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The fundamental purpose of these notes is to give a basic overview and introduction to the New Testament. Though most of my students and readers have at least some knowledge of the Bible, I have tried to prepare this material in such a way that no prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary to benefit from it. Stress is particularly given to introductory matters such as authorship, date and circumstances of composition and additional background materials. I have not attempted to give a survey of the contents of each book of the New Testament but have stressed points of interest and special problems in each book. I have also included titles or descriptions of all the chapters of the various books.
The notes related to the intertestamental period and other background information contained in the first few chapters provide details that are essential for understanding the New Testament. I have provided only a basic introduction to many of the critical issues related to the New Testament. The users of this book should be familiar with these things but an in-depth study of these issues is not within the scope of this book.
I must also confess that these notes were prepared with the basic presupposition that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Although as a serious student of the Bible, I understand and appreciate the human factors related to its construction and compilation, I believe that ultimately the Bible is God�s Word. Therefore, I have tried to approach it with the reverence and respect God�s Word deserves. On introduction matters and critical issues, I have taken the traditional positions that have been accepted by the majority of Christians throughout church history.