Special Issue "The Future of New Testament Theology"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Joel B. Green
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA 91182, USA
Interests: New Testament (especially the Gospels and Acts, the Catholic or General Epistles, New Testament ethics); theological interpretation of the Bible; theological hermeneutics; the Bible and science; atonement theology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Although the modern genre of “New Testament Theology” continues to attract contributions, recent years have witnessed increasingly nuanced and vocal criticism of this project as well as emerging efforts toward shifting how New Testament theology is done. A special issue of Religions will be devoted to “The Future of New Testament Theology”—including:

  • reviews of recent efforts at “New Testament Theology,”
  • critical engagement with the project as it has been practiced in the past quarter-century, and
  • proposals for alternative forms of theological engagement with the writings of the New Testament.

Papers that demonstrate (and not only theorize about) these alternative approaches are especially welcome. Persons desiring to contribute review essays concerned with recent New Testament Theologies are encouraged first to contact the Guest Editor.

Prof. Dr. Joel B. Green
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • New Testament Theology
  • Biblical Theology
  • Theological Exegesis
  • Theological Hermeneutics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Future of New Testament Theology, or, What Should Devout Modern Bible Scholarship Look Like?
Religions 2021, 12(12), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121072 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 809
Abstract
Consideration of the nature of New Testament Theology (NTT) necessitates an account of theology or “God-talk”. Karl Barth grasped that all valid God-talk begins with God’s self-disclosure through Jesus and the Spirit, which people acknowledge and reflect on. Abandoning this starting point by [...] Read more.
Consideration of the nature of New Testament Theology (NTT) necessitates an account of theology or “God-talk”. Karl Barth grasped that all valid God-talk begins with God’s self-disclosure through Jesus and the Spirit, which people acknowledge and reflect on. Abandoning this starting point by way of “Foundationalism”—that is, resorting to any alternative basis for God-talk—leads to multiple destructive epistemological and cultural consequences. The self-disclosure of the triune God informs the use of the Bible by the church. The Bible then functions in terms of ethics and witness. It grounds the church’s ethical language game. Creative readings here are legitimate. The New Testament (NT) also mediates a witness to Jesus, which implies an historical dimension. However, it is legitimate to affirm that Jesus was resurrected (see 1 Cor 15:1–9), which liberates the devout modern Bible scholar in relation to history. The historical readings generated by such scholars have value because the self-disclosing God is deeply involved with particularity. These readings can be added to the archive of scriptural readings used by the church formationally. Ultimately, then, all reading of the NT is theological (or should be) and in multiple modes. NTT focuses our attention on the accuracy of the God-talk operative within any historical reconstruction, and on its possible subversion, which are critical matters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of New Testament Theology)
Article
Hope for the Future of New Testament Theology
Religions 2021, 12(11), 975; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12110975 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 444
Abstract
This paper presents the author’s hope for changes in New Testament (NT) theology particularly as currently experienced in American Christian culture. Those changes are based on exegetical work that seeks to place the NT texts into their Jewish first-century thought world. The first [...] Read more.
This paper presents the author’s hope for changes in New Testament (NT) theology particularly as currently experienced in American Christian culture. Those changes are based on exegetical work that seeks to place the NT texts into their Jewish first-century thought world. The first part of the paper presents examples of theological concepts that have crept into NT exegesis, translations, and Christian thinking, concepts that appear to be foreign to or contrary to that original-audience thought world. The second part of the article seeks to present a reading of Rom 3:21–26 that better represents Paul’s thinking than what is found in some English translations that read the text through the lenses of some of the foreign concepts mentioned in Part 1. The resulting vision for the future of NT theology is twofold: for NT theologies to self-critically rid themselves of the infiltration of foreign concepts, and for the field to better ground its work in exegesis and translations that better respect the Jewish thought world of the texts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of New Testament Theology)
Article
“Leading Many Sons to Glory”: Historical Implications of Exclusive Language in the Epistle to the Hebrews
Religions 2021, 12(10), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100844 - 08 Oct 2021
Viewed by 345
Abstract
This study examined Hebrews’ use of gender-exclusive language for the purpose of understanding the author of the Epistle’s perspective on women and their role the religious community. The study used both broader historical research and exegetical analysis to support theological conclusions about Hebrews’ [...] Read more.
This study examined Hebrews’ use of gender-exclusive language for the purpose of understanding the author of the Epistle’s perspective on women and their role the religious community. The study used both broader historical research and exegetical analysis to support theological conclusions about Hebrews’ treatment of women. Despite the use of gender-exclusive language, the epistle does not suggest a bias against women. On the contrary, in the author of Hebrews’ hand, gendered language becomes a vehicle for understanding the implications of the gospel message for the Christian community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of New Testament Theology)
Article
Grounding the Theory of Discursive Resistance: Language, Semiotics and New Testament Theology
Religions 2021, 12(9), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090776 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Focusing on semantics and semiotics, this article will suggest new and renewed approaches to studying the construction of New Testament theology. First, the relation between Saussure and Peirce will be analyzed because the interpretation of their relationship is crucial for understanding the process [...] Read more.
Focusing on semantics and semiotics, this article will suggest new and renewed approaches to studying the construction of New Testament theology. First, the relation between Saussure and Peirce will be analyzed because the interpretation of their relationship is crucial for understanding the process of signification. A critical stance will be taken towards Derrida and Eco’s interpretation of signification and towards deconstruction. Applying Benveniste’s development of Saussure’s semantics will introduce a discursive theory. Linguistic signs are not simply linguistic units as such. A sign is about conditions and functions. A sign as a role is a manifestation of participation. For anything to serve as a sign entails participation in a web of relations, participation in a network of meanings, and adoption of a set of rules. In the act of encoding there are elements that resist the free selection of components in encoding, such as narratives and metaphors. Therefore, they also become a means of appropriation: the construction of the sentence is not spontaneous but constrained. When, for instance, the metanarrative of enthronement directs the construction of a Christological statement, the basic theme dominates the process and becomes compelling for the ancient author. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of New Testament Theology)

