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Urban Legends of the New Testament surveys forty of the most commonly misinterpreted passages in the New Testament. These “urban legends” often arise because interpreters neglect a passage’s context, misuse historical background information, or misunderstand the Greek language. For each New Testament text, professor David Croteau describes the popular, incorrect interpretation and then carefully interprets the passage within its literary and historical context. Careful attention is given to sound principles of biblical interpretation to guide readers through the process and reach a more accurate understanding of each text’s meaning. QR codes have been inserted at various points throughout the book. By scanning the code with your mobile device, you can view a video of David Croteau addressing a specific urban legend.
With examples from the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation, Urban Legends of the New Testament will not only help readers avoid missteps in these forty texts but also provide a model for engaging in correct interpretation of other New Testament passages.
David A. Croteau (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament and Greek in the Seminary and School of Ministry at Columbia International University. He is co-editor (with Andreas J. Köstenberger) of Which Bible Translation Should I Use? (B&H Academic, 2013) and author of Tithing after the Cross (Energion, 2013).
Table of Contents
Part I. Urban Legends in the Gospels 1. There was No Room at the Inn (Luke 2:1–7) 2. We Three Kings From Orient Are (Matthew 2:1) 3. Shepherds Were Societal Outcasts (Luke 2:8–12) 4. Jesus was a Carpenter (Mark 6:3) 5. Jesus Died When He was 33 (Luke 3:23) 6. All Giving Must Be Done in Secret (Matthew 6:3) 7. Do Not Judge Others (Matthew 7:1) 8. Jesus’ Most Famous Quote is John 3:16 (John 3:16) 9. Hell Referred to a First Century Garbage Dump Near Jerusalem (Mark 9:47) 10. The Gospel of John Never Refers to Repentance (John 12:40) 11. The “Eye of a Needle” was a Gate in Jerusalem (Mark 10:25) 12. When Two are Gathered in Prayer, God Will be There (Matthew 18:20) 13. Jesus Sweat Drops of Blood (Luke 22:44) 14. Jesus was Flogged Once (John 19:1) 15. Agape is a Superior Love to Phileo (John 21:15–19) 16. “Go” is Not a Command in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19)
Part II. Urban Legends in Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation 17. “Repent” means “to Change Your Mind” (Acts 2:38) 18. The Philippian Jailer “Just Believed” and was Saved (Acts 16:31) 19. Paul was a Tentmaker (Acts 18:3) 20. Jews (and Jesus) Primarily Spoke Hebrew in Jesus’ Day (Acts 26:14) 21. The Gospel is Dynamite (Romans 1:16) 22. Just Say You Believe in Jesus and You Will be Saved (Romans 10:9–10) 23. Synagogues Had Men and Women Seated Separately (1 Corinthians 14:34–35) 24. Grace is “Unmerited Favor” (Ephesians 2:8) 25. Good Works are Optional for Christians (Ephesians 2:10) 26. Pastors are Required to do the Ministry of the Church (Ephesians 4:12) 27. Jesus Emptied Himself of the Glory of Heaven (Philippians 2:6–7) 28. We Can Do Anything Through Christ Who Gives Us Strength (Philippians 4:13) 29. Abstain From All Appearance of Evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22) 30. Hell is the Absence of God (2 Thessalonians 1:9) 31. A Divorced Man Cannot be a Pastor (1 Timothy 3:2) 32. Money is evil (1 Timothy 6:10) 33. A Pastor's Children Must Be Saved (Titus 1:6) 34. Christians are Commanded to Tithe (Hebrews 7:1–10) 35. Christians are Commanded to Go to Church (Hebrews 10:25) 36. Women Should Not Wear Jewelry (1 Peter 3:3) 37. 1 John 1:9 is a Formula for Salvation (1 John 1:9) 38. Christians Should Not Allow Cults into Their Homes (2 John 10) 39. God Would Rather You be Cold Toward Him than Lukewarm (Revelation 3:16) 40. Accept Jesus Into Your Heart to be Saved (Revelation 3:20)