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Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Hardcover – 1 Aug 2002

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From the Back Cover

Discover - How the springs at Hierapolis help us understand why Jesus described the church at Laodicea as 'lukewarm' - The background and circumstances of certificates of divorce in Judaism - How Jewish dietary laws provided a powerful metaphor for God's acceptance of the Gentiles Brimming with lavish, full-color photos and graphics, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary walks you verse by verse through all the books of the New Testament. It's like slipping on a set of glasses that lets you read the Bible through the eyes of a first-century reader! Discoveries await you that will snap the world of the New Testament into gripping immediacy. Things that seem mystifying, puzzling, or obscure will take on tremendous meaning when you view them in their ancient context. You'll deepen your understanding of the teachings of Jesus. You'll discover the close, sometimes startling interplay between God's kingdom and the practical affairs of the church. Best of all, you'll gain a deepened awareness of the Bible's relevance for your life. Written in a clear, engaging style, this beautiful set provides a new and accessible approach that more technical expository and exegetical commentaries don't offer. It features: - Commentary based on relevant papyri, inscriptions, archaeological discoveries, and studies of Judaism, Roman culture, Hellenism, and other features of the world of the New Testament - Hundreds of full-color photographs, color illustrations, and line drawings - Copious maps, charts, and timelines - Sidebar articles and insights - 'Reflections' on the Bible's relevance for 21st-century living Written by leading evangelical contributors: Clinton E. Arnold (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen), General Editor S. M. Baugh (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine) Peter H. Davids (Ph.D., University of Manchester) David E. Garland (Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) David W. J. Gill (D.Phil., University of Oxford) George H. Guthrie (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) Moyer V. Hubbard (D.Phil., University of Oxford) Andreas J. K stenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) Ralph P. Martin (Ph.D., University of London, King's College) Douglas J. Moo (Ph.D., University of St. Andrews) Mark L. Strauss (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) Frank Thielman (Ph.D., Duke University) Jeffrey A. D. Weima (Ph.D., University of Toronto) Michael J. Wilkins (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) Mark W. Wilson (D.Litt. et Phil., University of South Africa) Julie L. Wu (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) Robert W. Yarbrough (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary includes Matthew, Mark, Luke (Volume One) John, Acts (Volume Two) Romans to Philemon (Volume Three) Hebrews to Revelation (Volume Four)

About the Author

Clinton E. Arnold (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is Dean and Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology in LaMirada, California.



S. M. Baugh (PhD, University of California, Irvine) is professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California.

Peter H. Davids (PhD, University ofManchester) is visiting professor inChristianity at Houston Baptist Universityand visiting professor of Bible and appliedtheology Houston Graduate School ofTheology. He is author of numerous books, including Reading Jude with New Eyes, TheEpistle of James (NIGTC), The Epistle of 1Peter (NICNT), James (NIBC), and A Biblical Theology of James, Peter, and Jude. He coedited with Ralph P. MartinThe Dictionary of the Latter NewTestament and Its Developments.



David E. Garland (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is William B. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures and dean for academic affairs at George W. Truett Seminary, Baylor University. He is the New Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and the author of various books and commentaries, including Mark and Colossians/Philemon in the NIV Application Commentary, and the article on Mark in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. He and his wife, Diana, reside in Waco, Texas.



David W. J. Gill (DPhil, University of Oxford) is sub-dean of the faculty of arts and social studies and senior lecturer in the department of classics and ancient history at University of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom.

George H. Guthrie (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. As a specialist in New Testament and Greek, he is the author of numerous articles and four books including the volume Hebrews in the NIV Application Commentary series.



Moyer V. Hubbard (DPhil, University of Oxford) is an assistant professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, Los Angeles, California.

Andreas Kostenberger is Senior Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is the author of numerous works on John, including his commentary in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, "John" in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, and John in Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary.



Ralph P. Martin (1925-2013) was Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Fuller Theological Seminary and a New Testament Editor for the Word Biblical Commentary series. He earned the BA and MA from the University of Manchester, England, and the PhD from King's College, University of London. He was the author of numerous studies and commentaries on the New Testament, including Worship in the Early Church, the volume on Philippians in The Tyndale New Testament Commentary series. He also wrote 2 Corinthians and James in the WBC series.



Douglas J. Moo (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is the Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. His work centers on understanding the text of the New Testament and its application today. He has written extensively in several commentary series, including the NIV Application Commentary, Pillar Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentary, and the New International Commentary on the New Testament.



