NT Background Texts

 

ENDINGS

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In literary works, endings are critical; an author’s conclusion to a story or an argument is intended to shape our understanding of the whole.

In this engaging and deceptively simple study, a companion volume to her much-praised Beginnings, Morna D. Hooker explores the final pages of each of the four Gospels and the book of Acts, and attempts to uncover the specific messages that the Evangelists hoped to convey to their readers.

Nearly all of the Old Testament books have forward-looking conclusions. What, then, is the significance of the way in which these New Testament documents end?

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ISBN: 
9781565633568
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Binding: 
Paperback
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Publication Date: 
November 1, 2003

Entering the Passion of Jesus A Beginners Guide to Holy Week

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Jesus' final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward.

Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.

In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.

Entering the Passion of Jesus provides a rich and challenging learning experience for small groups and individual readers alike. The book is part of a larger six-week study that is perfect for Lent and includes a DVD, and a comprehensive Leader Guide.

The book's six chapters include:

  1. Jerusalem: Risking Reputation
  2. The Temple: Risking Righteous Anger
  3. Teachings: Risking Challenge
  4. The First Dinner: Risking Rejection
  5. The Last Supper: Risking the Loss of Friends
  6. Gethsemane: Risking Temptation
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ISBN: 
9781501869556
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Binding: 
Paperback
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Publication Date: 
December 18, 2018

EXEMPLARY LIFE A THEOLOGY OF CHURCH LIFE

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Exemplary Life articulates Luke's vision for life together in a local church using key passages from Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; and 5:12-16 (known as "summary narratives") as the starting point of reference. Although Luke is rightly acclaimed as the church's first historian, he was a powerful writer and theologian as well. He also planted churches with Paul and had definite convictions about what life together in the church should look like. Yet, Luke's theology of church life is underemphasized in modern scholarship, downplayed by issues rising from the historical-critical method.

However, when the summary narratives are studied through the lens of narrative and rhetorical criticism, Luke's strategy is unmistakable. Those passages cast a vision for life together in an exemplary church, drawn from the historical circumstances of the church in Jerusalem. These narratives also serve as a starting point for studying church life throughout Acts. When the church planting movements in Samaria, Antioch, Ephesus, and Troas are examined, we find echoes of the narratives almost constantly. These amplify and drive home Luke's message in the summary narratives.

Taking this path, twenty distinct characteristics of exemplary church life emerge. From repentance and Scriptural authority to praying together and earning the respect of neighbors, each one is thoughtfully presented here by author Andy Chambers to reassert Luke's voice in 21st century conversations about the faithful formation of New Testament churches.

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ISBN: 
9780805449617
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Hardcover
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Publication Date: 
April 13, 2016

FAITHFUL FEELINGS

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Everything we do, say, and think is, in some sense, emotional. We describe ourselves and our experiences in terms of how we feel.

In the New Testament, Jesus and Paul displayed a wide range of emotions in their lives and teaching. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and others have recognized the vital importance of emotion in Christian experience. However, in recent times, many preachers and theologians have pushed emotion to the sidelines. The relationship between reason and emotion is often confused or obscure, creating the need for a fresh look at the causes, nature, and role of felt experience in Christian living.

In this significant new study, Matthew Elliott asks, "What is an emotion?" and applies recent studies of emotion to the New Testament. While he discusses the vocabulary of emotion-love, joy, hope, jealousy, fear, sorrow, anger-his primary concern is with emotion itself, how it was perceived by the New Testament writers in their cultural context, and what role they thought it should play in the lives of Christian believers. He argues that our feelings play an essential role in Christian faith, theology, and ethics.

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ISBN: 
9780825425424
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Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2006

FAITHFUL TO THE END

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In classroom and scholarly study, the Gospels, Acts, and the Pauline letters
receive far more attention than does the so-called "end" of the New Testament:
Hebrews; James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2, and 3 John; Jude; and Revelation.

Faithful to the End: An Introduction to Hebrews Through Revelation offers
a careful study of these latter biblical letters, closely examining each one's
authorship and origin, destination and audience, purpose, and major themes.
Appropriate as a reference work or textbook in college and seminary classrooms,
this volume uniquely combines head knowledge with a challenge to the heart,
for it is purposefully titled after each book's recurring theme of persevering in
the faith.

Coauthor Terry L. Wilder writes, "Our hope is that God might use this text
to help readers not only learn about these New Testament books, but also to
appropriate the message contained in each. May we be faithful to the end!"

