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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction To The Background of the New Testament
This book by John Drane is a masterpiece. Drane approaches the subject from an evangelical christian point of view. He is not scared to examine points of view that he disagrees with, but at the same time he will let no current social convention come between himself and what he believes the text of the New Testament to actually mean.
This book does not just cover the...
Published on 28 Jan 2002 by gmgjkfjkg

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for A-Level, forget it for University
I bought this book in my first year of my undergraduate studies in Theology, and although its very pretty, some great pictures and diagrams, it really lacks some scholarly emphasis and material. Having said that, thats what it is designed to do.
It is excellent in unfolding some of the issues, but as the title suggests, it really is an introduction. Some of the...
Published on 9 Dec 2005 by Tim Edwards


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction To The Background of the New Testament, 28 Jan 2002
This book by John Drane is a masterpiece. Drane approaches the subject from an evangelical christian point of view. He is not scared to examine points of view that he disagrees with, but at the same time he will let no current social convention come between himself and what he believes the text of the New Testament to actually mean.
This book does not just cover the theology of the New Testament but also looks at the socio-political climate that the New Testament was written in and that the first christians lived in.
Whilst the books simplicity makes it best for the A-Level student or the general reader, it is also good for the undergraduate university student as an easy read and enjoyable quick introduction to the New Testament in order to provide an initial orientation to the subject matter at hand.
This is a book that I freely recommend to anybody wanting to take initial steps into the delightful world of the New Testament.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF ONLY ALL ACADEMIC BOOKS WERE THIS READABLE, 30 Nov 2001
John Drane has impeccable credentials as a conservative theologian and an evangelical Christian, and yet (unlike some other "evo" authors) he can write in an honest and even-handed way about more liberal opinions than his own.
This makes Drane a particularly valuable resource for theologically conservative students who need to know about controversial modern views in Bible scholarship, but do not want to feel that their text book is necessarily endorsing them or taking a condescending approach to the divine inspiration and historical authenticity of Holy Scripture.
This book is not primarily about doctrine - it is first and foremost a book about the Bible, designed to help a Christian reader understand what the Bible is really saying. In doing so it takes for granted the basic principle of Bible exegesis that you cannot work out what the Bible is saying to the Church today without understanding what it was saying (and why) to the Church of the 1st and 2nd centuries.
This would thus be an invaluable book for any first-year theology student or for the general reader wishing to know more about the historical and cultural roots of the New Testament and the early church. Although other writers have produced more stylish and attractive prose, Drane is wonderfully clear, interesting and easy to follow. More intricate explanations are in self-contained sections carefully boxed beside the main narrative, so that they can be skipped by the more casual reader without interrupting the book's flow.
The book's monochrome illustrations and diagrams are not of outstanding originality or beauty, but they are invariably well chosen and helpful. Moreover the physical binding of the paperback edition I am using is robust and has a nice feel to it.
Strongly recommended.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable (and twice as thick as 'Introducing the OT'!), 14 July 2006
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Chris Of The OT (South West of England) - See all my reviews
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In contrast to the next reviewer down, I find `Introducing the New Testament' invaluable to my studies (I'm just finishing the first year of a degree course with the London School of Theology). John Drane's easy-going style even when dealing with sometimes complex theological issues, coupled with the wonderfully user-friendly book layout (see my review of Drane's `Introducing the Old Testament') make this an excellent title. There is more than enough scholarly information here to begin serious NT studying while still being easily accessible enough for more casual Bible study.

I have been fortunate in being able to compare this revised edition with the previous edition: there has been a small but significant "sharpening up" of the text and the above mentioned layout has changed (and improved) greatly, and there is also (at least one) completely new Special Article - `The gospels as Graeco-Roman biography' (P168). It's surprising how much difference - and how greatly positive that difference is - between first and revised editions of this book.

