At first glance this is a book idea that seemed a little cutesy, or at least that’s what I was thinking. In fact, this idea of having the different New Testament writers discuss theology as if they were around the table seemed like a gimmick. It wasn’t until I actually read the book that I found it to be a unique and engaging way to think about how doctrine is presented in the New Testament.
Derek Tidball’s first chapter gave a good, brief overview to the different approaches to New Testament theology. When he discusses the authorial approach, you can’t help but think how many such works set the writers of the New Testament against each other almost as competing voices for Christianity. That is not the case here. Besides an imaginary Chair and observer, his panel is made up of Luke, James, John, Jude, Mark, Matthew, Paul, Peter, and the Hebraist.
In chapter 2 he goes big picture and discusses the common thread of the New Testament as being the Good News. It’s in this first chapter of the panel going at it that you find out just how interesting and helpful this work is. The quality is maintained all the way to the end and the great doctrines of the New Testament are gone through in a very logical sequence. The amazing part is that this method actually reads much better than many other such theologies.
In addition to the theology, you get a great picture of the emphasis of each New Testament writer. For example, if you were study in Matthew you can go through this book and read Matthew’s statement in each of the theological discussions and you have a good idea of the uniqueness of the book of Matthew. Not only does this book read well, it lends itself to future consultation on a variety of New Testament subjects.
You won’t agree with every single theological description in this book, but you will get a conservative, Scripture-affirming treat for your studies. To my mind, this volume can take his place among much larger works on our shelves and I highly recommend it.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.