Discovering the New Testament, Volume 3, by Mark Keown

As I approached this volume, I returned to my reviews of the earlier two volumes that together with this one will comprise a major 3-volume set of New Testament introduction. I recalled how impressed I was with the two previous releases and immediately thought that the only question would be if this volume could maintain the high quality. I’ve seen multi-volume sets by one author run out of gas before the end; haven’t you? That’s not the case here and that’s all the review owners of the previous volumes will need to desire this one.

The design remains unchanged and that allows a great template for us. He gives quality help throughout. He isn’t speculative. For example, after telling us the major positions on the authorship of Hebrews, he admits we really don’t know. He is balanced. For example, when explaining the millennial positions in Revelation, he encourages us to not put a “preset grid for interpretation”, though he is sympathetic to futurist perspectives. He is consistent throughout.

At this point, it is, perhaps, more important to gear this review toward the three-volume set since I suspect that is how it will be marketed going forward. As with previous NT introductions , this one presents great background information. How, though, does this set stand out? The hint is in the subtitle where with background we find “theology and themes”. To tell the truth, that can often help pastors and Bible students even more than the background stuff. Background shows you where it came from while theology and themes tell you where it’s going. That we need to know and this work will guide us there.

Let the other such NT Introductions step aside. There’s a new top dog in town.

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.

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