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Fortress Press New Testament Backgrounds (5 vols.)

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Explore the first-century Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman world in which the New Testament church and Scriptures were formed. From Joachim Jeremias’ classic Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus to Dennis E. Smith’s landmark From Symposium to Eucharist, this collection offers broad treatments and focused studies of this formative period for Jewish and Christian history. Immerse yourself in the New Testament’s rich context, and look at the Scriptures through the lenses of its writers and their audience.

Resource Experts
  • The latest research on New Testament backgrounds
  • Illuminating insights into the context and message of Jesus and Early Christianity
  • Focused treatment of key topics and issues for understanding the Greco-Roman world
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The Logos edition for each of the five volumes in the Fortress Press New Testament Backgrounds collection equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Whether you are performing Bible word studies, preparing a sermon, or researching and writing a paper, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently by searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly. 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.

Gentiles—Jews—Christians: Polemics and Apologetics in the Greco-Roman Era

  • Author: Hans Conzelmann
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 432

Hans Conzelmann examines the roots of anti–Judaism and Jewish–Christian dialogue in their historical contexts from a wide array of Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources. This is Conzelmann’s final academic masterpiece. Beginning with the political background Jew-Gentile relations in the first-century world, he discusses the view of Judaism from the perspective of Greco-Roman literature and examines the debate over the nature of Hellenistic Judaism in the Greco-Roman world. The last section of the book describes Jewish-Christian relations from the beginning of Christianity up to the time of Origen.

Conzelmann’s work is, first and foremost, theological. He seeks to describe each group in light of its self–understanding(s) and devotes particular attention to the question of salvation history. The results are often interesting and will, no doubt, stimulate debate. This sheer wealth of references alone practically guarantees the work’s value.

Richard I. Pervo, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary

Since it is so important to reject an inhumane anti–Semitism and to encourage the formation of a truly human relationship between Christians and Jews, it is indispensable to investigate the history of their mutual relations as precisely as possible. In his historical account, worked out from beginning to end in direct engagement with the primary sources . . . Hans Conzelmann attempts to create the necessary presuppositions for dialogue by urging that the real problem not be masked by explanations made too quickly. He wants to emphasize the theological significance of the basic issues that bear on the discussion.

Eduard Lohse, former bishop, Hanover Lutheran Church.

Hans Conzelmann (1915–1989) dedicated himself to New Testament studies at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Göttingen in Germany. His The Theology of St. Luke introduced a new epoch in the interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels, followed by landmark studies on Jesus and Paul. Among his many influential works are his three Fortress Press Hermeneia Commentaries on 1 Corinthians, Acts, and, with Martin Dibelius, The Pastoral Epistles.

From Symposium to Eucharist: The Banquet in the Early Christian World

  • Author: Dennis E. Smith
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 424

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

Table fellowship in the ancient Mediterranean was more than food consumption. From Plato on down, banquets held an important place in creating community, sharing values, and connecting with the divine. In this groundbreaking volume, Dennis E. Smith presents the latest research on banquets in the ancient world and the light it sheds on the biblical view of table fellowship. Smith offers a thorough discussion Greco-Roman, philosophical, sacrificial, club, Jewish, and Christian banquets, and uses these emerging images to better understand the context and significance of the banquet in Scripture and Christian theology.

Smith’s fine-grained analysis of Greco-Roman dining customs and the literary conventions surrounding the symposium is a breakthrough that sets the New Testament data on meals into their rightful cultural and historical contexts. Smith sheds new light on vital issues concerning the historical Jesus, Paul’s theology and ethics, and the development of early Christian worship. This is a definitive study on a fundamental topic in Christian origins.

—Robert J. Miller, author, The Jesus Seminar and Its Critics

A veritable feast of information on the cultural, religious, and social backgrounds to the social bonding and community formation at meals in early Christian communities. Smith provides a wealth of material for a new analysis of the impact that Greco-Roman meal customs had on the creation of community in the early church. His work has great significance for many areas of New Testament study, including Christian origins, gospel studies, and Pauline studies. Sure to become a classic resource for the social, religious, and cultural background of the New Testament as a whole.

