In Prism's Book Bag: N.T. Wright's EVERYONE SERIES Makes the New Testament Accessible to All
"The first time someone stood up in public to tell people about Jesus, he made it clear: this message is for everyone," says Tom (N.T.) Wright, noted New Testament scholar and the Anglican Bishop of Durham, England. Wright seeks to ensure the message is indeed accessible in a new series of New Testament commentaries, published in the U.S. by Westminster John Knox Press.
The short works of the early Christians – mostly letters and stories about Jesus – were never intended solely for an elite readership of religious leaders or theologians. Meant for everyone, they were widely circulated and eagerly read. Yet today the Bible is a closed book for many who find it boring or difficult. In the EVERYONE series, Wright sets out to correct that impression: "Whatever else we know about Jesus, we can be sure that he wasn't dull," he says.
Translating the New Testament into simple, lively, everyday language, Wright captures the immediacy of the gospel message. "The power of the Bible means hearing God's word in our own language – day-to-day, street-level English," he says. "On earth as in heaven? – if it isn't earthly, and perhaps even sometimes earthy, how can it be good news for everyone?"
Each book is broken down into short passages – Mark, for example, into 63 segments – that are illustrated with stories, background information, and clear explanations of complex material. Wright avoids religious jargon, and the few technical terms used are explained in a glossary at the back of each book.
In conversational style, Wright offers thought-provoking commentary on the meaning of the gospel message, and thoughts on how the Christian faith can be lived today. His holistic approach illuminates the New Testament's relevance for contemporary readers, from spirituality to social issues and from prayer to politics.
The first twelve volumes in the series are now available: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Galatians & Thessalonians, Paul's Prison Letters, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Hebrews, Paul's Pastoral Letters. The remaining volumes – including Acts, Revelation, Early Christian Letters, and Romans – will be published over the following twelve months.