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Among the striking features that distinguish this comprehensive two-volume work, now complete in its second edition, from other books of similar title are its wide historical scope, its treatment of early Christian literature in the chronological sequence, and the inclusion of over sixty noncanonical Christian documents.
Volume 2, after considering problems related to the interpretation of early Christian writings - transmission, canon, text, form criticism, literary criticism, and narrative and rhetorical criticism - unfolds the story of the early Christian communities and their literature from John the Baptist and Jesus to Justin Martyr, Valentinus, and Polycarp.
This narrative has been written in a readable, nontechnical style, supplemented by current bibliographies for each selection that include listings of the best editions of original texts as well as the most accessible English translations. An essential work for students, teachers, and clergy, this set will also appeal to the educated layperson looking for a scholarly treatment of the New Testament and its background in the world of Jewish and Greco-Roman antiquity.
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