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Writing with his usual flair and reader-friendly style, renowned scholar, author, and lecturer Ben Witherington offers a balanced approach to the New Testament in this exceptional introductory text. Addressing the content, context, and interpretation of the New Testament in a faith-friendly light,Invitation to the New Testament: First Thingsis unique in that keeps the original social and rhetorical milieux of the New Testament in mind. An ideal textbook for college survey courses, this volume is also captivating reading for seminary students and general readers. FEATURES *Numerous dynamic color photoskeep students engaged *Maps and chartsprovide visual overviews at a glance *Marginal definitionsbring students up to speed on new concepts *Chapter-ending study questionsreview key ideas and encourage reflection *First-century quotationsexpose students to the world of the New Testament *"A Closer Look" boxescover more advanced topics *An Instructor's Manual on CDincludes PowerPoint-based lecture outlines, chapter goals and summaries, media resources, pedagogical suggestions, and key terms *A Companion Websiteoffers all of the material from the Instructor's Manual along with self-quizzes and flashcards of key terms for students
Ben Witherington III is Amos Professor of the New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and also serves on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. One of the world's top evangelical scholars, he has written more than forty books and is also a popular lecturer. Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, he has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the BBC, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.
Table of Contents
Foreword Acknowledgments The Plan of this Book PART I. BACKGROUND AND FOREGROUND Chapter 1. The Texture of the Text of the New Testament The Material Used Why a Continuous Flow of Letters? The Oral and Rhetorical World of the New Testament Implications of What We Have Learned Chapter 2. The Literature of the New Testament What Are the Gospels (and Acts)? What about the "Letters" of the New Testament? In the End, Apocalypse What Is the Story the New Testament Seeks to Tell? What Sort of History Is This? Implications Chapter 3. Jesus of Nazareth in His Early Jewish Setting Did Jesus Even Exist? What Manner of Man Was He? What Is a Miracle? Were There "Lost Christianities"? Chapter 4. First Century Family Values ? Greece and Rome Will Not Leave Us Alone Social History and Ordinary Life Implications PART II. THE GOSPELS AND ACTS ? Chapter 5. The Earliest Good News--Mark's Gospel Who Was Mark, and When Did He Write? How Is Mark's Gospel Arranged? The Presentation of and Reflection on Christ in Mark Marking Time The Kingdom Comes with Teaching and Healing A Closer Look: Jesus' Wisdom Teachings--Parables, Aphorisms, Riddles The Dramatic, Surprise Ending of Mark's Gospel Implications Chapter 6. The MOST POPULAR GOSPEL --MATTHEW? A Closer Look: Anonymous Gospels and Later Guesses? Describing a Scribe The Audience, Date, and Character of Matthew's Gospel Matthew's Special Contributions to the Story of Jesus The Sermon on the Mount The Peter Principle Implications Chapter 7. Luke the Historian's Two-Volume Work--Luke--Acts Luke's Hellenistic, Yet Jewish, Historical Approach to Jesus and "the Way" Who Was Theophilus? Who Was Luke? The Logical and Theological Structuring of Luke--Acts The Gospel of the Holy Spirit Luke's Views of Jesus Implications Chapter 8. The Last Word on Jesus--The Beloved Disciples' Testimony in the Gospel of John First Things The Theological Structure of the Fourth Gospel A Closer Look: The I Am Sayings In Passing--Meaningful Asides in the Gospel of John A Glimpse of Glory--Special Moments in the Gospel of John with Nicodemus, the Samaritan Woman, Mary Magdalene, and Peter A Closer Look: The Crucifixion of Jesus Implications PART III. PAUL AND HIS RHETORICAL LETTERS Chapter 9. Paul--OUTLI NES of the LIFE and LETTERS of the APOSTLE? The Trinity of Paul's Identity Paul the Multilingual, Multicultural Apostle Rhetoric in the Greco-Roman World Paul's Rhetorical Letters Implications Chapter 10. Paul's Narrative Thought World Five Stories that Shook and Shaped Paul's World and Worldview Implications Chapter 11. Paul the Letter Writer Paul's First Salvo--Galatians Romans--The Righteousness of God and the Setting Right of Human Beings 1 and 2 Thessalonians 1 and 2 Corinthians A Closer Look: Paul, Sex, and Women The Captivity Epistles Implications Chapter 12. The Pastoral Epistles and the Problem of Pseudonymous Letters Why the Authorship Issue Matters Epistolary Pseudepigrapha and Intellectual Property in Antiquity--Framing the Discussion The Pastoral Epistles--What Sort of Rhetoric Is This? Implications PART IV. LETTERS AND HOMILIES FOR JEWISH CHRISTIA NS? Chapter 13. The Sermon of James the Just--Jesus' Brother General Epistles? James--A Wisdom Sermon in Encyclical Form The Language, Wisdom, and Rhetorical Style of James The Authorship and Provenance Question What Kind of Document Is James? Core Samplings Implications Chapter 14. The Other Brother and his Eschatological Thinking--Jude Jude--The Man A Closer Look: Galilee and the Hellenizing of the Holy Land Jude the Book Jude's Audience Implications Chapter 15. The Suffering Servant--1 Peter The Social World of Early Christianity The Authorship, Audience, and Social Milieu of 1 Peter The Rhetorical Outline of 1 Peter A Closer Look: The Peter of the New Testament and Early Christian History Core Samplings Implications Chapter 16. The Sermon of the Famous Anonymous Preacher-Hebrews The Authorship, Audience, and Provenance of Hebrews The Rhetoric of Hebrews Core Samplings Implications Chapter 17. A Beloved Sermon and Two Elderly Letters--1-3 John The Authorship Issues The Social Context of the Johannine Epistles The Date and Provenance of the Johannine Epistles The Rhetorical Structure of 1 John The Rhetorical Structure of 2 John The Rhetorical Structure of 3 John Core Samples--1 John 4 Implications PART V. IN THE END--APOCALYPSE--AND THEREAFTER Chapter 18. Picking up the Pieces, Forming up the Canon--2 Peter Preliminary Considerations The Mystery That Is 2 Peter Putting Together the Pieces The Rhetoric of 2 Peter Core Samplings--2 Peter 1.12-21 Implications Chapter 19. APOCALYPSE LATER--THE BOOK OF REVELATION Who, What, When, Where, and Why? The Particularity of Revelation The Rhetoric and Resources of Revelation Revelation in Its Social Setting in Western Asia Minor The Christology of Revelation The Genre of Revelation Implications Chapter 20. The Making of the New Testament--Did the Canon Misfire? Canon Consciousness and Scripture Consciousness The Rise of New Testament Scripture and Canon Consciousness The Organizing of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy In the End Implications Appendix