New Testament Theology

New Testament Theology January 6, 2024

Eckhard Schnabel is a formidable scholar. For this reason, his many works appear in my revised and expanded version of The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, which is forthcoming.

Recently, Schnabel released his mammoth work New Testament Theology.

The scope and breadth is, well, breathtaking.

Here’s a description from the publisher:

New Testament Theology is a major new contribution to New Testament scholarship by renowned scholar Eckhard Schnabel.

While many New Testament theologies approach the material through a particular thematic construct (e.g., covenant), Schnabel takes a different approach.

First, he focuses on Jesus Messiah and his significance for the early church.

Second, he seeks to describe the theology of the New Testament as it was written and read in its historical context. This approach honors the fact that the authors and original readers of the New Testament were real people dealing with real issues in their specific ecclesiological, cultural, and missiological settings.

Schnabel comprehensively combines a historical description of the New Testament’s theology with a systematic reflection on the New Testament’s message and the convictions of Jesus and his early followers.

This valuable contribution to the field will be insightful reading for students, scholars, and pastors.

“In navigating the sea of diverse New Testament texts, we could all use the compass of a New Testament theology that is faithful to history, to the text, and to Jesus Christ. Now, with this magisterial volume, Schnabel delivers just that. Readable yet erudite, comprehensive in detail yet alert to the big picture, this book will stand the test of time.”
Nicholas Perrin, Trinity International University

“There is now a welcome upsurge in the publication of books on the theology of the New Testament. I would put Schnabel’s New Testament Theology at the very top of the list. One has come to expect from him exceptional erudition, thoroughness, theological depth, and well-structured analysis. In this book, he masterfully introduces the primary task of doing a theology of the New Testament, takes us through the New Testament itself, and concludes with a systematic distillation of its message. What sets this theology apart is the recognition that the New Testament writings were created for actual audiences that reflected a cross section of society. By crafting fictional profiles of diverse individuals, Schnabel helps the reader imagine how different people in this ancient world might have responded to the theological messages, and how different people in our context might respond as well. Therefore, this book will not only deepen an understanding of the theology of the New Testament; it will also invigorate the preaching and teaching of that theology.”
David E. Garland, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

“Schnabel has already distinguished himself, with numerous outstanding commentaries and monographs, as one of the leading New Testament scholars in our day. The present new work is an all-encompassing treatment of the theological content of the New Testament. It focuses on the proclamation of Jesus and of his first followers in their historical context, based on a thorough analysis with an immense knowledge of the literature. It also offers enriching insights for our present-day Christian life, for reaching out to our environment in a mission-minded way, as did the first Christians in their time.”
Peter Balla, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Budapest

“Despite recent claims to the contrary, Schnabel demonstrates that the discipline of New Testament theology is alive and well. In a manner reminiscent of Adolf Schlatter’s influential New Testament theology, Schnabel shows the central role that Jesus the Messiah plays in the theological convictions of the New Testament. Sensitive to history, theology, exegesis, and ethics–this is a powerful articulation of the unity of the New Testament!”
Joshua W. Jipp, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

“[A] magisterial volume.”

Eckhard Schnabel comprehensively combines a historical description of the theology of the New Testament with a systematic reflection on its message and the convictions of Jesus and his early followers.

“Those who read many volumes devoted to New Testament theology soon learn that there are highly varied and competing theories about what goes into New Testament theology. Ladd does not align with Kümmel, who does not align with Marshall, who does not align with Bultmann, who does not align with Vos, and so forth. What Schnabel offers is a tight interweaving of New Testament history with the theology that is interwoven with that history–a stimulating and creative mix that reflects vast knowledge and plausible integration.”
D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (emeritus)

“Schnabel takes up the challenge of writing a theology of the New Testament and shows his comprehensive understanding of these writings in their historical settings. Particularly distinctive is Schnabel’s lens of the New Testament as ‘mission theology,’ a perspective already well-honed in his previous scholarship. New Testament Theology offers a thoroughgoing engagement with the New Testament documents from a seasoned scholar.”
Jeannine K. Brown, Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota

“Provoking and fundamental, this book is like a house built on the rock of the author’s earlier monumental work, Early Christian Mission. Schnabel’s solid historical research and sound evangelical conviction offer readers a reliable and fruitful reading of the theology of the New Testament. Here history and theology embrace each other in God’s revelatory acts through Jesus the Messiah and the New Testaments writers’ proclamations in their diverse missional and pastoral contexts. Readers will also find themselves engaging in the task of witnessing to the gospel in their diverse contexts. A perfect textbook.”
Young S. Chae, Baekseok Seminary and Graduate School, Seoul, South Korea

“Despite the array of works on New Testament theology today, Schnabel adds a distinctive voice with distinctive insights. Unrivaled in its deep historical perspective, this book also explores a range of issues arising inductively from the text that are often neglected in other New Testament theologies.”
Craig S. Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary

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