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About Michael F. Bird
Michael F. Bird is a leading academic on New Testament studies and Christian Theology. He is Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia.
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Finally: an introduction that captures the excitement of the early Christians, helping today's readers to think like a first-century believer while reading the text responsibly for today.
The New Testament in Its World is your passageway from the twenty-first century to the era of Jesus and the first Christians. A highly-readable, one-volume introduction placing the entire New Testament and early Christianity in its original context, it is the only such work by distinguished scholar and author N. T. (Tom) Wright.
An ideal guide for students, The New Testament in Its World addresses the many difficult questions faced by those studying early Christianity. Both large and small, these questions include:
- What is the purpose of the New Testament?
- What was the first-century understanding of the kingdom?
- What is the real meaning of the resurrection in its original context?
- What really were the Gospels?
- Who was Paul and why are his letters so controversial?
- As twenty-first-century people, how do we recover the excitement of what it was like to live as Christians in the first or second centuries?
In short, The New Testament in Its World brings together decades of ground-breaking research, writing, and teaching into one volume that will open readers' eyes to the larger world of the New Testament. It presents the New Testament books as historical, literary, and social phenomena located in the world of Second Temple Judaism, amidst Greco-Roman politics and culture, and within early Christianity. '
Written for both classroom and personal use, the benefits of The New Testament in Its World include:
- A distillation of the life work of N. T. Wright on the New Testament with input from Michael Bird
- Historical context that situates Jesus and the early church within the history, culture, and religion of Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman world
- Major sections on the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and Paul's chronology and theology
- Surveys of each New Testament book that discuss their significance, critical topics like authorship and date, and that provide commentary on contents along with implications for the Christian life
- Up-to-date discussions of textual criticism and the canonization of the New Testament
- A concluding chapter dedicated to living the story of the New Testament
- Available Video and Workbook companion resources to enhance learning and experience the world of the New Testament
- Illustrated with visually rich pictures, maps, charts, diagrams, and artwork; plentiful sidebars provide additional explanations and insights
Answers to the most common questions and misconceptions about the Bible
Seven Things I Wish Christians Knew about the Bible is a short and readable introduction to the Bible--its origins, interpretation, truthfulness, and authority.
Bible scholar, prolific author, and Anglican minister Michael Bird helps Christians understand seven important "things" about this unique book:
- how the Bible was put together;
- what "inspiration" means;
- how the Bible is true;
- why the Bible needs to be rooted in history;
- why literal interpretation is not always the best interpretation;
- how the Bible gives us knowledge, faith, love, and hope; and
- how Jesus Christ is the center of the Bible.
Seven Things presents clear and understandable evangelical account of the Bible's inspiration, canonization, significance, and relevance in a way that is irenic and compelling. It is a must read for any serious Bible reader who desires an informed and mature view of the Bible that will enrich their faith.
Gospel-Centered Theology for Today
Evangelical Theology, Second Edition helps today's readers understand and practice the doctrines of the Christian faith by presenting a gospel-centered theology that is accessible, rigorous, and balanced. According author Michael Bird the gospel is the fulcrum of Christian doctrine; the gospel is where God meets us and where we introduce the world to God. And as such, an authentically evangelical theology is the working out of the gospel in the various doctrines of Christian theology.
The text helps readers learn the essentials of Christian theology through several key features, including:
- A "What to Take Home" section at end of every part that gives readers a run-down on all the important things they need to know.
- Tables, sidebars, and questions for discussion to help reinforce key ideas and concepts
- A "Comic Belief" section, since reading theology can often be dry and cerebral, so that readers enjoy their learning experience through some theological humor added for good measure.
Now in its second edition, Evangelical Theology has proven itself in classrooms around the world as a resource that helps readers not only understand the vital doctrines of Christian theology but one that shows them how the gospel should shape how they think, pray, preach, teach, and minister in the world.
The inerrancy of the Bible--the belief that the Bible is without error--is often a contentious topic among mainstream Christianity.
