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The New Testament: Its Background Growth and Content 3rd Edition [Hardcover]

By Bruce Manning Metzger (Author)
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Item description for The New Testament: Its Background Growth and Content 3rd Edition by Bruce Manning Metzger...

This text is a classic by one of America's most widely respected New Testament scholars. It provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the New Testament. In a straightforward and understandable style--without distortion or oversimplification--Prof. Metzger closely examines the historical background and content of the New Testament and details the role of scribes and translators in handing the Scriptures down through the centuries. Utilizing the finest modern scholarship, Dr. Metzger looks at the people, societies, and events that produced the New Testament. Palestinian Judaism, Greco-Roman paganism, sources of our knowledge of Jesus Christ, essential aspects of Christ's teaching, sources and chronology of the apostolic age, the work of Paul, the general letters, and the Book of Revelation are all clearly illuminated. The Second edition of this book added an appendix on the formation of the canon of the New Testament and the work of scribes. The third edition will represent a substantial update of the 1965 text based on the New Revised Standard Version. In addition to stylistic changes, the author updates the text regarding research on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi tractates. This edition adds a glossary, 30 graphics and photos, and is resized to a larger 6x9 page.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   370
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.44" Width: 6.06" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.41 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0687052637  
ISBN13  9780687052639  

Availability  0 units.

More About Bruce Manning Metzger

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bruce M. Metzger is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. A past president of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, he has made valuable contributions to the areas of textual criticism, philology, paleography, and translation.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The New Testament: Its Background Growth and Content 3rd Edition?

Recent Shipment  Apr 5, 2010
Received my book well ahead of the time i expected to and the book was in excellent condition. I would buy from this seller again! Thanks.
fascinating, full of invaluable information and very readable  Feb 8, 2010
My son's gone back to college. He left this book lying around on his bedroom floor, so I decided to read it. After all, I'm leading a Bible study on the book of Mark on Tuesday mornings. Knowing more about the New Testament, Its Background, Growth and Content, can only help.

Since the book was clearly a college text book I wasn't sure how far I'd get. After all, college texts can be really slow to read. But I actually finished the book in two days and could scarcely put it down.

Since I grew up with a "Catholic" Bible, I was fascinated to learn more about the history of intertestament times and the Maccabean revolt. The insights into all the different groups of people in Judea at the time of Christ help bring a lot of the Gospel stories and Christ's teachings to life. And the information on local customs, in action and in speech, are truly amazing.

Interesting examples included the use of Judean overstatement (as opposed to British understatement I suppose), and picturesque speech (logs and specks in peoples' eyes). Rhythm and puns that we miss in translation were quite fascinating too. And the insights into how texts were collected, combined, used and preserved make the whole question of where our New Testament comes from much more interesting and well-grounded, besides providing a logical background to modern arguments about "hidden" and "lost" books.

I liked the fact that the author didn't shy away from difficulties. He doesn't assume that every word in some favorite translation is perfectly preserved, but instead looks at how the translations were made, how changes crept in, and how well-researched the analysis of those changes is. I've always known that the historical evidence for the Bible rivals and probably beats that for the Roman documents I studied in Latin in school, but it was nice to see the arguments so clearly laid out.

I really enjoyed this book. I don't know that I'm ready to take an exam on it, and I probably don't want to go back to college to find out. But I'm glad my son left it lying around.
New Testament: Its Background, Growth and Content  Mar 1, 2009
The book I recieved was in great shape but I did not recieve it in a timely manner. Apparently, the seller got it back in the mail and had to resend it. I have no idea how that happened. No harm done, I was just worried I wasn't going to get the book I was charged for.
The New Testament  Jun 29, 2008
The New Testament Study, by Bruce M. Metzger is a very informative book that has helped me tremendously with my knowledge and understanding of the history behind the Bible.
Metzger's scholarship suffers only from his apologetics  Dec 25, 2006
Surprisingly, this particular work of Metzger's is not as impressive as
most of his other scholarly works. However, it must be acknowledged it
is designed more as an introduction to the New Testament, giving only
brief overview to NT issues.

It is primarily concerned with the background and content, giving little
attention to the growth of the NT. The first section goes over the
background -- the politics, social life, religious life, etc of New
Testament era Palestine (not quite called that at that point in

The rest of the book is taken up with giving an overview of every book
in the New Testament, tedious reading if one has already read it several
times, as Metzger rarely adds anything new. He has a short chapter at
the end about the canon, which is a brief synopsis of his book on the
subject (The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and
Significance), and includes an appendix about transmission and
translation, both synopses of two books he has written on those subjects
(The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and
Restoration, and The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English
Versions). It is better to read those books than merely rely on the
small attention given in this book.

The main impression one gains from an impartial reading is that Metzger
is definitely not impartial in the writing of this book. He is not so in
any of his books, but in this book in particular, it is obvious he takes
an apologetic slant in several instances. One thing that struck me as
just a little intellectual dishonesty was on page 105: he talks about
the many statements and insights given by Paul as one of the most
influential forces by Christianity and states that NOT ONCE has any of
those things made it into the Gospels as sayings of Jesus. Then on page
117, he talks about the "large number of allusions to sayings of Jesus,
so many that some scholars have thought it likely that Paul may have had
in his hands a collection of Jesus' sayings," and puts a note (14) with
many examples where it appears Paul has quoted Jesus. It is very
possible that Paul has quoted Jesus in all of those instances. He never
mentions it is just as possible since Paul wrote all of those letters
before any of the Gospels were written, the gospels may have been
quoting Paul. There is just no way to know, but it is obvious which way
the sequence of writing points.

While he acknowledges (as appropriate for a scholar such as he) there
are many problems -- discrepancy after contradiction after difficulty
after inaccuracy, as well as plenty of adjustments by the church over
the centuries, for good measure -- he nevertheless shows his faith in
the truth of the New Testament. He has more faith than possible for many
scholars in the position of knowing as much truth about the New
Testament as he does. One may still respect Metzger for immense
scholarship in his real specialty of textual criticism of the NT.

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