The Voices of the New Testament
Is there a single message of the New Testament?
Theologians seek to bring coherence to the diverse teachings and approaches found in the New Testament, but this is no simple task. While the New Testament writers are clearly all concerned with the story and significance of Jesus, the New Testament itself is a collection of twenty-seven books written by at least nine different authors who address individuals or groups in several different locations over a number of years. This variety offers a challenge, yet also adds richness to our understanding of the Christian faith and its fundamental beliefs.
Envisioning a roundtable conversation among the New Testament writers, Derek Tidball reveals how much these authors have in common while permitting them to emphasize their distinct contributions in articulating the message of good news. The result of eavesdropping on their imagined discussion is a fascinating introduction to the diversity and unity of the New Testament.
"Derek Tidball has successfully achieved something few have attempted. He has written a theological overview of the New Testament that maintains both its unity and diversity. But here—and this is key—his approach is completely innovative: we get to listen in as a 'seminar leader' directs a conversation on the major themes of the New Testament. And his conversation partners are none other than the writers of the New Testament! A question is launched—So what about Jesus as Son of God?—and suddenly we can listen to Luke, Mark, John, Paul, and others weigh in from their distinctive perspectives. The approach is at once richly entertaining and deeply insightful. This book is a masterpiece written by a highly skilled teacher and theologian and it will win high praise from students and teachers alike."
"Imagine attending a panel discussion on New Testament theology. Derek Tidball invites us to imagine that the panelists are the writers of the New Testament. Instead of a theology volume with a section on, for example, the sinlessness of Christ, we have a discussion by New Testament writers on the subject. Can such an artificial scenario really help? Yes, I think it can. This is not novel theology but well-vetted theology presented in a fresh, novel way. In the end it may be less artificial, less speculative than many traditional New Testament theologies. My students will find it more accessible and certainly more engaging."
"Are you tired of seeing your students' eyes glaze over when you teach theological method? Do you long for a creative resource that helps your students discern the difference between systematic theology and the theological content of the New Testament? Would you appreciate a fresh approach to introducing biblical theology that takes seriously the different voices within Scripture while at the same time values coherence? Get this book. Derek Tidball has done a great service to the academy and the church by organizing an imaginative conversation between the heroes of our faith, helping us celebrate the theological diversity and unity of the New Testament. A joy to read."
"In this creative approach to New Testament theology, Tidball highlights the message of each author and the ways they augment one another to provide a full-orbed account of the gospel. Pastors, students, and laypeople alike will appreciate how this imagined conversation makes vivid the unity and diversity of the New Testament witness."
1. Introducing the Conversation
2. The Common Thread of the New Testament: The Good News
3. What Is the Source of the Good News?
4. Why Is Good News Needed?
5. Who Is Jesus, the Messiah?
6. How Was Jesus Good News?
7. What Does Jesus Offer Now? The Good News Today
8. How Do We Make the Good News Our Own?
9. What Does It Mean to Live as a Good News People?
10. What Does the Good News Say About the Future?