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An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods and Ministry Formation

InterVarsity Press / 2004 / Hardcover

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Product Description

This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. It also integrates instruction in exegetical and interpretive strategies with their customary considerations of authorship, dating, audience and message. This introduction introduces students to a relevant facet of interpretation with each portion of New Testament literature. It features maps, photos, points of interest, aids to learning as well as separate chapters that 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 is mindful of the needs of students preparing for ministry so it is explicit in displaying 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.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 996
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 10 X 7 (inches)
ISBN: 0830827463
ISBN-13: 9780830827466
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist! Some introductions to the New Testament highlight the historical contexts in which the New Testament literature was written. This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. Few introductions to the New Testament integrate instruction in exegetical and interpretive strategies with their customary considerations of authorship, dating, audience and message. This introduction capitalizes on the opportunities, introducing students to a relevant facet of interpretation with each portion of New Testament literature. Rarely do introductions to the New Testament approach their task mindful of the needs of students preparing for ministry. This introduction is explicit in doing so, assuming as it does 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. These integrative features alone would distinguish this introduction from others. But in addition, its pages brim with maps, photos, points of interest and 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. This introduction by David A. deSilva sets a new standard for its genre and is bound to appeal to many who believe that the New Testament should be introduced as if both scholarship and ministry mattered.

Author Bio

David A. deSilva (PhD, Emory University) is Trustees' Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He is the author of over fifteen books including (Septuagint Commentary Series); and He is also an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

Editorial Reviews

"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."
"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!"
"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."
"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!"
"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."
"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."

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  1. Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Perfect Balance between Pastoral and Academic!
    October 26, 2015
    John M Kight
    Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    David A. deSilva is Trustees Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) in Ashland, Ohio. He has an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Emory University. In addition to his current tenure at ATS, deSilva has authored numerous books, including, The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (Oxford, 2012), Introducing the Apocrypha (Baker Academic, 2002), Honor, Patronage, Kingship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (InterVarsity Press, 2000), Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews (Eerdmans, 2000), and many more. He has also co-authored several books and worked on a number of major Bible translation projects, as well as served as the Apocrypha Editor for the Common English Bible. Nevertheless, despite his grown bibliography of authored books, deSilvas landmark work remains An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods & Ministry Formation (InterVarsity Press, 2004).

    An Introduction to the New Testament seeks to blend two rather different ways of reading and searching the Scripturesa devotional reading of Scripture with the focus of hearing from God, and an academic study of Scripture that focuses on understanding the text within the historical and cultural context (p. 20). It is within this reality, the equal nurture of an integrated approach to the Scripture, which deSilva guides the reader through the text of the New Testament. Accordingly, deSilva takes a text-centered as opposed to a phenomenon-centered approach (p. 21). In other words, deSilva is primarily interested in the context, production and message of each text, in the pastoral challenges each addresses and in the way each author brings the revelation of God in Christ to bear on those challenges (p. 21). The layout of the book is intentionally centered on this focus. Each chapter opens with a section dedicated to the historical and/or pastoral context of the writing and ends with a dedicated section equally devoted to ministry formation from each of the New Testament books. Between these chapter bookends the reader will find a goldmine of information, including discussion on text development, use of literature in the other early Christian resources, exegetical skill sections, themed discussion around the message of specific writings, and much more.

    The highlights of An Introduction to the New Testament are numerous. First and foremost, I found deSilvas approach to the New Testament extremely helpful in finding immediate practical application. This is not the case with many other introductory works on the market. The balanced approach that deSilva seeks to take is difficult to accomplish (as attested by the landscape of the current market), but An Introduction to the New Testament is well-executed. This is primarily due to deSilvas recognition of the New Testament as a pastoral response (see pp. 29-36). Second, the inclusion of an Exegetical Skill section within each chapter, functioning to better assist the reader in cultivating the appropriate exegetical methodology with which to approach the New Testament, is well-received. There are a number of notable thematic articles that the reader will discover within this section, including, interpreting parables (Luke), word studies and lexical analysis (Colossians and Ephesians), feminist criticism (Pastoral Epistles), and postcolonial criticism and cultural studies (Philemon). Third, throughout the volume the reader will encounter the cultural sensitivity deSilva brings to the New Testament. This is primarily driven by deSilvas longstanding work with the intertestamental literature and the cultural context of the New Testament worldan expertise that should be appropriately welcomed in an introduction such as this present volume.

    An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods & Ministry Formation by David A. deSilva is a monumental achievement within New Testament studies. While the market of introductory resources on the New Testament continues to increase in number, few are able to accomplish what deSilva accomplishes in this volume. His intentionality to provide the reader with a deeply integrated text-centered approach to the New Testament literature is unparalleled, and his expertise and background are well-suited for the job. While I cannot commit to saying that this will be the first New Testament introduction off my bookshelf, I can commit to saying it will be off my bookshelf more often than not. If you are a pastor, student, or interested laymen, this resource will certainly prove itself abundantly useful for your study of the New Testament.

    I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 17, 2010
    Lori
    A great book for anyone who wants to get a better understanding of Scripture and the New Testament world! Dr. deSilva is a brilliant New Testament scholar with a deep sensitivity for spiritual matters. Well-written and fascinating, this book will inspire and challenge you! The first few chapters provide crucial historical and cultural information. Next, deSilva gives readers an overview of the gospel genre. Then, each book of the NT is discussed. Topics include authorship, date, historical context, important themes and passages, spiritual/ministry formation, exercises for better understanding the Scriptures and more. DeSilva doesn't shy away from controversy, either--he presents different points-of-view that help readers learn to think logically so they can critically evaluate the various teachings they may come across during the course of their lives. This book makes a terrific gift for church leaders, Sunday School teachers, and anyone else who is serious about their faith!
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