A friend has been having a dialogue with a Muslim fellow via the Internet. The Muslim asked my friend, why should he read the New Testament?
My pal and I tossed around some ideas.
A few rose to the surface:
It is a set of contemporaneous reports, history and letter from a group of young people who had their leader crucified by the Romans, yet who, upon knowing the resurrection of their leader, changed the world.
They were at the foundation of a movement that rose to historical significance after 300 years of almost continuous oppression, persecution and vigorous social and official opposition. It laid the foundation for the rise of the most economically, technologically, politically, and socially successful civilisation the world has seen bringing wealth, freedom and long life to more people than any other approach to life.
It contains historically unique literature: eyewitness or direct reportage, letters from the participants to their friends that are composed in sober, direct observation language without florid adornment, propagandist exaggeration or bluster.
27 'books' that are continuous with the historical flow of the Old Testament, itself setting the stage for, pointing towards and predicting the rise of the 'leader' whom it referred to as the messiah.