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Making Sense of the New Testament

Three Crucial Questions

series: Three Crucial Questions

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"A succinct, easy to read but not simplistic introduction to three crucial issues in NT studies from an evangelical perspective. While aimed at and suitable for a wider readership or undergraduate students, the volume also has its challenges for advanced students."--Christoph Stenschke, Themelios

Many Christians assume that the New Testament is historically reliable. This confidence, however, is not universal, and there are many who, especially in light of modern biblical studies, question this claim. Some have also claimed that Paul founded a church quite distinct from the message of Jesus and the Gospels. How can we reconcile their seeming differences? What is the relevance of the New Testament in the world today, in cultures far removed in time and space from the first-century Mediterranean world?

Grounded in sound scholarship but written in an accessible style, this book provides a reasonable, well-informed response to these issues, offering sound introductory guidance to any student of the Bible.


"Some New Testament scholars major in minutiae and stay away from the big historical and literary questions, but Blomberg is not one of them. In Making Sense of the New Testament, Blomberg tackles the big issues of the historical reliability of the New Testament--the similarities and differences between the teachings of Jesus and Paul and the various issues of literary criticism--with vim, vigor, and vitality. His study is marked by careful, well-documented scholarship and a well-argued case. This book is an excellent starting place for those who want to discuss the New Testament with a skeptical postmodern audience."--Ben Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary

"In addressing three crucial questions, Blomberg has given us an imposing, crisply written apologetic that is at once relevant, fair-minded, and comprehensive. This is a worthy companion to Longman's parallel text for the Old Testament."--Paul Barnett, former bishop of North Sydney, Australia, and teaching fellow, Regent College

"Craig Blomberg is an ideal scholar to introduce the three crucial questions addressed in this book. He has distinguished himself before in important treatments of these topics, and here he provides an excellent, readable introduction that will profit basic and advanced readers alike. His treatment reflects exceptionally clear, original thinking as well as thorough familiarity with wider scholarly discussion."--Craig Keener, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"As always, Craig Blomberg is lucid, sensible, and interesting. The book's organization and style are deceptively simple. Even the mature Christian reader will benefit from Blomberg's mastery of so much material nicely summarized and evaluated here. Blomberg offers just enough detail to keep us interested in the hard evidence but not so much as to make us feel swamped by minutiae. This book could be confidently placed into the hands of friends who are generally well read but who are nevertheless biblically illiterate, for Blomberg's mix of sane historical assessment, thoughtful theology, and elementary principles of interpretation open many doors. I hope this book will find many diverse readers and a long life."--D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

The Author

  1. Craig L. Blomberg

    Craig L. Blomberg

    Craig L. Blomberg (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is distinguished professor emeritus of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, where he has taught for more than thirty years. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Can...

    Continue reading about Craig L. Blomberg


"Enhanced with an excellent introduction, extensive notes, a Subject Index and a Scripture Index, Making Sense of the New Testament is confidently recommended reading for students of the New Testament as well as non-specialist general readers with an abiding interest in New Testament Studies from a Protestant perspective."--John Taylor, Midwest Book Review

"A scholarly yet easy to understand companion volume to Longman's Making Sense of the Old Testament. . . . Though the questions discussed in this book are very broad, Blomberg has done a brilliant job in addressing them in a manageable fashion. His familiarity with contemporary issues in the NT has aided him in putting forth a well-argued case. A major strength of the book is its well-documented endnotes. . . . Blomberg believes in people seriously engaging the Scripture for themselves, and he has successfully accomplished just that in this volume. He has presented enough evidence to raise our curiosity, yet he has left enough room for questions and ready-tools to incite 'serious students of the Scripture' into further detailed studies. While this book may benefit a wide range of readers, it will also make a good complementary reading for Introduction to Biblical Apologetics, Introduction to the New Testament, and/or Introduction to Biblical Interpretation on a college level."--Joe Lieway, Stone-Campbell Journal

"Craig Blomberg is unquestionably a good scholar who has produced a useful and accessible little book. . . . This is in the best sense propaganda aimed at arming evangelical students and others with ammunition in debate with skeptical opponents. Although most of the material in this book is readily accessible elsewhere, its availability in a single inexpensive paperback will be welcomed by many."--Howard C. Bigg, Anvil

