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A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist! Some introductions to the New Testament highlight the historical contexts in which the New Testament literature was written. This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. Few introductions to the New Testament integrate instruction in exegetical a A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist! Some introductions to the New Testament highlight the historical contexts in which the New Testament literature was written. This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. Few introductions to the New Testament integrate instruction in exegetical and interpretive strategies with their customary considerations of authorship, dating, audience and message. This introduction capitalizes on the opportunities, introducing students to a relevant facet of interpretation with each portion of New Testament literature. Rarely do introductions to the New Testament approach their task mindful of the needs of students preparing for ministry. This introduction is explicit in doing so, assuming as it does that the New Testament itself--in its parts and as a whole--is a pastoral response. Each chapter on the New Testament literature closes with a discussion of the implications for ministry formation. These integrative features alone would distinguish this introduction from others. But in addition, its pages brim with maps, photos, points of interest and aids to learning. Separate chapters explore the historical and cultural environment of the New Testament era, the nature of the Gospels and the quest for the historical Jesus, and the life of Paul. This introduction by David A. deSilva sets a new standard for its genre and is bound to appeal to many who believe that the New Testament should be introduced as if both scholarship and ministry mattered.


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A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist! Some introductions to the New Testament highlight the historical contexts in which the New Testament literature was written. This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. Few introductions to the New Testament integrate instruction in exegetical a A 2005 Gold Medallion finalist! Some introductions to the New Testament highlight the historical contexts in which the New Testament literature was written. This introduction gives particular attention to the social, cultural and rhetorical contexts of the New Testament authors and their writings. Few introductions to the New Testament integrate instruction in exegetical and interpretive strategies with their customary considerations of authorship, dating, audience and message. This introduction capitalizes on the opportunities, introducing students to a relevant facet of interpretation with each portion of New Testament literature. Rarely do introductions to the New Testament approach their task mindful of the needs of students preparing for ministry. This introduction is explicit in doing so, assuming as it does that the New Testament itself--in its parts and as a whole--is a pastoral response. Each chapter on the New Testament literature closes with a discussion of the implications for ministry formation. These integrative features alone would distinguish this introduction from others. But in addition, its pages brim with maps, photos, points of interest and aids to learning. Separate chapters explore the historical and cultural environment of the New Testament era, the nature of the Gospels and the quest for the historical Jesus, and the life of Paul. This introduction by David A. deSilva sets a new standard for its genre and is bound to appeal to many who believe that the New Testament should be introduced as if both scholarship and ministry mattered.

30 review for An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tanner Hawk

    A truly invaluable resource. Thorough, well-written, deeply insightful. Has changed the way I'll read and teach the New Testament. But far from being solely an academic read, its "Ministry Formation" sections were challenging and practical. I'll definitely be revisiting this book again and again in the years to come. A truly invaluable resource. Thorough, well-written, deeply insightful. Has changed the way I'll read and teach the New Testament. But far from being solely an academic read, its "Ministry Formation" sections were challenging and practical. I'll definitely be revisiting this book again and again in the years to come.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Excellent introduction to the New Testament. The Ministry Formation sections were especially relevant!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Reagan

    This widely-used New Testament Introduction by David DeSilva has earned a Second Edition. Every major Christian publisher puts out an NT Introduction (IVP also has Donald Guthrie) because there’s such a demand for Christian college students as well as most every pastor will want one at hand. Without a doubt, this book has been one of the major ones. DeSilva’s reputation has been hued from his many works. He’s known as a great scholar. His specialty of rhetoric is equally well known. If you find t This widely-used New Testament Introduction by David DeSilva has earned a Second Edition. Every major Christian publisher puts out an NT Introduction (IVP also has Donald Guthrie) because there’s such a demand for Christian college students as well as most every pastor will want one at hand. Without a doubt, this book has been one of the major ones. DeSilva’s reputation has been hued from his many works. He’s known as a great scholar. His specialty of rhetoric is equally well known. If you find the idea of rhetoric overblown in importance, you might discount his work to some degree. If you love rhetoric, no one else will touch what he will do. Some have criticized what he attempts to do in this volume, but that criticism is a little too harsh. He does cover the typical NT Introduction issues at a depth that compares with most other works of its type. If you read the preface, you will see exactly where the revision took place. Yes, some paragraphs are little changed from the previous edition while others are extensively rewritten. The print size is a little smaller, but the book has clearly been upgraded in eye appeal. That’s a trend in the industry that was successfully implemented here. The visuals including maps, tables, and pictures are not borrowed from any other work I’ve seen and are quite effective. If you are in the market for a major New Testament Introduction, you will owe it to yourself to make sure this one is on your list for consideration. I predict this new edition will extend the life of this work for several years to come. I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt Garm

