An Introduction to the New Testament sets a fresh standard for New Testament introductions. This 2005 Gold Medallion finalist takes seriously the idea that the books of the New Testament were written as pastoral responses to concrete situations. It not only gives close attention to the historical, social, cultural and rhetorical dimensions of the ancient pastoral settings, it also integrates instruction in exegetical and interpretive strategies for its readers today, drawing out significant implications for contemporary ministry formation.
Rarely do introductions to the New Testament approach their task mindful of the needs of students preparing for ministry. An Introduction to the New Testament, however, is explicit in doing so. At the book’s heart is the premise that the New Testament itself—in its parts and as a whole—is a pastoral response. Each chapter on the New Testament literature closes with a discussion of the implications for ministry formation.
An Introduction to the New Testament’s integrative features alone would distinguish this introduction from others. But in addition, its pages brim with points of interest and other aids to learning. Separate chapters explore the historical and cultural environment of the New Testament era, the nature of the Gospels and the quest for the historical Jesus, and the life of Paul.
An Introduction to the New Testament should be welcomed by those who are radical enough to believe that, when it comes to training for the ministry, the New Testament should be introduced as if both scholarship and ministry mattered.
This introduction helpfully and without apology attends to both the intellectual and spiritual formation of the reader. . . . I am happy to commend this introduction to a whole range of readers—students, pastors and educated laypersons.
—Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary
David deSilva has written the New Testament introduction that I have wanted to use (and wish I had written). It is not only readable and comprehensive, but it also incorporates the latest in scholarly approaches to the New Testament. In this work we really do discover the New Testament in its historical, rhetorical and social context. Furthermore, it reads the New Testament as a pastoral and practical work. What more could one ask for? What more could one offer to students? I am indeed excited about this work.
—Peter H. Davids, Tyndale Theological Seminary (The Netherlands)
This compendious handbook to the New Testament writings will prove an invaluable resource in the classroom and study. The approach is lively and topical, with a special section devoted to the application of scholarship to ministry--a feature not often found in quality books like this. . . . In all, here is a volume that carves for itself a distinctive place in what is an overcrowded market, and will be welcomed by hard-pressed students and alert pastors alike. Well done!
—Ralph P. Martin, Fuller Theological Seminary
David deSilva provides us with a reliable, thorough and eminently useful introduction to the New Testament that allows students to experience the spiritual and historical significance of these writings for communities of faith. . . . His writing is remarkably clear and interesting, covering material of such significance that many students will find here a textbook that they will want to keep, one to which they will return repeatedly long after the course is over.
—Mark Allan Powell, Trinity Lutheran Seminary
If the textbooks available are not adequate, write one that is! This is precisely what David deSilva has done in his new interdisciplinary introduction to the New Testament--to the benefit of his students, and likewise for all who aspire to apply New Testament content to the ministry needs of the world today. . . . This book is highly recommended, and Professor deSilva is to be thanked for welcoming the rest of us into his classroom!
—Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University
This excellent introduction meets a special need, especially for seminarians concerned about how their academic study of the New Testament relates to ministry. David deSilva is conversant with a wide range of scholarship for the entire New Testament canon, its historical setting, and both traditional and more current approaches to the text (including rhetorical, literary and social approaches). His concern for ministry application is a valuable and unique feature, and his extensive proficiency in the ancient sources, already demonstrated in his earlier works, makes him an especially trustworthy guide in this area.
—Craig S. Keener, Eastern Seminary
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David A. deSilva is Trustees' Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He is the author of numerous books including 4 Maccabees (Septuagint Commentary Series); An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation; Introducing the Apocrypha: Context, Message and Significance; Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle "to the Hebrews;" Honor, Patronage, Kinship and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture; and The Hope of Glory: Honor Discourse and New Testament Interpretation. He holds ordination in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.