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
New Testament Theology and the Production of Theological Commentaries: Trends and Trajectories
Religions 2021, 12(11), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12110949 - 01 Nov 2021
Viewed by 481
Abstract
The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of new theological commentary series and theological commentaries. As we near the end of the second decade of theological commentary production, it is beneficial to take a step back to evaluate the contributions of each [...] Read more.
The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of new theological commentary series and theological commentaries. As we near the end of the second decade of theological commentary production, it is beneficial to take a step back to evaluate the contributions of each theological commentary series and how the commentary genre continues to be a helpful form for the development of NT theology. This paper reviews and evaluates four commentaries from each of the Belief, Brazos Theological, and Two Horizons New Testament commentary series according to (1) the aims and goals of the series, and (2) how each commentary attempts to actualize the stated ends of the series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of New Testament Theology)
Review
Is New Testament Theology Still Having an Identity Crisis? A Review of Five Recent Contributions
Religions 2021, 12(8), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080636 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 734
Abstract
This article reviews five recent contributions to the field of New Testament theology. More accurately, three NT theologies will be examined alongside two biblical theologies, given that some regard NT theology as inherently deficient apart from OT theology. These five works are notable [...] Read more.
This article reviews five recent contributions to the field of New Testament theology. More accurately, three NT theologies will be examined alongside two biblical theologies, given that some regard NT theology as inherently deficient apart from OT theology. These five works are notable not only for their diversity of methodology but also their diversity of cultural perspective—one book by a Finn (Timo Eskola’s A Narrative Theology of the New Testament), one by two Germans (Reinhard Feldmeier’s and Hermann Spieckermann’s God of the Living: A Biblical Theology), one by a Canadian (Thomas R. Hatina’s New Testament Theology and its Quest for Relevance: Ancient Texts and Modern Readers), one by an American (Craig L. Blomberg’s A New Testament Theology), and one by a native Briton (John Goldingay’s Biblical Theology). Along the way, this review article will consider how these works navigate the tricky and contested terrain of NT (or biblical) theology, particularly vis-à-vis matters of history, canon, synthesis and diversity, and contemporary relevance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of New Testament Theology)
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