How New Is the New Testament?

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9781540960412: How New Is the New Testament?
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What is so new about the New Testament? Senior scholar Donald Hagner tackles the issue of how distinct early Christianity was from the first-century Judaism from which it emerged. He surveys newness in the entire New Testament canon, examining the evidence for points of continuity and discontinuity between formative Judaism and early Christianity. Hagner's accessible analysis of the New Testament text shows that despite Christianity's thorough Jewishness, from the beginning dramatic newness was an essential aspect of this early literature.

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From the Back Cover:

"Old or new? Continuity or discontinuity? In his survey of the New Testament, Hagner demonstrates why it is not a case of either/or but of both/and--and indeed why continuity and discontinuity are paradoxically intertwined. Hagner's book should be compulsory reading for anyone who persists in supposing that the Old Testament is irrelevant for Christian faith."
--Morna D. Hooker, University of Cambridge

"Against the current emphasis on continuity between the New Testament and the Hebrew Scripture, Hagner seeks to restore the balance by looking at what is new about the new era. Hagner's survey of key New Testament texts shows that what came was a freshness that made old things new."
--Darrell L. Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary

"How new is the New Testament? Hagner's conclusion is 'Not altogether new, but newer than you think.' His answer is convincing. In the process, he adds valuable nuance and precision to the debate over the so-called new perspective on Paul, while successfully avoiding any implication that the 'newness' of Christianity somehow invalidates or supersedes Judaism. A welcome contribution."
--J. Ramsey Michaels, Missouri State University

"In this accessible volume, veteran scholar Donald Hagner sets forth the evidence for discontinuity that cannot be ignored or written off with integrity as we seek to balance the rootedness of Jesus and the early church in the faith of Israel with the new wine that could not be contained in the wineskins of the parent religion."
--David A. deSilva, author of The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

"How New Is the New Testament? addresses a very difficult and sensitive topic. Hagner is eminently qualified to write such a book, which reflects decades of biblical scholarship and theological reflection. The relationship between Israel and the church and the place of the Jewish people in God's ongoing work are questions of the utmost importance. This book must be engaged."
--Craig A. Evans, Houston Baptist University

"I have looked forward to this book for some time. Although Hagner appreciates and understands continuity between the Testaments, he also recognizes necessary discontinuity, often neglected in recent theological discussion. An encompassing and convincing case for the 'dramatic newness' that is found in the New Testament."
--Stanley E. Porter, McMaster Divinity College

About the Author:

Donald A. Hagner (PhD, University of Manchester) is George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament and senior professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has written numerous books, including The New Testament: A Historical and Theological Introduction, and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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