The First Days of Jesus: The Story of the Incarnation  -     By: Andreas J. Kostenberger, Alexander Stewart
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The First Days of Jesus: The Story of the Incarnation

Crossway / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

A compelling guide to the New Testament infancy narratives from two accomplished biblical scholars, Andreas Kostenberger and Alexander Stewart

In this thought-provoking prequel to The Final Days of Jesus, Kostenberger and Stewart highlight Old Testament promises and important connections to Christ's later life and ministry.

The birth of Jesus stands as a pivotal moment in the history of the world, marking a dramatic turning point in God's plan to redeem creation from sin and death. Much to the world's surprise, redemption had arrived . . . in the form of a lowly baby.

Aimed at stirring your affections for Jesus, The First Days of Jesus is a meditative book will lead you on a step-by-step journey through the Gospels' birth narratives, clearing away common misconceptions, making messianic connections, and setting the stage for Jesus's later life and ministry.

Includes a quick-reference glossary, an insert of color illustrations, and an Advent reading plan that makes it useful as an Advent devotional.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 1433542781
ISBN-13: 9781433542787

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This latest work on the incarnation and nativity is an excellent example of serious scholarship served up in a most readable manner. No birth in history had such prophetic preparation, which is a powerful, central theme in these pages that celebrate the start of the greatest life ever lived. This is a welcome antidote to the cheap sensationalism in recent books on Jesus that try to demolish every reason for regarding Christmas as 'the most wonderful time of the year.'
-Paul Maier,
Professor of Ancient History, Western Michigan University

The First Days of Jesus is a revealing look at the earliest days of Jesus in Matthew, Luke, and John set against some of the skeptical takes on these passages. Add to this a taste of Jewish messianic expectation and you have a nice overview of the start of Jesus's career and where it fits in God's plan. Solid yet devotional, it is a great introduction to the first days of our Lord.
-Darrell L. Bock,
Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, Howard G. Hendricks Center, and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

The First Days of Jesus combines Scripture passages, historical background, scholarly insight, and practical application to cast Christ's incarnation in fresh light. Few tasks are more urgent than for today's Christians worldwide to rediscover and deepen their connections with their origins. This book is a valuable resource for achieving that aim. Like the star of Bethlehem itself, this volume leads those who seek God to find him afresh in the events of Jesus's historical appearance, the prophecies that preceded, the apostolic testimony that accompanied, and the social world that God split wide open when he sent his Son.
-Robert W. Yarbrough,
Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

Kostenberger and Stewart admirably unpack the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke along with that beautiful first movement of John's Gospel against both the grand sweep of biblical history and the nitty-gritty details of first-century events and culture. The result may dismantle a few of your nativity-scene notions about the Christmas story even while building up your faith in and commitment to the Word become flesh.
-George H. Guthrie,
Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible, Union University

Kostenberger and Stewart provide for us a faithful and useful guide to the early days of Jesus. This book should serve well those desiring to learn about the early chapters in the Gospels and those who desire to preach and teach these narratives.
-Thomas R. Schreiner,
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Written with exceptional clarity, The First Days of Jesus pays close attention to the key biblical texts on Christ's nativity in an illuminating way. It deals briefly yet helpfully with critical scholarship and presents the events surrounding Jesus's conception and birth in both a canonical and a chronological fashion. It addresses unashamedly the difficulties with these birth stories, tackling the problem of variant accounts, the use of sources, the nature of prophecy and typology, and much more. It challenges us readers to respond to the Word of God with the obedience of faith, like Mary did, and with praise, worship, and witness, as the shepherds did. I know of no other book that so masterfully weaves together these infancy narratives on so many fronts. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!
-Gregg R. Allison,
Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

There is more to Christmas than you may think. Cut through the layers of tradition and the fog of nostalgia, and discover the scandal of how it all started. The Bible has more to say about Jesus's earliest days than you might expect, and this book is a reliable guide. The First Days of Jesus blends world-class scholarship with real-world concern for everyday Christians. Here attention to detail, in the text and in history, complements warm devotion and pastoral care.
-David Mathis,
executive editor,; pastor, Cities Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota

In this accessible and reliable guide to how the Gospels present the early years of Jesus ‎Christ's life, K√∂stenberger and Stewart provide an exceptionally helpful study, informed by ‎the best of modern scholarship. Drawing on what we know of the historical context, they ‎expound with clarity both the meaning of the biblical text and its relevance for modern ‎readers. In doing so, they enable us to grasp afresh how a detailed appreciation of Jesus's first ‎days contribute significantly to a deeper understanding of his whole life.‎
-T. Desmond Alexander,
Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Union Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Author Bio

Andreas J. Kostenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is a prolific author, distinguished evangelical scholar, and editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. His books include The Heresy of Orthodoxy, God, Marriage, and Family, The Final Days of Jesus (with Justin Taylor), and God's Design for Man and Woman (with Margaret Kostenberger). Dr. Kostenberger and his wife have four children.

