Exploring the New Testament was a two-volume introduction to the background, documents and interpretation of the New Testament first published in 2001. The first volume, on the gospels and Acts, was written by David Wenham and Steve Walton and it includes, in my view, the clearest and most helpful summary of the ‘Synoptic problem’ (the possible relationships between the first three gospels) to be found anywhere. The second volume, on the Epistles and Revelation, was mostly written by Howard Marshall and Stephen Travis, and I contributed the section on Revelation since I had recently completed my PhD on the book.
The third edition of both volumes are now available, and they have been expanded and fully updated into very attractive volumes which offer an accessible and authoritative guide for students in a range of contexts, and the publisher, SPCK, has done a great job in design and layout.
The original format was inspired by Stephen Travis’ excellent approach to teaching, where information is interweaved with boxes given further information, and pointing the reader to issues and questions with which they need to wrestle for themselves. In the third edition of Volume Two, I had the task of editing and updating all the material originally written by Howard Marshall (who died in 2015) as well as adding additional sections on new areas of research and scholarship.
Both volumes are also supported by a substantial website, which includes royalty-free images and charts, which will continue to grow and develop as an online resource.
The new volumes has received some very positive reviews:
Readers are given a wealth of resources for study, including historical background, context, scholarly discussions, theological reflections and essay questions. I recommend this book to anyone involved in theological education. Dr Lucy Peppiatt, Principal, Westminster Theological Centre
Avoids the twin dangers of overwhelming the student with detail and oversimplifying complex issues. Michael B. Thompson, former Associate Principal, Ridley Hall, Cambridge
A well-proportioned overview of background material, introductory detail and controversial issues. James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University
I know no better book for its purpose. Richard Bauckham, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies, University of St Andrews
I attach here for information the full contents list of Volume Two. You can order the book direct from SPCK or from any good bookshop.
4 thoughts on “Exploring the New Testament—Third Edition”
I’ve learned new things all the time after studying scripture since for over a half century.
I’m enjoying The Gospels and Acts.
I have only one very small reservation and it’s not theological. There are these really interesting and thoughtful boxes but their background is a darkish grey, which makes them stand out nicely from the main text, but as someone with eyes that are not quite as young as they once were I find it quite difficult to read in anything less than very bright daylight.
In our edition, we raised just that question, and I think they have made the boxes slightly lighter. We face the same challenge with Grove booklets, where we also use grey boxes. We changed them from 20% grey to 10% grey for just that reason.
Ian – thank you – as an OT specialist I have found the book extremely helpful.
How would you rate “An Introduction to the New Testament”- D. Carson and D. Moo (Zondervan 2nd ed. 2005?