THEOLOGICAL ETHICS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, by Eduard Lohse. Translated by Eugene Boring. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 1991. 236 pp. $12.95 (paper). ISBN 0-8006-2506-4.
In the crowd of books about New Testament ethics, Lohse's simple, lucid contribution stands out. It does not get bogged down in nuances of interpretation, nor does it interpose a cumbersome hermeneutical apparatus upon its intended (nonspecialist) audience. Rather, it offers a straightforward exposition of Lohse's perspective on New Testament ethics.
Lohse operates from the assumption that "the task of a theological ethic of the New Testament is to make clear the implications of confessing faith in Jesus as the crucified and resurrected Christ for the life and actions of the community of faith" (p. 1). He first describes the contexts of Judaic and Greco-Roman ethical counsel. He then identifies several ways in which the early church assimilated the legacy of Christ's words and acts, attending both to Jesus' own ethics and to the evangelists' treatment of his witness. He next turns to Pauline ethics in sections on parenesis and the theological rationale of Paul's message. …