THED 2 – NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Prepared by: Prof. Noel D. Santander
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT <ul><li>All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and that one book is Christ, because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ (CCC #134). </li></ul><ul><li>The Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired they are truly the Word of God (CCC #135). </li></ul><ul><li>God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth (CCC #136). </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation of the inspired Scripture must be sensitive above all to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for our salvation. What comes from the Spirit is not fully understood except by the Spirit’s action (CCC #137). </li></ul>The Sacred Scripture
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT <ul><li>The Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church </li></ul><ul><li>The Church has always venerated the Sacred Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord. Both nourish and govern the whole Christian life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path (CCC #141). </li></ul><ul><li>The Church forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christians faithful to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ (CCC #133). </li></ul>
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT The New Testament The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament (CCC #138). They are called the canon of Scripture. The complete list of canon for the New Testament is the following with their corresponding abbreviations (CCC p.846): Gospel according to Matthew - Mt Gospel according to Mark - Mk Gospel according to Luke - Lk Gospel according to John - Jn Acts of the Apostles - Acts Letter of St. Paul to the Romans - Rom First letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians - 1 Cor Second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians - 2 Cor Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians - Gal Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians - Eph Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians - Phil
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians - Col First letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians - 1 Thess Second letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians - 2 Thess First letter of St. Paul to Timothy - 1 Tim Second letter of St. Paul Timothy - 2 Tim Letter of St. Paul to Titus - Titus Letter of St. Paul to Philemon - Philem Letter to the Hebrews - Heb Letter of James - Jas First letter of Peter - 1 Pet Second letter of Peter - 2 Pet First letter of John - 1 Jn Second letter of John - 2 Jn Third letter of John - 3 Jn Letter of Jude - Jude Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) - Rev
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT <ul><li>FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT: </li></ul><ul><li>Apostolic Origin - either the books were written by the apostles themselves, or they were used as sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Coherence with the essential Gospel Message - the content of the book must be consistent with the message of Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Constant use in the liturgy - the books were used by the Early Christian Communities in their celebration of the “breaking of the bread” and other liturgical functions . </li></ul>CRITERIA FOR CANONICITY
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT <ul><li>The books in the New Testament were written within a hundred years after the death of Jesus. </li></ul><ul><li>The books of the New Testament are about a person. All of them spring from the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. </li></ul><ul><li>What we have in the New Testament is a running commentary on the thoughts and aspirations, disappointments and hopes of Christians of the first one hundred years of Christian faith. </li></ul><ul><li>All the 27 books of the New Testament were written in Greek, the lingua franca of the Roman Empire into which Christianity was born. Most of them were written by Jews. That Jews determined the basic teaching and structure of Christianity. </li></ul><ul><li>Even though New Testament writers wrote in the language of the empire, rather than in their Aramaic (a form of Hebrew), they wrote out of their Jewish inheritance. They wrote out of their religious experience as Jews. They did not leave aside their Holy Scripture when they became followers of Jesus. They saw in Jesus the fulfillment of all the longings expressed by their prophets in their Bible </li></ul><ul><li> (O’Hanlon, 1997, pp. 47-48). </li></ul>
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT The Unity of the Old and New Testaments The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God (CCC #140). <ul><li>To facilitate easy reading of the Sacred Scriptures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used of chapters – 1226 by Stephen Langton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used of verses- 1551 by Robert Estienne </li></ul></ul>
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT The Three Stages in the Formation of the New Testament (Lifted from Charpentier, 1997, p. 10-11). First Stage: The Person of Jesus of Nazareth (6 BC to 30 AD) Jesus was born in the reign of Herod, in all probability six years before the beginning of what we call the Christian era. He lived in Nazareth, as a pious Jew, practicing the Law in accordance with the spirit of the Pharisees, who were the most religious of the Jews. About 27 or 28, his baptism by John the Baptism inaugurated the two or three years of his public life. He chose disciples and, with them, proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of God, through his words, actions and his life. He never wrote anything except once on the sand. He was condemned by the religious authorities and crucified by the Romans on April 7 30 A.D.
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Second Stage: The Disciples live out the gospel (between 30 and 70 AD) The resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost enabled the disciples to begin to discover the mystery of Jesus. These disciples remained Jews, but they formed an amazing group within Judaism: they were the witnesses to the risen Jesus. The disciples preached, to proclaim the risen Jesus, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The disciples celebrated their Risen Lord in the liturgy and above all in the Eucharist. The Eucharist determined the form of many memories of Jesus. The disciples taught the newly baptized, and in order to do so recalled the actions and the words of Jesus. . Others soon joined the first disciples: Barnabas, the seven deacons, and above all, Paul. Paul was converted round about AD 36, and went on to bring the good news to Asia Minor, to Greece, and finally to Rome. Between AD 51 and 53 Paul wrote letters to various communities. Throughout this period, official Judaism gradually began to reject the Christians.
