The New Testament As Literature: A Very Short Introduction

The New Testament As Literature: A Very Short Introduction

3.53 (58 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 136 pages
  • 111.76 x 167.64 x 12.7mm | 113.4g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195300203
  • 9780195300208
  • 249,222

Review quote

"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 "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 Theologyshow more

About Kyle Keefer

Kyle Keefer is Assistant Professor of Religion at Converse College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina.show more

Rating details

58 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 17% (10)
4 34% (20)
3 34% (20)
2 12% (7)
1 2% (1)
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