Reading the New Testament offers an exciting and contemporary approach to New Testament Studies, which have changed dramatically in the past thirty years. James Crossley combines an introduction to traditional methods of source, form and social-scientific criticism with postcolonial, gender and political frameworks. He discusses reception-history, covering areas such as popular culture, party politics, historical theology and the politics of contemporary scholarship. He discusses Paul and Christian origins in continental philosophy, as well as offering a more traditional analysis of Paul’s theology and the quest for the historical Jesus. A selection of readings from contemporary scholarship is provided in the final chapter of the book.
Reading the New Testament has been carefully designed to help students think critically and in wide-ranging ways about the texts of the New Testament and will prove a valuable resource for everyone engaged in serious study of the Bible.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: How to Read the New Testament Part 1: History 2. Reading Historical Documents Historically: From Historical Criticisms to Literary Criticisms and Back Again 3. Contemporary Historical Approaches to the New Testament: Identity and Difference 4. Applying Methods Old and New 5. The Quest for the Historical Jesus Part 2: Revolutionary Origins of Christian Beliefs? 6. The New Testament and the Origins of Major Christian Theological Ideas 7. Paul, the Law, Faith and Salvation: Old Perspectives, New Perspectives, Different Perspectives 8. Paul's Revolution for Our Times? Paul and Continental Philosophy Part 3: Reception 9. What is 'Reception History'? 10. Methods and Questions in Reception History 11. How to Read New Testament Scholarship Part 4: Extracts from New Testament Scholarship
James Crossley is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Sheffield. His research interests include the New Testament and biblical scholarship in historical, cultural and political contexts. His publications include Jesus in an Age of Terror (Equinox, 2008).
'This is an outstanding introduction to the New Testament, and especially to the many varied ways in which it is being interpreted in contemporary scholarship. It is the only introduction known to me which gives a comprehensive introduction to contemporary New Testament scholarship, and it does so with the exemplary clarity needed by elementary students. This also reflects the author’s exceptional learning.' – Maurice Casey, University of Nottingham, UK
'This book is essential reading for students and scholars alike, not only within biblical studies but also in those several fields like philosophy, critical theory, and psychoanalysis which have become aware once more that there is no critique of Western culture without a reworking of biblical traditions and their place in this legacy.
James Crossley has emerged as one of the most brilliant and productive of a new generation of biblical scholars able to articulate the profound significance of understanding biblical traditions for contemporary political and cultural analysis. Those who learn to read the New Testament with Crossley will discover not only the original culture within which the New Testament writings were written but also contemporary politico-cultural contexts from which new and often explosive interpretations continue to emerge.
Crossley’s book is a call for contextually engaged reading and creative rethinking of biblical texts and their ongoing life in a post-secular culture. There are many good introductions to the New Testament on the market today, but Crossley’s is the only one that is absolutely essential.' – Ward Blanton, University of Glasgow, UK