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A Theology of the New Testament [Hardcover]

George Eldon Ladd
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Feb 1975
Ladd's magisterial work on New Testament theology has well served thousands of seminary students since its publication in 1974. Enhanced and updated here by Donald A Hagner, this comprehensive, standard evangelical text now features augmented bibliographies and two completely new chapters on subjects that Ladd himself wanted to treat in a revised editionthe theology of each of the Synoptic Evangelists and the issue of unity and diversity in the New Testamentwritten, respectively, by R. T. France and David Wenham.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Lutterworth Press; 1st Edition edition (27 Feb 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718821750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718821753
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,634,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Professor Ladd has produced a book which is massive in its intensity, vigorous in its approach, and attractive in its motivation" --Theology

"One of the most valid and valuable, comprehensive and coherent, contributions to our understanding of New Testament theology in recent years" --Methodist Recorder

"... up-to-date detailed bibliographies and helpful subject index. The language has also been made more 'inclusive'. For over twenty years this standard conservative work has met the needs of many theological students. As a result of the changes it will undoubtedly continue to meet the needs of many more. It is a good basic tool." --Ministry Today --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

George Eldon Ladd (19111982) was professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. His numerous books include The New Testament and Criticism, A Commentary on the Revelation of John, and Theology of the New Testament. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on the NT that will answer so many basic questions that will keep your understanding of scripture accurate and consistent. It much influenced John Wimber and is invaluable to those that come after him.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So now you know why I bought it! It's not a quick or lightweight read, and I am using rather than reading through it. Impression so far is positive, and if you share my interest you will also find it interesting, thought provoking and worthwhile.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Ladd is clearly the foremost Evangelical New Testament scholar. Thus, this text-book is one that belongs on every Evangelical book-shelf (theology students should have already bought it).
My fundamnetalist nature naturally gets nervous at his heavy use of critical techniques, but his conclusions are pretty conservative.
The most helpful part for me was his chapter on Revelation, in which he defends futurist interpretation, a view much derided in many scholarly circles.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theology "Already" and "Not Yet" 11 July 2004
By William E. Turner Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Ladd's New Testament Theology is a helpful introduction to the Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Ladd's primary contribution to the field of Biblical Theology is the incorporation of the "already" "not yet" eschatological dimension into New Testament theology. In his work he argues that there is a tension between realized and future eschatology throughout the entire New Testament. The future Kingdom of God has broken into the present and has radically shifted the entire redemptive history of the New Testament. While this Kingdom of God has become a present reality the entirety of its reign remains a future hope. This tension exists throughout the entire New Testament.
Ladd treats the Synoptic Gospels together and focuses primarily in arguing his case that the future coming age has broken in to the present age. R. T. France adds a helpful chapter where he looks at the unique contribution of each of the synoptics to theology. Much of the material on the Synoptics seemed a bit redundant and could have been shortened. However, when Ladd proceeds to discuss the Gospel of John he is at his best. The chapter where he discusses the Johannine Dualism is extremely helpful. Also the chapter on John's view of eternal life is very instructive.
In my opinion the best chapter in the book is on the resurrection of Christ. If Christ be not raised from the dead then our faith is useless - Ladd showed the importance and necessity of the resurrection throughout this chapter. He argued persuasively for the undeniable historical fact of the resurrection. Also in his dealing with the relationship of the church and Israel I believe he is dead on. He argues correctly that the church is the new spiritual Israel.
I must confess that his section on Paul was slightly disappointing. I believe that Ridderbos' Paul: An Outline is the best on Pauline Theology and most other works pale in comparison. With that said, the section was still helpful. Much of the section on Paul seems dated as it was written before the "Sanders Revolution." However, his section on Paul and the Law proves refreshing compared to the material written today although I disagree with his interpretation of Romans 7.
The chapter on the work of Christ, which detailed the atonement, was helpful. Ladd treats various biblical aspects of the atonement such as its relation to the love of God, its sacrificial and substitutionary nature along with propitiation and redemption. In his chapter on justification he highlights that justification is eschatological. While I believe this is true I remain nervous at the possible outcome for holding such a view. One potential danger is to say that the ground of realized justification is the work of Christ while the ground of future justification is the resultant good works. I believe he is correct to write, "Justification, which primarily means acquittal at the final judgment, has already taken place in the present. The eschatological judgment is no longer alone future; it has become a verdict in history" (483). Although I hesitate to use the word "primarily" for justification also seems to be rooted in eternity while worked out in present time and consummated in the future. Ladd uses the language of imputation and argues that the ground of our justification is the work of Christ and his righteousness imputed to our account (489, 491).
The rest of Ladd's work is most disappointing. He spends a mere 70 pages in dealing with the rest of the New Testament. His treatment of Hebrews - a theologically rich book - barely skims the surface while his treatment of the rest of the Catholic Epistles is hardly worth reading. Also it is surprising for someone who has done so much work on eschatology to only spend 15 pages on the book of Revelation. David Wenham's essay on the "Unity and Diversity of the New Testament" is a helpful introduction to a difficult subject.
