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In his book, Bart Ehrman has established a masterful job at addressing various issues of the ancient Christian textual studies. In this case, he does it in such a clear and inviting manner. The arguments in the book are illustrated in a well, clear, and concise. The arguments are highly logical, and the reader can relate to everything that the author asserts. “A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings” approaches the New Testament from both a historical as well as comparative points of view.
The style implemented by the author in organizing the writings emphasizes a rich diversity of the ancient Christian literature. Besides, the author does not shy away from the primary problems that have been presented by the writings. Rather, he addresses all historical and literary challenges that such writings pose. He clearly comments on the major reason scholars still argue or collide over such significant matters as the writing of the New Testament books. In addition, there are logical explanations of the scholars’ arguments on these issues. They argue about the parties who produced them, their meaning, as well as their relation to both the Christian and non-Christian literature. Ehrman has also expressed the scholars’ wonder of how the New Testament books were collected into cannon scriptures .
The notable attribute of this book is the clear emphasis given to the historical and religious setting of the Greco-Roman environment. This also includes Judaism. Ideally, the reader is given a chance to relate to the issues raised by the author. In order to give the book a historical orientation, Ehrman has addressed different works by other Christian writers. Evidently, these were contemporary with the New Testament such as the Peter’s Apocalypse, Thomas’ Gospel and Ignatius Letters. In order to form a foundation of his work, Ehrman incorporates the evidence found by different scholars. These are highly persuasive for their arguments hence they engage students in identifying why the scholars have firmly taken their current positions.
Through the clear writing, the book highly encourages students to consider the historical matters that surround the writings. The book helps students in understanding various matters concerning the early writings. To enhance this, Ehrman has enhanced the book by maps, timelines, wide-range text box program and many different photos. Through the inclusion of such features, the students find the book interesting and not boring. One can firmly affirm that compared to other texts of the same genre, the book is superior. One of its pertinent advantages is the fact that it is reliable. Special interest is on the boxes because they provide best discussions for the students .
Many students who have given reviews about the book have confirmed that it has facilitated by a great extent their reading of the New Testament chapters. The book has enhanced my knowledge concerning the New Testament chapters. They have asserted that the book is not a doctrine book. Rather, the book leads the reader to relate to historical evidence is found in various extant documents. In addition, the book evaluates the ancient historical Christian writings in light of their historical settings. Personally, I can confirm that the book offers a valuable addition to evangelical and Mormon libraries. Being the fifth edition of the author, it has offered well-constructed chapters in textual criticism. Primarily, this appears at the beginning of the book .
Besides, the book offers a brilliant entry to a wealthy assortment of the pre-Christian literatures that surround the writings of the New Testament. It is through the mastery in textual criticism that he has addressed and analyzed different issues that ancient Christian writings contain. In this case, he has unravelled the void of how the New Testament came into being. Through such an expanded edition, the book offers a perfect reflection that completely changes the atmosphere of the of the New Testament studies. Signifiant attention has been given to the history and the pertinence of Gnosticism for clear understanding Jesus and different Christian movements in early centuries. Ehrman has focused various expert glares at the origins of Christianity. As a student, one is shown what historians know about the gospels as well as the men who stood behind them.
From a thorough evaluation of the New Testament, the author affirms that Jesus can be well understood as an apocalyptic prophet. In this case, he gives different explanations relating to these assertions. The book is well written and highly persuasive because of how the supportive arguments have been placed. For instance, he claims that the apocalyptic enthusiasm that continually holds large sections of society is not new. In order to support this notion, Ehrman has used evidence from different scholars. Through this compilation, the reader is convinced of the argument and claims made by the book. It is worth mentioning that in all pieces of writing the competence is measured from his ability to offer evidence, as well as other supportive materials to his notions. In this case, Ehrman has successfully incorporated the appropriate evidence and supportive documents that form a foundation for his arguments. Two colour inserts have facilitated the book. One has been made on illuminated manuscripts and the other on archaeology .
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