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The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New…
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The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament

by Craig S. Keener

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1,043812,357 (3.97)2
  1. 10
    Holy Bible - Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) by Inc. Wartburg Project (divinepeacelutheran)
    divinepeacelutheran: My go-to version of the Bible. No additions or deletions. Easy to read.
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Includes bibliographical references. ( )
  caffeinatedbookworm | Aug 12, 2019 |
Includes bibliographical references. ( )
  caffeinatedbookworm | Aug 12, 2019 |
Logos Library
  birdsnare | May 16, 2019 |
I have huge respect for Craig Keener’s work ever since his 2003 two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John. It was largely instrumental in researching for my own book about John’s Gospel, and I believe has become the primary resource for Johannine studies. So when IVP sent me this brand new second-edition 800-page New Testament commentary, I was quite excited.

As a reference book, it doesn’t disappoint. Scholarly and interesting, each book of the New Testament is given a short introduction detailing authorship and setting, and then a verse-by-verse commentary. The verses are clustered and topical, so it’s easy to page through the book looking for topics of interest. Be aware that Keener’s emphasis differs from other commentaries; he is less interested in providing simple exegesis than in painting a picture of the first-century setting whereby a saying or statement can be understood. Note the title: this is a “Bible Background Commentary.” It is about the cultural background and what was going on in Bible days that colored the writings we read two thousand years later.

It’s this focus that gives this reference book its unique niche. A few examples of Keener’s focus will help explain what makes this a must-have resource for sermon development or (in my case) writing Bible commentary:

Matthew 5:22, about the “fires of Gehenna” for someone who calls his brother a fool: Keener doesn’t delve into the history of Gehenna but speaks to its metaphorical meaning as the opposite of paradise, and how some Jewish teachers envisioned eternal torture while others believed the wicked would be burned up.

Acts 2:1-4, about the arrival of the Holy Spirit: Keener explains the Jewish anticipation of the return of the Spirit and its outpouring as a sign of the Messianic age.

1 Corinthians 11:14-15, about a woman wearing long hair as a head covering, while long hair on a man is a disgrace: Keener points out how ancient writers, especially Stoic philosophers, loved to make arguments from nature. Nature taught them that men could grow beards, but women’s hair naturally seemed to grow longer. Paul is well aware of the exceptions to the rule (such as the Nazirites) but draws on this observation more to make a point than to instruct his readers in how to wear their hair. ( )
1 vote DubiousDisciple | Mar 2, 2014 |
The IVP Bible Background commentaries are wonderful tools. If I could have only one commentary, this would be it. I like some others, but none have the objective integrity of these ... no discernible theological agenda. The information is not necessarily good for every purpose, but it gives you much of what you need to gather context. Wonderful. ( )
1 vote darlingtrk | May 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0830814051, Hardcover)

Voted one of 1995 Books of the Year!

To understand and apply the Bible well, you need two crucial sources of information. One is the Bible itself. The other is an understanding of the cultural background of the passage you're reading.

Only with the background can you grasp the author's original concerns and purposes. This unique commentary provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible--and richer--Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament.

Based on ten years of in-depth study, this accessible and bestselling commentary is valuable for pastors in sermon preparation, for Sunday-school and other church teachers as they build lessons, for missionaries concerned not to import their own cultural biases into the Bible, for college and seminary students in classroom assignments, and for everyday Bible readers seeking to deepen and enhance their study of Scripture.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Voted one of Christianity Today's 1995 Books of the Year! To understand and apply the Bible well, you need two crucial sources of information. One is the Bible itself. The other is an understanding of the cultural background of the passage you're reading. Only with the background can you grasp the author's original concerns and purposes. This unique commentary provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible--and richer--Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament. Based on ten years of in-depth study, this accessible and bestselling commentary is valuable for pastors in sermon preparation, for Sunday-school and other church teachers as they build lessons, for missionaries concerned not to import their own cultural biases into the Bible, for college and seminary students in classroom assignments, and for everyday Bible readers seeking to deepen and enhance their study of Scripture.… (more)

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