A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized Edited by Michael J. Kruger
This introductory book on the New Testament, written and edited by present and former professors at Reformed Theological Seminary is quite a different book than most Introduction works. For one, the authors spend little time on issues surrounding authorship, provenance, and dating, and rather focus on the message and theology of each individual NT book. Secondly, the book is specifically designed to address concerns beyond a literary approach but dive into whole book theological matters, which is a real aid to those preaching and teaching through an individual book.
In his discussion about Jesus being the new Torah, Dr. Reggie Kidd mentions that “Matthew wants readers to know that the Torah is being fulfilled in Jesus. Holy Scripture was always about something and Someone beyond itself. Again and again, Matthew quotes scriptural formulas to let his readers know that Jesus is updating Israel’s story (44).” There is a unique perspective that the Scripture gives in pointing beyond its pages to a promise, to a Person in which all of scripture would be fulfilled. Further, Dr. Kidd indicates that not only the Jews are recipients of God’s grace in Jesus, but Matthew has in mind the Gentile mission, “He recounts the homage that the pagan magi pay Israel’s newborn King (Matthew 2). He notes how the Galilee of Jesus’s ministry is “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matt. 4:15; from Isa. 9:1). He maintains that Jesus’s healings bear the mark of Isaiah’s servant, who “will proclaim justice to the Gentiles” and in whose “name the Gentiles will hope” (Matt. 12:15–21, esp. 18, 21; from Isa. 42:1–4) (47).”
Guy Prentiss Waters tackles the stalwart of a book in the Book of Romans by the Apostle Paul. Rather than picking and choosing between one purpose, Dr. Waters charts the course of three interdependent purposes for Paul writing Romans. What was encouraging here is that Waters looks at the issue of the unity of the church as providing a lens to which Paul can implore his Roman Christians. Waters writes, “A third and final purpose for which Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans was to address and resolve a pastoral problem that had arisen within the Roman church. This pastoral problem surfaces most explicitly in Romans 14:1–15:13 and entails a disagreement among two groups in the church,…(219).” We don’t usually think about Romans in terms of church unity but rather theological argument, yet Paul builds his case for church unity upon the strong foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Initially I thought this would be a book that would start to sound the same after each chapter, yet this book is really a diverse collection of voices on the New Testament. Each chapter is well worth the reading, giving the reader a full theological vision for each book of the New Testament.
Thanks to Crossway for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.