To understand and apply the Bible well, you need two crucial sources of information. One is the Bible itself. The other is an understanding of the cultural background of the passage you’re reading.
Only with the background can you grasp the author’s original concerns and purposes. This unique commentary provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible—and richer—Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament.
Based on ten years of in-depth study, this accessible and bestselling commentary is valuable for pastors in sermon preparation, for Sunday-school and other church teachers as they build lessons, for missionaries concerned not to import their own cultural biases into the Bible, for college and seminary students in classroom assignments, and for everyday Bible readers seeking to deepen and enhance their study of Scripture.
“Paul thus challenges not Jewish people or Jewish views as a whole but some Jewish attitudes and practices. He does this most often in letters such as Romans and Galatians where he addresses the relationship of Gentile believers to Israel’s heritage. For the Jewish people, observance of the *law was a matter of culture regardless of views about salvation. For Gentile converts, however, imposing observance of the law’s Israel-specific markers as a condition of belonging to Christ’s community raised starkly the question of what believers rely on for salvation.” (Page 423)
“Jewish culture was serious about expressing rather than repressing grief.” (Page 310)
“These actions do not reflect an *ascetic ideal, as in some Greek and Jewish sects, but instead the practice of radically valuing people over possessions, acknowledging that Jesus owns both them and their property (cf. 4:32).” (Page 326)
“John portrays the departure of these disciples as apostasy, which Judaism regarded as one of the worst sins. The loyalty of disciples brought honor to teachers in antiquity; their abandonment led to dishonor.” (Page 268)
“The ‘necessity’ of the Samaritan route may have been spiritual rather than geographic.” (Page 258)
Every biblical text has cultural assumptions. Like an intriguing archaeological dig, Keener’s work surfaces the cultural and worldview assumptions of the New Testament. This work brings background to the foreground, so the text’s meaning is more accessible to all.
—Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary
Most one-volume, single-author Bible commentaries or study Bibles are erratic in their coverage.... Craig Keener’s work is an astonishing exception.... He can be trusted in almost every statement he makes, and even his more interpretative opinions are consistently well-grounded. Keener has given preachers and lay Christians alike an invaluable resource for years to come.
—Craig Blomberg, Denver Seminary
This book will meet a significant need.... The discerning reader will detect how well Keener has drawn on the results of much recent research and presented it in a way that pastors and laypeople will be able to grasp.
—Clinton E. Arnold, Talbot School of Theology
The Logos edition of The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, 2nd ed. equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently, searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly, and performing word studies. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can 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.