Difficult Texts of New Testament Explained, Wendell Winkler, Editor
When preparing for a Bible class that is textual in nature on the New Testament, I nearly always refer to this book. The book is the permanent record of the fourth annual lectureship at Fort Worth in 1981. The book is a gold mine of information for a teacher who wants to be familiar with challenging Scriptures in the New Testament and wants the benefits of the study of seasoned men of the faith. When I am asked about difficult/challenging passage of Scripture I always refer the person to this book and suggest they purchase a copy for their private study. Often I have convinced others to make the purchases just by the table of contents alone.
The book starts with a discussion that there are indeed challenging passages for us to understand and take effort to glean the message being conveyed. It provides material relating to tools, principles, methods, and approaches to studying difficult texts. There are articles dedicated to challenging subjects such as did Jesus turn water into fermented wine, reconciling the existence of God and human suffering, and predestination. The book is organized in order of the New Testament books for easy reference. It deals with additional subjects as they occur in the text including:
· Can Christian and swear using oaths?
· Did Jesus teach situational ethics?
· Cutting off our hand to avoid sin—is this literal or figurative?
· Does eating the flesh of Christ and drinking his blood in John 6 refer to the Lord’s Supper?
· Are we to use the holy kiss today?
· Did Paul repudiate inspiration in his writings?
· Are widows permitted only to remarry Christians?
· What does baptized for the dead mean?
· Must an elder have one or more children?
· Is there authority or Deaconesses in the church?
· What does the number 666 mean?
This is just a sampling of some of the subjects discussed in this book. It is definitely a book that should be on top priority for purchase for the church library.
Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 11, No. 5, May 2004, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.