Help Me Pick a New Title for an Old Book

My first published book was The Untold Story of the New Testament Church (2005).

In 2014, I plan to rewrite the entire book from beginning to end. (God willing.)

There will be a lot of new content added, it will sport a new cover that matches my other books in the ReChurch series.

And it will have a new title. The subtitle of the book will be “The Untold Story of the New Testament Church.”

Update: You all gave me great input on a new title and the consensus was to put the NT Epistles at the end of the book in chronological order.

Here are two titles I really like.

If you have a preference, let me know what it is. And if you have a better idea that’s 2 or 3 words long for the main title, that is catchy and compelling, let me know.

Unquenchable Flame: The Untold Story of the New Testament Church

Inexhaustible Flame: The Untold Story of the New Testament Church

Here are the other book titles in the ReChurch series that this book belongs to:

Pagan Christianity

Reimagining Church

From Eternity to Here

Finding Organic Church

Jesus Manifesto

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Comments

  1. Bill Otis says

    I have several suggestions, but I particularly like “Tearing The Veil.” Like the “motions” in your book, “Tearing The Veil” expresses the continual move of God’s initiated motion to restore His relationship with man.

    • “Christ’s Bride Illuminated”
    • “Revealing The Eternal Mystery”
    • “Christ In You All”
    • “The Illuminated Bride”
    • “Church Illuminated”
    I also like:
    • “Choreography of the Bride”

    As far as the placing of the epistles, I’d put them in the back. Their reading without chapter and verse was of great benefit to me.
    I’m looking forward to reading the revised edition. Love you brother!

  2. says

    Since this is a chronological development of the New Testament Church then I suggest a title like:

    1. A Chronology of Ekklesia

    Put the Scriptures chronologically without chapter and verses in NIV at the end of the book with page numbers links.

  3. says

    One idea which came to mind: “Jesus Transformed”. I also like “The Way”. I think I’d leave out the epistles, but maybe you could include teasers in order to try and encourage people to read them.

  4. Dylan says

    From Pentacost to Patmos is a great name.

    I also like Dave Dittman’s suggestion to make the subtitle something more simple to grasp. “An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament” could work.

    I agree with him that something more concrete in the subtitle could draw in more “conventional” church goers and even biblical scholars. This should ultimately draw in more readers and make it accessible to a larger audience by striking a good balance between something catchy and modern in the name and something simple and concrete in the subtitle.

    • Dylan says

      Oh, and I really like Mark’s idea of having a choice between A B or C depending on personal preference. It is clear from the responses that everybody likes different options. So if it were possible to choose which style one wanted it would be great.

  5. aaron says

    Some of these have already been said, but they deserve a second vote….

    The Church in Context
    Revisiting the New Testament
    Revisiting the Early Church
    Revisiting Church History
    Christ’s Life Continued
    Saga of the Church
    The Saga of Ekklesia

    And I vote B, epistles in the back. Maybe even in a handwritten font!

  6. Steph says

    Once the idea of Pentecost to Patmos was in my head, it just seemed so perfect and absolutely descriptive of what the book was about. I think the epistles should go in the back of the book so as not to interrupt the flow. As to the bible version, perhaps the NIV because it seems to be so widely read (although not my absolute favourite), I think the NASB is very specific to the USA and this book will have an international readership. :>) Perhaps there could be a note about reading a paraphrase which for the new Christian is perhaps more readable.

  7. Jeff Stucker says

    Here are some options along the lines of a metaphor that links the church and new beginnings, and you can put “story” or “chronology” in the subtitle:

    Birth of the Church: A New Testament Chronology

    The Bride Engaged: The Untold Story of the New Testament Church

    If you include the epistles, please have them in the back in NIV. Even though my favorite is NASB, NIV is more popular and accessible. You may have licensing issues for that much HIV content. If licensing is an issue, look at NET Bible.

  8. Beth says

    The Bride Manifested or The Life of the Bride….And I think that placing the Epistles in an appendix would be the best. Blessings as you begin your “new” book!

