Review: Harnack’s Introduction to the New Testament

This welcome edition of Carl Richard Schenkel’s 1899/1900 notes from Adolf Harnack’s introductory lectures to the New Testament makes publicly accessible for the first time a transcript of Harnack’s university lectures. The present edition includes a full transcription of Schenkel’s notes, brief afterword and indices. The lecture course itself is divided into two parts: the historical emergence of the New Testament canon and the history of the individual books, which represent, for Harnack, the two principal questions for New Testament research. In the first part, readers will find an outline of Harnack’s account of the formation of the New Testament canon that, unsurprisingly, gives significance to the controversies of second-century Gnosticism. In the second part, there is a more intensive presentation of Harnack’s quasi-scholastic hypothetical method of inquiry regarding the formation of the individual books of the New Testament.

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