Exploring the New Testament—Walton et al.

Exploring the New Testament—Walton et al. January 15, 2021

David Wenham, Steve Walton, I. Howard Marshall, Stephen Travis, Ian Paul. Exploring the New Testament, 2-volume set (SPCK, IVP Academic, 2021)

3rd Ed, Revised and Expanded

Book Description: 

Volume 1: Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Gospels and Acts; 384 Pages; List Price, PB $35.00 – Forthcoming, March 30, 2021


Volume 2: Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Letters and Revelation; 400 Pages; List Price, $35.00 – Forthcoming, March 30, 2021

Written by scholars with extensive experience teaching in colleges and universities, the Exploring the Bible series has for decades equipped students to study Scripture for themselves.Exploring the New Testament, Volume One provides an accessible introduction to the Gospels and Acts. It’s filled with classroom-friendly features such as discussion questions, charts, theological summary sidebars, essay questions, and further reading lists. This volume introduces students to

  • Jewish and Greco-Roman background
  • literary genres and forms
  • issues of authorship, date, and setting
  • the content and major themes of each book
  • various approaches to the study of the Gospels and Acts
  • the intersection of New Testament criticism with contemporary faith and culture

Now in its third edition, this popular textbook has been updated and revised to take account of the latest advances in scholarly findings and research methods, including new sections on

  • the impact of social memory theory on Gospel studies
  • the relationship of John’s Gospel to the Synoptics
  • recent work on characterization in narrative studies of the Gospels
  • the way the Hebrew Scriptures are read by the New Testament authors
  • the contribution of archaeology to New Testament studies
  • updated bibliographies highlighting the most important and influential works published in the last decade

Especially suited as a textbook for courses on Jesus, the Gospels, or Acts, this book is a valuable guide for anyone seeking a solid foundation for studying the New Testament.

From the Authors: Steve Walton says

We designed the two books to help beginning students engage with the New Testament books themselves, rather than just learning about the NT second-hand in the way some ’New Testament Introduction’ volumes work—hence the title, Exploring the New Testament.  We engage, book by book, with the entire New Testament. We recognise the importance of knowing the social, cultural, historical and political scene to understand the New Testament texts well, and so we outline those features in introductory chapters in both books (covering Jewish and Graeco-Roman cultures particularly). We introduce students to scholarly study of the NT through chapters on key approaches to the Gospels, Acts, the Letters, and Revelation, plus up-to-date annotated further reading lists. We aim, in a nutshell, to provide all the resources required to gain a solid grasp of the New Testament, with an eye to their implications for Christian faith and life today.

Distinctive Features: Steve Walton says

We provide lots of help to students in engaging thoughtfully with the New Testament and sources for its key settings. Each chapter opens with a summary of key learning points, followed by a main text which tackles the key features and issues the book or theme raises, with clear headings and sub-headings to identify the sections. Along the way there are a number of learner-friendly features. ‘What do you think?’ boxes invite readers to reflect on a topic (typically 15-30 minutes’ work). Diagrams and tables illustrate book structures or highlight key points. ‘Digging deeper’ boxes call readers to think about a particular topic with guidance (which could be preparation for a class discussion). ‘Focus on theology’ boxes provide ‘worked examples’ of the theological importance and significance of the New Testament book studied. In each chapter, ‘Some issues for today’ help readers see the significance of the book or topic studied for Christian faith and life today. Suggested essay topics in each chapter provide ideas for researching issues in more depth. We’ve recently revised the two books for a third edition, coming out in the early part of 2021, and in this revision we’ve updated most sections, and added material on newer approaches and recent studies, such as social memory theory and the Gospels, reading the Gospels and Acts theologically, and the way the New Testament authors read the Jewish (Old Testament) Scriptures, as well as creating a companion website which will offer photographs of key places and objects, plus maps, diagrams and tables from the two volumes for readers and teachers to use, http://exploringthenewtestament.co.uk

Nijay’s Notes:

There are advantages to a two-volume set. The multiple authors are all experts in their fields, and you can easily use one volume or the other for more specific courses or modules. 

About the Author(s): 

David Wenham (PhD, Manchester) has served as director of the Tyndale House Gospels Research project, dean and vice principal at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and tutor in New Testament at Trinity College, Bristol. His books include The Parables of Jesus, Paul and Jesus: The True Story, and Preaching the New Testament (coedited with Ian Paul).

Steve Walton is associate research fellow at Trinity, College, Bristol, and serves as secretary of the British New Testament Society. He is the author of Leadership and Lifestyle and A Call to Live: Vocation for Everyone. He was previously professor of New Testament at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where he was involved with the Centre for Social-Scientific Study of the Bible.

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