Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Textual Composition of the Testaments - Charts and Diagrams (including Linguistic Sample Study)


Ancient Alphabets


The interrelationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament, according to the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1903) Some manuscripts are identified by their siglum. LXX here denotes the original Septuagint. - Source: Wikipedia article on the Old Testament


Gospel Source Theories


How Textual Variations Arise

Variation of Manuscripts from Hypothetical "Original" Text

Source: See link here

Transmission Timelines of a New Testament text - Source: See link here

... JUST FOR FUN ...


Network analysis of Genesis 1:3

This idea was stolen blatantly from the Laboratory Exercises in Evolution at the  Biology Department, University of Virginia (Janis Antonovics, Joanna Vondrasek, Doug Taylor), where it is set as a class exercise for learning phylogenetic analysis. In turn, these people credit a similar idea to Barbrook et al. (1998. The phylogeny of the Canterbury Tales. Nature 394: 839), although the originators appear to be Robinson and O'Hara (1996. Cladistic analysis of an Old Norse manuscript tradition. Research in Humanities Computing 4: 115-137). It is an exercise in stemmatology, which can be a lot more tricky than you might think.

Stemmatology is the discipline that attempts to reconstruct the transmission history of a written text on the basis of relationships between the various extant versions (eg. manuscripts or printings). These relationships can be revealed using phylogenetic networks, which is the approach that I present here. A network is more appropriate than a phylogenetic tree, for reasons that will become obvious — the evolution of books is not a simple thing.


The original text of the christian Bible was written mostly in Hebrew and Aramaic for the Old Testament, and in Greek for the New Testament. It was later translated into Latin, which was then standardized as the "Vulgate", and this was then almost the only version used in churches for the best part of a millennium. The only texts in Old English consisted usually of either the Gospels or the Psalms only.

This situation was challenged in the late 14th century, when the first Middle English translations of the whole Bible appeared. There was active resistance to this by the formal Church, and so the idea of an English translation was dropped until the mid 16th century, when the Reformation inspired attempts to translate the books into Modern English as part of a new Protestant religion. These moves were sanctioned by the government, with first the Great Bible (1539) and then the King James Version (1611). Various revisions of the latter have appeared, especially since the late 19th century. These days, there is a veritable cottage industry producing new versions of the Bible for various purposes, usually based on the original texts rather than on earlier translations, with various translation principles being employed (eg. Formal Equivalence, Dynamic Equivalence, Closest Natural Equivalence, etc).

You can consult the various versions of the English-language Bible at one or more of several online sites:
The data used below were all obtained from these sites. These sites suggest that the most famous English-language versions of the Bible are: the Geneva Bible (1560), as used throughout the Reformation, and by William Shakespeare as well as by the "Pilgrim Fathers" in America, and the King James Version (1611), which was the standard English text for a quarter of a millennium. The most widespread current Bible is apparently the New International Version, which has been updated several times since its first appearance in 1973.


The text that I use is the third sentence of the Bible — Genesis 1:3. (The biblical text was first numbered in the Geneva Bible of 1560.) Here is a dated listing of that sentence in all of the early English translations, plus most of the revisions up to the mid-20th century, and a sample of the many recent versions: 

1382 Wycliffe Bible  And God seide, Be maad li3t; and maad is li3t.
1395 Later Wycliffe  And God seide, li3t be maad; and li3t was maad.
1530 Tyndale Bible  Then God sayd: let there be lyghte and there was lyghte.
1535 Coverdale Bible  Than God sayd: let there be light: & there was lyght.
1537 Matthew Bible  And God sayde: let there be light, and there was light.
1539 Great Bible  And God sayde: let there be made lyght, and there was light made.
1560 Geneva Bible  Then God saide, Let there be light: And there was light.
1568 Bishop's Bible  And God sayde, let there be light: and there was light.
1609 Douay-Rheims Bible  And God said: Be light made And light was made.
1611 King James Version  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1750 Challoner Revision  And God said: Be light made. And light was made.
1769 Blayney Revision  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1833 Webster's Bible  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1862 Young's Literal Translation  and God saith, 'Let light be;' and light is.
1885 English Revised Version  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1890 Darby Bible  And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.
1901 American Standard Version  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1950 Knox Bible  Then God said, Let there be light; and the light began.
1952 Revised Standard Version  And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
1971 New American Standard Bible  Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
1973 New International Version  And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
1976 Good News Bible  Then God commanded, "Let there be light" — and light appeared.
1982 New King James Version  Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
1995 God's Word Translation  Then God said, "Let there be light!" So there was light.
1996 New Living Version  Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
2011 Common English Bible  God said, "Let there be light." And so light appeared.

The first thing we need to do is align the text of these 26 versions, including both words and punctuation. This allows us to directly compare each of the elements of the sentence, comparing like with like as far as their features are concerned.

This is not as easy as it sounds. In this alignment I have separated words when they seem to have a different intent — for example, "was made" is not equivalent to "appeared". I can see endless arguments about the alignment of any text; and, indeed, disagreements about the intent of the original text is what has lead to so many different versions of the Bible being created in English.

This alignment then needs to be coded as a set of characters, which define the hypothesized homology between the various elements of the text. In this case I ended up with 50 additive binary characters for analysis. In general, I used Young's Literal Translation to determine the ancestral state for each character, as this translation was an explicit attempt to emulate the Hebrew original. A nexus-formatted version of the dataset is available here.

Various network methods could be used to summarize the character data. First, I have used a NeighborNet based on hamming distances, as I usually do (see my earlier analyses). As you can see from the graph, there is no simple tree-like relationships among these texts, which calls into question any simplistic attempt at stemmatology. (Note that in two cases there are multiple texts that have identical sentences, and thus they appear at the same location in the graph.)

It is worth pointing out here that Barbrook et al. (1998) produced a bush-like graph from their data for the Canterbury Tales, but only after deleting 14 of their 58 manuscripts, "as they were likely to have been copied from more than one exemplar, either by deliberate conflation of readings or by changing the exemplar during the course of copying." A similar explanation is likely to apply for some of the texts for Genesis 1:3, although many of them were translated directly from the original Hebrew rather than from later translations (eg. the Latin "Vulgate").

Nevertheless, there is a general separation of the older Genesis texts on the right of the graph and the more recent texts on the left. This might be easier to assess if we simplify the graph.

As a simpler summary of the same relationships, I have used a Reduced Median Network, based on r = 2 (the program default). Note that the time order is reversed in this graph, with the older texts on the left and the more recent texts on the right. The only major discrepancy between the two graphs is the relative placement of the Bishop's Bible. (Also, I have not labelled the two cases where there are several texts that have identical sentences.)

Historically, we would expect the Tyndale BibleCoverdale BibleMatthew Bible and Great Bible texts to be closely related, but the Great Bible seems not to fit this expectation. Similarly, we would expect a similarity between the Geneva Bible and the Bishop's Bible, which is also not reflected in the study sentence; nor is the acknowledged debt of the King James Version to the Tyndale Bible.

However, the fact that the Wycliffe Bible and Later Wycliffe are written in Middle English rather than Modern English is clear from their distant relationship to the other texts; and the close historical relationship of the Challoner Revision and the Douay-Rheims Bible is also clear.

Several texts show isolated relationships. The Knox Bible, for example, is unique among the modern texts in being taken from the Latin rather than the original Hebrew, while the Common English Bible is unusual in trying to balance two translation principles (Dynamic Equivalence and Formal Equivalence) rather than using only one.

On the other hand, the New International Version is clearly a very traditional version of the text, given its relationships as shown in the two graphs, which perhaps explains its popularity.

The close association of the Good News Bible with Young's Literal Translation is interesting, given that the former is an (often criticized) free paraphrase of the original Hebrew text while the latter is a literal translation of that same text — you can't get more different translation principles.


The lack of any simple tree-like relationship among these biblical texts makes any attempt to study their phylogeny difficult. My own look at the business of stemmatology suggests that the results here are quite typical of any study of written texts. Part of the problem seems to be that ideas developed in one historical lineage can be transferred to other lineages, and even transferred to earlier parts of those lineages (see my previous post: Time inconsistency in evolutionary networks).  So, even though there is a general historical trend through time, that trend is not consistent enough for a tree-based historical analysis to be effective.

* * * * * * * * * *

Time inconsistency in evolutionary networks

The temporal ordering of the nodes (and branches) is usually treated as an important feature in an evolutionary network of biological organisms, because the order must be time consistent (Baroni et al. 2004, 2006; Moret et al. 2004). That is, for reticulation events the "horizontal" gene flow can only occur between species that are contemporaries. So, speciation events occur successively but reticulation events occur instantaneously (Sang and Zhong 2000).

For example, it would be unrealistic to hypothesize either a hybridization or a horizontal gene transfer event between a species and one of its own ancestors. Furthermore, each reticulation event must not only be consistent on its own but must be consistent in relation to all of the other events.

