With over 550 entries ranging from Abba to Zwingli composed by leading contemporary theologians from around the world, The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology represents a fresh, ecumenical approach to theological reference. Written with an emphasis on clarity and concision, all entries are designed to help the reader understand and assess the specifically theological significance of the most important concepts. Clearly structured, the volume is organized around a small number of 'core entries' which focus on key topics to provide a general overview of major subject areas, while making use of related shorter entries to impart a more detailed knowledge of technical terms. The work as a whole provides an introduction to the defining topics in Christian thought and is an essential reference point for students and scholars.
Winner of a 2006 Christianity Today Book Award!Honored as one of the "Fifteen Outstanding Books of 2005 for Mission Studies" by International Bulletin of Missionary ResearchFrom Cairo to Calcutta, from Cochabamba to Columbus, Christians are engaged in a conversation about how to speak and live the gospel in today's traditional, modern and emergent cultures. The technical term for their efforts is contextualization. Missionary theorists have pondered and written on it at length. More and more, those who do theology in the West are also trying to discover new ways of communicating and embodying the gospel for an emerging postmodern culture. But few have considered in depth how the early church contextualized the gospel. And yet the New Testament provides numerous examples. As both a crosscultural missionary and a New Testament scholar, Dean Flemming is well equipped to examine how the early church contextualized the gospel and to draw out lessons for today. By carefully sifting the New Testament evidence, Flemming uncovers the patterns and parameters of a Paul or Mark or John as they spoke the Word on target, and he brings these to bear on our contemporary missiological task. Rich in insights and conversant with frontline thinking, this is a book that will revitalize the conversation and refresh our speaking and living the gospel in today's cultures, whether in traditional, modern or emergent contexts.
For first-century people, cosmology was a fundamental part of their worldview. Whether it was the philosopher contemplating the perfection of the heavenly orbits, the farmer searching the sky for signs of when to plant his crops, or the desert-dwelling sectarian looking for the end of the world, the cosmos held an endless fascination and occupied a prominent place in their understanding of life.For most ancient peoples, cosmology and theology were inseparable. Thus, when the Jewish and Christian Scriptural traditions begin with the bold claim, "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth," these words make statements which are at once cosmogonic, cosmological, and theological.Scholarship has begun only recently to investigate more fully the various cosmological and cosmogonic traditions that were current in the time of the Old and New Testaments. Much of this work, however, has focused on how OT conceptions of the world compared to other Ancient Near Eastern traditions. Much less has been done on the cosmological traditions which stand behind the views of the NT writers. Even fewer works have sought to connect cosmological views with NT theology. In light of the great importance that cosmology had in ancient peoples' worldviews and theological understanding, a thorough investigation of this neglected topic is in order.Cosmology and New Testament Theology systematically examines the NT documents to show how cosmological language and concepts inform, interact with, and contribute to the specific theological emphases of the various NT books. In some NT books, the importance of cosmology can be easily discerned, while in others what is required is a new and close examination of key cosmological terms (e.g., heaven, earth, world, creation) with an eye to the themes and theology of the book.
N. T. Wright’s magnum opus Paul and the Faithfulness of God is a landmark study on the history and thought of the apostle Paul. This volume brings together a stellar group of international scholars to critically assess an array of issues in Wright’s work.
"Interpretation and the Claims of the Text"combines the writings of more than a dozen prominent biblical scholars to elucidate the theological building blocks for the New Testament. Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Mikeal C. Parsons, Jason A. Whitlark, Loveday Alexander, Warren Carter, Sharyn Dowd, Amy-Jill Levine, Bruce W. Longenecker, Frank J. Matera, David P. Moessner, Alicia D. Myers, Lidija Novakovic, Todd D. Still, C. Clifton Black, and R. Alan Culpepper chart the waters of creation and humanity, the problems of sin, Christ s redemptive power, and God s overarching plan for humankind. Students and scholars alike will benefit from their exegetical groundwork, perceptive discussion, and enlightening conclusions."Interpretations and the Claims of the Text"illuminates multiple points of departure for further exploration of the depths of New Testament texts."
