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The Interpretation of the New Testament, 1861-1986 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0192830579
ISBN-10: 0192830570
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Updating a classic is not easy task. Tom Wright has done a superb job."--Joseph L. Trafton, Western Kentucky University


"A delight for students and scholars....All that Neill says is of great value to anyone concerned with the understanding of the New Testament...[and] having Tom Wright's excellent up-dating for the last twenty years or so is an added bonus."--Faith and Freedom


"It is probably his attention to the personalities of the scholars involved in the debate which makes Bishop Stephen Neill's history of a century of New Testament interpretations of such absorbing interest....His knowledge of the major works of New Testament criticism in five languages is astonishing....Altogether an excellent book."--Times Literary Supplement, on the first edition


"I have no problem in seconding the judgment of the Times Literary Supplement that this is, indeed, 'an excellent book.'"--Toronto Journal of Theology


"An excellent text."--G.Burge, North Park College


About the Author

Stephen Neill is at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Tom Wright is at Worcester College, Oxford.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (May 5, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192830570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192830579
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The late Anglican bishop Stephen Neill first wrote this book in the nineteen sixties, updated by Tom Wright in the eighties, that reflects the love of the New Testament that animated Neill's life. The predominant lesson of the book is that readers of the works of New Testament scholars should be wary of the unproven assumptions and ideologies that animate much of this scholarly work, especially work emerging from the German milieu, including that of the still influential Rudolph Bultmann. Although Neill generously affirms that there is much to learn even from the work of flawed biblical criticism, he does not hesitate to point out the baseless and unproven assumptions that permeate much of the history of historical-critical biblical interpretation. Both the general reader and the specialized student will gain from the common sense advice of this genial lover of the New Testament. Especially valuable is the last chapter extensively updated by Tom Wright, who is now also an Anglican bishop in England. Wright has recently written a major work affirming the traditional Christian belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ. Both Neill and Wright bring a commitment to being true to the evidence that is unfortunately missing from a lot of what passes as critical biblical scholarship.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this cover to cover. I had already had some familiarity with New Testament scholarship so many of the individuals mentioned in this volume were familiar to me (Lightfoot, Westcott, Streeter, Bultmann, etc., etc.). If you don't have a similar background, I hope you would have the same delightful experience learning the "behind the scenes" of the body of New Testament scholarship from which we draw our current studies.

Scholarship doesn't occur in a vacuum, but is influenced by the spirit of the times, various assumptions, institutional slants (e.g., who gets hired to fill open positions in university professorships) and the authors cover all of these factors. It's as if they take you up in an airplane and give you a bird's eye view of New Testament scholarship over the last 150 years. Without this information, we are like going through a maze of opinions, facts, and philosophies. While you will gain little understanding of the meaning of the New Testament itself, you will gain a tremendous understanding of the resources you will be using to understand the New Testament. Out of the 100+ books I've read in biblical studies (plus another 100-200 I've consulted by not read entirely), this is one of the top five most influential to me. It really puts things in perspective. If you're interested in New Testament scholarship, or make use of resources for understanding the New Testament (e.g., commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, theological dictionaries, encyclopedias, and books on specific topics), get this and READ IT!

I only hope that Tom Wright will update it to reflect the last 20 years of scholarship. I'd be the first to buy the updated edition!
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Format: Paperback
Neill and Wright review various movements and trends in the understanding of the NT over the last 100 years.

It is written in the nuanced and elevated British style with a nice dose of droll wit ("[he] has, of course, his own eccentricity, such as must be allowed to learned men.") and so is a pleasure to read. You have to be able to handle sentences with more than one clause, and the authors resist easy bullet-point conclusions, but the reward is a fair survey of the various movements.

To be sure, the work gives British scholars perhaps more than their fair share of space, but that is a useful counterweight to the Germanic-centric style of other works.
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Format: Paperback
This books offers an impressive synopsis of how scholars have interpreted the NT since the emergence of the historical-critical school of thought. Neill covers the pertinent names, places and ideas that have contributed to the field of study over the past 150 years. Neill's style is readable, though not especailly fluid. His scholarship and attention to detail are impeccable. If you are hungry for an intial walk-through of modern NT scholarship, this book is the perfect place to begin and will answer most of your questions. Highly recommended.
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The Interpretation of the New Testament, 1861-1986
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