Tuesday, April 21, 2009

First Impressions: First Sentences of Five Books

The name "New Testament" was at first applied to the Christian religion itself.
Ernest Findlay Scott, The Literature of the New Testament (Twentieth Printing, New York & London: Columbia Univ. Press, 1963), p. 1.

When was the New Testament written? This is a question that the outsider might be forgiven for thinking that the experts must by now have settled.
John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976), p. 1.

The roots of that Empire in which the Christian faith was born ran deep and in many directions, not only into the Roman Republic but also into the Macedonian Empire of Alexander, and the Greek city states.
The New Testament Background: Selected Documents, edited, with introductions by C. K. Barrett (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1957), p. 1.

An old Rabbi was once walking down the village street. He met a member of his congregation who began to boast that he had read through all the volumes of the Talmud three times. Instead of praising him, the Rabbi replied: "The important thing is not how many times you have been through the Talmud, but whether the Talmud has been through you!"
W. D. Davies, Invitation to the New Testament: A Guide to Its Main Witnesses (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1969), p. 3.

I grew up in a church that stressed it was a "New Testament church" having no creed or procedural handbook other than the Bible. But then I went away to Wheaton College, and for the first time in my life had to live with good Christian fellows who went to different churches than I did and who were not persuaded by my arguments that our particular style of meeting was the one sanctioned by Scripture. This created a crisis in my life, for here were Christians reading the same Bible and claiming it as their authority and yet interpreting it differently.
David Alan Black & David S. Dockery, eds. New Testament Criticism & Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991), p. 19.

Keep this going: pull five books from your shelf and share the first sentence or two. Post them in the comments below or on your own blog (be sure to link back to this post).