Contents Preface Chapter 1: What is the New Testament? Part 1: The Setting Chapter 2: The Kingdom of... God? Chapter 3: When in Rome Part 2: The Cast of Characters Chapter 4: John the Baptist and other Movers and Shakers Chapter 5: A Virgin, a King, a High Priest, a Governor, and a Rabbi Chapter 6: Joshua the Carpenter's Son...or the Christ, the Son of God? Chapter 7: Learners Chapter 8: The Jews Chapter 9: "I am a Jew" Part 3: Reading Words Chapter 10: The Crux of the Matter Chapter 11: Faith(fulness) Chapter 12: Apocalypse Then Post-Script: Loose Canons Glossary: The Meaning of Words
This innovative textbook grants the reader direct access to voices from Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman World through extensive use of primary sources and research into the setting and themes of the New Testament.
Daniel Lynwood Smith is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Saint Louis University, USA.
Smith's book is very readable and informative. Its forte lies in an
interesting presentation of the historical and socio-cultural
background of the New Testament with a very helpful use of the
relevant quotations from the ancient authors ... A valuable help
for readers interested in the background of the New Testament. *
The Expository Times *
This is an excellent book. In little more than two hundred pages of text Smith gives a most informative overview of the Greco-Roman and Jewish background to the New Testament ... A fascinating read, and it will surely provide a convenient and accessible source of study and preaching material to any priest or reader. * The Reader *
An excellent introduction to the cultural world of the New Testament for students, interested readers, and scholars. Concise, judicious, readable, innovative, informed, and rich in primary sources, the book reflects an author who is both an engaged scholar and a perceptive teacher. * Review of Biblical Literature *
Smith's introduction to the New Testament encourages engagement with the texts in their social and political contexts. This book provides a comprehensive, yet extremely user-friendly, resource, and little prior knowledge of the Bible, the Roman world or early Christianity is assumed. Useful features include a glossary of important and technical terms, all appearing in bold type throughout, and directive focus questions at the outset of each chapter. * Journal for the Study of the New Testament *
This excellent work is easy to read, sensitive to the historically uninformed student, yet highly informative concerning the context of the NT. Drawing on particularly key sources, Smith also helpfully engages the reader with what is relevant to the interests that brought them to the study in the first place. The texts, reflecting the range of Jewish and other Greco-Roman sources, are judiciously chosen, reflecting the relevant period and spheres of influence. The narrative flow of Smith's work keeps the insights intriguing. * Craig S. Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary, USA *
With this new book, Daniel Smith offers a fresh approach to the challenge of introducing students to the writings of the New Testament. Thoughtful attention to both text and context helps readers navigate the path into the cultural world of the New Testament, and from there to arrive at deeper, richer understanding of New Testament literature. Judicious probes of select interpretive questions and substantial excerpts from early Jewish and Greco-Roman texts familiarize readers with many of the "fascinating voices and artifacts" from the world that shaped the New Testament. Writing with clarity and verve, Daniel Smith takes readers on an intriguing and informative journey "Into the World of the New Testament," and back--and beyond. As a companion volume read in tandem with a Study Bible, this will be a valuable resource--heartily recommended! * John T. Carroll, Union Presbyterian Seminary, USA *
In this introductory textbook on Greco-Roman and Jewish backgrounds designed to illuminate the New Testament in an introductory course which focuses on actually reading the New Testament itself, Daniel L. Smith has produced a remarkably well-structured and useful teaching tool. The book is extraordinarily well-written by an experienced teacher who knows how to engage students. With appropriate quotations from a wide variety of ancient texts in translation accompanied by basic bibliographies, the author provides an appropriate entre into the biblical texts. The volume concludes with an extensive glossary of terms, signaled in the text by printing important terms in boldface type. Everyone who teaches an introductory NT course should seriously consider using this text as a pedagogical aid. * David E. Aune, University of Notre Dame, USA *
This companion to the New Testament offers students an opportunity to read the New Testament intelligently. It is neither a substitute for reading the New Testament by summarizing it and the questions related to it nor a survey of the background of the New Testament. It is a judicious selection and commentary on ancient texts and their relevance to the basic issues of the New Testament. I heartily recommend it for use in introductory courses. * Greg Sterling, Yale Divinity School, USA *