A Beginners Guide to the New Testament and Related Writings

Do you want to learn more about the New Testament?

Are you looking for reliable sources, but don't know where to start?

Need help separating the fact from the fiction behind all the sensationalistic claims about Jesus and early Christianity in pop culture?

Interested in scholarly information described in a way that's easy to understand?

Want clear answers to your questions that are free from denominational or sectarian bias?

This site is for anyone who is interested in the New Testament and early Christianity, not just Christians.

I have found when teaching classes that people are curious about various topics related to the Bible, but they don't know where to get the answers. I have also found that people want to learn more about the Bible in general, but they don't know where to start. They often don't have the time or interest to read introductory books about the Bible (which can be boring for many people). Even when people want to do some reading, they often don't know how to find good resources.

There are a lot of good resources out there designed for lay people (such as Study Bibles, Bible Commentaries, Bible Dictionaries, Bible Atlases, etc.), but theses resources are at times to academic for some people. There are also a lot of devotional resources, but these can be too conservative for some people or not have enough substance for people want a more in-depth knowledge of the Bible.

In addition, there are often sensationalistic reports in the media about claims and new conclusions made by experts and pseudo-experts which challenge tradition views about the Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity.

Books like the Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, the announcement of the discovery of the Gospel of Judas, reports form the Jesus Seminar etc. make claims about Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity which directly attack or undermine traditional Christian beliefs. Strident denunciations by more or less conservative leaders often follow and it can be difficult to know who to trust or where to find reliable and accurate information.

This website presents information based on the conclusions of mainstream academic study of the New Testament and early Christianity. Scholars disagree about many issues relating to the New Testament, so different points of view will be included about important scholarly controversies.

New Testament FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about the New Testament
Books of the New Testament
The books of the New Testament listed with basic infomation about the different kinds of writings found in the New Testament.
The Synoptic Problem
An explanation of the Synoptic Problem which includes the main theories of how the gospels of Matthew, Mark, & Luke are related.
The Gospel of Matthew
Basic information about the Gospel of Matthew.
The Gospel of Mark
Basic Information about the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of Luke
Basic information about the Gospel of Luke.
The Gospel of John
Basic information about the Gospel of John
The Gospel of Thomas
Basic Information about the Gospel of Thomas.
The Historical Jesus
An explanation of the study of the historical Jesus and the main historical reconstructions of Jesus teachings and actions.
Books of the Old Testament
A listing of the books of the old testament and a description of which books are found in Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Bibles.
Hebrew Bible
Basic information about the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament.
The Apocrypha
A description and listing of the books of the apocrypha.
The Gnostic Gospels
A description of the main Gnostic Gospels.
An explanation of ancient Gnosticism.
Biblical Interpretation
A brief description of the main methods of biblical interpretation.
Bible Study Resources
Information about useful and academically sound Bible Study Resources such as translations, study Bibles, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and atlases.
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