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The Life and Times: A Perspective about the Writings in the New Testament - Essay Example

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The Life and Times: A Perspective about the Writings in the New Testament

Often, these four books are referred to as the substantial biographical sources of Jesus Christ's life and teachings. The New Testament Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John gave brief documents written in colloquial Greek late in the generation of those who knew Jesus first- or secondhand. By the end of the 2nd century, these four had become the basic canonical texts of the mainline Christianity of Rome and the Middle East (Price, 1999).
In our present time, people have been carefully scrutinizing the Bible, particularly the New Testament for its veracity and historical value. All sorts of interpretations have been exchanged and published. Although, there was an initial hope that the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 would throw light on the roots of Christianity and the real accounts of Jesus Christ's teachings. There was speculation that perhaps John the Baptist and even Jesus himself were members of the sect or closely related to it (Price, 1999). These scrolls contributed largely to a fuller understanding of the textual history of Jewish scriptures and the realities of 1st century Judaism- culture--especially its variety of apocalyptic hopes and the absence of anything that might be called orthodoxy. However, their findings were not very favorable about Jesus Christ's life.
Another religious document, the Nag Hammadi manuscripts was discovered by Egyptian farmers in 1945. These manuscripts proved that writers' interest during that time chiefly delved on to academic notes about theologies that proliferated in early Christianity. The chance that they contain reliable historical information about Jesus is slender, though they hint tantalizingly that Jesus may have been more liberal in his views of women and sexuality than later church leaders allowed.
On another chapter of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles depicts vividly the ministry, travels, teaching, miracles and passion of Jesus' disciples. To date, scholarly comparison has either enhanced the value of canonical work by discrediting the apocryphal as literature of entertainment or has simply considered both canonical and apocryphal literature to be Christian novels (Bovon, 2003).
When the apostolic mission is successful, then women and men, regardless of status, convert. The assembly of new members into the Church gives a literary opportunity for describing worship, particularly the rituals of baptism and Eucharist. Thus, some of the oldest descriptions of Christian gatherings are found in the canonical and apocryphal acts. The success of the preaching and the establishment of a new religious community, however, sometimes create tension during those times.
The preaching of Jesus Christ and the Apostles connote that these writings in the New Testament make us believe the definite divine will regarding the providential economy of Christian salvation and judgment. Peter in the canonical Acts says: "You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him ...Show more


Reading the New Testament would ascertain numerous things about the ways of life, cultural background and traditions of people during the time of Jesus Christ. As we all know, the New Testament begins with the four synoptic gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.It is already taught in Religion classes that the synoptic gospels were not written in the order that they appeared.
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The Life and Times: A Perspective about the Writings in the New Testament essay example
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