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The IVP Bible Background Commentary


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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations

How to Use This Commentary

The Need for a Cultural-Historical Commentary


New Testament Letters
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John


Maps Charts

Old Testament Scripture Index

About the Author

Craig S. Keener (PhD, Duke University) is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. Some of his seventeen books include Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels and commentaries on Matthew (The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary), John (2 vols.), Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Revelation, and a currently-being-published four-volume commentary on Acts. Four of his books, including The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament have won Christianity Today book awards.


"A few hours with this volume will rapidly convince one that Craig Keener . . . is a rising star among evangelical New Testament scholars. . . . Written simply and clearly, though meticulously researched, this book will be a valuable acquisition for every thoughtful student, pastor, and teacher who tries to understand the original setting for any passage in the New Testament. . . . Carefully researched and judiciously written from an orthodox Christian perspective to provide dependable information without overt theological bias. I heartily recommend it."--Enrichment
"A fine tool for personal Bible study. It analyzes the historical-cultural background of every passage of the New Testament in clear, non-technical language, making it especially useful for those without expertise in Greek or ancient history. Unlike a typical commentary, which interprets the meaning of each text, Keener's book offers insights which enable readers to study individual texts with greater personal involvement and practical gain. The author, an evangelical Protestant, is remarkably balanced and unbiased in his analysis, making this quite suitable for Catholic use--a valuable supplement to a good concordance, commentary, and Bible dictionary."--The Bulletin of Applied Biblical Studies, The Franciscan University of Steubenville
"A stunning work destined certainly to become a standard resource for study of the New Testament."--Journal of Psychology and Theology
"An excellent resource for pastors and teachers. The impressive volume contains a verse-by-verse look at cultural, religious, and social issues that come into play in the New Testament context. This is background information that most pastors' libraries will not contain, which makes it a vital tool for serious Bible study and preaching."--The Communicator
"Books are available that give us the cultural, social and historical background of Bible passages, but most are hidden away in academic libraries. Now Craig Keener . . . provides us with a single volume in a verse-by-verse format that covers the entire New Testament. Why use a background commentary? With it, we get a glimpse of the New Testament authors' original concerns and purposes. . . . Keener writes in clear, non-technical language for the lay person. His commentary is a valuable tool for teachers, small-group leaders, pastors, missionaries (who are trying not to impose their own cultural biases in their new setting), and all who enjoy digging deeper in their personal study of God's Word."--Discipleship Journal
"It is nearly impossible to imagine that one person could have compiled all the information contained within this volume. But Keener has not simply compiled material; he has mastered it. . . . At every turn of the page, whose who treasure the Bible will find something new and valuable."--Themelios
"Keener . . . has done the remarkable. He has produced a work that was genuinely needed but not envisioned--until now."--Faith and Mission
"Keener has accomplished a monumental task in assimilating a vast amount of primary and secondary material on first-century Jewish and Greco-Roman culture and making it accessible to nonspecialist readers. In addition, he displays a wide knowledge of New Testament scholarship (Pauline studies, gospels studies, etc.). To make this commentary useful to a diverse audience, Keener has minimized theological comments and emphasized historical, cultural, and social background. The text is clearly written and fairly free of technical jargon. . . . This volume should be a useful addition to public, academic, and seminary libraries."--Library Journal
"Keener has indeed taken careful aim at an aptly defined target, and his equally careful methodology has enabled him to hit it dead-center. . . . His purpose is to place at the modern reader's disposal the cultural background of the Bible, something that the original readers already knew and assumed. . . . Few pages do not contain some helpful cultural insight into a New Testament passage. . . . Even those already familiar with New Testament background will profit."--Biblical Archaeologist
"Keener succeeds in being informative and, this reviewer thinks, more than fair in trying not to impose his views on the texts. . . . Keener, as he promised, wrote a 'popular' rather than a scholarly book. Keener's scholarly credentials are strong and his book is a God-send to busy pastors. As already indicated, it is of great help to Bible students who do not have access to a theological library."--Southwestern Journal of Theology
"So far as this reviewer can discern, Keener knows his ancient sources and knows the best recent ideas on how to interpret them. . . . Teachers, pastors and students of the Bible will find it immensely helpful; I will probably include it in my next revised list of eight to twelve books recommended for a 'Basic Home Christian Library.'"--Presbyterion
"The product of a decade of work, this commentary is indispensable for Bible study. . . . By selectively providing background information from a variety of primary and secondary sources, Keener admirably bridges the cultural gaps experienced by modern readers of the Bible. . . . Sermons and lessons will be greatly enhanced by referencing this excellent resource."--Ministries Today
"This in-depth study is based on ten years of research by Keener. . . . It provides at least some cultural background for nearly every verse in the New Testament. . . . You need to have it in your theological library."--A.M.E. Zion Quarterly Review
"This is a splendid book to have next to your Bible. . . . A fascinating Bible study resource."--Good News
"Uncovers cultural backgrounds and provides historical perspective for nearly every verse in the New Testament."--The Mennonite
"Well-written in a style suitable for both professional students and daily disciples."--World Christian
"Whether you preach sermons, teach Sunday school, lead a small group, or read the Bible for personal study, your understanding of God's word can be deepened and enriched by learning more about the context of each passage from this valuable book."--PRISM Magazine

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