New Testament

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New Testament

New Testament, the distinctively Christian portion of the Bible, consisting of 27 books of varying lengths dating from the earliest Christian period. The seven epistles whose authorship by St. Paul is undisputed were written c.A.D. 50–A.D. 60; most of the remaining books were written in the era A.D. 70–100, often incorporating earlier traditions. All were written in the koinē idiom of the Greek language.

The works are, in the conventional order: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles, a history of apostolic missionary activity; 21 letters written in apostolic times, called epistles, named for their addressee (or, in the case of the last seven, for their putative author)—Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Philemon, First and Second Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, First and Second Timothy, Titus (these 13 comprising the Pauline corpus, although Paul's authorship of the last six is disputed), Hebrews, James, First and Second Peter, First, Second, and Third John, and Jude; and finally Revelation, or the Apocalypse. Most present problems of date, composition, or authorship. All reflect the needs of the community addressed, as well as their religious convictions and cultural heritage. Consequently, they reflect a diversity of viewpoints while agreeing that Jesus' death and resurrection marks the decisive intervention of God in human affairs.

The 27 books of the New Testament represent only a portion of early Christian literature (see patristic literature). There are other gospels, epistles, narratives, and apocalypses among the Pseudepigrapha and in the Nag Hammadi corpus. The selection of books considered canonical, i.e., authoritative, evolved over the first four centuries of the Christian era. The first canon was compiled by the heretic Marcion in the mid-2d cent. Marcion accepted only the letters of Paul (though not Titus or First and Second Timothy) and a truncated version of the Gospel of St. Luke. The earliest extant orthodox list is the Muratorian canon (c.190 or possibly later), which contains most of the books finally accepted as canonical. There was, however, dispute for some time over seven books (Hebrews, James, Second Peter, Second and Third John, Jude, and Revelation) eventually included in the canon, and over others (including the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, First Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas (see Barnabas, Saint, and the Didache). The present New Testament canon appears for the first time in the Festal Letter of St. Athanasius (367). The criterion was that works written by an apostle or by a colleague of one could be trusted to preserve the authentic apostolic witness to Jesus. The traditional view has been that a canonical work must also be divinely inspired. All major Christian traditions use the same New Testament.

Bibliography

See studies by H. Koester (1982); L. T. Johnston (1986); D. E. Aune (1987); E. J. Epp and G. W. MacRae (1989); R. A. Spivey and D. M. Smith (1989); J. D. G. Dunn (1990); R. Price (1996); R. E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (1997).

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New Testament

the collection of writings consisting of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Pauline and other Epistles, and the book of Revelation, composed soon after Christ's death and added to the Jewish writings of the Old Testament to make up the Christian Bible
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

New Testament

[C programmers] The second edition of K&R's "The C Programming Language" (Prentice-Hall, 1988; ISBN 0-13-110362-8), describing ANSI C.
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References in periodicals archive ?
It is a powerful tactic, achieved by dogged determination to make the study as large as need be, whereby Wilson joins analysis of these works to his foundation chapters on Apostolic Writings and their close-to-contemporary noncanonical materials.
Other bishops of the Catholic world agreed with Irenaeus on the need to centralize and consolidate spiritual authority to defend the rule of faith against heresy and protect the integrity of the authoritative list of apostolic writings. Such authority, furthermore, resided in the special ministry that they exercised as bishops - a ministry conferred neither by the people nor directly by the Spirit but by the laying on of hands by "elders."
Released from the exigencies of having to construct any systematic account of early Christian morality (which is emphatically not the purpose of 'interpretive ethnography') Meeks is free to survey a wider field than canonical scriptures or apostolic writings. The Gospel of Thomas and Valentinus are as important for illustrating the variety of Christian approaches to moral questions as are Paul and the Gospels; indeed the range of views attested by 'heretical' texts is as important as are 'orthodox' attitudes in revealing the moral presuppositions which lay behind early Christian debates on such matters as sexual discipline or political conformity.