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ISBN: 
9780805426250
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Binding: 
Hardcover
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Publication Date: 
October 1, 2007

FORM OF GOD FORM OF A SERVANT

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Form of God, Form of a Servant examines the Greek noun morphe and seeks to discover Paul's meaning when he portrayed Christ as existing in the 'form of God' as well as taking on the 'form of a servant' in Philippians 2:6-7. This book adopts a synchronic approach to lexical semantics, and examines a cross section of Greek writers who use morphe from the classical period up through the first century A.D. The book also looks at how morphe has been interpreted throughout the church age, before exegetically examining the passage and interpreting the term in its context.
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ISBN: 
9780761848288
Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
December 1, 2009

Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews

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Using the popular four-views format, this volume explores the meaning of the five warning passages in the book of Hebrews to both the original readers and us today. Each of the four New Testament scholars present and defend their view and critique the view of their interlocutors. This unique volume will help readers better understand some of the most difficult passages in all of Scripture. Contributors include Grant R. Osborne, Buist M. Fanning, Gareth L. Cockerill, and Randall C. Gleason.
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ISBN: 
9780825421327
Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
March 1, 2007

Fourfold Gospel a Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus

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This groundbreaking approach to the study of the fourfold gospel offers a challenging alternative to prevailing assumptions about the creation of the gospels and their portraits of Jesus. How and why does it matter that we have these four gospels? Why were they placed alongside one another as four parallel yet diverse retellings of the same story?

Francis Watson, widely regarded as one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our time, explains that the four gospels were chosen to give a portrait of Jesus. He explores the significance of the fourfold gospel's plural form for those who constructed it and for later Christian communities, showing that in its plurality it bears definitive witness to what God has done in Jesus Christ. Watson focuses on reading the gospels as a group rather than in isolation and explains that the fourfold gospel is greater than, and other than, the sum of its individual parts. Interweaving historical, exegetical, and theological perspectives, this book is accessibly written for students and pastors but is also of interest to professors and scholars.

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ISBN: 
9780801098895
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Paperback
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Publication Date: 
December 19, 2017

FRACTURE

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Since the advent of formal biblical criticism, many have come to see the crucifixion as merely one event in the process of religious development. Yet for the New Testament writers it was so much more, representing a radical break that forever affected their perception of God and the world. In this book Roy Harrisville examines the thought worlds of the New Testament writers, showing how the cross fractured their previously held ideas, causing a profound reorientation centered on the story of the cross. Focusing chronologically on Paul, the Synoptic writers, John, and the authors of Hebrews and 1 Peter, Harrisville demonstrates changes in the writers' understanding of sacrifice, law, Hellenism, apocalyptic, and other areas - changes that created the new values of the radically different Christian community. An insightful work of careful critical scholarship, Harrisville's Fracture will appeal to anyone interested in reviewing the New Testament's witness to that which lies at the heart of earliest Christian confession and which has provoked such bitter conflict in history.
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ISBN: 
9780802833082
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Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
April 1, 2006

Framing Paul an Epistolary Biography

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All historical work on Paul presupposes a story concerning the composition of his letters -- which ones he actually wrote, how many pieces they might originally have consisted of, when he wrote them, where from, and why. But the answers given to these questions are often derived in dubious ways.
In Framing Paul Douglas Campbell reappraises all these issues in rigorous fashion, appealing only to Paul's own epistolary data in order to derive a basic -frame- for the letters on which all subsequent interpretation can be built. Though figuring out the authorship and order of Paul's letters has been thought to be impossible, Campbell's Framing Paul presents a cogent solution to the puzzle.
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ISBN: 
S780802871510
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Paperback
Publication Date: 
November 27, 2014

From Good News to Gospels What Did the First Christians Say about Jesus

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The good news of Jesus spread like wildfire through the Roman Empire in the decades between his death and the writing of the first gospels--but how? What exactly did the first Christians say about Jesus? In From Good News to Gospels David Wenham delves into the gospels, the book of Acts, and the writings of Paul to uncover evidence of a strong and substantial oral tradition in the early church. This book will inform, engage, and challenge readers, inspiring them to better understand and appreciate the earliest gospel message.

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ISBN: 
9780802873682
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Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
May 17, 2018

GNOSIS

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Presents a readable and appealing introduction to what otherwise might seem an inaccessible religion of late antiquity.

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ISBN: 
9780060670184
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Binding: 
Paperback
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Publication Date: 
May 6, 1987