New Testament Conversations: A Literary, Historical, and Pluralistic Introduction

New Testament Conversations: A Literary, Historical, and Pluralistic Introduction

by Suzanne Watts Henderson


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Historical introductions to the New Testament typically devote careful attention to its ancient context, exploring these texts against the backdrop of Jewish and Hellenistic thought. But biblical scholars have been slower to appreciate the pluralistic setting in which students of all ages read the New Testament today.

Students today bring to the study of the New Testament an increasing sense that its message, while dominant in the Western world for millennia, is now just one voice among many religious (and philosophical) options. In this book, students encounter the New Testament in relation to the wider landscape of sacred traditions—both ancient and contemporary. What is more, they will reflect on the ways in which both writers and interpreters adopt, adapt, and elaborate on common views and practices in their own cultural settings. Rather than a repository of doctrinal beliefs, the New Testament emerges as a lively conversation partner in the human quest for meaning and purpose.

Several features distinguish The New Testament Conversation from other introductions to the New Testament. The book combines standard historical and literary scholarship on New Testament writings—presented in the body of the work—with selected excerpts from non-Christian traditions. In addition, students will encounter diverse interpretations of selected New Testament passages across time and place. Finally, this book presents historical, literary, and theological questions as mutually illuminating, rather than oppositional. This book describes the New Testament’s contents as inherently religious responses to the realities of the Roman world—both in occupied Palestine and beyond. Jesus appears in these texts as a savior who is apocalyptic prophet, messianic figure, and community organizer. As a divinely-sanctioned agent of God’s coming reign, Jesus elicits allegiance to a divine, rather than human, ruler in ways that carry both religious and socio-political implications. Thus, more than other books, this textbook highlights the communal context and implications of each writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501854927
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Pages: 504
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Suzanne Watts Henderson is Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Dean of the Belk Chapel at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. She teaches courses in Bible and world religions and is the director for the Center of Ethics and Religion. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Henderson has published widely in the field of New Testament studies and is a frequent presenter both in academic settings and in the wider community. She received her MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and her PhD from Duke University.

Table of Contents

Foreword: An Invitation to the Table-Eboo Patel vii

Introduction: A Place in the World ix

Chapter 1 What Is the New Testament? Building Blocks 1

Chapter 2 How Will We Study the New Testament? Critical Methods 26

Chapter 3 What Was the NT World Like? An Ancient "Pluralism Project" 44

Chapter 4 What Are the Gospels? Truthful Stories 67

Chapter 5 What Is God's Kingdom? Gospel of Mark 88

Chapter 6 What Is Righteousness? Gospel of Matthew 116

Chapter 7 What Is Salvation? Gospel of Luke 141

Chapter 8 What Is the Word? Gospel of John 167

Chapter 9 Who Was the Real Jesus of Nazareth? 192

Chapter 10 After Jesus, Then What? Acts of the Apostles 214

Chapter 11 Who Is the "Apostle to the Gentiles"? Paul's Letters, Life, and Message 239

Chapter 12 What Does It Mean to Be "in Christ"? Paul's "Word on Target" 265

Chaptet 13 How Are Jews and Gentiles Related? Galatians and Romans 296

Chapter 14 How Does the Pauline Conversation Continue? Pauline Traditions 322

Chapter 15 What Do the Other Voices Have to Say? Hebrews and the General Letters 346

Chapter 16 Is This the End? Revelation 368

Scripture Index 397

Subject Index 413

Customer Reviews