Mathematically, inconsistency creates directed pseudo-cycles in the network graph, so that it is not acyclic, as required for an evolutionary history (see previous blog post). Time consistency is thus seen as a useful means of validating a network as a potential biological history, and can even be used as a criterion for choosing among otherwise equally optimal networks.

However, evolutionary analysis is not applied only to biological organisms. It has also been applied to the study of languages (Atkinson & Gray 2005) and to cultural objects (Collard et al. 2006). Indeed, Darwin himself recognized early on that it would be important to show that language (a characteristic solely of humans) had a natural origin and that it develops in a genealogical fashion (ie. it has a pedigree).

Thus, both language and cultural objects have an historical component that can be studied, and both can fit into an evolutionary framework of variation + transmission + selection (Dagg 2011). Moreover, the evolutionary history also consists of both vertical and horizontal transmission. This means that the same data-analysis techniques can potentially be applied to biology, language and culture (Heggarty et al. 2010; Gray et al. 2010).

The issue that I wish to raise here is that time consistency is not a requirement of the evolution of either language or cultural objects, the way that it is for biological organisms. Organisms store the information (that is vertically and horizontally transmitted) in genes that they carry with them, which is what restricts reticulation to occurring only between contemporaries. However, language and culture store their "information" externally, either in the minds of people or in permanent or semi-permanent records (either written or pictorial). Thus, the information available for horizontal transmission can come from the distant past, as well as from the present.*

It is important to note that for language and culture the biological ideas of vertical and horizontal transmission of genetic information need modification (Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman 1981). Vertical (or descending) transmission still involves faithful copying of the information (with perhaps some losses or minor modifications). Lateral transfer, however, can be either horizontal transmission (between contemporary generations) or oblique transmission (between different generations), and it is the latter that allows time-travel of information.

Lateral transfer in this context may be a form of hybridization, in which new concepts are added from elsewhere (eg. synonymous words), but is likely to be a form of HGT in which concepts are simply replaced with something from elsewhere (eg. a new word effectively replaces an old word). Recombination, in which concepts are mutually exchanged, may be rather rare.

As an illustration, Dagg (2011) provides some interesting examples of lateral transfer in the parts of mouse traps. For example, he notes that: "Torsion power may have been transmitted laterally from Egyptian torsion traps to prefabricated dead-fall traps." These traps need not be contemporaneous, because the ideas being transferred may be from pictures or descriptions of old traps rather than from concurrently existing traps. (Joachim Dagg also has a couple of blog posts where he further discusses the evolution of mouse traps: post 1 —  post 2.)

As an alternative example, Johnson et al. (1989) provide an evolutionary network showing the history of the various software (mostly) and hardware components of the revolutionary Xerox 8010 "Star" Information System (ie. computer), introduced in April 1981. Note that almost all of the lateral transfer events (single arrows; mostly hybridization) are time inconsistent. To quote the authors: "Although Star was conceived as a product in 1975 and was released in 1981, many of the ideas that went into it were born in projects dating back over three decades."

Fig. 8 – How systems influenced later systems.
This graph summarizes how various systems related to Star have influenced one another over the years. Time progresses downwards. Double arrows indicate direct successors (i.e., follow-on versions). Many "influence arrows" are due to key designers changing jobs or applying concepts from their graduate research to products.

The implications of time-travelling laterally transferred information for network construction methods may be unfortunate, in the sense that evolutionary networks in biology may be quite different from those for language and culture, with the latter pair requiring somewhat different methods. At a minimum, the requirements for choosing among alternative networks will be different.

A quick look at the current literature involving network analysis of languages and cultural artifacts shows an almost universal use of unrooted graphs, most often a Neighbor-Net, Reduced-Median or Median-Joining network. Such networks cannot directly represent evolutionary history because there is no time direction in the graph. This type of analysis thus neatly side-steps the issue of representing time-travelling information in an evolutionary diagram; and it suggests that social scientists have not yet considered the consequences of the potential lack of time consistency in their data.

*Footnote: I suppose that I should be precise, and note that a modern gene bank does allow genetic information to time travel, as well.


Atkinson QD, Gray RD (2005) Curious parallels and curious connections — phylogenetic thinking in biology and historical linguistics. Systematic Biology 54: 513-526.

Baroni M, Semple C, Steel M (2004) A framework for representing reticulate evolution. Annals of Combinatorics 8: 391–408.

Baroni M, Semple C, Steel M (2006) Hybrids in real time. Systematic Biology 55: 46–56.

Cavalli-Sforza LL, Feldman MW (1981) Cultural Transmission and Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Collard M, Shennan SJ, Tehrani JJ (2006) Branching, blending, and the evolution of cultural similarities and differences among human populations. Evolution and Human Behavior 27: 169–184.

Dagg JL (2011) Exploring mouse trap history. Evoluton: Education and Outreach 4: 397–414.

Gray RD, Bryant D, Greenhill SJ (2010) On the shape and fabric of human history. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London series B 365: 3923-3933.

Heggarty P, Maguire W, McMahon A (2010) Splits or waves? Trees or webs? How divergence measures and network analysis can unravel language histories. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London series B 365: 3829-3843.

Johnson J, Roberts TL, Verplank W, Smith DC, Irby C, Beard M, Mackey K (1989) The Xerox "Star": a retrospective. IEEE Computer 22: 11-29.

Moret BME, Nakhleh L, Warnow T, Linder CR, Tholse A, Padolina A, Sun J, Timme R (2004) Phylogenetic networks: modeling, reconstructibility, and accuracy. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 1: 13–23.

Sang T, Zhong Y (2000) Testing hybridization hypotheses based on incongruent gene trees. Systematic Biology 49: 422–434.

Comments 1 - Nice post. I'd add one comment: It is important to distinguish between the true evolutionary history, which has to be time consistent, and the reconstructed one, which may have a reticulation edge from an ancestor to descendant, simply due to incomplete taxon sampling (or extinction). In other words, except for ensuring acyclicity, I don't think one needs impose time consistency constraints during inference.

Reply by Author -Thanks. You are right that it is important to make the distinction; and it is always possible to add "ghost" lineages to account for apparent time inconsistency in a reconstructed network. However, consistency can be a valuable criterion for choosing among reconstructions, as Leo van Iersel and I discussed in an earlier post (May 8, 2012).

The New Testament

The New Testament

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the Christian Greek Scriptures.
For the theological concept, see New Covenant.

The New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē) is the second major part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament. Although Christians hold different views from Jews about the Old Testament, Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The contents of the New Testament deal explicitly with first-century Christianity. Therefore, the New Testament (in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology. Both extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are also incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced not only religious, philosophical, and political movements in Christendom, but also has left an indelible mark on its literature, art, and music.

The New Testament is an anthology, a collection of Christian works written in the common Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, who were early Jewish disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first and perhaps the second centuries of the Christian Era, generally believed to be in Koine Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the evolution of Byzantine Greek (c. 600). All of the works which would eventually be incorporated into the New Testament would seem to have been written no later than around AD 150.[1]

Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul (a major collection of which must have been made already by the early 2nd century)[2] and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (asserted by Irenaeus of Lyon in the late-2nd century as the Four Gospels) gradually were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament. The Old Testament canon is not completely uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, Protestants, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, and the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity (see Development of the New Testament canon).

The New Testament consists of:

  • four narratives of the life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus, called "gospels" (or "good news" accounts);
  • twenty-one letters, often called "epistles" in the biblical context, written by various authors, and consisting of Christian doctrine, counsel, instruction, and conflict resolution; and

Between the Testaments


The New Testament is a story already in progress when the reader begins at its beginning—Matthew 1:1. Much had taken place during the intertestamental period between the end of what Christians call the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. The Kingdom of Israel had reached its height under King David a thousand years earlier but was no longer in existence as a political entity.

In 587 BC, the southern Kingdom of Judah with its capital Jerusalem had been conquered by the Babylonians who destroyed the First Temple and forced the Jewish population into exile, known as the Babylonian exile. Fifty years later, Cyrus of Persia permitted the Jews to return and build yet a new temple, the Second Temple, only to have it destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. Thus, the span of Jewish history from 515 BC to AD 70 is often referred to as the Second Temple period. Within it are four subdivisions:

  • The Persian Period (ca. 537-332 BC).
    • Jewish nation ruled by high priests
    • Minimal interference from the Persian kings
    • Synagogues became significant sites for teaching and worship
    • The Torah became the focal point of their religion
  • The Hasmonean Period (167-63 BC)
    • Jewish rebels nicknamed "Maccabees" ("hammers") led revolt against Antiochus and won independence. Rededication of the Second Temple (defiled by Antiochus) is the origin of Hanukkah. Two important Jewish sects, Pharisees and Sadducees, emerged.


