Gain a comprehensive view of culture, society, and everyday life in the New Testament era.
G. K. Chesterton said, “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” What Chesterton had in mind here is similar to what we seek when we read or study Scripture: we hope to be changed. We often displace spiritual enrichment when we dig into the material details of Scripture, but those details possess the power to change the way we see the world now, today, as we live as Christians. If the object of travel is “not to set foot in a foreign land” as Chesterton has it, then a well-documented book about a foreign land is, at least, equal to actually going there.
A local guide is the best resource for gaining intimate knowledge of a place; its mores, assumptions, beliefs, culture, social struggles, sacred objects, and literature. No one can tell you the story about your destination better than a person who has lived there. In The World of the New Testament this is precisely what you receive. More than 30 scholars–each of whom has spent decades studying their respective areas of expertise–lead you on a tour of the most decisive cultural influences that impacted the New Testament’s authors. Forty-four essays (each about 10 pages in length) take you into a specific subject that illuminates a component of first century Jewish culture and its relationship to the New Testament.
How did Greek religion impact the early Christians? What were the social expectations of women? What about economics? Were people educated? What is Homer’s relationship to the New Testament? Where is Galatia, and why is it significant to understanding the book of Acts? It’s all in there; a complete, comprehensive tour. Accompanied by extensive bibliographies and prepared by scholars who are both seasoned and distinguished, these vignette-essays are your personal guide into a broader and deeper journey of the New Testament world.