    A seriously great resource for providing cultural context and background for each New Testament book. While the author does a great job of providing context, it would be great if he was a bit more clear on his assumed date and setting for each book. Often times he provides multiple opinions coming from different scholars, but never really champions one option as better than others.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Loftus

    This was my textbook for my intro NT class. I found it extremely helpful in understanding the contexts and controversies we dealt with in the class and expect to be returning to this book over and over throughout the years.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Givenchi Wahongan

    i can read

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Kight

    David A. deSilva is Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) in Ashland, Ohio. He has an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Emory University. In addition to his current tenure at ATS, deSilva has authored numerous books, including, The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (Oxford, 2012), Introducing the Apocryph David A. deSilva is Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) in Ashland, Ohio. He has an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from Emory University. In addition to his current tenure at ATS, deSilva has authored numerous books, including, The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (Oxford, 2012), Introducing the Apocrypha (Baker Academic, 2002), Honor, Patronage, Kingship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (InterVarsity Press, 2000), Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Letter “to the Hebrews” (Eerdmans, 2000), and many more. He has also co-authored several books and worked on a number of major Bible translation projects, as well as served as the Apocrypha Editor for the Common English Bible. Nevertheless, despite his grown bibliography of authored books, deSilva’s landmark work remains An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods & Ministry Formation (InterVarsity Press, 2004). An Introduction to the New Testament seeks to blend two rather different ways of reading and searching the Scriptures—a devotional reading of Scripture with the focus of hearing from God, and an academic study of Scripture that focuses on understanding the text within the historical and cultural context (p. 20). It is within this reality, the equal nurture of an integrated approach to the Scripture, which deSilva guides the reader through the text of the New Testament. Accordingly, deSilva takes a “text-centered as opposed to a phenomenon-centered approach” (p. 21). In other words, deSilva is primarily interested in “the context, production and message of each text, in the pastoral challenges each addresses and in the way each author brings the revelation of God in Christ to bear on those challenges” (p. 21). The layout of the book is intentionally centered on this focus. Each chapter opens with a section dedicated to the historical and/or pastoral context of the writing and ends with a dedicated section equally devoted to ministry formation from each of the New Testament books. Between these chapter bookends the reader will find a goldmine of information, including discussion on text development, use of literature in the other early Christian resources, exegetical skill sections, themed discussion around the message of specific writings, and much more. The highlights of An Introduction to the New Testament are numerous. First and foremost, I found deSilva’s approach to the New Testament extremely helpful in finding immediate practical application. This is not the case with many other introductory works on the market. The balanced approach that deSilva seeks to take is difficult to accomplish (as attested by the landscape of the current market), but An Introduction to the New Testament is well-executed. This is primarily due to deSilva’s recognition of the New Testament as a pastoral response (see pp. 29-36). Second, the inclusion of an “Exegetical Skill” section within each chapter, functioning to better assist the reader in cultivating the appropriate exegetical methodology with which to approach the New Testament, is well-received. There are a number of notable thematic articles that the reader will discover within this section, including, interpreting parables (Luke), word studies and lexical analysis (Colossians and Ephesians), feminist criticism (Pastoral Epistles), and postcolonial criticism and cultural studies (Philemon). Third, throughout the volume the reader will encounter the cultural sensitivity deSilva brings to the New Testament. This is primarily driven by deSilva’s longstanding work with the intertestamental literature and the cultural context of the New Testament world—an expertise that should be appropriately welcomed in an introduction such as this present volume. An Introduction to the New Testament: Context, Methods & Ministry Formation by David A. deSilva is a monumental achievement within New Testament studies. While the market of introductory resources on the New Testament continues to increase in number, few are able to accomplish what deSilva accomplishes in this volume. His intentionality to provide the reader with a deeply integrated text-centered approach to the New Testament literature is unparalleled, and his expertise and background