Item description for Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach by Frank S. Thielman...
Overview "A basic resource for serious teachers, pastors, scholars, or lay people interested in learning about the theology of the New Testament"--Provided by publisher.
Publishers Description Studying the theology of the New Testament can be a daunting task, even to the knowledgeable Bible student or pastor. Each of the twenty-seven books, written by various authors, has its own theological emphasis and nuances. How do we elicit a coherent message from such theological diversity, especially given that some of the theological statements in the New Testament seem to be at odds with one another? Is such an endeavor achievable or even valid? Theology of the New Testament takes a balanced approach in response to these challenges. Frank Thielman presents a theology of the New Testament that is careful to take into account the cultural and historical circumstances surrounding each book and the New Testament as a whole. He not only examines each book s theological content individually, but also in relation to the rest of the New Testament, particularly within each of the three theological units that comprise the New Testament: the gospels and Acts, the Pauline epistles, and the general epistles and Revelation. This canonical and synthetic approach honors both the theological diversity of the various books and the theological connections between the books. In the end, Thielman finds a unified theological vision of the New Testament, anchored in the centrality of Jesus Christ. Frank Thielman s Theology of the New Testament is an outstanding achievement. The book is marked by scholarly depth, exegetical rigor, and theological profundity. Both students and professors will profit immensely from this lucid treatment of the theology contained in the New Testament documents. Thomas R. Schreiner Professor of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary An accessible presentation of the key theological points of the New Testament books by an accomplished New Testament scholar and teacher. Its clear style, lucid organization, and sound theological insight make it a prime resource for serious students in both the academy and the church. Karen H. Jobes, PhD Associate Professor of New Testament, Westmont College"
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Reviews - What do customers think about Theology Of The New Testament?
A refreshing scholarly work which combines Biblical & Systematic Theology Jan 11, 2007
Frank Thielman has produced a true gem of scholarship and exegetical work in exploring the theology of the New Testament. While not exhaustive, it goes into enough depth to provide the reader with a more than average understanding of the texts in both the original languages, writing sytle of the author(s), and the cultural context in which the books and letters were written. He is very careful to give detailed outlines and even pick out minutae among the different Gospels to highlight their different specific themes and then at the end unifies all the unique threads to give an overall perspective. The Epistles are carefully analyzed to provide the reader with the details surrounding the circumstances and purposes for which the letter was written to help the reader understand the reasons and methods which the author used in their presentation of their material, which also helps explain things such as what may seem like different (contradictory) emphasies amongst Paul's letters (for example) while showing in fact that they are not contradictory but make sense in the context of each circumstance the letter was addressing. He also takes a conservative approach, which I approve of, in consulting the accounts in Acts to provide a sufficient historical background in which to view the various Epistles. In his treatment of 1 Thessalonians he does this to explain several elements of why the people in Thessalonia might have been persecuted and why Paul had been "torn away" from them. He weaves the various themes masterfully throughout his treatment of each book, emphasising their differences to reveal the initial purposes and meaning of the texts in each book while also unifying the various topics in the NT under a cohereht view of Systematic Theology. And the compliment of the arsenal of footnotes is more than adequate.
As for the person (reviewer) who noted an exception to Thielman's treatment of justification, by "muddying the difference between justification and sanctification", I do acknowledge that Thielman's approach to some issues are not perfect and I have my occasional disagreements, but even in that case, though somewhat misleading, he does -in a way- show the close relationship between justification and sanctificaion. Though sanctification is a life long process and doesn't inevitably assume the Christian will be perfect, it starts at our justification from Christ in which he gives us righteousness which then needs to be worked out. Thus we should "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). Though the reviewer who pointed that out is correct that there is a difference, though interconnected. The only other exception that I would note would be his treatment on Romans chapter 7 (which is a controversial chapter among all Christian circles) by seemingly interpreting it as Paul not talking of himself but rather him personifying historical Israel. Though previous chapters had mentioned the experiences of historical Israel there is no reason to read that into Paul's (admittedly difficult) admission of his struggle with sin. So I found that a strange and rather misleading interpretation.
