Baker Academic

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Testament, Its Context and Origins—Chris Keith

Following up on a question that Ken asked a while back:
What would you recommend for the non-theology student with a hunger for a deeper knowledge and understanding of the history, interpretation and context of the New Testament and it's origins? I have read many of Ben Witherington's books with great satisfaction but some of them are way beyond me. I have added several of your recommendations to my Amazon wish list hoping they are good for the serious but uneducated believer.
Ken, I just saw this post several months later. If you don't get this, I certainly apologize. I would recommend as a first port of entry David Aune's fabulous The New Testament and Its Literary Environment.


  1. N.T. Wright's, The Resurrection of the Son of God, will give you a overview of 2nd Temple Judaism (400 BC) all the way to 2nd Century AD Christianity. The focus of his survey is of course, resurrection, but you will learn a great deal about the depth of religious and cultural influences at play during these times. You just have to be willing to read 800 pages.

  2. A book I inexplicably avoided as a college student was Bruce Malina's The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology (Westminster/JohnKnox, 2001). Another one of Malina's is The Social World of Jesus and the Gospels (Routledge, 1996). I recommend them both. You'll see the text differently.