Coming in November 2019 is the long-awaited (and long worked on) New Testament introductory textbook: N.T. Wright and Michael Bird volume The New Testament in its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians (with SPCK and Zondervan).
This book is distinct in several ways:
– Introduces students to the New Testament as history, literature, and theology with special attention given to hermeneutics.
– Situates Jesus and the early church amidst the history, culture, and religion of second temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman world.
– Includes major sections on the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, as well as Paul’s chronology and theology.
– Filled to the brim with pictures, maps, charts, diagrams, and artwork.
– Unique aspects are “Blasts from the Past” with famous quotes from church history, “Emails from the Edge” where a professor responds to a seminary student’s questions, and “Portals and Parallels” with quotes from ancient sources that illuminate a text.
– The survey of each New Testament book discusses the general significance of each book, offers an introduction to critical topics like authorship and date, a short commentary on contents, and some pointers towards application and implications for the Christian life.
– Up-to-date discussions of textual criticism and the canonisation of the New Testament.
– A whole chapter dedicated to living the story of the New Testament.
– Represents a distillation of the life’s work of N.T. Wright on the New Testament with input from Mike Bird.
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Professors and instructors can request an exam copy here.
Also coming out around the same are the Video Lectures based on the book, and a church-based video series filmed on location in Israel, Greece, and Rome called The New Testament You Never Knew which releases in Feb 2019!
Here’s the TOC for the text book itself:
1. Reading the New Testament
1.1 Beginning Study of the New Testament
1.2 The New Testament as History
1.3 The New Testament as Literature
1.4 The New Testament as Theology
2. The World of Jesus and the Early Church
2.1 The History of the Jews between the Persian and Roman Empires
2.2 The Jewish Context of Jesus and the Early Church
2.3 The Graeco-Roman Context of the Apostles and the Early Church
3. Jesus and the Victory of God
3.1 The Study of the Historical Jesus
3.2 The Profile and Praxis of a Prophet
3.3 Who Did Jesus Think He Was?
3.4 The Death of the Messiah
4. The Resurrection of the Son of God
4.1 The Afterlife in Greek, Roman, and Jewish Thought
4.2 The Story of Easter according to the Apostle Paul
4.3 The Story of Easter according to the Evangelists
5. Paul and the Faithfulness of God
5.1 The Story of Paul’s Life and Ministry
5.2 A Primer on Pauline Theology
5.3 1–2 Thessalonians
5.5 1–2 Corinthians
5.7 Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians
5.9 The Pastoral Epistles
6. The Gospels and the Story of God
6.5 The Making of the Gospels
7. The Early Christians and the Mission of God
7.1 Introduction to Early Christian Letters
7.3 Letters by Jesus’s Brothers: James and Jude
7.4 Petrine Letters: 1 and 2 Peter
7.5 Johannine Letters: 1, 2, and 3 John
7.6 John the Seer and the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ
8. The Making of the New Testament
8.1 Introduction to Textual Criticism of the New Testament
8.2 The Canonization of the New Testament
9. Living the Story of the New Testament
9.1 Bringing it All Together