The New Testament for Everyone Series provides a series of guides to the books of the New Testament, and this particular volume opens up what N. T. Wright calls "one of the most brilliant writings in early Christianity"—the book of Luke.
In it, Wright offers a wealth of information, background, and detail to the book penned by Luke, whom some call the "first real historian to write about Jesus." Because Luke was educated and cultured, his Gospel portrays the first-century Jewish and Roman world where the good news of Jesus Christ went forth from a unique perspective.
This New Testament for Everyone volume on Luke will leave the reader with insights that aid in understanding the story of Jesus and its implications for us all.
What You’ll Learn
N. T. Wright makes it clear throughout his work on Luke: this Gospel is for everyone—laypeople, seminarians, and scholars alike.
Readers will see that Luke watched the extraordinary events happening at Pentecost in Acts 2—and everything surrounding those events—to not just recount what he saw but talk to those involved, dissect earlier writings, and come to his own conclusion so that what he communicated to his readers concerning Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection would be 100 percent true for people in ancient Israel—and today.
Because Luke was a cultured and educated man and the first real historian to write about Jesus, Wright's commentary focuses on the Roman and Jewish first-century world of which Luke writes. With Wright's guidance, readers will explore that world and interpret Luke accordingly.
After reading the Scripture passage, Wright offers compelling commentary that weaves in first-century background and context to make what is happening in the passage clear. For example, in his chapter on Luke 1:39–56 on the Magnificat, N. T. Wright comments:
“It’s the gospel before the gospel, a fierce bright shout of triumph thirty weeks before Bethlehem, thirty years before Calvary and Easter. It goes with a swing and a clap and a stamp. It’s all about God, and it’s all about revolution. And it’s all because of Jesus—Jesus who’s only just been conceived, not yet born, but who has made Elisabeth’s baby leap for joy in her womb and has made Mary giddy with excitement and hope and triumph. In many cultures today, it’s the women who really know how to celebrate, to sing and dance, with their bodies and voices saying things far deeper than words. That’s how Mary’s song comes across here. Yes, Mary will have to learn many other things as well. A sword will pierce her soul, she is told when Jesus is a baby. She will lose him for three days when he’s twelve. She will think he’s gone mad when he’s thirty. She will despair completely for a further three days in Jerusalem, as the God she now wildly celebrates seems to have deceived her (that, too, is part of the same Jewish tradition she draws on in this song). All of us who sing her song should remember these things too. But the moment of triumph will return with Easter and Pentecost, and this time it won’t be taken away. Why did Mary launch into a song like this? What has the news of her son got to do with God’s strong power overthrowing the power structures of the world, demolishing the mighty and exalting the humble? Mary and Elisabeth shared a dream. It was the ancient dream of Israel: the dream that one day all that the prophets had said would come true. One day Israel’s God would do what he had said to Israel’s earliest ancestors: all nations would be blessed through Abraham’s family. But for that to happen, the powers that kept the world in slavery had to be toppled (pp. 14–15).”
Readers will take away a solid understanding of the culture and context of the day that will not only illuminate what Luke was communicating to his first-century readers but help today's student better approach other books of the Bible, knowing they, too, have background, culture, and context that impacts understanding.
“What is at stake, then and now, is the question of whether we will use the God-given revelation of love and grace as a way of boosting our own sense of isolated security and purity, or whether we will see it as a call and challenge to extend that love and grace to the whole world. No church, no Christian, can remain content with easy definitions which allow us to watch most of the world lying half-dead in the road.” (Page 129)
“They, like everybody else in Israel, had been reading the Bible through the wrong end of the telescope. They had been seeing it as the long story of how God would redeem Israel from suffering, but it was instead the story of how God would redeem Israel through suffering; through, in particular, the suffering which would be taken on himself by Israel’s representative, the Messiah.” (Page 294)
“To sit at someone’s feet meant, quite simply, to be their student. And to sit at the feet of a rabbi was what you did if you wanted to be a rabbi yourself. There is no thought here of learning for learning’s sake. Mary has quietly taken her place as a would-be teacher and preacher of the kingdom of God.” (Page 131)
“For Jesus, when people follow him and his way, that is the true repentance.” (Page 184)
“The servant-Messiah has not come to inflict punishment on the nations, but to bring God’s love and mercy to them. And that will be the fulfilment of a central theme in Israel’s own scriptures.” (Page 48)
In this series [Wright] excels as a communicator, making this the most exciting study guide since Barclay's Daily Study Bible.
—The Expository Times
Wright writes well and with an easy style. The short commentaries tackle New Testament books without being weighed down.
With the Logos edition, you can reap the maximum benefit from each New Testament for Everyone volume by getting easier access to the contents of this series—helping you to use these volumes more efficiently for research and sermon preparation. Every word from every book has been indexed and catalogued to help you search the entire series for a particular verse or topic, giving you instant access to cross-references. Additionally, important terms link to your other resources in your digital library, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and others. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for because in Logos, your titles will automatically integrate into custom search reports, passage guides, exegetical guides, and the other advanced features of the software. You'll have the tools you need to use your entire digital library effectively and efficiently, searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly, and performing word studies. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps, providing you the most efficient and comprehensive research tools in one place, so you get the most out of your study.