I'm glad I had him for New Testament Introduction before he left. I wonder who will be teaching that class now? He was an excellent professor (all of Westminster professors are excellent -- I've never disliked any of my professors).
The NTI class looks at various issues related to the New Testament: Second Temple Judaism, the history of Israel up until Christ's birth and beyond, cannon issues, textual criticism issues and the use of the Old Testament in the New. It really was an interesting class and I learned a lot. Here are three of the books we had to read for the class that I found the most helpful:
This book was very helpful in giving me an understanding of what the environment was like when the New Testament was written. It has chapters on Roman law, rulers, Greco-Roman religion and philosophy. This is a very easy read with pictures :-)
We had to write a paper on this book. I found it helpful in understanding why a Jew would reject Jesus. It isn't hard to see why a Jew who loved the Torah would have a problem with a man would claimed to be the Son of God and who said things like this:
Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
This book was helping in understanding the issues related to compilation and transmission of the New Testament.