The term "new testament" or "new covenant" (Hebrew בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה bərîṯ ḥăḏāšâ) first occurs in Jeremiah 31:31 (Greek Septuagint καινὴ διαθήκη kainḕ diathḗkē, cited in Hebrews 8:8). The same Greek phrase for "new covenant" is found elsewhere in the New Testament (Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 8:8, and Hebrews 9:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:14). In early Bible translations into Latin, the phrase was rendered foedus, "federation", in Jeremiah 31:31, and was rendered testamentum in Hebrews 8:8 and other instances from which comes the English term "New Testament."

Modern English, like Latin, distinguishes testament and covenant as alternative translations, and consequently the treatment of the term διαθήκη diathḗkē varies in English translations of the Bible. John Wycliffe's 1395 version is a translation of the Latin Vulgate and so follows different terms in Jeremiah and Hebrews:
Lo! days shall come, saith the Lord, and I shall make a new covenant (from Latin foedus) with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.[Jeremiah 31:31]
For he reproving him saith, Lo! days come, saith the Lord, when I shall establish a new testament (from Latin testamentum) on the house of Israel, and on the house of Judah.[Hebrews 8:8]
Use of the term New Testament to describe a collection of first and second-century Christian Greek Scriptures can be traced back to Tertullian (in Against Praxeas 15).[4] In Against Marcion book 3 (written in the early 3rd century, c. AD 208), chapter 14, he writes of
the Divine Word, who is doubly edged with the two testaments of the law and the gospel[5]
And in book 4, chapter 6, he writes that
it is certain that the whole aim at which he [Marcion] has strenuously laboured, even in the drawing up of his Antitheses, centres in this, that he may establish a diversity between the Old and the New Testaments, so that his own Christ may be separate from the Creator, as belonging to this rival god, and as alien from the law and the prophets.[6]
By the 4th century, the existence—even if not the exact contents—of both an Old and New Testament had been established. Lactantius, a Christian author of the 3rd and 4th century who wrote in Latin, in his early-4th-century Divine Institutes, book 4, chapter 20, wrote:
But all scripture is divided into two Testaments. That which preceded the advent and passion of Christ—that is, the law and the prophets—is called the Old; but those things which were written after His resurrection are named the New Testament. The Jews make use of the Old, we of the New: but yet they are not discordant, for the New is the fulfilling of the Old, and in both there is the same testator, even Christ, who, having suffered death for us, made us heirs of His everlasting kingdom, the people of the Jews being deprived and disinherited. As the prophet Jeremiah testifies when he speaks such things: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new testament to the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not according to the testament which I made to their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they continued not in my testament, and I disregarded them, saith the Lord."[Jer 31:31–32] ... For that which He said above, that He would make a new testament to the house of Judah, shows that the old testament which was given by Moses was not perfect; but that which was to be given by Christ would be complete.[7]

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

The canon of the New Testament is the collection of books that most Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Biblical Canon.

In the period extending roughly from AD 50 to 150, a number of documents began to circulate among the churches, including epistles, gospel accounts, memoirs, prophecies, homilies, and collections of teachings. While some of these documents were apostolic in origin, others drew upon the tradition the apostles and ministers of the word had utilized in their individual missions. Still others represented a summation of the teaching entrusted to a particular church center. Several of these writings sought to extend, interpret, and apply apostolic teaching to meet the needs of Christians in a given locality.

In general, among Christian denominations, the New Testament canon is an agreed-upon list of 27 books, although book order can vary. The book order is the same in the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant tradition.[8] The Slavonic, Armenian and Ethiopian traditions have different New Testament book orders.

The Gospels
Main article: Canonical gospels

Each of the four gospels in the New Testament narrates the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The term "Gospel" literally refers to "Good News". The word derives from the Old English gōd-spell [9] (rarely godspel), meaning "good news" or "glad tidings". 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.[10] Gospel is a calque (word-for-word translation) of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion (eu- "good", -angelion "message").

Since the 2nd 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. Whatever these admittedly early ascriptions may imply about the sources behind or the perception of these gospels, they appear to have been originally anonymous compositions.[11]

  • The Gospel of John, ascribed to John the Apostle. This gospel begins with a philosophical prologue and ends with appearances of the resurrected Jesus, it is about Jesus's miracles.

The first three gospels listed above are classified as the Synoptic Gospels. They contain similar accounts of the events in Jesus' life and his teaching, due to their literary interdependence. The Gospel of John is structured differently and includes stories of several miracles of Jesus and sayings not found in the other three.

These four gospels that were eventually included in the New Testament were only a few among many other early Christian gospels. The existence of such texts is even mentioned at the beginning of the Gospel of Luke.[Luke 1:1-4] 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.

Acts of the Apostles

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. 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. This is also suggested by the dedication to "Theophilus" ("Love of God" or "Friend of God") at the beginning of both works.[Luke 1:3] [Acts 1:1]


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 "General Epistles".

Pauline epistles
Main article: Pauline epistles

The Pauline epistles are the thirteen New Testament books which present Paul the Apostle as their author.[13] Six of the letters are disputed. 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. Opinion is more divided on the other two disputed letters (2 Thessalonians and Colossians).[14] These letters were written to Christian communities in specific cities or geographical regions, often to address issues faced by that particular community. Prominent themes include the relationship both to broader "pagan" society, to Judaism, and to other Christians.[15]

              *Disputed letters are marked with an asterisk (*).

Pastoral epistles

The Pastoral epistles, presented as if written by Paul, are addressed to individuals with pastoral oversight of churches and discuss issues of Christian living, doctrine and leadership. They often address different concerns to those of the preceding epistles. All three of these are believed to be pseudepigraphic:

              *Disputed letters are marked with an asterisk (*).


The Letter 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 Bible. The author discusses the "better-ness" of the new covenant and the ministry of Jesus, over the Mosaic covenant [Heb. 1:1-10:18] and urges the readers in the practical implications of this conviction through the end of the epistle.[Heb. 10:19-13:25]

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. Regarding authorship, although the Letter 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. In antiquity, some began to ascribe it to Paul in an attempt to provide the anonymous work an explicit apostolic pedigree.[16]

In the 4th century, Jerome and Augustine of Hippo supported Paul's authorship. The Church largely agreed to include Hebrews as the fourteenth letter of Paul, and affirmed this authorship until the Reformation. The letter to the Hebrews had difficulty in being accepted as part of the Christian canon because of its anonymity.[17] 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."[18]

Most scholars reject or doubt Pauline authorship for the epistle to the Hebrews, though a few theologians still believe it was probably Paul. Its distinctive style and theology are considered to mostly set it apart from Paul's writings.[3]:pp.431–432

General epistles

The General epistles (or "catholic epistles") consist of both letters and treatises in the form of letters written to the church at large. The term "catholic" (Greek: καθολική, katholikē), used to describe these letters in the oldest manuscripts containing them, here simply means "universal". The authorship of a number of these is disputed.

Book of Revelation
Further information: Authorship of the Johannine works

The final book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John. In the New Testament canon, it is considered prophetical or apocalyptic literature. 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). Some ascribe the writership date as circa 96 AD, and others at around 68 AD.[20] The work opens with letters to seven churches and thereafter takes the form of an apocalypse, a literary genre popular in ancient Judaism and Christianity.[21]
Saint Paul Writing His Epistles, 16th-century painting.
Most scholars think Paul actually dictated his letters to
a  secretary.
  1. the Great Fire of Rome (AD 64), one of the most destructive fires in Roman history, which Emperor Nero blamed on the Christians, and led to the first major persecution of believers
  2. the final years and deaths of Paul, who wrote most of the epistles, Peter, whom Catholics recognize as the first pope, and the other apostles
  3. Nero's suicide (AD 68), or
  4. the total destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (AD 70). He writes, "One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period—the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple—is never once mentioned as a past fact. Jesus prophesied its total destruction in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but the fulfillment of that prophecy never appears anywhere in the New Testament.
Therefore, Robinson claims that every book which would come to form the New Testament must have been written before AD 70.[71][72] Robinson's proposed set of consistently early dates are rejected by the majority of scholars.[73]

Most contemporary scholars regard Mark as a source used by Luke (see Markan priority).[74] If it is true that Mark was written around the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, around 70,[75] they theorize that Luke would not have been written before 70. Some who take this view believe that Luke's prediction of the destruction of the temple could not be a result of Jesus predicting the future but with the benefit of hindsight regarding specific details. They believe that the discussion in Luke 21:5-30 is specific enough (more specific than Mark's or Matthew's) that a date after 70 seems likely.[10][76] These scholars have suggested dates for Luke from 75 to 100.

