Book Description: New Testament introductions fall into two categories: those that emphasize the history behind the text through discussions of authorship, dating, and audience, and those that explore the content of the text itself. Few introductions weave the Old Testament into their discussions, and fewer still rely on the grand narrative of the Old Testament.
But the New Testament was not written within a vacuum. Rather, it stands in continuity with the Old Testament. Israel’s story is the church’s story.
In The Story Retold, G. K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd explore each New Testament book in light of the broad history of redemption, emphasizing the biblical-theological themes of each New Testament book. Their distinctive approach encourages readers to read the New Testament in light of the Old, not as a new story but as a story retold.
From the Authors—Gladd says
This introduction explores each New Testament book in light of the broad history of redemption—a story that began with Adam and Eve in Genesis 1–3 and ends with the creation of the new heavens and earth in Revelation 21–22. Every passage of the Bible, every paragraph, in some way contributes to this narrative. We do not attempt to explain all components of the New Testament—the cultural and historical background, sociological issues, and so on. Plenty of New Testament introductions do just that. Our central concern is to couch every major passage within the broad history of redemption. We endeavor to make sense of the New Testament in light of the Old.
What are the Distinctive Features? Gladd says
The first chapter of The Story Retold is an overview of the entire history of redemption, from Genesis 1–3 to Revelation 21–22. Then, the second chapter surveys the various ways in which New Testament authors use the Old Testament. We also include a number of custom-made graphics and religious images that broadly correspond to the biblical-theological topic at hand. Finally, immediately following the introductory portion of each chapter, we include a section called “Biblical-Theological Themes,” wherein we zero in on one or two prominent themes or passages within the book and briefly discuss its connection to the history of redemption. Readers are, therefore, given the tools to make sense of the basic building blocks of the New Testament.
This is a really fresh idea for a textbook and Beale and Gladd are excellent scholars and writers. I heartily support any attempts to read the New Testament in light of the Old Testament and vice versa.
About the Author(s): G. K. Beale (PhD, Cambridge) is the J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has published many books, including The Temple and the Church’s Mission, We Become What We Worship, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, and commentaries on 1-2 Thessalonians and Revelation.
Benjamin L. Gladd (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary and series editor for Essential Studies in Biblical Theology. His publications include Hidden But Now Revealed, Making All Things New, and The Story Retold.