The Nature and Origin of the New Testament

R. E. Brown. Introduction to New Testament: Nature and Origin of the New Testament.
Bangalore: Theological Publishers, 2004. (pg. 1-21)

The Nature and Origin of the New Testament

Before the term Testament was applied to a set of writings, it referred to God‟s special dealing with mankind. This is covenant which God made with his people and fulfilled in the Jesus Christ. Jeremiah very clearly talks about the “New covenant”. And it was said before the 600years before Jesus‟s birth. The theology of the Christian and Jews who did not accept Jesus led to the thesis that the new testament had taken the place of the Old, mosaic covenant which had become “obsolete”(heb8:6;9:15;12:24) even than the scripture if Israel remained the scripture for Christian. So in the 2nd century Christian used the term New Testament for their writings.
Therefore many people think that Christian has bible today as it was in the beginning, rather books were composed by follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not write any books, but all the books contain his revelation. And according to his proclamation the kingdom God was at hand “last time” that was the encouragement for the Christian to not write anything for further generation. However letters was first Christian literature of that we know: even though they were written to address the problem of the church by the Paul who was the great missionary and traveller man who preached gospel town to town and village to village and letter became his means how to live a life with Christ. Gospel: Gospels are the documents which has life of Jesus and work of Jesus Christ. Mark was the first gospel, Luke and Matthew was written after ten of Mark. Acts, Revelation other literary Kinds: Acts is history of Christian from Jerusalem to ending life of Paul in Rome and Revelation is related or rooted with the writing of the Ezekiel and Zachariah and called as the “apocalyptic” literature.
However there were a stand to keep this letter, first things that how this letter was written name, spirit and authority of the apostles. Second important step is addressed Christian communities. Third conformity with the rule of faith, where the term “canon” or “norm” applied to judge books according to faith. The collection took place in which they standard letter which was written before 100 Ad and Gospel 65-100 and seven books (Heb, Rev, Jas, 2&3 John, Jude, 2pet) were accepted as the scripture by view church in 2nd and 4th centuries, but not by all church. But later in the 4th century Greek East and latin accepted as seventy seven books in NT.
R. E. Brown. Introduction to New Testament: Bangalore: Theological Publishers, 2004.
(Pg. 75- 95)
The Religious and Philosophy World of New Testament Time
The Jews of this period would have had some knowledge of non-Jewish religions of the people with whom they has contact; many of those people would have had some knowledge of Jewish religion. In the Palestine even in areas where the most of the people lived was strong influence of the Hellenistic. The period of the Jewish history begin in 539 BC with the Persian release of the captives from Judah who has been held in Babylon so that they might return to Jerusalem and its environs. Josephus wrote that there were three Group of people in Jewish, Pharisees, second Sadducees, third Essenes. And these three groups have their own ways of living in community, and deal with their own department, like Essenes, Sadducees: they are very devoted people and working in temple, scribes.
Therefore the Non-Jewish religion world is no doubt that the early Christian preachers and the NT writers were influence by both the OT and Post OT Judaism as well as they were
also influence by the Non Jewish religion and philosophies of Greco-Roman world. There are many ideas which were taken from the non-Jewish world that shaped the theology or Christology of NT. The Greco-Roman Philosophies, philo and Gnosticism, even though the word philosophy is maintain only one time in NT (col 2:8). But philosophy was also deserved the attention, because it was also part of the non-Jewish religion. E.g Platonism: he talk about the world above and below, because he says to fulfilled their destiny people must escape the material world and go to their true home in that other world. In John the Gospel description about Jesus Christ who has come from above and offer true realities. So philosophy has very much influence the Christian writes.
R.E Brown. Introduction to New Testament. Bangalore: Theological Publishers, 2004. (Pg.
