An Artistic Approach to New Testament Literature

By Sharon R. Chace

An imaginative introduction to the study of the New Testament as literature, using the language of art criticism as a means to understanding the text.

ISBN: 9780718891800


A comprehensive overview of contemporary New Testament scholarship, that explains how the Bible is and how it came to be.

Coupled with notes of historical criticism, the biblical texts are described according to the formal art elements of form, line, color and texture. Other artistic terms such as perspective and focal point are used to characterize biblical passages, in order to unlock the complexity of the text.

This is an introductory textbook for late high school or college students, and one that will also serve well in study groups. The art projects will be of great value for the teacher, while many thought-provoking questions will help the student to engage and understand the text. This book is a bridge between church and academy.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 212

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Sharon R. Chace has studied at Andover Newton Theological School and Harvard and Yale Divinity Schools, and has received the Master of Theological Studies degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her articles, poems, and children’s stories have been published in a variety of journals. Her most recently published book is Portfolio of Painterly Poems: A Pilgrim’s Path to God (2006).


What is the New Testament? What is an Artistic Approach to Biblical Literature? The Synoptic Problem.

Part 1. The Gospel and Growing Proclamation.
The Gospel according to Mark. The Gospel according to Matthew. The Gospel according to Luke. The Acts of the Apostles.

Part 2. The Community of the Word.
The Gospel according to John. The Letters of First, Second, and Third John.

Part 3. Theological Problem and Introduction to Pauline Thought.
Introducing Paul. The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians. The Letter to the Ephesians.

Part 4. The Rest of Paul’s Letters.
The Letter to the Galatians. The First Letter to the Corinthians. The Second Letter to the Corinthians. The Letter to the Romans. The Letter to Philemon. The Letter to the Philippians.

Part 5. Cosmic Christ Served by Good Deeds and Growing Ministry.
The Letter to the Colossians. The Letter of James. The First and Second Letters to Timothy, and the Letter to Titus.

Part 6. Christians in Crisis.
The First Letter of Peter. The Letter of Jude. The Second Letter of Peter.

Part 7. Jesus as Helper and Christ as Risen Lord.
The Letter to the Hebrews. The Book of Revelation.


Endorsements and Reviews

Sharon Chace’s attention to artistic elements such as line, form, colour, and texture opens up a unique visual perspective on the New Testament. Teachers will appreciate the ideas for art projects that enable young people to engage this perspective through active learning.
Jocelyn McWhirter, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Albion College

An Artistic Approach is a key that unlocks a complicated volume for either the younger reader or one of any age beginning a faith quest who wants to understand what the Bible is and how it came to be. It also adds its own texture to scripture. Sharon Chace, as an artist, reminds me of a quilter assembling her work so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
James M. Perry, Minnesota Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church

An excellent overview of contemporary New Testament scholarship. I recommend it highly for adult study groups in mainstream churches.
Lois N. Sundeen, Retired minister, United Church of Christ