Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Forthcoming Titles

Various exciting titles are on the horizon in New Testament studies. Here is a sampling:

1) Paul the Missionary Realities, Strategies and Methods by Eckhard J. Schnabel (IVP; retail:$32.99; 480 pp.; ISBN:978-0-8308-2887-6; release date: Nov. 08). This looks to be an abridged version of Schnabel's magisterial 2 volume Early Christian Mission.
Here's the blurb:
Eckhard Schnabel's two-volume Early Christian Mission is widely recognized as the most complete and authoritative contemporary study of the first-century Christian missionary movement. Now in Paul the Missionary Schnabel draws on his research and provides a manageable study for students of Paul as well as students and practitioners of Christian mission today.
Schnabel first focuses the spotlight on Paul's missionary work--the realities he faced, and the strategies and methods he employed. Applying his grasp of the wide range of ancient sources and of contemporary scholarship, he clarifies our understanding, expands our knowledge and corrects our misconceptions of Paul the missionary.
In a final chapter Schnabel shines the recovered light of Paul's missionary methods and practices on Christian mission today. Much like Roland Allen's classic Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Ours? of nearly a century ago, Schnabel offers both praise and criticism. For those who take the time to immerse themselves in the world of Paul's missionary endeavor, this final chapter will be both rewarding and searching.

2) The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John: An Exploration in Biblical Theology by Larry R. Helyer (IVP; retail: $32.00; 362pp.; ISBN: 978-0-8308-2888-3; release date: Nov 08 ). I appreciated the detailed work that Helyer brought to his work on Second Temple literature, so I am anticipating the same with this volume.

Here's the blurb:

What is biblical theology?
Is there a unified message of the Bible?
In this practical textbook Larry Helyer introduces you to the goals and practice of biblical theology and the problem of the unity of the Bible. He then explains two evangelical approaches to biblical theology--dispensational and covenant theology.
In the heart of the book Helyer turns to three major witnesses of the New Testament: Jesus, Paul and John. In these three witnesses he finds the climax of the biblical message and the key to unlocking the message of the Bible.
Here is a book that introduces students to the big questions in evangelical biblical theology and then takes them into the heart of the New Testament. Students will gain an appreciation for biblical and New Testament theology, and how the New Testament unlocks the central message of Scripture. This clearly written survey will equip students for a lifetime of studying Scripture.

3) New Testament Survey by Robert G. Gromacki (Baker Academic; price:$39.99; 448 pp.; ISBN:978-0-8010-3626-2; Publication Date: Aug. 08 This is not so much anything "new" per se, but it comes in a new format, paperback.

Here's the blurb:

Before coming to grips with an individual verse or passage in the New Testament, Bible students and expositors must understand how it relates to the theme of the book. This nontechnical survey offers readers a working understanding of the New Testament by providing the theological tools necessary to synthesize biblical passages into themes. It incorporates historical and cultural backgrounds without becoming a book on manners and customs and deals with the actual text of Scripture without becoming a verse-by-verse commentary. Pictures, charts, and outlines aid comprehension. This classic text, which has served students well for many years, is now available in paperback.

4) Hebrews (Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament) by James W. Thompson (Baker Academic; Price:$24.99; 336pp; ISBN:978-0-8010-3191-5; Publication Date: Oct. 08)


Hebrews, the second of eighteen volumes in the Paideia commentary series, brings the insight of a veteran teacher and writer to bear on a New Testament book whose rich imagery and memorable phrases have long shaped Christian discourse. The Paideia series approaches each text in its final, canonical form, proceeding by sense units rather than word-by-word or verse-by-verse. Each sense unit is explored in three sections: (1) introductory matters, (2) tracing the train of thought, (3) key hermeneutical and theological questions. The commentaries shed fresh light on the text while avoiding idiosyncratic readings, attend to theological meaning without presuming a specific theological stance in the reader, and show how the text uses narrative and rhetorical strategies from the ancient educational context to form and shape the reader.

"With a firm grasp on the theological, ecclesial, historical, social, and literary issues, James W. Thompson has produced a commentary on Hebrews that is clear, compelling, and helpful. In Thompson's hands, this often difficult biblical book breaks open with new power and meaning."--Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"A carefully crafted work like Hebrews deserves a commentary that concentrates on the text itself, not on opinions and arguments about it; that provides necessary historical information reliably and concisely (here, ancient rhetoric); that stimulates the user to think about matters raised by the text. Thompson's commentary does all these things well because he has thought about Hebrews judiciously and deeply."--Leander E. Keck, emeritus professor of Biblical Theology, Yale Divinity School

5) A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to "Left Behind" Eschatology eds. Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung (Baker Academic; Price:$24.99; 208 pp.; ISBN:978-0-8010-3596-8; Publication Date: Feb. 09) Unfortunately, there is yet to appear a list of the contributors to this volume.


