Beasley-Murray - Gospel of John - Baptism in the New Testament

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Beasley-Murray G - THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The launching of the Word Biblical Commentary brings to fulfillment an enterprise of several years’ planning. The publishers and the members of the editorial board met in 1977 to explore the possibility of a new commentary on the books of the Bible that would incorporate several distinctive features. Prospective readers of these volumes are entitled to know what such features were intended to be; whether the aims of the commentary have been fully achieved time alone will tell.
 
First, we have tried to cast a wide net to include as contributors a number of scholars from around the world who not only share our aims, but are in the main engaged in the ministry of teaching in university, college, and seminary. They represent a rich diversity of denominational allegiance. The broad stance of our contributors can rightly be called evangelical, and this term is to be understood in its positive, historic sense of a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation, and to the truth and power of the Christian gospel.
 

George R. Beasley-Murray - The Gospel of John

WORD BIBLICAL COMMENTARY
V. 36 (2d ed.)
 

George R. Beasley-Murray - The Gospel of John - Author's preface

 
The Gospel of John has been well served by commentators, from Origen in the third century of our era to the present day. It is likely that it claims the attention of more scholars at the present time than any other book of the Bible. In 1967 Eduard Malatesta issued a substantial work, consisting of a classified bibliography of books and periodical literature on our Gospel published during the period 1920–65 (St. John’s Gospel, Analecta Biblica 32 [Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute]). It listed 3120 works, with more than 1800 book reviews that had appeared mainly in the “Elenchus Bibliographicus,” vols. 1–47. When Hartwig Thyen, in a series of articles in the Theologische Rundschau (1974, 1977, 1978, 1979) reviewed literature on the Fourth Gospel that had appeared in the previous twenty years, his bibliography of books and articles for the five years 1966–71 comprised 34 pages of closely printed small type. That is an indication of the interest, even fascination, that the Fourth Gospel awakes in New Testament scholars. Naturally the Gospel was not written for the benefit of the academic community; couched in the simplest language possible, it was written to provide the Church with an exposition of the Good News of Jesus, the Christ and Son of God, and to show inquirers into the Christian faith the way to life through him (20:30–31). The young believer finds in it an enthralling exposition of the faith that he or she has embraced; the mature Christian receives from it an illuminating revelation of the person of the Redeemer who is the subject of the book; the aged saint gains from it comfort and a glimpse of the glory of God that irradiates life’s eventide; and Christians departing from this world take with them the word of life and peace given by the Shepherd of souls. The very nature of the work as a product of preaching and teaching makes it the preacher’s Gospel par excellence.
 
Beasley-Murray G. - Baptism in the New Testament

Beasley-Murray G. - Baptism in the New Testament

 
This classic work on baptism, originally published in 1962, is an exceptionally competent and exhaustive treatment of its subject. Baptism in the New Testament considers the Old Testament and Judaistic background to baptism, as well as giving a detailed study of relevant New Testament passages. Beasley-Murray begins his study with a consideration of the antecedents of Christian baptism, and proceeds through the biblical data in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles. In a fifth chapter he undertakes a synthesis of the baptismal doctrine of the New Testament as this relates to several major theological themes. As a postscript, this chapter deals with “Baptismal Reform and Inter-Church Relationships.”
 

Beasley-Murray G. - Baptism in the New Testament - Preface

This work is the outcome of an invitation to deliver annual lectures under the auspices of the Dr. W. T. Whitley Lectureship during the academic year 1959–60. They were delivered in November 1959 in Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and in February 1960 for the Bangor Baptist College at the University College, Bangor, North Wales, by courtesy of the University Authorities. I thank most warmly Dr. G. Henton Davies, Principal of Regent’s Park College, and Rev. T. Ellis Jones, Principal of Bangor Baptist College, for the kindness they showed me on these occasions.
 
Opportunity has been provided for me to test the major theses of the book among more varied audiences and in more distant places than these. Dr. K. Duke McCall, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, invited me to give the Norton Lectures in connection with the Centennial Celebrations of the Seminary in March 1959; some of the chief themes of the book formed the subject of those lectures. In the same period arrangements were made for me to deliver lectures on various aspects of this subject by the Presidents of the Southeastern Baptist Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. These visits were memorable, not alone by reason of the lavish Southern hospitality showered upon my wife and myself, but also for the interest and sympathy displayed with respect to viewpoints by no means characteristic of the Churches in those areas. The Baptist ministers of Italy, meeting for their annual conference in 1959 at the seminary in Rivoli, Torino, were a responsive audience for lectures and discussions on this theme. The conference of Baptist ministers in Holland, meeting at De Vinkenhoff, Utrecht, in the summer of 1960 similarly accorded a sympathetic hearing to lectures on the subject. Perhaps the liveliest interest was manifested by the students of the Betelseminariet, Stockholm, and the ministers who joined them, when six lectures were given under the Broady Foundation in November 1960 and keen discussion took place on a variety of topics connected with baptism, particularly in relation to the ecumenical issues which they raise.
 

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