I was recently provided a copy of The Cradle, The Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament (2nd Edition) by B&H Academic for review, and I am excited to write about it.
The book is a little intimidating in it’s size (it is a true academic textbook, and 1168 pages long), but understood as a reference and a guide for deep study, the length starts to come into focus.
Each section guides you, book by book, through the historical context, literary dimensions in terms of genre, and theological significance of each of the 27 new testament books. Extensive footnotes and an excellent bibliography for each book is provided, as well as helpful overview material of the entire canon. Maps and a few other tools make this an excellent and central resource to guide your study of the New Testament.
Further, the book provides core concepts and study goals for each book, divided out at the “basic”, “intermediate” and “advanced” level. This helpful calibration of expectation function as something of a “workout manual” for study, knowing what your goals are, and how much farther is left to run. It lays out a life-long course of study in the work necessary for an “advanced” understanding of each of the books, but provides resources and pointers necessary to help you get there.
I am personally excited about this particular book because not only will it be a helpful classroom resource for seminary students, but as one without a seminary degree, this book will help provide some excellent structure, accountability, and guidance in my approach the the scriptures.
It was a bit humbling to find that for the most part, I stop my study of a particular book, and consider myself ready to teach it, having only gone to the depth described in the “basic” section of concepts and goals.
Time to get back to running.
Thank you, Dr. Köstenberger and B&H for producing this excellent resource.
(A quick note that I was provided a review copy for free by B&H, and the links to the book here are from Amazon’s affiliate program. I’m fairly certain this hasn’t colored my review at all, however :) )