Chapter 1 Student Reading Guide

What Is the New Testament? The Early Christians and Their Literature

1. Who were the Jewish-Christian adoptionists, the Marcionites, the Gnostics, and the proto-orthodox Christians? What did each of these groups believe, and how did their views differ from one another?

2. What are the major divisions of the New Testament? (You should memorize the names of the books of the New Testament in order and know which division each book belongs in.)

3. By what process were some early Christian writings collected into the “New Testament”? What motivated Christians to create a “canon” of Scripture? Why were some early Christian books included in this canon while others were not? Who made these decisions? On what grounds? When?