Support for a later date comes from a number of reasons. Differences of chronology, "style", and theology suggest that the author of Luke-Acts was not familiar with Paul's distinctive theology but instead was writing a decade or more after his death, by which point significant harmonization between different traditions within Early Christianity had occurred.[77] Furthermore, Luke-Acts has views on Jesus' divine nature, the end times, and salvation that are similar to the those found in Pastoral epistles, which are often seen as pseudonymous and of a later date than the undisputed Pauline Epistles.[78]


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. It is generally agreed by most scholars that the historical Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic,[79] perhaps also some Hebrew and Koine Greek. The majority view is that all of the books that would eventually form the New Testament were written in the Koine Greek language.[80][81]

As Christianity spread, these books were later translated into other languages, most notably, Latin, Syriac, and Egyptian Coptic. However, some of the Church Fathers[82] imply or claim that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and then soon after was written in Koine Greek. Nevertheless, 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.[83]

Development of the New Testament canon

The process of the canonization of the New Testament was complex and lengthy and in the initial centuries of Early Christianity there was yet no single New Testament canon that was universally recognized.[84] 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.[85] 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.[86]

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. His canon was increasingly rejected by other groups of Christians, notably the proto-orthodox Christians, as was his theology, Marcionism. Adolf Harnack in Origin of the New Testament (1914) observed that the church gradually formulated its New Testament canon in response to the challenge posed by Marcion.[87]

Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian held the letters of Paul to be on par with the Hebrew Scriptures as being divinely inspired, yet others rejected him. Other books were held in high esteem but were gradually relegated to the status of New Testament apocrypha. Justin Martyr, in the mid 2nd century, mentions "memoirs of the apostles" as being read on Sunday alongside the "writings of the prophets".[88]

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

The oldest clear endorsement of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John being the only legitimate gospels was written circa 180 AD. A four gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus, who refers to it directly[89][90] in his polemic Against the Heresies, "It is not possible that the gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the church is scattered throughout all the world, and the “pillar and ground” of the church is the gospel and the spirit of life; it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh."[91] 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.[92]

Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History

Eusebius, circa 300, gave a detailed list of New Testament writings in his Ecclesiastical History Book 3, Chapter XXV:
"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."
"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."
"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."
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. From other writings of the church fathers, it was disputed with several canon lists rejecting its canonicity. EH 3.3.5 adds further detail on Paul: "Paul's fourteen epistles are well known and undisputed. 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." 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. But they say that he ventured to paraphrase certain words of the apostle Paul, in order to improve their style."

Origen (3rd century)

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,[93] known as the Antilegomena. 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.[94] 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.[95]

Origen was largely responsible for the collection of usage information regarding the texts which became the New Testament. 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. 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.[96]

In fact, Origen would have possibly included in his list of "inspired writings" other texts which were kept out by the likes of Eusebius, including the Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and 1 Clement. 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."[97]

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,[98] and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them.[99] The first council that accepted the present canon of the New Testament may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (AD 393); the acts of this council, however, are lost. A brief summary of the acts was read at and accepted by the Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419.[100] These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed.[101][102]

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,[98] or, if not, the list is at least a 6th-century compilation.[103] Likewise, Damasus' commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, c. 383, was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West.[104] In c. 405, Pope Innocent I sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse. 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."[105][106][107]

The New Testament canon as it is now was first listed by St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in 367, in a letter written to his churches in Egypt, Festal Letter 39. Also cited is the Council of Rome, but not without controversy. That canon gained wider and wider recognition until it was accepted at the Third Council of Carthage in 397 and 419.[108]

Even this council did not settle the matter, however. Certain books, referred to as Antilegomena, continued to be questioned, especially James and Revelation. 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. 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.

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

Thus, some claim that, from the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon (as it is today),[109] 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.[110] 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.

On the question of NT Canon formation generally, New Testament scholar Lee Martin McDonald has written that:[111]
Although a number of Christians have thought that church councils determined what books were to be included in the biblical canons, a more accurate reflection of the matter is that the councils recognized or acknowledged those books that had already obtained prominence from usage among the various early Christian communities.
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".[106][107]

Some synods of the 4th century published lists of canonical books (e.g. Hippo and Carthage). 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,[112] 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. 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.

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. 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."

In 331, Constantine I commissioned Eusebius to deliver fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople. Athanasius (Apol. Const. 4) recorded Alexandrian scribes around 340 preparing Bibles for Constans. Little else is known, though there is plenty of speculation. 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. Together with the Peshitta and Codex Alexandrinus, these are the earliest extant Christian Bibles.[113] There is no evidence among the canons of the First Council of Nicaea of any determination on the canon.

Early manuscripts

Papyrus Bodmer VIII, at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, showing 1 and 2 Peter.

The Codex Regius (L or 019), an 8th-century Greek manuscript of the
New Testament  with strong affinities to 
Codex Vaticanus

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. Manuscripts containing at least a part of the New Testament number in the thousands. The earliest of these (like manuscripts containing other literature) are often very fragmentarily preserved. 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).[114]

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). The date at which a manuscript was written, however, does not necessarily reflect the date of the form of text it contains. That is, later manuscripts can, and occasionally do, contain older forms of text or older readings.

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

  • The Bodmer Papyri (Greek and Coptic; the New Testament portions of which were copied in the 3rd and 4th centuries)
  • Codex Bobiensis (Latin; copied in the 4th century, but containing at least a 3rd-century form of text)
  • Uncial 0171 (Greek; copied in the late-third or early 4th century)

Textual variation
Main article: Textual variants in the New Testament

Textual criticism deals with the identification and removal of transcription errors in the texts of manuscripts. Ancient scribes made errors or alterations (such as including non-authentic additions).[115] 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. Even if the original Greek versions were lost, the entire New Testament could still be assembled from the translations.[116]

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.[116] Not all biblical manuscripts come from orthodox Christian writers. For example, the Gnostic writings of Valentinus come from the 2nd century AD, and these Christians were regarded as heretics by the mainstream church.[117] 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.[117]

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. The only way they'd agree would be where they went back genealogically in a family tree that represents the descent of the manuscripts.[116]

A similar type of textual criticism is applied to other ancient texts.[118] There are far fewer witnesses to classical texts than to the Bible, and unlike the New Testament where the earliest witnesses are often within a couple decades of the original, the earliest existing manuscripts of most classical texts were written about a millennium after their composition. For example, the earliest surviving copies of parts of the Roman historian Tacitus' main work, the Annals of Imperial Rome (written in 116 AD), come from a single manuscript written in 850 AD, although for other parts of his work, the earliest copies come from the 11th century, while other parts of his work have been lost.[116]

The earliest copies of The Jewish War by Josephus (originally composed in the 1st century AD), in contrast, come from nine manuscripts written in the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries.[116] After the Bible, the next best preserved ancient work is Homer's Iliad, with 650 copies originating about 1,000 years after the original copy.[116] Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War (written in the 50s BC) survives in nine copies written in the 8th century.[119] Thucydides' history of the Peloponesian War and Herodotus' history of the Persian War (both written in the 5th century BC) survives in about eight early copies, the oldest ones dating from the 10th century AD.[119]

Biblical scholar F. F. Bruce has said "the evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning...It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians."[120]


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. These are called interpolations. 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. 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."[121]

Most modern Bibles have footnotes to indicate passages that have disputed source documents. Bible Commentaries also discuss these, sometimes in great detail. 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. Also, many of these variants are so particular to the Greek language that they would not appear in translations into other languages. 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.[116]

The Rossano Gospels, 6th century,
a representative of 
Byzantine text.
Outside of these unimportant variants, there are a couple variants of some importance, although even these are minor and can be left out of modern Bibles without affecting any matter of theology or interpretation. The two most commonly cited examples are the last verses of the Gospel of Mark[122][123][124] and the story of the adulterous woman in the Gospel of John.[125][126][127] Many scholars and critics also believe that the Comma Johanneum reference supporting the Trinity doctrine in 1 John to have been a later addition.[128][129] 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"[130]

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... It is safe to say that there is not one sentence in the New Testament in which the [manuscript] is wholly uniform.”[131] Most of the variation took place within the first three Christian centuries.


By the 4th century, textual "families" or types of text become discernable among New Testament manuscripts. A "text-type" is the name given to a family of texts with similar readings due to common ancestors and mutual correction. Many early manuscripts, however, contain individual readings from several different earlier forms of text. 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. It is represented, e.g., by Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus and the Bodmer Papyri.

The Western text-type is generally longer and can be paraphrastic, but can also preserve early readings. The Western version of the Acts of the Apostles is, notably, 8.5% longer than the Alexandrian form of the text. 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.

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

Increasing standardization of distinct (and once local) text-types eventually gave rise to the Byzantine text-type. 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." As with all of the other (earlier) text-types, the Byzantine can also occasionally preserve early readings.

Biblical criticism
Main article: Biblical criticism

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

It will vary slightly depending on whether the focus is on the Old Testament, the letters of New Testament or the Canonical gospels. It also plays an important role in the quest for a Historical Jesus. 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. Biblical criticism draws upon a wide range of scholarly disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, folklore, linguistics, Oral Tradition studies, and historical and religious studies.

