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A guide to New Testament commentary

The New Testament is an anthology of books, including gospels, letters from apostles, the Acts of the Apostles and the book of Revelations. All have come down to us in Greek, so people have to be careful to interpret them correctly. There is a good range of Bible commentaries, which guide readers through each book.

The content of the New Testament

The New Testament Canon Firstly, among the Books of the New Testament are the gospels, which divide into Synoptics [Matthew, Mark and Luke] and John's Gospel. They are called synoptics because of their similarities to each other, but John's Gospel is written in a very different way, and is harder to interpret than the synoptics are. Luke, the author of a gospel, also wrote the acts of the Apostles, which tells mainly of the deeds of Peter and Paul. Letters The letters [epistles] were the earliest New Testament writings. They are mainly attributed to Paul, but some of these may have come from other writers attached to Paul, such as Apollos, who is thought to have written the letter to the Hebrews. The non-Pauline letters are attributed to other apostles. Lastly, comes the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse, attributed to the apostle John, though not with certainty.

The problems of interpetation

While we can read a text and get the gist of it, understanding a work written at a different time of history in another land, is fraught with problems. Written by scholars
Bible commentaries are written by scholars, who can explain the text and its background. The meaning of words in Greek
For example, you might want to check the meaning of a word in Greek. Its meaning in Koine, Bible Greek, the common Greek of the first century, is not necessarily exactly what it is in classical or modern Greek. You might want some historical background to a text. Biblical commentary
The biblical commentary can help with this.
Commentaries can also tell you the differences of opinion among scholars about certain issues. Generally, commentaries are issued for each book. For example, there may be a commentary on the book of Revelations or one on Mark's Gospel. Theological opinion
Commentaries contain differences of theological opinion, and some, therefore reflect a specific theological stance or views of a church. You should be aware of this when purchasing a commentary. Well-written commentaries
Some good, well-written commentaries, written in easy English for the general reader include the following: -The Tyndale Commentaries, published by Intervarsity Press -The New Century Bible commentaries, published by Wm. -B.Eerdmans Publishing Company -The Bible Speaks Today commentaries, published by Intervarsity Press. There are also some Internet sites, which provide online commentary.

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