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The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon (Audiobook) (Repost)

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The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon  (Audiobook) (Repost)

The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon (Audiobook) By Professor Bart D. Ehrman
2005 | 6 hours and 15 mins | ISBN: 1598030744 | MP3 96 kbps | 269 MB


The New Testament stands unchallenged, in the words of Professor Bart D. Ehrman, not only as the "'bestseller' of all time," but also as the most important "book—or collection of books—in the history of Western civilization." Yet how many of us, Christian or otherwise, are as knowledgeable about the New Testament as we would like to be? Even many who consider themselves Christian find themselves asking some—perhaps even all—of the questions so often posed by those who are not. What different kinds of books are in the New Testament? When, how, and why were they written? What do they teach? Who actually wrote them? How were they passed forward through history? And, perhaps most important of all, why and how did some books, and not others, come to be collected into what Christians came to consider the canon of Scripture that would define their belief for all time? In The History of the Bible: The Making of the New Testament Canon, Professor Ehrman offers a fast-moving yet thorough introduction to these and other key issues in the development of Christianity. Drawing on the award-winning teaching skills and style that have made him one of our most popular lecturers—respectful yet provocative, scholarly without sacrificing wit—Professor Ehrman has crafted a course designed to deepen the understanding of both Christians and non-Christians alike. "The New Testament is appreciated and respected far more than it's known, and that's not just true among religious people who consider themselves Christian. ... "This set of lectures is designed to provide an introduction to the New Testament for people who recognize or appreciate its cultural importance, or who have religious commitments to it, but who have not yet had a chance to get to know where it came from, what it contains, and how it was transmitted down to us today. "The focus in this course will be historical, rather than theological. The course does not either presuppose faith or deny faith. It's based neither on faith nor skepticism. ... It's simply taught from the perspective of history." And it's an illuminating perspective, indeed, ranging across issues of language, oral history, the physical limitations of spreading the written word at a time when the printing press lay far in the future, and, of course, the theological forces that were shaping Christianity, molding a commonly accepted canon from the various expressions of the faith spreading across the ancient world. All of these factors eventually produced a canon, the New Testament, whose 27 books can be grouped into four genres: The Book of Revelation, sometimes called the Apocalypse of John, which describes the end of the world as we know it, with God destroying the forces of evil and establishing a perfect utopia on Earth. In exploring the forces that finally produced this finished canon, Professor Ehrman deals with far more than theology. Letters, especially those written by Paul, played an important role in the process. Though many of us associate letters with the modern world, Professor Ehrman explains that they were a common form of communication in the ancient world as well. In addition to being written on papyrus, they were also often cut into the surface of a wax tablet formed in a hollowed-out board. The recipients could then smooth over the wax and reuse it for a reply, sending it, in that era before postal service, just as the original had been sent, by giving it to someone they knew who'd be traveling to the appropriate community. Because most people in the ancient world could not read or write, letters had to be dictated and recorded by someone who could, a process reversed at the other end, where someone would be found to read the letter to the recipient. Letters were usually destroyed after being read so the media it was on could be used again, but if there was reason to keep them—as was the case with Paul's letters, which were meant to be read aloud to his communities—the letters would be copied by hand, circulated, and read aloud to small church gatherings.