Focusing on the metanarrative of exile and restoration Timo Eskola claims that a post-liberal, narrative New Testament theology is both consistent and explanative. Combining a post-New Quest perspective on Jesus with an eschatological reading of Paul, the author states that Jesus' temple criticism aims at restoration eschatology. Jesus starts a priestly community that expects God's jubilee to begin with Jesus' work, and proceed with the preaching of the new gospel. The reception of this message in the post-Easter church results in resurrection Christology that proclaims Jesus' Davidic kingship on God's throne of glory. Both Paul and Jewish Christian teachers later present Christ's community as a new temple where believers serve the Lord as priests of the new covenant. Furthermore, restoration eschatology provides a new basis for understanding Paul's contrast with the words of the law, and his teaching of justification.
This volume brings together some of the most distinguished writers in the field of New Testament studies to provide an overview of discussions about the nature of New Testament theology. Examines the development, purpose and scope of New Testament theology. Looks at the relationship of New Testament theology with other branches of theology. Considers crucial issues within the New Testament, such as the historical Jesus, the theology of the cross, eschatology, ethics, and the role of women. Offers fresh perspectives which take discussion of the subject further in key areas Includes a foreword by Rowan Williams.
This capstone work from widely respected senior evangelical scholar Donald Hagner offers a substantial introduction to the New Testament. Hagner deals with the New Testament both historically and theologically, employing the framework of salvation history. He treats the New Testament as a coherent body of texts and stresses the unity of the New Testament without neglecting its variety. Although the volume covers typical questions of introduction, such as author, date, background, and sources, it focuses primarily on understanding the theological content and meaning of the texts, putting students in a position to understand the origins of Christianity and its canonical writings. Throughout, Hagner delivers balanced conclusions in conversation with classic and current scholarship. The book includes summary tables, diagrams, maps, and extensive bibliographies.
The two-volume work The New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers offers a comparative study of two collections of early Christian texts: the New Testament; and the texts, from immediately after the New Testament period, which are conventionally referred to as the Apostolic Fathers. The first volume, The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, presents a comprehensive and rigorous discussion of the extent to which the writings later included in the New Testament were known to and used by each of the Apostolic Fathers. Contemporary research on the textual traditions of both collections is used to address the questions of textual transmission and reception. The second volume, Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, discusses broad theological, literary, and historical issues that arise in the comparative study of these texts, and which are of importance to the study of early Christianity. It deals with the most important current debates concerning both the Apostolic Fathers and the New Testament, such as baptism, Pauline theology, the function of apocalyptic elements, Church order, and Jewish and Christian identity.
In this comprehensive exposition, a leading New Testament scholar explores the unfolding theological unity of the entire Bible from the vantage point of the New Testament. G. K. Beale, coeditor of the award-winning Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, examines how the New Testament storyline relates to and develops the Old Testament storyline. Beale argues that every major concept of the New Testament is a development of a concept from the Old and is to be understood as a facet of the inauguration of the latter-day new creation and kingdom. Offering extensive interaction between the two testaments, this volume helps readers see the unifying conceptual threads of the Old Testament and how those threads are woven together in Christ. This major work will be valued by students of the New Testament and pastors alike.
This is a new and masterly presentation of New Testament theology by one of the leading religious scholars of this century. It takes the unique step of setting up an imaginary dialogue on the central concepts of the Christian faith between the various authors of the New Testament themselves, thus capturing in a particularly fresh and lucid way the differing approaches and attempts of these first Christians to explore and elucidate their faith.
All too often, argues Ben Witherington, the theology of the New Testament has been divorced from its ethics, leaving as isolated abstractions what are fully integrated, dynamic elements within the New Testament itself. As Witherington stresses, "behavior affects and reinforces or undoes belief."Previously published as The Indelible Image, Volume 2, Witherington offers the second of a two-volume set on the theological and ethical thought world of the New Testament. The first volume looks at the individual witnesses, while the second examines the collective witness.The New Testament, says Ben Witherington, is "like a smallish choir. All are singing the same cantata, but each has an individual voice and is singing its own parts and notes. If we fail to pay attention to all the voices in the choir, we do not get the entire effect. . . . If this first volume is about closely analyzing the sheet music left to us by which each musician's part is delineated, the second volume will attempt to re-create what it might have sounded like had they ever gotten together and performed their scores to produce a single masterful cantata."What the New Testament authors have in mind, Witherington contends, is that all believers should be conformed in thought, word and deed to the image of Jesus Christ--the indelible image.
