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T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament (12vols.)
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Gathering Interest

Overview

Bloomsbury-T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament present the latest in biblical scholarship in an engaging format for students and those approaching biblical texts for the first time. Each book covers the historical or introductory issues surrounding the text before moving on to consider interpretative issues and the range of approaches available to readers of the text. The books include further reading lists and pointers for students looking to further their knowledge.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Presents concise commentary on the text while inviting the reader to explore further
  • Explores a variety of historical, textual, and theological issues
  • Guides readers through a number of interpretive options

Product Details

  • Title: T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament (12 vols.)
  • Series: T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Volumes: 12
  • Pages: 1,360
  • Resource Type: Study Guides
  • Topic: Biblical Studies

Individual Titles

Matthew: The Basileia of the Heavens is Near at Hand

  • Author: Elaine M. Wainwright
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Recent decades have seen significant shifts in biblical scholarship opening up a range of ways of engaging the biblical narrative — both methodologically (the tools and techniques for engaging the text) and hermeneutically (the perspectives that inform an interpreter’s approach to the text and to the interpretative task). It is these shifts that give shape to this introduction and study guide, so that students encounter not only the text of Matthew itself but also its rich lode of recent interpretation.

Among aspects of 1st-century life brought to the fore by current social-scientific methodology are kinship, the honor and shame culture, and masculinity. Gender is another interpretative lens that has characterized the study of the Gospel of Matthew in recent decades and the guide provides pathways through this rich literature.

The guide to Matthew concludes with the most recent turn of the hermeneutical lens, namely an ecological perspective on what is perhaps the best-known text in Matthew, the Beatitudes. This final chapter is an example of how we can enter an old and familiar text like the Gospel of Matthew from yet another new critical direction.

Wainwright’s guide succeeds in orienting students to Matthew in current scholarly discussion

The Expository Times

Elaine M. Wainwright is Professor of Theology in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Mark: Shaping the Life and Legacy of Jesus

  • Author: Abraham Smith
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This guide reads the Gospel of Mark as a 1st-century CE story about Jesus, for his followers, and against tyranny or the abusive use of power

First, the book shows students how the Gospel uses the form of a traditional laudatory biography (a ‘Life’) to reshape the memory of the shame-ridden trials and suffering of Jesus. Such a biography portrayed Jesus’ descent (as a son of God), his deeds, and his heroic death, dispelling any notion that the teacher Jesus was a charlatan or huckster.

Second, Smith demonstrates how the Gospel devotes a great deal of space to Jesus’ training of his disciples — as he calls, commissions, and corrects them in preparation for the difficult moments of their journey

Third, Smith highlights the Gospel’s special characterizations of Jesus — as a prophetic envoy, a man of authority, and a philosophical hero — contrasting Jesus’ use of power with the abusive use of power by Rome’s representatives (Herod Antipas and Pilate).

Smith’s book is rich in well-informed Christological insight and speculation .... Those who are keen to bring their existing literary and theological grip of the bluntest and most vivid canonical gospel back to the boil in time for Year B are likely to see their engagement with Smith’s ideas as a useful exercise.

The Reader

Abraham Smith is Professor of New Testament at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Texas, USA.

Luke: All Flesh Shall See God’s Salvation

  • Author: Greg Carey
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Greg Carey’s guide equips readers to develop their own informed assessments of Luke’s Gospel. The book begins with an inductive exposition of Luke’s singular approach to composing a story about Jesus, examining its use of Mark, clues to its social setting, and its distinctive literary strategies.

Recognizing that many readers approach Luke for theological and religious reasons, while many others do not, a chapter on ‘Spirit’ addresses Luke’s presentation of the God of Israel, how the Gospel ties salvation to the person of Jesus, and how the problems of sin and evil find their resolution in the kingdom of God and in community of those who follow Jesus. A chapter on ‘Practice’ examines the Gospel’s vision for human community. While many readers find a revolutionary message in which women, the poor, Gentiles and sinners find themselves included and blessed in Luke’s Gospel, this volume calls attention to inconsistencies and tensions within the narrative. Luke does speak toward inclusion, Carey argues, but not in a revolutionary way. Could it be that the Gospel promises more than it delivers? Carey suggests that Luke speaks to people of relative privilege, challenging them toward mercy and inclusion rather than toward fundamental social change. An Epilogue reflects upon contemporary readers of Luke, most of whom enjoy privilege in their own right, and how they may respond to Luke’s story.

