Logos Review: Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey

VanHoozerThe Theological Interpretation of the New Testament, edited by Kevin J. Vanhoozer, is an attempt in compiling this collection of writing on the theology of the various books of the New Testament is to get back to a search for God in the scriptures rather than just trying to reconstruct social, historical and religious contexts of the past. This book shows how God is at work in the world as seen in the pages of the New Testament.

Just to give you a feel for what this book contains, here is the table of contents,

1      Matthew – Robert H. Gundry
2      Mark – Thorsten Moritz
3      Luke – Stephen I. Wright
4      John – S. A. Cummins
5      Acts – Steve Walton
6      Romans – Christopher Bryan
7      1 Corinthians – David E. Garland
8      2 Corinthians – Edith M. Humphrey
9      Galatians – John K. Riches
10      Ephesians – Max Turner
11      Philippians – N. T. Wright
12      Colossians – Sylvia C. Keesmaat
13      1 Thessalonians – Charles A. Wanamaker
14      2 Thessalonians – Charles A. Wanamaker
15      1 Timothy – I. Howard Marshall
16      2 Timothy – I. Howard Marshall
17      Titus – I. Howard Marshall
18      Philemon – Daniel R. Streett
19      Hebrews – Jon C. Laansma
20      James – William R. Baker
21      1 Peter – Peter R. Rodgers
22      2 Peter – Peter H. Davids
23      Johannine Epistles – I. Howard Marshall
24      Jude – Peter H. Davids
25      Revelation (“The Apocalypse of Saint John the Divine”) – Francesca Aran Murphy

Each author was allowed to take their own approach. There is no template for each book, which may have been helpful and consistent but wouldn’t have allowed each author to take their best approach. I think this approach wins. The main points that are covered all point back to the individual theology of each book of the New Testament. Each book is covered pretty briefly compared to many books that tackle the theology of just one book…this one tackles all 27. So it is brief/introductory and is not intended to be comprehensive. Each book of the New Testament only gets from 5 to 12 pages. I would have really liked to see more information but at the same time this is just a survey so the point of the book is to whet your appetite and then at the end of each chapter pass you on to the resources that will take you further. In that regard, this book is masterful.

In order to point you to more comprehensive resources on each book of the New Testament, each chapter ends with a select bibliography of the best resources, including commentaries and books on particular aspects of the theology for each book of the New Testament.

So if you are looking for something to get you started and point you in the right direction across the New Testament, this is the resource for you. If you are looking for more, the bibliographies can still help you with that!

As far as Logos functionality goes, it has the standard features including searchability, scripture roll overs, and interconnection with the Logos timeline.

I believe this is a condensed and less expensive version of The Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, also edited by VanHoozer

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