The New Testament, Its Background, Growth and Content

By Bruce M. Metzger

A comprehensive introductory study guide to the New Testament, presenting the student with the results of recent scholarship in a clear and fresh way.

ISBN: 9780227170267


In this clear and accessible introductory text, the author supplies the reader with basic information about both the content and the historical background of the New Testament and shows the processes by which scholars seek to solve some of the chief literary problems of the Gospels. He offers a straightforward path through the unwieldy abundance of complex material, without distortion or over-simplification. He avoids technical discussions and critical debates, but shows the main problems to be considered in this type of study.

The author does not emphasise novel theories, but presents a balanced account that represents the consensus of current New Testament scholarship.

Long seen as one of the leading volumes of its kind, this enlarged and revised edition will provide lasting knowledge to all who seek a deepened understanding of the forces that forged the New Testament.

Additional information

Dimensions216 × 140 mm

Hardback  |  Paperback

Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Reverend Professor Bruce Manning Metzger was educated at Lebanon Valley College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University (USA). He worked as Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. He has given many lectures to academic institutions in several countries such as England, South America, Germany, Greece.

His other publications include: The Text, Canon, and Principal Versions of the Bible (1956), The Oxford Concise Concordance to the Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible (1962), and The Oxford Companion to the Bible (1993).


Part One: The Background of the New Teastament Period
1. The Political and Social Background of Palestinian Judaism
2. The Cultural and Religious Background of Palestinian Judaism
3. The Philosophical and Religious Background of Greco-Roman Paganism

Part Two: Aspects of the Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ
4. The Sources for Our Knowledge of the Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ
5. A Summary of the Life of Jesus Christ
6. Aspects of the Teaching of Jesus Christ
Part Three: The Apostolic Age
7. The Sources and the Chronology of the Apostolic Age
8. Primitive Jewish Christianity
9. The Expansion of Christianity Through the Work of the Apostle Paul
10. Paul’s Letters to Churches and Individuals
11. General Letters and the Book of Revelation

Appendix I: The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament
Appendix II: The Transmission and Translation of the Bible

Selected Bibliography
Index of Principal New Testament References
General Index