A Reply to Bultmann by Julius Schniewind  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

Unlike the liberals, Bultmann is not in the least interested in the evolution of religion. What he is interested in is the once-for-allness of the deed, the revelation of God in Christ. So we must ask: what was the ascension? Is the resurrection of the dead capable of description? Does preaching simply mean repeating word for word what the Bible says? Or are we allowed to paraphrase, translate, and change the terminology?

A Reply to the Theses of J. Schniewind by Rudolf Bultmann  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

Can we ever really dispense with myth? That is an ambiguous question. Much of our ordinary language is based on mythology in any case, and there are certain concepts which are fundamentally mythological, and with which we shall never be able to dispense — e.g. the idea of transcendence. In such cases, however, the original mythological meaning has been lost, and they have become mere metaphors or ciphers. As for mythology in its original sense, not only can we dispense with it, but it is essential to do so.

Abbreviations and Explanations  in  Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus

Book Chapter by Norman Perrin

Arndt and Gingrich, Lexicon: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Translated and edited by W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich from W. Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Wörterbuch, 1949-52; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, and Cambridge: University Press, 1957. ATR: Anglican Theological Review. AV: Authorized Version (King James Bible). b or B.T.: Babylonian Talmud. BJRL: Bulletin …

An English Appreciation by Austin Farrer  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

It may be that the real first step of Dr. Bultmann’s whole plea is the exhortation to embrace existentialism or drown, and that everything else is a mere corollary to that. But in fact many of us are not, and are not going to be, existentialists of the Heidegger school, and so we try to see what Bultmann’s position amounts to if we leave the dogmatic existentialism out.

An Introduction to the New Testament

Book by Richard Heard

(ENTIRE BOOK) A clear, concise analysis of the New Testament and each of its books: Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, the Epistles (Galatians, Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians, Ephesians, Jude, 2nd Peter, Revelations. The context, authors, circumstance of writing, the oral tradition, how the books were selected, their teachings, and suggested references.

Back to Fundamentals

Article by Jimmy Carter

Many of you may be asking why a former politician is giving a Bible lecture to an assembly of highly qualified Christian leaders. My only credential is experience. I began teaching Bible lessons as a young midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, and have continued this practice for the past 62 years — now as …

Beam Me Up Theology

Article by John Dart

The hugely popular “Left Behind” series of novels continues to frustrate mainstream pastors and biblical scholars who object to an “end-times” theology they consider just as fictional as the books’ genre. The readers are real, however. The tenth and most recent volume in the series, The Remnant, picked up 2.4 million orders in the two …

Chapter 1: The Reconstruction and Interpretation of the Teaching of Jesus  in  Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus

Book Chapter by Norman Perrin

The author examines the various sources available, and cautions that the more we learn about those sources the more difficult the task seems to become. He suggests that students must do justice to the categories of first-century Judaism in terms of which the teaching was originally expressed, and must always set the teaching of Jesus in the context of the circumstances and situation of his ministry. Finally, he insists we must employ the “form-critical approach” which uses methodology arising out of the nature of the sources rather than being imposed upon them from outside.

Chapter 1: What Manner of Man Is This?  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

An important element in Christianity from the very beginning has been a sense of fellowship with Christ, conceived not merely as a "spiritual" but as an historical person. For all the importance of the resurrection in the church’s rise, the character of Jesus was the deeper element, making the resurrection faith itself possible and making it a faith worth preaching.

Chapter 10: The Gospel of John  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

In the other gospels the authors have been primarily compilers of material, and their personal interpretation of the events of Jesus’ life and of his teaching play only a subordinate part in the shaping of their material. In this gospel the historical facts of Jesus’ life serve primarily to illustrate the author’s main themes, and the speeches put into the mouth of Jesus are made the vehicles for the author’s own interpretations of Jesus’ thought.

Chapter 10: The Journey to Jerusalem: Luke’s Special Section  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Jesus’ route to Jerusalem. Pharisees question him about divorce. Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. Luke’s account of the journey. A Samaritan village will not receive Jesus. The expedition and return of the seventy; Jesus rejoices. A lawyer asks how to gain eternal life. The good Samaritan. Mary and Martha. The friend at midnight. A woman blesses Mary. Jesus refuses to adjudicate a dispute. The rich fool. Three metaphors for God. Jesus must cast fire on the earth and undergo a baptism. Galileans massacred; the tower in Siloam. A crippled woman healed. (Mt 19:1-12; Mk 10:1-12;Lk 9:51-62; 10:1-42; 11:1-54; 12:1-59; 13:1-30)

Chapter 10: Was Mark Anti-Semitic?  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

It’s difficult to determine if Mark was anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish. Relations between Jews and Christians in the East remained friendly for at least five centuries. The whole of the teaching of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, and likewise that of Paul and of the rest of the New Testament, presupposes a background of intense, informed, earnest, and consecrated Judaism.

Chapter 10:<B> </B>The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

Although the end was postponed, as Matthew envisioned, we should not agree that it was originally regarded as imminent. Similarly while Luke minimizes Jewish-gentile differences it is possible that in Galatians Paul exaggerates them. The fact that Acts reflects certain purposes on its author’s part does not mean that views contrary to those purposes are necessarily authentic, or more authentic.

