This new edition of Bart Ehrman’s highly successful introduction approaches the New Testament from a comparative historical perspective, emphasizing the rich diversity of the earliest Christian literature. Ehrman shows why scholars continue to argue over such significant issues as how the books of the New Testament came into being, who produced them, what they mean, how they relate to contemporary Christian and non-Christian literature, and how they came to be collected into a canon of Scripture. Ehrman also discusses works by other Christian writers who were roughly contemporary with the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the letters of Ignatius.
This second edition incorporates expanded material on Jesus and adds boxes throughout that address various interesting issues. It also brings the treatment of Jewish sects up to chapter two and consolidates the two discussions of James.