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The New Testament and the People of God (original 1992; edition 1996)

by N.T. Wright

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Member:stevewedge
Title:The New Testament and the People of God
Authors:N.T. Wright
Info:SPCK Publishing (1996), Hardcover
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The New Testament and the People of God by N. T. Wright (1992)

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The beginning of Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God series, laying the foundation of all that will come to pass.

In this first volume Wright attempts to clear the air and set forth both the fundamental basis upon which further investigation can proceed and to provide a coherent historical background for the study of Jesus and early Christianity. He explores in great detail the types of criticism to which the New Testament is subjected, the philosophies of history to which the NT has been subjected, and makes the case for critical historical realism. He points out the strengths of various approaches as well as their limitations. He attempts to make sense of Jesus and early Christianity in terms of Second Temple Judaism, and does well at exploring the life, beliefs, and praxis of Jewish people in the first century.

In so many ways Wright's work is important to obtain a strong grounding in the historical realities surrounding the New Testament. An extremely impressive work. ( )
1 vote deusvitae | Dec 2, 2016 |
A review and critique of previous critical work on the New Testament, with special emphasis upon the NT in it's first century Judaic context. He focuses upon the "worldviews" of Judaism and Christianity, with a refreshing interaction with hard data. Christianity's "story" is an answer/fulfillment/subversion of the "story" of Judaism.

Finally! A critical approach to the NT with something constructive to say!
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God) by N. T. Wright (?)
  journeyguy | Apr 2, 2013 |
I think this book might be of more limited interest than the other books I’ve read so far this year. I won’t be offended by people skipping my rather wordy review!

Background:

N. T. Wright is a New Testament scholar and currently the Bishop of Durham in the UK. The New Testament and the People of God is the first book in Wright’s multi-volume work, Christian Origins and the Question of God. The purpose of this series is to answer two questions:

1) How did Christianity begin, and why did it take the shape it did?
2) What does Christianity believe and does it make sense?

This volume serves as an introduction to the series, an exploration of the methodology Wright will use and a brief study of the historical context of the first century AD. Volume 2, Jesus and the Victory of God focuses on Jesus, Volume 3, The Resurrection of the Son of God focuses on the resurrection and later volumes are planned to look at Paul, the gospels and then a final volume for a conclusion.

Review:

I actually read the second volume in this series first and I’m now trying to read through the series in order. Because this volume was more of an introduction and methodology I thought I would struggle more to read and understand it but I think Wright is very good at giving enough background to the subjects he’s discussing to allow a novice to understand it and I found the book much more readable than I feared. It is a read that requires some concentration though and I did have to switch to lighter books when it all got a bit much for my poor brain!

On the methodology side Wright looks at the problems of how we read a text, how we ‘do’ history and whether history and theology can be separated. The he moves on to a study of Judaism in the first century and finally to a brief study of the early Christian church up to AD 150. All this is laying the groundwork for his later in-depth studies of Jesus, Paul and the gospels. I would love to be able to summarise his arguments here but I would need to read the book several more times before I could do that.

Rating:

I find it very difficult to rate non-fiction books. I simply do not know enough about this subject to know whether Wright is drawing the correct conclusions on his subject. However, the fact that he has been able to write a work aimed at scholars which is also accessible to a non-theology graduate lay person is, I think, wonderful. Although I probably didn’t understand everything in this book I enjoyed reading it immensely and feel so much more aware of how much more there is to know and understand on this subject and keen to read more. Because of this, I’ve given the book five stars. ( )
7 vote souloftherose | Feb 12, 2010 |
It's a great book. Although, it requires a significant amount of effort to consider what the author is saying. Also, some preparation might be useful. Such as, having some groundings in the branches of philosophical thought, and the various schools of Greek thought. Since, this schools of Greek thought such as the Stoics and the Gnostics had an impact on the 1st/2nd century Western culture. Therefore, they also had an impact on the development of Christianity as viewed through the New Testament and other 1st/2nd century documents. ( )
1 vote aevaughn | Jun 11, 2009 |
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For some years I tried to write two books side by side: one about Paul and his theology, the other about Jesus within his historical context.
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If we read the New Testament as it stands, it claims on every page to be speaking of things which are true in the public domain. It is not simply, like so many books, a guide for private spiritual advancement.
The christological question, as to whether the statement 'Jesus is God' is true, and if so in what sense, is often asked as if God were the known and Jesus were the unknown; This, I suggest, is manifestly mistaken. If anything, the matter stands the other way around.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800626818, Paperback)

Part of a five-volume project on the theological questions surrounding the origins of Christianity, this book offers a reappraisal of literary, historical and theological readings of the New Testament, arguing for a form of "critical realism" that facilitates different readings of the text.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:13 -0400)

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