The message of the later books of the New Testament, particularly James through Jude (also known as the General Epistles), is often disregarded due to their brevity and location at the end of the canon; understandably, many focus more on major collections such as the Gospels and Paul's epistles. However, the General Epistles have much to contribute to our understanding of salvation and Christian living, and we ignore them at our own peril. Therefore, the purpose of this book is to provide an exposition of the message of salvation in these letters, along with their implications for the church today.
This volume considers the theological richness (indicative) and practical relevance (imperative) of the New Testament General EpistlesJames, 12 Peter, 13 John, and Judewithin a redemptive-historical framework. Although not the most familiar portion of the New Testament, these letters have much to say about the call to discipleship in the twenty-first century. Part One (Scallywags) focuses on 1 Peter. Here we see that Christ has accomplished salvation and that his life provides the pattern for faithful living in the face of worldly opposition. In Part Two (Scoffers) the truth of 2 Peter and Jude is set in contrast to the destructive doctrines of scoffing false teachers. Part Three (Schisms) reflects on the challenges of the Johannine letters that address who belongs to Gods family. Finally, Part Four (Wisdom) looks at the practical teaching of James in light of the teaching of Jesus.
Brandon D. Crowe (B.A., Samford University; M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary; Ph.D. University of Edinburgh) is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary and Book Review Editor for the Westminster Theological Journal.
The General Epistles continue to be relatively ignored, to the church's detriment. This book seeks to remedy that neglect and does so in a winsome and very helpful fashion. Written for a broader audience, it . . . will make an excellent resource for personal and group Bible study.
-Richard B. Gaffin Jr.,
Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary
Crowe has a way of gently disentangling thorny interpretative issues and exposing the spiritual fruit for believers to harvest. This is what 'practical theology' ought to be.
-Charles E. Hill,
John R. Richardson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
We ignore these letters to our peril, for they have an urgent message for the church today. . . . [Everyone] interested in the message of the Scriptures will benefit from this theologically faithful and pastorally applicable work.
-Thomas R. Schreiner,
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Peter, John, James, Jude - important early-church leaders who knew Jesus and wrote letters to churches. Why do we neglect them? . . . In a survey that is terse and gripping, Brandon Crowe shows how, in turbulent times not unlike ours, God furnished direction for his people and light for the world.
-Robert W. Yarbrough,
Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
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