Book Review: A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament

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In A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament, a group of past and present Reformed Theological Seminary professors present a broad overview of the New Testament with an emphasis on the redemptive-historical perspective. Similar to the Old Testament volume, each chapter is dedicated to one or a group of NT books and proceeds to discuss the background, author, structure, outline, message, and theology pertaining to the text. Without silencing critical opinions, the authors offer balanced discussions on contentious issues such as authorship but remain firmly rooted in orthodoxy and the Reformed tradition. The handbook assumes a good grasp of the NT in particular and the Bible as a whole and is written for astute learners, lay leaders, and pastors. Thus, the applications and implications the various authors draw out aim to be relevant to church and ministry. At the end of the book, there are several appendices that offer helpful guidance on the formation of the NT canon, NT textual criticism, the Synoptic gospels, and the NT writers’ interpretation of OT texts.

I would greatly recommend this book to any Christian hoping to dig deeper into the New Testament canon. Despite the academic slant, the many reflections and thoughts packed into this handbook make the material suitable even for devotional reading. One of the strong points of this book is the constant reminders of the many connections between the Old and New Testaments. As Christians, we need to be familiar with the entire counsel of God if we hope to faithfully witness to those around us and attain greater spiritual maturity. For me, the most helpful part in reading this book is a renewed appreciation of the NT authors themselves and how the divine author used their circumstances to write down the inspired Word of God. I find that when I read the Bible I often jump right in trying to figure out the text’s meaning or applications without considering the author’s thoughts and emotions. It is a magnificent thought to consider that the Holy Spirit chose to use each unique human author including their strengths and weaknesses to reveal Himself to us. May we all diligently study and treasure God’s Word as we seek to glorify Him.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.

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