Chapter 11: Luke’s Special Section Continued  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Jesus warned that Herod wants to kill him. His lament over Jerusalem. A Sabbath dinner at a Pharisee’s house; a man with dropsy healed. Humility recommended. The great banquet. Counting the cost of discipleship. The lost sheep and coin and the prodigal son. The dishonest steward. Pharisees condemned as men-pleasers. The rich man and Lazarus. The unprofitable servant. Ten lepers healed. The kingdom in the midst (or within). The days of the Son of man. The corrupt judge. The Pharisee and the tax collector. (Mt 22:1-14; Lk 13:31-35; chapters 14-17; 18:1-14)

Chapter 11: Mark and the Social Gospel  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

Was Jesus’ teaching “social?” Yes and no! It was not in our modern sense of sociological utopianism; but it was something vastly profounder, a religious ethic which involved a social as well as a personal application, but within the framework of the beloved society of the Kingdom of God. The rest of the New Testament and most of the other early Christian literature takes this for granted.

Chapter 11: The Life of Jesus  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

The references to Jesus in pagan and Jewish writings of the first and second centuries A.D. do little more than confirm that he really lived, was put to death under Pontius Pilate (so Tacitus, Annales, 15:44), and was recognised by those who believed in him as the Christ. Despite the lack of references to him, the universality of the teaching, and its appeal to Gentile as well as to Jew, is responsible for Christianity’s rapid spread.

Chapter 12: Epilogue  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

What is the meaning of this earliest Gospel for our time? It set forth the message of salvation to men and women who lived in a world not unlike our own. Indeed the “world,” that is, human society, has not changed very much in nineteen centuries, and the message of salvation is as greatly needed now as then, or ever.

Chapter 12: The Conclusion of the Journey to Jerusalem  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Jesus blesses children. The unsatisfied rich man. The disciples reassured. Thrones promised to the twelve in the Son of man’s kingdom. Renunciation and following. The laborers hired at different hours. Jesus’ third prediction of his death and resurrection. The ambitious sons of Zebedee. The disciples’ lack of understanding. The Son of man’s death a ransom. Jesus reaches Jericho. Blind Bartimaeus healed. The conversion of Zacchaeus. The pounds (or talents). (Mt 19:13-30; 20:1-34; Mk 10:13-52; Lk 18:15-43; 19:1-27)

Chapter 13: The First Days at Jerusalem  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Jesus reaches Jerusalem; his approach to the city; he predicts its destruction. He enters and goes to the temple; blind and lame people healed. Children acclaim Jesus, and he defends them. A fig tree, cursed by Jesus, withers. The cleansing of the temple. Controversies: first, Jesus’ authority challenged. The two sons. The rebellious tenants. Second controversy: paying taxes to Rome. Third, the resurrection of the dead; fourth, the greatest commandment; fifth, David’s son. (Mt 21:1-46; 22:15-46; Mk 11:1-33; 12:1-37; Lk 19:28-48; 20:1-44)

Chapter 14: Last Public Teaching and the Apocalyptic Discourse  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Denunciation of scribes and Pharisees. The poor widow’s offering. Leaving the temple, Jesus foretells its destruction. The apocalyptic discourse on the Mount of Olives, Matthew’s fifth discourse. The Messianic woes: false Messiahs, wars and rumors, persecution, false prophets, treachery, the worldwide preaching of the gospel, the desolating sacrilege, flight from the city. The times of the Gentiles. The unmistakable coming of the Son of man. The elect gathered by angels. The sign of the budding fig tree. The certainty of Jesus’ words. The absent householder. The watchful householder, and the faithful and wise servant. The ten bridesmaids. The judgment by the Son of man. (Mt 23:1-39; 24:1-51; 25:1-46; Mk 12:37-44; 13:1-37; Lk 20:45-47; 2 1:1-38)

Chapter 14: The Non-Pauline Epistles  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

We are not altogether justified in treating the Pastorals and Hebrews together, for the objections to the Pastorals have arisen chiefly in modern times; ancient Christians, who in general knew Greek better than we do, had no difficulty in regarding the Pastorals as authentically Pauline, while they regarded Hebrews as written by someone else. We are not altogether justified in treating any of them as non-Pauline, for the Pastorals explicitly represent themselves as by Paul while Hebrews does so by implication.

Chapter 15: The Last Supper  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

A plot against Jesus. A woman anoints Jesus’ feet at a Pharisee’s house; the two debtors. At a leper’s house in Bethany a woman anoints Jesus’ head; he defends her extravagance. Judas goes to the chief priests to betray Jesus. Preparations for the Passover; Jesus foretells his betrayal and indicates the traitor. The Last Supper. The covenanted kingdom and the twelve thrones. Jesus predicts that Peter will deny him. The two swords. Going out to the Mount of Olives, Jesus foretells the desertion of the disciples. (Mt 26:1-35; Mk 14:1-31; Lk 22:1-39)

Chapter 15: The Study of the Epistles  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

The gospels and the speeches of Peter and Paul in Acts give important testimony as to what the apostles taught about the Christian life and proclaimed about the meaning of Jesus’ own life, death, and resurrection; yet both the gospels and Acts were written, not by apostles, but by later disciples, and their evidence on particular points stands in need of confirmation, if possible, from the apostles themselves.