Like other titles in the Counterpoints collection, this volume gives those interested in theology the tools they need to draw informed conclusions on debated issues by showcasing the range of positions in a way that helps readers understand the perspectives--especially where and why they diverge.
Each essay in Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy considers:
- The present context, viability, and relevance for the contemporary evangelical Christian witness.
- Whether and to what extent Scripture teaches its own inerrancy.
- The position's assumed or implied understandings of the nature of Scripture, God, and truth.
- Three difficult biblical texts: one that concerns intra-canonical contradictions, one that raises questions of theological plurality, and one that concerns historical authenticity.
Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy serves not only as a single-volume resource for surveying the current debate, but also as a catalyst both for understanding and advancing the conversation further. Contributors include Al Mohler, Kevin Vanhoozer, Michael Bird, Peter Enns, and John Franke.
"Every generation needs to grapple anew with the Bible, and every pastor needs a series that pushes the text into the community. This commentary series accomplishes these tasks. May God bless these commentaries to yield communities that live out God's gracious covenant with us."
Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies
North Park University
"Michael Bird's treatment of Colossians and Philemon is incisive, informative, and independent. He guides readers with a light touch, accurately setting out competing positions, but judiciously weighing the merits of each of these alternatives. The commentary is built on a foundation of mature, balanced, and sane exegesis--and from this firm foundation Bird draws weighty theological implications. This is a masterpiece of succinct writing and an auspicious start to the New Covenant Commentary Series."
School of Divinity
University of Edinburgh
Michael Bird is New Testament Tutor at the Highland Theological College in Scotland. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God, A Bird's Eye-View of Paul, and with James Crossley, How Did Christianity Begin? He is also coeditor of the New Covenant Commentary Series.
Taking a stand over the gender-issue divide
Author and New Testament scholar Michael Bird was formerly in favor of distinct gender roles in ministry, a viewpoint commonly called “complementarianism.” But inconsistencies in practice and careful biblical study convinced him to rethink his position.
Originally published as a short ebook, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts offers an engaging, incisive perspective on biblical gender equality and the egalitarian view—a preference for allowing women to hold teaching and leadership positions in ministry.
While Bird is now egalitarian, he nevertheless strikes a respectful tone toward those in his previous camp, seeking to craft a perspective that both values women and upholds biblical differences between the sexes. Humorous and hard-hitting, Bird will challenge readers on both sides of the gender-issue divide.
In his recent book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee historian Bart Ehrman explores a claim that resides at the heart of the Christian faith— that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. According to Ehrman, though, this is not what the earliest disciples believed, nor what Jesus claimed about himself.
The first response book to this latest challenge to Christianity from Ehrman, How God Became Jesus features the work of five internationally recognized biblical scholars. While subjecting his claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a better, historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” Namely, they contend, the exalted place of Jesus in belief and worship is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, shortly following his death, and was not simply the invention of the church centuries later.
This workbook accompanies The New Testament in Its World by N. T. Wright and Michael F. Bird. Following the textbook's structure, it offers assessment questions, exercises, and activities designed to support the students' learning experience. Reinforcing the teaching in the textbook, this workbook will not only help to enhance their understanding of the New Testament books as historical, literary, and social phenomena located in the world of early Christianity, but also guide them to think like a first-century believer while reading the text responsibly for today.
Modern Christians have often hesitated to embrace the ancient creeds because of our “nothing but the Bible” tradition. In What Christians Ought to Believe Michael Bird opens our eyes to the possibilities of the Apostle’s Creed as a way to explore and understand the basic teachings of the Christian faith.
Bringing together theological commentary, tips for application, and memorable illustrations, What Christians Ought to Believe summarizes the basic tenets of the Christian faith using the Apostle’s Creed as its entryway. After first emphasizing the importance of creeds for the formation of the Christian faith, each chapter, following the Creed’s outline, introduces the Father, the Son, and the Spirit and the Church. An appendix includes the Apostles’ Creed in the original Latin and Greek.
