Newsweek called renowned minister Timothy Keller "a C.S. Lewis for the twenty-first century" in a feature on his first book, The Reason for God. In that book, he offered a rational explanation of why we should believe in God. Now, in The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the prodigal son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.
Within that parable Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.
of this approach. Penner emphasizes the rhetorical and moral dimensions of ancient historiographical theory, especially the centrality of narrative and plot, the use of vivid description, the application of comparison using various type-scenes, and the role of speeches in terms of characterization and the presentation of narrative style.
Todd Penner is the Assistant Professor of Religion at Austin College and the co-editor with Caroline Vander Stichele of Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse.
The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first.
A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today.
Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.
Since this translation and that of R. H. Charles were first published, several copies of the Book of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which further connects the book with the Jews of Palestine in the 1st century.
This translation of the Book of Enoch was once popular, so I have updated the language to make it more readable today by replacing archaic words we no longer use such as "execrate" with the modern equivalent, and changing the Roman Numerals with modern numbers.
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Have you ever wondered what Jesus would say to Mohammed? Or Buddha? Or Oscar Wilde? Maybe you have a friend who practices another religion or admires a more contemporary figure. Drop in on a conversation between Jesus and some well-known individuals whose search for the meaning of life took them in many directions--and influenced millions. Through dialogue between Christ and Gautama Buddha, Zacharias reveals Jesus' warm, impassioned concern for all people and explores God's true nature.
From the Hardcover edition.
Does God have a perfect will for each Christian? Can you be absolutely certain of God’s specific will for your life? In this expanded twenty-fifth anniversary edition of his highly acclaimed work, Garry Friesen examines the prevalent view on God’s will today and provides a sound biblical alternative to the traditional teaching of how God guides us. This new edition includes these helpful resources:
• Study guide for small groups
• Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
• Guide to painless Scripture memorization
Friesen tackles the very practical issues of choosing a mate, picking a career, and giving in this fresh and liberating approach to decision making and the will of God.
Story Behind the Book
Most Christians have been taught how to find God’s will, yet many are still unsure whether they’ve found it. God does guide His people, but the question is, “How does He guide?” After “putting out a fleece” to decide which college to attend, Garry Friesen began pondering why it was so hard to find God’s will when he had so sincerely sought it. Was he the only one who did not have 100 percent clarity for every decision? Then a new possibility struck—perhaps his understanding of the nature of God’s will was biblically deficient. Maybe there was a better way to understand HOW God guides.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Using the texts of the New Testament, Yoder critically examines the traditional portrait of Jesus as an apolitical figure and attempts to clarify the true impact of Jesus' life, work, and teachings on his disciples' social behavior.
The book first surveys the multiple ways the image of an apolitical Jesus has been propagated, then canvasses the Gospel narrative to reveal how Jesus is rightly portrayed as a thinker and leader immediately concerned with the agenda of politics and the related issues of power, status, and right relations. Selected passages from the epistles corroborate a Savior deeply concerned with social, political, and moral issues.
In this thorough revision of his acclaimed 1972 text, Yoder provides updated interaction with publications touching on this subject. Following most of the chapters are new "epilogues" that summarize research conducted during the last two decades -- research that continues to support the insights set forth in Yoder's original work.
Currently a standard in many college and seminary ethics courses, The Politics of Jesus is also an excellent resource for the general reader desiring to understand Christ's response to the world of politics and his will for those who would follow him.
You will learn how this mysterious book of the Bible fits into a historical context. You’ll discover all kinds of interesting facts about the apostle John and learn about the details of his world. You will be able to choose a perspective for interpreting this book of the Bible and decipher the many haunting symbols. There is no need to read this reference guide from cover to cover; simply browse the table of contents or flip through the pages to find the answers and assistance that you need. Discover how to:Interpret the prophecy of the Revelation Place it in historical context Understand how it relates to other books in the Bible Unravel the details of the apostle John’s life and world Choose a perspective for understanding See the grander scheme of things
Complete with lists of the ten most commonly asked questions about end times and the ten rules of thumb for interpreting scripture, The Book of Revelation For Dummies will help you understand and decode one of the most perplexing books in the Bible!
In The Day the Revolution Began, N. T. Wright once again challenges commonly held Christian beliefs as he did in his acclaimed Surprised by Hope. Demonstrating the rigorous intellect and breathtaking knowledge that have long defined his work, Wright argues that Jesus’ death on the cross was not only to absolve us of our sins; it was actually the beginning of a revolution commissioning the Christian faithful to a new vocation—a royal priesthood responsible for restoring and reconciling all of God’s creation.