The Political and Social World of New Testament Time
The New Testament was composed or written in the 1st century AD, so that time what was the political situation in both Palestine and Roman Empire as a whole. First third was the period of which Jesus‟ lived. Second third was the period of the Christian proclamations and composition of main Pauline letters. Last third was period increasing gentile dominance in the Christian communication. Greek and Palestine had existed for centuries, but in 332 new period was began after conquering Tyre in Phoenicia, Alexander the Great extended his control over Samaria and Judea. From 323-175 BC: Domisance of Palestine by the competing Hellenistic king and from 175 to 63 BC Antichuse Epiphanes the Maccabean Revalt and the Hasmoneab High Priest. Than from 63 to 4 BC Roman Dominace, Herod the Great, Augustus. And after the death of the Herod Augustus spilt the
realm among three of Herod‟s son. In the Two areas that most touched Jesus‟ life, Archelaus became ethnic of Judea, Samaria and Idumea, while Herod Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and part of the Transjordan. The first period of direct Roman governance in Judea by prefects ending in AD 39-40 and emperor reigned from the 69-96, but after Nero‟s sicide in 68 Vespasian‟s attention was directed toward Rome and in 69 the legions proclaimed him emperor.
Therefore the preceding section gave an overall picture of the polictal history of the Roman Empire in general and of Palestine in particular during the period of our concern. The frist believing in Jeis were Jews, perhaps all the author of the NT were Jews. The memories of Jesus and the writings of his followers are filled with referenace to the Jewish scripture, feasts, institution and tradiation. So there is no doubt about the influence of Judaism on the NT.
More Hooker, The Nature of New Testament Theology: The Gospel of John and New
Testament Theology. (Pg. 249 – 262)
The Gospel of John and New Testament Theology
The gospel of John is product of Christian faith, that is true in the New Testament writings, but yet the fourth Gospel remain as the unique in its radical, unremitting focus in the figure of Jesus himself on his claim to embody in his purpose and word the life giving divine gift to the world. in the fourth Gospel it is as if Jesus generates his own context.
Therefore Luke and Johannine introduction to the ministry of John the bapttist. Luke very careful dates John‟s ministry that began in the fifteenth years if the reign of Tiberius Caesar and provides a range of further information about pilate and herod Antipas,
Philip, Lysanias, Annas and Caiaphas. The perception that tha Gospel of john is a fundamentally Naïve text stems in part from the peculiar characteristic of the Johannine miracle stories that adoupted by the scholar the textual criticism. The self- critical potential of the Johannine text is dramatized within the text itself.
However there are two ending shorter and longer, the text that is summarized and concludes consists of written signs whose role is to elicit faith. If the term sign is to cover the entire content of the fourth Gospel, However its semantic range will have to be greatly extended. It will have to cover not only „miracles‟ but also narrations of non-miraculous events such as the cleansing of the temple, the triumphal entry and the footfashing and account of the passing and resurrection appearance. Both conclusion focuses on the distinction between what is has been written and what remain unwritten, yet develop this distinction in striking different ways. The shorter ending emphasized the sufficiency of what has written and impels the practical irrelevance of what has been omitted. In the contrast the long ending affirms the eyewitness credentials of fictive author, but also asserts the insufficiency of what has been written. Yet this fourth Gospel remains as the unique gospel and this gospel represents the hermeneutical key to the New Testament.
Christopher Rowland and Christopher Tuckett (eds.), The nature of New Testament
Theology: Does the historical Jesus belong with in a New Testament Theology?. Blackwell: Oxford, 2006. (Pg. 231-245)
Does the Historical Jesus’ Belong within A New Testament Theology?
In here we are going see that historical Jesus‟ belong to the New Testament theology. The two definitions or at least clarification are require at the outset with is meant by the
historical Jesus‟ in this context and what is meant by New Testament theology. The first question to answer is very easy, because Jesus is the historical, but second question is raise what is New Testament theology? By the historical Jesus author does not mean the life and teaching of the pre- Easter Jesus. It has almost always been assumed as axiomatic that theology of the New Testament will involve some exposition of the significance of figure of Jesus who is assumed to be historical individual. there are many question has been raise by the various people and some reject death and resurrection of Jesus, e.g as for the Bultmann state famously at the start of his theology itself new testament that the massage of Jesus is presupposition for the theology of the New Testament rather than a part of that theology itself.
