The words, phrases, and stories of the New Testament permeate the
English language. Indeed, this relatively small group of
twenty-seven works, written during the height of the Roman Empire,
not only helped create and sustain a vast world religion, but also
have been integral to the larger cultural dynamics of the West,
above and beyond particular religious expressions. Looking at the
New Testament through the lens of literary study, Kyle Keefer
offers an engrossing exploration of this revered religious text as
a work of literature, but also keeps in focus its theological
ramifications. Unique among books that examine the Bible as
literature, this brilliantly compact introduction offers an
intriguing double-edged look at this universal text-a religiously
informed literary analysis. The book first explores the major
sections of the New Testament-the gospels, Paul's letters, and
Revelation-as individual literary documents. Keefer shows how, in
such familiar stories as the parable of the Good Samaritan, a
literary analysis can uncover an unexpected complexity to what
seems a simple, straightforward tale. At the conclusion of the
book, Keefer steps back and asks questions about the New Testament
as a whole. He reveals that whether read as a single document or as
a collection of works, the New Testament presents readers with a
wide variety of forms and viewpoints, and a literary exploration
helps bring this richness to light. A fascinating investigation of
the New Testament as a classic literary work, this Very Short
Introduction uses a literary framework-plot, character, narrative
arc, genre-to illuminate the language, structure, and the crafting
of this venerable text. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short
Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds
of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books
are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our
expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and
enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly
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