerrancy. New Testament_sentence_383

These churches also tend to retain the social activism of their evangelical forebears of the 19th century, placing particular emphasis on those teachings of scripture that teach compassion for the poor and concern for social justice. New Testament_sentence_384

The message of personal salvation is, generally speaking, of the good that comes to oneself and the world through following the New Testament's Golden Rule admonition to love others without hypocrisy or prejudice. New Testament_sentence_385

Toward these ends, the "spirit" of the New Testament, more than the letter, is infallible and authoritative. New Testament_sentence_386

There are some movements that believe the Bible contains the teachings of Jesus but who reject the churches that were formed following its publication. New Testament_sentence_387

These people believe all individuals can communicate directly with God and therefore do not need guidance or doctrines from a church. New Testament_sentence_388

These people are known as Christian anarchists. New Testament_sentence_389

Messianic Judaism New Testament_section_46

Messianic Judaism generally holds the same view of New Testament authority as evangelical Protestants. New Testament_sentence_390

According to the view of some Messianic Jewish congregations, Jesus did not annul the Torah, but that its interpretation is revised and ultimately explained through the Apostolic Scriptures. New Testament_sentence_391

Jehovah's Witnesses New Testament_section_47

Jehovah's Witnesses accept the New Testament as divinely inspired Scripture, and as infallible in every detail, with equal authority as the Hebrew Scriptures. New Testament_sentence_392

They view it as the written revelation and good news of the Messiah, the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, and the Kingdom of God, explaining and expounding the Hebrew Bible, not replacing but vitally supplementing it. New Testament_sentence_393

They also view the New Testament as the primary instruction guide for Christian living, and church discipline. New Testament_sentence_394

They generally call the New Testament the "Christian Greek Scriptures", and see only the "covenants" as "old" or "new", but not any part of the actual Scriptures themselves. New Testament_sentence_395

United Pentecostals New Testament_section_48

Oneness Pentecostalism subscribes to the common Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura. New Testament_sentence_396

They view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and as absolutely inerrant in its contents (though not necessarily in every translation). New Testament_sentence_397

They regard the New Testament as perfect and inerrant in every way, revealing the Lord Jesus Christ in the Flesh, and his Atonement, and which also explains and illuminates the Old Testament perfectly, and is part of the Bible canon, not because church councils or decrees claimed it so, but by witness of the Holy Spirit. New Testament_sentence_398

Seventh-day Adventists New Testament_section_49

The Seventh-day Adventist Church holds the New Testament as the inspired Word of God, with God influencing the "thoughts" of the Apostles in the writing, not necessarily every word though. New Testament_sentence_399

The first fundamental belief of the Seventh-Day Adventist church stated that "The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of [God's] will." New Testament_sentence_400

Adventist theologians generally reject the "verbal inspiration" position on Scripture held by many conservative evangelical Christians. New Testament_sentence_401

They believe instead that God inspired the thoughts of the biblical authors and apostles, and that the writers then expressed these thoughts in their own words. New Testament_sentence_402

This view is popularly known as "thought inspiration", and most Adventist members hold to that view. New Testament_sentence_403

According to Ed Christian, former JATS editor, "few if any ATS members believe in verbal inerrancy". New Testament_sentence_404

Regarding the teachings of the New Testament compared to the Old, and the application in the New Covenant, Adventists have traditionally taught that the Decalogue is part of the moral law of God, which was not abrogated by the ministry and death of Jesus Christ. New Testament_sentence_405

Therefore, the fourth commandment concerning the Sabbath is as applicable to Christian believers as the other nine. New Testament_sentence_406

Adventists have often taught a distinction between "moral law" and "ceremonial law". New Testament_sentence_407

According to Adventist beliefs, the moral law continues into the "New Testament era", but the ceremonial law was done away with by Jesus. New Testament_sentence_408

How the Mosaic law should be applied came up at Adventist conferences in the past, and Adventist theologians such as A. New Testament_sentence_409 T. Jones and E. New Testament_sentence_410 J. Waggoner looked at the problem addressed by Paul in Galatians as not the ceremonial law, but rather the wrong use of the law (legalism). New Testament_sentence_411

They were opposed by Uriah Smith and George Butler at the 1888 Conference. New Testament_sentence_412

Smith in particular thought the Galatians issue had been settled by Ellen White already, yet in 1890 she claimed justification by faith is "the third angel's message in verity." New Testament_sentence_413

Ellen White interpreted as saying that the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross. New Testament_sentence_414

Latter-day Saints New Testament_section_50

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) believe that the New Testament, as part of the Christian biblical canon, is accurate "as far as it is translated correctly". New Testament_sentence_415

They believe the Bible as originally revealed is the word of God, but that the processes of transcription and translation have introduced errors into the texts as currently available, and therefore they cannot be regarded as completely inerrant. New Testament_sentence_416

In addition to the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price are considered part of their scriptural canon. New Testament_sentence_417

In the liturgy New Testament_section_51

Despite the wide variety among Christian liturgies, texts from the New Testament play a role in almost all forms of Christian worship. New Testament_sentence_418

In addition to some language derived from the New Testament in the liturgy itself (e.g., the Trisagion may be based on Apocalypse 4:8, and the beginning of the "Hymn of Praise" draws upon Luke 2:14), the reading of extended passages from the New Testament is a practice common to almost all Christian worship, liturgical or not. New Testament_sentence_419

These readings are most often part of an established lectionary (i.e., selected texts to be read at church services on specific days), and (together with an Old Testament reading and a Psalm) include a non-gospel reading from the New Testament and culminate with a Gospel reading. New Testament_sentence_420

No readings from the Book of Revelation, however, are included in the standard lectionary of the Eastern Orthodox churches. New Testament_sentence_421

Central to the Christian liturgy is the celebration of the Eucharist or "Holy Communion". New Testament_sentence_422

The Words of Institution that begin this rite are drawn directly from 1 Corinthians 11:23–26. New Testament_sentence_423

In addition, the communal recitation of the Lord's Prayer (in the form found in the Gospel of Matthew 6:9–13) is also a standard feature of Christian worship. New Testament_sentence_424

In the arts New Testament_section_52

Further information: Nativity of Jesus in art and Passion play New Testament_sentence_425

Most of the influence of the New Testament upon the arts has come from the Gospels and the Book of Revelation. New Testament_sentence_426

Literary expansion of the Nativity of Jesus found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke began already in the 2nd century, and the portrayal of the Nativity has continued in various art forms to this day. New Testament_sentence_427

The earliest Christian art would often depict scenes from the New Testament such as the raising of Lazarus, the baptism of Jesus or the motif of the Good Shepherd. New Testament_sentence_428

Biblical paraphrases and poetic renditions of stories from the life of Christ (e.g., the Heliand) became popular in the Middle Ages, as did the portrayal of the arrest, trial and execution of Jesus in Passion plays. New Testament_sentence_429

Indeed, the Passion became a central theme in Christian art and music. New Testament_sentence_430

The ministry and Passion of Jesus, as portrayed in one or more of the New Testament Gospels, has also been a theme in film, almost since the inception of the medium (e.g., La Passion, France, 1903). New Testament_sentence_431

See also New Testament_section_53

New Testament_unordered_list_11


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New Testament.