Men with a Message: An Introduction to the New Testament and its writers is the first book ever written by John Stott (and later revised by Stephen Motyer). This was originally the Bishop of Londons book for Lent in 1954, was completely rewritten and illustrated in 1994 by Stepehn Motyer (the edition I have read) and has also been re-branded again as The Story of the New Testament in 1997 and 2001.
The book looks at the personalities, backgrounds, theology, style, emphasis and hearts of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Paul, Apollos (Hebrews), James, and Peter. It is a very comprehensive, yet accessible book. It has a feel of a text book to it, but it is very enlightening, helpful and heart warming at times.
I loved reading up on the background of authors such as Matthew the tax collector and seeing how he pointed out money related issues more than other authors. I was moved to read how Mark (who failed Christ and Paul) wrote down the recollections of Peter (who failed Christ too) and so emphasised grace and the cost of discipleship so much.
If you have never thought through the implications of God using human authors (including their backgrounds and personality’s) then you need to read this book. It will truly revolutionise your Bible reading.
This is a book to be read by all. Maybe in a 1:1 context where you could read a chapter and then come together to discuss it.
A great book.