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Third Stage: The Redaction (editing) of Writings (between 70 and 100 AD) Four theologians bore witness to Jesus, bringing together traditions which had already been edited in various ways. Round about AD 70 the Gospel according to St. Mark put down in writing what was almost certainly the preaching of peter in Rome. It seeks to show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, especially through his actions and above all his miracles. The Gospel according to St. Luke was written about 80 or 90 AD, for communities principally made up of former Gentiles. It shows how in Jesus God has visited his people and manifested his loving-kindness towards them. Luke wrote a second volume, the Acts of the Apostles, in which he shows how the good news, carried by the apostles under the guidance of the Spirit, began to spread all over the world. Mark Luke
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT The Gospel according to St. Matthew was probably produced about 80 or 90 AD also, in a community of former Jews who had become Christians. Matthew attacks the Pharisees of Jamnia and shows how Jesus fulfills the scriptures. In their enquiry into the mystery of Jesus, Matthew and Luke go back to his childhood, which they present in the light of his life and resurrection. The Gospel according to St. John is a very profound meditation on Jesus as the Word of God. Written perhaps between 95 and 100 AD, it shows how the crucified Jesus is still alive today and gives us his spirit. In Revelation, John – whether the same John, or another one, presents Jesus as the goal of history. In the meantime, John, Peter, James, Jude and other disciples wrote letters to various communities. Matthew John
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT <ul><li>Literary Genre in the New Testament </li></ul><ul><li>Gospels </li></ul><ul><li>There were four Gospel included in the canon of the New Testament. They were the Gospels according to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. The word gospel comes from the English word godspel which means good news. Gospels are good news in text or story form which was probably invented by Mark. As literary genre they are concerned with the identity of Jesus. Actually, they are pictures of how particular communities interpreted Jesus for their time and their place (O’Hanlon, 1994, p. 49). Within the Gospels, the writers used various literary forms such as narrative, miracle story, discourse, parable, proverb, a riddle, example story, figurative speech, simile, metaphor and allegory. </li></ul>
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Proverb - (Lk 4:23) Maxim - (Lk 14:7-11) Riddle - (Mk 7:15-17) Example Story - (Lk 12:16-21) Figurative Speech - (Mk 4:33) Simile - (Mt 13:33) Metaphor - (Mt 5:14) Allegory - (Mk 12:1-9)
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Narrative </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Acts of the Apostles takes a narrative form. It records in a highly selective fashion some of the missionary activities of the first preachers of the gospel, especially of Peter and Paul (O’Hanlon, 1994, p. 74). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Letters </li></ul><ul><li>Of the twenty seven books in the New Testament, twenty one are letters. Letters are private matters, they come from one person to a group of friends, and they often perplex readers. They deal with personal things and do not have to be well organized. A letter may be written in answer to a question (O’Hanlon, 1994, p. 57). </li></ul>
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Revelation/Apocalyptic The word apocalypse means revelation or disclosure. The revealed secret is about Jesus Christ. It is like any other book in the bible, it is an invitation to hear God’s call, to respond to it and to live accordingly (O’Hanlon, 1994, p. 75).
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT Summary of the Books of the New Testament (Lifted from O’Hanlon, 1994, pp.75-56) The four Gospels open the call of the New Testament. Built, as they are, on the foundation stone of Israel’s faith, they witness to the life and work of a faithful Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. They preach the good news of Jesus. They call people to live in their time the life Jesus lived in his. Come, follow me! That is Jesus’ word addressed to peoples everywhere. The hearing of the word is the beginning of the Church. The Acts of the Apostles tells of the first bold steps of the gospel as it begins to make its way through the world. The first communities are formed and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the difficult but inexorable march from Jerusalem to Rome is accompanied.
MODULE 1 INTRODUCTION TO NEW TESTAMENT The letters of Paul and the rest witness to the Church in the world. There it finds its people, poor in spirit, like sheep without shepherd and it takes them to the gospel, to the good news of God-caring, the good news of God-saving. They witness, too, to the pain and anguish of new Christians, beset by harassment and dissension. They show us the realities of the Church, a place of squabbling, troublesome people, forever counting angels on pinheads. But they show too a people of joy and hope, a people cherishing justice and righteousness, a people building peace, a people engaged in the sublime task of declaring that God is on our side, that there is nothing to fear. The Book of Revelation seeks to remove the veil, to show where the creator means to lead his creation, to show where the gospel and its little Churches, all peoples come to rest. Jerusalem is a sign of desperation. It is a city of crucifixion. But crucifixion is not God’s final word in the world. The place of crucifixion itself becomes the place of utter transformation. There will be New Jerusalem.
Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