Let us start with The Greek New Testament: Being the Text Translated in the New English Bible (1961), edited with introduction, textual notes, and appendix by R. V. G. Tasker (Oxford and Cambridge University Presses). This handsomely produced Greek Testament can scarcely be called a critical edition, but Professor Tasker has for many years specialized in the textual study of the New Testament, and his introduction and notes on variant readings contain much that will interest careful Bible students.

T. W. Manson’s Companion to the Bible, first published in 1939, has appeared in a thoroughly revised edition under the editorship of H. H. Rowley (T. and T. Clark); it includes chapters on various aspects of New Testament study by George Johnston, G. R. Beasley-Murray, Nigel Turner, H. H. Scullard, H. E. W. Turner, and the present writer. E. F. Harrison’s Introduction to the New Testament (Eerdmans) provides us with the mature judgments of an evangelical scholar who has studied and taught New Testament introduction for many years. The Interpretation of the New Testament, by Stephen Neill (Oxford), surveys the main trends of New Testament study during the century 1861–1961; it is a most readable and informative book. The New Testament, by W. C. van Unnik (Collins), is a book for beginners by a scholar who is himself in the top rank of specialists. The Framework of the New Testament Stories, by Arnold Ehrhardt (Manchester University Press), brings together a number of papers on early Christianity. New Testament Detection, by W. G. Robinson (Lutterworth), takes the reader on sixty “detective excursions” in the New Testament. Two first-rate manuals on textual criticism have appeared: The Text of the New Testament, by Bruce M. Metzger (Oxford), and—designedly at a more elementary level—Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism, by J. H. Greenlee (Eerdmans).

New Testament language is dealt with by A. N. Wilder in The Language of the Gospel (Harper and Row), a study of early Christian “rhetoric” (for want of a better word). Various aspects of New Testament introduction and theology are treated in eight Essays on New Testament Themes, by E. Käsemann, translated from German (SCM). Another aspect of New Testament theology is the subject of B. Gärtner’s The Temple and the Community in Qumran and the New Testament, the first title in a new series of monographs sponsored by the Society for New Testament Studies (Cambridge University Press). Worship in the Early Church, by R. P. Martin (Marshall, Morgan and Scott), considers the New Testament Church a worshiping community and brings to light much interesting information about its hymnody and creedal recitation, its principles of stewardship and sacramental practice. Another work dealing with a phase of New Testament sacramental practice is The Eucharist in the New Testament, by N. Hook (Epworth). J. Macdonald’s The Theology of the Samaritans (SCM) might not seem at first blush to have much to do with New Testament theology, but its publishers have advisedly included it in their “New Testament Library”; a study of it may help us to understand what there was about our Lord’s teaching in John 8 that made his hearers call him a Samaritan (8:48).

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The later phase of New Testament history is treated exhaustively in the English translation of M. Goguel’s The Primitive Church (Allen and Unwin), written from the same liberal standpoint as were its predecessor, The Birth of Christianity, and other works by the same scholar. W. Förster’s Palestinian Judaism in New Testament Times, which has also been translated into English (Oliver and Boyd), is an excellent account of the Jewish background of early Christianity, from the Babylonian exile to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Another work on New Testament history that ought to be translated into English is B. Reicke’s Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte (Töpelmann, Berlin). The same period is covered from another viewpoint by G. A. Williamson in The World of Josephus (Secker and Warburg). To his other volumes in the “Teach Yourself” series R. K. Harrison has now added one on The Archaeology of the New Testament (English Universities Press).

Some Synoptic Studies

For the study of the Gospels H. F. D. Sparks has provided an elaborate Synopsis of the Gospels, presenting the text of the Synoptic Gospels according to the Revised Version of 1881 with the Johannine parallels (A. and C. Black). A valiant attempt to undermine the case for the priority of Mark has been made by W. R. Farmer in The Synoptic Problem (Macmillan). It is good that the priority of Mark should be scrutinized and not taken for granted as if it were axiomatic; but some of us rise from the study of a work like this more firmly convinced than ever of the priority of Mark. A scholar who for many years felt himself unable to be confident about the priority of Mark but was latterly impelled to affirm it was N. B. Stonehouse, whose lectures on Origins of the Synoptic Gospels have been published posthumously (Eerdmans).

