Origins of the New Testament

Christianity has been described as “a religion of the book.” Other faiths also share this quality, but Christianity is a bookish religion in two important ways. First, it draws heavily on the Hebrew Scriptures for its history, theology and spirituality. Second, the New Testament books, along with those of the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible), …

Scoping the academic literature

The first practical task in writing a literature review is scoping – a preliminary exploration of resources, including existing reviews, to assess issues of quality and planning. Scoping helps you determine which topics should be included or excluded in your literature search, and guides decisions about the structure of your review. Make a start Begin …

Who wrote the Gospel of Luke?

All the narrative books of the New Testament come to us as unsigned, anonymous documents. The first generation of readers probably knew who the authors of the New Testament books were, but oral tradition was not always passed on in the literary tradition. Scholars speak of “internal” and “external” evidence in support of authorship: clues …

So you want to write a literature review

A literature review locates your original research – the kind you’d write up in a thesis, dissertation or long essay –  within the existing academic literature. What exactly is a literature review? It is a critical account of the most salient and relevant material published on a topic. It analyses and evaluates the literature to …

What is distinctive about Luke’s Gospel?

Each of the four Gospels presents a unique perspective on the life of Jesus. The distinctiveness of John’s Gospel is well known. Of the three Synoptic Gospels, Luke shares many similarities with Matthew and Mark, but much is distinctive about Luke’s portrayal of Jesus. Four points deserve comment. First, only Luke explicitly identifies his purpose in …