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The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon cover art

The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon

Written by: Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses
Narrated by: Bart D. Ehrman
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Publisher's Summary

What different kinds of books are in the New Testament? When, how, and why were they written? And why did some books, and not others, come to be collected into what Christians came to consider the canon of scripture that would define their belief for all time? With these 12 lectures, get a fast-moving yet thorough introduction to these and other key issues in the development of Christianity. Designed to deepen the understanding of both Christians and non-Christians alike, this lecture series takes as its perspective the historical, rather than the theological, issues behind the development of the Bible. And it's an illuminating perspective, indeed, ranging across issues of language, oral history, the physical limitations of spreading the written word at a time when the printing press lay far in the future, and, of course, the theological forces that were shaping Christianity, molding a commonly accepted canon from the various expressions of the faith spreading across the ancient world. Professor Ehrman recreates the context of the times in which the canon was being assembled so that you can understand what the message of each written work would have meant to ancient Christians. You'll come to see how the diverse books of the New Testament were gathered together into the form we now know, whether it's the four canonical Gospels (whose authorship was only attributed by later Christians), the book of Acts, the 21 Epistles, or the book of Revelation (sometimes called the Apocalypse of John).

These lectures are a compelling introduction not only to the development of the Christian canon, but to all of the forces that would play a role in early Christian history.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses

What listeners say about The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon

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Fascinating Course. Highly Recommended

Whether you read the Bible nightly or are only vaguely familiar with Christian thinking, this course will enrich your understanding of how one of the world's great religions developed and solidified its core belief structure. Dr. Ehrman is a skilled, thoughtful, and surprisingly funny, communicator. He does an excellent job of approaching the material with respect and objectivity, neither proselytizing nor denigrating the faith. He explains how stories about the life of Jesus and interpretations of the meaning of Christ's teachings were captured and catalogued in the nascent years of the faith; how richly varied was the early Christian theology, and how one strand of this theology became predominant through the inclusion of certain texts and rejections of others in the collected canon of Christian writing, the New Testament. A fascinating and deeply educational lecture series. I highly recommend it.

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The Making of the New Testament Canon

This was very interesting and makes one think about the New Testament. Not only do I wonder what could have been if Infancy Gospel of Thomas or the Apocalypse of Peter was added, but also I understand better why the New Testament is organized like it is. Honestly, it makes you look at it and think about it in different ways. You start to understand that each gospel was written for a different audience, which now it makes sense that they were are so similar but also why they have their differences.

Like the best of the Great Courses, it makes me wonder and think.

Honestly, I'm a little disappointed that there isn't one about the Old Testament.

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I am enjoying this one much more than the other instructor’s

I originally started out listening to a lady do a course in this series on the old testament, but got really bored because she just goes through the contents and not much else. I went to this book instead and it is so much better because it gives you the historical context which is much more interesting to me than the contents. I find myself looking forward to hearing more. He delivers something you can accept as fact while at the same time really leaving food for thought. I only wish the same instructor could do a historical course on the old testament, though it would be much harder as there is less historical cross reference from those times. But it would be nice to hear his teaching style applied to even what historical
accounts we DO have of those older writings because this course in the New Testament us very good.

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Good

The instructor set clear from the beginning that the perspective is historical and not theological. This is not a course about faith. It is a critical view on the documentation of sacred text. Keep this in mind throughout, otherwise you will not have a good time.

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Not for me. He's not a believer in the Bible

Listening to the course, it is clear this man does not believe the Bible is God-inspired, I had hoped to find a Christian who was able to discuss how the New Testament came together.. apologetics. Then hearing bits of him saying some accounts in the Bible didn't really happen, I switched off. I do believe the entire Bible is God inspired-- and all of it.
If you are a Bible-believing Christian, I wouldn't recommend this audiobook. Even in his other videos, he clearly calls himself an agnostic who used to be a Christian.

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