Chapter 16: Gethsemane: Arrest, Trial, and Condemnation  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

The agony in Gethsemane. Jesus betrayed, arrested, and arraigned before the chief priests, elders, and scribes at the high priest’s house. The question of Jesus’ understanding of himself as Messiah. The exaltation, coming, and kingdom of the Son of man. Peter denies knowing Jesus. The death of Judas. Jesus brought before Pilate; the trial. Pilate sends him to Herod, who mocks him and sends him back. The crowd demands the release of Barabbas. The dream of Pilate’s wife. Pilate washes his hands. The question of responsibility for Jesus’ death. Barabbas released; Jesus flogged and delivered to the soldiers. The Praetorium and the Pavement. Jesus mocked by the soldiers. (Mt 26:36-75; 27:1-31; Mk 14:32-72; 15:1-20; Lk 22:40-71; 23:1-25)

Chapter 18: The Resurrection  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Predictions of the resurrection. The empty tomb. Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus; his ascension. Emphases in the accounts: the disciples’ incredulity; the reality of Jesus’ resurrection body; the difference between the risen Lord and the Master the disciples had known. The historical facts. The meaning of the resurrection. (Mt 28:1-20; Mk 16:1-20; Lk 24:1-53; Jn 20:1-31; 21:1-25; Acts 1:1-11)

Chapter 19: The Man Jesus  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

The possibility of recovering a true picture of Jesus’ personality and character. Outstanding characteristics: devotion to the will of God, sincerity, patient endurance, love for the Father and consciousness of sonship, authority, insight into human nature, keenness of intellect, sense of proportion, rejection of asceticism, friendship with outcasts, relations with women, love of children, love of nature, humor, tolerance, anger, grief, compassion, mysticism, prayer.

Chapter 19: The Problem of The Life of Jesus  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

What can we know historically about Jesus? A critique is given in the following areas: Extra-biblical writings, oral tradition, form criticism, Jesus’ birth, Jesus in the temple, John the Baptist, Jesus’ baptism, the temptation, Galilee, call of disciples, the apostles, the miracles, Jesus’ teachings, the transfiguration, the Jerusalem ministry, the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday, the rejection of Jesus, and the resurrection.

Chapter 2: How the Books of the New Testament were Selected  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

While the New Testament can now be regarded as ‘apostolic’ only partially, and in a very wide sense, it remains true that the New Testament does contain substantially all that has survived of those first-century Christian writings which preserved the knowledge of the early ministry of Christ and the teaching of the first Christian generation. As such it is of unique authority for Christians.

Chapter 2: Never Spake Man As This Man  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

Although one cannot be altogether sure of any particular saying of Jesus, the body of teaching which as a whole can be relied on as authentic is by no means inconsiderable. No reader of the Synoptic Gospels can miss the characteristic ardent, vivid quality in Jesus’ teaching which no reader of the Synoptic Gospels can miss, and which no writer of the Synoptic Gospels could have invented. It is not to be paralleled, whether in ancient or modern sources.

Chapter 2: The Birth of the Church  in  The Book Of Acts

Book Chapter by William R. Cannon

The birth of the church was not by a group of men setting down and planning its organization, and then going about obtaining members. Rather it started with the doctrine, and guided by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles set about converting men to followers, and then it began to take shape. As the number grew organization took place.

Chapter 2: the Revealing Event  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

The members of the New Testament community knew that they stood at the great climacteric moment of all history, that in and through the things which had happened among them and of which they were witnesses, God had visited and redeemed his people, that no argument is needed. We do in fact believe it. Belief in the revelation of God in Christ is a necessary implication of the Christian life itself.

Chapter 20: The Epistle of Jude  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

The weight of the epistle lies in its authorship. Could Jude be the brother of Jesus? Jude writes as one whose authority is unquestioned, and as one who can himself remember and vouch for the original content of the gospel, departure from which is fatal. The epistle was written from somewhere in Palestine between A.D. 60 and A.D. 80, and to whom we do not know.

Chapter 21: The Church in the New Testament  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

There are not many references to the “church” in the New Testament. But the existence of the Church is obviously implied by the existence of the oral tradition embodied in the various gospels, as well as by the existence of the gospels themselves. In finding out what the Church meant to early Christians we need to bear in mind the whole of their life, not just the explicit statements they make about the nature of the community.

Chapter 3: The Evangelic Tradition  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

There was no such thing as a gospel in Mark’s day. He was only writing a little book about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, gathering up the current information about his life and death, endeavoring to prove that he had already been the Messiah or “Son of Man” while he lived on earth, and explaining why he had died on the cross. Jesus’ teaching is taken for granted, but it is not quoted extensively nor expounded by Mark.

Chapter 3: The Event and Its Parts  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

The first community was convinced that he who had died lived again. They were convinced of this not primarily because some of them had had visual experiences of him, but because the Spirit had come upon them. We too are convinced that he who died lives still, and in our case too this conviction is not the consequence of visual experiences reported in the Gospels and Epistles, but of the presence of the Spirit in the community.

Chapter 3: The First Part of the Galilean Ministry  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Jesus returns to Galilee, proclaiming the kingdom of God. The first four disciples called; the miraculous catch of fish. Teaching and healing in the synagogue at Capernaum. The miraculous element in the Gospels: nature miracles and healing miracles. Peter’s mother-in-law. Healings at evening. The Messianic secret. Preaching and healing throughout Galilee. (Mt 4:12-25; Mk 1:14-39; Lk 4:14-44; 5:1-11)

Chapter 3: The Nature of Translation  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

We face the question of translation: We are not first-century Greeks. We all use translations. Thus we need some clear principles for translating. 1. What did the word mean to the author? 2. What did that word mean to the earliest readers? 3. What has it come to mean in later times? We must avoid a clear defined meaning to all the mysteries of the Bible. We must not place New Testament words and thoughts into an inflexible meaning.

Chapter 3: The Text of The New Testament  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

The reliability of the text is of great importance for the New Testament claims from its readers an unique authority. We wish to be assured that, when we read it, even in translation, we are reading essentially what the original authors wrote, and not a corrupted version of their work. The reader of any of the standard modern translations, such as the Revised Version, the new American Version, or Moffatt, can have confidence that he will nowhere be seriously misled on important points of Christian doctrine in his reading.