  9. says

    Here are some name choices:

    “The Story of Church”
    “What is Church?”
    “From Pentecost to Patmos”
    “Biblical Church”
    “The Church”

    As for the second question. I would either leave the Epistles out, or add them in the back. However I think most people have access to a bible, and could follow along well without them in the book itself. Further, this will save on copyright costs because you will need to pay a good sum for each full book you quote.

  10. Steve Mac says

    My vote goes to “Rediscovering the Early Church” – it follows the theme of “Re-imagining …”
    I would leave the epistles out of the text – inclusion risks making the book really thick which to many will be off-putting.

    • Schuyler says

      Oops — forgot. I would prefer the Scriptures printed in the back of the book. Printing the Scriptures within the book would allow anyone, regardless of where they are, to have access to read those scriptures at the time it is recommended to do so in the book. This would be a great aid to someone traveling or in waiting rooms, etc.

  11. Gary says

    Here are a few suggestions in no particular order. Notice that some of them coordinate with your other titles in the ReChurch series.
    (N.B. : “the”, “a”, and “and” don’t count!)

    The Church: Plan A
    Beyond the Old Covenant
    Before Theater Church
    Before Churchianity
    Before Pagan Christianity
    God’s Christianity
    God’s Version of Church
    Rediscovering the Pure Church
    Rediscovering God’s Plan A
    Rediscovering Church
    Finding the Original Church
    Church God’s Way
    The Diary of the Church
    Church As It Happened
    Do Church God’s Way
    Finding New Covenant Church
    The Church’s Manifesto
    The Real Church Chronicles
    The Church Story Like a River

    As for content, I like Mike Morrell’s suggestion – a separate, annotated, chronological NT.
    Then you can have another title contest!

  12. Jefferson Froehle says

    1. REVISTING Century ONE
    2. I think you should save the latter project for a wider callabortion with other contemporary scholars that would “produce” A 21st century ” version ” on the entire scriptures as a whole. This is much needed.

  13. says

    Hi Frank,
    I really like the idea of having the New Testament written in chronological order in the back of the book. I think it will flow easier to the reader and it is easy enough to flip to the back of the book to read the specific letter.

    As far as the title goes, not sure. I kinda like ”From Pentecost to Patmos” that others have mentioned but because it comes from the title of “From Eternity to Here” would guess you’d want something different.

    Since Luke calls his gospel his “first account” perhaps something that flows from this. Perhaps “Jesus’ Second Account” describing Acts-Revelation as the next story and eternal purpose of Jesus in His ekklesia. But this title doesn’t seem to convey the excitement of such a prospect brings to one who sees this revelation.

    Since this is about God’s eternal purpose in Christ, perhaps using a thought from Paul from Ephesians or something similar: “The Fullness of Him.” Which describes Paul’s idea of God’s perspective of Christ’s body.

    In any case look forward to getting a copy of it, :). Blessings.

  14. Sal Fontana says

    Some possible titles, “Carry out the call”, Disciples Walking”, “Alive” or “Made Alive”, “The Body”, “Miraculous”, “Poemia”.

  15. John William Keirsey says

    The King’s Church…?
    The King of King’s Church….
    New Testament Church Unusual….
    The Dynamic Church of the New Testament….
    Good Luck

  16. Pieter Pretorius says

    Frank, I would suggest that you make the focus of the book a particular version of the NT [my favorite ones are NIV or NRSV] in chronological order and add the background information of those times preferably as an introduction. But this will require you to abandon the “movement”, “chronicle” approach. You did not indicate if you are planning to keep this format.
    Then I would suggest the following title: NT in (Historical) Context.
    God bless you with this endeavour. The previous one The Untold Story … is a great blessing. I continue to refer back to it. Shalom.

  17. Gideon Loots says

    From Pentecost to Patmos or The Way

    I have found that a really good way to get an overview of a book of the bible and to follow the story of the book is to listen to it on an audio. When reading a book I sometimes pause and ponder on or reread difficult verses or chapters and loose the flow of the book. But with an audio Bible you simply listen through the book at the pace the narrator is reading it.

