Introducing the New Testament

Introducing the New Testament

by Marianne Meye Thompson, Joel B. Green, Paul J. Achtemeier

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ISBN-10: 0802837174

ISBN-13: 9780802837172

Pub. Date: 08/28/2001

Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company

Introducing the New Testament is an outstanding guide to the writings of the New Testament for readers ranging from Bible students to those approaching the Christian Scriptures for the first time. Written by three leading Bible specialists, this book discusses in a clear and balanced way the New Testament's literature, its message, and the issues raised by a


Introducing the New Testament is an outstanding guide to the writings of the New Testament for readers ranging from Bible students to those approaching the Christian Scriptures for the first time. Written by three leading Bible specialists, this book discusses in a clear and balanced way the New Testament's literature, its message, and the issues raised by a careful reading of its pages. Wonderfully readable and well supplied with maps and photographs, this volume is both an ideal textbook for courses covering the New Testament and a superb introduction for general readers wanting authoritative, straight-forward instruction on the writings of the New Testament.

Unlike other New Testament introductions that are primarily concerned with historical-critical issues or with what scholars have said, this book gets directly to the business of explaining the New Testament's background, content, and theology. The authors do not presume that readers need to be familiar with scholarly debates about the New Testament, nor do they assume those debates have necessarily raised the most important issues. Instead, this book is aimed at putting the message of the Christian Scriptures back within the reach of general readers. Although informed by the current scholarship in the history, traditions, and literature of the New Testament, this book is primarily designed to induct readers of the New Testament into sensitive appreciation and serious awareness of its major figures and concerns.

After explaining the nature of the New Testament and the world in which it was written, the authors thoroughly discuss each of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The content and essential message of these ancient works are described in simple but dynamic language that reveals why they continue to inspire and challenge readers today. Separate chapters also explore the types of literature found in the New Testament, the life and teachings of Jesus, Paul's life and world, and the formation of the New Testament canon. In addition, numerous sidebars offer a wealth of fascinating and highly relevant background information that helps modern readers more fully grasp biblical themes. No other work on the New Testament is so accessible and enjoyable to use.

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Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
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7.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.57(d)

Table of Contents

1.What Is the New Testament?1
1.1.The Literary Angle3
1.2.The Historical Angle6
1.3.The New Testament as the Church's Scripture9
2.The World of the New Testament15
2.1.The Many Worlds of the New Testament17
2.2.Environmental Conditions21
2.3.Institutional Contexts41
3.The Nature of the Gospels53
3.1.Jesus and the Gospels: Milestones53
3.2.What Is a "Gospel"?62
3.3.The Gospel Tradition67
3.4.Literary Forms in the Gospels74
3.5.Reading New Testament Narratives81
3.6.Epilogue: The Gospels and Acts as Scripture86
4.The Gospel according to Matthew89
4.1.The Plan of the Gospel of Matthew91
4.2.The Narrative of Matthew96
4.3.The Gospel of Matthew, the Jews, and the Church117
5.The Gospel according to Mark123
5.1.Narrating the Story of Jesus123
5.2.Jesus, the Disciples, and the Authorities in Mark125
5.3.Mark's Dramatic Narrative129
5.4.The Setting and Purpose of Mark's Gospel143
6.The Gospel according to Luke149
6.1.The Character of Luke's Gospel (and Acts)152
6.2.The Unity of Luke-Acts154
6.3.The Narrative of the Gospel of Luke156
6.4."He Has Lifted Up the Lowly"171
7.The Gospel according to John175
7.1.In the Beginning175
7.2.Jesus, Conflict, and Confession177
7.3.John's Narrative179
7.4.John and the Other Gospels197
7.5.The Setting and Purpose of the Gospel200
8.Jesus of Nazareth207
8.1.The Quest of the Historical Jesus207
8.2.The Beginning of Jesus' Public Ministry209
8.3.The Kingdom of God214
8.4.The Miracles of Jesus224
8.5.Jesus and the Messianic Task228
8.6.The Death of Jesus235
8.7.The Resurrection of Jesus241
9.The Acts of the Apostles245
9.1.Acts and the New Testament Canon245
9.2.The Book of Acts as "History"247
9.3.The Narrative Progression of the Mission in Acts249
9.4.The Speeches in Acts262
9.5.The Purpose of Acts265
9.6.The Authorship of Acts268
10.Letters in the New Testament271
10.1.Writing Materials and Delivery of Letters271
10.2.Development and Purpose of Letters274
10.3.Aramaic Letters275
10.4.Hellenistic Letters276
10.5.Letters in the New Testament278
11.Paul and His World283
11.1.The World283
11.2.The Life of Paul289
11.3.Paul's Intellectual World294
12.Paul's Letter to the Christians in Rome299
12.1.The Purpose of the Letter299
12.2.Where the Letter Was Written306
12.3.The Letter's Author and Integrity306
12.4.The Theme of the Letter307
12.5.The Content of the Letter309
13.Paul and the Christians in Corinth327
13.1.Corinth as Paul Knew It327
13.2.The Corinthian Correspondence332
13.3.1 Corinthians334
13.4.2 Corinthians347
14.The Letter to the Galatians355
14.1.The Letter356
14.2.Some Problems372
15.The Letter to the Ephesians377
15.1.Some Questions378
16.Paul and the Christians in Philippi391
16.1.The Letter392
16.2.Some Questions399
17.Paul and the Christians at Colossae: Colossians and Philemon407
18.Paul's Letters to the Thessalonian Christians427
18.1.1 Thessalonians428
18.2.2 Thessalonians439
19.1 and 2 Timothy and Titus447
19.1.1 Timothy448
19.2.2 Timothy453
19.4.Some Questions461
20.1.The Origins of "The Epistle to the Hebrews"465
20.2.Use of the Old Testament473
20.3."In These Last Days, He Has Spoken to Us through a Son"476
20.4.Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith482
20.5.The Pilgrim People of God483
20.6."Such a Great High Priest"485
21.1."James, a Servant of God"492
21.2.James and Jewish Christianity495
21.3."To the Twelve Tribes in the Dispersion"497
21.4.The Genre of James499
21.5.James and Jesus502
21.6.Doers of the Word503
21.7.Hearing and Doing, Faith and Works509
21.8.James within the Canon511
22.1 and 2 Peter, Jude513
22.1."Catholic" Epistles?513
22.2.1 Peter515
22.3.2 Peter527
23.1, 2, and 3 John535
23.1.The Setting of the Epistles of John535
23.2.The Conflict: Data from the Epistles536
23.3.Historical Parallels and the Shape of the False Teaching538
23.4.1 John542
23.5.2 John547
23.6.3 John551
24.1.The Genre of Revelation556
24.2.The Historical Context of the Book of Revelation565
24.3.The Revelation of Jesus Christ573
25.The Formation of the New Testament Canon589
25.1.Internal Forces Affecting the Shape of the Canon590
25.2.External Forces Affecting the Shape of the Canon593
25.3.The Growth of the New Testament Canon595
25.4.The Process of Canonical Selection598
25.5.Criteria of Canon Selection604
Index of Names and Subjects609

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