Chapter 4: The Apostolic Preaching  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

Mark is not writing history or biography, not even giving an account of Jesus’ teaching. He is writing an apology, an explanation of the death of the Messiah. It was not circulated among the littérateurs, but privately among the oppressed, despised, and persecuted handful of Christians . Only later was it carried to other Christian communities.

Chapter 4: The Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Beatitudes and woes. Salt and light. Fulfillment of prophecy and the law; exceeding the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Murder, adultery, the offending eye or hand, divorce, oaths. Nonresistance. Love of neighbor and enemy, being sons of God, perfection. Ostentatious piety: charity, prayers. The Lord’s Prayer. Fasting. Treasure in heaven. Light within. God versus Mammon. Anxiety. Seeking God s kingdom and righteousness. Judging others. Respect for what is holy. Confident prayer. The Golden Rule. The narrow gate. False prophets. Profession versus performance; the two builders. (Mt 5:1-48; 6:1-34; 7:1-29 Lk 6:20-49)

Chapter 4: The Teacher  in  The Founder of Christianity

Book Chapter by C. H. Dodd

Jesus’ teaching is oriented in a direction which differentiates it from rabbinic Judaism. His whole approach to morals was different from that which prevailed among Jewish teachers of his time. His critics rightly divined that his teaching threatened the integrity of Judaism as a system in which religion and national solidarity were inseparable.

Chapter 5: Event and the Gospels  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

The transfiguration represents the invasion of memory by faith, the backward movement of the Spirit into the realm of remembered facts, a step — perhaps the first step — toward the absorption of the earthly career in the resurrection life, a process which was to culminate, at least so far as canonical literature goes, in the Fourth Gospel, where there is no transfiguration scene only because the whole career of Jesus has now been transfigured.

Chapter 5: The Oral Tradition  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

The modern interest in detailed biography was not marked in the ancient world. There can be no doubt that the apostles and the family of Jesus in fact told much more of the life of Jesus than has been preserved, but with the passing of the earliest Christian generation, and with the catastrophe of the Jewish War and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which largely severed the communications between the Christians in Palestine and those of the Gentile world, most of this information, preserved only orally and temporarily, was lost to posterity.

Chapter 5: The People of God  in  The Founder of Christianity

Book Chapter by C. H. Dodd

Violent convulsions had disturbed society for more than a century. Then Jesus came proclaiming, “The time has come, the kingdom of God is upon you!” This was interpreted as having revolutionary implications. This misunderstanding persisted to follow Jesus until the end. He was put to death as “King of the Jews.”

Chapter 5: The Second Part of the Galilean Ministry  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

A leper healed. The centurion’s slave. Foxes and birds and the homeless Son of man. Leaving the dead to bury their dead. A paralytic healed; opposition begins. Matthew (Levi) called; more opposition. A discussion of fasting. New patches and new wine. The mission of the twelve and their instructions. (Mt 8:1-22; 9:1-17, 35-38; 10:1-42; 11:1; Mk 1:40-45; 2:1-22; 6:6-13; Lk 5:12-39; 7:1-10 9:1-6)

Chapter 5: The Significance of Knowledge of the Historical Jesus and His Teaching  in  Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus

Book Chapter by Norman Perrin

The New Testament as a whole implies that Christian faith is necessarily faith in the Christ of the Church’s proclamation, in which proclamation today historical knowledge may play a part, but as proclamation, not historical knowledge. As proclamation it helps to build the faith-image, to provide the content for a faith which ‘believes in Jesus’.

Chapter 6: James  in  Many Witnesses, One Lord

Book Chapter by William Barclay

Even though the Book of James has been contested in the past, it is yet a book that could have been written yesterday. The author here contends that it may have been a sermon by James which someone put in writing for James. Regardless, James is a book relevant to today.

Chapter 6: The Third Part of the Galilean Ministry  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

John’s question and Jesus’ tribute to John. Woes on Galilean cities. Thanksgiving for revelation to babes. Jesus’ easy yoke. Plucking grain on the Sabbath. The man with a withered hand. Multitudes healed. Appointment of the twelve. The widow’s son at Nain. The women who provided for Jesus and the disciples. Jesus’ friends try to restrain him. The Beelzebub controversy; blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The sign of Jonah. The demon’s return. Jesus’ relatives. (Mt 11:2-30; 12:1-50; Mk 2:2328 3:1-35; Lk 6:1-19; 7:11-50; 8:1-3, 19-21)

Chapter 7: Event and the Story  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

Knox discusses the historical, the ontological and the mythological and states that "the indubitable fact is that the resurrection of Christ, no less than the life of Jesus, did occur, whether everybody witnessed it or not. The church is beyond any doubt historical, and its very existence is a testimony to this occurrence."

Chapter 7: The Gospel of Mark  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

A great achievement of New Testament criticism of our times has been the establishment beyond reasonable doubt that the gospel of Mark formed one of the principal sources used both by Matthew and Luke, and that it is both the earliest and in some ways the most important of our gospels, yet for centuries Mark had been the least read and regarded of the four gospels.

Chapter 7: The Gospels  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

Almost all analysis of when, why, where, and how the gospels were written ultimately fails because it neglects the extent to which the evangelists were involved in the transmission of the Christian tradition as well as the extent to which they were free to arrange and rewrite their materials in ways which seemed meaningful to them and to the communities of which they were members.

Chapter 7: The Theology of Mark  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

Mark takes for granted the apostolic faith; for he writes as a Christian, a believer, not as an outsider or critic — not even as an historian or biographer. Hence his “theology,” so far as he has a theology, is not his own, but merely the theological interpretation — as far as it had gone in his day — of the tradition as held by the contemporary church.

