New Testament Theology - an Introduction by James Dunn – Book Report/Review Example
The paper “New Testament Theology - an Introduction by James Dunn" is a sapid example of a book review on religion and theology. The book discusses how the theology of the New Testament should be developed. The crafting of theologies has a source in the Christian Bible and other works developed by Christian scholars over the years. The role of the theology of the New Testament in the religious realm took a center stage beginning the 1990s. The latter led to the revival of the biblical theology of the New Testament. Therefore, drafting of the biblical theology based on the teachings of the New Testament is easy as compared to the use of the work of other theologians to develop another theology. In the latter case, the theology that results may contain numerous human errors or conflict of thought and writer opinions. However, when the Bible is used in drafting a piece of theological work, the opinion expressed is either original or directly related to the original thought of the biblical writers.
The author argues that when raising the argument on the biblical theology of the New Testament, the primary issue lies with the Bible itself. The term implies that the Christians reading the theoretical work will have a diverse perspective of both the New and the Old Testaments. The problem here is that; when the writers of the New Testament were going doing the drafting process, they made close reference to the Old Testament since it was the only available biblical testament at the time. In essence, since the New Testament was drafted in reference to essential teachings of the Old Testament, it may also be considered as a theoretical work of the Old Testament. Therefore, it would be almost impossible to draft a theological work of the New Testament while completely avoiding mention of the Old Testament. The two Testaments belong to the same Christian resource book.
This part of the book communicates to the reader that a theology of the New Testament cannot be purely based on the New Testament since the latter was adopted from the Old Testament. To make the analysis and development of the theological assessment easier, the author must have a broad knowledge of the Old Testament and the parts that connect the two Testaments. If one decides to make a theological analysis of the Jews in the New Testament, the same Jewish culture is contained in the Old Testament. Everything in the New Testament appears to be borrowed from the Old Testament since even Jesus Christ himself followed a social culture that was adopted by his descendants in the Old Testament.
The issue of the tight connection between the New Testament and the Old Testament raises the controversy over whether it should be theology or theologies. If one talked about the theology of the New Testament as a single entity, it tends to separate the two testaments. The author argues that the Old Testament theology could be well developed as compared to that of the New Testament. This statement is logical because the Old Testament only talks about a new testament that will come in the future but gives fewer details of it. No specific details of the New Testament are found in the Old Testament. In this perspective, the book maintains that the development of theology may be confusing.
The other issue raised by the author is whether the term theology is descriptive or historical. Although the author argues that it is more historical than descriptive, the idea is that both descriptions and historical occurrences must be included in theological work. The questions raised in the book have a great significance in theology. The author seems to be unsure of most of the things discussed in the book. He raises questions and leaves them hanging for the reader to think critically about them. This is an excellent expression of the fact that theologians are always in search of the truth. Although there is what appears to be true, there are still sides of the same issue that may make it appear untrue. Even as the book introduces the controversy that is prevalent on the subject of theology, it also prepares the reader for more theological perspectives by raising numerous rhetorical questions. The theological controversy is especially noted in the chapters discussing the theology of salvation and the church of God. In this perspective, the author notes that developing a theological work is a multi-task involving the exploration of the church, the Christian Bible, and the life of a Christian. Of significance, is the fact that most of the theological findings in the Christian literature have been inherited from either the Bible or other theological works that were developed earlier.