New Testament theology raises many questions, not only within its own boundaries, but also in relation to other fields such as history, literary criticism, sociology, psychology, history, politics, philosophy, and religious studies. But, the overarching question concerns the relevance of two thousand year old writings in today's world. How does one establish what is and is not relevant in the New Testament? How does one communicate the ancient ideas, presented in an alien language, alien time, and alien culture to a contemporary audience? This book is intended to serve as a methodological introduction to the field of New Testament theology, aimed at a range of readers-undergraduate and Seminary students, clergy, and laypersons interested in the relevance of scripture. It is a guide which aims to help readers understand how practitioners of New Testament theology have wrestled with the relationship between historical reconstruction of the New Testament, and its interpretation in the modern world.
New Testament Theology in a Secular World is an important and original new work in Christian apologetics. It is the first book to apply constructivist theory to biblical studies. Biblical Studies scholar Peter Lampe tackles head on such questions as: What do we understand by "reality?" How does this relate to what theology calls the "reality of God" or the "reality of resurrection?" How can we account for the concept of "revelation"? Lampe argues that in talking about "reality" theologians must make an effort to engage with the concept of "reality" as it is discussed in the fields of philosophical epistemology and sociology of knowledge. However, as Lampe shows, Theology has so far hardly or only reluctantly participated in this dialogue.
In Paul and Virtue Ethics, Daniel Harrington and James Keenan build upon their successful collaboration Jesus and Virtue Ethics to discuss the apostle Paul's teachings as a guide to interpret theology and ethics today. Examining Paul's writings, the authors investigate what they teach about the basic questions of virtue ethics: Who am I? Who do I want to become? And how do I get there? Their intent is not to provide stringent rules, but to awaken discovery and encourage dialogue. The book first considers the concept of virtue ethics, an approach to ethics that emphasizes moral character, and Paul's ethics in particular. Next, the authors focus on the virtues of faith, love/charity, and hope as treated by Paul and Thomas Aquinas. Closing the book with reflections on the roles of other virtues (and vices) in individual and communal Christian life, the authors discuss various issues in social ethics and sexual morality as they are dealt with in Paul and in Christian virtue ethics today.
Over the centuries, New Testament texts have inspired both peace activism and violence towards others. Most Christians, including New Testament scholars, continue to find peace at the core of these scriptures, and consider that the use of violence misrepresents basic Christian beliefs. This challenging study contends that the New Testament promotes violence as strongly as it promotes peace. Through close analysis of a wide range of texts, Desjardins shows how foundational both peace and violence are in the New Testament, and then suggests that the leading interpretative theories in this area do not do justice to the complexity of the primary sources.
Studying the theology of the New Testament can be a daunting task, even to the knowledgeable Bible student or pastor. Each of the twenty-seven books, written by various authors, has its own theological emphasis and nuances. How do we elicit a coherent message from such theological diversity, especially given that some of the theological statements in the New Testament seem to be at odds with one another? Is such an endeavor achievable or even valid? Theology of the New Testament takes a balanced approach in response to these challenges. Frank Thielman presents a theology of the New Testament that is careful to take into account the cultural and historical circumstances surrounding each book and the New Testament as a whole. He not only examines each book's theological content individually, but also in relation to the rest of the New Testament, particularly within each of the three theological units that comprise the New Testament: the gospels and Acts, the Pauline epistles, and the general epistles and Revelation. This canonical and synthetic approach honors both the theological diversity of the various books and the theological connections between the books. In the end, Thielman finds a unified theological vision of the New Testament, anchored in the centrality of Jesus Christ. Frank Thielman's Theology of the New Testament is an outstanding achievement. The book is marked by scholarly depth, exegetical rigor, and theological profundity. Both students and professors will profit immensely from this lucid treatment of the theology contained in the New Testament documents. Thomas R. Schreiner Professor of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary An accessible presentation of the key theological points of the New Testament books by an accomplished New Testament scholar and teacher. Its clear style, lucid organization, and sound theological insight make it a prime resource for serious students in both the academy and the church. Karen H. Jobes, PhD Associate Professor of New Testament, Westmont College