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A number of books have appeared on the subject-matter of the Gospels. C. H. H. Scobie’s John the Baptist (SCM) studies the career of the forerunner in the light of modern knowledge, and rightly emphasizes the importance of his Samaritan ministry implied in John 3:23. H. Anderson in Jesus and Christian Origins (Oxford) presents “a commentary on modern viewpoints” that amounts to a judicious survey of the new quest for the historical Jesus; he does not attempt to make a personal contribution to the quest. A symposium by a number of scholars who are actively engaged in the quest is The Historical Jesus and the Kerygmatic Christ, edited by C. E. Braaten and R. A. Harrisville (Abingdon). Some of E. Fuchs’s contributions to the quest have been collected in an English translation, Studies of the Historical Jesus (SCM).

A. J. B. Higgins in Jesus and the Son of Man (Lutterworth) takes a new look at the “Son of Man” Christology of the early Church and compares it with the meaning of the title on the lips of Jesus, finding that the “Son of Man” Christology stems ultimately from Jesus’ affirmation that the Son of Man would acknowledge (or deny) before God those who acknowledged (or denied) Jesus before men (Luke 12:8 f.). G. E. Ladd in Jesus and the Kingdom (Harper and Row) gives a careful exegesis of the relevant texts; he brings out the tension between history and eschatology in Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God. A fine study of the same subject by a Roman Catholic scholar is God’s Rule and Kingdom, by R. Schnackenburg, now available in English (Herder-Nelson).

Jesus’ teaching about God is studied by R. A. Ward in Royal Theology (Marshall, Morgan and Scott). The relation of his teaching to that of the Pharisaic schools is treated by A. Finkel in The Pharisees and the

Teacher of Nazareth (Brill, Leiden). A fresh and stimulating study of the parables, tending toward an existential hermeneutic, is presented by G. V. Jones in The Art and Truth of the Parables (SPCK). The English translation of The Parables of Jesus, by J. Jeremias, has been revised in the light of the latest edition of the German original (SCM). A former pupil of Jeremias, I. H. Marshall, has given us some able observations in his Tyndale Lecture, Eschatology and the Parables (Tyndale Press). But of all the works on the teaching of Jesus to have appeared in 1964 the greatest is The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount, by W. D. Davies (Cambridge)—a work that exhibits the same superlative qualities as did Paul and Rabbinic Judaism, with the greater maturity that comes with sixteen additional years of life and thought. One point Davies makes (which will call for further study) is that the polemical parts of the Sermon were originally directed against the Essenes, and that their redirection against the Pharisees is the Evangelist’s adaptation of the words of Jesus to a later life-setting.

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The Gospel of John, by G. A. Turner and J. R. Mantey, is the latest volume to appear in the “Evangelical Commentary” series (Eerdmans). F. V. Filson has expounded The Gospel According to John for the “Layman’s Bible Commentary” (John Knox Press); he joins the ranks of those who identify the beloved disciple with Lazarus (cf. John 11:5).

In The Structure of Luke and Acts (Hodder and Stoughton) A. Q. Morton and the late G. H. C. Macgregor undertake the same kind of statistical analysis that they used with John’s Gospel some years ago; in the case of Luke the computer’s evidence appears to favor the Proto-Luke hypothesis. A new commentary on Acts has appeared in the “Lietzmann Handbuch” series—Die Apostelgeschichte, by H. Conzelmann (Mohr, Tübingen). F. V. Filson presents a series of studies of Acts in Three Crucial Decades (Epworth); it is good to meet a scholar who does equal justice to Luke’s qualities as a historian and his qualities as a theologian. G. E. Ladd contributes the volume on Acts to the “Bible Guides” series under the title The Young Church (Abingdon). J. Dupont takes account of recent critical study of Acts in The Sources of Acts (Darton, Longman and Todd). M. D. Goulder’s Type and History in Acts (SPCK) is an unsuccessful attempt to interpret Acts as an essay in typology.

