Exploring Biblical Backgrounds
A Reader in Historical and Literary Contexts
272 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: August 2018
Exploring Biblical Backgrounds provides students and teachers with a rich compendium of ancient primary sources that form essential readings for studying both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Containing a wide range of comparable texts from the ancient Near East, Second Temple Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, and early Christianity, this collection furnishes students with awareness and insight of the various contexts of the Bible and views into important parallels. Headnotes to the sections and to each individual reading enable students to understand how a reading connects to the biblical text, while the expansive Scripture index provides an easy tool for identifying the biblical texts referenced in the introductions.
An indispensable companion for understanding how history and ancient ideas resonate in Scripture, Exploring Biblical Backgrounds guides students through the world out of which Scripture grew and prepares readers to hear the voice with which the Bible speaks.
Exploring Biblical Backgrounds provides a much needed and often neglected component of interpreting the Bible properly. The Bible did not arrive in a cultural and literary vacuum. Ancient texts are essential for students to achieve a better understanding of the distinctive contribution of the Bible. This well-chosen collection of primary resources consists of the classic works from antiquity, providing the reader a balanced selection for both Old and New Testaments backgrounds. It serves classroom instruction effectively but also is valuable for any person interested in the thought of ancient peoples.~Kenneth Mathews, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
Students of the biblical text owe a debt of gratitude to Katherine Smith and Derek Dodson for this collection of ancient sources. They have judiciously selected those texts that are significant for understanding the literary, cultural, and theological background of both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. To have all these primary sources in one volume is of considerable benefit indeed.~Jim McConnell, Assistant Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Gardner-Webb University
Not meant to cast doubt on the merits of the Bible’s truth claims, this book provides a rich resource to better understand Scripture alongside archaeology, history, and grammar. Exploring Biblical Backgrounds is a welcome tool that offers readers the opportunity to become aware of their surroundings and the stimulus to explore further.~Brent Niedergal, Reading Religion
Perhaps nothing is more important for correctly understanding Scripture than understanding the social, religious, and political world in which it is written. This volume provides a most excellent window into that background that is thorough and manageable, even for the novice. Covering the world of both the Old and New Testaments, this volume is a valuable starting point for any student of the Bible.~Chad Hartsock, Associate Professor of Religion, Carson-Newman University