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Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions, by David A. Croteau
PDF Download Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions, by David A. Croteau
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Urban Legends of the New Testament surveys forty of the most commonly misinterpreted passages in the New Testament. These “urban legends” often arise because interpreters neglect a passage’s context, misuse historical background information, or misunderstand the Greek language. For each New Testament text, professor David Croteau describes the popular, incorrect interpretation and then carefully interprets the passage within its literary and historical context. Careful attention is given to sound principles of biblical interpretation to guide readers through the process and reach a more accurate understanding of each text’s meaning. QR codes have been inserted at various points throughout the book. By scanning the code with your mobile device, you can view a video of David Croteau addressing a specific urban legend.
With examples from the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation, Urban Legends of the New Testament will not only help readers avoid missteps in these forty texts but also provide a model for engaging in correct interpretation of other New Testament passages.
- Sales Rank: #485567 in Books
- Published on: 2015-08-01
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 9.00″ h x .71″ w x 6.00″ l, .0 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 272 pages
About the Author
David A. Croteau (Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament and Greek in the Seminary and School of Ministry at Columbia International University. He is co-editor (with Andreas J. Köstenberger) of Which Bible Translation Should I Use? (B&H Academic, 2013) and author of Tithing after the Cross (Energion, 2013).
Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful.
Using Commonly Misunderstood NT Verses as a Model for Faithful Bible Interpretation
By Craig P. Hurst
We have all heard someone reference a verse to support something and then think to ourselves, or say to the person, “I don’t think that verse means what you think it means.” No doubt there are many usual suspects when it comes to verses in the Bible that are so twisted and mangled from their original context and meaning, that one wonders if the person citing them has even read the verse(s) in the Bible itself or just quoted on a picture they saw in a bookstore. There are entire books (which shall remain nameless) that are based on misinterpreting single verses. What’s worse, these books are purchased by the truckloads.
Seeking to unravel a number of misinterpreted verses in the New Testament, David A. Croteau, professor of New Testament and Greek at Columbia International University, has written Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions (B&H, 2015). Croteau takes 40 misunderstood verses from the NT and sets the record straight for those who are willing to hear.
Here are some examples of the passages Croteau takes on:
Matthew 18:20 – Is Jesus promising He will be with you when you pray with others or that He is with a churches decision to discipline an erring brother or sister in Christ?
Mark 6:3 – Was Jesus just a carpenter or was He actually skilled in working with more than just wood?
Luke 2:1-7 – Was Jesus born in a stable away from the owners house or was the stable actually inside the owners house?
Acts 18:3 – Is Paul’s example of supporting himself by making tents an example pastors have to follow or just an example of how to apply other principles?
Romans 1:16 – Does the power of the gospel destroy things or does it accomplish its purpose?
Philippians 4:13 – Is Paul promising us that we can do anything we put our minds to with Christ’s strength or that we can be content in any situation with Christ’s strength?
1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Is this a passage about ones lifestyle or about being able to discern true and false teaching?
Revelation 3:16 – Why are Christians being compared to hot, cold, and lukewarm water?
In order to set the record straight on these passages Croteau delves into any relevant Old Testament background, first century Roman or Jewish background, Greek word meanings, grammatical construction, broader passage context, and explores the sometimes impossible implications that the misreadings of these texts produce. Some of these passages are misunderstood primarily on the grammar level, the context level, or the historical background level.
Urban Legends of the New Testament is a prime example of why learning the basics of Bible interpretation (hermeneutics) is so important. Whether or not you have fallen for all of the urban legends Croteau lays to rest, you will walk away with an appreciation for the hard work of good Bible interpretation many Christians give their lives to and why responsible Christians should have discerning minds when it comes to interpreting the Bible.
I highly recommend this book for all Christians as a model for how to read the Bible responsibly.
I received this book for free from B&H for this 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.”
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
The book is also great in pointing to additional resources for further study
By Josh Gerber
Other than the Bible, I hesitate to use the term “must read” for a book. This one is definitely a “should read” for anyone who teaches, preaches, or wants to minister more faithfully. The book is engaging, and offers both a negative (doesn’t mean this) and positive (means this) response to common urban legends of the NT. You’ll be surprised by some beliefs you had that you didn’t even realize were not correct, or should be adjusted. The book is also great in pointing to additional resources for further study. Pastors, seminarians, and lay people will all benefit from this book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
Helpful, Engaging, and Insightful.
David Croteau is the professor of New Testament & Greek at Columbia International University. Croteau holds a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the editor and contributor to a number of books, including You Mean I don’t have to Tithe? A Biblical and Theological Analysis of Tithing (Wipf & Stock, 2010), Perspectives on Tithing (B&H Academic, 2011), and Which Bible Translation Should I Use? Leading Experts Discuss 4 Major Versions (B&H Academic, 2012). Croteau has also published several articles in Bulletin of Biblical Research and Master’s Seminary Journal. Most recently, Croteau rattles cages with the release of a challenging and yet helpful volume, Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions (B&H Academic, 2015).
In Urban Legends of the New Testament, Croteau seeks to deconstruct 40 interpretive myths, or “urban legends,” encountered in the New Testament text. An urban legend, according to Croteau, is “a commonly circulated myth, repeated throughout the culture as common knowledge, but which isn’t true” (p. xiii). Croteau continues, “interpretations of certain passages in the New Testament have fallen victim to this. Somehow something false is stated, and it gets heard and passed down without someone checking all the facts” (p. xiii). Today many such “urban legends” exists within both the pulpit and the pews, and continue to be circulated without hesitation. It is here that Croteau embodies a clear voice of reason as he calls the reader to set aside tradition for the sake of exegesis and interpretation.
Urban Legends of the New Testament tackles a number of well-known urban legends. But, Croteau also addresses some that may be less familiar to the average reader. For example, some of the urban legends include, the “Eye of a Needle” being a gate in Jerusalem (pp. 61–66) and Hell being a reference to a First-Century garbage dump near Jerusalem (pp. 49–54). Each chapter is titled after the urban legend itself, “not the correct interpretation of the text(s) at hand”(p. xiv), followed by a brief explanation. Subsequently, Croteau deconstructs each of the legends and provides a positive exegesis for his understanding of the correct interpretation. Finally, Croteau concludes each chapter with a section devoted to the application of his presentation, as well as an annotated bibliography divided by resource type (i.e. books, journals, websites, etc.) for further study.
Personally I found Croteau to be both a model of integrity and a true exemplar of compassion in his handling of each of the 40 urban legends. He is engaging and consistent across the board in his treatment of these misunderstanding, and his tone is truly something to be admired. I also found the application section to be extremely helpful in processing the specific legends, especially for the pastor or teacher who would take on the responsibility of exposing such myths. Still, the reader must be fully prepared for the possibility of a challenge when picking up this book, because Urban Legends of the New Testament is sure to expose the presence of some urban legends in their own thought. Of course, if this breaks down the wall of bad hermeneutic and re-shapes a more faithful understanding of the text, who could be opposed to such challenge? In the end, if you still find yourself at ends with Croteau’s conclusion, I am confident that you will still walk away encouraged by the carefulness he exemplifies as he handles the biblical text. This book comes highly recommended!
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