This is not your typical introduction to the New Testament. Rather, Bellinzoni invites the reader to understand how biblical scholars employ the historical method to understand better who Jesus of Nazareth really was and how and why oral and then written tradition about Jesus developed into the New Testament. Instead of simply summarizing the results of biblical scholarship, Bellinzoni discusses the rules of evidence and the tools of the historical method that scholars use. He then approaches the text of the New Testament by leading the reader step by step through relevant biblical texts in order to illustrate some of the tools of New Testament study and how these tools work: textual criticism, literary criticism and philology, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, etc. This volume doesn't just describe the conclusions of biblical scholarship; it invites the reader to actually do biblical scholarship and thereby draw the best possible conclusions about what happened, when, and why. This volume is not limited to the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, but discusses relevant extra-canonical early Christian literature, which is critical to an understanding of the history of the early church and the development of the New Testament canon.