Faith in the New Testament: A Study in Biblical Theology – Adolf Schlatter

I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the method and study of biblical theology lately. I came across this book, written by Adolf Schlatter, translated by Joseph Longarino, on faith in the New Testament. Being my first introduction to Schlatter, I did not know what to expect, but I am so thankful I was able to read through this book! First appearing in 1885, this book has just now been translated into English. If you are interested in taking a DEEP DIVE into the concept of faith in the New Testament, here is a good place to start!

It is definitely an intensive book, with much weighty material on the concept of faith throughout the New Testament, but with that said, it is very relevant for our day and so detailed, that you cannot help but learn and be amazed at Schlatter’s thoroughness and scholarship. Not to say that we must agree with everything in the book, but to say that learning from those who have gone before us is extremely valuable for our faith today.

The book is broken up into three sections that focus on specific areas in and around the NT: Faith before Jesus, Faith in the words of Jesus, and the New Community of Believers. What was most fascinating in this first section on faith before Jesus was Schlatter’s insight into the concept of faith in both the Palestinian and Greek synagogues before the time of Jesus, with a lot of focus on the Old Testament’s influence. Next, we move into faith in the word of Jesus, looking at the Gospels, focusing separately on the Synoptics and the Gospel of John. The final section on the church (or the concept of faith in the epistles and rest of the NT), was the most thrilling for me. Here Schlatter digs deep into the apostolic church’s view of faith as well as Paul’s preaching on faith. There is also a chapter focused solely on the book of Hebrews, looking at the definition of faith in this amazing book!

I’ll have to say, this book is definitely not an easy read, but surely a rewarding one! Schlatter’s way of writing is something to be acquired, but diligent focus will be rewarded with a broadening perspective on the concept of faith and will richly enhance your own Bible reading and study. If you’re wanting to take that next step, I’d highly recommend this one. I’m thankful for Longarino’s translation and looking forward to digging deeper into God’s Word and growing in my own faith.

I received this book from Lexham Press in exchange for an honest review.

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