Logos Bible Software
Sign In
Products>The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians

The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians

Digital Logos Edition

Logos Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.



Finally: an introduction that captures the excitement of the early Christians, helping today’s readers to think like a first-century believer while reading the text responsibly for today.

The New Testament in Its World is your passageway from the twenty-first century to the era of Jesus and the first Christians. A highly-readable, one-volume introduction placing the entire New Testament and early Christianity in its original context, it is the only such work by distinguished scholar and author N. T. (Tom) Wright.

An ideal guide for students, The New Testament in Its World addresses the many difficult questions faced by those studying early Christianity. Both large and small, these questions include:

  • What is the purpose of the New Testament?
  • What was the first-century understanding of the kingdom?
  • What is the real meaning of the resurrection in its original context?
  • What really were the Gospels?
  • Who was Paul and why are his letters so controversial?
  • As twenty-first-century people, how do we recover the excitement of what it was like to live as Christians in the first or second centuries?

In short, The New Testament in Its World brings together decades of ground-breaking research, writing, and teaching into one volume that will open readers’ eyes to the larger world of the New Testament. It presents the New Testament books as historical, literary, and social phenomena located in the world of Second Temple Judaism, amidst Greco-Roman politics and culture, and within early Christianity.

Written for both classroom and personal use, the benefits of The New Testament in Its World include:

  • A distillation of the life work of N. T. Wright on the New Testament with input from Michael Bird
  • Historical context that situates Jesus and the early church within the history, culture, and religion of Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman world
  • Major sections on the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and Paul’s chronology and theology
  • Surveys of each New Testament book that discuss their significance, critical topics like authorship and date, and that provide commentary on contents along with implications for the Christian life
  • Up-to-date discussions of textual criticism and the canonization of the New Testament
  • A concluding chapter dedicated to living the story of the New Testament
  • Available Video and Workbook companion resources to enhance learning and experience the world of the New Testament
  • Illustrated with visually rich pictures, maps, charts, diagrams, and artwork; plentiful sidebars provide additional explanations and insights

This product comes with a study guide included.

Resource Experts
  • Addresses the many difficult questions faced by those studying early Christianity
  • Brings together decades of ground-breaking research, writing, and teaching
  • Presents the New Testament books as historical, literary, and social phenomena
  • Part I: Reading the New Testament
  • Part II: The World of Jesus and the Early Church
  • Part III: Jesus and the Victory of God
  • Part IV: The Resurrection of the Son of God
  • Part V: Paul and the Faithfulness of God
  • Part VI: The Gospels and the Story of God
  • Part VII: The Early Christians and the Mission of God
  • Part VIII: The Making of the New Testament
  • Part IX: Living the Story of the New Testament
This is the New Testament introduction of all New Testament introductions! Not only is this a superb New Testament introduction from the keyboards of two of today’s most prolific and balanced NT scholars, but more advanced students will find here an accessible and mature synthesis of and primer for N. T. Wright’s voluminous work.

—Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

Masterful job by Wright and Bird, written with characteristic jauntiness and scholarly rigor. The numerous sidebars add spice to the substantial meal presented in the text. The book’s power lies in its thorough historical study combined with its missional voice to the church today.

—Lynn H. Cohick, provost/dean of Denver Seminary

N. T. (Tom) Wright can’t write anything that is not interesting and suggestive and even at times provocative. His shelf or two of books is now condensed, reworked, and put in digestible form for even more readers. This is a lifetime of scholarship and a landmark publication by one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars. I’m grateful too for the creative contribution Mike Bird makes in pulling all of this into one final heap of fun.

—Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

Tom Wright and Mike Bird give us the opportunity to appreciate the breadth and detail of Wright’s vision of the New Testament–one of the most far-reaching of recent times. The format of a New Testament introduction means that we also get to fill in the gaps on New Testament books that have not featured extensively in Wright’s major books. We also get to find the answers to many “So, what would he say about . . .?” questions. This book will be highly valued by students, scholars, and churches.

—Professor Peter Oakes, Greenwood Senior Lecturer in Theology, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, England

Interpreting the New Testament is a complex task and Wright and Bird work at it with customary passion and a commitment to clarity and coherence. These qualities make it an ideal starting-point for anyone who wants to understand early Christianity and its canonical texts.

—Dr. Sean Winter, Pilgrim Theological College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia

N. T. Wright is the Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the award-winning author of many books, including After You Believe, Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, The Challenge of Jesus, and The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as the series Christian Origins and the Question of God.

Michael F. Bird is Academic Dean and lecturer in theology at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission, The Saving Righteousness of God, Evangelical Theology, Romans (Story of God Bible Commentary Series), The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus, and editor of The Apostle Paul: Four Views. He also runs a popular theological studies blog called “Euangelion”.


12 ratings

Sign in with your Faithlife account

  1. Bastian Ogon

    Bastian Ogon


  2. Zac Owens

    Zac Owens


  3. Jared Leach

    Jared Leach


    Wright and Bird have created a wonderful resource with The New Testament in Its World. So frequently I turn to this book just to brush up on the background of a text before I begin theological study. I have frequently found something in this book that I used as a launching off point for further research. I highly recommend this work.
  4. diederick pütter
  5. Sherman Garner

    Sherman Garner


  6. Peter Law

    Peter Law


    Even for the dedicated reader of the Bible, understanding the cultural context of the New Testament, with it's myriad cultures and opaque politics, is a challenge. Wright and Bird have created a wonderful resource both to understand the layers of culture that serve as the context of the New Testament, along with a primer for understanding the context and argument of each book in the New Testament Canon. I have found this book very helpful in this regard and I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of and to interpret the New Testament.
  7. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    I really enjoyed the journey through the New Testament that this book took me on. Whilst this is a fine reference book, and of great use to quickly find background info on any book in the New Testament - I think you get much more by reading all of it. The same argument can be made, of course for the New Testament itself (and our whole Bible). I do no always agree with the Authors - for example I am still of the conviction that John, son of Zebedee wrote the Gospels and the Letters, and most likely Revelation. This is not a small book, nor is it a small topic - so it would come as no surprise that I also disagree at times with theological conclusions made. However, in these areas, the Authors do make me think - and that is what I want. The New Testament is treated seriously as the Word of God, and a good coverage of both Historic Christianity, and Scholarship is given. Plus, I like how well referenced the book is - plenty of other resources to go get your teeth into :) As a pastor, I find this book has been a good inspiration for my work and will continue to be a good reference.
  8. Clinton Wood

    Clinton Wood


  9. Jeff Blanton

    Jeff Blanton


  10. Matthew