A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT - Robert M. Grant - Collins St James's Place London 1963 - Copyright: Robert M. Grant 1963 - Printed in Great Britain by Cox & Wyman Limited London, Fakenham and Reading - This edition prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram 2003.

Summary of Contents

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Writing this book has taken a good deal of my energy and time since 1959, when it was suggested to me by Eugene Exman and Melvin Arnold. The most difficult part I found to be the expression of the principles of interpretation (Part I) and the attempt to co-ordinate them with what I had already learned about the New Testament. Obviously much remains to be done; I hope that others will do it.

I have argued repeatedly in the book that the New Testament cannot be understood apart from its context in the early Christian Church. This statement, of course, can be reversed. The early Church is incomprehensible unless one reads the New Testament - and I should add that, on a much lower level, the same thing can be said about this book. It is an introduction to the New Testament and is not intended to be a substitute for it.

The omission of practically all references to current literature on the New Testament is intentional. My views concerning modern American study in this field are set forth in an essay to appear under the auspices of the Ford Foundation Project in the Study of the Humanities, and generally speaking I have tried to set forth my own views without too much reference to those of others. Most of the statements about the New Testament which 1 read are based on presuppositions which usually are not stated. This book at least has the merit of stating the presuppositions, whether or not they are adequately worked out.

It would be wrong to hold my principal New Testament teachers responsible for anything in this book; but conscious and unconscious influences are hard to trace; and I should certainly not refrain from mentioning the debt I owe, for encouraging me in these studies, to my father and to my teachers at the Harvard Divinity School: H. J. Cadbury and A. D. Nock. The quality of their scholarship has inspired me for more than twenty years.




  1. What the New Testament Consists of - the Canon (page 25.)
  2. Materials and Methods of Textual Criticism (page 48.)
  3. The Nature of Translation (page 52.)
  4. Literary Criticism (page 59.)
  5. Historical Criticism (page 74.)
  6. The Necessity of Theological Understanding (page 92.)


  7. The Gospels (page 105.)
  8. The Gospel of Mark (page 119.)
  9. The Gospel of Matthew (page 127.)
  10. The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts (page 133.)
  11. The Gospel of John (page 148.)
  12. Apocryphal Gospels (page 163.)
  13. The Pauline Epistles (page 171.)
  14. The Non-Pauline Epistles (page 208.)
  15. The Book of Revelation (page 235.)
  16. The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers (page 241.)


  17. Christian Beginnings (page 245.)
  18. The Graeco-Roman World (page 247.)
  19. Palestine in Graeco-Roman Times (page 254.)
  20. The Problem of the Life of Jesus (page 284.)
  21. The Mission of Paul (page 378.)
  22. The Church in the New Testament (page 396.)
    Conclusion (page 427.)