Crossway has just published two 600-page volumes, years in the making, that should find a place on every pastor’s bookshelf:
- A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: The Gospel Promised, edited by Miles Van Pelt, and
- A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized, edited by Michael Kruger.
In the introduction to his edited volume, Mike Kruger explains that while the NT introduction has similarities to those that have come before it, it has several distinctives:
- It is theological.
- It is redemptive-historical.
- It is Reformed.
- It is multiauthored.
- It is pastoral.
I’ll highlight just one of these, his explanation of the book’s accessibility:
Generally speaking, New Testament introductions have tended to focus primarily on historical-critical issues related to the background of each of the twenty-seven books. While many introductions spend considerable time engaging in highly technical discussions about dating, authorship, and textual history, they often devote comparably little space to the theological, doctrinal, and practical aspects of these books. Now, it should be noted that these background issue are very important in their own right; and the authors of this volume have dealt with many of them in other places (e.g., see Charles Hill’s highly technical monograph on the origins of the Johannine corpus). However, for the average Bible study leader or local pastor, such discussions are not always their primary need as they prepare their lessons or sermons. Sure, they need to be introduced to the major background issues, but not in such a way that they get mired in overly technical discussions. For these reasons, the present volume has attempted to make the discussion of background issues more streamlined and more accessible. By way of example, some of the more technical discussions that normally appear at the beginning of New Testament introductions—discussions related to the New Testament text, the New Testament canon, and the synoptic problem—now appear at the end of this one. Thus, these important appendixes are available if and when they are needed, but they are not, if you will, the lead story. And they are targeted not to the scholar but to the average pastor or student.
Here are some comments on the Old Testament volume:
“For expository preachers and teachers of the Bible, this is truly a gold mine. Present and past members of the Reformed Theological Seminary faculty have produced a volume that is long overdue. Sound biblical-theological treatments of each book of the Old Testament, linked with good historical and literary comments, all conclude by pointing to the fulfillment of the texts in the person and work of Jesus. With this volume, no preacher should ever feel that preaching Christ from the Old Testament is too hard or too speculative.” Graeme Goldsworthy, Former Lecturer in Old Testament, Biblical Theology, and Hermeneutics, Moore Theological College
“In this volume, a number of capable biblical scholars faithfully explore the Old Testament writings with sensitivity and sensibility. They do an admirable job not simply in describing the main themes and theology of each book but also in artfully showing that the Old Testament has a covenantal framework, a kingdom perspective, and Christ at its center. In brief, this is a superb volume, which provides an understandable and informative overview of the Old Testament. A great antidote to an embarrassing ignorance of the Old Testament by Christians.” Michael F. Bird, Lecturer in Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia; author, Evangelical Theology
And here are some comments on the New Testament volume:
“Seminary-level New Testament introductions are plentiful. But this one provides what others do not: a consistent hermeneutical orientation as articulated by a top-tier roster of nine different scholars associated with Reformed Theological Seminary throughout its history. In addition to chapters covering all the New Testament books, valuable appendices treat canon, text, the synoptic problem, and more. Addressing both spiritual and academic issues with a view to pastoral equipping and biblical exposition, this wide-ranging compendium will benefit readers in both classroom and personal settings.” Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
“With the right mix of academic integrity and purposeful accessibility, this New Testament introduction will serve time-crunched pastors, ministry-minded students, and church members looking to better understand their Bibles. What makes this new volume unique is the emphasis on examining the theological themes in each book of the New Testament, rather than focusing on arcane debates prompted by liberal scholarship. The result is an insightful and impressive resource, one I will use in my own studies and often recommend to others.” Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan
“While introductions to the New Testament abound, this volume is a rare gem. It admirably combines depth of scholarship and theological exegesis within a biblical-theological framework—all couched in highly readable prose, offered for the sake of the church. It will no doubt instruct and edify. Well done.” Constantine R. Campbell, Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
If you go here, you can read sample material from the OT volume, including Ligon Duncan’s foreword, the table of contents with contributors, Miles Van Pelt’s preface and introduction, and John Currid’s whole chapter on Genesis.
If you go here, you can read sample material from the NT volume, including Ligon Duncan’s foreword, the table of contents with contributors, Michael Kruger’s introduction, and Reggie Kidd’s whole chapter on Matthew.