Preaching has always had a long and storied history in Christian Church.  From the Apostles to the present day, preachers have declared the good news that Jesus saves, sanctifies and is going to glorify a people for His own possession and praise. A new book, Preaching The New Testament edited by Ian Paul and David Wenham, seeks to help preachers and teachers understand how to faithfully proclaim the New Testament. Each chapter covers the main texts and genres of the New Testament and offers particular insights into the infancy narratives, parables, miracles, the Sermon on the Mount, ethics, future hope and judgment, archaeology and history, and hermeneutics. This book has well known contributors such as Dr. D.A. Carson and others you may not have heard of.  The price of the book is worth it even if you only read Dr. Carson’s chapter title “Preaching the Gospels”.

Dr. Carson offers some challenging advice to preachers. One notable example is his statement, “Gifted expositors are capable of working through Gospels at a slow pace, line by line, in much the same way that they handle, say, Romans. When they succeed in this approach, they are often dealing with discourse material. For most of us, however, the Gospels afford a fine opportunity to choose longer units of text than the half-verse.” (p. 21) Carson is not discounting the important of verse by verse preaching, rather he is making a larger point that many of us may not be able to pick apart just one verse and explain it in the context of the passage and then explain and apply it. I consider myself one of those to whom Carson is talking about. When teaching or preaching the Gospels, I tend to go for the natural progression of the text as a unit (as Carson does) explaining larger portions (at times) and smaller ones as appropriate.

Another salient point Carson makes is “In line with the way one ought to prepare to preach any book of the Bible, the preacher needs to live inside a Gospel for a while before trying to preach any part of it. Reading through at a single sitting, several times, is a great way to begin; those who have the training, working carefully through the text in the Greek during preceding months will prove personally rewarding and homiletically enriching. For although it is true that in some ways the four Gospels tell the one, same story, yet each covers the material from a distinctive angle, with distinctive emphases.” (p. 22)

Preaching The New Testament edited by Ian Paul and David Wenham, will provide those scholarly inclined believers as well as Pastors and teachers of the Word a resource that will help them study the New Testament again for the first time. This book, written by leading scholars in the New Testament but written in an accessible style, will help scholars and teachers of the Word to learn how to do careful exegesis, incisive theological reflection and balanced homiletical application necessary for the life of the Church today. I recommend this book for Pastors and teachers, and commend the fact that while it is deep it is still very accessible for the serious Bible student.

Title: Preaching the New TestamentBook Review – Preaching The New Testament 5

Author: Edited Ian Paul and David Wenham

Publisher: IVP Academic (2013)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IVP Academic. 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

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