In this volume, New Testament scholar I. Howard Marshall offers a synthetic New Testament theology. The author begins with an analysis of the Gospels and Acts, and then proceeds to each of Paul's letters. The focus is then shifted to the Johannine literature and ends at Hebrews and the remaining general epistles. Throughout, Marshall repeatedly stops to critically assess the theology presented in the texts, gradually building up a composite synthesis of the unified theological voice of the New Testament.
On the way toward this synthesis, Marshall highlights clearly the theological voices of the individual New Testament books. Thus, his New Testament theology serves also as an introduction to the New Testament books. This allows New Testament Theology to double as an attractive complement to book-by-book introductions to the New Testament.
"New Testament theology is essentially missionary theology," writes I. Howard Marshall. Founded on a sure-footed mastery of the data and constructed with clear thinking lucidly expressed, this 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion winner offers the insights born of a distinguished career of study, reflection, teaching and writing on the New Testament. Marshall's New Testament Theology speaks clearly to a broad audience of students and nonspecialists. But even on the most familiar ground, where informed readers might lower their expectations of learning something new, Marshall offers deft insights that sharpen understanding of the message of the New Testament.
Here is a New Testament theology that will not only guide students and delight teachers but also reward expositors with a lavish fund of insights for preaching.
“It may be helpful to attempt a tentative definition of the object of our concern: the aim of students of New Testament theology is to explore the New Testament writers’ developing understanding of God and the world, more particularly the world of people10 and their relationship to one another.” (Page 23)
“Our conclusion is thus that a theology of the New Testament has two tasks: First, it will investigate the way in which the theological thinking of the early Christians, as deposited in these documents, came into being, analyzing the theologies that come to expression in each of the several documents or in appropriate groups of documents.19 Second, it will then enquire as to the existence and character of a possible synthesis that will bring out the common beliefs expressed in the documents and also show how they have individually developed these beliefs in different ways, so that we may see whether there is some kind of harmony between them or whether there are discords that cannot be resolved.” (Page 31)
“Fourth, there is a manifest unity of theme about the New Testament writings in that they are all concerned in one way or another with Jesus and the religion that developed around him.” (Pages 19–20)
“Study of New Testament theology is more akin to medical diagnosis with its tracing of a case history than to solving a chess problem. We need some understanding of the history in order to place the theological statements in a proper context.” (Page 26)
“Third, the New Testament documents constitute virtually the whole of the surviving Christian literature of the first century, although some of the apostolic fathers (1 Clement; Didache) probably belong to this period.” (Page 19)
I. H. Marshall surveys the issues and themes of New Testament theology as only the dean of evangelical New Testament scholars could do.
—Douglas J. Moo, Blanchard Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College Graduate School
Few who consult this book, whether for academic or ministry purposes, will fail to benefit.
—Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
For decades, Howard Marshall has been a voice of thoroughness, fairness and moderation in biblical studies. Now, in a time when some are questioning the very need and legitimacy of New Testament theology, Marshall demonstrates why it must still be done and how it should be done, and then, quite simply, he does it. Biblical scholars and students on both sides of the Atlantic are once again indebted to a man who has written much and been a friend and a mentor to many.
—J. Ramsey Michaels, Professor Emeritus, Southwestern Missouri State University
This New Testament theology, the work of a distinguished, mature scholar, is most welcome! It is methodologically sound, attuned to the current issues in the field, lucid and genuinely comprehensive. Marshall's idea of the New Testament texts as missionary theology is intriguing and deserves careful reflection. This New Testament theology should be regarded as today's standard in the field.
—David M. Scholer, Professor of New Testament and Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
This book is a stunning achievement by an outstanding scholar and gifted teacher. Here the fruit of wide reading and reflection over many years is set out most attractively. Students and scholars alike will appreciate the clarity of the discussion, the nuanced judgment on disputed issues and the guidance given to further reading. I particularly welcome the author's 'witness by witness' approach in his exposition of New Testament theology: the distinctive themes of the individual writings and the unifying threads both receive careful attention.
—Graham Stanton, Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge