A scholar of the New Testament Church and a forerunner of modern Church renewal, Frank Viola casts his gaze back at the birth pangs of first century Christianity in The Untold Story of the New Testament Church. Using a 'you-are-there' approach, this epic volume gives readers a first-hand account of how the witness of Christ's testimony impacted the world. In the era right after the Day of Pentecost, the power of Holy Spirit prompted a massive harvest of souls yet a great persecution surged against those preaching Good News to the lost. Now, get up-close with apostles Paul, Peter and John and learn of their personal struggles to fight for the faith amidst a backdrop of in-house strife and foreign tyranny.
The New Testament is often hard to understand. A major reason is because it is not arranged in chronological order. Paul's letters, for example, are arranged by size rather than chronologically. This makes the New Testament a bit like a Chinese puzzle! For this reason, one famous Bible scholar said that reading the New Testament letters is like hearing one end of a phone conversation. The book you hold in your hands reconstructs the other end so that you can understand virtually every word!
The Untold Story of the New Testament Church is a unique Bible handbook that weaves Acts and the Epistles together chronologically...creating one fluid story! This epic volume gives readers a first-hand account of the New Testament drama that is riveting and enlightening. It includes dates, maps and background information about the people, the cities and the events of the first-century Church using a "you-are-there" approach.
Get up-close and personal with apostles Paul, Peter, James and John and learn of their personal struggles. Understand the circumstances behind each inspired letter they penned. Watch the chaotic swirl of first-century people and events fall into place before your very eyes. Discover what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" really was. Learn what happened to all the apostles after the book of Acts was finished. Be ushered into the living, breathing atmosphere of the first century and uncover the hidden riches found in God's Word!
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.43"
Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher DESTINY IMAGE #45
Availability 13 units.
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|The Greatest Story Ever Told! Feb 3, 2007|
|Viola's epic volume "The Untold Story of the New Testament Church" is absolutely the best little guide to understanding the order of events in the life of the first-century ekklesia! |
Viola relies on the scholarship of F.F. Bruce, Donald Guthrie, and A.T. Robinson for the dating of the books. He wonderfully weaves together the book of Acts with the Epistles to create one amazing story. Viola follows the story of the church according to Acts and successfully places the epistles in their historical-cultural context. Enabling the reader to better apply the Scriptures to their life.
The New Testament comes alive in movie form as Viola uses some of the best N.T. scholarship to reassemble the entire story of the church as it happened in the beginning! I found that this book was able to give me deep insight into the lives and the circumstances behind the writings of the letters of the Apostles.
Viola helps the reader along with his use of maps and background information on people and places. His book is easy to read. You follow his graphic retelling of Acts and stop to read an epistle at every point in time the book was believed to have been written. His book is fluid and he makes little to no assumptions about the chronology of the events.
(I strongly recommend you read a contemporary translation like the NLT or the Message when following along in the N.T. in order that you might receive a fresh glimspse into the motivation and passion behind the letters. We tend to only see what we've always seen when we read from the same translation.)
I connected with Paul's trials and tribulations in ways I never had before. Many times I had to stop reading just to reflect on the sufferings of Paul and ask myself if I could have endured what he endured.
From the conflict and turmoil of the immature and immoral at Corinth... to the Judaizers and "super apostles" who opposed Paul at every turn... you will not want to stop reading until the story is complete.
However, as Viola points out, the story is not complete. The Bride of Christ is still in a battle bewteen good and evil. The story of the early church is a reminder of the trials that are inevitable for the Christian. Yet... the Bride will endure and will persevere unto the end. This is not a fairy tale or an ancient bedtime story for the religious. It is the ongoing story of the New Testament church. It is our story!
I also want to recommend:
"God's Ultimate Passion" by Frank Viola
"Rethinking the Wineskin: The Practice of the N.T. Church" by Viola
"Pagan Christianity: The Origins of Our Modern Church Practices" by Viola
"Paul's Idea of Community: The Early House Churches in their Cultural Setting" by Robert Banks
"The Normal Christian Church Life" by Watchman Nee
"So You Want To Start A House Church" by Viola
NOTE: Viola includes Paul's brief trip to Spain. There is little evidence for this and it is certainly a debatable claim among scholars. Some scholars believe that Paul was never released from Rome for a fourth apostolic journey and the letters to Timothy and Titus were written during his initial house arrest in Rome before his death under the reign of Nero.
|A very different way to read the New Testament Jan 22, 2007|
|If you've ever wondered what prompted Paul to write any of the epistles, or when the gospels were written, this is the book for you. Viola pieces together a history of the New Testament church based on the book of Acts and available contemporary history. Viola gives readers a great overview of how the church began and it spread throughout the Roman empire.|
You will get the most out of Viola's take on the state of the churches that Paul wrote his letters to. He fills in the "other side of the conversation," the part we don't get from reading Paul's letters. It reminds us that these letters went to real churches having real problems.
Viola has a clear, unabashed bias against the institutional church. His critique of the modern church is spot-on, but be aware that it is there. If you want a clearer picture of the early church, and what Christianity was supposed to look like, pick up this book!
|What part we play in this saga Dec 28, 2006|
|I love this book!!!!|
It is already starting to look worn.
I am no early-church scholar, but It has been one of my subjects of interest for over 30 years, and as such this information is not entirely new to me. However, I believe Frank does sincere believers a great service in the way he has compiled and summarized the work. A MUST-READ for any serious reader of the word.
It is one of man's greatest weaknesses to "strike the rock" and then build a temple around it.
But then what do we do when God calls someone to pull our temple down?
[Judges 6:30] " Then the men of the town said to Joash, make your son come out to be put to death, for pulling down the altar of Baal and cutting down the holy tree which was by it."
[John 19:6] "When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him."
Deep down inside we know that the alter of Baal was made by our hands, and as such requires us guard it, fight for it, and yes kill for it. But alas, the alter of Baal WILL fall! And all of mans precious wood hay and stubble will be consumed with it. What part you play in that saga is your test today.
|Telling the story of the NT church. Dec 26, 2006|
|This book is very helpful for learning about the NT church and it's leaders.It is a "chronological-sociological-historical synopsis of the entire NT." Frank Viola does an excellent job weaving the NT in chronological order.He gives the date,author,and purpose of the letters and books.The notes and Scripture in the End Notes are educational.|
"Sharpening the Focus" is another very informational tool in this book.
On the sociological side,Mr. Viola details the living conditions,health problems(eyesight for one),literacy rate,and average life-span of the citizens in some areas of the Roman Empire(Rome and Galatia for instance).Of all the aspects of this book,the chronology is the most helpful!
He defines the two wings of Pharisaism very well.I didn't know that the order of the Pauline letters was determined by their length!Also of interest to me was the origin of the Gospel of Mark.
The author does a great job in the definition of the members of the early church.In Antioch they were first called "Christians" by the Greeks.
They actually called themselves "the Way".In Palestine they are called "Nazarenes".
I listed a few tidbits of info that I found interesting.There is more in this book.Frank Viola did an excellent job with this book and succeeded in making the NT much more easy to understand.This book is very easy to read and beneficial to any collection or library.
|An invaluable introduction to the New Testament Oct 7, 2006|
|The Untold Story Of The New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide To Understanding The New Testament summarizes and explains the contents of the New Testament in chronological order - very helpful feature to novice Biblical scholars and lay readers, as Paul's letters, for example, are arranged by size rather than chronologically. The main text narrates New Testament events in plain terms, with extensive historical annotations as well as references to the New Testament passages being summarized. An invaluable introduction to the New Testament, fully accessible to readers of all backgrounds.|
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