Greg Carey is Professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.

The Acts of the Apostles: Taming the Tongues of Fire

  • Author: Shelly Matthews
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The book of Acts opens with the dramatic story of tongues of flame descending upon believers at Pentecost and the prophecy of an egalitarian dispensation of the Spirit being fulfilled. Yet, as the narrative unfolds, we become aware of a tension between the socially egalitarian promise of the Pentecost story and the author’s underlying concern to provide reassurance for his elite patron Theophilus that Jesus followers do not disturb the existing social order.

In this guide, Acts is read as a struggle to tame the tongues of fire. Acts mutes the egalitarian promise of the Spirit through presenting an ‘orderly account’ (as its author calls it) of the Jesus movement that appeals to elite sensibilities. And, at the same time, the narrative contains contradictions, gaps and fissures that suggest the outlines of a more complex, and even subversive, religious movement.

In spite of its brevity, the book is rich in content, informative, frequently challenging of cherished interpretations, and likely to open a reader’s eyes to otherwise overlooked intricacies of Acts.

—Brian LePort, Review of Biblical Literature.

Shelly Matthews is Associate Professor of Religion at Furman University, the co-editor of Walk in the Ways of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, and the author of First Converts: Rich Pagan Women and the Rhetoric of Mission in Early Judaism and Christianity.

2 Corinthians: Crisis and Conflict

  • Author: Jay Twomey
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This guide considers the historical contexts, the literary forms, the social and rhetorical backgrounds, the politics, the theologies, and the reception of 2 Corinthians. Each chapter surveys recent scholarly approaches to the text, focusing especially on critical perspectives that mesh with our contemporary concerns about gender, identity, race and class. 2 Corinthians becomes, in the process, less the work of a single 1st-century writer than a set of fraught, even fractured negotiations between competing interests and impulses, conducted in Paul’s voice. The last chapter brings the letter into conversation with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’ in order to shift the terms of the critical discussion from what Paul meant to how Paul means in later cultural moments.

Twomey introduces students to the way 2 Corinthians offers a fascinating but fragmentary glimpse into Paul’s continuing ties with the Corinthian community. At the same time, Twomey shows how the letter is the site of many new critical challenges to traditional readings of Paul and early Christianity.

In contrast to 1 Corinthians, this 2 Corinthians largely eschews the debates and discussions, the interests and concerns of Paul’s correspondents. Instead we find Paul engaged in a multi-pronged defense of his ministry in and beyond Corinth. Over the course of thirteen chapters he runs the gamut of the emotions, rhetorically, from tears to joy to biting anger, while struggling to keep his relationship with (some say, his control over) the community intact.

2 Corinthians: Crisis and Conflict is a handy short volume with an excellent bibliography that is a must in any scholarly library and is a useful companion to the typically onerous commentaries on 2 Corinthians

—Adam White, Review of Biblical Literature

Ephesians: Being a Christian, at Home and in the Cosmos

  • Author: Stephen E. Fowl
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this guide Stephen E. Fowl introduces students to both theological fruit and critical issues of the letter to the Ephesians.

On the theological front, Fowl shows how Ephesians offers an unparalleled cosmic vision of the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, of the role of heavenly powers in the universe, and of how the community of Christians is to engage with those powers. Fowl also opens up the major identity questions Ephesians shows existed for early Christians: how to conceive the relationship of Gentiles with the Jews from among whom their faith emerged, and how to live as a Christian within households ordered on patriarchal lines while not capitulating to patriarchy.

On the critical front, Fowl provides an introduction to the key critical questions and issues, such as whether this letter was actually written to a church in Ephesus, and whether Paul the apostle was indeed the author of the letter. Yet, whilst there are demanding linguistic, historical and cultural questions to be answered, Fowl is careful to point out that this should not be done at the expense of reading the text closely and appreciating its meaning and message.

Fowl demonstrates how to remain open to debates of the evidence and how to explore theological possibilities rather than quickly reducing them to conclusions...[he] offers an excellent, readable piece of pedagogy that will complement a college or seminary professor’s aim to help students cultivate their own interpretive voices and to develop strategies as readers in their own right

Review of Biblical Literature

Stephen E. Fowl is Professor of New Testament at Loyola University, Baltimore.