Chapter 8: Event and the Church  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

If God did in fact choose to reveal himself in history, as Christian faith affirms, that act becomes the sign and guarantee of a purpose of God in history, a purpose to which all of nature is subordinate. The decisive ground of our faith that that purpose exists is the historical revelation, which began with the calling of Israel and culminated in the great event — the life and death and rising again of Jesus and the coming into being of the community of Christ the Lord.

Chapter 8: The Fourth Part of the Galilean Ministry  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Jesus calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee. The demoniac. Jairus’ daughter raised and a woman with a hemorrhage healed. Two blind men healed. Jesus rejected at Nazareth. Herod Antipas hears that John the Baptist has risen from the dead; the death of John. The twelve return from their mission. Five thousand people fed. Jesus walks on the water; Peter fails. Healing miracles at Gennesaret. Clean and unclean. In the region of Tyre and Sidon Jesus heals Syrophoenician woman’s daughter. Return to Galilee; a deaf mute healed. Four thousand people fed. Demand for a sign from heaven refused. The leaven of the Pharisees. A blind man healed at Bethsaida. (Mt 8:23-34; 9:18-34; 13:53-58; 14:1-36; 15:1-39; 16:1-12;Mk4:35-41;5:1-43;6:1-6, 7:1-37; 8:1-26; Lk 8:22-56; 4:16-30; 9:7-17)

Chapter 8: The Gospel of Matthew  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

Matthew’s gospel is an attempt to improve and supplement Mark as a record of Jesus’ teaching and as a testimony to his Messiahship for the guidance of Jewish Christians. Matthew adds to the narrative of Mark, which he shortens but reproduces in essentials, only an account of Jesus’ birth and infancy, a few incidents from Q, a couple of other stories, a few variations in Mark’s narrative, and a Resurrection appearance in Galilee.

Chapter 9: Peter’s Confession and the End of the Galilean Ministry  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

Peter’s declaration at Caesarea Philippi; Jesus predicts rejection, death, and resurrection; demands self-denying dedication, and proclaims the kingdom’s coming within that generation. The meaning of the kingdom of God. The transfiguration. Elijah’s coming interpreted. An epileptic boy healed. Second prediction of the cross and resurrection. The half-shekel in the fish’s mouth. An argument about greatness; the child as a model. The unauthorized exorcist. Various sayings. The lost sheep. Forgiving a repentant brother. The unmerciful servant. (Mt 16:13-28; 17:1-27; 18:1-35; Mk 8:27-39; 9:1-50; Lk 9:18-50)

Chapter 9: The Gospel of Luke  in  An Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Richard Heard

It is unlikely that Luke, with many opportunities for gaining information, depended for the bulk of his information, outside what was provided by Mark and Q, on written sources. While his gospel is in some ways the most important historically of the four, it is probable that he wrote under the handicap of being no longer able to check the value of some of his material.

Chapter 9: The Story: (III) The Sequel  in  The Founder of Christianity

Book Chapter by C. H. Dodd

An evaluation of the beliefs, ideas and speculations about Jesus after the crucifixion. Clearly something had changed his followers. There is no answer as to what actually happened, but we do know that starting from there the church embarked on the far-reaching intellectual enterprise which is the building of a Christian theology, and philosophy of life, upon the foundation thus laid, and that is an unfinished story.

Chapter I: Jesus in History  in  Jesus

Book Chapter by Martin Dibelius

Secular attacks on Christianity demand that the church take seriously the valid historical roots of the Jesus record.  Chapters which follow deal with a scientific presentation of the event, with the hope that it can strengthen and inform those persons of faith who must deal with the meaning of the event as a revelation of God.

Chapter II: The Sources  in  Jesus

Book Chapter by Martin Dibelius

This chapter deals with the sources upon which a historical knowledge of Jesus can be based. A small amount of non-Christian testimony is presented, but the major sources are the Christian witnesses, the Gospel tradition, and the narrative sections of the Synoptic gospels.

Chapter Two: The Gospels  in  The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments

Book Chapter by C. H. Dodd

Dodd explains why we cannot expect to find in the Gospels bare matter of fact, unaffected by the interpretation borne by the kerygma, (preaching or proclamation) of the early church. The present task of New Testament criticism is to explore, by a comparative study of the several writings, the common faith which evoked them, and which they aimed at interpreting to an ever-widening public.

Chapter V: The Kingdom of God  in  Jesus

Book Chapter by Martin Dibelius

Jesus defines his movement in terms of two opposites:  A conviction that the Kingdom of God is future and opposed to this world, and  a consciousness that the Kingdom is already in the process of coming, and has already put itself in motion.

Chapter VIII: Man’s Status Before God  in  Jesus

Book Chapter by Martin Dibelius

Jesus does not give a series of rules for a life of faith, enabling one to get “right” with God.  God’s absolute will cannot be compressed into a law for this world.  It can be set forth only in “signs”, evidences of the Kingdom.  Therefore he demand of Jesus in its deepest meaning does not run:  So must thou act, but rather, So must thou be!  What he wants to create is not ascetic or ethical achievements, but persons who in word and deed witness to, show forth, God’s Kingdom.

Conclusion  in  A Historical Introduction to the New Testament

Book Chapter by Robert M. Grant

It has been the attempt of this writing to follow a method likely to produce relatively verifiable conclusions to the documents we possess. The principle virtue of this approach is that it proceeds from the known to the unknown, beginning with the texts we have and proceeding to a literary analysis of them, then to historical analyses and syntheses.

