New Testament Survey
March 11, 2013
Introduction of the New Testament
Summary of introduction to the new testament
Louis Berkof by systematically addressing the origin of the Gospel and the Epistles of the New Testament, their content, characteristics, authorship, composition, and canonical significance,
Takes on the difficult undertaking of ensuring that the New Testament is accurately understood within what he perceives is the correct historical setting. Berkhof primarily intended this book for his students at Calvin Theological Seminary where he taught for nearly 30 years. Introduction to the New Testament incorporates the research and labors of many past scholars, and church Fathers, and presents it in such a way as to make “Introduction to the New Testament” a diverse and authoritative study.
The Gospel in General
Louis Berkhof takes the position that the early Church consciously perceived the four books of Jesus’s Ministry, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as a single Gospel. Berkhof cites in his defense Irenaeus writing that states “The Gospel is essentially fourfold” and Augustine who writes of the Gospel that they are “the four Gospels, or rather, the four books of one Gospel”.
This concept of viewing the four treatises writers as a single Gospel binds the four even the more tightly to one another, to wit Berkhof calls them fourfold portraiture of the Saviour, or a fourfold representation of the Apostolic Christ.
The Synoptic Problem
Louis Berkhof does not try to deny the differences in content, wording, and order, of the synoptic Gospel, but rather addresses the four most common theories by scholars that attempt to explain those differences away. Finding holes in all four of the theories himself Berkhof suggests that the possible answer may be a combination of oral tradition, Petrine influence, and many other factors. Then the author infers that the answer is hidden in the first two verses of the Gospel of...