The New Testament in Its World by N. T. Wright and Michael F. Bird brings together decades of groundbreaking research, writing, and teaching into one volume that will open readers’ eyes to the larger world of the New Testament. It presents the New Testament books as a literary, narrative, and social phenomena located in the world of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity, covering the third century BCE to the mid-second century CE.
An ideal guide for students, The New Testament in Its World addresses the many difficult questions faced by those studying early Christianity. Both large and small, these questions include:

  • What is the purpose of the New Testament?
  • What was the first-century understanding of the kingdom?
  • What is the real meaning of the resurrection in its original context?
  • What really were the Gospels?
  • As twenty-first-century people, how do we recover the excitement of what it was like to live as Christians in the second or third centuries?

Available for the first time, this comprehensive work also serves as a one-volume overview to the lifelong project of scholar N. T. Wright to understand the important questions surrounding the origins of Christianity. As such, it stands to become the definitive introduction in its field.

About the Authors

N. T. Wright is the Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the award-winning author of many books, including After You Believe, Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, The Challenge of Jesus, and The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as the series Christian Origins and the Question of God.

Michael F. Bird is Academic Dean and Lecturer in theology at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God, Evangelical Theology, Romans (Story of God Bible Commentary Series), The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus, and editor of The Apostle Paul: Four Views. He also runs a popular theological studies blog called “Euangelion” and can be followed on twitter @mbird12.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Abbreviations
  • 1. Reading the New Testament
  • 1.1 Beginning Study of the New Testament
  • 1.2 The New Testament as History
  • 1.3 The New Testament as Literature
  • 1.4 The New Testament as Theology
  • 2. The World of Jesus and the Early Church
  • 2.1 The History of the Jews between the Persian and Roman Empires
  • 2.2 The Jewish Context of Jesus and the Early Church
  • 2.3 The Graeco-Roman Context of the Apostles and the Early Church
  • 3. Jesus and the Victory of God
  • 3.1 The Study of the Historical Jesus
  • 3.2 The Profile and Praxis of a Prophet
  • 3.3 Who Did Jesus Think He Was?
  • 3.4 The Death of the Messiah
  • 4. The Resurrection of the Son of God
  • 4.1 The Afterlife in Greek, Roman, and Jewish Thought
  • 4.2 The Story of Easter according to the Apostle Paul
  • 4.3 The Story of Easter according to the Evangelists
  • 5. Paul and the Faithfulness of God
  • 5.1 The Story of Paul’s Life and Ministry
  • 5.2 A Primer on Pauline Theology
  • 5.3 1–2 Thessalonians
  • 5.4 Galatians
  • 5.5 1–2 Corinthians
  • 5.6 Philippians
  • 5.7 Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians
  • 5.8 Romans
  • 5.9 The Pastoral Epistles
  • 6. The Gospels and the Story of God
  • 6.1 Mark
  • 6.2 Matthew
  • 6.3 Luke–Acts
  • 6.4 John
  • 6.5 The Making of the Gospels
  • 7. The Early Christians and the Mission of God
  • 7.1 Introduction to Early Christian Letters
  • 7.2 Hebrews
  • 7.3 Letters by Jesus’s Brothers: James and Jude
  • 7.4 Petrine Letters: 1 and 2 Peter
  • 7.5 Johannine Letters: 1, 2, and 3 John
  • 7.6 John the Seer and the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ
  • 8. The Making of the New Testament
  • 8.1 Introduction to Textual Criticism of the New Testament
  • 8.2 The Canonization of the New Testament
  • 9. Living the Story of the New Testament
  • 9.1 Bringing it All Together
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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