Twentieth- and twenty-first-century American evangelicalism, particularly at the popular level, has been virtually saturated with the eschatology of dispensational premillennialism. The distinctive teachings of that system, in particular its affirmation of the pretribulation rapture of the church, have become so pervasive that many evangelicals would be hard pressed to identify an alternative approach. Popular novels that disseminate dispensationalism to a wider readership have only furthered that trend.
The contributors to this volume provide a thoughtful alternative. They present compelling arguments for historic or classic premillennialism--a position widely held throughout church history (and popularly advanced in the writings of George Eldon Ladd).
An introductory chapter examines the differences within premillennial eschatology and considers reasons for the widespread popularity of dispensationalism in the twentieth century. This is followed by biblical, theological, historical, and missiological studies that reexamine classic premillennialism, particularly with regard to its understanding of the return of Christ.
The authors, all respected scholars in their fields, present arguments for a return to an eschatological theology that was widely held for many centuries. Their engaging studies should be of great interest to evangelical readers--both within the academy and in the church.

6) The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary by James L. Resseguie (Baker Academic; Price: $24.99; 288 pp.; ISBN: 978-0-8010-3213-4; Publication Date:Apr. 09)


As the only book of its kind in the New Testament, Revelation can be difficult to understand, and for readers without specialized training, the historical-critical approach used in many commentaries can provide more complication than illumination. Here James Resseguie applies the easily understandable tools introduced in his primer on narrative criticism to this challenging book. He shows how Revelation uses such features as rhetoric, setting, character, point of view, plot, symbolism, style, and repertoire to construct its meaning. This literary approach draws out the theological and homiletical message of the book and highlights its major unifying themes: the need to listen well, an overwhelmingly God-centered perspective, and the exodus to a new promised land. Here is a valuable aid for pastor and serious lay reader alike.

7) Colossians: A Commentary (New Testament Library) by Jerry L. Sumney (Westminster John Knox Press; List Price: $49.95 ; 344pp.; ISBN: 0664221424; Publication Date: October 17, 2008).


The Letter to the Colossians offers great insight into the faith, life, and problems of an early Christian church. Understanding this letter to be one of Paul’s prison epistles but aware of the differences between this and his other writings, Jerry Sumney shows how the church struggled with expressing its new faith in the diverse settings of the Greco-Roman world. Paying special attention to the ways of forgiveness and salvation through the power of Christ, this fine commentary shows Colossians’ expansive Christology and expectant eschatology.


Mason said...

Thanks for the update, not that I really need a reason to be buying more books, but a few definitely got my interest, including the Blomberg et all. historical premillenialism book. I have for quite a while felt that premillenialism has been far too co-opted by dispensationalism, and I think that a fresh approach without all that baggage would be growing to those on every side of the issue.

On a similar note, the other book that stood out to me was “The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John” and as you stated one topic Helyer explores in the book is the frameworks of Dispensational and Covenant theology. Do you happen to know where he stands on that issue? If he supports one side or the other, or neither? I have heard good things about him but have not had much personal exposure to his writings so any input you might have on this would be great.

Matthew D. Montonini said...


Thanks for checking in. Unfortunately I do not know whether Helyer favors dispensational or covenantal theology. I do however, recommend his book on Second Temple Literature. It is a great introduction to the subject matter.

I, too am interested in the historical premillenialism volume. After hearing much about the new George Eldon Ladd bio, I hope his views will be revisited and advanced. It is a shame that he wasn't able to enjoy the widespread acceptance of his views, but maybe now some of his work will be given its proper due.

Irv said...

How many are aware that dispensationalism is a 19th century novelty, and that its pretribulation rapture idea was never a part of Christian theology or any organized church before 1830? Even engines like Google are now carrying fascinating articles touching on this; for example, "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Pretrib Rapture Diehards." Incidentally, the same author has produced a bestselling work entitled "The Rapture Plot" (see Armageddon Books), and the research behind it has been endorsed by leading scholars (Google "Scholars Weigh My Research"). Happy reading! Irv

Matthew D. Montonini said...


Thanks for the heads up.

You are correct in pointing out that dispensationalism is a 19th century novelty--one has to look no farther than C.I. Scofield and the still in print and thriving Scofield Study Bible.

Craig Blomberg said...

Thanks for the free publicity! Our contributors include the two of us as editors, plus Rick Hess, Helene Dallaire, Tim Weber, Don Fairbairn, Oscar Campos, and Don Payne. The book grew out of our ninth annual Contextualized Biblical Studies conference here at Denver Seminary. We decided for the first time to have all the authors have a DS relationship. So five of us teach here, one used to, one is one of our grads, and one is from SETECA in Guatemala with whom we have an institutional partnership. I think you'll find them a strong lineup, but of course I'm biased. :)

Matthew D. Montonini said...


Thanks so much for stopping by and for the info on the contributors.

Sounds like this should be a volume that I will have to squeeze on my ever-expanding bookshelf!