Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Review: "What the New Testament Authors Reall Cared About"
What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: a Survey of Their Writings, edited by Kenneth Berding & Matt Williams could well be used as a textbook in high school, college, or seminary to introduce the books of the New Testament and to give an overview about the most important aspects of the book form the point of view of the author. The book is very readable, but not dumbed down.
The editors have arranged their textbook by author of the New Testament, and each overview begins with answers to who, when, where, and why for each book. Then they look at the major themes presented, supplemented with a good number of charts. Maps, and on location pictures. Through the text, there are side bubbles where the editors tell the read how each author would want us to respond to various texts. Each chapter ends with a brief summary, key words and concepts for review, and a list of further resources.
The book is sturdy and very useful – it could also be used by ministers to give them an overview/background to the book they are preaching from.
The editors work hard not to espouse a particular denomination, and they present variant vies and questions about certain texts, such as the ending of Mark (70).
I was pleased to see that – with the exception of Revelation – the editors dated the books prior to 70 AD (though I would also argue that Revelation was written earlier).
I was disappointed in the editors’ discussion about the rapture for two reasons: some scholars argue there is no such thing to be found in the Bible, and I agree with them (256).
That aside, this is a very useful first book on the New Testament canon (there is also an Old Testament companion volume).
[This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.]