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on 18 October 2003
The reason this commentary is so good, is it gets at cultural aspects which are quite often not covered by traditional commentaries. It doesnt give a linguistic or theological commentary, so is complementary to rather than a replacement for, other commentaries. Nevertheless, the insights are fascinating, helpful and bring colour and life to teaching.
Highly reccomended.
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on 14 June 1998
Craig Keener is a very good scholar. His use of source material (primary and secondary) is very judicious and sound. I have always wanted a book that tried as much as possible to avoid giving interpretation, but instead focused on background customs and "everyday" perspectives of the peoples of the first century. This book does just this. However, one cannot entirely avoid interpretation in a volume like this. Still, Keener's work will help you get more out of your Bible study and it will help you avoid esoteric explanations of the Scriptures. This book is especially good for those who are weary of commentaries. Thanks again to Keener for the work put into this book.
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on 7 February 2009
Most one-volume commentaries prove to be of limited use, often simply telling you what you already know; but this is probably the best one-volume commentary on the market today. Rather than try to hit everything it simply gives you the BACKGROUND (hence the title!) to the social, political and religious setting to help you make sense of what is said in its context. No blessed spiritual thoughts (you can get those yourself!) - just concise yet meaty content to check out those blessed thoughts were what was originally meant.
If you're looking for a first serious commentary, make it this one.
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on 20 June 2013
This book has been refreshing for me in my study of the New Testament, of course it does not change the message of the gospel, but it does add invaluable insight and clarity on some passages of scriptures that have stumped me in the past. It's very simple and easy to use too. My only wish was that it was for physical kindles...not just ipads since the book is quite big to carry around on the go! Highly recommended if you're a bible nerd and like learning about the culture from around the time of Yeshua Ha'Mashiach and the apostles, including Paul. But also highly recommended to all for it's insight and attempted clarity on certain difficult passages of scriptures that are rich with cultural context!
Surely this reveals the necessity of cultural context to grasp a more full understanding of scripture. Enjoy!
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on 25 February 2013
A correct understanding of Scripture is impossible without a sufficient knowledge of the history, culture and context within which the text was written. I have searched long and hard for the kind of information provided in this Background Commentary, but worried that it would be too academic or turgid for a layman such as myself. I need not have been concerned - the language and style with which Craig Keener explains his subject matter is both transparent and engaging. It's even possible to read it "novel-like" rather than simply dip into the bits that refer to the chapter and verse you want to study and understand more fully. I highly commend this book.
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on 30 December 2014
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on 12 February 2008
Craig S Keener's Bible background commentary has opened up a new window for me in personal study and sermon preparation. many thanks Craig

gerry foreman UK
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on 30 May 2013
Lots and lots of information but very dry. Makes your head big but doesn't draw your heart to God. There are much better commentaries (even some gospel-centred) on the market.
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