Halvor Moxnes is Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Oslo. His books include The Economy of the Kingdom, Putting Jesus in his Place and Jesus and the Rise of Nationalism (I.B.Tauris 2012).
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A Short History of the New Testament
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Few documents in world history can match the inspirational impact of the New Testament. For all its variety – gospels, letters and visions – this first-century collection of texts keeps always at its centre the enigmatic figure of Joshua/Jesus: the Jewish prophet who gathered a group around him, proclaimed the imminent end of the world, but was made captive by the authorities of Rome only to suffer a shameful criminal’s death on a cross. When his followers (including former persecutor Saul/Paul) became convinced that Jesus had defeated extinction, and had risen again to fresh life, the movement crossed over from Palestine to ignite the entire Graeco-Roman Mediterranean world. The author shows how the writings of this vibrant new faith came into being from oral transmission and then became the pillar of a great world religion. He explores their many varied usages in music, liturgy, art, language and literature. In discussing its textual origins, as well as its later reception, Moxnes shows above all how the New Testament has been employed both as a tool for liberation and as a means of power and control.
'In his fresh and lively introduction to the New Testament, Halvor Moxnes covers a great deal of ground clearly, unpretentiously and with a lightly held erudition.'
James Carleton Paget, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies, University of Cambridge, and Fellow and Tutor of Peterhouse
'Readers of many kinds will be grateful for such a sure-footed guide, and none can come away without wanting to participate themselves in the long and enthralling history of engagement with the New Testament.'
John M G Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University
'Moxnes helps elucidate the contents, character and origins of the writings of ‘The New Testament’, their function in antiquity, their emerging authority, and the multitude of ways in which they have affected the lives of people through their interpretation and application.'
Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford