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Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology [Hardcover]

By Paul J. Achtemeier (Author), Joel B. Green (Joint Author) & Marianne Meye Thompson (Joint Author)
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Item description for Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology by Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green & Marianne Meye Thompson...

Introducing the New Testament is an outstanding new guide to the literature and theology of the New Testament. Wonderfully readable, eminently teachable, and well supplied with maps, sidebars, photographs, and bibliographies, Introducing the New Testament makes an ideal textbook for seminary and college courses, regardless of theological orientation. Written by three leading New Testament specialists, the book focuses directly on the New Testament's literature, its message, and the issues raised by a careful reading of its pages. Unlike other New Testament introductions that are primarily concerned with historical-critical issues or with what other scholars have said about the New Testament, Introducing the New Testament gets directly to the business of clearly explaining the background and content of the New Testament books as well as of inducting readers of the New Testament into sensitive appreciation and serious awareness of its major figures and concerns. No other text on the New Testament is so classroom friendly, authoritative, balanced, and enjoyable to use.

Publishers Description
Introducing the New Testament is an outstanding guide to the writings of the New Testament for readers ranging from Bible students to those approaching the Christian Scriptures for the first time. Written by three leading Bible specialists, this book discusses in a clear and balanced way the New Testament's literature, its message, and the issues raised by a careful reading of its pages. Wonderfully readable and well supplied with maps and photographs, this volume is both an ideal textbook for courses covering the New Testament and a superb introduction for general readers wanting authoritative, straight-forward instruction on the writings of the New Testament. Unlike other New Testament introductions that are primarily concerned with historical-critical issues or with what scholars have said, this book gets directly to the business of explaining the New Testament's background, content, and theology. The authors do not presume that readers need to be familiar with scholarly debates about the New Testament, nor do they assume those debates have necessarily raised the most important issues. Instead, this book is aimed at putting the message of the Christian Scriptures back within the reach of general readers. Although informed by the current scholarship in the history, traditions, and literature of the New Testament, this book is primarily designed to induct readers of the New Testament into sensitive appreciation and serious awareness of its major figures and concerns. After explaining the nature of the New Testament and the world in which it was written, the authors thoroughly discuss each of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The content and essential message of these ancient works are described in simple but dynamic language that reveals why they continue to inspire and challenge readers today. Separate chapters also explore the types of literature found in the New Testament, the life and teachings of Jesus, Paul's life and world, and the formation of the New Testament canon. In addition, numerous sidebars offer a wealth of fascinating and highly relevant background information that helps modern readers more fully grasp biblical themes. No other work on the New Testament is so accessible and enjoyable to use.

Awards and Recognitions
Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology by Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green & Marianne Meye Thompson has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Book of the Year - 2002 Winner - Book of the Year category
  • Gold Medallion Book Awards - 2002 Nominee - Reference/Commentaries category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology by Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green & Marianne Meye Thompson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Reference and Research Bk News - 11/01/2001 page 17
  • Christian Century - 11/01/2003 page 32

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   624
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.46" Width: 7.6" Height: 1.81"
Weight:   3.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 10, 2001
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802837174  
ISBN13  9780802837172  

Availability  14 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 11:20.
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More About Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green & Marianne Meye Thompson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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, with Elizabeth Achtemeier, The Old Testament Roots of Our Faith, and was the general editor for the Harper Bible Dictionary.

Paul J. Achtemeier currently resides in the state of Virginia.

Paul J. Achtemeier has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Hermeneia: A Critical & Historical Commentary on the Bible
  2. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology?

Scholarly, Clear, Concise.  Apr 10, 2008
This is a great book and should be a standard text for all seminarians. It reads clearly and serves as a good introduction to the books, epistles and general theology of the New Testament. Another great aspect of the book is its wide margins... plenty of room to write notes and keep track of ideas while reading.
Not terrible, but not the best either  Mar 5, 2007
Generally a good survey of the NT - historical and cultural backgrounds sections are especially well done. Actual text analyses and discussion are good in parts, but miss or ignore major thematic issues that most other NT surveys spend a lot of time on (the conflict in the early Church between Judaic and Hellenized Christians in Acts for instance). Also, the organization is pretty haphazard; Raymond Brown's NT Intro is a lot better organized and also provides a lot more in-depth discussion of a wider range of issues. This book loses one star for its poor organization and occasional neglected topics.

