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Social-Science Commentary (4 vols.)

by Malina, Bruce, Rohrbaugh, Richard L., Pilch, John J.

Fortress Press 1998–2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.
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Social-Science Commentary (4 vols.)
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Overview

These volumes in the Social-Science Commentary series present a pioneering alternative commentary genre that offers a contextual approach to the study of the New Testament, thoroughly grounded in the original audience’s first-century cultural setting. These commentaries cover the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John, the Deutero-Pauline letters (Colossians, Ephesians, and 2 Thessalonians), and the book of Revelation. Complete with orienting introductions, illustrative charts, and other supplements, this collection offers rich insights into the the New Testament text through the lens of the original recipients and shows how they would view the world through their experiences, cultural idioms, history, and both aural and written genres. This socio-cultural background drawn from anthropological studies of the Mediterranean social system offers significant clues for filling in the unspoken or implicit elements of Scripture as a Mediterranean reader would have.

In the Logos editions, these valuable volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture and ancient-text citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. With these social-science commentaries in your library, the Passage Guide, Sermon Starter, and Topic Guides will bring up the relevant sections in a click, so you spend more time studying and less time searching. Tablet and mobile apps let you study on the go. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

For more social-science commentaries from Fortress Press, check out the Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Acts and the Social-Science Commentary on the Letters of Paul.

Key Features

  • Pioneering social-science commentaries
  • A thoroughly contextual look at the New Testament
  • Orienting introductions and illustrative charts and tables

Individual Titles

Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels

  • Authors: Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Series: Social-Science Commentary
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 456

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, the authors build on their earlier social-scientific work and enhance the highly successful commentary model they developed. This volume is a thoroughly revised edition of this popular commentary. It includes an introduction that lays the foundation for their interpretation, followed by an examination of each unit in the Synoptics, employing methodologies of cultural anthropology, macro-sociology, and social psychology.

Following an invaluable introduction, the authors apply to each of the synoptic Gospels the fruits of several decades of social-science research on the world of the Bible. For each pericope, the reader is provided with a translation, brief textual notes, and appropriate ‘reading scenarios,’ which assist in recapturing perspectives from a first-century peasant world-view . . . The book provides a lucid introduction to the heir apparent in the tradition of historical criticism—the application of the social sciences to the Bible.

Interpretation

With this ground-breaking book, [the authors] initiate a new genre of biblical commentary. They present fresh information drawn from the social sciences about the agrarian, pre-industrial, eastern Mediterranean cultural context in which the Synoptic Gospels originated . . . Every reader will learn something new from this book.

Critical Review: Biblical Studies

The information is clarifying and helps to make this book a valuable companion to the Synoptic Gospels. Would that every preacher make the effort to use it.

Louvain Studies

Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John

  • Authors: Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh
  • Series: Social-Science Commentary
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 336

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This commentary on the Gospel of John builds on the unique format and success of the Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels and includes illustrations and photographs for maximum socio-cultural content. Unlike the usual historical, exegetical, or theological commentaries, this rich and engrossing work assembles and catalogs the pertinent values, conflicts, and mores of ancient Mediterranean culture. Its Gospel outline, detailed textual notes, and “reading scenarios” bring life and light to the social circumstances the Gospel text relates about childhood, money, divorce, military service, farming, family life, cities, demons, patronage, and a host of other aspects of the ancient world. The “reading scenarios” sections present the perspective of the original audience drawn from anthropological studies of the Mediterranean social system, offering clues for filling in the unspoken or implicit elements of the writing as a Mediterranean reader would certainly have done. The authors argue that, in many ways, the Fourth Gospel addresses an alienated anti-society, fundamentally at odds with the predominant culture. With its format, charts, and photos, this social-science commentary is the ideal companion for the study of the Fourth Gospel.

This is a splendid guidebook through the dense language of John’s Gospel. The authors unmask new depths of meaning for any who puzzle over the Fourth Gospel. It is going to be a very important book.

Robert Kysar, professor of preaching and New Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

This indispensable guide presents the Johannine reality in its first-century perspective. It is the best attempt yet to locate John within a specific cultural complex of meanings, and in the same accessible style that characterized the author’s previous volume . . .

Carolyn Osiek, professor of New Testament, Chicago Theological Seminary

Social-Science Commentary on the Deutero-Pauline Letters

  • Authors: Bruce J. Malina and John J. Pilch
  • Series: Social-Science Commentary
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 208

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This commentary on the text of the Deutero-Pauline letters provides a contextual approach to the study of Colossians, Ephesians, and 2 Thessalonians that is thoroughly grounded in the original audience’s ancient socio-cultural setting. This volume provides essential “reading scenarios” on specific cultural phenomena in these letters, including forgery, normative conflict, paideia (training), and household codes. The “reading scenarios” sections present the perspective of the original audience drawn from anthropological studies of the Mediterranean social system, offering clues for filling in the unspoken or implicit elements of the writing as a Mediterranean reader would certainly have done. This volume also presents what the authors call “the transformation of the memory of Paul” in early Christianity that reflects the concerns and interest of the Pauline communities after Paul’s death.

Malina and Pilch have done it again! They have produced a commentary that is incisive, insightful, and full of new ways to read the texts, as well as challenges to old ways of understanding them.

Walter F. Taylor Jr., Ernest W. and Edith S. Ogram Professor of New Testament Studies, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Revelation

  • Authors: Bruce J. Malina and John J. Pilch
  • Series: Social-Science Commentary
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 296

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The author of Revelation presents himself as John, the astral seer, who professes faith in the resurrected Jesus and who belonged to the house of Israel. John writes of traveling into the sky; but this perspective of “sky-visions” is completely neglected in the traditional commentaries and studies on Revelation. Malina and Pilch demonstrate the necessity of taking ancient sky-interpretation seriously for reading the book of Revelation in its first- century context. Building on their earlier works on Revelation, and using the highly successful socio-cultural commentary model, Malina and Pilch have charted a new direction for Revelation studies. In addition to their focused commentary, Malina and Pilch include illustrative drawings, photographs, charts, and diagrams on ancient Mediterranean astrology.

Product Details

  • Title: Social-Science Commentary
  • Authors: Bruce J. Malina, Richard L. Rohrbaugh, and John J. Pilch
  • Series: Social-Science Commentary
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Volumes: 4
  • Pages: 1,296

About the Authors

Bruce J. Malina is professor of New Testament at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. He is also the coauthor of Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Acts, Social-Science Commentary on the Letters of Paul, and A Time Travel to the World of Jesus.

Richard L. Rohrbaugh is professor of biblical studies at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He is also the author of The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective and the editor of The Social Sciences and New Testament Interpretation.

John J. Pilch is professor emeritus of New Testament at Lewis and Clark College. He is also the coauthor of Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Acts and Social-Science Commentary on the Letters of Paul.