Establishing a critical text

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). The efforts began in earnest again during the Renaissance, which saw a revival of the study of ancient Greek texts. During this period, modern textual criticism was born. In this context, Christian humanists such as Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus promoted a return to the original Greek of the New Testament. 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.[132]

Relationship to earlier and contemporaneous literature

The books which later came to form 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. Of singular importance is the extensive use of and interaction with the Jewish Bible and what would become the Christian Old Testament. 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.[133] Other early Jewish and Graeco-Roman literature, though far less utilized, is also cited in books that would come to form the New Testament.

Early versions

The first translations (usually called "versions") of the New Testament were made beginning already at the end of 2nd century. The earliest versions of the New Testament are the translations into the Syriac, Latin, and Coptic languages.[134] These three versions were made directly from the Greek, and are frequently cited in the apparatuses of modern critical editions.

The Rabbula GospelsEusebian Canons.

Syriac was spoken in Syria, and Mesopotamia, and with dialect in Israel, where it was known as Aramaic. Several Syriac translations were made and have come to us. Most of the Old Syriac, however, as well as the Philoxonian version have been lost.

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

In the 19th century, manuscript evidence was discovered for an "Old Syriac" version of the four distinct (i.e., not harmonized) gospels. These "separated" (Syriac: da-Mepharreshe) gospels, though old, have been shown to be later than the Diatessaron. 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.

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. The Old Syriac version is a representative of the Western text-type. The Peshitta version was prepared in the beginning of the 5th century. 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).

The Philoxenian probably was produced in 508 for Philoxenus, Bishop of Mabung.[135]

Main articles: Vetus Latina and Vulgate

The Gospels were likely translated into Latin as early as the last quarter of the 2nd century in North Africa (Afra). Not much later, there were also European Latin translations (Itala). There are about 80 Old Latin mansucripts. The Vetus Latina (“Old Latin”) versions often contain readings with a Western type of text. (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.)

The bewildering diversity of the Old Latin versions prompted Jerome to prepare another translation into Latin — the Vulgate. In many respects it was merely a revision of the Old Latin. There are currently around 8,000 manuscripts of the Vulgate.


There are several dialects of the Coptic language: Bohairic (northern dialect), Fayyumic, Sahidic (southern dialect), Akhmimic, and others. The first translation was made by at least the 3rd century into the Sahidic dialect (copsa). This translation represents a mixed text, mostly Alexandrian, though also with Western readings.[136]

A Bohairic translation was made later, but existed already in the 4th century. 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). For this reason, the Bohairic translation can be helpful in the reconstruction of the early Greek text of the New Testament.[106]

BL Add. MS 59874 with Ethiopic Gospel of Matthew.
Other ancient translations

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, Soghdian, and eventually Gothic, Old Church Slavonic, Arabic, and Nubian.[137]

Modern translations
Main article: Bible translations

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. 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).

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

Most of these translations relied (though not always exclusively) upon one of the printed editions of the Greek New Testament edited by Erasmus, a form of this Greek text emerged as the standard and is known as the Textus Receptus. This text, based on a handful of manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type, was the basis for other translations from the Greek until the latter part of the 19th century.

Translations of the New Testament made since the appearance of better critical editions of the Greek text (notably those of Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, and von Soden) have largely used them as their base text. Unlike the Textus Receptus, these have a pronounced Alexandrian character. Standard critical editions are those of Souter, Vogels, Bover, Merk, and Nestle-Aland (the text, though not the full critical apparatus of which is reproduced in the United Bible Societies' "Greek New Testament").

Notable translations of the New Testament based on these most recent critical editions include the Revised Standard Version (1946, revised in 1971), La Bible de Jérusalem (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).

Theological interpretation in Christian churches
Main article: Biblical authority

Though all Christian churches accept the New Testament as Scripture, they differ in their understanding of the nature, extent, and relevance of its authority. 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. Generally, the greater the role of God in one's doctrine of inspiration, the more one accepts the doctrine of biblical inerrancy and/or authoritativeness of the Bible. One possible source of confusion is that these terms are difficult to define, because many people use them interchangeably or with very different meanings. This article will use the terms in the following manner:
  • Infallibility relates to the absolute correctness of the Bible in matters of doctrine.
  • Inerrancy relates to the absolute correctness of the Bible in factual assertions (including historical and scientific assertions).
  • Authoritativeness relates to the correctness of the Bible in questions of practice in morality.
The self-witness of the Bible to its inspiration demands a commitment to its unity. The ultimate basis for unity is contained in the claim of divine inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16 that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (KJV). The term "inspiration" renders the Greek word theopneustos. This term only occurs here in the New Testament and literally means "God-breathed" (the chosen translation of the NIV).[138]
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. Especially the doctrine of inerrancy is variously understood according to the weight given by the interpreter to scientific investigations of the world.

Unity in diversity

The notion of unity in diversity of Scripture claims that the Bible presents a noncontradictory and consistent message concerning God and redemptive history. The fact of diversity is observed in comparing the diversity of time, culture, authors' perspectives, literary genre, and the theological themes.[138]

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. He describes them as some basic presuppositions, tenants, and concerns which are common among the New Testament writers, giving to the New Testament its "unity in diversity":
  1. The reality of God is never argued but is always assumed are affirmed
  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 came
  3. The Holy Spirit came anew with Jesus Christ.
  4. The Christian faith and life are a calling, rooted in divine election.
  5. The plight of everyone as sinner means that each person is completely dependent upon the mercy and grace of God
  6. Salvation is both God's gift and his demand through Jesus Christ, to be received by faith
  7. The death and resurrection of Jesus are at the heart of the total event of which he was the center
  8. God creates a people of his own, designated and described by varied terminology and analogies
  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 triumph
  10. In Christ, all of God's work of creation, revelation, and redemption is brought to fulfillment[139]

Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Classical Anglicanism

For the Roman Catholic Church, there are two modes of Revelation: Scripture and Tradition. Both of them are interpreted by the teachings of the Church. The Roman Catholic view is expressed clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1997):
§ 82: As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.
§ 107: The inspired books teach the truth. Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.
In Catholic terminology the teaching office is called the Magisterium. The Catholic view should not be confused with the two-source theory. As the Catechism states in §§ 80 and 81, Revelation has "one common source ... two distinct modes of transmission."[140]

The Eastern Orthodox churches do not accept this two-source theory; rather, they hold that there is a single source of revelation, Holy Tradition, of which Scripture is the most important part.[141]

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

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."


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. Their traditions derive authority from the Bible, and are therefore always open to reëvaluation. 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. However, the adjustments made by modern Protestants to their doctrine of scripture vary widely.

American evangelical and fundamentalist Protestantism

Certain American conservatives, fundamentalists and evangelicals believe that the scriptures are both human and divine in origin: human in their manner of composition, but divine in that their source is God, the Holy Spirit, who governed the writers of scripture in such a way that they recorded nothing at all contrary to the truth.[citation needed] Fundamentalists accept the enduring authority and the infallibility of the Bible.[citation needed] In the United States this particularly applies to issues such as abortion, evolution, and homosexuality. Both fundamentalists and evangelicals profess belief in the inerrancy of the Bible.

Within the US, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978) is a statement, articulating evangelical views on this issue. 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."[143]

American mainline and liberal Protestantism

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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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. Presbyterians do not insist that every detail of chronology or sequence or prescientific description in scripture be true in literal form. Our confessions do teach biblical infallibility. Infallibility affirms the entire truthfulness of scripture without depending on every exact detail."[144]

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

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

There are some movements that believe the Bible contains the teachings of Jesus but who reject the churches that were formed following its publication. These people believe all individuals can communicate directly with God and therefore do not need guidance or doctrines from a church. These people are known as Christian anarchists.

Messianic Judaism

Messianic Judaism generally holds the same view of New Testament authority as evangelical Protestants.[145] 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.[146]

Jehovah's Witnesses

The Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses accepts the New Testament as divinely-inspired Scripture, and as infallible in every detail, with equal authority as the Hebrew Scriptures. They view it as the written revelation and good news of the Messiah, the Ransom Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of God. They also view the New Testament as the primary instruction guide for Christian living, and church discipline. 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.[147]

United Pentecostals

Oneness Pentecostalism subscribes to the common Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura. They view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and as absolutely inerrant in its contents (though not necessarily in every translation).[148][149] They regard the New Testament as perfect and inerrant in every way, revealing the Lord Jesus Christ, 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.[150][151]

Seventh-Day Adventists

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. The first fundamental belief of the Seventh-Day Adventist church stated that "The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of [God's] will." Adventist theologians generally reject the "verbal inspiration" position on Scripture held by many conservative evangelical Christians. 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.[152] This view is popularly known as "thought inspiration", and most Adventist members hold to that view. According to Ed Christian, former JATS editor, "few if any ATS members believe in verbal inerrancy".[153]

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. Therefore the fourth commandment concerning the Sabbath is as applicable to Christian believers as the other nine. Adventists have often taught a distinction between "moral law" and "ceremonial law". According to Adventist beliefs, the moral law continues into the "New Testament era", but the ceremonial law was done away with by Jesus.