Overall I believe that Ladd's work is a helpful contribution to the field of New Testament Theology although I believe it is sadly lacking in some places. Some of the additional essays (Hagner, France, and Wenham) have sought to fill the void, but there remains a large gap in the Catholic Epistles. Nonetheless, it is a volume worth working through and should remain a valuable repository for years to come.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic Evangelical Biblical Theology 5 April 2001
By Shawn W. Gillogly - Published on Amazon.com
If the only way you have ever seen theology done is Systematics, you need to read G.E. Ladd's New Testament Theology. Biblical Theology will look different from what you've seen in the past. But it emphasizes what the TEXT emphasizes, and no one did it as well as G.E.Ladd.
The additional chapters in this update are indeed helpful. The only distracting thing in this 2nd edition is the remarks made at times by the editor, who at points seems to be trying to explain away some of Ladd's theology. This is unfortunate, because in all of these occasions I find Ladd's exegesis more convincing than his.
But Ladd's Theology of the Kingdom, and his development of Salvation History are both exemplary. Systematic Theologians will be uncomfortable with the way he leaves tension between author's of Scripture at points. But Biblical Theology would resist the urge to "flatten" the distinctions that each individual author makes. If that is sometimes uncomfortable, so be it.
This is Biblical Theology at its finest, and needs to be in every serious scholar's library.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tired of liberal theology, read this book 21 Oct 2003
By Robert Wynkoop - Published on Amazon.com
If you want a great book on evangelical theology, this book is for you. Ladd states his reason for writing this book: If evangelical Protestants do not overcome their preoccupation with negative criticism of contemporary theological deviations at the expense of the construction of preferable alternatives to these, they will not be much of a doctrinal force in the decade ahead.
Ladd analyzes the presuppositions of liberal scholarship and shows how they fail to hold up to the test of accuracy, reason and logic. In his discussion of the historical Jesus and the Gospel of John, he brings to light one of the most basic presuppositions of the critical New Testament scholars by pointing out that they assume that the mind of Jesus is so limited that any apparent contrast between John and the Synoptic gospels must be due to differences in the early Church. Ladd further states that: Every great thinker. . . will select what seems most congenial or useful out of what he has seen and heard. Thus, Ladd diminishes the critical problem of the fourth gospel. He also points out that liberal historians run into trouble because they have no category for the divine. Thus, they approach the Scripture with anti-supernatural presuppositions that prejudice their study. The liberal scholar rejects anything supernatural for which there are no adequate historical explanations.
Did Ladd accomplish his objective? I think so. The book has its weak points, but these may be due to limitations set by the publisher rather than Ladd's theology. His discussion on the historical Jesus and the book of Revelation are primes examples of this- they seemed rather shallow and flat. One feels that Ladd could have done a better job. He does acknowledge in the preface that his study on Revelation that it is lacking an abundance of material. Other than these setbacks, Ladd does an excellent job presenting the Gospel as a truthful and accurate representation of the life and ministry of Christ.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best evangelical NT theology book out there 28 Aug 2003
By theologicalresearcher - Published on Amazon.com
Anyone wanting a good NT theology book should never pass up on Ladd's book. The book is nicely organized and arranged in a logical manner. The book covers practically every book and doctrinal issue in the NT. There are six major sections in the book in the following order: 1) The Synoptic Gospels; 2) The Fourth Gospel; 3) The Primitive Church; 4) Paul; 5) Hebrews and the General Epistles; and 6) The Apocalypse. The book is very scholarly but easy to read for the average seminarian. Ladd writes from an evangelical Baptist perspective but interacts with scholars outside that tradition. Many of his exegeses of certain key passages are convincing and he gives a fair hearing on interpretations that disagree with his. His Kingdom theology and "already/not yet" approach to redemptive-history colours some of his interpretations (esp. on eschatological matters). However, his arguments are cogent and persuasive. Especially valuable is his section on Paul's theology (pp. 395-614). His section on Paul can be a book in itself! Though this book was originally published in 1974, it is still far superior to the other evangelical NT theology books out there (e.g., Guthrie, Morris, Zuck/Bock). If you're a student of the Bible wanting to get a better knowledge of what the NT writers taught this book is the best place to start.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable and Helpful Resource for Christians 31 Oct 2009
By C. Stephans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The preface to this book notes that it is intended to introduce seminary students to the discipline of New Testament theology. As a seminarian student, I think this book fulfills its intention more so in its treatment of the gospels and the Pauline writings than its writing on Hebrews and the other letters which seem to be more lightly developed. The positives of this book greatly outweigh any negatives. It is thorough almost throughout, well organized, well written and referenced and easy to read. I would suggest it not only as a text for seminary students or graduates but for any Christians eager to better understand the theology of the New Testament.

A theme throughout the book is holding in tension the unity and diversity of the Scriptures and the "already-not yet" nature of the kingdom of God that has already been inaugurated but not yet consummated. There is in fact a helpful chapter on the topic of the unity and diversity in the New Testament.

This is a positive treatment of Scripture that stands out in conflict with the overly critical and negative contemporary criticism of Scripture that has gone awry in support of faithless presuppositions. This book sets New Testament study aright for contemporary readers. Ladd illustrates a commitment of historical study of the New Testament with an openness to its theological truth. His orientation is admittedly evangelical and geared toward enabling faith and obedience to God's word. He does not overlook or withhold scholarly views that conflict with his own but lists them along with others as possible interpretations; however, he does not let them go unchallenged.

This is no perfect theological book, as none are. Readers are sure to find weaknesses. I thought his treatment of sacramental theology was lacking. But this is an enormous accomplishment and resource for the church.
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