Philippians: Historical Problems, Hierarchical Visions, Hysterical Anxieties

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Relatively brief and seemingly unassuming, Philippians is frequently underestimated by its readers and users. This guide shows that what lies within this letter is much more complicated and dynamic than many expect.

After surveying the major historical problems and the methods scholars use to arrive at competing solutions, Marchal focuses on the letter’s famous hymn of Christ—a rare glimpse into a tradition created by the community in Philippi, even earlier than Paul’s letter. Given its impact and potential, the hymn deserves sustained attention, including its connections to slavery and other modes of social power.

Turning to the letter as a whole, Marchal asks how this letter fits with types of argumentation in Greco-Roman culture, moving then into a detailed sketch of the rhetorical patterns in the letter, from unity and sameness to hierarchy and modeling. Feminist and empire-critical approaches are presented alongside more traditional assumptions and ideas throughout, signaling how choices in approach and starting points have historically affected the scholarly visions and communal uses for Philippians.

In the final chapter the letter is put to a series of atypical uses, as the insights of queer theories are brought into surprising interaction with the arguments in the letter. Tarrying over unmentionable ideas and provocative moments that readers typically race past, this chapter takes the reader from the hierarchical heights of a cosmic Christ to the depths of excrement being emptied from the same body, from the arguments of waste to revealing asides about human waste and feminine lack. The performative power and possibilities of Paul’s letters has never been stranger nor more subversive of the too often destructive and dehumanizing uses of biblical images, ideas and arguments.

Joseph A. Marchal is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Affiliated Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA

1 & 2 Thessalonians: Encountering the Christ Group at Thessalonike

  • Author: Richard Ascough
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

1 Thessalonians provides a fascinating glimpse into the origins and social life of the Christ group in the ancient Roman city of Thessalonike, while 2 Thessalonians reveals how the community developed at a somewhat later time. This guide narrates the story of the founding of the group by considering the social and cultural contexts, the literary form, the rhetorical strategies, the theologies, and the reception of the two canonical letters

While centering on the texts of 1 and 2 Thessalonians themselves, Ascough draws widely on literary and archaeological data, giving particular attention to typical group behaviors among small, unofficial associations in the Greek and Roman period. The first four chapters focus on 1 Thessalonians, from the initial formation of the Christ group out of a small association of artisans through to how members negotiated various sorts of relationships: with Paul and his companions, with outsiders in Thessalonike and beyond, and especially with fellow believers within the group itself. The final two chapters turn attention to the shifting circumstances that required a second letter to be written, with its focus on disorder and disruption of social practices and theological beliefs. The epilogue briefly surveys Christianity at Thessalonike beyond the 1st century.

This guide presents an overview of the historical development of the Christ group at Thessalonike. Moving beyond treating the canonical letters as simple repositories of theological opinions, Ascough demonstrates how 1 and 2 Thessalonians reveal ordinary life in ancient Roman cities. In so doing, he invites readers to enter the world of one of the many fascinating communities of Christ believers in the 1st century of the Common Era.

Richard S. Ascough is associate professor and director of the School of Religion, Queen’s University, Kingston.

Philemon: Imagination, Labor and Love

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This guide explores and summarizes scholarship on Philemon, acquainting beginning students with what has been said about Philemon, and equipping them to understand the larger debates and conversations that surround it. It explores how different initial scholarly assumptions result in different interpretations and "meanings;" these meanings always have ethical implications. Reading Philemon challenges us to rethink the process of commentary and the communities interpretation creates.

Though only one chapter long, Paul’s Letter to Philemon has generated a remarkable amount of commentary and scholarship over the centuries, figuring in debates over textual reconstruction, the formation of biblical canon, the culture of ancient Rome, Greek language and its translation, and the role of the Bible in Western politics and economics. The focus of this short letter is labor, love and captivity. Tradition since Chrysostom has argued the letter is an appeal to Philemon on behalf of a fugitive slave Onesimus, now a convert to Christianity. Yet this interpretation depends upon several assumptions and reconstructions. Other equally plausible contexts could be—and have been—argued.