Therefore the New Testament theology the teaching of Jesus would occupy a prime position: the first main theme of New Testament theology is Jesus‟ Preaching. Thus very definition of New Testament theology adopted here necessity precludes any inclusion of the teaching of the pre-east Jesus as an integral part of it, even though it may allow a place for it in preface or as a presupposition. However just as the important is the fact that there might be parts of the Gospel tradition which are deemed to be „inauthentic‟ historically, they do not go back to the historical Jesus, but that nevertheless one might wish to affirm theologically as expressing something profoundly important about Jesus and aspects of the Christian Gospel
Therefore the theology of New Testament of theology process of doing more than simply describing the wide range of theologies reflected in the New Testament in any process of critically evaluating such difference and seeking to make theological value judgements about them. So history Jesus Christ belongs inextricably within any attempt to engage in a theology of the New Testament.
Ralph P. Martin. In Dictionary of the letters New Testament and its developments (ed.)
Illinois: IVP, 1997. (Pg. 796-814)
New Testament Theology
Theology is the study of about that means there is also theology in the NT. Let see the biblical theology and New Testament Theology. The first known use of Biblical theology was by W.J christmann in 1607.Biblical theological is protestant systematic theology which is followed by the two volume that OT and NT. The historical criticism and new testament, the long standing ferment over the historical worth of the Bible, traceable in on small measure to spinora and Richard Simon generations earlier, erupted in 1830s and the 1840s. Barth in his commentary on Roman reflected a theological approach to the text that had been progressively eroded in the name of history. in part of Barth was building on outstanding conservation historical scholarship of T. Zahn, J.B. Lightfoot and others. Bultmann is series of articles and books and finally in his theology of the NT Developed a new path which is called “Demythologise” and Hofmann‟s emphasis on what is new called salvation history.
Therefore the contemporary scene is flooded with diversity as to what is understood by NT theology, though most kinds betray threads drawn from one stand or another of the twisted historical skein briefly untangled here. It may be helpful to classify some of the NT theologies of the past hundred years especially those of the last half century. Grant strongly emphasizes the importance of historical anchoring and emphsies the differences Bultmann detects among the varicose theologies of the NT that as a whole is not
more than “a theology in process”. The rest of the book treats an array of doctrines like doctrine of God, doctrine of man, doctrine of Christ considering as it appears in NT.
However, we need to look at the contribution from the Roman Catholic Church. RC scholar has come late in discipline. Despite the popular confessional works of A. Lemonnyer and O. Kuss. R schnackenburg in 1962 deals with the kerygma and theology of the primitive church reconstructs the teaching of Jesus according to the synoptic, summarizes the contributions of the individual synoptic and follow with treatment of Paul, john and rest of the NT writings. They go on and says that salvation is through Christ by response of faith is always mandates.
Hasel, Gerhard. New Testament Theology: Bare Issues in the Current Debate. Michigan:
Eerdmans, 1978. (Pg. 140-170)
The Centre and Unity in New Testament Theology
The one of the most debated question in the NT is “the centre and unity of the NT” the problem of the center of the OT in the current debate on OT theology is not unrelated to the issues in NT theology. A stock reminds us that the emphasis on contradiction and diversity in the Nt is the result of the methodological tendency of historical criticism. Moreover the question concerning the most adequate center of the Nt remains as well as the question whether a center is needed for the presentation of a NT theology.
Therefore Branus answer in the affirmative “unity is found in the three large blocks of the proclamation of Jesus, Paul and in the Fourth Gospel in the way in which man is seen in his position before God. Bruans inner canter of the NT is theological anthropological. Lohse points that if the NT Lacks a unified Christology, than it should be noted that it also
lacks‟s principle of unity anthropology. G Ebeling objects to Braun‟s principle of unity, because it even lacks anything Christian. Indeed Braun‟s theology anthropology is attempted to define the nature of Christianity without speaking about God and Jesus Christ.
