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April 6th 2012

Introduction to New Testament : lecture 1


Book of Matthews starts with the begats so and so begat so and so Abraham was
the father of Isaac etc.
o Kings from the East following star to find a baby idea that this baby is someone
Next book, Gospel of Mark
o Shorter than Matthews
o But retells the story of Matthews
Then you have John who tells the same story as well
Four diff chapters in the book all talk about the same story, from different POV
Kind of odd, from our point of view
Acts of the apostles
o Starts off with a recap of how Luke ended, because its written by the same guy
who wrote the Gospel of Luke
o Kind of like ancient Greek novel because tons of drama with people chasing each
other around (just minus the sex that exists in the ancient Greek novels)
o Actually this is about the Acts of Paul, not all the apostles
o Although Paul is not considered an apostle by the guy who wrote it
o The titles of most of the books in the New Testament were put there by later
Christian scribes, not by their authors
Letters of Paul
o Most of New Testament are letters
o Give advice on group problems
o Address philosophical issues to groups of people
Epistle to the Hebrews
o Aka the Letter to the Jews
o Its not a letter though
o Its a sermon
o It looks like a sermon!
o Its not addressed to Jews more addressed to Christians
o The letters seem to be meant to be read aloud in a community
Revelation of John
o The apocalypse
o revelation is just English word for the apocalypse

Document is bizarre
Starts off with narrative about a vision
A vision that John has
Seven letters addressed to several different Christian churches
Describes later the heavenly journey of Johnhe sees lots of creatures and battles
and whatnot
o Ends with establishment of city of God!
New Testament includes diverse literaturea long way from the birth of Jesus
27 different books total
Written from AD 50 150 somewhere there

From Stories to Canon Lecture 2


Scripture versus canon

o Holy and authoritative
o Sacred writing
o Some religions dont have a bounded body of scripture
o Taken
Does not mean scripture is canonical
o Canon is a set list of things
o Judaism, Christianity and whatnot they all have canons
o Like the Koran, the Bible
o Canon is an actual list that a religious body adheres to
o Group of writing that has boundaries to it
o Greek word canon means a list/a rod
Early Christians
o Accepted Jewish scripture as their own
o Apostle Paul talks about Scripture says he is talking about the Jewish
scripture, not the New Testament
Who chose the books that made the canon of the New Testament? (27 books)
Letters of Paul were written firstoldest matieral
o First Thessalonians were the oldest of Pauls letters
o Colossians 4:16 (professor argues that this is not actually written by Paul)
Imitations of Pauls letters also develop
Pauls letters became so famous and respected that his letters themselves were called
Collections of Pauls letters were being made and circulated
So this is how Christians first begin accepting scripture that is more than just Hebrew
Romans 12:14
o Paul passes on a quotation of Jesus

De omnibus dubitandum
o Doubt everything
First Corinthians Paul says that right before Jesus died, he broke apart bread and
claimed was his body etc. Paul is passing on this quote; Paul never saw Jesus except
in his apocalyptic visions, not in flesh and blood so Paul must have gotten this from a
different disciple of Jesus
o Disciples of Jesus passing around Jesus sayings
o 9:14 First Corinthians = a saying that Paul attributes to Jesusalthough Paul does
not obey it
Gospel of Mark
o About year 70
o Matthew and Luke were written after Mark, and they reference what Mark wrote
o Beginning of Luke: author claims that he collected some research of Jesusthat
he compiled his own research
o 40 years after death of Jesus at this point
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John are in the bible
Many other gospels like gospel of Thomas and of Mary
People believe that Luke had been a companion of Paul
Paul taught people that they didnt need to obey the Jewish Lawthrowing away the
stuff of the Hebrews
(heretical idea during the 1st century, how the Jewish scripture was not scripture)
Marcian (?)
In Rome, at that time, Matthew Mark Luke John were considered most popular
Just as Luke wrote down the gospel that Paul had preached
Gospel of Matthew was written in Greek and NOT in Hebrew
Modern scholars believe that these gospels were published (all four of them)
anonymously and we dont know who really wrote them
Matthew Mark Luke John were anonymously published text was published just as it
Then later, these names got attached to these documents

Debate as to whether this canon list was composed in 200 or in 400 AD

The first Canon list that the professor talks about includes Apocalypse of Peter as well as
the Wisdom of Solomonwhich arent in our Bible
Early books were all scrolls
So back thenreally thick scrolls if you wanted to read the gospels
Then new idea of cutting up scroll and sowing them together, make a book, and then
makes easier to read!
Codex = pages sewn together into pages of a book
o Ancient Greeks said book when they thought of scrolls
o To them, codex was the stack of papers
o Innovative piece of technology

o Problem thoughif you decide that one gospel is not considered scripture, and
you put them in between two covers, you actually need to decide what to include
and what to exclude
32 minutes pause