The Lion and the Lamb
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The Lion and the Lamb

Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, Charles L. Quarles

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  1. 480 Seiten
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

The Lion and the Lamb

Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum, Charles L. Quarles

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Über dieses Buch

Engaging and accessible, The Lion and the Lamb is an ideal resource for college students and others interested in knowing the essentials of each New Testament book. A concise summary of The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown -- the acclaimed New Testament introduction by the same authors -- this volume sets a new standard for high-level, up-to-date research presented in a core knowledge format that is practical, relevant, and easy to follow.Part One features chapters on the nature of Scripture and the religious and political background of the New Testament. Part Two covers the Gospels in the canonical order, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Part Three uses Acts as the framework for treating Paul's letters in chronological written order: Galatians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Corinthians, Romans, and the Prison and Pastoral Epistles (Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and 1-2 Timothy and Titus, respectively). Part Four includes discussions of the General Epistles (Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude) and Revelation.Each chapter clearly discusses the book's key facts, contribution to the canon, historical setting, literary features, and theological message. In all, The Lion and the Lamb makes this learning exciting and rewarding.

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B&H Books
Part One
BEFORE INVESTIGATING THE Gospels and the rest of the NT in Parts Two through Four of this volume, it is appropriate to lay the groundwork for the study of the writings included in the canon of the NT by considering the nature and scope of Scripture (chap. 1) and by surveying the landscape of the political and religious background of the NT (chap. 2). This is appropriate because questions such as the extent of the NT canon, the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, the translation of Scripture, and its textual transmission (textual criticism) constitute important preliminary issues that have an important bearing on the interpretation of the books included in the NT.
Unless these questions are adequately addressed, NT introduction is rendered without proper foundation, resulting in a doctrinal vacuum that leaves the student in a precarious and vulnerable position when confronted with challenges to the canonicity of certain NT books or to a high view of Scripture and its authority. Also, the Gospels, Acts, the NT letters, and the book of Revelation did not appear in a vacuum. For this reason it is vital to discuss the political and religious backgrounds that form the backdrop to the study of the various NT writings. Hence, NT introduction properly commences with treatments of the nature of NT Scripture and of the relevant NT background.
Chapter 1
The Nature and Scope of Scripture
Students should know the major issues involved in the formation of the canon, the doctrines of inerrancy and inspiration, the textual transmission of the NT, and translations of the Bible. They should have a basic grasp of the major figures and documents involved and issues addressed, including key dates.
B. F. WESTCOTT noted long ago that a “general survey of the History of the Canon forms a necessary part of an Introduction to the writings of the New Testament.”1 For many students the discussion of the canon—the question of which books should be included in the Bible—seems moot: the canon is closed and limited to the books found in the Bible. But a study of the canon does more than merely determine the books of the OT and NT or furnish material for scholarly debate. It provides a basic orientation to how the Bible came into existence and therefore connects us more firmly to the foundations of our faith.
In this chapter we begin a journey through the NT. The very idea of a NT is traced along historical lines. As will be our practice in the case of each individual NT book later on, our discussion of the canon of the NT will proceed under the rubrics of history, literature, and theology. First, dealing with history we will take a look at the process of canonization in order to answer the question, Why these 27 books? Second, with regard to literature we will probe the reliability of the Bible and discuss the question, Is the Bible today what was originally written? Finally, the canon is bound up significantly with the church’s theology. We will therefore close by asking, What is the nature of the canon?
Our study of the scope and extent of the NT—the NT canon—is concerned primarily with the recognition of the NT writings as Christian Scripture to the exclusion of all other possible candidates. What is a “canon”? Put succinctly, the word canon comes from the Greek word kanōn, which in turn derives from its Hebrew equivalent kaneh and means “rule” or “standard.”2 The term eventually came to refer to the collection of the Christian Scriptures.
The composition of the various NT writings took place starting in the late AD 40s and proceeded through the end of the first century. Subsequently, these books were copied and spread among the growing number of Christian congregations all over the Roman Empire, as is attested by the available manuscript evidence.
Generally, the main subject of debate today is not whether the NT canon is closed (i.e., fixed and therefore unchangeable); this is widely, though not universally, assumed. The discussion centers rather on the question of how and when the closing of the canon took place. The time frame during which this process of canonization occurred spans from the period of the early church to the ecclesiastical councils of the fourth and fifth centuries.3
The Witness of the New Testament
The NT canon can be viewed from both a human and a divine perspective. The traditional evangelical view affirms God’s activity in the formation of the canon. From this vantage point, it can be said that, in one sense at least, the NT canon was closed the moment the last NT book was written.
God, through the agency of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the NT writers, generated Holy Scripture (a phenomenon called “inspiration”); and the church’s task was not the creation of the canon but merely the recognition of the Scriptures God had previously chosen to inspire. It follows that, if the church’s role is primarily passive in determining the Christian canon, then it is inspired Scripture, not the church, which is in the final position of authority.
Traditionally, the second century has been viewed as the pivotal period for the canonization process of the NT writings. By the end of that century, the books of the NT were largely recognized throughout the churches. In the two subsequent centuries, all that remained was a final resolution regarding the canonicity of smaller or disputed books such as James, 2 Peter, 2–3 John, Jude, and Revelation.
That is not to say the idea of canon appears in the second century. The fact that the church’s canonical consciousness appears to have left traces even in the NT itself suggests that the NT writers were aware that God was inspiring new documents in their day. In two important NT passages, the term “Scripture,”4 used about 50 times in the NT to refer to the OT,5 may refer to the emerging NT writings.
The first such passage is 1 Tim 5:18: “For the Scripture says: ‘You must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’” The text uses the word “Scripture” with reference to two quotations. The first, the prohibition against muzzling an ox, is taken from Deu...