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New Testament Background Commentary: A New Dictionary of Words, Phrases and Situations in Bible Order

, 2004


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The New Testament is a fascinating collection of documents that illuminate the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It contains an amazing number of details in its texts that can easily be lost on the modern mind. This means that the full impact can pass by the reader, yet sometimes that snippet of information has major consequences for the meaning of the passage.

Commentaries usefully explain the main teaching of a passage, but do not always explore the broader context. Bible dictionaries are helpful, but they are often more interested in expressing the meaning of specific words rather than the significance of situations.

Harold Mare has helped the modern reader by combining the best elements of both commentaries and dictionaries in his New Testament Background Commentary. It is both a commentary and a dictionary of words, phrases, and situations that shed light on the text. An invaluable companion to studying the New Testament, you will wonder how you managed without it.

Resource Experts
  • Numerous pictures and illustrations
  • Historical and contextual information for each book of the New Testament
  • Accessible discussion of Greek words and phrases for English-only readers
  • All Scripture references linked directly to the Bibles in your library

Top Highlights

“On the other hand, the Cypriot Zeno (340–265 bc), who founded Stoicism (named from the Painted Stoa, or colonnade, in the Athenian agora where Zeno taught), stressed living in harmony with nature, depending on one’s reasoning and other self-sufficient powers, suppressing personal desires, and viewing God pantheistically as ‘the World-soul’ (cf. modem Hinduism).” (Pages 196–197)

“Behind the statement ‘out hands have touched’ lies the fact that some in John’s day (ad 85–95) were denying the true humanity of Christ, saying that he had not ‘come in the flesh’ (cf. John 4:2–31). He just seemed to have a body. This was a heresy called Docetism (from the Greek dokeō, ‘to seem’), a part of the general movement of thought called Gnosticism which was beginning to develop. It was a heresy setting forth a salvation obtained not by faith in Christ (that is, some denied that ‘Jesus is the Christ’, 1 John 2:22) and sought to attain salvation by special knowledge (the Greek term is gnōsis, ‘knowledge’) as they tried to make steps, or progress, toward God without the cross of Christ.” (Pages 405–406)

“In an agricultural country, worthless, tasteless salt could be used on dirt streets and paths to smother weeds and all other growing things. By this apt illustration, Jesus urges his disciples to be true spiritual witnesses to a world gorging itself in worldly pleasures and values. He also urges them to be aware of possibly becoming worthless, irrelevant witnesses for Christ.” (Page 22)

“The Greek term euperistatos (from the verb perispaō, ‘easy to pull away’) conveys the idea that the sin referred to here is easily distracting, pulling one away from the Lord and from the Christian course he has laid out.” (Page 380)

  • Title: New Testament Background Commentary: A New Dictionary of Words, Phrases and Situations in Bible Order
  • Author: W. Harold Mare
  • Publisher: Mentor
  • Print Publication Date: 2004
  • Logos Release Date: 2009
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. N.T. › Dictionaries; Bible. N.T. › Commentaries
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-10-05T15:19:00Z

The Logos edition of New Testament Background Commentary 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.

W. Harold Mare (1918–2004) was a founding trustee of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri in 1963 and served as Professor of New Testament until his retirement in 1984. After his retirement, Dr. Mare continued to teach as an emeritus professor at Covenant Seminary until his death in 2004 while doing archaeological excavations in Jordan.


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  1. Juan Jose Higueros
  2. W Russell Lyle III


Digital list price: $26.99
Save $6.00 (22%)