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New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel Paperback – December 3, 2014
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New Testament Theology makes a resounding case for fundamental agreement underlying canonical variety. Students will profit from the smooth, non-technical prose free of jargon and the select bibliographies. Seasoned scholars will feel the weight of this coherent overview of a field of study in ferment. (Paul A. Rainbow, Bulleting for Bibilical Research, 18.1)
"Few who consult this book, whether for academic or ministry purposes, will fail to benefit." (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 2005)
"This book is a stunning achievement by an outstanding scholar and gifted teacher. Here the fruit of wide reading and reflection over many years is set out most attractively. Students and scholars alike will appreciate the clarity of the discussion, the nuanced judgment on disputed issues and the guidance given to further reading. I particularly welcome the author's 'witness by witness' approach in his exposition of New Testament theology: the distinctive themes of the individual writings and the unifying threads both receive careful attention." (Graham Stanton, Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge)
"This New Testament theology, the work of a distinguished, mature scholar, is most welcome! It is methodologically sound, attuned to the current issues in the field, lucid and genuinely comprehensive. Marshall's idea of the New Testament texts as missionary theology is intriguing and deserves careful reflection. This New Testament theology should be regarded as today's standard in the field." (David M. Scholer, Professor of New Testament and Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary)
"For decades, Howard Marshall has been a voice of thoroughness, fairness and moderation in biblical studies. Now, in a time when some are questioning the very need and legitimacy of New Testament theology, Marshall demonstrates why it must still be done and how it should be done, and then, quite simply, he does it. Biblical scholars and students on both sides of the Atlantic are once again indebted to a man who has written much and been a friend and a mentor to many." (J. Ramsey Michaels, Professor Emeritus, Southwestern Missouri State University)
"I. H. Marshall surveys the issues and themes of New Testament theology as only the dean of evangelical New Testament scholars could do." (Douglas J. Moo, Blanchard Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College Graduate School)
From the Author
IVP: What can one hope to achieve in writing a New Testament theology? Is it something more than attempting to come up with a "good theological reading" of the New Testament?
I. Howard Marshall: I suppose that this question is really asking what New Testament theology is, and that is not an easy question to answer. What one can say is that all the New Testament authors are thinking and writing theologically whatever be the themes that they are addressing. What you are trying to do is to reconstruct the Christian beliefs that they must be presumed to have in order to write the things that they do. Similarly, you might try to reconstruct the political beliefs that shape the speeches of a politician, working back from what is explicit to what is implicit and gives content and coherence to the whole.
But then you have to go a bit further and ask whether the Christian beliefs of Paul, Luke, John and so on are essentially the same or diverse and even contradictory. A theology of the New Testament in the sense of a common body of belief held (with variations) by all the writers may be nothing more than a pious hope. Their views may have been so divergent that there is not enough of a common basis to warrant the name of "New Testament theology." I have tried to show that there is such a common core, while emphasizing that the different writers expressed and developed it in their own individual ways and at times not without problems (compare how Peter and Paul had a [in my opinion, temporary] difference of opinion, reflected in Galatians 2, and how James had to criticize what was probably a false understanding of Paul's theology). So a book on New Testament theology must exhibit the individual thinking of the various authors (and Jesus), show whether and how there is harmony between them, and bring out the particular nuances that may be peculiar to different writers. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
The strengths of this volume are that with distinct acumen Mr. Marshall tells us what modern scholarship thinks and always weighs in with his own thoughts. It almost seems encyclopedic in that way. His writing is clear and you leave knowing what the consensus of modern scholarship is.
The weaknesses include an exaltation of modern scholarship at the expense of previous generations. He puts modern scholars, apparently, as the final authority of biblical thought. Perhaps you would think me biased, but I do not agree with that thinking. So that can make for a mixed bag at times. Of course modern scholarship is an extraordinary asset to us, but some of the excesses–the certainty of the existence of “Q” or other conclusions by scholars repeated so often till some accept as fact though no concrete proof exists. Of course I have many volumes that speak of “Q” on my shelves, but this book makes so many conclusions on a certainty of what came from where that the section on the Synoptics seemed flawed to me. Other similar conclusions were made. At times I read more like a collection of NT book introductions than a theology too.
Despite the weaknesses, there are insights in many places. This volume will not hold the primary place among the theologies on my shelf, but it will be consulted. If your goal is learning modern scholarly thought, give this volume 5 stars. If it is a well rounded, spiritual you seek, give it 3 stars. So let’s average the scores and say 4 stars. Fair enough?
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.