How the Mosaic law should be applied came up at Adventist conferences in the past, and Adventist theologians such as A. T. Jones and E. 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). They were opposed by Uriah Smith and George Butler at the 1888 Conference. 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."[154]

Ellen White interpreted Colossians 2:14 as saying that the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross.[155]

Latter-day Saints

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) believe that the New Testament is inspired and infallible "as far as it is translated correctly", and believe that the Greek manuscripts were at least partly corrupted, thereby necessitating a re-inspiring through Joseph Smith.[156][157][158] They also state that they "revere the Bible [i.e., both Old and New Testaments] as the word of God." Latter-day Saints also believe the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ [to be] a companion volume of scripture to the Bible,...[confirming] and [testifying] of the truthfulness of the messages in the Bible." To Latter-day Saints, "the Bible and the Book of Mormon complement each other, both providing a witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world."[159]

A Byzantine lectionary, Codex Harleianus (l150),
AD 995, text of John 1:18.
In the liturgy

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

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

Central to the Christian liturgy is the celebration of the Eucharist or "Holy Communion". The Words of Institution that begin this rite are drawn directly from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. 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.

In the arts
Further information: Nativity of Jesus in art

Gaudenzio Ferrari's Stories of the Life and Passion of Christ, fresco, 1513,
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Varallo Sesia, Italy. Depicting the life of Jesus

The text of the famous "Hallelujah" chorus in G. F. Händel's Messiah is drawn from three passages in the Book of Revelation: 19:6, 11:5, and 19:16 (audio clip from the German translation of the Messiah).

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Most of the influence of the New Testament upon the arts has come from the Gospels and the Book of Revelation.[citation needed] Literary expansion of the narratives of Jesus' birth 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. 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.