Cosmic Groanings

Article by Ronald Goetz

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of …

Disciples on Trial

Article by Susan R. Garrett

In Mark’s Gospel the disciples are as much a hindrance as a help to Jesus. They do not understand Jesus’ words or support him in his mission. Repeatedly Jesus rebukes them for their inability to see and comprehend and for their hardness of heart. But when the disciples misunderstand Jesus and in other ways fail …

Foreword  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

The first of these three books was written in 1941, the last six years later. Some changes in thinking between the two the author cannot deny as this volume was prepared (1958), but despite the comments of some critics, Knox believes his basic beliefs in the authenticity and the unique quality of Jesus’ humanity stand unchanged.

Forward  in  Jesus

Book Chapter by Martin Dibelius

The name of Martin Dibelius, of the University of Heidel­berg, is well known among Biblical scholars throughout the world. We in this country knew him, not only through his learned works in New Testament criticism and exegesis, but also as a result of his memorable visit in 1937 when he spent several weeks at our …

Forward by H. W. Bartsch  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

The New Testament is the Word of God spoken through the words of men, and since the proclamation of the act of God as the incarnate word confronts us in this particular form, it can never be spoken of in direct, straightforward language, and therefore there cannot be in the strictest sense any “assured results”. . We must hearken to the testimony of the New Testament itself. In this problem we are concerned with the right hearing of the New Testament message, of the kerygma of Jesus Christ the Son of God. This right hearing is the decisive presupposition for every interpretation.

Fragments from an Earthen Jar–James Robinson and the Nag Hammadi Library

Article by John Dart

By the close of 1977, Theologian James M. Robinson of Claremont, California, had reached the end of what he called “a forced march” of more than a decade. All 13 books, or codices, of the Nag Hammadi (NAHG Ha-MAH-dee) Library had been put into the public domain with the publication in December of the tenth …

God as Santa

Article by Rodney Clapp

Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm!" And God granted what he asked. (1 Chron. 4:10, NRSV) Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez rode the top …

God with a Human Face

Book by John C. Purdy

(ENTIRE BOOK) Presents the life and work of Jesus, from birth to resurrection. Employing passages chosen from all four of the Gospels, it explores the idea that the human face of God is turned to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead?

Book by Oscar Cullmann

ENTIRE BOOK) Professor Cullmann compares the Greek conception of the immortality of the soul with the early Christian conception of the resurrection, and shows that they are so different in orgin and in translation into experience as to be mutually exclusive. To the Greek, death was a friend. To the Christian death was the last enemy, but the enemy conquered by Christ in His resurrection, and conquered by all who are His.

Intimations of the Year of Jubilee in the Parables of the Wicked Tenants and Workers in the Vineyard

Article by Herman C. Waetjen

The institution of jubilee and its economic regulations, detailed in Leviticus 25, may never been put into practice in the history of Israel. But the ideals of redemption and restoration, which it envisioned for the nation’s covenantal relationship with God and its attendant establishment of justice, were appropriated and applied by Israel’s prophets to the …

Introduction  in  The Book Of Acts

Book Chapter by William R. Cannon

P>Luke was the first person to write the history of the beginnings of organized Christianity. He composed the Acts of the Apostles before the close of the first century, when all the events he describes took place. No one else attempted to do what he did until the fourth century. As an historian, he is …

Introduction: The Last Things Are Coming  in  What Shall We Believe?

Book Chapter by Aurelia T. Fule

Those who care about peacemaking and alternatives to a nuclear holocaust — who believe that God loves the world and expects us to do all we can to preserve and enhance life on earth — have a responsibility to pay attention not only to what the “last things” preachers are saying but also to what the mainstream of Christian tradition says about “last things.”


Book by Martin Dibelius

(ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Dibelius describes the New Testament as the humanly conditioned deposit of an historical event, and considers that the crucial question in the struggle over Christianity is whether God made his will manifest in this event. Doing this, he reconstructs the life and teachings of Jesus, showing the real content and significance of what Jesus said and what he did.

Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book by Millar Burrows

(ENTIRE BOOK) A clear, detailed, and accurate account of the real life of Jesus, presenting facts from Jesus’ birth through his resurrection in such a manner as to make studying his life and the Gospels easier, more rewarding, and very enlightening.

Jesus Lord and Christ

Book by John Knox (current)

(ENTIRE BOOK) This is a combination of three books: The first probes beyond modern historical criticism to establish the facts and importance of Jesus’ human career; the second explores Jesus’ significance as "Christ" and "Lord" within the first Christian community and among the New Testament writers, and the third gives an original interpretation of the saving event centered in Jesus Christ, and what it means to every believer to follow.

Left Behind

Article by John Dart

“I tell you, that on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will he two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Luke 17:34-35, NRSV.   The “Left Behind” fiction series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins borrows its …

Letting Parables Live

Article by Walter Wink

Parables are tiny lumps of coal squeezed into diamonds, condensed metaphors that catch the rays of something ultimate and glint it at our lives. Parables are not illustrations; they do not support, elaborate or simplify a more basic idea. They are not ideas at all, nor can they ever be reduced to theological statements. They …

Part 1: He Was Remembered – Chapter 1  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

The meaning of Jesus in the early church is nothing less than the whole meaning of the whole New Testament. It is even more than that, for it is the meaning of the life of the early church itself. Jesus’ Nazareth origin, his baptism by John, the Galilean locale of his ministry, his execution by the Gentiles — all are examples of facts of which we can be especially sure because later interests and beliefs of the churches would have led to a denial of them if they had not been well authenticated and firmly established.

