The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction

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3. The World of the New Testament

Questions for Research and Discussion

  1. Why is it important to remember that “Judaism is more a religion of praxis than of doctrine”? How might this idea change how the NT is read?
  2. Why is reading the NT within its historical context of paramount importance? What sorts of dangers can be avoided by doing so?
  3. How did the synagogue develop? What impact did this have on the Judaism of the first century? How does the rise of the synagogue help us better understand the NT and the early church?
  4. Compare and contrast the influence of Judaism and Hellenism on the NT? Are there ways in which the two overlap?
  5. The Pharisees are often simply viewed as villains by Christians. Give a robust defense of the Pharisees—their beliefs and actions.