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IVP Dictionary of New Testament Background


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In a time when our knowledge of the ancient Mediterranean world has grown by leaps and bounds, The Dictionary of New Testament Background sets out for readers the wealth of Jewish and Greco-Roman background that should inform our reading and understanding of the New Testament and early Christianity.

The Dictionary of New Testament Background takes full advantage of the flourishing study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and offers individual articles focused on the most important scrolls. In addition, the Dictionary encompasses the fullness of second-temple and later Jewish writings, whether pseudepigraphic, rabbinic, parables, proverbs, histories or inscriptions. Articles abound on aspects of Jewish history, faith and thought, including topics such as family, purity, liturgy and messianism. The full scope of Greco-Roman culture is displayed in articles ranging across language and rhetoric, literacy and book culture, religion and cults, honor and shame, patrons and benefactors, travel and trade, intellectual movements and ideas, and ancient geographical perspectives.

No other one-volume reference work offers readers and students of the New Testament so much up-to-date information on the cultural cradle of early Christianity. Here an entire library of scholarship is made available in summary form. Written and compiled by acknowledged experts in their fields, this wealth of knowledge of the New Testament era is carefully aimed at the needs of contemporary students of the New Testament. And its full bibliographies and cross-references will make it the first book to reach for in any investigation of the New Testament in its ancient setting.

What New Testament scholars are saying about the Dictionary of New Testament Background:

"Where would you go to find a succinct overview about marriage, sex and the family in the New Testament world? Or a brief introduction to any book of the apocrypha? Or a description of a particular philosophy or religion that competed with Christianity in the first century? Or the most important historical and cultural developments that led to the Hellenization of Israel? Or a brief description of the city of Corinth? These and numerous related topics are all addressed in IVP's new blockbuster Dictionary of New Testament Background. The authors form an all-star cast of scholars from all major branches of Christianity and Judaism, with a heavy emphasis on evangelicals. But expertise is never sacrificed for the sake of a uniform theological perspective, and the contributions are both up-to-date and filled with detailed, state-of-the-art bibliographic references. A must buy for anyone who wants in one volume so rich an array of historical and cultural background information for the New Testament." —Craig L. Blomberg, professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
"The Dictionary of the New Testament Background fills an important gap in current, up-to-date resources for serious New Testament study. Taking full advantage of the advances made since mid-twentieth century, due in large part to the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi documents, and the review of the whole field they have caused, the editors and authors of this latest InterVarsity Press dictionary have made us all a tremendous gift in on-going efforts to understand the complicated world out of which the New Testament arose. It is a gift for scholars and beginning students alike: each article is written by a specialist in the field, thus benefiting specialists in other fields; and each article is written so that neophytes can understand the most complex of issues." —James A. Sanders, president, Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center


  • addresses the full scope of Greco-Roman culture
  • encompasses the full variety of second-temple Jewish writings as well as the great breadth of Jewish life and thought
  • takes advantage of recent scholarship on the Dead Sea scrolls
  • informs contemporary reading of the New Testament
  • written by acknowledged experts in their fields
  • Gold Medallion Award Winner (Evangelical Christian Publishing Association, 2001)

About the Editor(s)

Craig A. Evans (Ph.D., Claremont) is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament and director of the graduate program at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He has written extensively on the historical Jesus and the Jewish background of the New Testament era. His books include Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies (1995), Mark (in the Word Biblical Commentary, 2001), Jesus and the Ossuaries (2003) and Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies (2005). His edited volumes include (with Bruce Chilton) Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research (1994), and (with John Collins) Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls (2006).

Stanley E. Porter is president, dean and professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of numerous studies in the New Testament and Greek language, including The Paul of Acts: Essays in Literary Criticism, Rhetoric, and Theology; Idioms of the Greek New Testament and Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament, with Reference to Tense and Mood. He has also edited volumes such as History of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.-A.D. 400 and Handbook to Exegesis of the New Testament.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 5.625 MB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running latest version of iOS. Download size: 5.625 MB. Android Requires Android OS 4.0 or later. Download size: 5.625 MB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 5.625 MB. Windows Store Download size: 5.625 MB. Windows Desktop Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 or later. Download size: 3.625 MB. Mac OS X Requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later. Download size: 5.625 MB.

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The Fine Print

Copyright © 2010-2019 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Laridian, PocketBible, and MyBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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