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The New Testament & Ancient Writings SCTR 19 – Felix Just, S.J.

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Presentation on theme: "The New Testament & Ancient Writings SCTR 19 – Felix Just, S.J."— Presentation transcript:

1 The New Testament & Ancient Writings SCTR 19 – Felix Just, S.J.

2 New Testament Overview NT Content: 27 “books” (incl. many letters) All originally written in Greek Later translations: Latin, etc. Composition History: Jesus’ Life/Death/Resurr. (ca. 30) Apostolic Preaching: Oral Traditions Early Written Sources (30’s? 50’s?) Letters/Epistles (50’s – 110’s?) Full Gospels (late 60’s – 90’s?) Collections (1 st – 3 rd Cent.) Canonization (late 4 th Cent.)

3 NT Structure & Genres Four “Gospels” ( Euangelion, lit. “good news”) Canonical Order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (but Mark is oldest) One “Acts” of the Apostles Vol. 2 of Luke’s work (traveling companion of Paul?) Twenty-One “Letters” or “Epistles” “Pauline Letters” – attributed to Paul of Tarsus Named after Communities & Individuals TO WHOM written 7 “Undisputed” & 6 “Disputed” Hebrews – vaguely Pauline; not really a “letter” but a sermon “Catholic/General Epistles” – attribute to other apostles James; 1 Peter; 2 Peter; 1 John; 2 John; 3 John; Jude One “Apocalypse” = Book of Revelation (singular!)

4 Non-canonical Christian Writings “Apocryphal” works – not accepted into NT Canon Why not? – written later; different theology; used by heretical groups? More “Gospels”: Gosp. of Thomas, of Peter, of Judas, etc. More “Acts”: Acts of Paul, of Peter, of Thomas, etc. More “Apocalypses”: Apoc. of John, of Peter, etc. “Patristic” works – also not in NT, but different reasons Why not? – not “apostolic” (i.e., written later, but theology acceptable) More “Letters/Epistles”: by Barnabas, Clement, Ignatius of Antioch, etc. More “Homilies/Sermons”: by later bishops & teachers Other Genres: Biblical commentaries; theological treatises; etc. 4 th & 5 th Cent. “Creeds”: summary statements of Christian beliefs

5 Ancient Writing Materials Papyrus (reed plant) Cut in strips, flattened Less expensive, durable Vellum / Parchment Animal skins, prepared More expensive, durable Other Materials: Stone, Clay, Wood, etc.

6 Ancient Writing Format Scroll Rolled, sealed on outside Written on one side only Papyrus or Vellum Codex Sheets stacked, bound Written on both sides Papyrus or Vellum

7 Ancient Scrolls Pompeii: Wall Painting Prior to AD 79 (when Pompeii was buried by lava from Mt. Vesuvius) Girl reading a scroll (a letter or short book). Seated woman with a scroll in her left hand.

8 Ancient Writing Ancient Wall Painting Woman holding a book and a writing stylus

9 Biblical Texts Pre-Constantine Era (1 st – 3 rd Cent.) Christians were poor, persecuted, minority NT texts: only few papyrus scraps survive Emperor Constantine Edict of Milan (312 C.E.) Imperial support of Christianity Construction of Churches Full Bible Codices on Vellum some survive from 4 th / 5 th Cent.: Codex Sinaiticus Codex Vaticanus Codex Alexandrinus, etc.

10 Writing Styles Manuscripts Lit. “hand-written” Majuscule (ALLCAPSNOSPACES) Minuscule (lower case, punctuation) Printing First: carved wood blocks Moveable type: ~1453 Johannes Gutenberg

11 P 52 - Oldest NT fragment Ca. 125 – 150 C.E. (now in John Rylands Library, Manchester) kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/greek/johnpap.html front: John 18:31-33back: John 18:37-38

12 P 75 Papyrus Bodmer XV Ca. 175 – 225 C.E. End of Luke & Start of John; both on same page! (so Luke/Acts separated)

13 P 46 Oldest manuscript of the Pauline letters. Originally part of the Chester Beatty Papyri Written ca. AD 200 Total of 104 pages, but several are now missing Included at least ten of the Pauline letters This image shows the text of 2 Cor 11:33–12:9


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