Briefly Noted: The Lion & the Lamb

Let’s be honest: most New Testament introductions possess covers that are too far apart. For college students and lay people, these mammoth “introductions” can become a swamp in which certain readers find it difficult to slog. In recognition of this fact, three New Testament scholars—Andreas J. Kostenberger (SEBTS), L. Scott Kellum (SEBTS), and Charles Quarles (Louisiana College)—have provided a concise introduction to New Testament: The Lion and The Lamb: New Testament Essentials from The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown (B&H 2012). And here’s a tip: whenever you come across a book written by three scholars as bright and articulate as these, you’ll want to pull out your wallet and buy it immediately.

The best way to summarize this book and its contribution is to let the authors do so for themselves. Hence, in the preface they state:

The Lion and the Lamb represents an abridgment of The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown. At almost 1,000 pages, the full NT introduction contains not only basic information but also intermediate and advanced knowledge. The Lion and the Lamb, by contrast focuses on introductory-level core knowledge for each book of the NT. . . . discussions of critical challenges to a book’s traditional authorship, treatments of literary arrangement . . . and similarly advanced types of material have been omitted. . . . A completely new feature of the The Lion and The Lamb is the application points, which are provided to suggest possible ways in which you may apply the teaching of a particular book to your life and to the life of the people in your congregation” (p. xvi).

The Lion and the Lamb, then, will make an excellent introduction to the New Testament for college students, church leaders, and lay persons alike. The devotional thrust and goal toward application makes this book an introduction to faith working itself out through love of God and his word.

Andreas J. Köstenberger is senior professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern. L. Scott Kellum is associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern. Charles Quarles is Vice President of Faith and Learning, Dean of the Caskey School of Divinity, and Research Professor of New Testament and Greek at Louisiana College. Grant Taylor, PhD student in Biblical Theology at Southeastern, assisted with the abridgment.

An Invitation to Study New Testament at Southeastern

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of the New Testament for the Christian faith, non? The New Testament continues the narrative begun in the Old Testament with the fourfold record of the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of the promised and long-awaited Messiah of Israel, and so the world, Jesus. His message-that the kingdom of God is at hand, so all should repent and believe the gospel-was proclaimed by John the Baptist (see Mark 1) before him and by his disciples after him (see Matt 10:5-10). By gathering his 12 disciples, performing messianic signs (miracles), establishing the New Covenant (see Luke 22), promising the Holy Spirit (see John 14-16), dying and rising from the dead in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:3-5; cf. Mark 8:31-32), and commissioning his disciples to carry forward his mission (Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21-23), Jesus demonstrated that his gospel of the kingdom was the truth and that he was indeed the promised and long-awaited Messiah (John 20:30-31).

After the outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 2), the promised inclusion of Gentiles into the people of God occurred (see Acts 8, 10) and the church expanded across the known world. Paul’s conversion and call continued this trajectory as he planted churches composed of Jews and Gentiles “in Christ” (see Eph 2:11-22). In the midst of his church planting and gospel work, Paul wrote epistles instructing believers on their history and destiny (e.g. Rom 8; Eph 1-2) and on how to live now in light of the “not yet” (e.g., 1 Cor 11:1; Phil 3:8-21). His colleagues Peter, James, John, Jude and the author of Hebrews joined him in writing letters which proclaim the same gospel but do so with beautiful diversity. Revelation then concludes the story of God’s faithful dealings with all of creation, summarizing his plan for his people in the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21).

But how do we accurately interpret these books written many years ago? How do they fit together as a coherent and unified whole? How do they fit with the Old Testament testimony? How do they apply in a 21st century context? How can I preach through books of the New Testament, being faithful to the text but also communicating meaningfully to the multiple cultures and sub-cultures that surround me?

For those of you who seek answers to these types of questions, we invite you to come study with us at Southeastern. At Southeastern you will have the opportunity to study the New Testament in the original Greek and so be better equipped to minister to the people of God (see Eph 4:11-13) for the glory of God. In so doing, you will have the opportunity to study with the following men:

David Beck (Ph.D., Duke University) is Professor of New Testament and Greek and Associate Dean of Biblical Studies. He is the author of The Discipleship Paradigm: Readers and Anonymous Characters in the Fourth Gospel (Brill) and co-editor with fellow SEBTS Professor David Alan Black of Rethinking the Synoptic Problem (Baker). Dr. Beck manages to be, at the same time, both wickedly smart and enviably laid back.

David Black (D. Theol., University of Basel, Switzerland) is Professor of New Testament and Greek and author of Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek: A Survey of Basic Concepts and Applications (Baker); Learn to Read New Testament Greek (Broadman & Holman); Why Four Gospels? (Kregel) and the author and editor of over 15 other books. Dr. Black is internationally renowned as a Greek scholar, is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, and spends 3-4 months overseas per year working in Ethiopia and other countries.

