Item description for New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul by Frank J. Matera...
Overview Neither Jesus nor Paul developed a formal ethical system, yet each left a moral legacy that forms the core of New Testament ethics. In this book, Frank Matera examines the ethic found in the teachings of Jesus and Paul. He explores the broad range of moral concerns found in these writings and finds an identifiable unity that underlies the ethical teachings of both.
Neither Jesus nor Paul developed a formal ethical system, yet each left a moral legacy that forms the core of New Testament ethics. In this book, Frank Matera examines the ethic found in the teachings of Jesus and Paul. He explores the broad range of moral concerns found in these writings and finds an identifiable unity that underlies the ethical teachings of both.
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Studio: Presbyterian Publishing Corpor
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.75" Weight: 1.09 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 1996
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0664225152 ISBN13 9780664225155
Availability 67 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 05:59.
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More About Frank J. Matera
Frank J. Matera (PhD, Union Theological Seminary) is emeritus professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. His previous books include commentaries on Galatians and 2 Corinthians as well as New Testament Theology: Exploring Diversity and Unity.
Frank J. Matera has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about New Testament Ethics: The Legacies of Jesus and Paul?
good, but not what I had hoped for Feb 11, 2004
I suppose it is unfair of me to criticize a book for staying within its own boundaries, but I will do so anyway, I hope with good reason. However, let me start with a description of some of the strengths of Matera's book, which I did find quite worthwhile overall.
First, professor Matera writes in clear English. This fact by itself puts him above the great host of biblical studies writers. One is not expected in this work to be fluent in several languages--foreign words and phrases are always translated. This fits well with my view that one of the jobs of a scholar is to make available to interested non-specialists valuable works in other languages. Also, there is very little use of jargon, which sometimes I think is a crutch for some. He does not "dumb down" his subjects (and I'm still not quite sure what "paraenesis" means), but still manages to be lucid throughout.
Second, and probably much more importantly, the book's treatment of the Pauline epistles is amaong the best I've seen anywhere in terms of cogent and likely reconstructions of the messages of the books. The section on Galatians stands out as a wonderful example here.
There were a few flaws which disappointed me though. One, more of a distraction really, was that there seemed to be a bit too much discussion of the "introduction" subjects, more specifically a lot of pages spent on authorship issues. While this is certainly important and relevant to a degree, it just seemed that this took up more of the book than was really warranted.
Another problem, one I think that would jump out to almost any modern reader, is that there is very little sense of trying to connect the ethical teaching of the NT books to modern societies. One gets the feeling oten that this is a museum piece where one is merely looking at a mor or less carefully preserved record of an ancient society. To be fair there is some discussion of the subject of applicability in the later part of the book, introduced by this sentence: "Since I have identified this owrk of New Testament ethics as primarily descriptive, I have generally refrained from discussing the normative value of the texts under study."(p225) This is followed by two pages of discussion of our cultural distance from the NT. I would have preferred, perhaps, to have seen this discussion somewhat earlier in the book.
This leads to my last criticism, namely that prof. Matera spends very few words on the context of NT ethics, either in terms of how ethics functioned differently in the 1st century mediterranean world, or in terms of the historical circumstances in which the NT appeared. To be sure, this is not entirely absent, but it occupied so little space that it seems that he didn't find it important of relevant enough to warrant much discussion.
All of that being said, the failings of the book (in my mind at least) were in things which the author had not really intended the book to do. Simply as a survey of the teachings of the NT on ethics, I would undoubtedly sy this was a worthwhile contribution.
Outstanding Handling of New Testament Ethical Issues Mar 5, 1999
This book was used to teach a New Testament Ethics Seminar at the Taiwan Baptist Theological Seminary in Taipei, Taiwan. The students found the author to be stimulating and fair in his handling of ethical issues related to the New Testament. Although the author made several suppositions based upon critical issues about dating, order and authorship, he insightfully presents a balanced comparative ethical summary of the material. He skillfully identifies key issues and then cogently presents them.
R. Maurice Hollingsworth, Ph.D. Taiwan Baptist Theological Seminary Taipei, Taiwan