The First Days of Jesus [eBook]
The Story of the Incarnation
The birth of Jesus stands as a pivotal moment in the history of the world, marking a dramatic turning point in God’s plan to redeem creation from sin and death. Much to the world’s surprise, redemption had arrived . . . in the form of a lowly baby.
Aimed at stirring your affections for Jesus, this meditative book will lead you on a step-by-step journey through the Gospels’ birth narratives, clearing away common misconceptions, making messianic connections, and setting the stage for Jesus’s later life and ministry.
Andreas J. Kostenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is the author of many books, including The Heresy of Orthodoxy; God, Marriage, and Family; The Final Days of Jesus (with Justin Taylor); and God’s Design for Man and Woman (with Margaret Kostenberger).
Alexander Stewart is assistant professor of New Testament language and literature at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands.
“This latest work on the incarnation and nativity is an excellent example of serious scholarship served up in a most readable manner. No birth in history had such prophetic preparation, which is a powerful, central theme in these pages that celebrate the start of the greatest life ever lived. This is a welcome antidote to the cheap sensationalism in recent books on Jesus that try to demolish every reason for regarding Christmas as ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’”
—Paul L. Maier, Professor of Ancient History, Western Michigan University; author, In the Fullness of Time
“The First Days of Jesus is a revealing look at the earliest days of Jesus in Matthew, Luke, and John set against some of the skeptical takes on these passages. Add to this a taste of Jewish messianic expectation and you have a nice overview of the start of Jesus’s career and where it fits in God’s plan. Solid yet devotional, it is a great introduction to the first days of our Lord.”
—Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, Howard G. Hendricks Center, and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
“The First Days of Jesus combines Scripture passages, historical background, scholarly insight, and practical application to cast Christ’s incarnation in fresh light. Few tasks are more urgent than for today’s Christians worldwide to rediscover and deepen their connections with their origins. This book is a valuable resource for achieving that aim. Like the star of Bethlehem itself, this volume leads those who seek God to find him afresh in the events of Jesus’s historical appearance, the prophecies that preceded, the apostolic testimony that accompanied, and the social world that God split wide open when he sent his Son.”
—Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
“Kostenberger and Stewart admirably unpack the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke along with that beautiful first movement of John’s Gospel against both the grand sweep of biblical history and the nitty-gritty details of first-century events and culture. The result may dismantle a few of your nativity-scene notions about the Christmas story even while building up your faith in and commitment to the Word become flesh.”
—George H. Guthrie, Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible, Union University
“Kostenberger and Stewart provide for us a faithful and useful guide to the early days of Jesus. This book should serve well those desiring to learn about the early chapters in the Gospels and those who desire to preach and teach these narratives.”
—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Written with exceptional clarity, The First Days of Jesus pays close attention to the key biblical texts on Christ’s nativity in an illuminating way. It deals briefly yet helpfully with critical scholarship and presents the events surrounding Jesus’s conception and birth in both a canonical and a chronological fashion. It addresses unashamedly the difficulties with these birth stories, tackling the problem of variant accounts, the use of sources, the nature of prophecy and typology, and much more. It challenges us readers to respond to the Word of God with the obedience of faith, like Mary did, and with praise, worship, and witness, as the shepherds did. I know of no other book that so masterfully weaves together these infancy narratives on so many fronts. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it!”
—Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“There is more to Christmas than you may think. Cut through the layers of tradition and the fog of nostalgia, and discover the scandal of how it all started. The Bible has more to say about Jesus’s earliest days than you might expect, and this book is a reliable guide. The First Days of Jesus blends world-class scholarship with real-world concern for everyday Christians. Here attention to detail, in the text and in history, complements warm devotion and pastoral care.”
—David Mathis, executive editor, desiringGod.org; pastor, Cities Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota
“In this accessible and reliable guide to how the Gospels present the early years of Jesus Christ’s life, Kostenberger and Stewart provide an exceptionally helpful study, informed by the best of modern scholarship. Drawing on what we know of the historical context, they expound with clarity both the meaning of the biblical text and its relevance for modern readers. In doing so, they enable us to grasp afresh how a detailed appreciation of Jesus’s first days contribute significantly to a deeper understanding of his whole life.”
—T. Desmond Alexander, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Union Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK