A Companion to the New Testament: The Gospels and Acts
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A Companion to the New Testament: The Gospels and Acts  -     By: Matthew L. Skinner

A Companion to the New Testament: The Gospels and Acts

Baylor University Press / 2017 / Paperback

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Product Description

A Companion to the New Testament draws readers deep inside the New Testament by providing a basic orientation to its literary contours and its ways of talking about theological matters. Designed especially for students learning to navigate the Bible as Christian Scripture, A Companion to the New Testament serves as an accessible, reliable, and engaging guide to each New Testament book’s contents. It explores these books’ capacity for informing Christian faith and life—among ancient audiences and also within Christian communities through time.

Individual chapters offer thorough overviews of each New Testament book, helping readers consider its historical setting, cultural assumptions, literary dynamics, and theological points of view. The Companion consistently illustrates how social conditions and community identities left their marks on the particular theological rhetoric of the New Testament. Author Matthew Skinner draws on his extensive teaching experience to orient readers to theological convictions and social realities reflected in Scripture. He pays special attention to the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament, the Roman Empire’s influence on Christian ideas and practices, the place of women in the early church’s life and teachings, the influence of Jewish apocalyptic themes on the New Testament, and ways that certain New Testament emphases have shaped basic Christian beliefs.

This first volume of the Companion explains that the Gospels are the results of the early churches’ efforts to preserve memories about the life and teaching of Jesus, his character, and his enduring significance. Readers discover that Jesus’ followers told their stories about him because of their desire to give testimony to him as the Christ and the agent of divine salvation. Likewise, the Companion’s treatment of Acts underscores that book’s understanding of God as active in the world, a God who continues the ministry Jesus began but does so now in and around the churches formed by Jesus’ followers. The earliest churches’ narratives about their Lord and their origins were theological narratives—stories meant to communicate believers’ convictions about God and God’s commitment to the world.

Product Information

Title: A Companion to the New Testament: The Gospels and Acts
By: Matthew L. Skinner
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 380
Vendor: Baylor University Press
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Weight: 14 ounces
ISBN: 1481300008
ISBN-13: 9781481300001
Stock No: WW1300001

Publisher's Description

A Companion to the New Testament draws readers deep inside the New Testament by providing a basic orientation to its literary contours and its ways of talking about theological matters. Designed especially for students learning to navigate the Bible as Christian Scripture, the Companion serves as an accessible, reliable, and engaging guide to each New Testament book’s contents. It explores these books’ capacity for informing Christian faith and life—among ancient audiences and also within Christian communities through time.

Individual chapters offer thorough overviews of each New Testament book, helping readers consider its historical setting, cultural assumptions, literary dynamics, and theological points of view. The Companion consistently illustrates how social conditions and community identities left their marks on the particular theological rhetoric of the New Testament. Author Matthew Skinner draws on his extensive teaching experience to orient readers to theological convictions and social realities reflected in Scripture. He pays special attention to the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament, the Roman Empire’s influence on Christian ideas and practices, the place of women in the early church’s life and teachings, the influence of Jewish apocalyptic themes on the New Testament, and ways that certain New Testament emphases have shaped basic Christian beliefs.

This first volume of the Companion explains that the Gospels are the results of the early churches’ efforts to preserve memories about the life and teaching of Jesus, his character, and his enduring significance. Readers discover that Jesus’ followers told their stories about him because of their desire to give testimony to him as the Christ and the agent of divine salvation. Likewise, the Companion’s treatment of Acts underscores that book’s understanding of God as active in the world, a God who continues the ministry Jesus began but does so now in and around the churches formed by Jesus’ followers. The earliest churches’ narratives about their Lord and their origins were theological narratives—stories meant to communicate believers’ convictions about God and God’s commitment to the world.

Author Bio

Matthew L. Skinner is Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he has taught courses in interpreting the New Testament for over fifteen years. His previous books include Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel: Encountering the Divine in the Book of Acts (Brazos Press, 2015) and The Trial Narratives: Conflict, Power, and Identity in the New Testament (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). He has also contributed to a number of resources for church leaders, scholars, and students, including The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology (Oxford University Press, 2015), The New Interpreter’s Bible One-Volume Commentary (Abingdon Press, 2010), and Theological Bible Commentary (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009). He has written about the Bible and its interpretation for the websites Working Preacher, ON Scripture, and Huffington Post Religion and is a longtime co-host of a popular podcast for preachers, Sermon Brainwave.

Editorial Reviews

Skinner writes for an audience that includes especially students (theological schools, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates), but the work will be useful, and accessible, to others who have interest in exploring the content and contemporary relevance of the New Testament. The three volumes reflect the breadth and depth of knowledge and the skill of a superb exegete and master teacher


While respecting the historical roots of the gospels and Acts, Skinner deftly illustrates the theological content and evangelical purpose of these biblical texts. This is a solid introduction suitable for use in college and seminary courses.

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