Reading the New Testament as Christian Scripture

A Literary, Canonical, and Theological Survey

series: Reading Christian Scripture

Materials available for professors by request only


3: The World around the NT

Study Questions

  1. How does understanding the “symbolic world” of the New Testament impact your reading of the New Testament? Give a specific example of a particular passage that opens up when you understand it within its “symbolic world.”
  2. This chapter mentions many texts written within several hundred years of the Bible (the OT Pseudepigrapha, the Talmuds, Josephus, Philo, Greek philosophy, etc.). Why do you think it is important to have a knowledge of these texts in addition to the Bible?
  3. Read the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1-16) in light of the cultural values of Honor-Shame and Patron-Client relationships. How does this cultural information inform your reading?
  4. What is the “Second Temple” period?