    The hole New Testament can fit on one MP3 CD, so I suggest that you add an audio bible CD at the back of the book.

    Some narrators make me fall asleep and I struggle to listen to others (maybe I cannot understand their accent or don’t like where they put the emphasis). But my favourite narrator is Dale McConachie who narrates the NASB & HCSB. Click here to listen to him narrate: http://mobile.biblegateway.com/audio/mcconachie/nasb/Gal.1

  18. says

    I like what you said: “From Pentecost to Patmos.” It conveys the idea of both chronos and context and does so in a brevity of words.

    And I choose option ‘D': include an audio CD of someone reading the epistles or point to download links online of someone reading the epistles, just as the first audience would have experienced the epistles.

    You can have a different reader for each epistle, too. Make it friends of yours who the readers might know (Greg Boyd, Leonard Sweet, Mary DeMuth, Felicity Dale, Steve Brown etc.). Then you could even have that as a separate resource as well, maybe include it with the book, but also sell it separately (cause people would buy it!) Then give the proceeds to an awesome charity you all (the readers and you) like.

    Okay, sorry for the long answer!

  19. Nancy says

    - The Original New Testament Church: The Untold Story
    – Option C
    – Favorite Version – NASB
    Looking forward to reading it.

  20. says

    Well, Frank I like the old title The Untold Story. But, From Pentecost to Patmos does sound good. I have read the book and it is wonderful. Put the epistles at the end using NASB.

  21. says

    Title suggestions:

    The Way
    The Way We Walked
    What We Have Seen
    United
    The Word In Us
    Eternal Life

    I think having the epistles inline would likely bog things down, but I like the idea of putting them in the back, as an appendices.

  22. Rachel dowda says

    I just re read the other comments, And I like the idea other people said, ” From Pentecost to Patmos”. It flows nicely with From Eternity to Here.

    I think option A would be awesome. It’s such a different experience to read the epistles without chapters and verses, it truly changes everything, especially since that’s the way it originally was, and that’s what the book shows.

  23. Rachel dowda says

    1. Maybe for the title, something like. “The original story”. I don’t know, something similar to the original title, just shorter.
    2. option A

  24. Eva Clarke says

    Thank you for your wonderful book.

    I suggest “New Testament Odyssey” as a potential title.

    In response to your second question, I like the idea of putting the epistles in the back of the book.

  25. Bridget says

    I’d prefer the Epistles not be included. Most people have access to the Bible on their phone, other electronic device, or the Bible itself.

    Names:

    Maturing the Bride . . .
    Christ’s Bride Maturing . . .
    Christ’s Bride . . .
    Bride of Christ . . .

    “The Untold Story of the New Testament Church.”

  26. says

    Title: “Rediscovering the Early Church.” I also like Steve’s title: “The Birth of Christianity”and Eric’s “Church in Context”
    I would suggest putting the Epistles in the back of the book so that someone who is unfamiliar and interested with Christianity can read the documents and the story alongside each other and in the same book.

  27. Tyrone Hardy says

    Brother Frank,

    Here are my suggestions for a title:

    1)The Chronicles of Christianity
    2)The Jesus Chronicles
    3)The Diary of Christianity

    I also think you should put the Epistles in the text where it presently says, “Stop and read …”. It will make the book longer but to me it seems to make the most sense.

  28. Dave Dittman says

    “Christ Builds His Church” is my title recommendation. I like your option (A.) “Put the Epistles in the text where it presently says, “Stop and read …”. I am re-reading this great book now and as I look at the cover, I feel that in addition to using the current title as your new sub-title, you should also keep the current sub-title “An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament” I believe a title and cover like I have suggested would increase your readership to include many Christians who would not normally read your books nor read church history, and more importantly, it would draw in many non-Christians who are seeking the Truth.

  29. Steven Shytle says

    1. The Fire Pentecost Ignited. 2. Put the Epistles in the back as it is seems to be the most convenient means of reading them without bogging down the book by putting them in line with the other texts.