Alexander Stewart (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is academic dean and assistant professor of New Testament language and literature at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, the Netherlands. He is the coauthor (with Andreas J. Kostenberger) of The First Days of Jesus.

Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds - hosted by the Gospel Coalition.

Product Reviews

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  1. London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A great pre-Christmas resource!
    November 11, 2015
    London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Generally speaking prequels, at least when it comes to movies, receive mixed reviews at best. They often lack the appeal that the original movies from which they spawned command. However, The First Days of Jesus, sort of a prequel to The Final Days of Jesus, matches the accomplishments of its predecessor.

    The authors, Andreas Kostenberger and Alexander Stewart, describe The First Days of Jesus as a guidebook for reading and encountering the Gospel infancy narratives which will examine a section of the biblical text with an eye toward proper understanding and application. As to these proposed aims of the book, I consider it a success.

    This work did indeed help me encounter and engage with Scriptures account of Jesus birth. The authors efforts to help this reader properly understand the text were also successful. I learned new information around the narratives as well as, with the authors help, dispel cultural myths and mistakes about the historical event. I feel I have a much better command of the passages under consideration.

    Additionally, the authors endeavour to approach the biblical text in a manner that is biblical, exegetical, historical, and devotional. The biblical-ness of their approach is evident as they connect the birth stories to both Old Testament prophecies as well as future events not yet fulfilled. They examine and exegete the texts with care and precision appropriate for the broad audience that this book would appeal to. By explaining how these texts fit into their historical context, I was helped immensely. It is easy to read these stories through 21st century lenses which obscures and confuses what really happened.

    The devotional aspect of this book similarly appealed to me. By devotional, the authors mean that their intention is to discuss the scriptures in such a way that you, the reader, will be drawn closer to God. I can avouch that the book did have this desired effect on me. A clearer, more accurate understanding of the bible will have this effect; the authors enhance the devotional character of this book through their intentional writing to this end.

    Of the first book about Jesus last days I wrote, This book will be valuable for all Christians as well as non-believers interested in the last days of Christ on earth. Its simplicity enhances the beauty and wonder of the story. I can reiterate these sentiments and apply them infancy narratives covered in The First Days of Jesus. I recommend this book!

    This book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review.
  2. Laredo, TX.
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good Overview
    October 12, 2015
    Laredo, TX.
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Andreas Kstenberger and Alexander Stewart's book The First Years of Jesus, It's like a counterpart to the previous book The Last Years of Jesus. The authors take us to the text of the narrative of the Gospels, giving us a look at the Nativity along with their details and events, both exegetical and devotional way. The authors pointo to the fact of the conflict between the kingdom of God and man. Regarding the incarnation of Jesus correctly they say: "There was no earthquake, fire or smoke the night Jesus took his first breath and cried for the first time. The night did not happen, however, without a witness. "The reference to the shepherds mentioned in the story, Luke that while merely mentioning them in plural, does not tell us how many they were, it led to the suggestion that the birth of Jesus had place in the months of April and November, because pastors in this era drew to graze his sheep. But the authors correctly tell us that the shepherds near Bethlehem may well have kept their flocks outside all year, so this detail alone can not pinpoint exactly to the month of Birth's Jesus. Another detail mentioned by the authors is related to the angelic appearance, due to its proximity (of these pastors) to Jerusalem, the sheep could have been used for sacrifices in the temple, prefiguring the sacrificial death of Jesus. While shepherds may have a symbolism with David as a shepherd and find a connection with Jesus as pastor it seems that "The angel appeared not to the rich and powerful or to the particularly righteous and religious, but to lowly shepherds, to average people who would be receptive to the message." In general, this book will help us answer the various questions concerning the early years of Jesus such as the Magi, the genealogy of Jesus, the star and the character of Herod; and else. The authors present a good resource for devotional reading to Bible study group, regardless of whether there are aspects with which we disagree. Thanks to Crossway for provided a complimentary copy of this book through Beyond the Page.
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