Section One: The Academic Study of the New Testament
Based on the reading and notes thus far, it is plainly evident that this class will entail no more than the history and methods of the New Testament and other Early Christian Writings. This is a class of neutral sides working together to become historians of the ancient world. One might easily ask what the major difference is between an academic/historical approach and a theological confessional approach to the New Testament really is? For me it is very easy to see. Upon taking an academic/historical approach an individual is strictly interested in the facts of our ancient world. They wish to learn about the cultures, methods, and interpretations of the ancient people in order to that they might better discover what their world, then, was all about. Taking this approach helps one decipher between similarities and differences of groups or individuals while being refrained from making any assumptions based on their own beliefs. The key point and objective is to look critically at the ancient text and authors, while keeping everything in equal context that is accessible and acceptable to every one of all kinds. On the other hand, a theological confessional approach is based on what one believes to be true. By taking this approach one is more concerned about their actions, the ultimate meaning of life, who God really is, and so forth. This approach to the New Testament results in controversial issues, biased opinions, and many different groups of believers with their own beliefs as seen from the ancient world up to the present modern day. We read about this very diversity in chapter one, for example the Jewish-Christian Adoptionists, Marcionite Christians, Gnostic Christians, and the Proto-Orthodox Christians. I myself do not for see any difficulties in adapting to the methods and practices of the academic/historical inquiry. In fact, I find the history behind the New Testament very...
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