Robert Paul Seesengood (Ph.D., Drew University) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Albright College, Pennsylvania, USA. He is the author of Competing Identities: The Athlete and Gladiator in Early Christianity (Continuum, 2007).

James: Diaspora Rhetoric of a Friend of God

  • Author: Margaret Aymer
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this guide Margaret Aymer introduces the letter of James, countering arguments that it is of limited theological value and significance for early Christianity. Aymer focuses on James’ theology of God’s divine singularity and immutability, and of God’s relationship to the community as father and benefactor. These are theological foundations for its emphasis on community actions of belief, humility and mutual care.

Aymer introduces and examines the letter’s stand against empire, not least in regard to wealth. Divine power is envisioned as an alternative power to that of the Romans, though in some respects it can seem equally brutal.

Aymer concludes by focusing on those addressed by James’s homily, the exiles in diaspora. Engaging the psychology of migration, she unpacks the migrant strategy underlying James’s call to living ‘unstained’. Finally, Aymer encourages student to ask what it might mean now for twenty-first century people to take seriously a separatist migrant discourse not only as an interesting ancient writing but as a scripture, a lens through which its readers can glimpse the possibilities for how lives are to be lived, and how contemporary worlds can be interpreted and engaged?

Aymer makes the text come alive in its context... [her] reading of James is thought-provoking. This volume will be an excellent addition to a textbook list for seminarians and graduate students, but it is also accessible to the pastor who wants to linger longer in the study of the Word.

Review of Biblical Literature

Margaret P. Aymer is Associate Professor of New Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, USA.

1 Peter: Reading against the Grain

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The New Testament writing known as First Peter was probably written at the end of the 1st century CE; it is addressed to ‘resident aliens’ who live as colonial subjects in the Roman Province of Asia Minor. They are portrayed as a marginalized group who experience harassment and suffering. This letter is ascribed to the apostle Peter but was probably not written by him. It is a rhetorical communication sent from Christians in the imperial center in Rome (camouflaged as Babylon), an authoritative letter of advice and admonition to good conduct and subordination in the sphere of colonial provincial life.

1 Peter is a religious document written a long time ago and in a culture and world that is quite different from our own. However, as a biblical book it is a part of Christianity’s sacred Scriptures. This guide to the letter keeps both of these areas, the cultural-social and the ethical-religious, in mind. It offers help for understanding the letter as both a document of the 1st century and as sacred Scripture that speaks about the religious forces that have shaped Christianity and Western culture. In short, this guide seeks to enable readers to read ‘against the grain’.

[Schüssler Fiorenza] is to be commended for her interaction with a wide array of scholarship, for asking difficult questions of the text without leaving readers comfortless, for her insistence on identifying (and assistance in evaluating) readers’ own frameworks of interpretation, and for presenting 1 Peter as a text ripe for the exercise of inquiry, biblical interpretation, and critical but constructive self-evaluation.

Reviews in Religion and Theology

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza is Krister Stendahl Professor of Scripture and Interpretation, Harvard Divinity School, USA.

The Letters of Jude and Second Peter: Paranoia and the Slaves of Christ

  • Author: George Aichele
  • Series:T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the New Testament
  • Publisher: T & T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 112

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This guide surveys the more important historical, socio-cultural, theological, and literary factors we must grapple with in understanding the two letters of Jude and Second Peter, between which there are very strong similarities. It appears that the letter of Jude was almost entirely ‘plagiarized’ by the letter of Second Peter. George Aichele’s main approach is the method of semiotics, examining signifying mechanisms in each of the texts both independently and when they are read together.

In both of the letters, Jesus Christ is called the ‘master’, with a Greek word that means ‘slave-owner’, and the authors of both books refer to themselves and other Christians as the slaves of Christ. Furthermore, both writings report situations of paranoid fear within Christian communities of their time as they picture heretical infiltrators who threaten to pervert and perhaps even destroy the community.

In addition to this, in an adventurous excursion, the letter of Jude is read intertextually with the classic science fiction/horror film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel 1956), in order to explore the dynamics of paranoia.

George Aichele is a member of the Bible and Culture Collective, the collaborative author of The Postmodern Bible. He is also the author of Sign Text Scripture and The Control of Biblical Meaning and co-editor with Walsh of Screening Scripture.