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Products>The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, 2nd ed.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, 2nd ed.

ISBN: 9780830877829

Digital Logos Edition

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Digital list price: $49.99
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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.

Resource Experts
  • Provides a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures
  • Includes maps, charts, and bibliographies
  • Contains introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament

Top Highlights

“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

Craig Keener

Dr. Craig S. 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.




11 ratings

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  1. Dennis Adams

    Dennis Adams


  2. Nelson



  3. Ryan



  4. John Ramos

    John Ramos


    Good for beginners. I own the 1st and 2nd edition and was not too impressed with the contents especially for the price. The IVPOT by Walton and Chavalas set the bar high on cultural context and background info (I thought would carry over to the NT edition) but the IVPNT (both editions) seem, to me, to fall far short of this bar. A better resource for 1st Century culture and context, in my opinion, is The New Testament in Antiquity by Burge, Cohick, Green. This resource was released later than IVPNT, but it has much better content for understanding 1st century culture in and around the NT. The commentary section is okay but, again, could have been more robust in my opinion. I like Keener's work but I had higher expectations I guess.
  5. William Pankey
  6. Tes



    Well done.
  7. Jacob Laird

    Jacob Laird


  8. Peter Ryan

    Peter Ryan


  9. Robert Polahar

    Robert Polahar


  10. Jason



    Just a thought to those who ask for discounts on this edition if owning the first edition. If you held the hard copy of the 1st edition book, would the bookshop give you a discount on this 2nd edition? I'm happy to see such works updated and available. The advantage of digital to me is that corrections and typo errors are able to be fixed and updated without cost unlike the hardcopy which remains with those issues. Whole new editions are a different thing entirely.


Digital list price: $49.99
Save $25.00 (50%)