The Indelible Image, Volume 2 (The Collective Witnesses): The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament  -     By: Ben Witherington III
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The Indelible Image, Volume 2 (The Collective Witnesses): The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament

IVP Academic / 2010 / Hardcover

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Product Description

All too often, argues Ben Witherington, the theology of the New Testament has been divorced from its ethics, leaving as isolated abstractions what are fully integrated, dynamic elements within the New Testament itself. As Witherington stresses, "behavior affects and reinforces or undoes belief."

Having completed commentaries on all of the New Testament books, a remarkable feat in itself, Witherington now offers the second of a two-volume set on the theological and ethical thought world of the New Testament. The first volume looks at the individual witnesses, while the second examines the collective witness.

The New Testament, says Ben Witherington, is "like a smallish choir. All are singing the same cantata, but each has an individual voice and is singing its own parts and notes. If we fail to pay attention to all the voices in the choir, we do not get the entire effect. . . . [If the first volume was] about closely analyzing the sheet music left to us by which each musician's part is delineated, [this second volume attempts] to re-create what it might have sounded like had they ever gotten together and performed their scores to produce a single masterful cantata."

What the New Testament authors have in mind, Witherington contends, is that all believers should be conformed in thought, word and deed to the image of Jesus Christ--the indelible image.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 838
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830838627
ISBN-13: 9780830838622
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

All too often, argues Ben Witherington, the theology of the New Testament has been divorced from its ethics, leaving as isolated abstractions what are fully integrated, dynamic elements within the New Testament itself. As Witherington stresses, "behavior affects and reinforces or undoes belief." Having completed commentaries on all of the New Testament books, a remarkable feat in itself, Witherington now offers the second of a two-volume set on the theological and ethical thought world of the New Testament. The first volume looks at the individual witnesses, while the second examines the collective witness. The New Testament, says Ben Witherington, is "like a smallish choir. All are singing the same cantata, but each has an individual voice and is singing its own parts and notes. If we fail to pay attention to all the voices in the choir, we do not get the entire effect. . . . [If the first volume was] about closely analyzing the sheet music left to us by which each musician's part is delineated, [this second volume attempts] to re-create what it might have sounded like had they ever gotten together and performed their scores to produce a single masterful cantata." What the New Testament authors have in mind, Witherington contends, is that all believers should be conformed in thought, word and deed to the image of Jesus Christ--the indelible image.

Author Bio

Bible scholar Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the MDiv degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a PhD from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. An ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and a popular lecturer, he has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Witherington has written over forty books, including and both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Patheos website. Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen in programs such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, Dateline on outlets like the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

Editorial Reviews

"To discuss the theology and ethics of the New Testament is to dive into a vast ocean of theological reflection from many angles. It would be easy to get lost at sea. That is where a good navigator and cruise director are essential. Ben Witherington takes up both roles and steers us on a solid course through the array of ideas the New Testament treats. He does so with skill, clarity and an eye on what is important. He also notes what dangers lurk in taking a wrong course. In sum, here is a solid introduction to how theology and ethics work together in the New Testament. Enjoy the tour and linger in spots. It will be worth it."
"Ben Witherington is a skilled historical exegete who has, probably uniquely in our generation, pursued his passion for the theological and ethical message of the New Testament through commentaries on every one of the New Testament books. Now he has given us a summation that is even more unusual—a New Testament theology that allows to every one of those books a voice that really counts. A magnificent climax to Witherington's work."
"Over the course of his academic career Ben Witherington has gone against the stream of increasing specialization in biblical studies, producing commentaries on every document in the New Testament. As a result, Witherington is no 'theological' jack-of-all trades; to the contrary, he has demonstrated his mastery over a variety of subdisciplines in New Testament studies. With The Indelible Image, volume 1, Witherington once again defies the communis opinio that New Testament theology and New Testament ethics must, of necessity, be treated in isolation from each other. Rather, drawing on his previous exegetical work, Witherington establishes that New Testament faith and practice—theology and ethics—are inextricably intertwined and, in order to understand the message of the New Testament, must be treated whole cloth. The Indelible Image is a model of 'theological exegesis' at its stunning best and confirms Witherington's reputation as one of evangelical Christianity's most thoughtful and prolific authors."
"By insisting that theology be placed in conversation with ethics, Witherington offers numerous insights on the necessary intersection of faith and works, church and society. He and I may disagree on the particulars of Jewish tradition and women's roles in antiquity, but I have learned much from his canonically comprehensive, evangelically committed, historically informed and engagingly presented way of doing theology."
"Ben Witherington's The Indelible Image is no ordinary theology of the New Testament. From start to finish it is creative and insightful. The entire approach is refreshing, based on an appreciation of the distinctive voices that make up what we might call the theological choir of the early church. Witherington has given proper place to voices not often heard, such as those of James, Jude and Peter. Beginning students and veteran scholars alike will appreciate this remarkable achievement. I give it my highest recommendation."

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  1. Joel L. Wats
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 6, 2010
    Joel L. Wats
    This series is one of the most important, and anticipated, volumes on theology and ethics in a generation or more. Witherington has produced an orthodox masterpiece that pushes the reader with biblical studies, criticism, and modern theological trends. While he doesnt subscribe to all of the new trends, he has found a way to present orthodox theological precepts and tie them in to ethical concerns while introducing and answering, if need be, new paths in various biblical disciplines. It is a massive volume, and not because it totals more than 800 pages and hours of reading time, but primarily because of the amount of information his theologizing and ethicizing which the reader soaks in. It is not a drowning depth to be sure, as it is written to a cross-cultural and disciplined group of readers (if those with none of the above), but the worth of this volume will out live the author.While one doesnt need to be familiar with Witherington to enjoy this volume (and no doubt this series), the reader should note that he is an author with a great many books behind him, many of which he mentions throughout the text, referring to them to support his current thought. This is a weakness and a strength, as the reader should take this book for the great worth that it represents as well as continue to theologize and ethicize on their own. Further, he does hold conversations with other authors and works in this volume, which is again, a weakness and strength. He is also strong on the fact that this is written to everyone, in not an overly technical level, nor to the lowest grade reader. It is written to mature Christians and those new to the Faith, and even to those outside of the Faith. The brief times he starts to tackle ethics present a powerful code which dismisses claims of legalism. Neither is he afraid to address the tension between Calvinism and Arminianism, leaving both groups defeated and victorious.
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