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A Companion to the New Testament
The General Letters and Revelation

By Matthew L. Skinner

A Companion to the New Testament
Paperback, 150 pages $29.95
Published: 1st February 2018
ISBN: 9781481307871
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Biblical Studies, New Testament

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.

Although they sit at the end of the New Testament’s order, the last nine books in the Bible— Hebrews through Revelation—are hardly optional reading. This third volume of the Companion demonstrates that these books provide valuable glimpses into the lives, hopes, troubles, and worries of ancient Christian communities as they sought to make their way through a changing landscape that appeared rife with threats. No one document is exactly like any other; they speak in a variety of voices while drawing from a variety of traditions to express their convictions and to make their case. Taken together, the final books provide an enduring reminder of the diversity, change, vitality, and occasional struggles that left enduring impressions on churches’ efforts to understand who they were, how they should live, and what they should expect for their future.

1. The Letter to the Hebrews
2. The General Letters
3. The Letter of James
4. The First Letter of Peter
5. The Second Letter of Peter
6. The Johannine Letters (1 John, 2 John, and 3 John)
7. The Letter of Jude
8. The Revelation to John
Recommended Resources for Ongoing Exploration of the New Testament
Subject Index

“Teachers who share Skinner’s concern for opening the meaning of the New Testament for their students will want to consider these volumes.”

The Bible Today

"Written in a lucid and engaging style, Skinner’s Companion to the New Testament brilliantly explicates how the General Epistles and Revelation reveal key characteristics of early Christian communities but also shaped their identity. It offers profound insights about the sociopolitical and theological aspects of the nine books and is simultaneously very accessible—both to the scholar and to the lay reader."

—Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

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.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 150 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL006100, REL006220, REL006720
 Baylor University Press

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