CliffsNotes on the New Testament

CliffsNotes on the New Testament

CliffsNotes on the New Testament

CliffsNotes on the New Testament

Excerpt

The New Testament is a collection of writings in which different people set forth their convictions concerning the meaning and significance of the earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth. No one of these writings appeared until some years after Jesus’ physical death. He left no written records concerning himself, and any information about him must be gleaned from what other people have written. By the end of the first century of the Christian era or thereabouts, several biographies of Jesus had been written, four of which are now part of the New Testament. Before any of these biographies were written, Christian communities — what was later known as churches — had been established, and letters instructing the members about the Christian way of life and telling them how to deal with local problems were sent to them. Some of these letters were written by a man named Paul, who, although raised in the strict traditions of the Jewish religion, had converted to Christianity, and who spent the remainder of his life as a missionary, founding new churches and nurturing members in their newly acquired faith. After Paul’s death, other leaders of the movement continued to write letters to churches; in this way, they hoped to strengthen the organization and prepare its followers for any emergencies.

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