A Theology of the New Covenant
The Message Of Jesus And The Early Church
The first part engages in an actual theology of the New Testament in the context of early Christianity. Michael Bird argues for the possibility of a New Testament theology, identifies the relationship between a text and its community in the construction of a theology, and sets forth the methodological approach for the study. He looks at the challenges to New Testament Theology and questions their assumptions. Then he gives an overview of the theology of the New Testament where the texts are sometimes grouped by a common socio-religious context in early Christianity.
The second part engages the problem of unity and diversity in the New Testament. Bird argues for the abandonment of the terms ‘unity’ and ‘diversity’. and in their place he advocates ‘complexity’ and ‘accordance’. He looks at the problem of finding a centre or centres to a New Testament and surveys proposed centres. Then he gives explicit examples of complexity related to a number of subjects, and of theological accordance in the New Testament. Bird identifies the actual central nodes (fulcrum) of a New Testament theology, and then demonstrates the relative homogeneity of the early Christian movement and thus the possibility of a theology of early Christianity.