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Written in a readable style, with more detailed interaction with scholarly discussion found in the various excursuses, this commentary draws on the best new insights from a number of disciplines (narratological studies of Luke-Acts, archaeological and social scientific study of the New Testament, rhetorical analysis of Acts, comparative studies in ancient historiography) to provide the reader with the benefits of recent innovative ways of analyzing the text of Acts.
In addition there is detailed attention to major theological and historical issues, including the question of the relationship of Acts to the Pauline letters, the question of early Christian history and how the church grew and developed, the relationship between early Judaism and early Christianity, and the relationship between Christianity and the officials of the Roman Empire.
Acts is seen as a historical monograph with affinities with the approaches of serious Greek historians such as Thucydides and Polybius in terms of methodology, and affinities with some forms of Jewish historiography (including Old Testament history) in terms of content or subject matter.
The book is illustrated with various pictures and charts, which help to bring to light the character and setting of these narratives.
In his determined quest to understand Hebrews, Ellingworth begins with a detailed study of the Greek text, working outward to consider the wider context, linguistic questions, and the relation of Hebrews to other early Christian writings and to the Old Testament. Nonbiblical writings such as Philo and the Dead Sea Scrolls, though less directly related to Hebrews, are considered where appropriate.
Unveiling the discourse structure of this carefully written letter, Ellingworth's commentary helps make coherent sense of the complexities of Hebrews. As a result of his exhaustive study, Ellingworth finds Hebrews to be primarily a pastoral, not a polemical, writing. Showing how Hebrews beautifully emphasizes the supremacy of Christ, Ellingworth concludes that the essential purpose of the epistle - which maintains the continuity of God's people before and after Christ - is to encourage readers to base their lives on nothing other and nothing less than Jesus.
A substantive bibliography and a comprehensive introduction precede Ellingworth's commentary, and three indexes - of subjects, authors, and Greek words discussed - conclude the volume.
Hendel traces how Genesis has shaped views of reality, and how changing views of reality have shaped interpretations of Genesis. Literal and figurative readings have long competed with each other. Hendel tells how Luther's criticisms of traditional figurative accounts of Genesis undermined the Catholic Church; how Galileo made the radical argument that the cosmology of Genesis wasn't scientific evidence; and how Spinoza made the equally radical argument that the scientific method should be applied to Genesis itself. Indeed, Hendel shows how many high points of Western thought and art have taken the form of encounters with Genesis--from Paul and Augustine to Darwin, Emily Dickinson, and Kafka.
From debates about slavery, gender, and sexuality to the struggles over creationism and evolution, Genesis has shaped our world and continues to do so today. This wide-ranging account tells the remarkable story of the life of Genesis like no other book.