Interview with Craig Blomberg about NT Theology

Interview with Craig Blomberg about NT Theology November 16, 2018

Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary has a new volume just out, A New Testament Theology (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2018).

Here is an interview I did with Craig about the volume:

You’ve written many books, mostly on Jesus and the Gospels, but occasional forays into Paul’s letters as well. How does this NT Theology represent a summation of a lifetime of research?

I hope the question doesn’t assume either that I am about to die or that this is the last book I write!  But I have written surveys of Jesus and the Gospels and of Acts through Revelation, and I have frequently taught NT theology so this is a logical next step.  Also, after defending the reliability of the NT, it’s important to realize that we need to know what the NT teaches in detail so that we can obey it properly.

Many NT theologies take a chronological, thematic, or book-by-book approach. Your approach is chronological and synthetic, what does that mean, and how does it distinctly shape your NT Theology?

I organize the writers and books of the NT in one probable chronological sequence but I treat Luke-Acts, Paul and John each as a corpus.  Then I subdivide each chapter topically according to one logical sequence of topics that emerges from their flow of thought.  The result enables me best to determine both what is dominant and what is distinctive to each writer or corpus.

Should Jesus, the historical Jesus, he part of an NT Theology?

Yes.  Jesus was a theologian along with everything else one might label him. and we can use the criteria of authenticity in historical Jesus research, despite their critics, to identify the central issues in his ministry.

I was intrigued that you included the Pastoral Epistles as an extension of Luke-Acts. What’s up with that?

Not as an extension of Luke-Acts, but I do separate 1, 2 Timothy and Titus from the rest of Paul’s letters and treat them immediately after Luke-Acts to highlight the remarkable number of themes and perspectives they share.  I am intrigued by the suggestion that has cropped up periodically that Luke might have been Paul’s amanuensis or scribe, given the freedom to write these letters at Paul’s initiative in ways that were faithful to Paul’s desires but reflect something of Luke’s style and emphases.  Putting these chapters back-to-back enables readers to see the parallels bst and decide for themselves how significant they think they might be.

Does the NT, in all of its diversity, have a central message?

Yes.  Again and again the NT shows that it is the fulfillment of all of the promises, patterns, people and principles of the OT and of the plan of God for humanity in Jesus Christ.  It reflects the pivotal moment in history and the shift in the ages from the incomplete to the complete.  “Already but not yet” remains a helpful slogan. but the NT pays far more attention to what has already happened and its implications for life than it does to what still must happen in the future.

Why should pastors and teachers read an NT Theology like yours?

They might catch the vision of just how much Christians, yielded to God’s Spirit, should transform our world and its people, even before Christ returns, rather than lamenting all our woes and just hoping the end will come soon enough to obliterate them!

Also, here is a lecture by Craig as well on a NT theology of image.

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