  30. Philip Moore (UK) says

    ‘The First Century Church Story’, but I like ‘From Pentecost to Patmos’. Don’t include the epistles so people can read their version of choice. If epistles are going to be included, I think the NIV would suit this book better than, say, the NKJV; and they should be added in the text not at the end (perhaps putting the next narrative page to go to if you don’t want to read the whole epistle at that time).

  31. says

    Great to hear of the update to this book, Frank. The original was really helpful.

    I like the title suggestion of From Pentacost to Patmos, but I’ll keep thinking on that.

    For the letters, I would not include them as it would make the book too bulky and hard to handle.

    Or…

    Have an option to purchase just the book text, and an option to buy the book with the letters at the end. Or an option to buy a separate volume with the letters and introductions to each.

    For an e-book, you could also have the with/without options, where the with option has hyperlinks at appropriate places to the letter in the back.

  32. says

    “A Choreography”
    “The Choreography of Church”

    I’m presuming your target audience is the ‘young’ Christian, so perhaps addressing a brief exposition of the epistles ‘themes’ would keep the flow going while still encouraging them to read it for themselves from a version you might reccommend.

  33. Lukie de Beer says

    Title: People of the Way

    Where it comes to the epistles I choose option A.

    Please do consider checking out a new bible translation called ‘The Mirror’ translation on Amazon. I have yet to come across a bible version that more deeply resonates with your writings. It is truly sublime, written from the perspective of grace – the real good news.

    Thank you for your work Frank!

  34. Zoran says

    From Pentecost to Patmos sounds ideal. I think that not including the text of the epistles would save on space and cost but a summary of what to look for keep readers on track of the points you are making. Also if you haven’t got it already, the magisterial Early Christian Mission by Eckhard Schnabel(2 vols)is a fantastic source of information not easily found elsewhere (eg that Paul began his mission immediately upon his conversion and was well experienced by the time Barnabas sought him in Tarsus). It’s too detailed and long for most readers but you would find plenty to supplement your first edition, correct wrong assumptions and indeed tell the entire story of the first-century church and not just what Acts tells us.

  35. says

    The title should somehow include the fact that it aids in understanding the New Testament chronologically.

    It’s a great idea to add the epistles without chapters and verses. And in the back.

    I would have loved all your books with the footnotes or study helps to have come with built-in, ribbon-like bookmarks for each section, for convenient skipping around.

  36. Paul says

    FROM PENTECOST TO PATMOS (with descriptive subtitle about the untold story… it’s on-brand for you, congruent w/ From Eternity…)

    or

    WHEN SPIRIT REIGNED: The Early Church from Pentecost to Patmos

    Option C. Your audience owns Bibles.

  37. Vinny says

    Great responses !
    I vote “The church for dummies” JK ;-)
    “His Church comes ALIVE!” or
    “His church is born!”
    although Pentecost to Patmos is catchy it might loose the typical reader?
    As for a version included at the end, a version not typical that would invite the reader to think out side of their paradigm (msg)with a disclaimer to use the version they are comfortable with if it is to much for them ;-) or no disclaimer.

  38. Scott says

    the title; “The Real Church” as far as the epistles go i think they should be included in the back in their proper order. people tend to get lost because they do not understand the time frames. I also like the idea that you might include a little in the chapter so as to cause people to look for more in the epistles!

  39. says

    I suggest something like this for a title —

    CHRIST’S LIFE CONTINUED . . .

    I would suggest leaving the epistles out. It’s too cumbersome.

    If you do include them, put them at the end and use the TNIV.

  40. Calvin Edgerton says

    How about: “The Beginning of The Way”. The epistles in the back of the book would be better, and especially helpful with the fully navigable e-book version. I suggest the NIV (1984) or the NLT, both of which are more narrative-oriented than some others. Looking forward to this update. God bless you, brother!

  41. says

    I will continue to ponder this, but I’m thinking ‘Divine Dream Delivered: The Untold Story of the New Testament Church’ at the moment.

    As for whether or not to actually include the NT in it, my immediate impulse would be to vote ‘no’ – it would be too cumbersome. On the other hand, an ‘Organic Church Bible’ with notes and insights from a group of people, including a chronological NT…*that* would probably have a ready readership!

