An Analysis of the Events That Shaped the New Testament
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 510
- Category: New Testament
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Dr. Carter’s The Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament, was an excellent and informative book on why the New Testament turned out the way it did. All of the events in the book were important and interesting, but I think that the most interesting events were the first and last ones; the death of Alexander the Great and the closing of the New Testament. Throughout the book I felt immersed in the history that Dr. Carter was describing. He does an excellent job of describing the events while still keeping our focus on what directly influenced the present. This was especially apparent when he spoke on Alexander the great. As someone who is fascinating by the interaction of cultures, the way in which Dr. Carter spoke on the intercultural complexities of the world that Alexander had created was of great interest to me. Practically every paragraph between pages one and twenty were intellectual candy for me, from his writing on urban development, to the lists of Alexander’s accomplishments.
The closing of the New Testament Canon is also of great interest to me for similar reasons, it was an event that took place that involved many different groups of people from very distinct backgrounds all coming to a fairly permanent agreement on a massively important and complicated issue involving religion. Dr. Carter did an excellent job of laying out what happened in this chapter through his five stage explanation process. I also appreciated his discussion on the legacy of the canon at the end of the chapter. He asked good questions and gave excellent answers on topics that are not easy to respond to, things like, ‘can two thousand year old documents have anything relevant to say in our fast paced, technologically based, modern world? I think that my only problem with the book is that it occasionally presented a view of the issues that I saw as a little too simplistic. Assigning single events to the reason why certain things occur in the New Testament, and the modern world, in my opinion, overstates the importance of those events, as many millions of small events made those big, important, events happen in the first place. This isn’t really that big of an issue, but it was something that bothered me in my reading.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who wanted to learn more about the New Testament, after reading the New Testament itself, of course. It definitely covered the big important events that shaped the time period without going into things that would bog down a reader who was not already a history into first century Jewish culture. I also greatly appreciated Dr. Carters conclusion, both in how it excellently tied together his narrative and in how he repeatedly emphasized that even though the New Testament has been twisted in order to justify things that Christ would obviously abhor, it much more commonly encourages and teaches those who read it to live courageously and lovingly in the service of God. It’s just good to be reminded of that occasionally.