Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Great Textbook Survey of the New Testament

Kregel's What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About is a survey of the New Testament in a textbook layout like you'd find in a high school entry-level college course. I'm finding it useful for gaining an overview of larger chunks of Scripture and recognizing the big picture the New Testament authors are trying to paint, which can often be lost in books and sermons that attempt to skip straight to application without fully understanding the text.

Rather than following the traditional book order of the New Testament, the chapters of this book are arranged around the various authors, which means Luke and Acts are treated consecutively, as are John's Gospel, his epistles, and Revelation. It's a novel idea, but somewhat unnecessary; the New Testament is mostly arranged by author.

As a textbook, What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About hits a home run. Each chapter begins with a summary of the main headings. Key words are identified in bold font and listed in a review section at the end of the chapter. Tables summarize data (like major sections of a book) and pictures help illustrate main ideas (like where the sermon on the mount may have taken place or what the shore of the Sea of Galilee looks like). I also appreciate the spacious margins on every page perfect for taking notes.

It's the kind of textbook I would love to teach out of. I only wish it came with more teaching resources, like chapter questions or tests and quizzes. I'd highly recommend it for use at a Christian school, but as a preacher and teacher of the word, I'm finding it useful in my own study and preparation as well.

I requested a copy of this title from the publisher in order to provide this review.

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