Ed Gravely (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies and History of Ideas and wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on Codex Vaticanus under the supervision of Maurice Robinson, fellow SEBTS professor. Dr. Gravely is smart, funny, and articulate. He is one of the few textual critics alive who is not weird.

Scott Kellum (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek, author of The Unity of the Farewell Discourse: the Literary Integrity of John 13:31-16:33 (T&T Clark), and co-author with Andreas J. Köstenberger and Charles L. Quarles of The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament (B&H). Dr. Kellum mastered classical Greek in college and koine Greek at the grad and post-grad level; if any other sort of Greek develops in the future, he’ll know that too.

Andreas Johannes Köstenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Senior Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Director of Ph.D. Studies at Southeastern. He is the author, translator, and editor of more than 20 books including The Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters: The Word, the Christ, the Son of God (Zondervan); John, Baker Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament (Baker); co-author with L. Scott Kellum and Charles L. Quarles, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament (B&H); co-author with Michael Kruger, The Heresy of Orthodoxy (Crossway); God, Marriage, and Family: Restoring the Biblical Foundation with fellow SEBTS professor David Jones (Crossway). Dr. Köstenberger has written more books than most people have read, and he’s only mid-career. Scary.

David Lanier (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Professor of New Testament and served as Editor of Southeastern’s first journal, Faith and Mission 11/1 (Fall 1993) to 24/3 (Summer 2007). Dr. Lanier is a particularly amiable fellow, and is a history buff whose specialty is the Confederate War.

Benjamin Lee Merkle (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek and author of The Elder and Overseer: One Office in the Early Church (Peter Lang); 40 Questions About Elders and Deacons (Kregel), for which also he serves as Series Editor; Why Elders? A Biblical and Practical Guide (Kregel); and co-editor with fellow SEBTS professor John S. Hammett of Those Who Must Give an Account: A Study of Church Membership and Church Discipline (B&H, forthcoming). Dr. Merkle lived and taught in Malaysia for years and is known for being a thorough and efficient writer of theological prose. If he continues publishing at this rate, he might give Dr. Köstenberger a run for his money.

Maurice Robinson (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Senior Professor of New Testament and a renowned textual criticism scholar. He is the author of Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament: Revised and Updated (Hendrickson, forthcoming). Dr. Robinson is a world-renowned textual critic, an accomplished guitarist, and is known to give a Bob Dylan impersonation that is “spot on.”

Southeastern offers several degrees with a focus on the New Testament. The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies with a minor in Biblical Studies introduces undergraduate students to the knowledge and skills central to the work of pastors, particularly in the area of Old and New Testament competency. The Master or Arts (Biblical Languages) prepares students to serve as translators and as field supervisors for Bible translation teams. The M.Div. with Pastoral Ministry prepares students for pastoral ministry in the local church with and is grounded in study of the Old and New Testament. The M.Div. with Christian Ministry offers the same strong core education while giving one freedom to pursue elective courses in the area of New Testament and Greek. The M.Div. with Advanced Biblical Studies offers the greatest opportunity for focus in New Testament and Greek exegesis, preparing one for a pastoral or teaching ministry. The Th.M. in Biblical Studies equips post-M.Div. students who want to enhance their theological training, either for preparation for doctoral study or as an advanced degree for service in the church. Students can take the thesis or non-thesis tracks under the supervision of a professor in the area of New Testament and Greek. Finally, the Ph.D. in Biblical Studies with a concentration in New Testament prepares students to teach New Testament, Greek, and other courses to college or seminary students, and to write about the interpretation and theology of the New Testament.

We invite you to study with our New Testament faculty in the B. A., M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.

The Cradle, The Cross, and The Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament

Andreas Köstenberger has unleashed an avalanche of books over the past decade, and none more significant than his recently released co-authored (with Scott Kellum and Chuck Quarles) introduction to the New Testament, The Cradle, The Cross, and The Crown (B&H, 2009).

Köstenberger, Kellum, and Quarles have given us a comprehensive introduction to the New Testament which not only matches the strengths of other evangelical introductory texts, but also provides several unique distinctive such as (1) a thorough introductory treatment of the New Testament canon, (2) a response to Harnack’s errant views on the closing of the canon, (3) a treatment of the nature and extent of inspiration, (4) provides a very helpful bibliography, and (5) offers powerpoints for classroom instructors who plan to use the book.

The Cradle, The Cross, and The Crown is highly recommended as a text which closes the gap between “Intro” and “Survey” treatments of the New Testament, and which is thoroughly evangelical and accessible.

For those readers interested in other books penned by Köstenberger, see, for example: God, Marriage and Family (Crossway); John (Baker); Encountering John (Baker); Salvation to the Ends of the Earth (IVP); Father, Son, and Spirit (IVP); The Missions of Jesus and the Disciples According to the Fourth Gospel (Eerdmans); Whatever Happened to Truth? (Crossway); Quo Vadis Evangelicalism? (Crossway)The Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters (Zondervan); The Heresy of Orthodoxy (Crossway); and Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kregel).