Part 3: He Was Interpreted – Chapter 5  in  Jesus Lord and Christ

Book Chapter by John Knox (current)

It was from the first perhaps inevitable that Jesus’ lordship, rather than his messiahship, should dominate the church’s Christology, because his lordship was a matter of present knowledge, while his messiahship was a matter largely of expectation and hope. But at the beginning the two conceptions, logically incompatible, were held closely together.

Paul and the Law

Article by Mark A. Chancey

The Jews of Jesus’ time, the preacher intoned, were slavishly devoted to the practices of their ancestors. They studied scripture but did not apply it. Their temple was "rotten to the core." Ancient Judaism was a religion whose rituals were "impressive, inspiring and empty" It was a faith preoccupied with the superficial and lacking in …

Preface  in  Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus

Book Chapter by Norman Perrin

This work was originally conceived as an expansion of the last chapter of Norman Perrin, The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus (London: SCM Press, and Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1963), into a full-scale study of the teaching of Jesus. As it progressed, however, it began to take on some special features. In particular, …

Preface  in  Jesus in the First Three Gospels

Book Chapter by Millar Burrows

For economic reasons the text of this book has been severely compressed and abridged, and the apparatus of scholarship has been almost entirely jettisoned. It would be pleasant, therefore, to name here some of the scholars to whom I am indebted, but there are too many of them. Not to mention my own teachers, time …

Preface  in  The Earliest Gospel

Book Chapter by Frederick C. Grant

What essentially is the gospel? It is Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God and the apostolic proclamation of this message of salvation with the added emphasis and fresh meaning given to it by the resurrection of Jesus and the continuing work of the holy Spirit in the church. But this all requires understanding and interpretation.

Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus

Book by Norman Perrin

(ENTIRE BOOK) An attempt to establish what may be known with reasonable certainty of the teaching of Jesus, “an irreducible minimum of historical knowledge available to us at the present time” (1967). Fully appreciative of Bultmann, yet advancing beyond his work, the author opens up a new approach to understanding the significance of the teaching of Jesus.

Reflections  in  What Shall We Believe?

Book Chapter by Aurelia T. Fule

The dispensational conclusion is that peace is not possible; prepare for war. How can people live with such a non-Christian view? This perspective has nothing to do with the permissive will of God that allows us to live with the consequences of our actions, and to strive for peace in out time.

Reshuffling the Gospels: Jesus According to Spong and Wilson

Article by Luke Timothy Johnson

Given the shoddy level of analysis and argument evidenced by these books, perhaps the most pertinent questions to ask are: Why were they written? and Why were they published by houses of at least residual reputation? Neither book adds a single thing to the world’s knowledge about Jesus. Neither makes the slightest claim to original …

Rhetorical Identification In Paul’s Autobiographical Narrative

Article by Paul E. Koptak

While most studies of Paul’s autobiography in Galatians 1.13-2.14 acknowledge the importance of Paul’s relationship with the Christians of Galatia, little attention has been given to the language Paul uses to describe relationships within the autobiographical narrative itself. This study will examine the relationships that Paul portrays and creates with the Jerusalem apostles, his opponents, …

Scroll Origins: An Exchange on the Qumran Hypothesis

Article by J.A. Fitzmyer

Norman Golb’s claim (“The Qumran-Essene hypothesis: A fiction of scholarship,” Dec. 9) that the recent release of previously withheld Qumran texts has made it clear that “many of them support the hypothesis of Jerusalem origin” is itself a fiction, the speculation of one scholar’s imagination. When I read that claim, I wondered to what recently …

Shakespeare in the Bush, and Encountering the Other

Article by Herman C. Waetjen

Understanding is not simply a way of knowing; it is a priori a way of "being-in-the-world". This, in essence, is the paradigm shift that hermeneutics has undergone during the past seventy years as a result of Martin Heidegger’s unveiling of the ontological conditions of understanding. The fundamental reality of human existence is not "being with", …

Social Teaching and Social History: Learning from the Early Church

Article by Margaret M. Mitchell

Christians who seek answers to these burning questions recognize the New Testament as an essential resource. Champions of various viewpoints often draw upon particular texts, like the Beatitudes or Romans 13. But since the New Testament itself contains various kinds of social witness — as its use both for and against slavery and patriarchy, for …

In this special lecture, John Cobb explores the central the message of Jesus, “God’s Kingdom.”

Taking the Emperor’s Clothes Seriously: New Testament and the Roman Emperor

Article by Justin Meggitt

The figure of the Roman emperor has, until relatively recently, been of marginal interest to students of the New Testament. Even though interest has increased, it has not been the object of an extensive study since Stauffer’s Christ and the Caesars in 1955 and has only played a significant part in a handful of other …

Textual Appeal

Article by Michael Joseph Brown

Book Review: An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity. By Delbert Burkett. Cambridge University Press,. 600pp., $80.00. Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology. By Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green and Marianne Meye Thompson. Eerdmans, 614 pp.$35.00.   It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love. And no, it’s not …

The Book Of Acts

Book by William R. Cannon

(ENTIRE BOOK) A straightforward, comprehensive study and commentary of the Acts of the Apostles. Includes an overview of the beginnings of the Christian church, and covers subjects including the ascension of Christ, the apostles at Pentecost, the church organization at Jerusalem, and the conversion and travels of Paul.