Wright argues that Jesus’ crucifixion must be understood within the much larger story of God’s purposes to bring heaven and earth together. The Day the Revolution Began offers a grand picture of Jesus’ sacrifice and its full significance for the Christian faith, inspiring believers with a renewed sense of mission, purpose, and hope, and reminding them of the crucial role the Christian faith must play in protecting and shaping the future of the world.
One of the world's most respected Christian theologians, Anthony Thiselton here provides in-depth discussion of the language of 1 Corinthians, presents his own careful translation of the Greek, traces the main issues of interpretation from the church fathers to the present, and highlights topics of theological, ethical, and sociohistorical interest today, including ethics and "rights," marriage, divorce and remarriage, "headship," gender, prophecy, and many others.
No other commentary on 1 Corinthians embodies the wealth and depth of detail presented in Thiselton's work, which takes account of nearly all scholarly research on 1 Corinthians and incorporates substantial bibliographies throughout. In his commentary Thiselton indeed addresses virtually every question that thoughtful, serious readers -- scholars, students, pastors, teachers -- may wish to ask of or about the text of 1 Corinthians. His work truly offers a fresh, comprehensive, and original contribution to our understanding of this major epistle and its contemporary relevance.
"Gordon Fee, one of our truly master exegetes, has put steel and sinew into the words Spirit, spirit, and spiritual--words that have become flabby through subjectivizing indulgence and lack of exegetical exercise. His accurate, fresh, and passionate recovery of the place and meaning of Spirit in Paul and for us Christians is a provocative stimulus and reliable guide to the recovery of the experienced presence of God in our lives. For those of us who want to live in continuity with all that has been revealed in Jesus and given in the Spirit, this is an eminently practical book."--Eugene H. Peterson, professor emeritus of spiritual theology, Regent College
"Gordon Fee is one of the finest Bible expositors I have known. Whenever he speaks and writes, I listen, and recommend you do the same."--Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”
The world seems more fractured each day. People are asking, "Is this the End?"
Never have the headlines been this jarring, the cultural changes this rapid, or the moral decay this pronounced. What on earth is happening? After each new occurrence, the most oft-heard questions are, “Will the world ever be the same again?” and “Where is God in all of this?”
Over the last few decades, Dr. David Jeremiah has become one of the world’s most sought-after Christian leaders on topics that deal with biblical application and modern culture. And few would dispute that the pace at which things are currently changing is unprecedented. The time has come to accept this new normal, Jeremiah says, and understand how God’s hand is still at work on His eternal plan for mankind.
No one can afford to ignore these warnings, but all can better understand the greater story and the role we each play in this changing world. From prophetic clues in Scripture to an understanding of the power of Christ in all believers, this book directs us on a clear path forward.
The book is split into two sections, each covering items surrounding two important questions. Is This the End of America? and Is This the End of the World? Includes detailed chapters on:
TerrorismISIS and Radicalized IslamThe New RussiaThe Bleeding of America's BordersThe "Anything Goes" SocietyPolarization and DivisivenessThe Coming of Christand many more
The history of the Christian church pivots on the doctrine of justification by faith. Once the core of the Reformation, the church today often ignores or misunderstands this foundational doctrine. Theologian James White calls believers to a fresh appreciation of, understand of, and dedication to the great doctrine of justification and then provides an exegesis of the key Scripture texts on this theme.
In The Gospel of Mark Fathers Donahue and Harrington use an approach that can be expressed by two terms currently used in literary criticism: intratextuality and intertextuality. This intratextual and intertextual reading of Mark's Gospel helps us to appreciate the literary character, its setting in life, and its distinctive approaches to the Old Testament, Jesus, and early Christian theology. Includes an updated bibliography as an appendix.
Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, is a professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and general editor of New Testament Abstracts. He is a past-president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and is the author of The Gospel of Matthew and co-author of 1 Peter, Jude and 2 Peter in the Sacra Pagina series published by Liturgical Press.
John Donahue, SJ, PhD, is the Raymond E. Brown Distinguished Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. He is the author of Life in Abundance: Studies of John's Gospel in Tribute to Raymond E. Brown, S.S., and Hearing the Word of God: Reflections on the Sunday Readings, Year A published by Liturgical Press."
