During services in Christian communities, the members of the congregation stand together to recite the creed, professing in unison the beliefs they share. For most Christians, the creed functions as a sort of “ABC” of what it means to be a Christian and to be part of a worldwide movement. Few people, however, know the source of this litany of beliefs, a topic that is further confused by the fact that there are two different versions: the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.
In The Creed, Luke Timothy Johnson, a New Testament scholar and Catholic theologian, clarifies the history of the creed, discussing its evolution from the first decades of the Christian Church to the present day. By connecting the deep theological conflicts of the early Church with the conflicts and questions facing Christians today, Johnson shows that faith is a dynamic process, not based on a static set of rules. Written in a clear, graceful style and appropriate for Christians of all denominations, The Creed is destined to become a classic of modern writings on spirituality.
Johnson is convinced that the dominant ways of studying early Christianity tend to miss its specifically religious character, because of a disjunction between formal religion and "popular" religion. He proposes in this book, by means of three case studies -- baptism, glossolalia, and meals -- to show how a more holistic, phenomenological approach can be made. This makes possible the inclusion in the study of early Christianity the world of healings and religious power, of ecstasy and spirit -- in short, the religious experience of real persons.
It is this subtle yet real presence of religious experience that alters the discipline and practice of New Testament scholarship, as Johnson notes: "This is neither history in the strict sense of the term, nor is it theology. That's the whole point: we need a new way of looking in order to see what we can't otherwise see. If I have succeeded at least in whetting an appetite for getting at what these chapters try to get at, I am content, for what they try to get at is important."
Johnson concludes that there is still much to be learned about early Christianity as a religion, if we can find a way to get at the category of real experience. He maintains that early Christian texts reflect lives that are caught up by and defined by a power not in their control but controlled instead by the crucified and raised Messiah Jesus.
This commentary treats Luke-Acts as an apologetic history. It takes with equal seriousness both Luke's literary artistry and his historical interests, fitting his methods comfortably within the ancient standards of historiography. This perspective illustrates in particular that Luke's historical narrative serves a definite religious intent. Tracing that intent through the specific contours of Luke's story is the special contribution of this commentary."
Faced with how to respond to God's leading, the church decides what to do on the basis of two realities: Scripture and discernment. Because it calls the church into being Scripture is the fundamental authority in the church's life. Yet it is not enough for a congregation simply to turn to the Bible when a decision must be reached, for Scripture does not directly address all issues which face the church today, and those it does often reflect greatly differing historical and social contexts than our own.
Thus, added to the authority of Scripture in the church's decision making is a process of discernment, in which the members of the community--under the guidance of the Holy Spirit--recall how God has worked in their lives as individuals and as a community and discern together God's direction for the future. Johnson argues that this very pattern of decision making can be found in Scripture itself, notably in one of the central events of the book of Acts. Beginning with the conversion of Cornelius and culminating in the Apostolic Council of Acts 15, we see how a string of smaller narratives combine to tell the story of God's movement within their midst, and how this narrative became the basis for the reinterpretation of Scripture and the inclusion of Gentiles into the fellowship of the church.
Looking at a number of thorny issues facing the contemporary church, Johnson demonstrates how the interaction of Scripture and discernment can and must become the basis for how we respond to the decisions with which the church wrestles today.
The New Testament Library offers authoritative commentary on every book and major aspect of the New Testament, as well as classic volumes of scholarship. The commentaries in this series provide fresh translations based on the best available ancient manuscripts, offer critical portrayals of the historical world in which the books were created, pay careful attention to their literary design, and present a theologically perceptive exposition of the text.
Scripture points to the human body and lived experience as the preeminent arena of God's continuing revelation in the world, says Luke Timothy Johnson. Attentively discerning the manifestations of God's Spirit in and through the body is essential for theology to recover its nature as an inductive art rather than — as traditionally conceived — a deductive science.
Willingness to risk engaging actual human situations — as opposed to abstract conceptualizations of those situations — is required of the theologian, Johnson argues. He celebrates the intimations of divine presence and power in such human experiences as play, pain, pleasure, work, and aging, showing how theology can respond faithfully to the living God only by paying due attention to human bodily experience.
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.
Courson has amassed more than 1,500 teachings in an expositional style. Jon Courson's Application Commentary will combine a verse-by-verse teaching of every paragraph of Scripture with practical topical studies throughout.
This New Testament commentary is a unique blend of information and inspiration presented in a way unique to Jon Courson.
With more than 1,200 Calvary Chapels in the U.S. and 2,500 worldwide, Jon Courson delivers with fresh, new insights into the Bible.
Beloved author and teacher Warren W. Wiersbe leads you through this practical book with advice on how to overcome temptation, control the tongue, effective prayer, and how to practice what the Bible teaches. If you're going to make progress in these areas, you will need a growing faith and dependence on Christ.