Overall the book is wonderful and indepth, but as with any Christian book I would always council caution to examine carefully what is being presented. The truth will always stand under intensive scrutiny. We should "test everything, and hold on to the good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). I myself am writing a book, and while I strive to be thorough with my assumptions and views concerning the Bible I certianly don't expect to have everything 100% right. For that reason I give 5 stars to this book for it has made up in vitality, content, research, and intelligence for any blunders it may have and is largely a true prize of scholarship and theology, reviving the Bible of the day of Jesus and the Apostles and awaking the reader to the power and life that the Christians of the first century had and grew in despite their struggles.
A Scholarly but Accessible Orientation to New Testament Theology Jul 7, 2006
Thielman's theology treats the New Testament texts sympathetically, "as they were intended to be read," and through careful analysis, he thoroughly and convincingly engages less sympathetic scholarship. Using clear prose and thoughtful organization, both the theological diversity of the 27 books of the New Testament and their inter-relatedness are described. The introduction calls the reader to embrace the insight of faith while carefully examining the New Testament documents in their historical context. In subsequent sections, each book of the New Testament is discussed separately but within groupings based on similar historical and literary characteristics: The Gospels and Acts; the Pauline Letters; and the Non-Pauline Letters and the Revelation of John. In his final chapter, Thielman highlights five central theological unities of the New Testament: the centrality of Jesus, the importance of faith, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Church as God's people, and the final eschatological restoration. In short, this book offers meticulous scholarship and reasoning that is readable, engaging and informative; it celebrates the diversity of the New Testament texts while highlighting key points of theological harmony. This is a welcome addition to any theological library.
Great Theological Summary of the New Testament! Jul 3, 2006
This volume helpfully interacts with the scholarship on the New Testament, yet keeps the discussion focussed on the biblical text. Arranged canonically as opposed to any order dictated by systematic theology, this provides a refreshingly different approach. A useful summary for any serious student of the New Testament.
Good overall but rejects the foundation stone of the church Sep 17, 2005
Having read Thielman's previous work "Paul and the Law" (InterVarsity Press, 1994) I was really looking forward to this (now his magnum opus) work. Overall, I was pretty satisfied after browsing through the pages. However, it is more of a theological introduction of the New Testament (i.e., R. Brown, P. Achtemeier/J. Green/M. Thompson, etc.) than an actual theology of the New Testament (i.e., G. Ladd, L. Goppelt, A. Schlatter, etc.). He goes over every book and letter of the New Testament and neatly exposits what each of the books and letters say. Thus, it will be a useful text for a New Testament introductory course at a graduate level seminary.
Having said all that, however, there is one glaring error that Thielman espouses that forces me to dock off two stars. In his section on Paul's view of justification, he writes: "It is not merely the verdict of innocence that God pronounces over the one who has faith in Christ, but it is also a saving power by which God rescues those who have faith in Christ" (p. 462). For Thielman, justification/righteousness is not merely a forensic declaration that a believing sinner is righteous before God due to Christ's perfect obedience, but also a "power that radically changes believers--it both saves them and demands their obedience" (Ibid). Thielman muddies the difference between justification and sanctification. He follows the same view of justification/righteousness as Ernst Kasemann, Gottlob Schrenk, and Karl Kartelge (a Roman Catholic). For those who think that Thielman has not abandoned the Reformation understanding of justification really need to study Reformation history, the Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter XI.1), and systematic theology texts written by contemporary orthodox evangelical scholars (i.e., M. Erickson, W. Grudem, R. Reymond, etc). Those who still stubbornly believe that Thielman's understanding of justification is still in line with the Reformation and its creeds after further study are those merely trying to avoid censure from their own denomination (like some pastors in the various Reformed and Presbyterian denominations). I would recommend this book as a good resource for those interested in New Testament studies. Unfortunately, Thielman really missed the target when discussing Paul's doctrine of justification.