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The original audience for the Gospel of Matthew included converts from Judaism who wrestled with how to be faithful to Jesus Christ under difficult circumstances in a changing world. The Gospel of Matthew became a first-aid manual for this church in the midst of a struggle.

Thomas Long identifies this first audience and its faith within the social and religious context of the day and clarifies the structure of the Gospel. Providing examples of contemporary relevance, Long helps today's reader discern the significance of this guide for faithful living in today's church.

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Thomas G. Long is one of the most popular preachers in the Presbyterian Church, as well as a premier teacher of preachers.

Mark, often eclipsed by the other Synoptic Gospels, is now considered by many biblical scholars to be the earliest written gospel. This conclusion would place Mark closest to the historical Jesus. In his book, Douglas Hare examines Mark for modern Christians who are in search of the Jesus portrayed in these earliest known writings. What emerges is a Jesus whose moral and religious teachings are of secondary importance to the very fact of his life, death, and resurrection. For it is the Jesus depicted in Mark that serves as the window through which we may see God.

God's love for humankind, Hare contends, is made visible through Mark's Jesus. Douglas R. Currently, he is an adjunct instructor at Bangor Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books on New Testament topics, including Matthew Interpretation series. The Gospel of Luke is arguably the most recognizable and beloved of the Gospel writings.

It contains familiar stories such as the birth of Christ, and the parables of the good Samaritan and the prodigal son. Its message about inclusivity and economic justice continue to empower many in their struggles for liberation. Luke is also noted for the prominence of women in its narrative. The general familiarity with Luke, however, may impede a true sense of what this Gospel is about as a whole. Thus, New Testament scholar Sharon Ringe offers readers a thorough introduction to and a critical reading of Luke.

Readers will gain a renewed understanding of this Gospel in light of its whole message. Sharon H. She is co-editor of The Women's Bible Commentary. The Gospel of John is one of the most beloved books in the Christian canon.

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Its stories and images have long captured the imaginations of Christians. Not only is it one of the most popular writings of the New Testament, but many aspects of its style and outlook are distinctive. In this clear, thorough, and accessible commentary on the Gospel of John, scholars Gail O'Day and Susan Hylen explore and explain this Gospel's distinctive qualities. Gail R. She is the author of many books on John, including the volume in New Interpreter's Bible. She is also co-editor of The Access Bible. Susan E. In this book, Paul Walaskay discusses Luke's description of the early church, its leadership, and its struggles as a people of God amid competing religious claims.

He helps the reader understand Luke and his contemporaries and examines the first-century church's situation in light of today's issues. Paul W. David Bartlett explores Paul's letter to the Romans and there discovers Paul's vision of the nature of God. Along the way, Bartlett also highlights Paul's thoughts on God's gift of Jesus Christ, the world of the first Christians, and the nature of faith.

Fascinating and clearly written, this rewarding and uplifting book will encourage and enlighten the modern reader faced with contemporary issues, including pluralism and the meaning of faith. This book in the Westminster Bible Companion series explores one of Paul's most central letters. Frederick W. Weidmann observes the changes and developments in Paul's thought and practice in order to help pastors negotiate the distinction between their calling and self-identity.

He has authored two books and many articles related to early Christianity. Paul's influence on Christian thought has been powerful and formative. The deutero-pauline epistles, attributed to but not written by Paul, were actually authored by early Christians in an attempt to apply Pauline insights to particular challenges not addressed specifically by Paul.

Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther

According to Lewis Donelson, this rearticulation and reinterpretation of Pauline wisdom served these early communities by linking them more closely to their apostolic roots. It also provided them with a living gospel that had continuing relevance for their particular time and place.

Lewis R. This book in the Westminster Bible Companion series explores some of Paul's most central letters, including his earliest letters those to the Thessalonians , his friendliest letter Philippians , his most personal letter Philemon , and one of his most sustained autobiographical sketches Phil —8. For believers who have grown weary or disillusioned with their Christian commitment, the letter to the Hebrews offers much practical assistance. In this day of dwindling church attendance and clergy burnout, a new reading of Hebrews offers an encouraging, renewed understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ.

The letter of James deals primarily with the social and practical aspects of Christianity, reminding the reader that Christian faith touches every aspect of life. One of the most useful books in the New Testament, its concerns are grounded in day-to-day questions: how do we live? This epistle will challenge and encourage modern readers in search of a life of integrity. Fred B. Craddock examines the letters of First and Second Peter and Jude, asking, what kind of literature is it? Craddock's answers let us draw from these often undervalued epistles an awareness of what is involved in living a Christian life in this world.

We also see the similarities and differences in how Christ is portrayed in these epistles as opposed to the depiction found in other New Testament writings. He is the author of numerous books, including two volumes in the Interpretation series : Luke and Philippians. David Rensberger shows here how the Epistles of John spoke to the emerging concerns of an early Christian community that cherished John's Gospel.

The Epistles apply many of the themes of the Gospel to new situations.

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  • In particular the elder, who writes these epistles, reminds his readers that their love of God must be made concrete in the love they show their fellow Christians. At the same time, Rensberger shows how these letters face the problems of theological disagreement and church division, and how they can help Christians today better understand theological diversity and the struggle for church unity. David K. Originally written to be read aloud in church and to offer comfort and hope to those struggling to be faithful in troubling times, Revelation sparks great interest with its mysterious symbols of numbers and beasts.

    Here, two foremost historians offer readers a highly accessible commentary perfect for Bible study leaders.

    Each volume explains the biblical book in its original historical context and explores its significance for faithful living today. These books are ideal for individual study and for Bible study classes and groups.

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    Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther

    Overview According to this well-known author, today's readers find much that is familiar in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, including the message of God's faithfulness in the face of prejudice, sexism, and patriarchy. Product Details About the Author. About the Author Johanna W. Average Review.

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