20-4 Introduction to the New Testament
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How many books are there in the New Testament?
Divisions of the New Testament
- Pauline Corpus
- Catholic Epistles
- Other writings
- Early Letters: 1&2 Thessalonians
- Great Letters: Galatians, Philippians, 1&2 Corinthians, Romans
- Captivity Letters: Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians
- Pastoral Letters: Titus, 1&2 Timothy
- 1&2 Peter
- 1,2,3 John
- Acts (a continuation of Luke)
- Revelation (also called Apocalypse)
Organization of the New Testament
- Law: 4 Gospels
- History: Acts of the Apostles
- Wisdom: Epistles or letters
- Prophecy: Revelation
How do the Gospels compare with each other?
- All four Gospels tell the same story.
- Each Gospel writer tells it from a different point of view.
What did Like intend the Acts of the Apostles to be?
He wrote this as a sequel to his Gospel, continuing with the story of the earliest Christian communities.
Two categories of Epistles
- Pauline epistles
- Non-Pauline epistles
List of Pauline Epistles
- 1&2 Corinthians
- 1&2 Thessalonians
- 1&2 Timothy
How was the NT composed in the 1st century AD?
Eyewitnesses of Christ and close associates of these eyewitnesses wrote down various traditions regarding Christ and the early Christian communities.
How was the NT collected in the 2nd century AD?
Teachers and leaders of the Church chose certain of these writings as inspired by God in a unique way, and used them regularly in worship. These became the canon of the New Testament.
the Greek word for "canon"
What does the Greek word "kanon" indicate?
It indicates a straight rod or bar used for measuring (a ruler or measuring stick).
How does the meaning of "canon" develop?
The earliest Christians used it to refer to the rule of faith. It eventually referred to the books considered Sacred Scripture.
What is the current meaning of canonical book?
A book that the Church acknowledges as belonging to its list of sacred books, inspired by God, and having a regulating value for faith and morals.
How is the apocryphal books similar and different from the canonical books?
The apocryphal books may be similar in content, form, or title, but they are not accepted into the canon.
When was the earliest appearance of the NT canon?
When was the NT canon officially settled?
4th century AD
Why is the Scripture given a certain pride of place in the Tradition?
Because it is the earliest crystallization, and because it is linked to eyewitnesses or close associates of eyewitnesses of Jesus.
How is the relationship between Scripture and Tradition?
No truth of Tradition can ever contradict it, and all truths of Tradition are latent within it.
Criteria applied by early Christians for determining the canonicity of the NT books
- apostolic origins
- importance of the addressed Christian communities (in the case of letters)
- conformity with the rule of faith
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