The Routledge Guidebook to The New Testament

Patrick Gray, London: Routledge, 2017, 312 p.


As part of the Christian canon of scripture, the New Testament is one of the most influential works in history. Its impact can be seen in many different fields, but without an awareness of the historical, cultural, social, and intellectual context of early Christianity, it can be difficult for modern-day readers to fully understand what the first-century authors were trying to say and how the first readers of the New Testament would have understood these ideas. The Routledge Guidebook to the New Testament offers an academic introduction to the New Testament examining:

  • The social and historical context in which the New Testament was written
  • The primary text, supporting students in close analysis from a range of consensus positions
  • The contemporary reception and ongoing influence of the New Testament

With further reading suggestions, this guidebook is essential reading for all students of religion and philosophy, and all those wishing to engage with this important work.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents



I. The Context of Early Christianity and the New Testament

II. The Literature of the New Testament: The Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles





III. The Literature of the New Testament: Letters

The Letters of Paul


1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians





1-2 Thessalonians

The Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy, Titus)


The Letter to the Hebrews

The General Epistles


1-2 Peter

1, 2, 3 John


IV. The Literature of the New Testament: Apocalyptic Literature


V. Key Concepts

VI. General Issues

What do we know about the life of Jesus?

What language did Jesus speak?

How do we know what Jesus really said?

How should the miracles in the New Testament be understood?

Did Jesus found a new religion?

Is the New Testament anti-Semitic?

Who wrote the New Testament?

How do we know when the books of the New Testament were written?

Why does the New Testament contain (only) twenty-seven books?

How should one read the non-canonical writings?

How are the Dead Sea Scrolls related to the New Testament?

Should the New Testament be read « literally »?

What special methods do scholars use to interpret the New Testament?

VII. For Further Study




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