Originally written for the Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary series, this work has been substantially expanded and adapted for the NICNT series; it now treats the entire book of Romans rather than the first half. Based on the English text but bringing into the discussion the underlying Greek at every point, this commentary focuses both on theological meaning and on contemporary significance. Moo makes a contribution to the continuing debate regarding Paul's teaching on such issues as Jewish law and the relationship between the Jews and Gentiles in the people of God. He also critically interacts with "the new perspective on Paul," highlights Romans's emphasis on "practical divinity," and traces the theme of gospel throughout the epistle.
Part of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s best-selling “BE” commentary series, BE Courageous has now been updated with study questions and a new introduction by Ken Baugh. A respected pastor and Bible teacher, Dr. Wiersbe explores the courageous life of Christ. You’ll be encouraged to trust God, and inspired to embrace fearless living.
It can be argued that no book of the Bible has had a greater effect on Christianity than the book of Romans. In this classic commentary by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe, you can refresh your own understanding of this seminal work, Paul's masterpiece letter to the church in Rome. Dr. Wiersbe's careful exposition of the text allows the truth to soak into your heart and mind as you read and understand these essential truths of Scripture.
From roadside signs to science fiction films, this slogan underscores our society’s nervous fascination with the future. Whether it’s a giant asteroid, a worldwide plague, or some other global catastrophe, the end of the world is a terrifying prospect—at least for those who have no idea what it will be like.
For Christians, however, the end of the world should be anything but dreadful. In fact, it should be something we actually look forward to. Why? Because God has told us how the world will end. And He has assured us that the end of this age will mark the beginning of a new, glorious one in which we will serve and worship Him in sinless perfection. Our eternal hope, as believers, is intimately tied to the end of this world.
All of this is laid out in the book of Revelation. Not only is Revelation the inspired Word of God, it is also the only New Testament book that includes a promised spiritual blessing for those who study and apply its message. As such, it is an essential part of every Christian’s devotional life. Those who ignore Revelation deprive themselves of a rich treasure of divine truth, and the promised blessings that come from understanding that truth. Join John MacArthur as he explains the book of Revelation in a way that is both doctrinally precise and intensely practical.
In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order “to make known the figure and message of Jesus.” Now, the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary.
This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy.
Two thousand years ago, the church at Colossae faced similar challenges. The apostle Paul wrote a letter outlining the only way we can live complete lives: Christ. What can we learn today from this ancient church?
Called by many scholars the "most profound letter Paul ever wrote," Colossians warrants a careful, faithful study. In this short but exciting letter, Paul makes the case for the supremacy of Christ in all things. Best-selling author and teacher Warren W. Wiersbe calls your attention to Paul's essential thoughts on living a complete life.
In Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders illustrates biblical leadership principles through the lives of David, Moses, Nehemiah, the Apostle Paul, David Livingston, and Charles Spurgeon.This world needs more leaders who are guided by God and devoted to Christ. Christianity needs to put forth a powerful voice to be heard above the cacophony of immorality and deception in much of today's leadership. Spiritual Leadership will encourage you to place your talents and powers at His disposal so you can become a leader used for His glory. This timeless classic will equip leaders of all generations to press on in service for Jesus Christ. Spiritual Leadership has easy-to-understand modern language and a study guide to assist each leader as they grow and successfully apply the principles in this book. Prepare to be stretched, challenged, and motivated to apply the leadership principles of character, passion, and especially godliness. Spiritual Leadership is a necessary tool for today's leaders. With over 500,000 in print, this book is the perennial favorite for teaching the principles of leadership.
In Spiritual Discipleship, Sanders provides mature inspiration and instruction for spiritual growth. While most Christians want to honor and glorify God, few fully understand the absolute sacrifice that He asks.You'll find probing insight into biblical requirements for true discipleship in the Lord's service. Includes study questions.
In Spiritual Maturity, Sanders addresses the limitations of our knowledge about God and assists us in tackling life's most difficult tasks. By acknowledging our lack of wisdom, we may become wiser. Study questions help increase individual or group spiritualdiscernment and growth in the knowledge and understanding of the Lord.
CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER THROUTH THE NEW TESTAMENT
Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament will help you:
• Understand the "big picture" of what the New Testament teaches
• Grasp the significance of each individual book
• Discover the life-changing truths of each chapter
• Learn how to share the truth of God's Word with others
If you have used Dr. Wiersbe's popular BE series, you know how simple and practical his Bible studies are, with outlines that almost teach themselves. If not, you can now discover a wonderful new resource. This work is a unique commentary on every book of the New Testament. It contains new material not to be found in the BE series.
In our politically unstable day of "wars and rumors of wars" (Mark13:7), we can all understand the quest for stability. But there is only one source of rock solid security.
There was a time for rules and sacrifices. Then Christ came as the perfect, spotless Lamb to atone for sin once and for all. Respected pastor Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe will show you that by focusing on the reality of the unseen first, an overwhelming desire for intimate friendship with God will follow.
Each 24-hour day has 1,440 minutes. You’re asked to give six of those 1,440 minutes to prayer for the next 43 days. This Little Book will be your companion, and you can take it with you wherever you wish. You can write in it, tear out a page and put it in your pocket, get extra copies and mail them to friends or family members and have a sense of praying with them each day.