  42. Pat says

    Oh, after the “From Pentecost To Patmos”, “The Untold Story…” will be the second title as you said, which will be the perfect sub title!

  43. says

    How about:

    1) Early Church Revealed
    2) Ekklissia Revealed
    3) Church Oddesy
    4) Early Church Oddesy
    5) First Centry Church Revealed
    6) The Birth of Christiany
    7) The Rise of Christianity

    Just joining in the fun. Feel free to reject all of these.

  44. Susan Smith says

    I also loved the book and am happy to hear you will be updating it. Although it will probably increase the price of the book, I would like to see the epistles in the back of the book with the page numbers to direct the reader. As far as the title, I have no idea but I’m sure you will come up with something very clever!

  45. Wes Schoel says

    “The First Real Church” or “The Real First Church”
    I vote for “D”.
    I suggest the reader be highly encouraged to read the epistles for themselves from their own Bible. But I also suggest you choose a recommended version that might flow best with your writing and subject matter. Then include a brief synopsis of the epistle at the “stop and read” points. This synopsis could easily point out the concepts you want reinforced to the reader and perhaps give the reader a perspective from which to read his or her own Bible.

    • Andrew Harshman says

      I vote for this explanation of D. If you do put it in, put it in the back and direct the reader to the correct page but use a literal version like NASB or NRSV. They are more true to the text. But I still think using their own bible would be best.

  46. Pat says

    I think that you may have hit upon a title in your text above yourself, Frank: “From Pentecost To Patmos”. I also like: “The Epistles Made Alive” (but, I really like: “From Pentecost To Patmos” the best). I would like for the Epistles to be in where it says, Stop and Read…” for a continuous flow.

  47. says

    I’ve always thought the transitional journey and battle for the establishment of the early church was like the many classic stories people identify with today (Tolkien, Lewis, Lucas). Only it really happened and the real force was/is God. So the narrative legacy/editing resulted in non-sequential fragments that a chronological rendering would be very resourceful. Thus – your book.

    “Ordained Odyssey” – or the like might convey that.

  48. Bill Hammon says

    Book title:
    Cover to Cover
    Please include the letters. Include certain sections in your coverage of Acts.
    Blessings on this project.
    I invite you to check out “NothinsGonnaStopIt!”. Had a powerful impact on me.

  49. says

    This is one of my favorite books of yours Frank. As a Biblical Studies student, I found this book helped to reinforce things I learned in exegesis and hermeneutics but which I wasn’t always to clearly state.

    I like Eric’s suggestion above. I’d suggest:

    1. Applying the Jesus Lens:

    I didn’t find the Stop and Read elements to be a hindrance to me when I read the original. In some cases I read, in others I simply paused and reviewed in my mind or through other resources an outline based on my familiarity with the text.

    Maybe an outline of the salient elements of the Epistle with a commentary of how they cross reference to Acts and other historical elements of other epistles.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the rework of this book. Of all the books you’ve written, I think this is one that has the most potential to impact people who haven’t had the benefit (or the distraction!) of what is in effect a book of hermeneutics that puts the New Testament into a context that works against the way that many modern theologies “slice and dice” the Bible to toss into a salad of their choosing.

    I hope it goes well!

    I also have a review of this book here:

    http://amzn.to/1bxDGpj

  50. dan says

    First I want to address the second question. I enjoyed reading my bible when I read this book the first time. I think you will make the book to big if you add the epistles, which might turn some off.
    Second, how about birthing ekklesia.

  51. Ron Meck says

    1. The Apostolic Church Story

    2. B. Put the epistles at the back of the book. This is important. Most people when reading the book will take the book around with then. Why have to carry the Bible with the book too in order to follow along? Putting them in the back of the book will give the reader the option to read the epistles at that moment or continue along. Maybe they would rather read the epistles in their own favorite version. I would recommend NKJV but that at be difficult as TN requires licensing. So perhaps the NASB or ASV?

    • Michael Salmon says

      My title suggestion- Two or Three. Favorite version is NLT. Epistles included, maybe just the parts that relate to your subject.

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