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Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801028687
ISBN-10: 080102868X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Drawing on several decades of effective classroom teaching, Mark Allan Powell has produced the quintessential 'user-friendly' introduction to the New Testament, which should be a welcome addition to any New Testament teacher's pedagogical resources. Three features distinguish this introduction from most others in the field, and all of them serve to draw the reader into the world of the New Testament text in compelling and attractive ways. First, Powell encourages and empowers his readers to engage the issues raised by the New Testament documents and the solutions to those issues but without drawing definitive (and for the reader, perhaps premature) conclusions. Second, with stunning effect, Powell uses visual images (maps, historical photographs, and especially examples from the history of Christian art) both for their aesthetic appeal and as examples of the text's continuing influence on subsequent culture. Third, throughout the text Powell provides markers that point to a companion Web site that contains additional material for further study and reflection beyond the book and course. Powell has put student and teacher alike in his debt, and for this we are all grateful."--Mikeal C. Parsons, Baylor University

"Introducing the New Testament is just what today's students need: the length is right, the perspective balanced and fair, the choice of content perfect, the layout reader-friendly and attractive, and the author is a respected New Testament scholar and popular classroom teacher. Adopting this book as the primary text for introductory Bible courses (in a college, seminary, or church) is a no-brainer. I recommend it highly."--Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia

"Beautifully presented, accessibly written, clearly organized, and attentive to the beginning student. Both students and faculty will benefit from engaging this book."--Stephen E. Fowl, Loyola College in Maryland

"Introducing the New Testament is a real gem, a true diamond, not in the rough but well polished. Like a diamond, it reflects the multifaceted beauty of the New Testament text. Like a diamond, it is a concentrate of years of scholarship. Like a diamond, it is a thing of beauty, with its artistic reproductions and useful illustrations. Like a diamond, it is valuable, with a wealth of information that is not readily available elsewhere in any one place."--Raymond F. Collins, The Catholic University of America and Brown University

"This splendid introduction to the New Testament is vivid, engaging, and designed to reach a broad audience. Its clear and accessible style invites contemporary readers into the biblical world, while the colorful graphics catch the eye and stimulate the imagination. Historical, literary, and theological questions are addressed in ways that invite readers to venture further into the scriptures. As a resource for teachers and students, it is excellent."--Craig R. Koester, Luther Seminary

About the Author

Mark Allan Powell (PhD, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond) is the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He is the general editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary as well as the author of numerous articles and books. Powell has also served as the chair of the SBL Historical Jesus Section and is the former New Testament editor of the SBL Academia Biblica dissertation series.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 1st edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080102868X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801028687
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We used this book as a supplement to a graduate level NT class. Powell does a wonderful job of presenting both conservative and liberal points of view on issues in the NT, without his own prejudices creeping in. His information is well-researched and accurate. Each chapter gives a quick overview of a NT book, background/history of the author and time, and presents the major themes found in the NT book. Powell's writing style is fluid and approachable, which makes the book a joy to read (yes... even for a 'textbook'). Readers of all backgrounds and education levels will get much from this read. Highly recommend.
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We are using this book in a bible study at our church. It has been an excellent resource both for the veterans of many years of bible study and for those just beginning. Each chapter is a complete treatment of its subject without being overwhelming. The artwork (ranging from the Great Masters to He Qi) is gorgeous. The supplemental materials both in the text and on the website for the text are so helpful in teaching and are available as (pdf) handouts for those who want more in-depth information. As a teacher I love it, and my students have all prized it as a great companion to reading the New Testament.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Mark Allan Powell has produced an excellent textbook for undergraduate college courses or in our case, for an 8-month, adult, once-a-week forum with our pastor that is about an hour and fifteen minutes long. The chapter lengths are about right. We read one chapter a week and read the Bible passages that go with the chapter before class. Dr. Powell's voice is very much in evidence, so that you have the feeling you are in the classroom with him as you read the book. He takes a fascinating approach to the subject of the New Testament, giving various theories and approaches. Dr. Powell is professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio and co-author of Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study (Augsburg Fortress, 2008) and several articles. He has a real sense of humor which helps you remember various aspects of the New Testament.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the perfect combination of scholarly acumen and integrity, economy and clarity for a non-professional audience. It is a dream to use as a textbook in a classroom. The online resources present a perfect platform for further study as student interest arises.
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Format: Hardcover
Probably one of the better New Testament introductions from a moderately conservative perspective. It doesn't presume much knowledge of the history and times of the New Testament era. Also, it has lots of nice pictures of Jesus and those around him - enough to release your inner Iconoclast, if you are so inclined.

Anyway, Prof. Powell has a good way for relating the past to the present. I was struck when he spoke early on about how harsh New Testament times were compared to today, but also the tenderness people had to the marginalized.

All in all, a good book. Perhaps the reader should supplement it with Don Hagner's recent New Testament introduction and, for a more conservative perspective, The Cradle, The Cross and The Crown by Kostenberger, et al.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't finished this comprehensive booklet but having read Powell's GOSPELS, and having been assigned to use this book as the text for a study of the Epistles, I was happy to find a copy so reasonably priced. As I am something of a history buff, I found {Powell's opening chapters on the historical setting of the origins of the new Testament very enlightening and a major contributing factor to understanding the full story. I look forward to starting the class,but I have not been able to set this book aside....it grabs the reader and holds one's attention...and is easy reading, accompanied with some fine examples of historical art.
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By resh on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The textbook is excellent...a resource you can keep with you for years to come. It helps me prep for class and personal study. Just be careful. Sellers other than Amazon tend to ship used books that look like they've been through a war. I would go thru Amazon directly if I order another book. Great website accompanies this textbook too so don't overlook that fun component.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed reading this text. It is scholarly and very well written. In fact, it is so well written that it reads like a book one would simply read for pleasure (assuming one finds pleasure in New Testament history and theology - as I do!). I highly recommend it!
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