Each of us knows how the little events in our individual life shape day-to-day existence. Just as important, each of us must learn how bigger events–whether political, religious, social, or economic–have an equal impact on our day-to-day lives. The effects of the “bigger” events are not always felt in the same way as events that apply almost exclusively to our individual life.
The same was true for Jesus, his disciples, and all Christians of the first century world. The Gospels do a wonderful job of letting us into Jesus’ life with his disciples and the relationships they had with one another. Yet, the Gospels do go one step further from this micro-context and provide a comprehensive (but not detailed) macro-context of first century Judea’s socio-political circumstances.
Without question the broader context provided by the Gospel writers enriches the four narratives immensely. It leads one to wonder: would filling in the details of the major historical events surrounding the New Testament era further enrich and add depth to our understanding of the New Testament itself? Well the short answer is: yes.
Warren Carter’s <em>Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World</em> fills in the details of seven of the most culturally transformative events in the seven hundred years that surrounded the New Testament era. It will help you understand why the story of the New Testament transpired the way it did and allow you to understand the reasoning behind the actions of the major New Testament characters. And it will allow you to connect the biblical narrative directly to these seven specific larger world events.
Without hyperbole, this is the perfect supplementary text to any survey or introductory course on the New Testament whether that course takes place in a high school, college, or church. It is also ideal for the independent student who wishes to have a straightforward, informative text that covers the broader scope of New Testament events. Accompanied by multiple maps, illustrations, and informative vignettes this is an ideal text for filling in the historical holes often left unanswered in introductory course work.
Events covered include:
- The Death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE)
- The Process of Translating Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (ca. 250 BCE)
- The Rededication of the Jerusalem Temple (164 BCE)
- The Roman Occupation of Judea (63 BCE)
- The Crucifixion of Jesus (ca. 30 CE)
- The Writing of the New Testament Texts (ca. 50-ca. 130 CE)
- The Process of “Closing” the New Testament Canon (397 CE)