Kathleen E. Corley, professor of New Testament and Christianity, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Dennis E. Smith is professor of New Testament at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is an editor and contributor to the Storyteller’s Companion to the Bible series, as well as coauthor of Many Tables: The Eucharist in the New Testament and Liturgy Today. He is the editor of the forthcoming Chalice Introduction to the New Testament and Semeia 52: How Gospels Began.

The Social Setting of Jesus and the Gospels

  • Editors: Bruce J. Malina, Wolfgang Stegemann, and Gerd Theissen
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 424

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

What do the social sciences have to contribute to the study of Jesus and the Gospels? This is the fundamental question that these essays all address. From analyses of ancient economics to altered states of consciousness, politics, ritual, kinship, and labeling, this group of scholars presents salient contextual data needed to yield the most fruitful and rich study of Jesus and the Gospels.

Bruce J. Malina is professor of new testament at Creighton University and author, coauthor, and editor of many influential volumes in New Testament, including Social-Science Commentary (4 vols.), Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Acts, Social-Science Commentary on the Letters of Paul, and more.

Wolfgang Stegemann is emeritus professor of New Testament at the Augustana Hochschule, Neuendettelsau, Germany, and is coauthor of The Jesus Movement: A Social History of Its First Century and Jesus and the Hope of the Poor. He is coeditor of The God of the Lowly: Socio-historical Interpretations of the Bible and The Social Setting of Jesus and the Gospels.

Gerd Theissen is professor of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is the author of The Miracle Stories of the Early Christian Tradition and more.

Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity: A Missing Dimension in New Testament Studies

  • Author: Luke Timothy Johnson
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 208

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

Luke Johnson here issues a provocative call for a radically new direction in New Testament studies that can change the way we have viewed the entire phenomenon of early Christianity. Johnson is convinced that the dominant ways of studying early Christianity tend to miss its specifically religious character, because of a disjunction between formal religion and “popular” religion. Through three case studies on baptism, glossolalia, and meals, he proposes to show how a more holistic, phenomenological approach can be made. His approach makes possible the inclusion of the world of healings, religious power, ecstasy, and spirit. This, he argues, is the religious experience of real persons in the study of early Christianity.

Johnson concludes that there is still much to be learned about early Christianity as a religion, if we can find a way to get at the category of real experience. He maintains that early Christian texts reflect lives that are caught up in and defined by a power not in their control but controlled instead by the crucified and raised Messiah Jesus.

Luke Timothy Johnson is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His works include The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus, the Trust of the Traditional Gospels, and much more.

Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus

  • Author: Joachim Jeremias
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 1975
  • Pages: 406

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

Where does one look for information on the population of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus? What were the status and condition of slaves both Jewish and Gentile in the first century of the Christian era? Exactly who were the ‘chief priests’ referred to so often in the Gospels and Acts? Answers to these and to hundreds of similar questions related to social and economic conditions during the New Testament period are provided in this encyclopedic volume by Joachim Jeremias.

Where does one look for information on the population of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus? What were the status and condition of slaves both Jewish and Gentile in the first century of the Christian era? Exactly who were the ‘chief priests’ referred to so often in the Gospels and Acts? Answers to these and to hundreds of similar questions related to social and economic conditions during the New Testament period are provided in this encyclopedic volume by Joachim Jeremias.

Bruce Metzger, former professor, Princeton Theological Seminary

For historical information which is never dead, for the background on the social milieu of Jesus and the early church . . . this work is a gift.


Joachim Jeremias was professor of New Testament emeritus at the University of Gottingen in Germany. He is also the author of Jesus and the Message of the New Testament.


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  1. JR



  2. Jason Harms

    Jason Harms


  3. Roy L. Conwell, Jr.
    A great collection of books covering an exceedingly important area of biblical studies. Highly recommended.
  4. Lee Baggs

    Lee Baggs


    Yes, valuable background research with some exceptional authors.--Very beneficial for contextual study, for truer/better understanding of the meaning for the hearers at that time. Yes, it is a very good deal to have all this in one place at my/your fingertips. This may be among the best deals at LOGOS. Blessings
  5. Rodger



    Now this is a good deal.


Collection value: $134.95
Save $34.96 (25%)