Designed as a core text for New Testament survey courses, Introducing the New Testament helps the reader understand the New Testament by introducing its content and principles for its interpretation. It is also intended to be a great source for a self-guided study of the New Testament.
As the most comprehensive witness to Jesus, the New Testament is a vital pathway that leads to understanding the Savior—His life, His ministry, His teachings, and even His will for Christians today. Likewise, Introducing the New Testament can be a pathway to understanding the New Testament—its background, its context and methodologies for reading and interpretation.
Introducing the New Testament discusses the New Testament in terms of Understanding, Influences, and Witness. In regards to Understanding, Part I introduces readers to issues of canon, inspiration, authority of the New Testament, and approaches to its interpretation. In regards to Influences, Part II begins with a review of biblical and secular history, and goes on to introduce formative influences on the New Testament from early Jewish history through the intertestamental period. In regards to Witness, Part III and Part IV feature a review of the content of each New Testament book with an eye toward its witness to Jesus Christ, presenting the books in canonical order and discussing authorship, original audience, structure, major themes, and the unique features of each book.
Each chapter includes special graphics to help the reader recognize important relationships and structures. Maps and photos give the reader a sense of the biblical world. Outlines are provided, as well as summary questions of various levels of difficulty that reinforce mastery of concepts and challenge the reader to high-level thinking skills. Recommended sources for further study are also presented in each chapter.
Joe Blair is chairman of the Department of Religion at Houston Baptist University and author of When Bad Things Happen, God Still Loves, Study Guide for 1 Peter, Study Guide for Hebrews. He was awarded the Opal Goolsby Teacher of the Year in 2002.