Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 23:2 (Spring 2006)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Biblical Studies

The Face of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research, edited by Scot McKnight and Grant R. Osborne. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004. Pp. 504 + subject, author, and Scripture indices.

The present volume is the companion of the well-received Face of Old Testament Studies, also published by Baker. The stated purpose is “to provide students and scholars alike with a handbook of ‘what is going on’ in NT scholarship.” The editors are Grant Osborne (Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Scot McKnight (Karl A. Olsson Professor of Religious Studies at North Park University). The volume provides a helpful overview of the specialized milieu of NT studies. Space will not permit a thorough overview of each essay, so I will offer a few notes on the highlights of the book.

The volume is divided into four parts. Part 1, “Context of the New Testament,” features only two essays. The second essay that features Roman culture in and around Asia Minor is the best of these two essays. David A. Fiensy’s major conclusions are that Paul’s Ephesian ministry in Acts is plausible, there was a large appeal of the Emperor cult in Asia Minor (especially important regarding the Apocalypse), and at least two standard objections to a southern Galatian theory should be put to rest (“Phrygia” certainly can be an adjective in Acts 16 and 18, and residents of southern Asia Minor would certainly be called “Galatians”).

Part 2 deals with New Testament hermeneutics. It features essays on issues dealing with the interpretation of the texts (textual criticism, Greek grammar and syntax, and general hermeneutics). Generally, these are well-rounded offerings, although of unequal quality. Schnabel does a good work in describing the somewhat transitional nature of textual criticism (although he does not seem to understand the Byzantine-priority position—preferring the text-type rather than eclectic readings—when he laments that its proponents choose Byzantine readings “virtually at all costs” [63]). Porter’s contribution on linguistics is notable for the ground it covers. His description of Greek grammatical issues is right on target when he laments the lack of production of an advanced reference grammar since Robertson. However, it is regrettable that he references only three works published in this decade of which he was not either editor or author. It gives a provincial flavor to the article.

Part 3 contains four essays on Jesus studies. Perhaps the most stimulating of the four is Graham H. Twelftree’s “The History of Miracles in the History of Jesus.” Twelftree t...

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