Here is D. A. Carson’s foreword to How to Understand and Apply the New Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology:



MANY HAVE REMARKED that New Testament scholars who teach elementary Greek for twenty or thirty years very often decide to write their own introductory Greek grammars, firmly believing that the particular slant or emphases they introduce make their textbooks the best option in a sea of introductory Greek grammars. And indeed, each such volume tends to be very good when used by the scholar whose experience over two or three decades has produced it: the published work nicely fits the style and teaching priorities of that particular teacher. Some such works are too idiosyncratic to find broad popularity, of course, but the best of them win the approval of other teachers and gradually find their niche in the smorgasbord of introductory Greek grammars.

Something similar could be said about works designed to introduce students to New Testament exegesis. In this field, too, numerous handbooks of exegesis and introductions to exegesis have appeared over the last few decades. But this field is far more complex than the field of Greek grammar; indeed, Greek grammar is merely one topic within the comprehensive sweep of exegesis. As a result, there is far more scope for variations in emphasis, comprehensiveness, clarity, and the like.

And that’s where this book by Andy Naselli comes in. As a first-level introduction, there is nothing quite like it. The range of its topics is remarkable: literary genre, textual criticism, translation, grammar, phrase diagramming, historical-cultural and literary contexts, word studies, biblical theology, historical theology, systematic theology, practical theology—and two remarkable appendixes, about which more in a minute. Doubtless some teachers will prefer to include a little more of this, a little less of that. What is really striking about this introduction, however, is its combination of five strengths: (1) the range of topics that Dr. Naselli introduces is remarkable; (2) the mass of detail that he presents on most of the topics, without making the reader choke on the sheer quantity, is wholly impressive; (3) Dr. Naselli manages to combine an attention to little details with an eye on the big picture; (4) he knows how to organize his material in ways that are pedagogically helpful, not least to beginning students; and (5) he writes with rare clarity and simplicity. The book is a delight to read.

And then we remember the appendixes. The first one underscores the importance of (digital) filing systems and suggests in some detail one useful approach. Over the long haul, good and faithful exegesis demands the ability to find and retrieve good material, often material that one has already read. The second appendix tells us “Why and How to Memorize an Entire New Testament Book.” That’s not a separate topic: the best exegesis immerses the student in the text, and memorization of the text is an important part of the discipline. But the impact of this second appendix is broader: it reminds all of us that we must avoid such a focus on tools and genres and disciplines and skill sets and historical trends that we never really soak in holy Scripture. The aim, as always, is not to master the text, but to be mastered by it.

D. A. Carson

Research Professor of New Testament
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School;
President and Cofounder
The Gospel Coalition

Here is the full list of endorsers (listed in alphabetic order) for Andy Naselli’s book.

  • Clinton E. Arnold, Dean and Professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; Member, ESV Translation Oversight Committee
  • S. M. Baugh, Professor of New Testament, Westminster Seminary California
  • G. K. Beale, J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary
  • David Alan Black, Dr. M. O. Owens Jr. Chair of New Testament Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; New Testament Editor, International Standard Version
  • Craig L. Blomberg,Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary; Member, NIV Committee on Bible Translation
  • Dave Brunn, International Bible Translation Consultant, New Tribes Mission
  • Aimee Byrd, Cohost, Mortification of Spin; Author, Housewife Theologian, Theological Fitness, and No Little Women
  • Constantine R. Campbell, Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Tim Challies, Blogger,; Pastor, Grace Fellowship Church, Toronto
  • David A. Croteau, Professor of New Testament and Greek, Columbia International University
  • David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University
  • Dan Doriani, Professor of Theology and Vice President of Strategic Academic Initiatives, Covenant Theological Seminary
  • Buist M. Fanning, Department Chair and Senior Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary; Translator, NASB, NET Bible
  • George H. Guthrie, Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible, Union University; Translation Consultant, ESV, CSB, NLT, NCV
  • Matthew J. Hall, Dean, Boyce College
  • Murray J. Harris, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis and Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Member, original NIV Committee on Bible Translation
  • Douglas S. Huffman, Professor and Associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
  • Karen H. Jobes, Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor Emerita of New Testament Greek and Exegesis, Wheaton College and Graduate School; Member, NIV Committee on Bible Translation
  • Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California
  • Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Tim Keller, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
  • J. Ed Komoszewski, Coauthor, Reinventing Jesus and Putting Jesus in His Place
  • Michael J. Kruger, President and Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte
  • Benjamin L. Merkle, Professor of New Testament and Greek, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Douglas J. Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College; Chair, NIV Committee on Bible Translation
  • Steve Pettit, President, Bob Jones University
  • John Piper, Founder and Teacher, Desiring God; Chancellor and Professor of Biblical Exegesis, Bethlehem College & Seminary
  • Robert L. Plummer, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Brian S. Rosner, Principal, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
  • Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Cochair, CSB Translation Oversight Committee
  • Moisés Silva, Retired Professor of New Testament, Westmont College (1972–81), Westminster Theological Seminary (1981–96), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1996–2000); Comité de traducción bíblica, Nueva Versión Internacional (the Spanish NIV); Translation Consultant, NASB, ESV, NLT
  • Jay E. Smith, Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Robert H. Stein, Senior Professor of Biblical Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City; President, Enjoying God Ministries
  • Mark L. Strauss, University Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary San Diego; Vice-Chair, NIV Committee on Bible Translation
  • Justin Taylor, Executive Vice President of Book Publishing and Book Publisher, Crossway; Managing Editor, The ESV Study Bible
  • Daniel B. Wallace, Senior Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary; Executive Director, Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts; Senior New Testament Editor, NET Bible
  • Guy Prentiss Waters, James M. Baird Jr. Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson
  • Stephen J. Wellum, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Editor, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
  • Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Jen Wilkin, Bible Teacher; Author of Women of the Word and None like Him
  • Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
  • Fred G. Zaspel, Pastor, Reformed Baptist Church, Franconia, Pennsylvania; Executive Editor, Books at a Glance; Associate Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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