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

See also

  1. Jump up ^ See the standard New Testament introductions listed below under "Further reading": Goodspeed, Kümmel, Duling and Perrin, Koester, Conzelmann and Lindemann, Brown, and Ehrman.
  2. Jump up ^ See, e.g., Clabeaux, J. J.: A Lost Edition of the Letters of Paul: A Reassessment of the Text of the Pauline Corpus Attested by Marcion. Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 21; Washington, D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association, 1989
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b c Powell, Mark A. Introducing the New Testament: A historical, literary, and theological survey. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2009. ISBN 978-0-8010-2868-7
  4. Jump up ^ The Broadman Bible Commentary: General articles. Matthew. Mark Clifton J. Allen, Broadman Press - 1969 "Tertullian was apparently the first to use the term New Testament in the sense of a collection of books (Against Praxeas XV)."
  5. Jump up ^ "Tertullian (Robert-Donaldson)". Earlychristianwritings.com. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  6. Jump up ^ [1] See also book 4, chapters 1, 2, and 14. However, his meaning in chapter 22 is less clear, and in chapters 9 and 40 he uses the term to mean "new covenant".
  7. Jump up ^ "ANF07. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily | Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  8. Jump up ^ Selected passages from Martin Luther, "Commentary on Galatians (1538)" as translated in Herbert J. A. Bouman, "The Doctrine of Justification in the Lutheran Confessions," Concordia Theological Monthly 26 (November 1955) No. 11:801.[2][dead link]
  9. Jump up ^ "Gospel - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  10. ^ Jump up to: a b c "Gospel". Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  11. Jump up ^ On the traditional ascriptions and anonymous authorship, see the standard New Testament introductions listed below under "Further reading": Goodspeed, Kümmel, Duling and Perrin, Koester, Conzelmann and Lindemann, Brown, and Ehrman.
  12. Jump up ^ See Fitzmyer, Joseph A.: The Gospel according to Luke, 2 volumes. Anchor Bible Commentary; New York: Doubleday, 1981 and 1985, vol. 1, pp. 35-53.
  13. Jump up ^ Joseph Barber Lightfoot in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians writes: "At this point [Gal 6:11] the apostle takes the pen from his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his name (2 Thess. 3:17; 3:17) it seems to have been his practice to close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution against such forgeries.... In the present case he writes a whole paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse, eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his handwriting may reflect the energy and determination of his soul."
  14. Jump up ^ Bassler, Jouette M., "Paul and his Letters" in Aune, David E., The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), p. 388.
  15. Jump up ^ Roetzel, Calvin J. The Letters of Paul: Conversations in Context, fifth edition. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 2009. ISBN 978-0664233921
  16. Jump up ^ Attridge, Harold W.: Hebrews. Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989, pp. 1-6.
  17. Jump up ^ Lane, William L. Hebrews 1-8 (Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 47A. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1991), Introduction page cliv.
  18. Jump up ^ "Eusebius Church History Book VI Ch 25 v14". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  19. Jump up ^ Fornberg, Tord: An Early Church in a Pluralistic Society: A Study of 2 Peter. Coniectanea biblica, New Testament Series 9; Lund: Gleerup, 1977.
  20. Jump up ^ Robert Mounce. The Book of Revelation, pg. 15-16. Cambridge: Eerdman's. Books.google.com
  21. Jump up ^ For a detailed study of the Apocalypse of John, see Aune, David E.: Revelation, 3 volumes. Word Biblical Commentary; Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997-1998.
  22. Jump up ^ The Gospels are in this order in many Old Latin manuscripts, as well as in the Greek manuscripts Codex Bezae and Codex Washingtonianus.
  23. Jump up ^ [3][dead link]; see also [4]; see also Antilegomena
  24. Jump up ^ Strelan, Rick, Luke the Priest: The Authority of the Author of the Third Gospel. (Ashgate Publishing, 2013).
  25. Jump up ^ For discussion of Mark, see Schröter, Jens, "Gospel of Mark" in Aune, David (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 281–2; Hare, Douglas R. A., Mark (Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), pp. 3–5; and "More on Mark and Peter" on Bart Ehrman's blog (June 3, 2013). For discussion of Matthew, see Repschinski, Boris, "Forschungbericht: Matthew and Judaism" in The Controversy Stories in the Gospel of Matthew (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998), pp.13–61; and "Was Matthew a Jew?" on Bart Ehrman's blog (June 17, 2013).
  26. Jump up ^ For overviews of the scholarship on authorship of the various New Testament works, see the relevant entries in Aune, David E. (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).
  27. Jump up ^ Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted (Harper Collins, 2009) pages 102-104.
  28. Jump up ^ Bart Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (Oxford University Press, 1999) pages 43-44.
  29. Jump up ^ Gerd Theissen, The Gospels in Context (Continuum, 2004), page 290.
  30. Jump up ^ Peter, Kirby (2001-2007). "Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Mark". Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  31. Jump up ^ Achtemeier, Paul J. (1991–). "The Gospel of Mark". The Anchor Bible Dictonary 4. New York, New York: Doubleday. p. 545. ISBN 0-385-19362-9. 
  32. Jump up ^ M.G. Easton, Easton's Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897), "Luke, Gospel According To"
  33. Jump up ^ Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew 2. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. 955–6. ISBN 0-385-46993-4. 
  34. Jump up ^ Helms, Randel (1997). Who Wrote the Gospels?. Altadena, California: Millennium Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-9655047-2-7. 
  35. ^ Jump up to: a b Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  36. Jump up ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "John" p. 302-310
  37. Jump up ^ Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Leicester, England: Apollos, 1990), p. 114.
  38. ^ Jump up to: a b c Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Leicester, England: Apollos, 1990), pp. 37-40.
  39. ^ Jump up to: a b To list just some: I. H. Marshall, Acts (1980), pp. 44-45; F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles (1952), pp. 1-6; C. S. C. Williams, The Acts of the Apostles, in Black’s New Testament Commentary (1957); W. Michaelis, Einleitung, pp. 61-64; Bo Reicke, Glaube und Leben Der Urgenmeinde (1957), pp. 6-7; F. V. Filson, Three Crucial Decades (1963), p. 10; M. Dibelius, Studies in the Acts of the Apostles (1956); R. M. Grant, A Historical Introduction to the New Testament (1963), pp. 134-135; B. Gärtner, The Aeropagus Speech and Natural Revelation (1955), W. L. Knox, Sources of the Synoptic Gospels; R. R. Williams, The Acts of the Apostles; E. M. Blaiklock, The Acts of the Apostles, in Tyndale New Testament Commentary (1959), W. Grundmann, Das Evangelium nach Lukas, p. 39.
  40. Jump up ^ Bernd Kollmann, Joseph Barnabas (Liturgical Press, 2004), page 30.
  41. Jump up ^ D. R. W. Wood, New Bible Dictionary (InterVarsity Press, 1996), 739.
  42. Jump up ^ Schaff "On the tradition that Matthew wrote a Hebrew gospel, see above, chap. 24, note 5. Our Greek Gospel of Matthew was certainly in existence at the time Papias wrote, for it is quoted in the epistle of Barnabas"
  43. Jump up ^ "Fonck, Leopold. "Gospel of St. John." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 9 June 2009". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  44. Jump up ^ "''Gospel According to John'', Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  45. Jump up ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. p. 164. ISBN 0-385-24767-2. 
  46. Jump up ^ Kirby, Peter. "Gospel of Mark" earlychristianwritings.com'.' Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  47. Jump up ^ Horrell, DG, An Introduction to the study of Paul, T&T Clark, 2006, 2nd Ed.,p.7; cf. W. L. Knox, The Acts of the Apostles (1948), p. 2-15 for detailed arguments that still stand.
  48. Jump up ^ on linguistics, see A. Kenny, A stylometric Study of the New Testament (1986).
  49. Jump up ^ Udo Schnelle. The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p. 259.
  50. Jump up ^ F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles (1952), p2.
  51. Jump up ^ Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Leicester, England: Apollos, 1990), says the traditional view is “widely held as the view which most satisfactorily explains all the data.” p. 119,
  52. Jump up ^ Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. pp. 267–8. ISBN 0-385-24767-2. 
  53. Jump up ^ Although Hebrews was almost certainly not written by Paul, it has been a part of the Pauline corpus "from the beginning of extant MS production" (Wallace, Daniel B. "Hebrews: Introduction, Argument, and Outline.") http://web.archive.org/web/20031011120719/http://www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/hebotl.htm
  54. ^ Jump up to: a b Guthrie lists: ohlenberg, Lock, Meinertz, Thornell, Schlatter, Spicq, Jeremias, Simpson, Kelly, and Fee", p. 622
  55. Jump up ^ Ehrman 2004:385
  56. Jump up ^ Who Wrote Hebrews? A Case for Pauline Authorship, Pat II - apologus wordpress - October 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  57. Jump up ^ The Writer of Hebrews - Ligonier Ministries. 2012.
  58. Jump up ^ Ehrman 2004:411
  59. Jump up ^ Epistle of St. James, 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia Online
  60. Jump up ^ "Epistle of James". Earlychristianwritings.com. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  61. Jump up ^ What are they saying about the Catholic Epistles?, Philip B. Harner, p. 49 [5]
  62. Jump up ^ Kruger, MJ, (1999) "The Authenticity of 2 Peter,"[dead link] Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 42.4, p.645-671
  63. Jump up ^ e.g. S. T. Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament II p. 250
  64. Jump up ^ F. Spitta, Der Zweite Brief des Petrus und der Brief des Judas (1885)
  65. Jump up ^ C. Bigg, ‘The Epistles of St Peter and St Jude’, in International Critical Commentary
  66. Jump up ^ E. M. B. Green, 2 Peter Reconsidered (1961) and other works.
  67. Jump up ^ Bauckham,RJ (1986), Word Biblical Commentary, Vol.50, Word (UK) Ltd. p.14f
  68. Jump up ^ Eusebius: The Church History
  69. Jump up ^ St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho Chapter lxxxi.
  70. Jump up ^ Merrill C. Tenney, gen. ed. "Revelation, Book of the." Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Vol. 5 (Q-Z). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009.
  71. Jump up ^ Robinson, John A. T. Redating the New Testament. SCM Press; 1976. ISBN 978-0334023005
  72. Jump up ^ Robinson, John A. T. Redating the New Testament. Free PDF version: [6] Accessed 10 May 2013
  73. Jump up ^ Cirafesi, Wally V., "The Temple Attitudes of John and Qumran" in Porter and Pitts (eds.), Christian Origins and Hellenistic Origins (Brill, 2013), p. 230. Duling, Dennis C., "The Gospel of Matthew" in Aune, David E. (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 296 & 298. See also the dating sections for the other New Testament books in David E. Aune's 2010 Blackwell Companion just cited.
  74. Jump up ^ Helmut Koester. Ancient Christian Gospels. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 1999. p. 336
  75. Jump up ^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 24-27.
  76. Jump up ^ S. Brown agrees that the references to the Jerusalem temple's destruction are seen as evidence of a post-70 date. Brown, Schuyler. The origins of Christianity: a historical introduction to the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. p. 24
  77. Jump up ^ Brown, Schuyler. The origins of Christianity: a historical introduction to the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. p. 29
  78. Jump up ^ Brown, Schuyler. The origins of Christianity: a historical introduction to the New Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. p. 27
  79. Jump up ^ Allen C. Myers, ed. (1987). "Aramaic". The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans. p. 72. ISBN 0-8028-2402-1. "It is generally agreed that Aramaic was the common language of Israel in the 1st century AD. Jesus and his disciples spoke the Galilean dialect, which was distinguished from that of Jerusalem (Matt. 26:73)." 
  80. Jump up ^ Metzger B. The Text of the New Testament. Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. Fourth Edition. Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman
  81. Jump up ^ Aland, K. and Aland, B. The text of the New Testament (9780802840981)
  82. Jump up ^ Koester, Helmut: Introduction to the New Testament. Philadelphia, 1982, volume 2, p. 172.
  83. Jump up ^ Davies, W. D. and Allison, Dale C.: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Gospel according to Saint Matthew, 3 volumes. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988-1997, see volume 1, pp. 33-58.
  84. Jump up ^ Eusebius,Church History, (III xxv 5)
  85. Jump up ^ See Gamble, Harry Y.: The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning. Guides to Biblical Scholarship; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.
  86. Jump up ^ Three forms are postulated, from The Canon Debate, chapter 18, page 300, note 21, attributed to Harry Y. Gamble: "(1) Marcion's collection that begins with Galatians and ends with Philemon; (2) Papyrus 46, dated about 200, that follows the order that became established except for reversing Ephesians and Galatians; and (3) the letters to seven churches, treating those to the same church as one letter and basing the order on length, so that Corinthians is first and Colossians (perhaps including Philemon) is last."
  87. Jump up ^ "Origin of the New Testament | Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  88. Jump up ^ cf. Justin Martyr, First Apology 67.3.
  89. Jump up ^ Ferguson, Everett. "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon," in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) pp. 301.
  90. Jump up ^ cf. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3.11.8.
  91. Jump up ^ "III.XI.8". Ccel.org. 2005-07-13. Retrieved 2012-09-07. 
  92. Jump up ^ McDonald & Sanders, page 277
  93. Jump up ^ Both points taken from Mark A. Noll's Turning Points, (Baker Academic, 1997) pp 36–37
  94. Jump up ^ H. J. De Jonge, "The New Testament Canon," in The Biblical Canons. eds. de Jonge & J. M. Auwers (Leuven University Press, 2003) p. 315
  95. Jump up ^ P. R. Ackroyd and C. F. Evans, eds. (1970). The Cambridge History of the Bible (volume 1). Cambridge University Press. p. 308. 
  96. Jump up ^ C.G. Bateman, Origen’s Role in the Formation of the New Testament Canon, 2010.
  97. Jump up ^ McGuckin, John A. "Origen as Literary Critic in the Alexandrian Tradition.” 121-37 in vol. 1 of 'Origeniana octava: Origen and the Alexandrian Tradition.' Papers of the 8th International Origen Congress (Pisa, 27–31 August 2001). Edited by L. Perrone. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium 164. 2 vols. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2003.
  98. ^ Jump up to: a b Lindberg, Carter (2006). A Brief History of Christianity. Blackwell Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 1-4051-1078-3. 
  99. Jump up ^ Brakke, David. "Canon Formation and Social Conflict in Fourth Century Egypt: Athanasius of Alexandria's Thirty Ninth Festal Letter," in Harvard Theological Review 87 (1994) pp. 395–419
  100. Jump up ^ McDonald & Sanders' The Canon Debate, Appendix D-2, note 19: "Revelation was added later in 419 at the subsequent synod of Carthage."
  101. Jump up ^ Ferguson, Everett. "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon," in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320; F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Intervarsity Press, 1988) p. 230
  102. Jump up ^ cf. Augustine, De Civitate Dei 22.8
  103. Jump up ^ Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Intervarsity Press. p. 234. 
  104. Jump up ^ Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Intervarsity Press. p. 225. 
  105. Jump up ^ Ferguson, Everett. "Factors leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon," in The Canon Debate. eds. L. M. McDonald & J. A. Sanders (Hendrickson, 2002) p. 320
  106. ^ Jump up to: a b c Metzger, Bruce (1987). The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origins, Development, and Significance. Oxford: Clarendon. pp. 237–238. 
  107. ^ Jump up to: a b Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Intervarsity Press. p. 97. 
  108. Jump up ^ The Book of Revelation wasn't added till the 419 Synod of Carthage according to McDonald and Sanders: The Canon Debate, Appendix D-2, page 595, note 19.
  109. Jump up ^ Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Intervarsity Press. p. 215. 
  110. Jump up ^ P. R. Ackroyd and C. F. Evans, eds. (1970). The Cambridge History of the Bible (volume 1). Cambridge University Press. p. 305. 
  111. Jump up ^ McDonald, Lee M.: The Formation of the Christian Biblical Canon. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1995, p. 116
  112. Jump up ^ Metzger, Bruce M.: The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 246. ISBN 0-19-826954-4, writes, "Finally on 8 April 1546, by a vote of 24 to 15, with 16 abstensions, the Council issued a decree (De Canonicis Scripturis) in which, for the first time in the history of the church, the question of the contents of the Bible was made an absolute article of faith and confirmed by an anathema."
  113. Jump up ^ The Canon Debate, pages 414-415, for the entire paragraph
  114. Jump up ^ For the initial dating of P52, see Roberts, C. H. (Ed.): An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1935, and Bell, H. Idris and Skeat, T. C.: Fragments of an Unknown Gospel and Other Early Christian Papyri. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1935. Though see now Nongbri, Brent: "The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel." Harvard Theological Review 98 (2005) 23-52 and Martinez, David G.: "The Papyri and Early Christianity," in Bagnall, Roger S. (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 590-623.
  115. Jump up ^ Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus (2005), p. 46
  116. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g Strobel, Lee. ”The Case for Christ”. 1998. Chapter three, when quoting biblical scholar Bruce Metzger
  117. ^ Jump up to: a b Bruce, F.F. (1981). P 14. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press
  118. Jump up ^ Habib 2005, p. 239
  119. ^ Jump up to: a b Bruce, F.F. (1981). P 11. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press
  120. Jump up ^ Bruce, F.F. (1981). P 9-10. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?. InterVarsity Press
  121. Jump up ^ Ehrman, Bart D.. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperCollins, 2005, p. 265. ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4
  122. Jump up ^ Guy D. Nave, The role and function of repentance in Luke-Acts,p. 194
  123. Jump up ^ John Shelby Spong, "The Continuing Christian Need for Judaism", Christian Century 26 September 1979, p. 918. see http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1256
  124. Jump up ^ Feminist companion to the New Testament and early Christian writings, Volume 5, by Amy-Jill Levine, Marianne Blickenstaff, pg. 175
  125. Jump up ^ "NETBible: John 7". Bible.org. Retrieved 17 October 2009.  See note 139 on that page.
  126. Jump up ^ Keith, Chris (2008). "Recent and Previous Research on the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)". Currents in Biblical Research 6 (3): 377–404. doi:10.1177/1476993X07084793. 
  127. Jump up ^ 'Pericope adulterae', in FL Cross (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  128. Jump up ^ Ehrman 2006, p. 166
  129. Jump up ^ Bruce Metzger A Textual Commentary on the New Testament, Second Edition, 1994, German Bible Society
  130. Jump up ^ Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the New Testament, Second Edition, 1994, German Bible Society, p. 367
  131. Jump up ^ M. M. Parvis, vol. 4, pp. 594-595
  132. Jump up ^ See Metzger, Bruce M. and Ehrman, Bart D.: The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, fourth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  133. Jump up ^ See, e.g., Stendahl, Krister: The School of St. Matthew and Its Use of the Old Testament. Uppsala and Lund, 1954; Marcus, Joel: The Way of the Lord: Christological Exegesis of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark. Edinburgh, 1993; Smith, D. Moody: "The Use of the Old Testament in the New," in The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays: Studies in Honor of William Franklin Stinespring. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1972, pp. 3-65; Juel, Donald: Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988; and Barr, James: Old and New in Interpretation: A Study of the Two Testaments. London: SCM, 1966.
  134. Jump up ^ Arthur Võõbus Early Versions of the New Testament. Stockholm, 1954, pp. 1-128, 211-240.
  135. Jump up ^ Metzger, Bruce M.: The Early Versions of the New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977, pp. 3-98.
  136. Jump up ^ Vööbus, Arthur: Early Versions of the New Testament. Stockholm, 1954, pp. 216-229.
  137. Jump up ^ On the Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Gothic, see Arthur Vööbus, Early Versions of the New Testament (Stockholm, 1954), pp. 133-210, 243-309.
  138. ^ Jump up to: a b Elwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Scripture, Unity and Diversity of'". Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997. Online: <http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/scripture-unity-and-diversity-of.html> Accessed 13 Jan 2013
  139. Jump up ^ Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Broadman, 1962. ISBN 0-8054-1613-7
  140. Jump up ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part 1, Section 1, Chapter 2, Article 2, "The Transmission of Divine Revelation", Second Edition (1997)
  141. Jump up ^ Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). "Holy Tradition: The Source of the Orthodox Faith", from The Orthodox Church
  142. Jump up ^ "The Thirty-Nine Articles". Anglicansonline.org. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  143. Jump up ^ "The Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy". Reformed.org. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  144. Jump up ^ "Homosexual ordination vote widens gap between Presbyterian factions,"ReligionToday, 2001-JUN-20
  145. Jump up ^ "Messianic Beliefs". Beit Simcha. 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2012. "To study the whole and authoritative Word of God, including the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) and the B'rit Chadasha (New Covenant) under the leading of the Holy Spirit" 
  146. Jump up ^ "Essential Statement of Faith". The Harvest: A Messianic Charismatic Congregation. 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2012. "We believe that the Torah (five books of Moses) is a comprehensive summary of God's foundational laws and ways, as found in both the Tanakh and Apostolic Scriptures. Additionally, the Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see God. We believe in the Doctrine of Sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation. Therefore we encourage all believers, both Jews and Gentiles, to affirm, embrace, and practice these foundational laws and ways as clarified through the teachings of Messiah Yeshua." 
  147. Jump up ^ "Equipped For Every Good Work" - Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc. - International Bible Students Association, Brooklyn, NY, 1946 - pgs 12-13.
  148. Jump up ^ See, for example, "A Response to the Oneness-Trinity Debate": a letter to Rev. Gene Cook, Pastor of the Unchained Christian Church (Reformed Baptist) of San Diego California, by Tom Raddatz. Retrieved on 14 April 2013.
  149. Jump up ^ How We Get Our Bible - Jason Dulle - www.onenesspentecostalism.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  150. Jump up ^ Defending the Inerrancy and Canon of Scripture - Jason Dulle - www.onenesspentecostalism.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  151. Jump up ^ The Nature of Inspiration - Jason Dulle - www.onenesspentecostalism.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  152. Jump up ^ General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 2005, pp. 14–16
  153. Jump up ^ The Adventist Theological Society, an interview of Ed Christian by John McLarty.
  154. Jump up ^ http://www.goodnewsforadventists.com/home/skypage.php?keyid=172&parentkeyid=166
  155. Jump up ^ Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p365; Acts of the Apostles, p194; Early Writings, p33; Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary vol 6, 1094–95; Evangelism, p598; Selected Messages, vol 1, p239
  156. Jump up ^ Mormon - Articles of Faith
  157. Jump up ^ LDS Apostle Orson Pratt further proclaimed, "The Bible has been robbed of its plainness; many sacred books having been lost, others rejected by the Romish Church, and what few we have left, were copied and re-copied so many times, that it is admitted that almost every verse has been corrupted and mutilated to that degree that scarcely any two of them read alike" (The Seer, p. 213)
  158. Jump up ^ Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation of the Bible - Robert J. Matthews.
  159. Jump up ^ ""The Holy Bible", ''The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints''". Lds.org. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 