As I said in my review of `Introducing the OT', this title should be considered mandatory to anyone even vaguely interested in Christian or biblical things.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, when the author keeps to his subject, 12 Oct 2008
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For practical purposes this is quite the best introduction to the New Testament I have come across. I read Theology at Oxford University in the 1980s and am a practising Catholic. The book gives a thorough survey of modern and not-so-modern scholarship, and presents the arguments for and against "orthodox" views in a fair, albeit somewhat Protestant way.

Why only four stars? First, because the author insists on bringing in his private views on modern political issues like colonialism, the position of women and so forth, which is unnecessary and irritating to readers like me who broadly share his theological views but not his politics.

Secondly, because the book joins the growing tendency towards repetition. It is also crying out for an editor who has a strong grasp of English grammar and style. If it runs to another edition, I volunteer!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic resource., 12 July 2005
By A Customer
This book provides a clear, easy to read account of the New Testament. The author gives a substantial overview of the social-political-religious context of the writing of the NT which is not bogged down in scholarly language. As an A-level Theology teacher, I needed a book not only to enhance my own background reading, but also one which I could recommend to my students as being accessible and interesting to read; this book fits that criteria.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very thorough, if conservative, introduction to the subject, 29 Nov 2008
By 
Jeremy Bevan (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Extremely thorough, updated edition of the author's widely respected introduction to the New Testament. It includes sections on the wider historical and cultural setting; Jesus' life, death and resurrection; the Kingdom of God; the New Testament's literature, and the development of the churches that lie behind it. The book is rounded off with a discussion of approaches to reading the NT. Though fairly conservative in outlook, Drane's great virtue is to at least sketch other perspectives, even if he is sometimes rather too quick to dismiss the more liberal among them. The main themes in each chapter are supplemented by a more in-depth focus on particular aspects or problems, often giving an adept summary of wide-ranging scholarly debate that has run for decades or more. There's an extensive (if again rather conservative) bibliography to guide further reading. Drane's text is probably suitable if you're an A-level RE student, or beginning academic study of theology - as long as you remember that other, more liberal perspectives are also available.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a "draining" book part 2, 29 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. Andrew Carr (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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As someone in training for ministry (as a Reader in the Church of England), this book is on the recommended reading list.

I can only agree with another reviewer of this thoughful and insightful book that it is "an extremely valuable illustrated documentary". The author teaches practical theology and throughout you get a real sense that the ideas presented (especially those on the historical Jesus and the role of Paul) can and should be applied and lived out by Christians today. And that if done, can and will positively impact the world we live in. Paraphrasing an old tv series "The Truth is in Here!"

Excellent book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and indespensible study aid., 23 Nov 2001
By A Customer
I used this book for the New Testament section for A Level Religious Studies and found it extremely useful. In his book, John Drane not only translates the meaning of passages in the NT but also takes time to explain the socio-political situation of the time. This I feel gives the reader a thorough grasp of the texts they are studying. In addition I felt that the book is very accessible to both student and lay person alike.
Cross-references featured in the book make it simple to find summaries and additional information on particular passages and maps of the areas featured in the NT pasaages give the reader a clear idea of the distances between the sites of different events.
All in all, this book provides quite a detailed introduction to New Testament than some other introductory books I have read on the subject (e.g. 'Teach yourself The New Testament') and is very useful for day to day referencce.
I would strongly recommend it to those with an interest in the subject.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for A-Level, forget it for University, 9 Dec 2005
I bought this book in my first year of my undergraduate studies in Theology, and although its very pretty, some great pictures and diagrams, it really lacks some scholarly emphasis and material. Having said that, thats what it is designed to do.
It is excellent in unfolding some of the issues, but as the title suggests, it really is an introduction. Some of the illustrations used to feel more reminiscent of a school book, so its really no good for university or serious bible study, but recommended for A-Level or beginners in the topic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introdcution to NT, 29 May 2013
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Bought this as the required reading for a distance learning course in New Testament theology. Well worth the money. A clearly presented and readable introduction to the topic, with pictures to keep you going when you get a bit bored!
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Introducing the New Testament
Introducing the New Testament by John Drane (Paperback - 20 Nov 2010)
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