The Teachings Of Paul

D. E. H. Whiteley’s The Theology of St. Paul (Fortress) gives a systematic survey of recent work on Paul and expounds the main features of his doctrine. In Paul: Apostle of Liberty (Harper and Row) R. N. Longenecker examines the Apostle’s teaching about Christian freedom against the background of his earlier commitment to the law. R. Schnackenburg’s Baptism in the Thought of St. Paul has been translated into English by G. R. Beasley-Murray (Blackwell, Oxford)—a pleasant gesture of cooperation between a Roman Catholic and a Baptist. The Baptist translator has good reason to say: “No treatment known to me of Paul’s teaching on baptism is so profound as that contained within these pages.”

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With God’s Glory (Eerdmans) the literary executors of D. G. Barnhouse have issued the tenth and last volume of his exposition of Bible doctrine in which he took the Epistle to the Romans as his point of departure. D. N. Steele and C. C. Thomas, two Baptist ministers, are joint authors of a study manual entitled Romans: An Interpretive Outline; their theological outlook is sufficiently attested by the fact that their work is published by the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company of Philadelphia. John Calvin’s commentary on Second Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon has been translated by T. A. Smail for the new English edition of the Reformer’s New Testament commentaries, of which six of the ten projected volumes have now appeared (Eerdmans). C. K. Barrett’s Manson Memorial Lecture, Christianity at Corinth (Rylands Library, Manchester), deals with some of the problems of Paul’s Corinthian correspondence. The lessons of this correspondence are applied to an important phase of life today by W. Baird in The Corinthian Church: A Biblical Approach to Urban Culture (Abingdon). The lessons of Ephesians are applied to present-day issues by D. Moody in Christ and the Church (Eerdmans). Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are introduced by D. Guthrie in Epistles from Prison in the “Bible Guides” series (Abingdon). For the “Layman’s Bible Commentary” H. Rolston has written on six Pauline epistles in Thessalonians to Philemon (John Knox). From Prison in Rome, by E. M. Blaiklock (Pickering and Inglis), presents a new translation and study of Philippians and Philemon. Bishop Stephen Neill has written on Paul to the Colossians for “World Christian Books” (Lutterworth), and William Barclay presents ten studies in the same epistle for the “Living Church” series in The All-Sufficient Christ (SCM).

Two large commentaries on Hebrews appeared toward the end of 1964. H. W. Montefiore’s commentary is the latest addition to the series published in Britain by Black and in the United States by Harper and Row. It is based on his own translation, which is made from the Greek text of the new diglot prepared for the use of translators by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Canon Montefiore suggests that the epistle was written by Apollos between A.D. 52 and 54, and that it was written to the Corinthian church on the occasion referred to by Paul in First Corinthians 16:12, when Apollos could not pay that church a personal visit. The volume on Hebrews in the “New International Commentary on the New Testament” has been written by F. F. Bruce (Eerdmans); it follows the line that the epistle was sent to a Jewish-Christian community in Rome shortly before A.D. 66 and that its unknown author had, like Apollos, an Alexandrian background.

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The first New Testament volume in the new “Anchor Bible” is that on The Epistles of James, Peter and Jude, by B. Reicke (Doubleday); the translation and commentary are distinguished and augur well for the quality of this inter-faith enterprise. The Epistles of John in the “Tyndale New Testament Commentaries” have been expounded by J. R. W. Stott (Tyndale), who introduces his work with a plea that he is not a New Testament scholar and continues by proving that this is just what he is. What he means is that he is involved in pastoral and not in academic work; but pastoral work is an excellent qualification for expounding the Johannine epistles, and Mr. Stott’s commentary maintains the highest standard of the Tyndale series.

The Revelation of St. John the Divine, by A. Farrer (Oxford), is a thoroughly revised and enlarged edition of A Rebirth of Images, published in 1949. It is full of original insights, among which those on the heptadic structure of the book are specially important. A. Kuyper’s The Revelation of St. John, which originally appeared in serial form in De Heraut and later formed the fourth and last volume of a work on The Consummation of the World, was issued in English translation in 1935; this translation has now been reissued as a paperback (Eerdmans). Kuyper gives the Apocalypse a consistently symbolical interpretation, which cannot conveniently be pigeon-holed in any of the traditional categories.

T. Leo Brannon is pastor of the First Methodist Church of Samson, Alabama. He received the B.S. degree from Troy State College and the B.D. from Emory University.

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