Review:From Pentecost to Patmos

273602As a follow-up volume to the highly acclaimed and widely used Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, Craig Blomberg directs his efforts towards the remainder of the New Testament canon. From Pentecost to Patmos: An Introduction to Acts through Revelation is divided into three major sections with various divisions therein.

Section one, The Acts of the Apostles, begins with some of the standard introductory material, including authorship, date, audience, purpose, genre, etc. Following the introduction, the reader is guided through a sequence of brief section-by-section commentary on Acts, and questions for review. Maps and charts are included throughout. The section concludes with a brief unit dedicated to application and a healthy bibliography for further study. Blomberg’s work is well-researched and littered with footnotes.

Section two, Paul and His Letters, begins with an excellent discussion on the life of Paul and the various issues pertaining to his writings and the epistolary genre. This opening subsection also briefly details a Pauline theology and concludes with a selected bibliography for further study. Next, Blomberg directs attention more pointedly towards the Pauline epistles and tackles each in chronological order—from the epistle to the Galatians to the second epistle to Timothy. Each of the Pauline epistles are treated independently, beginning with introductory material, commentary, application, study questions and bibliography.

Section three, Other New Testament Writings, continues with the same format as the two prior sections. Blomberg provides introductory comments on each of the General Epistles, followed by brief section-by-section commentary, questions for review, application, and a selected bibliography for further study. The standout units from this section are undoubtedly found in the Book of Hebrews and the Book of Revelation. I found the introductory comments to be helpful, the commentary was balanced, despite some foreseen contention readers may have with Blomberg’s historic premillennial conviction, and the application section was well received with seasoned advice.

From Pentecost to Patmos is an excellent introduction to the New Testament writings outside of the Four Gospels. Blomberg is a seasoned scholar with a keen ability to communicate difficult concepts with clarity. This volume is accessible and could be used by readers of all backgrounds and interests. The introductory material and commentary are quality and the addition of an application section was a smart choice. However, with that said, I don’t think that this volume quite compares to the usefulness of its predecessor. Unlike Jesus and the Gospels, this volume has little-dedicated space outside the introductions to each section and/or book to comment on the larger critical issues that plague these writings. The issues are certainly there for the reader to see, but I think it lacks the detail of the previous volume. Nevertheless, I am still convinced that Blomberg has provided a volume that will be cherished by many—especially those who are willing to follow his research trail in the footnotes and lengthy bibliographies scattered throughout.

If you are looking for an inviting and well-executed investigation into the writings of the New Testament, From Pentecost to Patmos: An Introduction to Acts through Revelation by Craig Blomberg is an excellent resource. While there are certainly other options on the market that carry more substantial discussion surrounding some of the critical issues within these writings, few compare to Blomberg’s comprehensive accessibility. And for this reason, it comes highly recommended!

 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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