The Burden of the Gospels

Article by Wendell Berry

Anybody half awake these days will be aware that there are many Christians who are exceedingly confident in their understanding of the Gospels, and who are exceedingly self-confident in their understanding of themselves in their faith. They appear to know precisely the purposes of God, and they appear to be perfectly assured that they are …

The Common Faith

Article by John Knox

1. One cannot gain even a little acquaintance with the early church—which means, one cannot do even a little reading in the New Testament—without recognizing not only the importance of what the word "Christ" stands for in its life, but also the richness and manifoldness of this same reality. If we examine the Christian community’s …

The Founder of Christianity

Book by C. H. Dodd

(ENTIRE BOOK) Details about Jesus’ life, by one of the nineteenth century’s greatest New Testament scholars. First Century writings about Jesus, his personal traits, his teachings, the people around him, his concept of “Messiah,” his travels and final trip to Jerusalem, the crucifixion and responses thereafter.

The Gospel of John

Book by William R. Cannon

(ENTIRE BOOK) John saw Jesus, not so much as he appeared to be from the outward aspects of his ministry, as he did from the basic purpose that ministry was designed to achieve. And what John relates about Jesus actually took place, and is consistent with the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

The Gospel Of Matthew

Book by William R. Cannon

(ENTIRE BOOK) Matthew is studied in sections, revealing stages in the life and work of Jesus. These stages also show the interactions of Jesus with people, and characteristics about him self. The study will certify that Jesus is the Son of God.

The Historical Jesus and the Life of Faith

Article by David L. Bartlett

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (Vol. 1): The Roots of the Problem and the Person, by John P. Meier. Doubleday 484 pp., $25.00 The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant, by John Dominic Crossan. Harper-SanFrancisco, 507 pp., $30.00. These two lively books represent strikingly different methodologies and present some strikingly …

The Mythological Element in the Message of the New Testament and the Problem of its Re-interpretation Part II  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

Redemption is not a miraculous supernatural event, but an historical event wrought out in time and space. For the kerygma maintains that the eschatological emissary of God is a concrete figure of a particular historical past, that his eschatological activity was wrought out in a human fate, and that therefore it is an event whose eschatological character does not admit of a secular proof.

The New Testament and the Comic Genre

Article by Dan O. Via, Jr.

I think that I can begin to locate myself both personally and professionally by referring to a book published in 1970, Brevard Childs’s Biblical Theology in Crisis. Childs describes the biblical theology movement as a peculiarly American phenomenon which, though it owed something to European neo-orthodoxy, was also considerably influenced by the fundamentalist-liberal controversy in …

The New Testament and the Examined Life: Thoughts on Teaching

Article by Luke Timothy Johnson

The classical definition of New Testament studies essentially involves the historical-critical method. It is not so much a method, of course, as a theoretical construal of the field. New Testament studies has had as its object the historical reconstruction of early Christianity. It has demanded that the canonical writings be analyzed in strictly historical terms, …

The Pharisaic Jesus and His Gospel Parables

Article by Philip Culbertson

The new Christology proceeding out of the Christian-Jewish dialogue, expressed by such theologians as Catholic John Pawlikowski and Anglican Paul van Buren, challenges traditional Christian assumptions in a manner that can seem threatening, yet captures an important strain of our faith too long suppressed. The earliest church was barely, if at all, removed from Judaism; …

The Red-Haired Saint: Is Mary Magdaline Key to the Easter Narratives?

Article by James T. Baker

During a recent year spent in Italy, as I walked the dusty Roman-charted roads, sat by splashing medieval fountains, and gazed at the altars of Renaissance and Baroque churches, I found myself, much to my surprise, falling in love with a saint named Mary Magdalene. I am not the first Protestant to be attracted to …

The Restatement of New Testament Mythology by Helmut Thielicke  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

Bultmann has thrown down a serious challenge to the very foundations of the Church, and our investigations have substantiated this contention. Clearly we must risk the dangers of such an undertaking, even the danger of stirring up the ghosts of heresy.(E.g. the dissolution of the historical basis of the kerygma, or the separation of the historical objective genitive, “of Jesus Christ”, from the sola fide.) We therefore owe a debt of gratitude to Bultmann.

The Right Interpretation of the Mythological by Ernst Lohmeyer  in  Kerygma and Myth

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics

To have its faith tried and tested in the fires of doubt is of the very essence of Protestant theology. It may freely admit both its strength and its weakness, but it knows that the act of God which is the ground of its own experience is greater than myth, and that it can experience that act more genuinely the more it penetrates behind mythology to the essential core of truth.

The Second Coming of the Liberal Jesus?

Article by Leander E. Keck

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith. By Marcus Borg. HarperSan Francisco, 160 pp. $16.00 paperback. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. By John Dominic Crossan. HarperSanFrancisco, 208 pp., $18.00 paperback. The Religion of Jesus the Jew, by Geza Vermes. Fortress, 244 pp., $13.00 paperback. “The historical Jesus” …

The Sermon on the Mount

Book by Roger Shinn

(ENTIRE BOOK) The author shows why the Sermon on the Mount has proved to be one of the most influential parts of the entire New Testament. Excellent book for those without a strong biblical and theological background.

The Significance of Mircea Eliade for Christian Theology

Article by Joseph G. Muthuraj

Introduction I formulate my experience of reading Eliade as a student engaged in the study of Christian theology particularly that of New Testament with a purpose of making use of his insights in the search for developing new perspectives and paradigms to do theology. NT discipline is one of the fields of study within ‘Theology’ …

V. The Rapture  in  What Shall We Believe?

Book Chapter by Aurelia T. Fule

The message of the TV evangelists: the end of the world; the Tribulation; the Millennium; and the last judgment. But their God is tiny. In an age when people learn of an infinite or expanding universe, these preachers depict a tribal god on a heaven-made throne in an immensely big city!