The New Testament writings are the foundational documents of early Christianity. But to fully understand them we need a broad historical awareness of the wider social, economic, political and religious context that produced them.
Exploring the transition from an oral to a written tradition, this fascinating primer depicts the growth of the early church amid the Roman and Hellenistic Empires. Focusing on the composition and content of the Synoptic Gospels – those of Matthew, Mark and Luke – W. R. Telford furnishes the reader with an appreciation of the methods contemporary scholars apply to the Gospels and also offers an assured, in-depth guide to the texts themselves.
Broaching difficult questions about the differing accounts of Jesus’ life that the New Testament has left us, this is an invaluable starting point for anyone looking to understand the roots of Christianity.
W.R. Telford is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Newcastle, UK. He is an expert on the New Testament and Christian origins, and has published several books and numerous articles in this field.
'Superb. It not only provides new students and general readers with a helpfully organised approach to the complex beginnings of Christianity, but it also opens readers to the main ways that scholars have classically talked about these beginnings. Anyone looking for a reliable guide into this fascinating world would be hard-pressed to find anything better.'
– Professor Ronald A. Piper, Professor of Christian Origins and Vice-Principal, University of St Andre