Mark Strauss (PhD, Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego. He has written The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, Distorting Scripture?: The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy, Luke in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary series, and Mark in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.



Frank Thielman (PhD, Duke University) is Presbyterian professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Philippians in the NIV Application Commentary series.



Jeffrey A. D. Weima (PhD, University of Toronto) is a professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Michael J. Wilkins (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is dean of the faculty and professor of New Testament language and literature at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and the author of several books.



Mark W. Wilson (DLitt et Phil) is the director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey. He also serves as Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, as well as Associate Professor Extraordinary of New Testament at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and Research Fellow in the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies at the University of South Africa. He wrote the commentary on Revelation in the Zondervan Bible Backgrounds Commentary series. His most recent book Biblical Turkey is a guide to the Jewish and Christian sites of Asia Minor.



Julie L. Wu (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is President and Professor of New Testament, China Bible Seminary in Hong Kong, China.

Robert W. Yarbrough (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is chair and professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.


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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb specialty commentary set focusing on often overlooked aspects of the Bible 8 Dec. 2006
By David C. Leaumont - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At first when I opened this set to determine how I might benefit from this commentary, I was disappointed, but not because of the content, but because of what I was looking for. I was looking for indepth information on a passage, but that is not the real value of this book. This book gives historical and cultural background information on specific passages of Scripture, and helps to explain often-misunderstood verses and passages of Scripture. The purpose of this commentary (or at least the value I glean from it) is not scholarly lexical study, or explanations of theologies in the New Testament, but instead the significance of the cultural settings often ignored by us who live 2000 years after the writing of Scripture and in vastly different cultural contexts.

A great example of the use of this commentary is John 7:37-44. The commentary explains why it was significant that Jesus used the phrase "streams of living water." In doing so, it explains the 7th day of the "great day of the Feast" (Feast of Tabernacles) was the pinnacle of the celebration and that each day of the Feast had the priest pouring water over the altar that symbolized the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is often lost in most commentaries, and the authors of this set spend a great deal of time focusing on the aspects of the Bible that are so often glossed over because the historical significance of the events are lost on us, who have not lived in Scriptural times and settings.

The authors show no sign (to me) of theological bias toward any tradition besides emphasizing conservative, contemporary, scholarly study of the Bible.

This set is beautifully bound, with heavy covers and reminds me of a college textbook, rather than a commentary. The books open without having to crack the spine, and the pages are very heavy glossy stock. Throughout the book are color photos and illustrations of biblical artifacts, archaeological finds, and maps/charts depicting items spoken about in Scripture.

Overall, this is a superb set for background information. This is not the best choice as a first commentary set, since it specializes in backgrounds of the text, and not strictly on exegesis. However, this set acts as a superb specialty set to help students of the Bible understand many of the tougher illustrations the biblical authors used in conveying the Truth about Jesus Christ.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 20 July 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Great series for Bible reference: comprehensive, interesting, informative... cool.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 Nov. 2016
By Sheila Cutbirth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quick delivery and item arrived as described.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminary Student 20 Mar. 2015
By Craig Hutchison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An author in one of my seminary book recommended Zondervan background commentaries. With the exception of prophecy that was written for a future generation, proper interpretation of scripture starts with understanding how the original audience understood the passage. The original author wrote to an audience that knew and believed things we have no way of knowing without study. This 4 volume set of books provide this background for the new testament, passage by passage, so it is easy to find what you are studying. It is written well in an easy to understand manner. Zondervan also has a similar set for the old testament.
I have used them in a study of the Gospel of John along with my seminary books and found these easier to understand and with fewer facts that do not help in the interpretation. While all good commentaries contain some background to help us understand the text, these focus on the key cultural, geographical and religious mind set of the original readers.
A must have for anyone serious student of the Bible.
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great NT Commentary for the Newbie 2 Mar. 2003
By Jeffery L. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While William Barclay's set on the NT is my favorite and should be on the bookshelf of every serious student of the NT, Zondervan's Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary is probably the most friendly for the newcomer or teenage Bible student. Unlike Barclay's set, this has glossy paper and excellent illustrations, maps, and insets. These come closest to resembling college textbooks in their format and appearance. They are likely to appeal to high school and college age kids, and old guys like me who like to sit on the sofa and read a Bible commentary that just looks good and is interesting. Again, Zondervan has produced a product with mass appeal.
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