are well-suited for the job. While I cannot commit to saying that this will be the first New Testament introduction off my bookshelf, I can commit to saying it will be off my bookshelf more often than not. If you are a pastor, student, or interested laymen, this resource will certainly prove itself abundantly useful for your study of the New Testament. I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This is a fantastic resource and will live on my “Currently Reading” shelf in perpetuity because it is a book that I will go back to again and again. It is a very useful academic resource and has been on my bibliography list for both my New Testament essays. I have also used it in two sermons. I recommend it for the academic, the pastor/vicar and also for any believer who wants to understand more about their faith. I passionately believe that all Christians should know more about the context and This is a fantastic resource and will live on my “Currently Reading” shelf in perpetuity because it is a book that I will go back to again and again. It is a very useful academic resource and has been on my bibliography list for both my New Testament essays. I have also used it in two sermons. I recommend it for the academic, the pastor/vicar and also for any believer who wants to understand more about their faith. I passionately believe that all Christians should know more about the context and background to the New Testament and this book provides that information for academic, clergy and lay-people alike. I would love to see a copy in every church library!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    Up front, I will say that I know the author of this textbook and that I taught several terms of Introduction to the New Testament [Gospels], using this book as one of the required texts in the seminary where Professor deSilva also teaches. Having said this, I want to say that this is absolutely the best textbook that I know as an introduction to any New Testament course, and I highly recommend it for pastors, interested laypersons, seminarians, and all who want more than just the bare scholarly " Up front, I will say that I know the author of this textbook and that I taught several terms of Introduction to the New Testament [Gospels], using this book as one of the required texts in the seminary where Professor deSilva also teaches. Having said this, I want to say that this is absolutely the best textbook that I know as an introduction to any New Testament course, and I highly recommend it for pastors, interested laypersons, seminarians, and all who want more than just the bare scholarly "facts" about the NT. One of the most valuable components of this book is the inclusion of chapters on Greco-Roman and Jewish backgrounds of the NT, and their cultures. IMHO, these concepts are crucial for us to grasp, and we must not limit our knowledge of the New Testament to 20th-21st century religious language and culture. The Septuagint as the Bible both of Greek-speaking Jews and Christians, and the Apocrypha, come to mind here as biblical and/or historical texts about which many Christians are underinformed. Four topics of special interest related to the culture into which Christianity was born are explored in the early chapters: Purity, Honor, Patronage and Kinship, and how these were integral to both Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. Prof. deSilva also explains these terms with examples from contemporary life so that we can really relate to these important topics with new insights into the scriptures. Each chapter of the text returns to these topics where they are especially helpful to interpret various NT texts. The clearer explanations of "grace" and of patronage-reciprocity were particularly meaningful to me in my own efforts better to understand how these first-century concepts can impact my exegetical understanding of some very important biblical texts. Before this I thought grace was mostly a "church" word! With respect to patronage and reciprocity, the most enriching thing for me was to find deeper meaning in how Jesus is "the one mediator" between humans and God. In turn, these new insights have affected my teaching, preaching, praying and living as a Christian. Another helpful item that Prof. deSilva includes in this book is an introduction to, and practical examples of, his method of biblical interpretation. He adapts the socio-rhetorical method used by Vernon K. Robbins. Each chapter sets aside a section where there are examples of exegetical skills necessary to interpret the texts in view. A third very important feature of deSilva's textbook is the inclusion of reflections on key texts in every chapter -- these are geared for seminarians and pastors to challenge themselves in ministry formation, and they help readers to become more informed by these NT texts and concepts. A most important distinction relating to this textbook is that it is not designed to create a separation between "faith" and "scholarship." Prof. deSilva is very intentional about keeping both sides of the coin in hand, and in view, as the above paragraphs seek to demonstrate. I highly recommend this book to any people who want to study a recent exploration of the entire New Testament. I find myself going back to this textbook for many reasons, and my students gave a overwhelmingly high rating for this text in their Gospels courses.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Dubuc