The left-hand page is like a buffet table with a variety of thoughts about the Advent and Christmas seasons, the feast of the day, or various traditions and customs. The key is the right-hand page where we’ll reflect on the first reading assigned for the Mass each day. This will give many people a chance to reflect on and pray passages from the Old Testament that they may have seldom heard proclaimed or preached about at liturgy.
Trust Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe, pastor and Bible teacher for over forty years, to take you chapter-by-chapter through the various topics in this important book, all the while keeping a steady eye on the main message of the book: Christ is the victor, and in Christ, we are also victorious.
T H U N D E R I N G H O O F B E AT S B R I N G WA R , FAMI N E , A N D P L A G U E
The image of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in Revelation 6:1–8 is one of the most vivid and powerful in all the writings of the prophets. Their presence speaks of a coming day of horror—the first four judgments of the Tribulation. White, red, black, and pale, they will wreak destruction around the world. Prophecy expert Mark Hitchcock takes an in-depth look at the horsemen and shows how today’s events point toward the prophecy about them.
Signs all around us indicate that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse may be ready to mount up and gallop across the earth.
“Mark Hitchcock packs a wealth of information on biblical prophecy into an excellent ‘quick read.’ I highly recommend Mark as a faithful guide to understanding current events in light of God’s wonderful plan of prophecy.” —TIM LAHAYE, author, educator, minister
Story Behind the Book
The four horsemen of the Apocalypse in Revelation 6:1–8 is one of the most vivid, powerful visions in all of the Scriptures. The apostle John saw a vision of four horses (white, red, black, and pale) galloping across the world in the end times, leaving unbelievable destruction in their wake. The chilling imagery of that vision has gripped believers for over two thousand years. The purpose of the book is to take an in-depth look at these four mysterious horsemen and show how their approach seems to be developing before our eyes, signaling the advent of that terrible seven years known as the Great Tribulation. The four horsemen are symbolic of great movements that will mark the onset of that climactic era in history.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this critically acclaimed biblical commentary is a major contribution to scholarship and ministry.
Pastor, author, and Bible teacher Warren W. Wiersbe highlights significant cultural and historical aspects that arise in Matthew's gospel to paint for readers a clearer picture of this glorious, unexpected, but all-satisfying King of Kings.
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."
The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series continues to be one of today's top-selling commentary series. In the volume one and two of the Book of Romans, MacArthur gives verse-by-verse analysis in context and provides points of application for passages, illuminating the biblical text in practical and relevant ways. The series has been praised for its accessibility to lay leaders, and is a must-have for every pastor's library.
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
This commentary considers John's clear, simple, unambiguous words from his three brief but profound letters. His themes, some of them reiterated more than once, emerge powerfully, such as the first letter's stress on doctrinal certainty, moral clarity, and the preeminence of biblical love, along with the second letter's emphasis on living the truth and the third's on discerning friends and foes in the local church.
Tom Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the back of the book. The series is suitable for group study, personal study, or daily devotions.
Part of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe's best-selling "BE" commentary series, Be Encouraged has now been updated with study questions and a new introduction by Ken Baugh. A respected pastor and Bible teacher, Dr. Wiersbe shares words of hope for your own journey of faith.
This highly original commentary seeks to make the Letter of James clear and applicable to Christian living today. Interacting with the latest views on James but keeping academic references to a minimum, Douglas Moo first introduces the Letter of James in its historical context and then provides verse-by-verse comments that explain the message of James both to its first readers and to today's church.
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.
What if Charles Spurgeon helped you prepare next Sunday’s sermon?
Or what if you could talk over your preaching with Joseph Parker, Richard Baxter, Henry Ward Beecher and H. P. Liddon. Do you think it would make a difference to get the input of some of the greatest preachers who ever lived?
That’s precisely what Joseph Exell had in mind when he put together the massive series of volumes called The Biblical Illustrator. In what can only be called a Herculean feat, he spent years gathering preaching notes and sermon outlines from the very best preachers of his day (in the late 1800s and early 1900s), and he did it covering every book of the Bible.
And it is amazingly comprehensive. Exell approached his task by taking every verse in the Bible and seeking to discover how it has been preached in the past. Though there is plenty of exegetical material here, this is not primarily a commentary.
This series is for preachers, teachers, Bible students and anyone else looking for penetrating pastoral insights from some of the all-time greats of the faith.
Written in a clear, nontechnical style, New Testament Survey begins with a survey of the social, political, economic, and religious background of the New Testament, and then goes on to examine the various groups of New Testament books, which are considered in their historical settings. The book concludes with a penetrating study of the New Testament canon.
Undertaken at the request of Dr. Tenney, and prepared with his full approval, this 1985 revision by Walter M. Dunnett includes an entirely new chapter on the Jewish background of the New Testament, plus several new short sections, including materials on the Gospels and the canon of the New Testament. The bibliography has been enlarged and updated, and many of the book's numerous illustrations, maps, and charts are new. Great care has been exercised to retain the spirit and quality of the original work, ensuring that the book will remain a standard in the years to come.