Few biblical topics are as important as mission. Mission is linked inextricably to humanity’s sinfulness and need for redemption, and to God’s provision of salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ. This ‘good news’ of salvation must be made known. The saving mission of Jesus constitutes the foundation for Christian mission, and the Christian gospel is its message.
This second edition of Salvation to the Ends of the Earth emphasizes the way in which the Bible presents a continuing narrative of the story of God’s mission—ranging from the story of Israel to the story of Jesus and that of the early Christians. At the same time, importantly, it provides a robust historical and chronological backbone to the unfolding of the early Christian mission.
With regard to the latter, Paul and the General Epistles are incorporated with the Gospel with which they have the closest and most natural canonical and historical affinity: James and Hebrews with Matthew; 1–2 Peter and Jude with Mark; Paul’s letters with Luke–Acts; and 1–3 John and the Apocalypse with John. The chapter on the second-temple period has been moved to an appendix so as not to interrupt the flow of the presentation of the biblical story-line and theology of mission.
Hard as it is to believe, two decades have elapsed since the publication of the first edition of this biblical theology of mission. The second edition aims, no less than the first, to trace the theme of mission across the Bible’s story-line. Instead of envisaging mission as a late post-resurrection afterthought, it teases out the organic wholeness of the theme from Genesis to the Apocalypse. Nevertheless, most of the book has been re-written and updated, and some of it has been re-cast. For example, instead of outlining Paul’s contribution to the theme of mission on its own (certainly a worthy goal), this second edition examines Paul’s letters in tandem with the developments in the Book of Acts—a more complicated but highly illuminating procedure. If this volume contributes to enriching preachers and Bible teachers around the world with a renewed vision of God as a missionary God, the authors and editor will be profoundly grateful.
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA
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Andreas J. Köstenberger is Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Director of the Center for Biblical Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. He is the author or co-author of numerous books including John (BECNT), The Theology of John's Gospel and Letters, Father, Son and Spirit (NSBT), The Heresy of Orthodoxy, God, Marriage and Family, and Invitation to Biblical Interpretation.
T. Desmond Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Union Theological College, Belfast. He is the author of From Paradise to the Promised Land, From Eden to the New Jerusalem, The Servant King, Discovering Jesus and Exodus (AOTC), and co-editor of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology and the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch.