(from Gk. eisagoge, introduction). 1. Introductory studies. Applied to the Bible and its individual books (Biblical introduction), it deals, e.g., with authorship, time and place of composition, people addressed, occasion and purpose, chief parts, and attacks on genuineness (authenticity); it treats of the assembling of the books into 1 collection and recognition of the latter as the canon of inspired Scripture (see Canon, Bible). The hist. of the sacred books to our time is included. Because the books of the Bible were composed in antiquity, because they were written in languages for. to us, and because conditions under which the first readers lived were different from ours, an introd. to the various books is desirable for the ordinary reader. The Bible is a clear book; but one better understands Gl, e.g., if he learns that it was written by Paul to oppose the false notion that the old Jewish Ceremonial Law is still binding for the children of God in the NT See also Antilegomena; Theology.
3. Negative NT criticism reached a high in the Tübingen* school, followed by a more moderate school of liberal theol. (see also Harnack, Karl Gustav Adolf von; Jülicher, Gustav Adolf). The school of form criticism (formgeschichtliche Schule), which includes Charles Harold Dodd (b. 1884 Wrexham, N Wales; Cong.; taught at Oxford, Manchester, and Cambridge, Eng.), Joachim Jeremias (b. 1900 Dresden, Ger.; prof. Berlin, Greifswald, and Göttingen), and Charles Francis Digby Moule (b. 1908; prof. Cambridge, Eng.), arose after WW I; it tries to determine the nature of the original documents which, so it is held, existed before composition of the gospels in Gk. as we have them. Eng. introductions that incline in this direction include those of B. W. Bacon,* J. Moffatt,* and E. J. Goodspeed.* Conservative views accepting the genuineness of NT books have been defended esp. by G. Salmon,* T. Zahn,* and J. H. Snowden.* See also Schmidt, Karl Ludwig. WA
T. Zahn, Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 2 vols., 3d ed. (Leipzig, 190607), Eng. tr. Introduction to the New Testament, by J. M. Trout et al., 3 vols. (Edinburgh, Scot., 1909); G. Salmon, An Historical Introduction to the Study of the Books of the New Testament, 10th ed., new impression (London, 1913); E. J. Goodspeed, An Introduction to the New Testament (Chicago, 1937).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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