Item description for The New Testament Story by III Ben Witherington...
Overview This informative, clearly written book introduces the New Testament in two main ways: (1) it explains where the New Testament came from, and (2) it examines the New Testament writings themselves. Ben Witherington first tells how and why the New Testament documents were written and collected and how they came to be known as the New Testament that we have today. He then discusses the main stories and major figures in the New Testament. Witherington looks particularly at the Gospels, examining how and why their stories differ and pointing out what these ancient biographies actually say about Jesus. He also surveys the ways that these stories were told and retold, explaining how this literary development has influenced Christian theology, ethics, and social thought. Each chapter ends with a section called "Exercises and Questions for Reflection and Study" (written by Darlene Hyatt), making this book especially useful for Sunday school classes and group Bible studies.
Publishers Description This informative, clearly written book introduces the New Testament in two main ways: (1) it explains where the New Testament came from, and (2) it examines the New Testament writings themselves. Ben Witherington first tells how and why the New Testament documents were written and collected and how they came to be known as the New Testament that we have today. He then discusses the main stories and major figures in the New Testament. Witherington looks particularly at the Gospels, examining how and why their stories differ and pointing out what these ancient biographies actually say about Jesus. He also surveys the ways that these stories were told and retold, explaining how this literary development has influenced Christian theology, ethics, and social thought. At once scholarly and accessible - it really is written in plain English - Witherington's guide to the origins and message of the New Testament is eminently suitable as a text for college and seminary students. With each chapter followed by a section called "Exercises and Questions for Study and Reflection," The New Testament Story will also prove valuable to individual readers and ideal for church classes and group Bible studies.
Citations And Professional Reviews The New Testament Story by III Ben Witherington has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 04/12/2004 page 62
Library Journal - 06/15/2004 page 77
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date May 27, 2004
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802827659 ISBN13 9780802827654
Availability 0 units.
More About III Ben Witherington
Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.
Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
Witherington has written over forty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications.
Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.
Ben Witherington currently resides in the state of Kentucky. Ben Witherington was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Asbury Theological Seminary.
Ben Witherington has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The New Testament Story?
Good, but not great. Apr 9, 2007
I bought this book, looking for a textbook to teach a course "Survey of the New Testament" at a theological school in Nairobi, Kenya. Having read some other books by Witherington, I was expecting more. He spends some time discussing the story of how the New Testament came together, but doesn't really address the story told within the New Testament. Certainly, he briefly covers all of the New Testament books, but he doesn't tell us how these different writings tell the one story of Jesus and the meaning of his life, death and resurrection.
It seems that this small book came out of the research that he had done for the many commentaries and writings on Jesus and Paul that he has done. In other words, he didn't seem to do fresh research and thinking in putting this book together. He's simply assembled and simplified the findings that he'd done in his other work.
It's not a bad read, and one can learn from it. It's not particularly difficult. I don't think it is suitable as textbook for a New Testament Introduction course. But I'd recommend the writings on the New Testament from NT Wright over this book.
Witherington gets better and better! Apr 3, 2006
I've read 3 Witherington's books. It's work and it's rewarding. Reading a Witherington book means you will need to have a Bible and references handy. Witherington books are a study more than a read.
There are 2 books in The New Testament Story.
First, the 'story OF the New Testament' ... 27 books ... not decided or elected by the early Church leaders as I probably thought, but miraculously "revealed" independently and simultaneously to the distant early church centers as consistent with mutual Christian community experiences and understanding. The New Testament Story well settles in this readers mind, the Gnostic irrelevance, even in the times and to the people they were written.
Second, 'stories IN the New testament' intricately charts a number of the back alleys of the 27 books I had not recognized before, into a body of highly subtle Divine continuity. The interplay of the Old Testament stories with the post Easter community is fascinating and downright amazing in ways the writers of NT Canon could not possibly have imagined at the time.
Witherington is for the serious. This is not light reading. If you want to take your home study to the next level, try The New Testament Story.
Great historical work that ties together all NT Scripture Feb 14, 2005
The New Testament Story is an impressive survey. Starting from important historical considerations, such as the methods of writing during the gospel period, the author develops a consistent story of (1) how the New Testament (NT) canon developed, and (2) how the knowledge of Yeshua (or Jesus) grew in gospel times. I highly recommend this book because of the amazing way the author ties together ALL of the NT books, while keeping a consistent Jewish and historical perspective.
In some ways Prof. Witherington is an ideal candidate to write this text. He has written a many commentaries about important books in the NT; you will find a sampling of his work on these documents (Mark. Acts, Romans, and Revelation, just to name a few). In addition, Prof. Witherington has also done extensive "historical Yeshua" research.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part is a survey of the documents of the NT. The first chapter, which discusses writing in gospel times, is required reading. Prof. Witherington then discusses each NT scroll in chronological order. Generally he has early dates, and does provide reasons for all of them. Major themes for each scroll are given, as well as intended audience. The second part of the book builds a picture of major themes in NT stories. There is a large and useful chapter about how the NT writers and Yeshua used stories and concepts from the Tanach (or Old Testament). There is a large discussion about Peter and Paul. The book closes with major discussions about how both non-gospel (ie Paul, Acts) sources describe Yeshua and also how gospel sources describe Yeshua.
The strength of this book is the way Prof. Witherington ties everything together. Rather than just looking at how one author wrote about the Messiah, we can see how all of them did. You can really see how the message of the Messiah develops because the documents are discussed in chronological order. Prof. Witherington does a superlative job of linking all the documents together. Additionally, because he is a good historian, Prof. Witherington is well aware of the Jewish context of the Scriptures.
I was especially happy that the author chose to take a high view of Scripture. By this I mean that whenever a "problem" seems to manifest, he doesn't chicken out and say the Scripture erred. Rather, the author simply looks deeper, and resolves several problem passages. This is a good source of "Bible difficulties," although it is hardly encyclopedic.
You might not agree with all of his assertions. For example, I'm not so certain that Mark was really the first gospel. And people can argue all day about exact dates. But you will find that this is a solid conservative, historical, and biblically accurate description of the corpus of literature we call the NT. It is not a detailed NT introduction such as the excellent work by Cason, Moo, and Morris. But for a good handle on the historical background of the NT and how it ties into the entire canon, this is one of the best books around. I highly recommend this work for the beginner as well as the scholar.