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Introducing The New Testament: Its Literature and Theology Hardcover – Aug 10 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 636 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (Aug. 10 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802837174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802837172
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 4 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author

Paul J. Achtemeier (1927-2013) was Herbert Worth and Annie H. Jackson Professor of Biblical Interpretation Emeritus at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He served as the president of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association. He authored a number of books, including "1 Peter "(Hermeneia), and was the general editor for the "Harper Bible Dictionary".

Joel B. Green (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is dean of the School of Theology, professor of New Testament interpretation, and associate dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the "Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics", the "Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels", " The World of the New Testament", "Introducing the New Testament", " "and commentaries on Luke and 1 Peter. He is also editor-in-chief of the "Journal of Theological Interpretation".


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Format: Hardcover
No single volume survey of the New Testament is going to be suited to all tastes. Just as different denominations and traditions have come to interpret and apply biblical teachings in different ways (one must remember that the choice of literal interpretation is still a hermenuetic choice, still an interpretation), so too will they have different documents and teachings that develop their own traditions more fully. However, the broader trend among seminaries is toward a more ecumenical approach, made necessary not in the least by the fact that many (if not most) seminaries can no longer cater to an exclusive denominational pool of potential students, but rather, in order to keep enrollment up and the doors open, must appeal to a wider range of learners.
Thus, there has a been a great number of New Testament surveys written in broad-based, ecumenical mindsets over the past generation. This volume, by Achtemeier, Green and Thompson is one of the latest, best volumes in this field. Designed as a primary textbook for introductory courses in New Testament studies, it approaches the subject through a primarily Western, liberal-theological approach; by liberal I refer here to the traditions of biblical studies that finds root in post-Enlightenment circles in northern Europe, Britain, and later North America, not the ever-changing political term.
The authors cover the primary topics of interest for any such introductory course must address: historical origins of the writing and canonical development, the historical setting of Jesus and the apostles, the cultural setting in which the early church began to form, and various traditions that arose around the gospels and apostolic letters.
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Format: Hardcover
There have been a number of helpful New Testament introductions written for the Evangelical community, including the older volume by Guthrie and the newer work by Carson, Moo and Morris. And there have been many fine NT theologies as well. Volumes by Ladd, Caird and Guthrie, among others, have served the Evangelical community well.
This new volume offers a bit of both worlds: introductory matters, as well as theological concerns. Written for students and lay people, it will serve as a good intermediary text. Advanced students may find it wanting in areas, but it does offer, if in brief form, some of the latest scholarship on the NT.
The three authors all teach interpretation at American seminaries. They have all produced a number of outstanding works on aspects of the NT. Green for example has authored the well received New International Commentary on Luke; Meye Thompson wrote on 1-3 John for the IVP New Testament Commentary Series, and Achtemeier did the Hermeneia commentary on 1 Peter.
This volume is especially good on Jesus and the Gospels. Indeed, along with sections on introductory matters and Acts, it takes up the first half of the book. The remainder of the book offers brief chapters on the other 22 books of the New testament. Each chapter concludes with a short bibliography of recent works, usually half of which are commentaries.
The chapters highlight the usual concerns: matters of authorship and historical setting, theological themes and literary issues. Photos, maps and supplementary text blocks all contribute to a highly usable and informative volume.
The study is neither too technical nor too detailed to be lost on a lay person or beginning student. Yet it is scholarly and up-to-date enough to be of use to more advanced students as well.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a bible student's dream come true. It is written in an engaging manner. The scholarship is superb. The book's structure, theological content, and balanced treatment, make it a valuable resource for New Testament Study. At a time when there is a proliferation of books and monographs on biblical subjects, Achtemeier, Green, and Thompson, produce a jewel for the serious student of scripture. This book is destined to become an instant classic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This provides great history, commentary and overall picture of the new testament at the time of the apostles. It goes in depth about genres, is not biased to certain views and links the New Testament to the Old, and to Qumran scrolls, etc.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good introduction to the books of the NT for seminary students and lay people. The set up is nice and organized. It also gives the reader a historical background of the NT (pp. 1-87). Like all other intros the book deals with the background, authorship, dating, and summaries of each book. The only problem I have with this book is the New Perspective tendencies. For instance, here is what the authors have to say about the doctrine of justification (the article by which the church stands or falls):
"Justification" in modern English has legal overtones, and justification is often understood as God as judge freeing human sinners from the punishment due their sin. But Paul took this term from the covenantal language of Israel, where it describes being in a right covenantal relationship with God. To be made righteous therefore means, for Paul, to leave a rebellious relationship in which one opposes what God wants and to enter into a positive relationship in which one seeks to follow God's will (p. 308).
The authors, by this statement, have kicked out the foundation by which the church stands. No longer is justification understood as a legal action, but as a familial relational thing. Thus, justification is not about having the perfect righteousness of Christ imputed to one's record, but about pursuing God's will (i.e., obeying His commandments). Though Achtemeier, Green, and Thompson would resist all attempts to be labelled Romanists, they have paved the way to Rome by this statement (of course it is no surprise that N. T. Wright recommends this book). Don't discard the whole book just because of that one anti-evangelical statement (like I said above there are good and useful things in the book), but one should be wary of the soteriological perspective that is being expounded here.
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