A Monumental New Release by G.K. Beale & Benjamin Gladd

Published on February 19, 2020 by Benjamin J. Montoya

IVP Academic, 2020 | 560 pages

A Monumental New Release by G.K. Beale & Benjamin Gladd


New Testament introductions fall into two categories: those that emphasize the history behind the text through discussions of authorship, dating, and audience, and those that explore the content of the text itself. Few introductions weave the Old Testament into their discussions, and fewer still rely on the grand narrative of the Old Testament. But the New Testament was not written within a vacuum. Rather, it stands in continuity with the Old Testament. Israel’s story is the church’s story. In The Story Retold, G. K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd explore each New Testament book in light of the broad history of redemption, emphasizing the biblical-theological themes of each New Testament book. Their distinctive approach encourages readers to read the New Testament in light of the Old, not as a new story but as a story retold.

About the Authors:

G. K. Beale (PhD, Cambridge) is the J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. He has published many books, including The Temple and the Church’s MissionWe Become What We WorshipHandbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, and commentaries on 1-2 Thessalonians and Revelation.

Benjamin L. Gladd (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary and series editor for Essential Studies in Biblical Theology. His publications include Hidden But Now Revealed, Making All Things New, and From Adam and Israel to the Church.



“Beale and Gladd concisely survey each book of the New Testament through a biblical-theological lens. I plan to require this book for my seminary course that focuses on the theological message of each New Testament book.” (Andy Naselli, associate professor of New Testament and theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary, Minneapolis, elder of Bethlehem Baptist Church)

“In a culture of increasing biblical illiteracy, The Story Retold serves the valuable purpose of taking the New Testament use of the Old Testament as the starting point for understanding the message of each New Testament book. In addition to covering the basic territory of authorship, date, recipients, and more, Beale and Gladd use their expertise in the field to show students how deeply rooted the New Testament is in the Old Testament. The numerous pictures and images help bring the text to life. If you want students to understand each New Testament book in light of its place in redemptive history, this is the textbook for you.” (Matthew S. Harmon, professor of New Testament studies, Grace College and Theological Seminary)

“Often students find New Testament introductions to be off-putting as they rehearse in detail the historical circumstances and scholarly theories and debates about each book in the New Testament. Beale and Gladd have written a book that is refreshingly different. They do not ignore historical questions but examine them briefly and concisely. The heart and soul of the book investigates the content of each writing in the New Testament in light of the Old Testament witness, considering the use of the Old Testament that informs the New Testament. Students will not only learn the contents of each New Testament book but also they are treated to a mini-New Testament theology. Students, professors, pastors, and all those who study the Scriptures will turn often to this invaluable resource.” (Thomas Schreiner, associate dean and James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

“Greg Beale and Ben Gladd have written an unusual―and unusually good―introduction to the New Testament. It introduces the New Testament analogously to how Brevard Childs (nearly a half-century ago) suggested we understand the Old Testament: as a collection of otherwise-independent works of literature that achieve their unique status as telling the story of a people of faith, or, more accurately, as telling their pre-story, the story that created their story. Gladd and Beale introduce the New Testament writings on the basis of the Old Testament writings that preceded them, grounding all (both Old and New) in the substratum of the narrative of creation-fall-judgment-redemption in Genesis 1–3, through which all subsequent biblical narratives (both Old and New) find their meaning. Despite this overarching unified purpose, the introduction is remarkably sensitive to particular issues of genre, cultural background, and kerygmatic emphasis of each particular part of the New Testament. Finally, all of this is done in a manner that is surprisingly engaging and interesting―something not always achieved by texts on special introduction. I can only wish such an introduction had been available when I began my own academic study of the Bible over forty years ago.” (T. David Gordon, professor of religion and Greek, Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania)

“Many of us are accustomed to reading the New Testament two dimensionally: we simply ask what a text means and how it applies to our lives. This introduction encourages us to read three dimensionally. We discover that reading the New Testament is not only about the text and us; true understanding of the New Testament requires a third dialogue partner―the Old Testament. We discover how deeply immersed the New Testament authors were in the thoughts and themes of the Old Testament. Focusing on the way the New Testament authors incorporated the Old Testament allows the message of the New Testament to come into sharper focus than probably anything else could. I am happy to recommend this new resource.” (Kenneth Berding, professor of New Testament at Biola University)

“Introductions to the New Testament tend to suffer from two consequences. First, they have a tendency to focus on what is behind the text rather than what is in the text. Second, very few of them incorporate the Old Testament explicitly in their analysis and thereby surrender the storyline that started in Genesis. The Story Retold stems these oversights. New Testament authors wrote their works as a continuation of the story of Israel―to understand them we need to keep the big picture in mind and see how they appropriate the Old Testament. This book is an accessible introduction examining the distinctives of each book, but it does not neglect how New Testament authors develop and advance the history of redemption. Pastors, church members, and students will all benefit from this introduction.” (Patrick Schreiner, assistant professor of New Testament language and literature, Western Seminary)

The Story Retold inaugurates an innovation in New Testament introductions where students are introduced to the books of the New Testament in the context of the Old. Beale and Gladd keep each book of the New Testament firmly tethered to the Old Testament narrative, which its authors presume. This new textbook is readable, reliable, and underscores the redemptive-historical threads of the whole Bible, with Christ as the focus.” (Daniel M. Gurtner, Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

“With its special focus on biblical theology, this innovative and attractively presented new work by Benjamin Gladd and G. K. Beale should work well in the classroom. While not a conventional New Testament introduction, The Story Retold promises to be a helpful resource by introducing each New Testament book in light of the Old Testament against a redemptive-historical backdrop. Well done!” (Andreas J. Köstenberger, founder of Biblical Foundations, research professor of New Testament and biblical theology, director of the Center for Biblical Studies, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

“Jonathan Edwards counseled that biblical theology is best understood through the historical lens of God’s work of redemption. Here is an introduction to the New Testament that takes that counsel seriously. Beale and Gladd’s book brings a lifetime of observation to bear on a project of illumining the narrative plan that unites the apostolic witness to Christ in the New Testament with God’s preparatory work in Israel recorded in the Old Testament and related Jewish literature. Embedding text after text within the story by which the prophets and priests of Israel were inspired to give meaning to the light they were called to show to the nations, this survey documents the story’s retelling through gospel and epistle in view of its fulfillment in Jesus Messiah. Jesus’ apostles wrote with a conviction that creation, kingdom, covenant, temple, exile, promise, and the conquest of sin all reprise their roles in the drama of the Christ event. Jonathan Edwards would take delight in how reliably this book’s retelling of the story will rekindle that biblical conviction anew for readers in the church and the academy alike.” (Don Westblade, department of philosophy and religion, Hillsdale College)

The Story Retold is aptly titled since it is the story of God’s grand plan for humanity that began in Eden and culminated in the new Jerusalem told through the eyes of the New Testament writers. Beale and Gladd cover all of the standard features of a New Testament introduction but focus on how each New Testament book highlights the importance of Jesus Christ for the fulfillment of God’s story. They patiently demonstrate the Old Testament connections for each key New Testament text. Following in the footsteps of Geerhardus Vos, Beale and Gladd have produced a unique work with its combination of biblical theology and Old Testament background. With superb graphics and wonderful readability, The Story Retold fills a significant void in the field of New Testament introduction, and should be welcomed by those who teach in seminaries as well as by those who teach upper-level college courses.” (James Bibza, professor of biblical and religious studies, Grove City College)

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IVP Academic, 2020 | 560 pages

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