Thursday, January 30, 2014

In the sixth chapter of “The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings”, Ehrman discusses the context in which the gospels were written and in which genre they would have been considered. This is really interesting because many people today read the gospels and try to fit them into genres that our culture is used to today. This is not conducive to a proper understanding though because the genres of the time when these gospels were written were very different than ours in modern day.

The writers in the time of Christ focused much less on character development, whereas that has become something we expect of authors today. back then though, character traits were something innate to the individpanel_060305ual and any actions on their part simply reinforced the idea of who that person had always been. So, when looking at someone like Jesus their character is always understood as divine, from his birth to his death. In fact no one person’sdeath has ever been sohighly glorified, and at the time this was written it was also unusual enough to form it’s own subset of this divine Biography genre.

Looking into how this type of literature was read in the Greco-Roman times, can truly help us understand how these Gospels are supposed to be interpreted. We have to continue to constantly question the contexts of documents such as these in order to not misunderstand them.