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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
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?
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
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
The Kingdom Comes with Teaching and Healing
A Closer Look: Jesus' Wisdom Teachings--Parables, Aphorisms, Riddles
The Dramatic, Surprise Ending of Mark's Gospel
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
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
Chapter 8. The Last Word on Jesus--The Beloved Disciples' Testimony in the Gospel of John
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
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
Chapter 10. Paul's Narrative Thought World
Five Stories that Shook and Shaped Paul's World and Worldview
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
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
The Pastoral Epistles--What Sort of Rhetoric Is This?
PART IV. LETTERS AND HOMILIES FOR JEWISH CHRISTIA NS?
Chapter 13. The Sermon of James the Just--Jesus' Brother
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?
Chapter 14. The Other Brother and his Eschatological Thinking--Jude
A Closer Look: Galilee and the Hellenizing of the Holy Land
Jude the Book
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
Chapter 16. The Sermon of the Famous Anonymous Preacher-Hebrews
The Authorship, Audience, and Provenance of Hebrews
The Rhetoric of Hebrews
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
PART V. IN THE END--APOCALYPSE--AND THEREAFTER
Chapter 18. Picking up the Pieces, Forming up the Canon--2 Peter
The Mystery That Is 2 Peter
Putting Together the Pieces
The Rhetoric of 2 Peter
Core Samplings--2 Peter 1.12-21
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
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