Book Review – What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings (4/1)

Seminary classes often do not have time to cover each and every chapter and verse of the bible in class and usually what seminaries gives students an overview or survey of the various testaments. The pros of such an arrangement is that students are given a cliffsnotes edition to what each book of the bible is about. The cons however only equips students with the bare essentials of what the text is about. One can seem knowledgeable, but not really knowing their material well.

What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their WritingsThis books seems to want to fill this gap. Rather than dealing time dealing with the authors, dating and purpose. This book mainly deals with the purpose and flow of each book in the New Testament. What is unique about this book is how the chapters are grouped. They are divided into authors then books. As such, Luke-Acts comes before John, and John is followed by the Letters of John and Revelation. Although I appreciate how the editors have arranged the chapters. It was not clear how grouping the books by the author made significant contribution to the overall content. Each chapter could still be read alone, and there was not much interaction between the books written by the same biblical author (or maybe for Luke & John).

Having said that, this book will help anyone wants to see the structure and the flow of each of the book in the New Testament. Since the book does not dwell much on the technical stuff, I have found that this book can be marketed for any layperson who wants to grow in their grasp of the New Testament. Furthermore, I have found that the book contains plenty of pictures/charts/maps that will be refreshing for anyone who’s reading it. In the review copy I was given, I did noticed that one of the the picture was repeated with different captions (A scribe’s tools, pg 25; Qumran, Cave 4, pg 30). I’m not too sure if this error is present in the copies for sale. If so, future reprints should take note and rectify this error.

For seminary students, this may be the first book they read for their NT survey, but this book alone will not suffice and would need to be supplemented with other books that discuss more on the technical stuff. Pastors who have good knowledge of the New Testament might not need this book, but might be able to refer this book to their congregation for something that is more structured than a study bible, but leaves out on almost all of the technical stuff.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping).

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

P.S. As an supplement, you might want to consider An Introduction to the New Testament,  get it here and here (free international shipping), kindle.