Abridged by Marion Soards, who worked with Brown on the original text, this new, concise version maintains the essence and centrist interpretation of the original without tampering with Brown’s perspective, insights, or conclusions. The biblical writings themselves remain the focus, but there are also chapters dealing with the nature, origin, and interpretation of the New Testament texts, as well as chapters concerning the political, social, religious, and philosophical world of antiquity. Furthermore, augmenting Brown’s commentary on the New Testament itself are topics such as the Gospels’ relationship to one another; the form and function of ancient letters; Paul’s thought and life, along with his motivation, legacy, and theology; a reflection on the historical Jesus; and a survey of relevant Jewish and Christian writings.
This comprehensive, reliable, and authoritative guidebook is now more accessible for novices, general readers, Bible study groups, ministers, scholars, and students alike.
Praise for the CCSS:
"These commentaries are both exegetically sound and spiritually nourishing. They are indispensable tools for preaching, catechesis, evangelization, and other forms of pastoral ministry."--Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM Cap, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bailey begins by surveying the development of allegorical, historical-eschatological, aesthetic, and existential methods of interpretation. Though figures like Julicher, Jeremias, Dodd, Jones, and Via have made important advances, Bailey sees the need to go beyond them by combining an examination of the poetic structures of the parables with a better understanding of the Oriental culture that informs the text.
Bailey's work within Middle Eastern peasant culture over the last twenty years has helped him in his attempt to determine the cultural assumptions that the teller of the parables must have made about his audience. The same values which underlay the impact of the parables in Christ's time, Bailey suggests, can be discovered today in isolated peasant communities in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Because time has made almost no impact in these cultural pockets, it is possible to discern, for example, what it meant 2,000 years ago for a friend to come calling at midnight, or for a son to ask for his inheritance prior to his father's death.
In addition to illuminating the cultural framework of the parables, Bailey offers an analysis of their literary structure, treating the parabolic section as a whole as well as its individual components. Through its combination of literary and cultural analyses, Bailey's study makes a number of profound advances in parabolic interpretation.
To drive home this controversial point, Bauckham draws on internal literary evidence, the use of personal names in first-century Jewish Palestine, and recent developments in the understanding of oral tradition. "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" also taps into the rich resources of modern study of memory, especially in cognitive psychology, refuting the conclusions of the form critics and calling New Testament scholarship to make a clean break with this long-dominant tradition. Finally, Bauckham challenges readers to end the classic division between the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith, proposing instead the Jesus of testimony as presented by the Gospels.
Sure to ignite heated debate on the precise character of the testimony about Jesus, "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" is a groundbreaking work that will be valued by scholars, students, and all who seek to understand the origins of the Gospels.
Through the bestselling books of Elaine Pagels, thousands of readers have come to know and treasure the suppressed biblical texts known as the Gnostic Gospels. As one of the world's foremost religion scholars, she has been a pioneer in interpreting these books and illuminating their place in the early history of Christianity. Her new book, however, tackles a text that is firmly, dramatically within the New Testament canon: The Book of Revelation, the surreal apocalyptic vision of the end of the world . . . or is it?
In this startling and timely book, Pagels returns The Book of Revelation to its historical origin, written as its author John of Patmos took aim at the Roman Empire after what is now known as "the Jewish War," in 66 CE. Militant Jews in Jerusalem, fired with religious fervor, waged an all-out war against Rome's occupation of Judea and their defeat resulted in the desecration of Jerusalem and its Great Temple. Pagels persuasively interprets Revelation as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome. Soon after, however, a new sect known as "Christians" seized on John's text as a weapon against heresy and infidels of all kinds-Jews, even Christians who dissented from their increasingly rigid doctrines and hierarchies.
In a time when global religious violence surges, Revelations explores how often those in power throughout history have sought to force "God's enemies" to submit or be killed. It is sure to appeal to Pagels's committed readers and bring her a whole new audience who want to understand the roots of dissent, violence, and division in the world's religions, and to appreciate the lasting appeal of this extraordinary text.
As with all volumes published in the BECNT series, Revelation seeks to reach a broad audience with scholarly research from a decidedly evangelical perspective.
Paul was a Hellenistic Jew, originally named Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, who made a living from tent making or leatherworking. He called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and was the most important of the early Christian evangelists.
Paul is not easy to understand. The Greeks and Romans themselves probably misunderstood him or skimmed the surface of his arguments when he used terms such as “law” (referring to the complex system of Jewish religious law in which he himself was trained). But they did share a language—Greek—and a cosmopolitan urban culture, that of the Roman Empire. Paul considered evangelizing the Greeks and Romans to be his special mission.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
The idea of love as the only rule was current among Jewish thinkers of his time, but the idea of freedom being available to anyone was revolutionary.