The history of the salvation approach as represented by O. Cullmann, G.E Ladd, and L. Goppelt has indicated that under the same name a variety of presentations of different theological roots and aims can come to expression. It is seek to provide the evidence that the main NT types of salvation history rest in Jesus. The main concept of the Bible itself is the Salvation history.
Therefore the concept of covenant of the bible has come into the forefront of Biblical studies in recent years. And it is also serve as the unified theme through Bible, God made with his people, but the fact is that not all the part of the NT related to covenant directly or indirectly. So all the event in NT is related to the Jesus Christ and point to the same event connected with him, even though one can recognized that “in the synoptic, John, Paul and on other among others writers of NT books Jesus is Presented in differing Christological aspects. So as the result many protestant and Roman Catholic recognized in Jesus Christ the centre of the NT.
However W. Beilner suggests that it is the task of NT theology to show how the historical Jesus became the proclaimed exalted Christ. He believes that NT theology is to be understood as a unity only from two aspects, first namely from the proclaimed Jesus as the Christ and “locus” of that proclamation, the existence of the church. Moreover the various people has discuss about the centre and unity of the NT as well as they has talk about the canon within the canon problem. But overall NT started with the Jesus Christ and ending with Jesus Christ which provides the unity and centre of NT is Jesus Christ.

George E. Ladd. A New Testament Theology. (Pg. 684-719)
Unity and Diversity in the New Testament
The question has been raise that is it the New testament in the unity? Because it is comprises twenty- seven books and written by the different authors in different time to different reader. It is very clear that if one author writing a book, sometime is very hard to find that one theme or massage, but Bible is writing by various author in different time by the inspiration of God, with result that the diverse books of Old and New testament present in different ways a coherent and divinely inspired massage. All that has changed in the last two hundred years or so with the rise of modern rationalism and Biblical criticism. In this post-Enlightenment era of biblical is no longer seen as divinely guaranteed unity but as disparate collection of materials that have points in common, but are also characterized by significant diversity. Dunn has argued that there was serious conflict between the Jewish Christianity and the Hellenistic, than arguing that there was a greater unity than is often realized. Moreover division between Jewish and Hellenistic Christian was not just a practical and culture matter, but also a theological issues. And that is debated on the Mosaic Law.
Therefore Luke‟s description of a conciliatory Paul should not be simply dismissed. Not only does Acts make it clear that there was greater harmony between Paul and Jerusalem than is supposed by some critics, but so does Paul himself in his own writings. That such leader are not mentioned more prominently in Paul‟s Letters testifies probably to a strong sense of sharing responsibility in the body of Christ and to an unassuming style of leadership, and it is likely that Jesus‟ teaching on servant ministry has been influential.
However question on the eschatological in John‟s Gospel, it is true that there is much less explicit teaching in the parousia in john than in the synoptic. But this should not too readily be taken to show that John has no strong eschatology. It is striking that in 1john the future expectation is emphatic (2:18-19).
Therefore there were important constraints on Paul and others in the early church. Though there were argument between Paul and His critics, we must be careful not to focus only on the disputed points and not to recognize that on other issues, such as Christology, there is no sign of disagreement between Paul and Jerusalem and that is very clear that NT is full with the massage of God‟s work in save work.
According to E. Kaseman, (German Theologians) states that New Testament theology being from the Paul not from Jesus. Bultmann states that Jesus‟ message is only presupposition. Likewise, so many debate, controversy and contradictions are exists among the scholars as we seen in before articles on the basis of topic. But still theologians are trying to set out the order in our understanding of God and his revelation in Christ and what that meant for the believers and church which recorded in New Testament. And It matters relating to God that expressed by the New Testament as organized with its historical topic, events in order.


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