Christian interpretation of the Bible is not a simple task. While finding both its beginning and end in the theological claim that Scripture reveals to us "what God has done in Christ," Christian interpretation demands much more. The interaction between believer and text is also conversation between reader and interpretive community, both ancient and modern. Theological interpretation entails close readings of texts but also a close analysis of contexts—the social and political shape of the Mediterranean world as well as our own. Interpretation requires the interweaving of theology, history, and literature.
In Introduction to the New Testament Carl R. Holladay does just that. He roots each of the New Testament’s twenty-seven writings in their historical, literary, and theological contexts. A true "Reference Edition," Holladay provides thorough, detailed, and exacting overviews, background material, and textual analysis. Holladay leads readers to consider questions of canon, authority, and genre that shape the formation of the text and the text’s formation of the identity, theology, and mission of the church today. This Introduction does not leave its readers stranded in the first century; it also intentionally connects the message of the New Testament to the issues facing its faithful readers today. No stone goes unturned and no issue unexamined—Holladay’s Introduction to the New Testament is an essential text for any serious student of biblical interpretation.
List of Maps, Figures, Tables, and Plates Preface to the Reference Edition Preface to the First Edition Abbreviations Introduction Part 1. Theology and Scripture 1. The New Testament as Theological Writings 2. The Shape of the Canon Part 2. The Gospels: Narrative Traditions About Jesus 3. Relating the Gospels to Each Other 4. From Jesus to the Gospels 5. From the Gospels to Jesus 6. The Gospel of Mark 7. The Gospel of Matthew 8. The Gospel of Luke 9. The Gospel of John Part 3. The Story of Jesus Continued: The Church’s Origin and Expansion 10. The Acts of the Apostles Part 4. The Pauline Letters and Hebrews 11. Reading the Pauline Letters 12. The Thessalonian Letters 13. The Corinthian Letters 14. Galatians 15. Romans 16. Philippians 17. Philemon 18. Colossians 19. Ephesians 20. The Pastoral Letters 21. Hebrews Part 5. The Catholic Letters 22. James 23. First Peter 24. Jude 25. Second Peter 26. The Johannine Letters Part 6. Jesus in the Apocalyptic Imagination 27. Revelation Part 7. The New Testament as the Church’s Book: The Formation of the New Testament Canon 28. The Christian Scriptures Appendix 1. Ancient Canonical Lists Appendix 2. Early Christian Views of the Gospels
Carl Holladay is C.H. Candler Professor of New Testament at Emory University's Candler School of Theology.
The readability of the text, the scholarly depth, and the richness of the supplementary matter make this New Testament introduction a valuable addition to both academic and clerical libraries.
Holladay masterfully weaves theological insight together with necessary critical information in a way that simultaneously illumines the message of the NT, while readily supplying the committed reader with the dense history of New Testament scholarship.
~David Anthony Basham, Arc: The Journal of the School of Religious Studies
… Holladay really outshines others when he elucidates the message of each NT document and then spotlights its special contribution to Christian theology. In such work Holladay is a master, and his introduction a masterpiece of NT scholarship.