…They care about, at least in part, good textbooks! Kregel’s new basic NT introductory textbook caught my eye: What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings (2008).
There were several things that appealed to me about this book. First of all, it is authored by multiple contributors who all teach undergraduate students. Secondly, it attempts to survey key themes and ideas (in a simple, non-jargon way) in less than 250 pages. Thirdly, it is chock full of great photos of various biblical places, models, artifacts – I love when good textbooks can do these kinds of things.
In terms of content, the information is quite basic. I found very well-written articles by C. Marvin Pate, George Guthrie, Ken Berding, and Justin Hardin. Now, the average scholar or doctoral student will contest many of the claims made in this book – but it is not written for YOU!!! For its audience, and the needs of keeping things really basic, it does a good job. The audience that book is aiming for is undergraduate survey courses in conservative institutions that focus on content and theology. For that kind of audience, this book will be useful and effective.
Personally, I think it is well suited for bible studies and adult bible education in churches. If I were to do an intro to the NT class at my church, this is just the thing I would use (or something close to it).
It is amazing what a difference good design makes to a textbook and this is an elegant specimen. It has an attractive cover, glossy pages, eye-catching side-bars and charts. I am a sucker for style – nice work Kregel. I guess I am just that superficial… :)
In any case, for those who teach or minister to the kind of students/audience I have described above (conservative, undergrad/lay-level), this is a book to check out.