One of the most daunting challenges facing the New Testament interpreter is achieving a familiarity with the immense corpus of related literatures. Scholars and students must have a fundamental understanding of the content, provenance, and utility for New Testament interpretation of a wide range of pagan, Jewish, and diversely Christian documents. This volume examines a vast range of ancient literature, masterfully distilling details of date, language, text, and translation into an eminently usable handbook. Craig Evans evaluates the materials’ relevance for interpreting the New Testament and provides essential biographies.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Evans’ introduction is more than a map to terra incognita; it is a helpful companion for all who study Judaism and Christianity before the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire.
—James H. Charlesworth, George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary
Many doctoral students would have loved to have this reference work on their desks during graduate studies. All of the standard exegetical questions (date, provenance, author, historical situation) are answered in a few enlightened sentences. . . . The bibliographies are classified to aid students at various levels of research. . . . Evans’ book is a success, providing vast amounts of information in a minuscule space with extensive leads for further study. His choice of bibliography to continue research is lean and pointed. The very scope of his introduction to Israelite and rabbinic literature make this book worthy of a place on any shelf.
—Review of Biblical Literature
Indispensable for libraries, lay readers, and New Testament readers with all levels of academic training. . . . This book is most certainly worth having.
—Biblical Theology Bulletin
This is a superb text for beginning students making their first foray into the jungle of ancient sources as well as for more experienced scholars already familiar with many of the paths. This book will find much use by those interested in including the ancient sources in their study and research. Some will for the first time discover how to connect the wealth of background material now available to the exegetical process.
This book can be a significant time-saver for anyone who does research in New Testament and/or reads the better commentaries. It is a quick reference to help track down important references.
Evans, a highly credible scholar, has put together an important reference book that will become a standard volume in the libraries of scholars and students alike. . . . This is a most valuable asset in the library of the every serious exegete.
Dr. Craig A. Evans received his PhD in New Testament from Claremont Graduate University and his DHabil from the Karoli Gaspar Reformed University in Budapest. He is the John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University in Texas.
Evans taught at Trinity Western University in British Columbia for 21 years, where he directed the graduate program in biblical studies and founded the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. He has recently served on the advisory board for the Gospel of Judas for National Geographic Society and has appeared frequently as an expert commentator on network television programs.
Evans has written and edited extensively on the historical Jesus and the Jewish background of the New Testament era. His published works include From Prophecy to Testament, Jesus and the Ossuaries, Jesus: The Final Days, and Dictionary of New Testament Background.
“The purpose of the additions is to introduce God and religion into a book which originally did not once mention the name of God.” (Page 14)
“As it now stands, 1 Enoch appears to consist of the following five major divisions: (1) The Book of the Watchers (chs. 1–36); (2) The Book of the Similitudes (chs. 37–71); (3) The Book of Astronomical Writings (chs. 72–82); (4) The Book of Dream Visions (chs. 83–90); and (5) The Book of the Epistle of Enoch (chs. 91–107). The materials in 1 Enoch range in date from 200 b.c.e. to 50 c.e. First Enoch contributes much to intertestamental views of angels, heaven, judgment, resurrection, and the Messiah. This book has left its stamp upon many of the nt writers, especially the author of Revelation. First Enoch’s ‘Son of Man’ is important for Jesus research.” (Page 29)
“There are points of coherence between this Testament and Hebrews 10–12.” (Page 42)
“As John Townsend has pointed out, rabbinic writings that are used to aid in the interpretation of early Christianity fall into three categories: Targum, Talmud, and midrash (midraš). The first category is treated in another chapter; the latter two are considered in this chapter. The writings that fall into the category of Talmud are the first four listed above: Mishna, Tosefta, the Jerusalem (or Palestinian) Talmud, and the Babylonian Talmud, along with its several minor tractates.” (Page 217)
“2. Syntax. The grammar of the nt is Koine, not classical. It is also heavily influenced by the Semitic style of the lxx.” (Page 4)