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The New Testament As Literature : A Very Short Introduction - Kyle Keefer

The New Testament As Literature

A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Published: 27th November 2008
ISBN: 9780195300208
Number Of Pages: 144

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The words, phrases, and stories of the New Testament permeate the English language. Indeed, this relatively small group of twenty-seven works, written during the height of the Roman Empire, not only helped create and sustain a vast world religion, but also have been integral to the larger cultural dynamics of the West, above and beyond particular religious expressions.
Looking at the New Testament through the lens of literary study, Kyle Keefer offers an engrossing exploration of this revered religious text as a work of literature, but also keeps in focus its theological ramifications. Unique among books that examine the Bible as literature, this brilliantly compact introduction offers an intriguing double-edged look at this universal text--a religiously informed literary analysis. The book first explores the major sections of the New Testament--the gospels, Paul's letters, and Revelation--as individual literary documents. Keefer shows how, in such familiar stories as the parable of the Good Samaritan, a literary analysis can uncover an unexpected complexity to what seems a simple, straightforward tale. At the conclusion of the book, Keefer steps back and asks questions about the New Testament as a whole. He reveals that whether read as a single document or as a collection of works, the New Testament presents readers with a wide variety of forms and viewpoints, and a literary exploration helps bring this richness to light.
A fascinating investigation of the New Testament as a classic literary work, this Very Short Introduction uses a literary framework--plot, character, narrative arc, genre--to illuminate the language, structure, and the crafting of this venerable text.

Industry Reviews

"Keefer successfully, and often brilliantly, embarks specifically on a series of literary readings of the books of the New Testament, which are accessible, provocative and theologically highly suggestive... This will be an excellent book for students beginning with the study of the Bible, but also for the general reader, its scholarship unobtrusive but certain, its tone simple but never patronizing... I look forward to encouraging my students to read this book as a sure first step in their coming to understand the New Testament as literature."--David Jasper, University of Glasgow, Literature and Theology

Introductionp. 1
The New Testament and the literary canonp. 9
The gospelsp. 18
Paul and his lettersp. 52
Revelationp. 77
The New Testament, boundp. 96
Referencesp. 115
Further readingp. 116
Indexp. 119
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195300208
ISBN-10: 0195300203
Series: Very Short Introductions
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 27th November 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 17.3 x 11.2  x 1.0
Weight (kg): 0.12

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