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Reading the New Testament: An Introduction [Paperback]

By Pheme Perkins (Author)
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Item description for Reading the New Testament: An Introduction by Pheme Perkins...

Discusses the history and nature of the New Testament, provides outlines of each book and information on archaeological discoveries, and shares an interpretation of the Scriptures

Publishers Description
Discusses the history and nature of the New Testament, provides outlines of each book and information on archaeological discoveries, and shares an interpretation of the Scriptures.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Paulist Press
Pages   350
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 6.01" Height: 1.01"
Weight:   1.09 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 1988
Publisher   Paulist Press
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  0809129396  
ISBN13  9780809129393  

Availability  0 units.

More About Pheme Perkins

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Pheme Perkins (PhD, Harvard University) is professor of theology at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She is the author of numerous books, including Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels, Reading the New Testament, Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church, Gnosticism and the New Testament, and several commentaries.

Pheme Perkins currently resides in the state of Massachusetts. Pheme Perkins has an academic affiliation as follows - Boston College.

Pheme Perkins has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Life and Letters of Paul
  2. New Testament in Context

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Concordances
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about Reading the New Testament: An Introduction?

Absolutely wonderful  Feb 13, 2008
I ordered this book second to my other books and it was shipped faster and arrived before all my other books. Great book also.
Quick, effective and serious teaching for laymen  Oct 23, 2006
The author is a Catholic American professor of theology.
Her book is geared at the masses, it is accessible to the non-intellectual readers. It begins with some some chapters introducing some generalities and background information related to the New Testament (NT), but much shorter than in some other books, yet she succeeds in conveying what is the important with less space. There are also a few general chapters related to Jesus, Paul... and related context throughout the book.

The rest is devoted to NT books. In each of these chapters she presents the context of the books, their outline and explains their content. Her points are generally not "speculative" but correspond to established scholarly (not fundamentalist yet conservative) views. In general she is quite straightforward and the explanations and answers are more concise than in other books. She does not follow the NT order (as in most books), but roughly rather the chronological order of the date of writing of the NT books, and the flow of her book then makes a lot of sense, a smart choice! Surprisingly, she does not bow down to political correctness (e.g. about Judaism) and courageously does not explain away the politically incorrect NT passages as later apologetic additions (as Bart Ehrman does in his books), I enjoyed that!

While this book is comparable in format to Boadt's Reading the Old Testament : an Introduction, it does not contain this long and boring retelling of the biblical accounts one has to go through in Boadt's book. Instead Perkins give some outlines, and in general is more to the point. She also more consistent in that she does not give the arguments with which the scholars come to their conclusions (that would mean a much bigger book....) whereas Boadt was inconsistent here (sometimes no argument, sometimes partially...) However she warns when scholars do not agree or are not sure about certain conclusions. Not to say that there is no logic and argumentation in her book, but it fits well in the flow of her explanations and exegesis.

There is a very good, well structured and annotated bibliography at the end, however the latest books date from 1986.

Hence I think this book will be great for the laymen who want a serious, reliable book that provide them quickly with good answers and the minimum required knowledge without undue complications and unnecessary thinking. If you are looking for a non-scholarly book on the NT on which you can rely upon in the most efficient and quick manner, Perkins' must be the best one. It is definitely worth its very low price.

If you have time and prefer to read a pricey book with a lot of blabla and a slow pace, then Bart Ehrman (definitely less conservative, more liberal)'s The New Testament. A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings would be a more suitable book; it also puts the NT books well into context with non-canonical books (beware that Ehrman refused that the debate he had with William Craig, and completely lost, be published so as not to give more "air" to Craig's points! which says enough about Ehrman academic open-mindedness and truth-seeking not to speak of intellectual honesty...) If you instead are looking for a more advanced, scholarly book, with the latest scholarly references, then this is not the book for you, I recommend instead Udo Schnelle's The History and Theology of the NT (the latest German edition, Einleitung in das NT, is even more up-to-date).
not very impressive  Feb 26, 2006
I do not think it is wise to use this book (or Gerd Theissens) as there are many NT introductory works that are much more worked out. Not only to the teacher this is patently clear, but especially students who read a chapter by Perkins and then go over the same topic by Brown, Guthrie, Witherington or Kümmel. The student will immediately find (s)he's been reading assumptions, positions and ideas that are not motivated, but simply based on traditional general pictures. There is quite some backreading of modern criteria into the first century and too often the jewish purpose of the books are underlooked. I realise Perkins has been a useful person as a teacher, but this is not a good book. Choose something else.
Very helpful  Sep 29, 2005
I found this book to be very helpful to me in reading and understanding the New Testament. It is packed with all kinds of information: historical, theological, and the wisdon accumulated over many years by a truly outstanding college professor. I am currently reading through it for a second time (after reading it two years ago). I am taking my time, and reading some of the cited passages and looking at maps. I can honestly recommend this book - it is detailed and academic, however.
Haven't read it yet  Jun 21, 2004
but I wanted to comment on a review. This book appears to be a text book for Biblical study. The "Top 100 Reviewer" who was upset about the use of abbreviations for the titles of books of the Bible seems never to have read commentaries before, where this is always the case. A commentary does not read like a regular book. Perhaps the reviewer will realize that his review was colored by the fact that he just didn't realize what type of book he was reading.

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