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Flashcards in New Testament Deck (11):

New Testament

• Also called the New Covenant, literal translation of the original Greek.
• Original texts written in Greek by various unknown authors after 45 CE and before 140 CE.
• Though Jesus spoke Aramaic, the New Testament (including the Gospels) was written in Greek because that was the lingua franca of the Roman Empire.



Canon includes 27 books, gradually collected into a single volume over a period of several centuries. Not in strictly chronological order.
• Gospels, four narratives of Jesus Christ's ministry.
o Mark, wrote down the recollections of the Apostle Simon Peter.
o Matthew
o Luke, a physician and companion of Paul of Tarsus.
o John
• Acts, narrative of the apostles' ministries in the early church after Christ's death.
• Twenty-one letters/epistles, various authors, consists counsel and instruction.
o Pauline epistles dictated to scribes. Seven are accepted as authentic.
• Apocalypse/Revelation - authorship attributed either to John.


Synoptic Gospels

Synoptic Gospels contain very similar accounts of events in Jesus' life. John stands apart for its unique records of several miracles and sayings of Jesus not found elsewhere.


Gospel relationships

Matthew, Mark and Luke share degree of interdependency. Scholars accept the Markan priority and two-source hypothesis, which proposes that the authors of Matthew and Luke used the Gospel of Mark and a hypothesized collection of the sayings of Jesus, called the Q document, as source material for their own works. The dominant view, the Two-Source Hypothesis, is that both Matthew and Luke drew upon Mark and another common source, known as the "Q Source", from Quelle, the German word for "source".


Synoptic problem

• Ninety-one percent of Mark's content is found in Matthew, and fifty-three percent of Mark is found in Luke.
• Matthew and Luke share content not found in Mark. This content is mostly composed of sayings and one miracle story (the Centurion's Servant).


Date of composition

According to tradition, the earliest of the books were the letters of Paul, Galatians, written en 51 CE, and the last books to be written are those attributed John.

Irenaeus of Lyons, c. 185, stated that the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were written while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome, which would be in the 60s, and Luke was written some time later.
• Mark no earlier than 65 and no later than 75.
• Matthew between 70 and 85.
• Luke within 80 to 95.



• Complex and lengthy process.
• Characterized by a compilation of books that Christians found inspiring in worship and teaching, relevant to the historical situations in which they lived, and consonant with the Old Testament.
• New Testament canon not summarily decided in large, bureaucratic Church council meetings, but rather developed very slowly over many centuries.
• In the first three centuries of the Christian Church, Early Christianity, there seems not to have been a New Testament canon that was complete and universally recognized.
• The oldest clear endorsement of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John being the only legitimate gospels was written c. 180 C.E. It was a claim made by Bishop Irenaeus
• The New Testament canon as it is now was first listed by St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in 367, but certain books continued to be questioned, especially James and Revelation.
• The 27 books of today's New Testament were put together by Saint Jerome in the early 380s.
• Due to the fact that some of the recognized books of the Holy Scripture were having their canonicity questioned by Protestants in the 16th century, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the traditional canon of the Scripture as a dogma of the Catholic Church.


Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy

There are two strands of revelation, the Bible and apostolic tradition. In Catholic terminology the teaching office is called the Magisterium.



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.


Epistle to the Galatians

The Epistle to the Galatians is a letter from Paul to early Christian communities in the Roman province of Galatia in central Turkey. It is principally concerned with the controversy surrounding Gentile Christians and the Mosaic Law. "Was the Mosaic Law binding on Christians?"


Historical background

• The churches of Galatia composed mainly of converts from paganism. After Paul's departure, the churches were led astray from Paul's Christ centered teachings by individuals proposing "another gospel" which centered around Judaism and salvation through the Mosaic Law, whom Paul saw as preaching a "different gospel".
• The Galatians appear to have been receptive to the teaching of these newcomers, and the epistle is Paul's angry response.
• Scholars view them as Jewish Christians who taught that in order for pagans to belong to the people of God, they must be subject to some or all of the Jewish Law. The letter indicates controversy concerning circumcision, Sabbath observance, and the Mosaic Law.
• No original of the letter is known to exist.