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Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

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Studying the New Testament can be an exciting--and intimidating--experience. This readable survey is designed to make the adventure less daunting and more rewarding. Two experienced classroom teachers offer a new edition of their bestselling and award-winning textbook (over 250,000 copies sold).

This fourth edition takes into account the dramatic shift in the global Christian population. Other distinguishing features include abundant images, maps, and charts--all in full color; sidebars that address ethical and theological concerns and provide primary source material; focus boxes isolating key issues; chapter outlines, learning objectives, and summaries; and study questions.

An accompanying website through Baker Academic's Textbook eSources offers an array of resources for students and professors. Resources for students include flash cards and self quizzes. Resources for professors include discussion questions and a test bank.


To the Professor
To the Student
1. Why Study the New Testament?
Part 1: Encountering Jesus and the Gospels
2. The Middle East in the Days of Jesus
3. The Gospel and the Four Gospels
4. The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah Has Come!
5. The Gospel of Mark: Son of God,
Servant of All
6. The Gospel of Luke: A Savior for
All People
7. The Gospel of John: Eternal Life
through His Name
8. Man from Galilee: The Life of Jesus Christ
9. Lord, Teach Us: The Teaching
Ministry of Jesus Christ
10. Modern Approaches to the New
Testament: Historical Criticism
and Hermeneutics
11. The Modern Study of the Gospels
12. The Modern Search for Jesus
Part 2: Encountering Acts and the
Earliest Church
13. The World and Identity of the
Earliest Church
14. Acts 1-7: The Earliest Days of the Church
15. Acts 8-12: Salvation for Both Jew and Gentile
16. Acts 13-28: The Light of Christ to the Ends of the Earth
Part 3: Encountering Paul and His
17. All Things to All People: Life and
Teachings of the Apostle Paul
18. Romans: Right with God
19. Corinthians and Galatians:
Apostolic Counsel for Confused Churches
20. Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon: Letters
from Prison
21. Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus: A Legacy of Faithfulness
Part 4: Encountering the General
Epistles and the Apocalypse
22. Hebrews and James: Maintaining Full Commitment to Christ
23. Peter, John, and Jude: A Call to
Faith, Hope, and Love
24. Revelation: God Is in Control!
Epilogue: Matters to Ponder


"In almost thirty years of teaching introductory-level New Testament courses, I have found Encountering the New Testament to be a very accessible and readable text for my students. It is very well written and designed. I will continue to use this as my primary textbook. Enthusiastically recommended."

Bob Bayles, professor of practical theology, Lee University

"Encountering the New Testament provides an accessible and attractive introduction to the New Testament. The well-arranged text, accompanied by stunning pictures and helpful charts, invites college students into the world of the New Testament. Professors will appreciate the book's organization and instructional aids. The excellent scholarship represented in this resource elevates it above similar works in the field."

Andrew Marquez, campus dean, Wayland Baptist University

"We have been using the various editions of Elwell and Yarbrough's Encountering the New Testament for many years, having appreciated from the outset the attention given not only to each New Testament book but also to necessarily related topics such as geography, geopolitical environment, archaeological discoveries, matters of scholarly criticism, and key theological themes--all with sensitivity to different streams of theological interpretation. The visuals, charts, and inset boxes with focus topics provide a rich learning environment that has worked admirably for our undergraduate students, and I note as well that the text can aid even seminary students as they lay the initial groundwork for advanced study. The authors' awareness of globalized Christianity, especially apparent in this fourth edition, along with advancements in electronic support materials, all render this updated edition a welcome development for students open to a holistic acquaintance with Christ's new covenant."

Jonathan M. Watt, professor of biblical studies and linguistics, Geneva College; adjunct professor, the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary

The Authors

  1. Walter A. Elwell

    Walter A. Elwell

    Walter A. Elwell (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is professor emeritus of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois, where he taught for 27 years and served as dean. He has written or edited numerous books, reference works,...

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  2. Robert W. Yarbrough

    Robert W. Yarbrough

    Robert W. Yarbrough (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He lectures internationally and is the author, editor, or translator of numerous books, articles, and reviews.

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