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Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) 2nd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801028069
ISBN-10: 080102806X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter A. Elwell (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is emeritus professor of biblical and theological studies at Wheaton College. He has edited numerous biblical reference works, including the Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible and the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.

Robert W. Yarbrough (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary and coeditor of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.
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Product Details

  • Series: Encountering Biblical Studies
  • Hardcover: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 2nd edition (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080102806X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801028069
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're a pastor, seminary student, or a layperson who needs a good, informative, and easy to read introduction to the New Testament then this book will be perfect for you. Many NT introductions/surveys that are out there are either 1) too technical and academic, or 2) liberal/modernist. This introduction is solidly evangelical, easy to understand, and academic enough for even the novice biblical scholar.

The strength of the book is that it does not survey each of the books in the New Testament chapter by chapter but by topics of significance in each book. For instance, when the authors talk about the message of Galatians they do not discuss what each of the 6 chapters discusses but about what Paul says about the nature of the gospel, law and grace, etc. (though Acts is an exception). Pretty much everything is covered regarding each book (authorship, date, place of writing, etc.).

Another feature of the book that will attract more novice pastors and students of the Bible is the colourful pictures that are abundantly printed in the book. Though some may find this comical, I think it added to the charm of this book. Pictures, graphs, maps, etc. help readers understand the background of each of the NT books better.

Finally, one other thing I really liked about this book is that the authors discuss side-issues related to the NT. The chapters on NT criticism (chap. 10), the historical Jesus Christ controversies (chaps. 8 and 12), and the teachings of Paul the Apostle (chap. 17) are well written, informative, and orthodox. I would say that these chapters alone are worth about half of the price of the book alone. Sure, the authors could have written more deeply on these chapters but the intended audience demanded that they do not go too deeply in these matters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have thoroughly enjoyed the study and reading of this book. I also took the time to answer the questions posed at the end of each chapter. The study of New Testament survey gave me a detailed glimpse into the background of each individual book contained within the New Testament. This book shared with me insight into the authorship, the date, and the place of which they were written. It also gave me insight into what life was like during the time these God-inspired books were written. Perhaps more importantly, it also shared with me as to why these books were written by men who had such zeal for Christ that they were willing to count the cost, even if it meant certain death at the hands of their persecutors.

As a believer preparing for full time ministry as a missionary overseas, I was most struck by this book's description of Paul's life and his numerous missionary journeys. Paul took at least three missionary journeys for certain, but possibly several more. His overwhelming love for Christ and his desire to see others saved from the eternal torments of hell is what drove Paul all across the Roman world. Like all New Testament believers, Paul was willing to suffer persecution, torture, and suffering, all for the sake of the cross. What a great model of inspiration Paul is to not only me, but for all believers who are charged with the task of sharing the Gospel to the end of the earth.

Finally, it is my hope from the knowledge that I have gained from the completion of this book, that God will use it not for selfish ambition or gain, but solely for the purpose to glorify God, especially amongst the people that God will place in my path. I have indeed learned much, and I look forward to sharing this knowledge in my Bible studies amongst the Roma people of Albania, where my family and I will soon begin serving.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This volume, like many in the Encountering Biblical Studies series, serves as a helpful primer on the subject covered. Elwell and Yarbrough have provided students and teachers with a well organized, colorful, accessible, engaging, and detailed introduction to New Testament history, theology, and culture.

The authors note in the preface, "The goal has not been to produce a running biblical exposition. In other words, this is not a commentary or a commentary survey--for that see D. A. Carson, New Testament Commentary Survey. We have sought rather to provide enough theological and thematic discussion to do justice to most major New Testament themes, without necessarily generating this discussion out of verse-by-verse or even chapter-by-chapter explication."

POSITIVES:
- Well written and well organized
- Lots of helpful "focus boxes" and other in-text tools (e.g., a list of the OT Apocrypha, a family tree of the Hasmonean Dynasty, a timeline of important dates in Paul's life, etc.)
- Thoughtful "Review" and "Study" questions at the end of each chapter
- Suggested further reading at the end of each chapter
- Detailed glossary of NT people, places, doctrines, etc.
- Robust multimedia interactive CD-ROM that includes study questions, reviews, audio/video clips, interviews with the authors, maps, images, and more.
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