T&T Bloomsbury Study Guides to the New Testament

T&T Bloomsbury, £14.99 each

There are three things one ought to know about this series. The first is that these guides are not as new as they appear to be, and this is because they are reissues of a series originally published by Sheffield Phoenix Press. This is not a serious problem, and some of the volumes are more recent. But if you are expecting the very latest in biblical scholarship, as the publication dates might suggest, you may be disappointed.

Similarly, you may think that Bloomsbury sounds very British, and of course T&T Clark has a long association with Edinburgh, but the vast majority of authors in this series are from America.

Again, there is, of course, nothing objectionable about this – it is only that even today, when (for example) the great majority of graduate students in New Testament studies in Oxford are from abroad, mostly from North America, there is nevertheless a different style, a different approach to the subject, with much greater interest in such things as feminist and post-colonial readings.

Perhaps I am old-fashioned. I did, after all, complete my doctorate nearly seven years ago, and at Oxford, where time moves more slowly. I say this because the third reason for the buyer to beware is that these books are not, for the most part, what I had expected from the strapline “an introduction and study guide”.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection