Sunday, August 13, 2017

Resources For Studying New Testament History

AP: Someone recently asked me what books I might recommend to them if they wanted to know more about the historical setting of the first century and the years surrounding the birth and ministry of Jesus. Let me just list a few of the very best and hopefully it will help you as you begin what is unquestionably a lifelong study.
1. F. F. Bruce's New Testament History (Garden City 1972). It covers the reign of Herod to Hadrian and it is highly recommended for students. 
2. H. Conzelmann's Die Geschichte des Urchristentums (Göttingen 1969). This one is brief, but rich in data. 
3. W. Foerster's two-volume Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte (Hamburg 1955–1956). 
4. J. Leipoldt and W. Grundmann's Umwelt des Urchristentums (Berlin 1966). This text has an excellent presentation of the historical and cultural framework of the New Testament (vol. 1) with a full selection of texts (vol. 2) and illustrations (vol. 3). 
5. B. Reike's Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte: Die biblische Welt 500 v.–100. n. Chr. (Berlin 1965, 1982 third edition). It was translated into English and published in 1968. The title is The New Testament Era. It is conservative with regard to chronology. And it provides a panorama of the political, social, and economic conditions of the centuries preceding and coinciding with the birth of the early Christian church. 
6. E. Schürer's three-volume The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C. – A.D. 135): A New English Version Revised and Edited (Edinburgh 1973–1987). This is a translation and adaptation of Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes I'm Zeitalter Jesu Christi (Leipzig 1910–1911). This is the best treatment of the period. 
So, I'm know there are others. I wanted to point out some that were perhaps not on the radar for some of our audience. If you want to list some other one's that you would recommend, by all means feel free to do so in the comments section. That would be great.

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