You’ve heard many Bible stories hundreds of times, but how many behind-the-scenes details are you missing? Sometimes a little context is all you need to discover the rich meaning behind the stories of Scripture.
That’s what the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible provides. Every page is packed with expert insight into the customs, culture, and literature of Bible times. These fascinating explanations will serve to clarify your study of the Scriptures, reinforcing your confidence and bringing difficult passages of Scripture into sharp focus.
Discover new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar Bible passages as you take a behind-the-scenes tour into the ancient world.
The Bible was originally written to an ancient people removed from us by thousands of years and thousands of miles. The Scriptures include subtle culturally-based nuances, undertones, and references to ancient events, literature and customs that were intuitively understood by those who first heard the Scriptures read. For us to hear the Scriptures as they did, we need a window into their world.
The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, with notes from Dr. John H. Walton (Wheaton College) in the Old Testament and Dr. Craig S. Keener (Asbury Theological Seminary) in the New Testament, brings to life the ancient world of Scripture for modern readers.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
This resource does not include the Bible text. The NIV is available separately and can be purchased here.
“The emblem on Antipas’s coins was a reed. John’s hearers would be familiar with reeds, since they grew as tall as 16 feet (5 meters) around the Jordan, where John had baptized. Reeds were used figuratively for what was weak and undependable in time of trouble (1Ki 14:15; 2Ki 18:21; 3 Maccabees 2:22).” (Page 1632)
“Mark is almost exactly half the length of Matthew and Luke, suggesting standardized scroll lengths. Given the cost of ancient scrolls, Mark would have been the most affordable of the Gospels, and must have circulated widely in the first century. Matthew and Luke both considered Mark sufficiently reliable to draw heavily on this Gospel.” (Page 1681)
“This study Bible has been purpose-built to do one thing: to increase your understanding of the cultural nuances behind the text of God’s Word so that your study experience, and your knowledge of the realities behind the ideas in the text, is enriched and expanded.” (Page iii)
“Matthew was the early second-century church’s favorite and most-cited Gospel.” (Page 1604)
“As in vv. 7–8, mere physical descent is not sufficient; the promise specified the (slightly) younger twin, Jacob (Ge 25:23). Offered before their birth, the promise depended solely on God’s grace, not on the brothers’ prior behavior. Most Jewish people recognized both God’s sovereignty and human responsibility without viewing them as contradictory (see note on 8:29). They especially emphasized that God chose Israel as a people; Paul insists here in ch. 9 that God’s choice is not limited to Abraham’s physical descendants, but more widely can include Gentiles (vv. 24–26).” (Page 1964)
How I wish someone had put a book like this into my hands 50 years ago.
—N.T. Wright, Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity
I cannot recommend a study Bible any more than this one: Five stars!
—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament
Craig Keener (PhD, Duke University) is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary and is the author of 17 books, four of which have won book awards in Christianity Today. One, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, has sold more than half a million copies. He has authored scholarly commentaries on Matthew, John (two volumes), Acts (four volumes), and more briefly on Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Revelation. Dr. Keener is married to Dr. Médine Moussounga Keener, who spent 18 months as a refugee in her nation of Congo before their marriage.
John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, spent 20 years teaching at Moody Bible Institute.
In his college years, he developed a passion for archaeology and Bible history. Instead of training to be an archaeologist, though, he focused his attention on studies comparing the culture and literature of the Bible and the ancient Near East. He has never lost his fascination with this subject, but comparative studies only provide one of the means by which he tries to get people excited about the Old Testament. He’s saddened by how little exposure to and understanding of the Old Testament many Christians have, but he’s passionate in doing whatever he can to remedy this spiritual and theological loss.
For 25 years, Dr. Walton was active at South Park Church in Park Ridge, Illinois—teaching at every level, from adults through preschool. He’s driven by the desire to offer people a greater familiarity with God’s Word and a greater confidence in understanding God’s revelation of himself in its pages. Since moving to Wheaton, he has gotten involved in the same areas of ministry at Glen Ellyn Bible Church.
Whether in teaching or writing, he’s constantly challenged in his own life because the material he’s presenting stretches him as much as it stretches his students and readers. Whatever he’s writing or teaching also has a way of infiltrating his family. His wife, Kim, was trained as a biochemist, which made for interesting dinner conversations—especially when he was working on his Genesis commentary. His three kids have often gotten involved in the discussions, and he’s had fun responding to them and seeing his family grow together.
Karina Gabriel Stavenes