Preaching in the New Testament: an exegetical and biblical-theological study
Jonathan Griffiths, IVP (2017)
Jonathan Griffiths asks the question ‘why do we need another book on preaching?’ and makes it clear that this book does not concern itself with how we preach, but rather addresses why we preach.
He gives the reader a succinct biblical theology of preaching, starting with our understanding of the nature of the word of God. There then follows a full and careful examination of the key New Testament words for preaching ‘euangelizomai’, ‘katangello’, and ‘kerysso’. This foundation lets us see the distinction between preaching and other (still important) word ministries that are exercised more widely among the body of believers. It also raises the bar for how preachers prepare and how we pray for those who preach.
The next section was where I most enjoyed Griffiths’ work. He provides rich and rewarding exegetical studies of six key New Testament passages that help us see what apostolic and post-apostolic preaching is about. These studies have given me a renewed expectation as I prepare for Sunday and a deeper determination to give my best time to this task that so often gets squeezed.
The implications are clear. Preaching is necessary and vital for the nourishment and building up of the local church. Good preaching will fuel and shape all the other word ministries that take place. As Griffiths helpfully concludes: ‘The preaching of the word of God is God’s gracious gift to his people. It is a gift by which he speaks to us, encounters us, equips us for ministry, and, through the power of his Spirit, transforms us – all for his glory.’
Reviewed by John Birchall