This exhaustive study is an example of the length to which scholars feel they must go to squeeze the last ounce of meaning from the text of Scripture. In order to understand the many ways in which the New Testament writers thought and spoke about the Church, the author found it helpful not only to examine the varied meanings of the image of the Church as the Body of Christ, but to do so within the context of all the other pictures of the Christian community. All in all no less than ninety- six words or phrases, called images or analogies, are dealt with, each of them descriptive or suggestive of what the New Testament writers thought the Christian community should be like. This accounts not only for the length of the book but also for its variety and interest. This work was assigned to the author by the Faith and Order Department of the World Council of Churches, and theologians may rejoice that the leaders of the ecumenical movement placed this study in such competent hands.