Monday, December 06, 2010

Another review of _Starting NT Study_ (SPCK)


STARTING NEW TESTAMENT STUDY: LEARNING AND DOING reviewed by Stephen R. White (Church of Ireland Gazette, June 18th, 2010)
Authors: Bruce Chilton and Deirdre Good
Publisher: SPCK; pp.174

THE AUTHORS of this relatively slender volume have achieved the remarkable and commendable task of making a textbook interesting. In four short sections, they provide, first, an overview of the social and cultural settings of Jesus and the New Testament and, second, an introduction to Paul and his letters, the Gospels and the Catholic epistles and apocalyptic writings.

In each section, the authors outline the received critical opinions on the various books as to such things as date and provenance, but they also take note of any academically-respected variant opinions. The theology of each author is deftly - if necessarily briefly sketched out and each section concludes with a useful series of questions and exercises.
The volume would provide an ideal introduction for anyone new to the field of New Testament studies; even for those who may be generally familiar with the material, it provides a stimulating and rewarding refresher course.
Furthermore, the style, which is immensely readable, makes the academic content thoroughly accessible to the specialist and non-specialist alike. The book is well equipped with the usual academic apparatus. Each section contains a substantial bibliography of further reading and there is a useful glossary and detailed index at the end of the book.

An excellent book for students of theology, as well as a worthwhile read for anyone who simply wants to discover more about the background to, and content of, the New Testament
Stephen R. White

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