What Christians Ought to Believe is ideally suited for both the classroom and the church setting to teach beginning students and laypersons the basics of what Christians ought to affirm if they are to be called Christians.
Many Christians who know and love the Bible think they know the apostle Paul. He's a theological master, a pastoral mentor, a spiritual adviser and a missionary hero. Yet just when we think we have him in our grasp, he slips through our fingers. At the point where we suppose we have finally understood him, Paul again confounds us. But he also beckons us to explore God's ways more deeply.
Michael Bird suggests that if the Paul we claim to know looks and sounds a lot like us, it's probably a warning light that we don't know him as well as we think we do. But if we let Paul be Paul, allowing him to speak for himself in his language, on his terms and for his purposes, then we stand a chance of meeting him anew.
Introducing Paul is an animated and penetrating survey of Paul's life and teaching. It covers all the basics students need, while offering new insights with a light touch. Blending life and study, Bird aims to get us excited about reading Paul's letters, sharing his gospel and living the Christian life the way he thought it should be lived. For beginning students and laypeople, Introducing Paul is a valuable entrance into the contemporary study of Paul.
An introduction to ongoing debates on the apostle Paul's life and teaching and his letters' ramifications for the Church of today.
The apostle Paul was a vital force in the development of Christianity. Paul's historical and religious context affects the theological interpretation of Paul's writings, no small issue in the whole of Christian theology.
Recent years have seen much controversy about the apostle Paul, his religious and social context, and its effects on his theology. In the helpful Counterpoints format, four leading scholars present their views on the best framework for describing Paul's theological perspective, including his view of salvation, the significance of Christ, and his vision for the churches.
Contributors and views include:
- Reformed View: Thomas R. Schreiner
- Catholic View: Luke Timothy Johnson
- Post-New Perspective View: Douglas Campbell
- Jewish View: Mark D. Nanos
Like other titles in the Counterpoints: Bible and Theology collection, Four Views on the Apostle Paul gives theology students the tools they need to draw informed conclusions on debated issues.
General editor and New Testament scholar Michael F. Bird covers foundational issues and provides helpful summaries in his introduction and conclusion. New Testament scholars, pastors, and students of Christian history and theology will find Four Views on the Apostle Paul an indispensable introduction to ongoing debates on the apostle Paul's life and teaching.
The Counterpoints series presents a comparison and critique of scholarly views on topics important to Christians that are both fair-minded and respectful of the biblical text. Each volume is a one-stop reference that allows readers to evaluate the different positions on a specific issue and form their own, educated opinion.
Do you know the real story behind the New Testament?
We all share a fascination for discovering ‘the rest of the story.’ We enjoy learning the behind-the-scenes facts about seemingly familiar events. In this eight-session video Bible study (DVD/video download sold separately), well-known Bible scholars N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird team up to take you on a tour of the story behind the explosive story of the New Testament.
You will discover things you never knew about Jesus’ baptism and journey into the wilderness, the meaning behind his parables and miracles, the significance of his death and resurrection, the incredible expansion of the early church into the Greco-Roman world, and how the transforming mission of Jesus can still turn the world upside down today.
Through reading the New Testament we continually discover that God indeed keeps his promises, but those promises don’t always look like what people expected. Especially when it comes to Jesus. So, come join the journey with N.T. Wright and Michael Bird and they will help you understand the New Testament you never knew.
The study guide includes teaching notes, discussion questions, Bible exploration, personal study and reflection materials, as well as interesting facts about the New Testament.
- The Books of the New Testament
- The World of Jesus and the Apostles
- The Life and Death of Jesus
- The Resurrection of Jesus
- The Ministry of the Apostle Paul
- The Early Christians and the Church
- The Mission of the Church
- The Creation of the New Testament
Designed for use with The New Testament You Never Knew Video Study (9780310085287), sold separately.