The authors are generally fair and balanced, except on the issue of women's ordination as raised by another reviewer. The section on 1 Corinthians 14 is especially ridiculous, with the authors interpreting the passage to read the exact OPPOSITE (i.e. men should not criticize the women who speak up in church) of what every other translation I have ever read. NIV, King James, NRSV, NAB, RSV = all wrong, and the authors of this book evidently are brilliant Greek linguists. Pretty unlikely! Rather the authors are blatantly twisting Paul's words to agree with their own agenda. Loses another star for this ham-fisted partisanship...

All in all, not a terrible book, has some merit, but the author's lack of structure and deliberately obtuse interpetation of some aspects of the Pauline epistles make this a less than optimal intro to the New Testament.
Very Wordy, and Very In Depth  Oct 31, 2006
There is alot of information in this book. Pretty much everything you would ever need to do to a research paper on any book in the N.T. Only it is very wordy, with long and redundent sentences and I made the mistake of reading this book in my bed, hence it will make you fall asleep.
Gospels and Catholic Epistles good; weak on Paul  Aug 7, 2006
Paul Achtemeier, Joel Green, and Marianne Meye Thompson are respected New Testament scholars at Union Theological Seminary (Virginia), Asbury Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary respectively. "Introducing the New Testament" is (as you might guess) an introductory textbook for those just beginning their study of the New Testament; their intended audience appears to be theology majors and those just beginning seminary.

The format of the book lends itself well to classroom use. Of this books 25 chapters, 18 deal with a particular book (or highly related books, e.g. 1, 2, 3 John)--covering its content, its context, its author, and its recipient. It then traces the literary flow of the New Testament book, showing what the author's major purpose and themes are. The section follows with an introduction to some scholarly debates concerning the Biblical book, and some helpful resources for further reading.

The remaining 7 chapters are more topical in nature and are titled "Chapter 1: What is the New Testament?" "Chapter 2: The World of the New Testament," "Chapter 3: The Nature of the Gospels," Chapter 8: Jesus of Nazareth," "Chapter 10: Letters in the New Testament," "Chapter 11: Paul and His World," and "Chapter 25: The Formation of the New Testament Cannon." Each of these covers its subject from a variety of angles and introduces various schools of thought on the subject, while the authors do come down on particular sides of debate, they do so in such a way as to leave the questions open so that the reader can come to his own conclusions. Again, there is a concluding summary and resources for further reading.

This book has been helpful for this reader in many ways. When reading commentaries, it is easy for one to "lose the forest for the trees." That is to say that when one narrow his focus too narrowly--to one particular verse in a Biblical book or the like--he can lose the general argument and flow of the book. Achtemeier, Green, and Thompson do a great service by keeping each book's major argument/theme in mind and show how the particular outline of the book and even particular verses serve to advance that argument/theme. Often, they are good at providing the reader with a memorable summary statement in the book's narrative which speaks to the heart of the issue at hand. Also, this reader appreciated the generous amount of pictures, maps, charts, and "shaded boxes" that speak to tangential issues.

However, while this book has many merits, it is not without its flaws. While its treatment of the Gospels and Catholic (non-Pauline) epistles were excellent, their treatment of Paul's letters was disappointing. Throughout the book, the authors seem to make a conscious effort to attract a wide readership by avoiding doctrinal issues (a bit of a problem in itself), but in the Pauline epistles, they break this pattern and come down forcefully on a particular issue. This issue is not communion, baptism, the relationship between faith and works, or the like, but rather they come down strongly in favor of womens' ordination. In so doing, they appeal to Galatians 3:28 (out of context), they appeal to 1 Corinthians 14(?!), and even appeal to the idea that Ephesians was written by a women, not Paul (?!?!)! Because of these poorly developed, illogical, and speculative arguments, the authors do lose a degree of credibility. Other negative aspects of the book are relatively few and far between. The only others that really stick out are their argument that Scripture is fallible (e.g. p. 456) and that the Book of Revelation is primarily about the first century Church's struggle against the Roman Empire, and not so much about the modern Church's situation.

In all, those who are interested in beginning New Testament scholarship would do well to read this book. Professors who are looking for a basic textbook would do well to assign this one, but I would recommend Martin Franzmann's similar (and more orthodox) "The Word of the Lord Grows." Mildly recommended.
Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology  Sep 26, 2005
The text is wordy and often redundant. Some issues are discussed with far too much detail and reiteration while others are statements without meaningful diatribe.

I did enjoy the historical presentations but the spiritual presentations were difficult to cull through and not very enlightening.

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