    I've had the great pleasure of being one of Dr. deSilva's students at Ashland Seminary and the somewhat lesser pleasure of having read nearly every chapter in this book in the process. The main weakness in this book is in the editing. The writing could be more concise and clear in many places. This makes it difficult to read from cover to cover, but presents less of a problem when using the book as a reference. It almost seems as if each chapter was written to stand on its own. Many of the same I've had the great pleasure of being one of Dr. deSilva's students at Ashland Seminary and the somewhat lesser pleasure of having read nearly every chapter in this book in the process. The main weakness in this book is in the editing. The writing could be more concise and clear in many places. This makes it difficult to read from cover to cover, but presents less of a problem when using the book as a reference. It almost seems as if each chapter was written to stand on its own. Many of the same points are made repeatedly throughout the book as they apply to different books of the New Testament. That said, the book also has many strengths. At the end of each chapter is a section on "ministry formation" which draws practical lessons for ministry and discipleship based on the previous reading. I found these to be very insightful and the most interesting and valuable parts of the book. The "exegetical skill" and "cultural awareness" sections that are sprinkled throughout the book are also very good. Separating the exegetical skill material from the main text makes it easy to find and apply to study of parts of the NT other than the immediate context in which the particular sections appear. Overall this book is very good seminary level course and reference material that I know will be very useful to me in the future. It's a poor substitute for the lively and highly interactive teaching that you would get in one of the author's classes, but it's a lot less expensive.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I started reading this text for a New Testament seminary class, and decided to finish it on my own. It's a big resource text, but the writing is accessible enough for personal reading. DeSilva gives a long, thorough introduction to each book of the Bible, with detailed notes about authorship, historical context, themes and structure. He also includes a section at the end discussing implications for teaching and application, which will be especially helpful for preachers and Bible study leaders. T I started reading this text for a New Testament seminary class, and decided to finish it on my own. It's a big resource text, but the writing is accessible enough for personal reading. DeSilva gives a long, thorough introduction to each book of the Bible, with detailed notes about authorship, historical context, themes and structure. He also includes a section at the end discussing implications for teaching and application, which will be especially helpful for preachers and Bible study leaders. The real strengths of this work are that DeSilva is an excellent Biblical scholar who presents the theories of other scholars before laying out his own view. In this way the reader is given an overview of current scholarly thought on the text from a variety of viewpoints. DeSilva also includes excellent sections, dispersed throughout the book, describing various approaches to exegesis, (source criticism, etc.). This book is a great way to learn about contemporary approaches to Biblical scholarship. As someone who is pretty familiar with Biblical exegesis, and who spends a bit of time in commentaries, I found that DeSilva brings a lot of fresh insight. For example, his contributions on patron-client relationships in the Greco-Roman world very helpful in seeing new elements of New Testament books that I had not noticed before.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Phew! Glad to be finished that one! A really well-written text with a thorough consideration of the historical context of the New Testament and the various exegetical methods employed to interpret it. I really loved the ministry formation aspects of this text. It really brought the NT into our postmodern context. 4.5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Glyn Williams

    Easy read with fresh insights into the New Testament. Don't agree with everything in this book, but there are many things that shed light on the New Testament. A very balanced approach to criticisms and research, with personal beliefs of the author. Well worth the read. Easy read with fresh insights into the New Testament. Don't agree with everything in this book, but there are many things that shed light on the New Testament. A very balanced approach to criticisms and research, with personal beliefs of the author. Well worth the read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andy Hickman

    Comprehensive resource for both historical context and pastoral response. DeSilva, David. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karla Goforth Abreu

    I have read several New Testament intro books, but this is the best, thus far. It is highly readable, with "technical" exegetical sections in addition to the main text. It is an extensive volume, full of insight and information. I have read several New Testament intro books, but this is the best, thus far. It is highly readable, with "technical" exegetical sections in addition to the main text. It is an extensive volume, full of insight and information.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rudolph P. Boshoff

    Excellent commentary weighing issues found in every NT book fairly and clearly. Very good ministry application for every book! Excellent 975 page read :-)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Useful. Although I do not share the author's presuppositions in some cases, this book brings to the discussion some issues neglected by older NT Introductions. Useful. Although I do not share the author's presuppositions in some cases, this book brings to the discussion some issues neglected by older NT Introductions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julius

    By far one of the best introductory texts for New Testament available. I've used it often with courses and found it a very helpful reference resource for sermons. By far one of the best introductory texts for New Testament available. I've used it often with courses and found it a very helpful reference resource for sermons.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Corbitt

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joel Nevius

  23. 5 out of 5

    cyrise Brown

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marta

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Perez

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luke Dockery

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Bass

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jayden Roberto

  30. 4 out of 5

    Norman

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