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The New Testament in Its World

An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians
N. T. Wright (Author) , Michael F. Bird (Author)
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Your ticket from the twenty-first century to the era of Jesus and the first Christians. A readable, one-volume introduction placing the entire New Testament and early Christianity in its original context, written by distinguished scholar and author N. T. Wright.

An ideal guide for students, The New Testament in Its World addresses the many difficult questions faced by those studying early Christianity, including:

  • What was the first century understanding of the Kingdom of God?
  • What is the meaning of the resurrection in its original context?
  • What were the Gospels, and how did they come about?
  • Who was Paul and why are his letters so controversial?

Written for both classroom and personal use, this book brings together decades of ground-breaking research, writing, and teaching into one volume. It presents the New Testament books—along with their subjects: Jesus and the early church—within the historical and social context of Second Temple Judaism and Greco-Roman politics and culture.

The New Testament in Its World allows you to recover the excitement of what it was like to live as Christians in the first or second centuries.

Features include:

  • Surveys of each New Testament book that discuss their significance and provides commentary on their contents, along with implications for the Christian life.
  • Major sections on the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and Paul's chronology and theology.
  • Up-to-date discussions of textual criticism and the canonization of the New Testament.
  • Frequent illustrations, maps, charts, diagrams, and artwork provide additional explanations and insights.
  • A distillation of the life work of N. T. Wright on the New Testament with input from Michael Bird.

Also available are Video and Workbook companion resources (sold separately) to enhance learning and experience the world of the New Testament.

About the Authors

N. T. Wright is the former bishop of Durham and senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. He is one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars and the award-winning author of many books, including?After You Believe,?Surprised by Hope,?Simply Christian,?Interpreting Paul, and?The New Testament in Its World, as well as the Christian Origins and the Question of God series.

Michael F. Bird is Deputy Principal and Lecturer in New Testament at Ridley College,?Australia. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular books on the New Testament and theology, including, with N. T. Wright, The New Testament in Its World (2019).

Table of Contents



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



  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 992
  • Format: Hardcover, Cloth
  • ISBN: 9780310499305
  • Release: November 19, 2019

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