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Theology of the New Testament, vol. 1: The Ministry of Jesus in Its Theological Significance
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Theology of the New Testament, vol. 1: The Ministry of Jesus in Its Theological Significance


Eerdmans 1981

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This volume, the first of a two-volume work by Leonhard Goppelt, represents the most mature and comprehensive thought of this German New Testament scholar. Among German-speaking scholars it is distinguished as rivaling, if not replacing, the monumental work on New Testament theology by Rudolf Bultmann. A study of the life and ministry of Jesus, this volume makes a thoroughgoing application of the most reliable tools and insights of contemporary New Testament scholarship. Goppelt makes a critical examination of the sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus and maintains an ongoing conversation with the views of other interpreters.

The major themes developed are the coming of the Kingdom of God, repentance and the ethical directives of Jesus, repentance as the gift of God's Kingdom, Jesus' ministry of healing and eschatological renewal, Jesus' self-understanding, and the cross and resurrection. An appendix provides a history and shows the range of problems in New Testament theology. Here Goppelt also examines and evaluates the historical-critical, historical-positive, and Heilsgeschichtliche approaches. Each chapter includes a detailed bibliography in English and German.

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Key Features

  • Presents a study of the life and ministry of Jesus
  • Provides a history and range of problems in New Testament theology
  • Includes a detailed bibliography in English and German


  • The Establishment of Historical and Theological Bearings
  • The Coming of the Kingdom of God
  • Repentance as Demand (The Ethics of Jesus)
  • Repentance as Gift of the Reign of God: The New Order of Salvation
  • Jesus’ Ministry of Salvation as Expression of Eschatological Renewal
  • The Self-Understanding of Jesus
  • Jesus and the Church
  • Jesus’ Exit
  • The Discipline: Its History and Range of Problems

Praise for the Print Edition

Even those who disagree with Goppelt about the problems, tasks, and objectives of New Testament theology, will profit from a study of this impressive work, one of the few recent attempts to bring the results of critical exegesis into dialogue with systematic theology.

Victor P. Furnish, university distinguished professor emeritus of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology

This work strikes a powerful blow in the battle to hold biblical exegesis and systematic theology together, and will help students to see New Testament theology in perspective. Its fresh and independent studies of such vital questions as how Jesus stood in relation to the Jewish law and what was meant by the Kingdom of God are of great value.

C.F.D. Moule, University of Cambridge

Happily the distinctive features of Goppelt's substantial contribution to New Testament theology will now be more widely available — thanks to this English translation.

Bruce M. Metzger, professor of New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary

Product Details

About Leonhard Goppelt

Leonhard Goppelt (1911–1973) was professor of New Testament at Hamburg and Munich. His other publications include A Commentary on 1 Peter, Apostolic and Post-Apostolic Times, and Theology of the New Testament.

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