"New Testament and Christian origins have always been recognized as central to any assessment of late ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern history."
Bart D. Ehrman explains why New Testament studies remains a thriving academic field.
"The study of the New Testament continues to be a thriving academic field for reasons both old and new. As one of the oldest fields of humanistic inquiry arising in the Enlightenment, New Testament and Christian origins have always been recognized as central to any assessment of late ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern history. The Christian church, without a close rival, is the most important religious movement in all Western Civilization – socially, culturally, politically, and economically. The New Testament and the historical Jesus who stands behind it are the foundation of that movement. And so, the long-standard methods of textual, historical, and literary analysis of the early Christian texts continue to thrive, as interest in these documents is fuelled by new discoveries and new questions asked of old data."
"Moreover, the field continues to be revitalized through newer approaches consistent with the broader interests of the academy at large, from post-colonial theory to feminist analysis to environmental studies. New Testament studies is a large, variegated, and unusually vibrant field, evidenced not only by this burgeoning scholarship but also by its massive broad appeal to the reading public at large."