"No matter how long you've been a Christian, read this. . . . Carefully argued and persuasive entry level answers are offered for intelligent readers. . . . The first two chapters make it well worth putting into the hands of unbelievers or wobbly Christians. It is just what one needs to help students or others affected directly or indirectly by skeptical biblical scholarship. The third provides a brilliant introduction to the issues of trans-cultural biblical application: I can imagine passing it to someone leading a group Bible study for the first time--on a New Testament passage at least. But it would be a pity if it was only seekers or new Christians who read this book. Blomberg writers so well and deploys such expertise so meticulously that long-standing Christians and Christian workers would benefit enormously from it too. More like this, please, Professor!"--Julian Hardyman, IVP/Urbana

"Blomberg deals in a clear and thorough way with each question. He defends an historic Christian orthodoxy, backing it with a wide range of sources, and the arguments are well structured and clear. He does cover a wide range of scholarship, but sticks to his central purpose without getting lost in a web of fine argument. . . . A valuable guide to the debate. Blomberg is not afraid to reach and declare his conclusions and provides an eloquent defense of traditional evangelical Christian belief."--John Hallett,

"In thorough, painstaking fashion Blomberg exposes the weaknesses of the sceptics' arguments, through careful scrutiny of the New Testament texts, awareness of first century culture (e.g. the importance of the oral tradition and rote memorization), as well as referring to non-Christian sources, archaeological evidence and other early Christian evidence. By using the tools of the historian-tools that can be applied to any ancient text-Blomberg makes an impressive case for the trustworthiness of the New Testament. . . . This really is a brilliant, powerful and yet compact volume. Crystal clear and persuasive. A book that does not fail to build confidence in the truth of the gospel. A must buy!"--David L. Barnes, CLC World

"Blomberg's book is a worthwhile engagement with his three crucial questions. There is much positive material here written in an engaging style. The book will profit Christians and enquirers as it evaluates relevant scholarly discussions. Theological students also will benefit from his contribution to understanding the New Testament."--Robert S. Dutch, Journal for the Study of the New Testament Booklist

"Blomberg has produced a handy little primer on some of the basic questions that face the reader of the NT. . . . This book will be useful for beginning students of the NT at both the college and graduate levels. It is also useful as an apologetic tool for anyone who might be interested in evidence concerning the historical claims of the NT."--Denny Burk, Criswell Theological Review

"How do we know that the New Testament that we hold in our hands today is accurate? If we conclude that it is indeed accurate, how do we reconcile Paul's teachings with Jesus' teachings? And if they can be reconciled, how do we even understand the New Testament and apply it to our lives? These are arguably the three most basic and crucial questions that a Christian in the twenty-first century needs to grapple with, and Craig Blomberg helps us with this task. . . . [He] has provided us with a well-reasoned and balanced introduction to the New Testament. This is a small yet concise volume that would be beneficial for every Christian out there."--Mike J. Knowles, Pneuma Review

"Blomberg sets out with a fine survey of the current state of discussion [regarding the apparently historical portions of the New Testament] before he approaches these narratives as a historian would do. . . . Blomberg presents a well-argued persuasive case and raises arguments that cannot be ignored by those disagreeing. . . . Blomberg has provided a succinct, easy to read but not simplistic introduction to three crucial issues in NT studies from an evangelical perspective. While aimed at and suitable for a wider readership or undergraduate students, the volume also has its challenges for advanced students."--Christoph Stenschke, Themelios

"There has been an explosion of sensationalistic history surrounding the life of Jesus and the origin of the church. . . . In such an atmosphere, a work like Blomberg's Making Sense of the New Testament is welcome indeed. . . . This well-written little book would be quite helpful in an adult Bible study or for preparing young people who are sure to be bombarded with the never-ending assault on the historicity of Christ and the faith. Blomberg's book . . . help[s] frame the discussion in a reasonable way and should serve as a useful guide to Christians who proclaim that the Christ of faith is indeed the Jesus of history."--Peter J. Scaer, Logia