Paul, regarded by Christians as the greatest interpreter of Jesus’ mission, was the first person to explain how Christ’s life and death fit into the larger scheme of salvation, from the creation of Adam to the end of time. Preaching spiritual equality and God’s infinite love, he crusaded for the Jewish Messiah to be accepted as the friend and deliverer of all humankind.
In Paul Among the People, Sarah Ruden explores the meanings of his words and shows how they might have affected readers in his own time and culture. She describes as well how his writings represented the new church as an alternative to old ways of thinking, feeling, and living.
Ruden translates passages from ancient Greek and Roman literature, from Aristophanes to Seneca, setting them beside famous and controversial passages of Paul and their key modern interpretations. She writes about Augustine; about George Bernard Shaw’s misguided notion of Paul as “the eternal enemy of Women”; and about the misuse of Paul in the English Puritan Richard Baxter’s strictures against “flesh-pleasing.” Ruden makes clear that Paul’s ethics, in contrast to later distortions, were humane, open, and responsible.
Paul Among the People is a remarkable work of scholarship, synthesis, and understanding; a revelation of the founder of Christianity.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
Other distinguishing features include:
• abundant images, maps, and charts--all in full color
• sidebars that address ethical and theological concerns and provide primary source material
• focus boxes isolating key issues
• chapter outlines, learning objectives, and summaries
• study questions
Students of the New Testament will find this introductory text both informative and engaging. An accompanying website through Baker Academic's Textbook eSources offers a wide array of resources for students and professors. Resources for students include flash cards, self quizzes, and introductory videos. Resources for professors include discussion questions, suggestions for class activities, PowerPoint slides, an instructor's manual, and a test bank.
While many of the questions that people ask about Revelation are sparked by sensationalistic interpretations of the book, these questions also point to major issues concerning our understanding of God and the future, death and life, judgment and hope. Rather than simply dismissing popular interpretations of Revelation, Koester first considers how these approaches work and why they are problematic. The rest of the book looks carefully at each section of Revelation, keeping the situations of first-century and twenty-first-century readers in mind. Koester's exceptional grasp of Revelation's history, text, and purpose allows him to present the message of Revelation in a way that is clear, engaging, and meaningful to modern readers.
Look out for a new book from Garry Wills, What The Qur'an Meant, coming fall 2017.
In what are billed “culture wars,” people on the political right and the political left cite Jesus as endorsing their views. But in this New York Times-bestselling masterpiece, Garry Wills argues that Jesus subscribed to no political program. He was far more radical than that. In a fresh reading of the gospels, Wills explores the meaning of the “reign of heaven” Jesus not only promised for the future but brought with him into this life. It is only by dodges and evasions that people misrepresent what Jesus plainly had to say against power, the wealthy, and religion itself. But Wills is just as critical of those who would make Jesus a mere ethical teacher, ignoring or playing down his divinity. An illuminating analysis for believers and nonbelievers alike, What Jesus Meant is a brilliant addition to our national conversation on religion.
Unlike other New Testament introductions that are primarily concerned with historical-critical issues or with what scholars have said, this book gets directly to the business of explaining the New Testament's background, content, and theology. The authors do not presume that readers need to be familiar with scholarly debates about the New Testament, nor do they assume those debates have necessarily raised the most important issues. Instead, this book is aimed at putting the message of the Christian Scriptures back within the reach of general readers. Although informed by the current scholarship in the history, traditions, and literature of the New Testament, this book is primarily designed to induct readers of the New Testament into sensitive appreciation and serious awareness of its major figures and concerns.
After explaining the nature of the New Testament and the world in which it was written, the authors thoroughly discuss each of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The content and essential message of these ancient works are described in simple but dynamic language that reveals why they continue to inspire and challenge readers today. Separate chapters also explore the types of literature found in the New Testament, the life and teachings of Jesus, Paul's life and world, and the formation of the New Testament canon. In addition, numerous sidebars offer a wealth of fascinating and highly relevant background information that helps modern readers more fully grasp biblical themes. No other work on the New Testament is so accessible and enjoyable to use.
He begins by surveying the primary issues in parables interpretation. Offering both a new, more functional classification system for Jesus' parables and guidelines for interpreting them, he provides an overview of other parables -- often neglected in the discussion -- from the Old Testament, Jewish writings, and the Greco-Roman world. The remaining chapters group the longer and more important parables of Jesus thematically and give a comprehensive treatment of each, including background and significance for today.