Further reading
  • Brown, Raymond E. (1997). An Introduction to the New Testament. Anchor Bible Reference Library; New York: Doubleday.
  • Bultmann, Rudolf (1951–1955). Theology of the New Testament, English translation, 2 volumes. New York: Scribner.
  • von Campenhausen, Hans (1972). The Formation of the Christian Bible, English translation. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
  • Conzelmann, Hans and Lindemann, Andreas (1999). Interpreting the New Testament: An Introduction to the Principles and Methods of New Testament Exegesis, English translation. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson.
  • Dormeyer, Detlev (1998). The New Testament among the Writings of Antiquity, English translation. Sheffield.
  • Duling, Dennis C. and Perrin, Norman (1993). The New Testament: Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History, 3d edition. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  • Ehrman, Bart D. (2011). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 5th edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Goodspeed, Edgar J. (1937). An Introduction to the New Testament. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Kennedy, H. A. A. (1919). The Theology of the Epistles. London: G. Duckworth & Co., cop. 1919, "reprinted 1952". xii, 167 p. N.B.: The emphasis of this study is upon the epistles ascribed to St. Paul.
  • Levine, Amy-Jill and Brettler, Marc Z. (2011), The Jewish Annotated New Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Koester, Helmut (1995 and 2000). Introduction to the New Testament, 2d edition, 2 volumes. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • Kümmel, Werner Georg (1996). Introduction to the New Testament, revised and enlarged English translation. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
  • Mack, Burton L. (1995). Who Wrote the New Testament?. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.
  • Neill, Stephen and Wright, Tom (1988). The Interpretation of the New Testametnt, 1861-1986, new edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Schnelle, Udo (1998). The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, English translation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
  • Zahn, Theodor (1910). Introduction to the New Testament, English translation, 3 volumes. Edinburgh: T&T Clark.