What is so new about the New Testament? In this volume, Donald Hagner tackles the issue of how distinct early Christianity was from the first-century Judaism from which it emerged. Hagner counters the current and growing trend in New Testament scholarship of playing down any idea of newness in the New Testament and of viewing the New Testament and Christianity as representing a form of sectarian Judaism. He surveys newness in the entire New Testament canon, examining the evidence for points of continuity and discontinuity between formative Judaism and early Christianity. Hagner's accessible analysis of the New Testament text shows that despite Christianity's thorough Jewishness, from the beginning dramatic newness was an essential aspect of this early literature. How New Is the New Testament? will appeal to professors, students, and scholars of the New Testament and early Christianity.
Old or new? Continuity or discontinuity? In his survey of the New Testament, Donald Hagner demonstrates why it is not a case of either/or but of both/and—and indeed why continuity and discontinuity are paradoxically intertwined. Hagner's book should be compulsory reading for anyone who persists in supposing that the Old Testament is irrelevant for Christian faith.
—Morna D. Hooker, Lady Margaret's Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge
Against the current emphasis on continuity between the New Testament and the Hebrew Scripture, Hagner seeks to restore the balance by looking at what is new about the new era. The book is a reminder that what came with Jesus not only was tied to the promises of old but also brought fresh realities and a renewed hope. Hagner's survey of key New Testament texts shows that what came was a freshness that made old things new.
—Darrell L. Bock, senior research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
For far too long, Judaism and the Jewish law was presented as the toxin for which the Christian gospel was the antidote. The unspeakable evils of the Holocaust provided the necessary force to reverse that pendulum's motion, but in some circles it has swung too far in the direction of downplaying the decisive importance of what was new in the proclamation of God's acts in Jesus and in the giving of the Spirit. In this accessible volume, veteran scholar Donald Hagner sets forth the evidence for discontinuity that cannot be ignored or written off with integrity as we seek to balance the rootedness of Jesus and the early church in the faith of Israel with the new wine that could not be contained in the wineskins of the parent religion.
—David A. deSilva, author of The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by a world-class set of research and study tools. 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.
Donald A. Hagner (PhD, University of Manchester) is George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament and senior professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author of The New Testament: A Historical and Theological Introduction, Encountering the Book of Hebrews, The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus, New Testament Exegesis and Research: A Guide for Seminarians, and commentaries on Matthew and Hebrews. He is also coeditor of the New International Greek Testament Commentary and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).