Did you know that Jesus made puns? Did you know that Paul never calls himself or the churches he writes to “Christian”? Did you know that we don’t know who wrote the Letter to the Hebrews, or if it’s even really a letter?
James F. McGrath sheds light on these and many other surprising facts in The A to Z of the New Testament. Cutting through common myths and misunderstandings of problematic Bible passages, McGrath opens up expert knowledge to laypeople in his friendly introduction to New Testament studies. Each chapter in this fresh, accessible volume begins with a provocative anecdote or fact and then pulls back the curtain to inform curious readers about how scholars approach the issue. Along the way, McGrath explains unfamiliar terminology and methodology to nonspecialists with humor and clarity.
You’ve graduated from Sunday School. Ask the hard questions. Take Scripture on its own terms. Invigorate your Bible study with The A to Z of the New Testament as your guide.
Table of Contents
1. ABCs and Beyond 2. Born in a Barn? 3. Camels, Critters, and Calculations 4. Dead Men Walking 5. Eat Whatever Is Set before You 6. Fulfillment Fail? 7. Greasy Jesus? 8. Hate Your Enemies 9. Intent, Interpretation, and Intertextuality 10. Jokes Aside 11. Keep On Keeping the Commandments 12. Language, Please 13. Mud in Your Eye 14. Naked Truth 15. Only One God 16. Plagiarism in the Gospels? 17. Quotation Marks Required 18. Revelations Is Not in the Bible 19. Scribes and Secretaries 20. Telephone Game? 21. Unmentionables 22. Variations and Variants 23. Women With Authority 24. X Marks the Spot 25. Y Chromosome? 26. Zacchaeus, Zebedee, Zebulun, Zechariah Acknowledgments Indexes
James F. McGrath is Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University.
Jim West in Zwinglius Redivivus “This is an interesting, informative, useful, and well written book. . . . I truly enjoyed it. And I am positive that you will too.”
“If you’re looking for an engaging yet deep introduction to New Testament studies for about the cost of a brat and beer at a ball game, look no further. Over twenty-six brisk chapters, James McGrath leads you through the ins and outs of New Testament criticism, covering topics like where Jesus was born (in a barn?), and whether Jesus had a Y chromosome or believed in hell. An enlightening, learned, and fun book.” —Pete Enns
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